write summery of the memoir

jewish studies writing question and need support to help me learn.

Over 500 words, answer this question – why are the Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln such an important source for historians of modern Jewish history?
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The Life of Gluckel of Hameln 1646-1724 Written by Herself Translated from the Original Yiddish and edited by BETH-ZION ABRAHAMS ,t 2010.5770 The Jewish Publication Society Philadelphia Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:17:47.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
JPS is a nonprofit educational association and the oldest and foremost publisher of Judaica in English in North America. The mission oflPS is to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works, in the United States and abroad, to all individuals and institutions interested in past and contemporary Jewish life. Copyright © 20 lO by The Jewish Publication Society First edition. All rights reserved. Note: The Jewish Publication Society has made a good faith effort to locate the copyright holders of this work. After extensive searching, we have found no evidence that any publishing company or independent party holds copyright. We thus publish this book under the assumption that it is orphaned and that no existing parties have a claim to the work’s rights. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, except for brief passages in connection with a critical review, without permission in writing from the publisher: The Jewish Publication Society 2100 Arch Street, 2nd floor Philadelphia, PA 19103 www.jewishpub.org Cover design by Claudia Cappelli Manufactured in the United States of America 10 11 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN: 978-0-8276-0914-3 eISBN: 978-0-8276-0952-5 JPS books are available at discounts for bulk purchases for reading groups, special sales, and fundraising purchases. Custom editions, including personalized covers, can be created in larger quantities for special needs. For more information, please contact us at marketing@jewishpub.org or at this address: 2100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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IN CHERISHED REMEMBRANCE OF MY MOTHER EVA COHEN-LASK DAUGHTER OF HINDA (NE:a KOVALSKy) AND ISRAEL MEiR TAUB Her living example taught me to appreciate the qualities she shared with Gliickel oj Hameln. When shall their like rise again? BETH-ZION ABRAHAMS 5GP?)AGJ%=HAGI-E/9E%AJ%5GP?)AGJ%=HAGI-E/8A5E1D:P>GE?=2EJIJJ)2AI20=GD22.,A>JJ)?AI20=G.0JLPA12?JHGE>ISPGE>0=0S A>JJ)1#A2=EG=?2EJI0#J?73.  
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2J.S0ECD278A5E1D:P>GE?=2EJILife of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
viii INTRODUCTION some cases with the free cities, which then helped to make up Germany; and in each community, they were dependent on the grace and good will of the local rulers. As the Thirty Years War drew to its exhausted end in 1648, a flood of Jewish refugees fled from Poland, escaping from the Cossacks who had risen under their leader Bogdan Chmielnicki, and seeking a haven among their brethren in Germany. From the other side of Europe there was still more than a trickle of Marranos seeping out of the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish and Portuguese empires. These Marranos, known in their countries of origin as New Christians, were descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who during the fifteenth century had been forcibly converted to Christianity. They were sus-pected of adhering toJewish beliefs and practices in secret-as indeed many did-and were accordingly subjected to the special attentions of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Those who were able to leave the Spanish and Portuguese territories in the seven-teenth century made their way, either directly or via the West Indies, to Amsterdam and Hamburg, where Sephardi communities had long been established. In Hamburg, Sephardi Jews had residential and other privileges in recognition of the exceedingly important part they played in promoting the cOmn:lercial and overseas trade of the city. (As Gliickel herself comments, the Ashkenazi or German-speaking Jewish com-munity, to which she herself belonged, had no right of domi-cile there.) In 1654, when she was eight years old, the first Jewish immi-grants, also from the West Indies, arrived in New Amsterdam, the later New York; and a year after Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel proceeded from Amsterdam to London in order to can-vass for the legal re-admission of the Jews to England, whence they had been expelled in 1290. Though there was no Jewish press at the time, news spread with remarkable speed from one community to another. . Gliickel’s world differed greatly from our own; and indeed, nothing makes this clearer than her narrative itself. It was a world which knew the horrors and perils of warfare no less than our own. In addition there was the perpetual menace of plague and pestilence, the danger of fire desolating the narrow streets of cities; the travel by wagon or on foot along bad roads, with Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION footpads lurking in wait for the solitary traveller. People tended to rise and to go to bed with the sun, even in the cities. Food supplies were far scantier and less varied than now. In Gliickel’s childhood tea, coffee aild cocoa must still have been virtually if not entirely unknown, though the situation had changed con-siderably by the end of her life. All that, however, was part of the external world, which was shared by jew and Gentile alike. For the jews as such there were certain other elements which made their life vastly differ-rent from that of their neighbours. To begin with, their religi-ous faith taught them, and they believed beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they were in exile and must suffer that exile as their fathers had done before them. Their faith taught them also that the Lord had chosen them from among mankind for His own mysterious reasons, and that as a result certain responsibilities and definite duties were imposed upon them. They practically all lived within their ownjewries or ghettoes, even when thisá was not required of them by the law and even when no visible walls cut them offfrom their surroundings. What was important for them was that in those close quarters they could live their own life to the very utmost within the four ells of the Torah, with none to mock or say them nay. From there they could sally forth for their business dealings with the outer world-and Gliickel makes the nature of some of those dealings very clear. Yet even if the jews were aware of the social aspects of the outer world, they do not seem to have missed them. Theirs was a rich and full life, albeit they had to accept the fact of exile which had commenced about sixteen hundred years earlier with the destruction of the Temple in jerusalem but which, they knew by tradition, belief and above all by an inner con-viction, was bound to end in Israel’s return to the Land of their Fathers. This could come about at any time by the Grace of God or, alternatively, at the End of Days. To sum up, Gliickel’s politics, if the term may be used, came from the Bible in its traditional jewish interpretation, from the jewish Prayer-book and the works of the Sages of Israel throughout the ages. And by these Gliickellived her daily life together with all other jews, in a present that was to all intents and purposes outside local and world history. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
