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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Maurice Fishberg, M.D.

Surgeon to the Beth Israel Hospital Dispensary; Medical Examiner to the United States Hebrew Charities, New York City.

Contributions:
APOPLEXY – A sudden loss or diminution of sensation and of the power of motion, caused by the rupture or plugging up of a blood-vessel in the cranial cavity and effusion of blood on or within the brain. Ordinarily it is referred to as a...
BLINDNESS – Statistics, wherever obtainable, show that the proportion of blindness is greater among modern Jews than among their non-Jewish neighbors. Thus, according to Dr. Georg Mayr ("Die Verbreitung der Blindheit, der Taubstummen, des...
CANCER – A malignant growth of new tissue; usually in the form of a tumor. Whether removed or not, it tends to give rise to secondary growths in near or distant parts of the body, and to prove fatal. The term "cancer" is usually applied...
CHOLERA ASIATICA – A specific and communicable disease, characterized by violent vomiting and purging. It prevails endemically in some parts of India, and from time to time is diffused epidemically throughout the world. The mortality is about 50...
CLIMATION – The adaptation of the individual to a new climate. It has been observed that when people emigrate to a strange country, even when the new climate differs but little from that of the mother country, there occurs a transformation...
CONSUMPTION (TUBERCULOSIS) – An infectious disease, due to the entrance of the tubercle bacillus into the body. The question of the relative infrequency of consumption among Jews has engaged much attention among physicians and anthropologists. It is well...
CRANIOMETRY – The methods of measuring skulls for the purpose of determining certain topographical relations, the most important measurement of the skull being the cranial index, or the cephalic index in case the measurements are taken on the...
DIABETES MELLITUS – A Disease of Civilization. A constitutional disorder of nutrition, characterized by the persistent elimination of grape-sugar in the urine. It is considered to be a disease of the wealthier classes, and is more common in cities...
DIATHESIS – A predisposition to certain forms of disease. It has been observed by physicians at all times that some races are more prone to be affected by certain diseases than are other races. These peculiar tendencies have sometimes been...
ELKIND, ARKADI DANILOWICH – Russian physician and anthropologist; born in Mohilev-on-the-Dnieper in 1869; graduated (M.D.) from Moscow University in 1893. Having paid particular attention to anthropology, the Society of Friends of Natural Science,...
EPILEPSY – Disease of the nervous system, manifesting itself by attacks of unconsciousness, with or without convulsions. It frequently occurs in families where there is a predisposition to neurosis, and tends to appear in the offspring of...
EYE – Biblical Data: This important organ is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible, but is described only in its external appearance and significance, according to the experience of daily life. The following parts are mentioned:...
GIRTH OF THE CHEST – While among most other races the average chest-girth measures over one-half the average stature, that of the Jews, it has been alleged, does not reach this standard. Goldstein has therefore concluded that the Jews are inferior...
GROWTH OF THE BODY – From the studies of Majer for Galicia, Weissenberg for South Russia, Sack for Moscow, and Yashchinsky for Poland, which give uniform results, it is found that Jewish children grow very rapidly up to the age of six, whereas...
HAIR – Biblical Data: The hair of the ancient Hebrews was generally black (comp. Cant. iv. 1, v. 11). In Eccl. xi. 10 black hair is designated as a sign of youth in contrast with the white hair of age. Josephus narrates ("Ant." xvi. 8,...
IDIOCY – Mental deficiency, depending upon disease or imperfect development of the nervous system, and dating from birth or from early infancy previous to the evolution of the mental faculties.Though the parents of more than 15 per cent...
INSANITY – Mental disease. Among the Jews the proportion of insane has been observed to be very large. From statistics collected by Buschan he concludes that they are four to six times more liable to mental disease than are non-Jews....
LEPROSY – Chronic skin-disease characterized by ulcerous eruptions and successive desquainations of dead skin.—Biblical Data: According to the Levitical text, the characteristic features of leprosy were: (1) bright white spots or patches...
MENSTRUATION – The first appearance of the menses is known to depend on various factors—climate, occupation, residence in towns, etc.—of which racial affinities are the most important. Climate is of unquestionable influence, the earliest age...
MORBIDITY – Rate of Sickness. Tendency to disease. The ratio of sickness among the Jews has not yet been satisfactorily studied, although the ratio of deaths—the mortality—among them, and of the various diseases that cause such deaths, has...
MORTALITY – Mortality of Children. Death-rate. The bulk of the Jews are known to live in the most overcrowded and unsanitary sections of cities in Europe and America, and would, a priori, be expected to show a higher rate of mortality than...
NERVOUS DISEASES – Frequency of Hysteria Among Jews. The Jews are more subject to diseases of the nervous system than the other races and peoples among which they dwell. Hysteria and neurasthenia appear to be most frequent. Some physicians of...
NOSE – Anthropologists who consider the nose an important racial index (Topinard, Bertillon, Deniker, and others) in their classifications of varieties of noses have one class which they call "Jewish," or "Semitic"—prominent, arched,...
STATURE – Jews Compared with Non-Jews. Natural height of man. The stature of the Jews is a racial characteristic which has been thoroughly investigated in various countries. Besides numerous anthropological works, many of the...
SUICIDE – Self-murder. The influence of race on the frequency of suicide is evident from statistics giving the rates of mortality from this cause in various countries. Of the European peoples, the Germans, Scandinavians, English, etc.,...