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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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SWAN – The rendering of the Authorized Version for "tinshemet" (Lev. xi. 18; Deut. xiv. 16). The Revised Version, more correctly, gives "horned owl" (see Lizard; Mole; Owl).Two species of swan have been found in Palestine, the whooper,...
SWAYING THE BODY – The habit of swaying the body during study and prayer has been peculiar to the Jews from very early times, and it is one still practised by them in the Orient and eastern Europe. In the Zohar, R. Jose asks R. Abba: "Why is it...
SWEDEN – Kingdom of northern Europe. The existence of Jews in Sweden in the seventeenth century is vouched for by church records at Stockholm, from which it appears that several Jews had joined the Lutheran Church, a condition at that...
SWINE – Rendering in the English versions of the Hebrew "ḥazir." The swine is enumerated among the unclean animals (Lev. xi. 7; Deut. xiv. 8); the use of its flesh as food is branded as apostasy (Isa. Ixv. 4; lxvi. 3, 17); and the...
SWITZERLAND – Early Settlers. Republic of central Europe. Jews were living at Basel as early as 1213, and ten years later the church chattels were pawned with them. There were Jews at Bern in 1259, at St. Gall in 1268, at Zurich in 1273, and...
SWORD – The sword hung at the hip from a sword-belt (I Sam. xvii. 39; xxv. 13; II Sam. xx. 8), probably on the left side, Judges iii. 16, 21, notwithstanding. It was kept in a sheath ("ta'ar," I Sam. xvii. 51; "nadan," I Chron. xxi. 27;...
SYCAMORE – A medium-sized bushy tree of Syria and Egypt, allied to the common fig. It is often mentioned in the Bible (Amos vii. 14; I Kings x. 27; Isa. ix. 9, 11; Ps. lxxviii. 47; I Chron. xxvii. 28; II Chron. i. 15, ix. 27), and still...
SYDNEY – Beginnings of the Community. Capital of New South Wales, Australia. Its congregation dates from 1817, when about a score of Jews formed a ḥebra ḳaddisha, and they obtained permission to bury their dead in a special corner of the...
SYENE – Ancient city of Egypt on the Ethiopian frontier in the Thebaid; situated on the eastern bank of the Nile, equidistant from Alexandria and Meroe. In the Bible it is called "Sweneh" ( ; Egyptian, "Sun"; Coptic, "Suan," whence it...
SYLVESTER, JAMES JOSEPH – English mathematician and Savilian professor of geometry in the University of Oxford; born in London Sept. 3, 1814; died there March 15, 1897. He was educated at Neumegen's school, at the Royal Institution, Liverpool, and at St....
SYMBOL – A visible representation of an object or an idea. In Hebrew the word denoting symbol is "ot," which in early Judaism denoted not only a sign, but also a visible religious token of the mystic relation between God and man. In the...
SYMMACHUS – Translator of the Bible into Greek; flourished at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century of the common era. According to Eusebius and Jerome, he was an Ebionite and consequently a Christian; according to...
SYNAGOGAL MUSIC – See Music, Synagogal.
SYNAGOGE, DIE – See Periodicals.
SYNAGOGENBLATT, DAS – See Periodicals.
SYNAGOGUE – Established During the Exile. The origin of the synagogue, in which the congregation gathered to worship and to receive the religious instruction connected therewith, is wrapped in obscurity. By the time it had become the...
SYNAGOGUE ARCHITECTURE – Kafr Bir'im Synagogue. Ancient Jewish art is mainly represented by the Temple and its fittings, of which all that is left to contemplate is the lower portion of a fortified wall. Even if this overstates the fact, it is most...
SYNAGOGUE, THE GREAT – Included the Last Prophets. The members of the Great Synagogue, or the Great Assembly, are designated in the Mishnah (Ab. i. 1) as those representatives of the Law who occupied a place in the chain of tradition between the...
SYNOD – Origin of Synods. Representative council, composed of rabbis and laymen, and convened to deliberate upon and determine points of Jewish doctrine, policy, and practise. The "elders" in the time of Moses and the members of the...
SYNOD OF FOUR COUNTRIES – See Council of Four Lands.
SYNOD, THE GREAT – See Synagogue, The Great.
SYNOD OF USHA – Assembled at Usha. In the middle of the second century C.E. an important synod of rabbinical authorities was convened in the Galilean city of Usha, near Shefar'am, Tiberias, and Sepphoris. There also R. Judah B. Baba ordained...
SYRACUSE – City in the state of New York; situated on Lake Onondaga. The first settlement of Jews in Syracuse dates back to 1839, when the warehouse of Bernheim & Block served as a meeting-place for Jewish traders from neighboring cities...
SYRIA – Country in Asiatic Turkey. The terms "Syria" and "Syrians" do not occur in Hebrew; they are found first in the Greek period. FollowingNöldeke, these terms are usually explained as abbreviations of "Assyria" and "Assyrians." The...
SYRKIN, MAXIMILIAN (MEYER-JEHUDAH) – Russian jurist and editor; born at Ponjewezh, government of Kovno, Oct. 27, 1858; a descendant of the family of Joel Sirkes . He studied law at the University of St. Petersburg, and is at present (1905) practising his profession...