x INTRODUCTION The needs of Jewry were shaped by the harsh and difficult conditions of having to buy rights of domicile and permission to transact business. What the Rhineland rulers had described hun-dreds of years earlier as the ‘sponge policy’ towards the Jews was still being followed to a very considerable degree. They were allowed to absorb the money required by the rulers which was then squeezed from them by varying degrees of pressure. Since the Jews of those days were presumably at least as intelligent as their descendants, they were quite aware of this situation but did not waste their time complaining about things that they could not help. This is clearly shown throughout by Gliickel, who has no illusions about the position and status of moneyless Jews. It also accounts for the overriding need for money, even as a kind of insurance for future well-being. Children were be-trothed and married in their early teens, long before they were capable of providing for their own needs or those of a family. The dowries which play so large a part in Gliickel’s story were no luxury, but a necessity, a provision for the future and a capital sum for starting business on one’s own. While they were still young, such youthful couples lived with one or the other set of parents, learning the facts of daily life from them, until some opportunity arose which enabled them to begin their own independent career. Gliickel herself was twelve years old when she was betrothed, and fourteen when she married Chaim, the son of Jose ph Baruch the Levite, known in official documents as Jost Goldschmidt, a wealthy dealer in gems and a worker in precious metals, as his official name denotes. Joseph Baruch lived in Hameln on the river Weser, a small town in Hanover which English readers will remember as the Hamelin town of Robert Browning’s Pied Piper. Owing to the vicissitudes of the Thirty Years War the one-time Jewish community of the city had been reduced to no more than two families of which her father-in-Iaw’s was one. Whenever Gliickel refers to her husband and other Jews of standing it is by the term Reb, the abbreviation of’ Rabbi’ and more or less the equivalent of ‘Master’ in the Elizabethan or Tudor sense. It is also her habit to refer to her husband as Segal, the initials of the Hebrew Segan Leviyim, i.e., superior Temple Levite. In this way she denoted that he and their male children Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION xi belonged to the tribe of Levi, though not of priestly stock like those bearing the name of Cohen-the Hebrew for priest. Throughout her life Gliickel retained her girlish wonder and enthusiasm at the piety of her father-in-law, together with her admiration for his other qualities. Still, there were only two Jewish families in Hameln, and after a year she began to long for the lively social activities of her native community. So she returned to Hamburg with Chaim, who was a young man start-ing in business on his own at the time. With him she lived for thirty years, bearing thirteen children, of whom only one died in infancy-an achievement at a time when infant mortality was so high. During the dreadful, grief-laden nights that followed Reb Chaim Segal’s death, so poignantly described in Book Five, she began to write down the story of her life. In all their years together Chaim never transacted any busi-ness without first consulting Gliickel, who even drew up his busi-ness agreements. She herself had received her education in Cheder, the traditional Jewish school; and while it did not take her as far as the Talmud and Rabbinics, the basis of Jewish learning, she was certainly taught Hebrew and the rudiments of other necessary knowledge. Her own capacity for writing in Jewish vernacular is attested by her autobiography, and know-ledge of the current andJiidisch-Deutsch literature is evidenced by her reference to popular works of the period and the way she utilizes some of the current moralistic tales then so popular. Jews prominent in the Germany of those days are referred to familiarly in these pages. Reb Chaim Segal’s early partner, Jost Lieberman, afterwards Court Jew to the Great Elector, stands revealed as a strictly observant Jew who never lost his friendship for Gliickel. Again there is her brother-in-law Lipman Cohen, familiar in official German circles as Leffman Behrens, who was held in high regard at the Guelphic Courts together with his sons after him. Then there were the famous or notorious people outside her own immediate circle. She remembered, too, the sensational effect of Shabbatai Zevi, the false Messiah, whose renown and claims swept like wildfire in 1665 from Asia Minor and the Holy Land to the Jewish communities of Europe. The fervent belief in and conviction of the Messianic Redemption of Israel had indeed been strengthened by the sufferings of Polish Jewry in Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
