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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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David Werner Amram, LL. B.

Counselor at Law, Philadelphia, Pa.

Contributions:
ADULTERY – Woman's Rights Enforced. Sexual intercourse of a married woman with any man other than her husband. The crime can be committed only by and with a married woman; for the unlawful intercourse of a married man with an unmarried...
'AGUNAH – A woman whose husband has either abandoned her or, being absent, has not been heard from for some time. Having no proof of her husband's death, or being without a bill of divorce from him, her status as a wife remains forever...
ALIMONY – The allowance made to a woman by an order of court, from her husband's estate or income, for her maintenance after her divorce or legal separation from him, or during a suit therefor" ("Standard Dictionary"). This is its...
APPEAL – The carrying of a cause from a lower to a higher tribunal for a rehearing on the merits" is practically unknown to Jewish law. In the statute constituting courts of justice and setting forth the duty of the judges (Deut. xvi....
ASMAKTA – A word meaning "support," "reliance" (Ket. 67a); hence it is used to designate a Bible text quoted in support of a rabbinical enactment (Ḥul. 64b; see Jastrow, "Dict." s.v.).Legal Meaning. In civil law Asmakta (surety) is a...
ASSIGNMENT – According to common law, "the transferring and setting over to another of some right, title, or interest in things in which a third party, not a party to the assignment, has a concern and interest" (J. Bacon's "Abridgment," p....
ATTESTATION OF DOCUMENTS (Ḥatimah) – The general rule of evidence is that a fact can be established only by the testimony of two witnesses. With the introduction of writing and the custom of making written records of the transactions, the strictness of the rule...
ATTORNEY – A legal representative, empowered to plead on behalf of the person represented. Attorneys at law are unknown in Jewish law. The examination and cross-examination of the witnesses were conducted by the judges; and in criminal...
ATTORNEY, POWER OF (Harshaah) – An instrument empowering an agent to act on behalf of a principal. The following formula of a Power of Attorney is taken from "Naḥalat Shib'ah," chap. xliv.:"A memorial of testimony taken before us witnesses whose names are...
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS (Ḳiyyum, Asharta, Henpek) – Methods of Authentication. An official certificate of genuineness. This is either the result of actual litigation on the subject, in which case the decision of the court is the official authentication, or where the proper...
BEQUEST – Definition. A gift of personal property in a last will and testament. Modern English law and American law distinguish between a bequest and a devise; the former being a testamentary gift of personal property, and the latter one...
BLASPHEMY – Evil or profane speaking of God. The essence of the crime consists in the impious purpose in using the words, and does not necessarily include the performance of any desecrating act.The Jewish law is based on the case of the...
BLOOD-MONEY – Ransom paid by a murderer to the avenging kinsmen of a murdered man, in satisfaction for the crime. Among the Anglo-Saxons and other Germanic peoples blood-money or "wergeld" was commonly paid, and a regular scale of prices...
BORROWER – One who receives, at his own request, the property of another, for free use, upon the agreement that it shall be returned to the owner (Ḳid. 47b). He is distinguished from the borrower of money, the "loweh" ( ), in that the...
BOUNDARIES – Limits of a tract of land. When the Hebrew tribes gave up their nomadic life and settled in Palestine in agricultural communities, the most important matter was the fixing of definite boundary-lines to separate the lands of the...
BREACH OF PROMISE OF MARRIAGE – Nature of Contract to Marry. The refusal of either party to a contract of marriage to fulfil it. In order that there may be a breach of promise, there must be a contract cognizable by the law. Unlike the law in many modern...
BREACH OF TRUST – Violation by fraud or omission of any duty lawfully imposed upon a trustee, executor, or other person in a position of trust. It is thus a branch of criminal law, and under this aspect will be considered in the present...
BRIBERY – The offer or receipt of anything of value in corrupt payment for an official act done or to be done.The moral basis for the Jewish law against bribery is clearly expressed in Deut. xvi. 19-20; see also Ex. xxiii. 8. Divine...
CANCELATION OF DOCUMENTS – An instrument in writing may be canceled by cross-lines or by other marks obliterating it, or by burning or tearing the material on which the writing occurs.A Torn Document Invalid. In the Jewish law there are certain peculiar...
CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE – Evidence consisting of circumstances which afford reasonable ground for believing in the guilt or innocence of an accused person. Circumstantial evidence is generally stated to be inadmissible according to Jewish law; but this...
CLERICAL ERRORS – Errors made in the writing of documents, especially legal documents, for the prevention of which the Jews have many stringent laws. The Jewish official scribes were notably exact in the preparation of legal documents (Git. 2b);...
CONDITIONS – Qualifications or limitations annexed to an agreement by which it may be continued, altered, or rendered of no effect upon the performance or non-performance of something, or the happening or non-happening of an uncertain event....
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT – Physical chastisement inflicted as legal punishment. Corporal punishment is one of the oldest forms of chastisement known to the law. The method of its infliction according to Jewish law differs from that of other penal codes,...
DAUGHTER IN JEWISH LAW – The legal status of a daughter in Jewish law changed very materially from patriarchal times to the Talmudic era. In the former period the daughter had no appreciable legal rights; she was merely a member of her father's...
DESERTION – Leaving husband or wife with the intention of not returning. It must be premised that, if the husband deserted his wife and went beyond the jurisdiction of the court, he could not be compelled to give her a bill of divorce; and...