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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Judah David Eisenstein,

Author, New York City.

Contributions:
VASHTI – Biblical Data: The first wife of Ahasuerus; her disobedience and subsequent punishment furnish the theme for the introduction to the story of Esther. The name is held to be that of an Elamite goddess.Bibliography: Wildeboer,...
VEGETARIANISM – The theory according to which it is desirable to sustain the body with vegetables and fruits, and abstain from eating animal food or any product thereof. Rab said that Adam was prohibited from eating meat. "Dominion" in Gen. i....
VEIL – A cover for the face; a disguise. From the earliest times it has been a sign of chastity and decency in married women to cover their faces with veils in the presence of strangers. This custom is still in vogue in the Orient. The...
WACHNACHT – The Judæo-German term for the night preceding the day of circumcision, spent in feasting and the recitation of hymns and prayers by the mohel, sandik, and members of the family. The ostensible object of the watch is to ward off...
WARSAW – Capital of the Russo-Polish government of the same name, and former capital of the kingdom of Poland; situated on the left bank of the Vistula. According to Polish writers, the earliest settlement of Jews in Warsaw dates from...
WATER-DRAWING, FEAST OF – At the morning service on each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) a libation of water was made together with the pouring out of wine (Suk. iv. 1; Yoma 26b), the water being drawn from the Pool of Siloam in a...
WIG – A covering for the head, consisting of false hair interwoven with or united to a kind of cap or netting. Wearing false hair on the head to supplement a scanty natural supply, or as an adornment, appears to have been a common...
WINE – Biblical Data: The juice of the grape is the subject of special praise in the Scriptures. The "vine tree" is distinguished from the other trees in the forest (Ezek. xv. 2). The fig-tree is next in rank to the vine (Deut. viii....
WINE – Biblical Data: The juice of the grape is the subject of special praise in the Scriptures. The "vine tree" is distinguished from the other trees in the forest (Ezek. xv. 2). The fig-tree is next in rank to the vine (Deut. viii....
WREATH – Garland placed on the head as a token of honor. The wealthy bridegroom and bride, on the day of their nuptials, were ornamented with crowns of precious metal and jewels, while the poor adorned themselves with twisted bands of...
YAD – A pointer to guide the reading in public of the text of the Sefer Torah. During the reading of the Law in the synagogue the reader stands on the right side, the one "called up" being in the center, and the "segan," or deputy...
YESHIBAH – A high school; a rabbinical college. It is the oldest institution of Jewish learning, and ranks higher than the Ḥeder or the Talmud Torah. The term "yeshibah" and the Aramaic equivalent "metibta" (both found in the Talmud)...
YOM KIPPUR ḲAṬAN – The "Minor Day of Atonement"; observed on the day preceding each Rosh Ḥodesh or New-Moon Day, the observance consisting of fasting and supplication, but being much less rigorous than that of Yom Kippur proper. The custom is of...
ẒEDAḲAH BOX – A receptacle in which voluntary charitable contributions are deposited. Theearliest mention of such a device is in connection with Jehoiada the priest, who prepared a chest with a hole in the lid and placed it beside the altar...
ZODIAC – An imaginary zone of the heavens containing the twelve signs within which lie the paths of the principal planets, and through which the sun passes in its annual course. The signs, mostly representing symbols of animals, extend...
ZWEIFEL, LAZAR (ELIEZER ẒEBI B. DAVID HA-KOHEN) – Russian apologist and critical compiler from rabbinical works; born at Moghilef April 15, 1815; died at Gluchof Feb. 18, 1888. He was a lecturer in the rabbinical seminary of Jitomir from 1853 until the institution was closed in...