xii INTRODUCTION I64B and the subsequent years, which were regarded by my-stics, Kabbalists and everyday folk as the long-foretold ‘birth-pangs of the Messiah’. Jewry was filled with the hope of an imminent return and restoration to the Holy Land. Indeed, following the tidings of this ‘Messiah’, Gliickel’s parents-in-law sent two large casks to Hamburg. One was fi.lled with food, the other with linen and clothing; and they were to be kept until the summons came to set triumphant sail from the port of Hamburg to the Holy Land. Life was insecure throughout. Jewry continued to balance, from Gliickel’s birth until her death, on the thin edge of permits and business risks on the one hand, withdrawal of permits and official pressures of various kinds, and the fear of recurrent ‘Schueler-geleif’ (student riots, as the pogrozns of the period were known) on the other. Nevertheless the ever-resilient Jewish spirit insisted on asserting itself. Gliickel set her trust in God, the enemy was routed or outlived in one way or another; and Gliickel’sJiidisch-Deutsch runs on to the next episode, or returns again to a point where she had branched off to describe some incident that had come to mind, or to point a moral and adorn a tale. She never strives after literary effect. Indeed she probably did not realize that there was such a thing. The story of her life flows on like a stream winding and twisting from place to place, running gaily through smooth and easy times, troubled when sorrow is her portion. Here and there she slips in a tale to stress a moral or impart some lesson to her children; for it must be remembered that she was writing for them. Above all she was a woman and a mother. When her husband Chaim died she still had to provide for eight orphans of tender years, while the other four older children, who already had married, were still in need of parental guidance. From this child there was much joy, from another heavy sorrow, but she watched over him and tended him; and made up her mind that when all the children were suitably married, please God, and she no longer needed to worry about their welfare, she would leave this erring world and go to the Holy Land in order to end her days in piety as was incumbent upon every Jewish woman. Circuznstances were too strong for her, however, and the many claizns too urgent. Centuries before career women were Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
INTR.ODUCTION xiii dreamed of, Gliickel was engaging in business, conducting financial transactions on the Exchange, attending fairs in dif-ferent parts of the country and even running a stocking factory. But after ten years of widowhood when she was fifty-four years old, she began to feel that she could not rush around seeking business very much longer. Travelling to the winter .fairs in bumping springless wagons along rutted tracks was becoming more and more of a strain. Apprehensive of old age, earlier then, when the expectation of life was so many years less than today, she yielded to the persuasion of her children and married again. Her second husband was Hirsch Levy, president of the Jewish community of Metz and the foremost banker in the whole of Lorraine. She never writes of him with the warmth she uses for her beloved Reb Chaim Segal, who had been her family shep-herd, the crown of her life, her beloved, her dearest, most pre-cious friend. Hirsch Levy was a later, carefully considered and calculated, dispassionate choice; while her love for Reb Chaim was indelible, tempered and annealed in the happy formative years of her young womanhood. But alas! Hirsch Levy lost his money within a year, together with the funds entrusted to him by Gliickel and her children. She whose proud boast had been that she owed nobody, neither gentile nor Jew, even as much as the meanest coin, found that her husband could not meet his commitments, and could not pay his creditors because he was bankrupt. She admits quite frankly that she had married him solely because she desired a comfortable old age, and counted on the relationship proving of benefit to her children. His bankruptcy was a bitter blow in-deed. In 1712 he died, after she had been married to him for twelve years. Following the death of her second husband Gliickel lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Esther and Moses Krum-Schwab, to whose betrothal she devotes a number of pages. It was in Metz that she ended her days. In her own fortunes Gliickel ran the gamut from riches to near-poverty. Yet any despair she felt was always coloured by the hope of betterment; and while she mourned those dear ones whom she had lost, she accepted their passing as the Will of God, and rejoiced at any good fortune enjoyed by the living. Always she respected and honoured Jewish scholarship and Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
xiv INTRODUCTION learning; and she lived her own life according to the teachings of the rabbinical sages of blessed memory. Her narrative is based on her own experience and her own standard of values. True, many of her own kind and acquaint-ances were playing parts which proved to be of historic signifi-cance, yet that aspect of them hardly seems to have concerned her. Her task and her pleasure was to record their doings and sayings as she herself knew of them. It was out of her own per-sonal experience that she wrote, to point the right and proper way for her own children to follow. Though there were great events going forward in her own land and elsewhere, she was concerned with them only in so far as they impinged on her own life and that of her immediate kin. And so, above all else, Gliickel of Hameln’s autobiography is an individual and characteristic human story. In writing of her-self and hers she not only displays herself as she wished her children to remember her, but also and unconsciously reveals herself to those of a later age. She stands in undress, in her domestic costume, visible in her griefs and afflictions, her joys and happinesses, revealing the lights and shades, the heights and depths; a woman worthy to become, as indeed she did become, an ancestress of many of the outstanding figures in later German Jewry. And in taking leave of Gliickel one visualizes her-large and matronly, with wise face and the kindly, tolerant eyes with which experience sometimes endows the aged. The face is framed, maybe, by many chins and several rows of coral, or the seed pearls in which she traded when she was young. Pen in hand she traces her life in her book giving an account of the days of her years so that he who runs may read. BETH-ZION ABRAHAMS Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:19:23.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS IN 1896 the great Austrian-Jewish scholar Dr. David Kaufmann (1852-1899) published, in Frankfort-on-Main, the life-story of Gliickel of Hameln under the title Die Memoirm der GlackellJon Hameln. This was a transcription of the Jiidisch-Deutsch which had been copied by Gliickel’s son Moses, Rabbi of Baiersdorf, from his mother’s original manuscript-her’ seven small books’. The publication of this unique life-story, the first written by a Jewish woman, made an immediate impact on the world of Jewish letters. It took its place at once as a classic and became the subject of innumerable studies-sociological, historical, philological, etc. Since its first appearance in print, the auto-I biography has been translated in whole or in part into Hebrew and modem Yiddish as well as German. The translation pre-sented here is the first English version directly made from the original Jiidisch-Deutsch as transcribed by Kaufmann. My attention was first called to Gliickel’s writing by my father Joseph Chaim Cohen-Lask, who loved Jewish letters profoundly. Without his knowledge and scholarly help in the elucidation of the many archaic tenns and obsolete words in the text, as well as in tracing the numerous Hebrew references, my Englishing would not have been possible. This is written not merely out of filial regard, but with deep gratitude for his encouragement and active help; and with regret, alas, that he did not live to see this complete translation in print. And joined in this regret I cannot omit-if only in this glancing reference-to mention my husband. Nor can I fail to mention with deep appreciation the late Dr. Bela Horovitz, whose keen interest in Gliickel of Hameln’s work, followed by the continued active participation ofhis wife Mrs. Lotte Horovitz, has brought this publication into being. My gratitude and thanks are also due to my brother Mr. I. M. Lask of Tel Aviv, Mr. and Mrs. H. Lewis, the late Mr. L. N. Cooper, Mr. Jacob Sonntag, Mr. Siegfried Oppenheimer and, by no means least, to that doyen of German-Jewish writers, my friend Mr. Hermann Schwab for their active and always sym-pathetic interest in the vicissitudes of Gliickel of Hameln’s saga in English. B.-Z.A, 3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-7C#?H#3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-?PCL%1?0CE=0CHG.>H=1, 
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LIST OF ILL US TRA TIONS Froritispiece: Jew and Jewess oj Frankfurt. Etching, 17¡3. A. Rubens Collection, London I. View oj Harneln. Engraving, 1622. Heimatmuseum, Hameln 2. Bird’s-Eye View oj Hamburg. Engraving by Arnoldus Petenen, 1644. Senat der Freien und Hansestadt, Hamburg 3-6. The Sounding oj the Shofar on New Tear’s Day. Fami{1 Scene at Amsterdam during the Feast oj Tabernacles. The Passover Meal. Tom Kippur (The Day oj Atonement), as observed by German Jews. Engravings by Bernard Picart, 1723 7-10. Lighting the Sabbath Lamp. Cleansing the Passover Utensils. Scene from the Feast oj Tabernacles. Aá Jewish Marriage Ceremony. Engravings from Johannes Leusden, Utrecht, 1682 II.á A Jewish Wedding, from a Book of Minhagim. Woodcut, 1692. A. Rubens Collection, London 12. Purim Players. Engraving by Johan van den Avele. 17th century. By courtesy of the Jewish Publication Society of America. From’ Purim Players’, a Purim Anthology by Philip Goodman 13. The Purim Feast. Engraving. Niirnberg, 1734. From ‘Judisches Ceremoniell’ by P. Chr. Kirchner 14-18. A Jewish Wedding Procession. A Jewish Wedding Ceremony. Jewish Wedding Celebrations. Simchat-Thora: The Feast oj the Rejoicing oj the Law. Jewish Divorce. Engravings. Niirnberg, 1734. From ‘Judisches Ceremoniell’, by P. Chr. Kirchner 19. Circumcision in a Dutch-Jewish Home. Painting by R. de Hooghe, 1655. By courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 20. Seven Turns round the Coffin. Engraving by Bernard Picart, 1723. 21. A Jewish Cemetery. Painting by Jacob van Ruisdael, to 1682. By courtesy of the Gemaldegalerie, Dresden 22. The two Great Synagogues oj the German-Jewish in Amsterdam. Contemporary etching. A. Rubens Collection, London 23. The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogues oj Amsterdam. Engraving, 18th century. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 24. The Old and New Synagogue at Furth with Wedding Procession. Engraving, 1705. From Georg Liebe, ‘DasJudentum’ 25. The Interior oj the old Synagogue at Furth with the Women’s Gallery on the right. Etching, 1705. By J. A. Boener 26. Memorial Stone oj the Burial of Altona. 17th -18th century. By courtesy of the Altonaer Museum fUr Landschaft, Volkstum und Seefischerei, Hamburg-Altona xvi 3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-7C#?H#3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-?PCL%1?0CE=0CHG.>H=1, 
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xvii 27. A Page from a Sabbath Prayer Book. MS. Hamburg, 1728. By courtesy of the Jewish Museum, London 28. A Page from a Prayer Book with Miniatures, showing the Saying of Night Prayers before retiring to bed. Amsterdam, 1734. By courtesy of the Jewish Museum, London 29. A Page from a Manuscript Book of occasional Prayers with a minia-ture illustrating the saying of Grace after Meal. Amsterdam, 1734. By courtesy of the Jewish Museum, London 30. A Jewish Merchant from Lorraine. Engraving by Sebastian Le . Clerc. Metz, 1664 31. View of the ‘Judengassen’. Engraving. Augsburg, about 1700 32. A Jewess on her way to the Synagogue. Engraving by Chr. Weigel. About 1700. A. Rubens Collection, London 33. A Jew on his way to the Synagogue, wearing the Jewish badge. Engraving by Chr. Weigel, about 1700. A. Rubens Collection, London 34. Prince Maurice of Nassau as a Youth. Contemporary Print, by Cornelius van Dalen 35. Sabbatai Zewi (1626–76) at the age of 40. Contemporary engraving 36. Sabbatai enthroned. From a Prayer Book printed by Castro-Tartas, Amsterdam, 1666 37. Samuel Oppenheimer (1635-1703), Court Jew and Banker under Emperor Leopold I of Austria. Engraving by C. E. Engdbrecht and I. A. Pfeffd, Vienna 38. Silver Chanukah Lamp. Late 17th century, German. By kind permission of the Jewish Museum, London 39. Betrothal Rings. Solid Gold, German. 16th-17th century. By courtesy of the Jewish Museum, London Grateful acknowledgement is made to Mr. Alfred Rubens, London, and to all museums who have given permission for the reproduction of originals in their collections. Other reproductions are based on material owned by the editor and by the publishers. 3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-7C#?H#3E1=D?EH#4)?EGC-?PCL%1?0CE=0CHG.>H=1, 
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BOOK 1 I N the year of Creation 545 I 1 I begin writing this with an aching heart, as will follow later. May the Lord make us rejoice as often as He has afflicted us and send our Messiah and Redeemer speedily. Amen. All that the Lord has created, He created for His gi()ry. The world was founded on loving-kindness. We know that the Almighty, blessed be He and blessed be His name, in His goodness and mercy created all things. He is not in need of any of His crea-tions which He in His grace has made in diverse kinds for the use of us sinful mortals. Every created thing is of some use, more than we realize or imagine. King David, on whom be peace, asked, of what use are the fool, the wasp, and the spider in the world? But he found out in good time. First God and then these three saved his life-as is written in the Book of Kings. Anyone who wishes to know can read it in Holy Writ. It is known that many pious people live sad and lonely lives, suffering hardship and misery in this passing )Vorld while, in contrast, rogues enjoy much honour and great comforts. They and theirs have riches while, on the other hand, it fares badly with the righteous and their children. We ponder: How is it that Almighty God, who is just, permits this? But this also, I think, is vanity, for it is impossible to penetrate God’s actions and un-cover their meaning. Moses our Teacher, on whom be peace, wanted to find out and asked: Make me know Thy ways. But as even he could not attain this, we need not concern ourselves about them. In any case, this world, which is as naught, has been created solely because of the world-to-be. God in his manifold kindness has made the passings of this world to enable us to do good and serve Him well. Also, there is a limit of seventy years in this toil-some world, of preparation for the next; hundreds of thousands of people do not reach even this age. But the world-to-come exists for ever. Oh how abtmtlant is Thy g()odness, which Thou hast laid up for them thatfiar Thee.1 Happy is the one who has his reward in the ever-lasting world-to-come. The sorrows and troubles man suffers 1 16g0-g1 of the common era. I Psalm. 31: 20. I 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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2 HOLD FAST TO THE TOR.AH here are temporary and last but a while. And when time has flown, the poor man, as does the rich man also, lays down his life-there is no difference. Furthermore, the poor man, who has suffered so much in his lifetime, dies in peace, for every day was for him a living death, ever hoping that it would fare better with him in the next world. And always thinking that God owed him this as his due. All his consolation lies in the future world: When shall I come and see theface of the Lord? According to my limited understanding, I therefore think that his suffering is not too hard to bear. But this is not so with the wealthy rogue who all his days has lusted after riches, his good being solely for himself. Nothing restrained him. When his time comes to leave this world and he reflects that, though God has given him everything, he has not used his riches for good as he should have done, woe unto him! How much harder then is his last journey than that of the poor man. But, my dear children, what need to speak longer on this? I began writing this, with the help of heaven, after the death of your pious father, to stifle and banish the melancholy thoughts which came to me during many sleepless nights. We are strayed sheep that have lost our faithful shepherd. I have spent many sleepless nights and for fear offalling into a melancholia, I arose in the wakeful hours and spent the time writing this. I do not intend to write a book of morals, for I am not able to do so. Our wise men have written such books: and we have the Holy Torah,l from which we may learn what is useful and what will lead us from this to the future world. We must hold fast to the Torah. As an example: a ship full of passengers sailed the seas. A passenger on deck leaning to-wards the waves, fell overboard and began to sink. Seeing this, the captain threw a rope and called to him to hold it tight and he would not drown. We in this world of sin are as if we swim in the sea, not knowing at which moment we may drown. But Almighty God who created us without sin-through the sins of Adam the Evil Spirit overpowers us-also created hosts of angels without any evil inclinations, to do His work. They do good only. Besides these, God created beast and fowl who know 1 The word Torah is left untranslated. It means variously the Pentateuch, Scriptures, the oral law; also religious truth, study and practice. 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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PREPARE-TO RENDER ACCOUNT TO GOD 3 nothing of good; and then man in His own image, with sense like the angels, but also with will to commit-God forbid-evil, or do good. gracious God threw us a rope for our guidance, to which to hold fast and so save ourselves. This is our Holy Torah. Hold tight to it and you will not drown. Our Holy Torah instructs us so that we shall not drown. How well it would be with us if we did good and were as righteous as the angels. The Torah guides us to the rewards for obeying the Commandments and the punishments for sinning-therefore choose life [Deut. 30: 19]. God forbid that we should not serve our Creator but live after the desire of our wicked hearts like the unknowing beasts that have no reward either in this or in the future world. If we do the same, God forbid, then we are worse than the beasts. When an animal falls and dies, it has no account to render to God. But as soon as the poor human being dies he must render his account to his Creator. Therefore well for us that we can prepare our accounts while yet we live: for well we know that we are sinful and evil desires rule us, for There is not a righteous man upon earth that doetk good and sinnetk not [Eccles. 7: 20]. So, one should follow this path: as soon as he has comInitted a great or a minor sin, repent immediately and do penance, as our teachers of moraIs have written; so that the sin may be blotted out of his book of records and a merit be marked in its place. When the sinner lives on, doing naught but evil, and dies in sin, woe! For how will it fare with him in the world-to-come when his book of records is full of sins, and. the opposite pages where the balance of repentance and good deeds should be, are blank! Therefore, you sinner, you are in debt. How will you repay your Creator who in very truth warned you? Why then should I write of the tortures and sorrows that a sinful person must suffer, with what anxiety, bitter tears and suffering as long as he has to pay his debts because of his great sins? Because God is merciful and takes from the sinner his debts in this world ifhe pays them off singly. If, for instance, he does penance, prays, gives charity and does good deeds singly; thus he can payoff his debts in this world. God does not require that he should take his life through :repentance. Everything must be seemly as our Sages write and as stands written in the Torah. And if a man acts thus, he makes clean his record in this world and in this way has no muddled accounts and can come with 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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4 ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE joy before his Maker. Almighty God is merciful, for, indeed, what difference need it be to Him if a man is righteous or is, God forbid, an evil-doer? Only and only out of His great mercy and loving kindness he Has done this for us, as afather has mercy on his children. We are His children. The Holy One, blessed be He, will show us mercy if only we pray Fatker have mercy on His children. God forbid if the Holy One had no more mercy on us than a human father has for his children! If a man has an evil child he helps and takes trouble over him two, three times but at length grows tired and thrusts the child from him, even though he knows it means his ruin. But we poor children sin against our Heavenly Father all the time, every hour, every minute. But the Heavenly Father through His mercy lets us know when we are be-smirched with sins. And if we call on Him in true repentance He takes us again to His heart, not as does a human father his evil child. So, my heart-beloved children, do not give up hope, but be penitent, charitable and pray, and God will protect you, for His mercy is great. The Lord God of mercy is long-suffering, as well for the wicked as for the richest who does penance in time. Everyone should try his utmost not to sin, for every sin is a wrong to God. If it is a merit to obey the commandment en-joining us to honour our parents, how much more so should we heed lest we anger our Heavenly Father who created us and our parents? We were created naked and bare. He gave us life, food, drink, clothed us and sees to all our needs with a full hand. Even if one has more and another less in this. world, we cannot judge, for many merits He repays in this world and others He rewards in the world-to-come. Be assured that Almighty, Beneficent God misses nothing. If it does not go well with the righteous in this world, in the future world, rest assured, all will bear interest. Then, all the pleasures and riches he, nebbich,l was denied here, which he saw many wicked men enjoying while the devout had not even bread enough to satisfy himself and which he accepted meekly, even thanking his Maker the while, all will be his. When he stands at length before the Highest Judge he will learn why things go contrarily for the pious yet well for puffed-up haughty ones and the wicked. Then he willleam that 1 Term of commiseration, in place of poor thing; alas; sluJml/ 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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THE PHYSICIAN’S SEVEN HERBS 5 piety is right and will praise and thank the All Highest who punishes us for our own good, for we are sinful and bad chil-dren whom God would train to be good, obedient children, servants to a gracious Lord and Father So He punishes us that we may learn to go His way. The good that He has given us we have not deserved and cannot serve Him enough for all that He has done. These are too many for me to write, yet we must remember that everything we have is from Him-free gifts bestowed. And if we are sometimes punished, it is because of our own misdeeds. We must accept all with love-as you will read in the story of the doctor. I found this story in the book of morals written by the Gaon Abraham, son of Reb Shabbatai Levi. If the Holy One, blessed be He, bestows sorrows and troubles, this portion must be accepted for good. There was once a clever man, a physician, who was held in high esteem by a certain king. On one occasion he displeased the king, who angrily ordered that he should be cast in prison, castigated and tortured, and irons riveted to his neck and feet. His fine clothes were taken from him and rough, prickly garments given in their place. For food he was given a slice of barley bread and a measure of water daily. The king ordered the keepers of the prison to guard the physician well, listen to his talk and report, every few days, what they heard. Some time later the keepers came to the king and told him that they had nothing to report as the physician had said nothing. ‘We. have felt all the while that he is a very wise man,’ they added. After he had been in prison a long time, the king sent for his family. They came before him with great trembling, for they feared that the king had decreed his death. When they appeared before him, he ordered them to visit the physician in prison and talk to him, thinking perhaps their talk would be welcome to him and thus reach his ears. The kinsfolk went to the prison and saw the physician and began their talk with him. ‘0 noble friend, we are sad to see you suffer such trials in this prison-in irons, chained by your neck and feet; and instead of the fine food you were wont to have, you eat only a slice of barley bread; instead of the best wine, only a measure of water. 0 noble friend, whose clothes were of silk and satin, now your garments are of coarse and prickly wool. In spite of this, we are surprised to see your face unchanged, the flesh of your body un-diminished and your strength perfect as in your best days. We beg 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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6 THE PHYSICIAN’S SEVEN HERBS our noble friend to tell us how he can endure all these tortures and yet remain unaffected and his appearance unchanged.’ And on this, he answered, ‘My dear friends, when I came in to prison I took seven different kinds of herbs and pounded them. well together and made a sort of drink from them. I sip a little of it every day and this is the reason that my face is unchanged, my flesh is not diminished, and that I retain my full strength and am able to withstand all torture. I am well satisfied.’ Upon this his kinsmen said to the physician, ‘Sir and friend, we entreat you very much: tell us, what are these herbs which you have made into a drink? In case anyone of us has such great mis-fortunes as you, then we can make ourselves such a drink, and sipping it, save ourselves from tortures and suffering.’ Then said he, ‘My dear friends, I will tell you. The first herb is the trust I have in the Holy One, blessed be He and blessed be His Name, who can protect me from all troubles and anxieties, even if they are greater and more than they now are–and also from the hand of the king, for The heart oj the king is in the hond oj the Lord [Prov. 21: I]. What God wills he must do. ‘The second herb is hope and the good advice I give myself: that I take everything for good and accept my pains with love. That is the advice I give myselfso that I am not lost in despair. ‘The third herb: I know well that I have sinned and because of my sins I have been imprisoned. As this came about for this reason, I am myself guilty. So why should I be impatient? and complain? As is written: Tour iniquities luzve divided you from your God [Isaiah 59: 2]. And about this our Sages have also said, no pain comes without sin. ‘The fourth herb is as follows: When I do become impatient and am in pain because of torture, what can I do? Can I alter it? Things could be even worse. What if the king had decreed that I should die? I should have been dead before my time and then all would indeed be lost. As King Solomon said: Better a living dog than a dead lion [Eccles. 9: 4]á ‘The fifth herb is: that I know that because of my present plight here the Blessed Name will relieve me of all my sins in the next world; and I shall merit the world-to-come as is written: Happy is the man whom the Lord correcteth [Job 5: 17]. And so, therefore, I am happy in my pain and with the joy of happiness I do good, for as the Sages say: All who rejoice in their suffering bring redemption to the world [Talmud]. ‘I can suffer more pain than that from iron chains. I could be castigated with sticks and rods, or with things worse than death. I 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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WHO KNOWS WHAT 18 BEST? 7 now eat barley bread. If the king had wished, I could have had nothing at all to eat; neither barley nor wheaten bread. At present I get a measure of water. If he had wished, I would have had nothing to drink. Now my garments. are of coarse prickly wool. Had the king so wished I would have had to go naked winter and sum-mer. And it could have been that my tortures were so unbearable that when morning dawned I would wish it night; and when night fill that it should be day [Deut. $;18: 67]. Therefore I accept troubles without complaint. ‘The seventh: God’s help is in the flick of an eye. For God is gracious and compassionate [Jonah 4: 2], and forgives the wicked. What God, blessed His name, gives God can take away and heal pain and sorrow. ‘So, my friends, I found and used the seven herbs and these have pnserved my face and mength. Let everyone therefore fear God and accept punishment with willing joy-for suffering is a redemp-tion for his body and merits the eternal world-to-be, in the certainty that his Maker will reward him with good.’ Dear children, I must not go into further depths, for then another ten boob would not be enough for me. Read the Ger-man ‘Brandspiegel’ and the ‘Leib Tov’. In the books of morals you will find everything. This I beg of my dear children: Have patience. If God sends you an affiiction, accept it meekly and do not cease to pray. Perhaps He will have mercy. Who knows what is best for us sin-ful folk? Who knows ifit is good to live in great riches and have much pleasure, enjoying all that the heart desires in this tran-sient world; or ifit is better, if the Heavenly Father holds much from us in this sinful world so that we can have our eyes always fixed on heaven. Our gracious Father: call on Him with hot and sincere tears every moment. I am sure that the True and Good Lord will show mercy and redeem us from this long, sorrowful exile. Great is His mercy. He is full of graciousness. What He has promised us, that will come to pass. Only, let us be patient. My dear children, be devout and good. Serve the Lord God with all your heart as well if things go well with you as when, God forbid, all is not well: As we have to bless Godfor good, so also must we for evil [Talmud). If He punishes you, do not be too grieved. Remember everything comes from the Lord. Should, God forbid, children and dear friends die, do not grieve too much, for you did not create them. Almighty God, who created 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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8 THOU SHALT LOVE ONE ANOTHER them, when He desires, takes them again to him. What can the helpless mortal do? He himself must go the same way. If God afflicts you so that you lose money, the Highest who gives, takes: naked were we born and naked must we depart. All the money in the world does not help. So, my dear children, no matter what you may lose, be patient for nothing belongs; it is only lent. When then should a person grieve? When a day passes in which he has not performed a good deed. And much more shall he grieve if, God forbid, he has sinned. We were created only to serve God and observe His commandments and to hold fast to His Holy Torah: For that is thy life and the length of thy days [Deut. go: 20]. I t is the duty of a man to support his wife and children re-spectably. By he who is charitable all the time [Talmud] is meant he who sees to the wants of his wife and children. God, blessed be His name, helps him and ifhe helps the poor-then it is well with him. Such labour is also a merit, for the great heavenly Father arranged everything with wisdom. A father loves his child; the same the nearest relatives one another. Without this the world could not exist. Almighty God did all this in His infinite mercy that parents should love their children and help them to do right. And then the children seeing this from their parents, do the same to their children. For example: There dwelt on the sea shores a bird that had three fledgelings. Once, seeing that a storm was coming and that the sea waves rose over the shore, the old bird said to the young ones, ‘If we cannot get to the other side at once we shall be lost.’ But the birdlings could not yet fly. So the bird took one little one in his claws and flew with it over the sea. When half-way across, the parent bird said to his young one, ‘What troubles I have to stand from you, and now I risk my life for you. When I am old, will you also do good to me and support me?’ On which the fledgeling replied: ‘My dear beloved father, just take me across the sea. I will do for you in your old age all that you demand of me.’ On this the old bird threw the birdling into the sea so that he was drowned and said, ‘So should be done with such a liar as you.’ He flew back and returned with the second one. When they reached half-way across he spoke to this one as he had to the first. The little bird promise& to do all the good in the world. But the old bird 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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———-….-;-u..L.. 4..i.f …. .SI.Jl-u…J. -J. J. .L f:!r:J-t-/ I. View of Hameln. Engraving, 1622 2. Bird’s Eye View of Hamburg. Engraving by Arnoldus Petersen, 1644 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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.N’l N .t.. /. J’ 3. Sounding the Shofar on New Year’s Day. Engraving by Bernard Picart, 1723 HI.!’I.’ II 11″.\ 1-1., I-._ l”J-.’ 1’1 … 4. Family Scene at Amsterdam during the Feast of Tabernacles. Engraving by Bernard Picart, 1723 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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DEAL ALIKB WITH JEW’ AND GENTILE 9 took this one too and threw him into the sea, saying, ‘You also are a liar.’ He flew again to the shore and brought the third binlling. When he came midways he said to him, ‘My child, see what hard-ships I undergo and how I risk my life for your sake. When I am old and cannot move any more, will you be good to me and sup-port me in myoId age, as I do you in your youth?’ To which the little bird answered his parent, ‘My dear father, aU that you say is true, that you take great care of me and my need. I am in duty bound to repay you, if it is possible; but I cannot promise for certain. But this I can promise: when one day I have a birdling of my own, I will do for my young as you have done for me.’ On this his father said, ‘You speak well and are also clever. I will let you live and take you across the water.’ From this we can see that God gave the unreasoning bird sense to bring up his young; and the difference: how parents toil for their children while they, if they had the trouble with their parents as their parents with them, would soon tire. To return again to our purpose. People should love one an-other, for it is said Thou shalt love thy neighbour [Lev. 19: 18]. This is a principal point. But we very seldom find in these times that a person loves another with his heart. On the contrary. If one can ruin another he will do so. That parents love their children is no surprise. We find the same among unreasoning creatures who have young and look after them until they are grown and can fend for themselves. And then they are left to themselves. We humans are in this sense better. We seek to support our children till they are grown; not only when they are small but as long as we live. . There are people who say, ‘Why should I always worry about my children? Is it not enough that I saw to them when young? Brought them up well? Gave them fine dowries and made good matches for them? Now they can see to themselves.’ And really this is the best way, for should parents always be slaves to their children? This is quite right when children are in a good posi-tion and all goes well with them. But if, God forbid, things go badly which person with feelings would not bear the burden of his children and friends? Rachel mourning for her children-I am tke one who has seen aJllictionL-it is indeed a very great affliction to be childless. To 1 Lamentations 3: I. c 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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10 A TALE OF ALEXANDER OF MACEDON my understanding it would have been much easier for Abraham had the Lord asked him to slay himself than that he should slay his only son Isaac. For who can witness the doing-away of his own offspring? StilI, Abraham would do this out of his great love for God. Even if we had no other example before us, we would know how to serve God, and not care for what is worldly and passing. For God, who gave everything, when He desires, can also take away. Your prayers should be said with devotion and awe. And at the time of prayer, do not stand talking with anyone, leaving the Creator waiting until you have finished. Our Sages have already said enough of all this and you can read it elsewhere. Mter praying, study a page of Torah according to your ability. Do everything with diligence; and support your wife and chitdren honestly. This is a great merit. And especially that you should do honest business with Jew or gentile lest by not so doing, God forbid, you desecrate the Holy Name. If one has another’s money or goods in hand, one must be more careful than with his own, so that one should not do an injustice to another. The first question in the future world will be: have you dealt honestly? If you have acted as a rogue, stolen so as to gather riches, God forbid, and after giving your children fine dowries left them great inheritance-alas! and woe! to those evildoers who enrich their children and lose their share in the world-to-come. Above all, they cannot be sure that the stolen money will remain with their children. Ifwe do admit that they have it, then it is only temporary and not eternal. Then why should one keep the passing at the expense of the everlasting? Ifa sandy hill is dug and the grains taken away little by little, there is hope that in time the hill will be cleared. But to lose eternity, God forbid, that is the world-to-come-that is a terrible consideration and much to be deplored. What are we? and what is our life if we do not consider this? We find in the writings about Alexander of Macedon: He heard that in a certain land there lived men of great wisdom who were not concerned about the rest of the world; they ate only that which nature grew and had no drink but water. Among them there was no envy or hatred. They wore no clothes. Alexander of Macedon, conqueror of the world, heard much of these people, their mode of living and their wisdom. He sent messengers to them, that they should come and do him, their lord and king, honour. If they refused to do so they would be destroyed. They answered: ‘We come 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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A TALE OF ALEXANDER. OF MACEDON I I nowhere and never go out of our land. We do not desire silver or gold. We are satisfied with that which God has given us and nature brings forth. If your king will come and kill us if we do not go to him, let him do so. He does not need much bravery for this because we will not withstand him. We do not care for our lives for when we are dead then we will begin to live. Should your king desire to come to us peacefully and learn of our wisdom and observe our customs, we shall be pleased to welcome him.’ The messengers returned to Alexander and told him of all that had passed. The king and his important men journeyed to the land of wise men. There they stayed some days and heard and learned much wisdom. He learnt many things and was well pleased with them and wished to give them many costly presents. But they refused these, saying, ‘We do not need money, or gold, or silver. Nature provides us with enough.’ On this king Alexander said, ‘Ask of me and I will grant you all that you desire.’ They answered with one voice, ‘My lord king, give us eternal life.’ Said the king, ‘How can I grant you this? If I had it to give I would give it to mysel£’ Answered the wise men, ‘Thená has the lord king considered in your own mind-for you yourself know all that the king does-with what labour and trouble and how many lands and people you have destroyed-which you can hold for a short time only: to what purpose is all this labour?’ And he knew not how to answer them. Still, he said, ‘I have found the world like this and like this I must leave it. The heart of a king cannot be content without war.’ This story I do not write as truth. It may be a heathenish fable. I have written it here to pass my time and to show that there are people in this world who care not for riches, relying always on their Creator. We have, thank God, our books of morals from which we can learn much good. I write all this not for admonition, but as I have already men-tioned, to while away the long wearisome nights, for She weepeth sore in tke night [Lament. I: 2]. I have undertaken to write as much as I can remember of my childhood, not because I wish to present myself as a pious woman or pretend I am better than I am. No. My sins are too heavy to bear. I am a sinner. Every day, every hour, every Ininute, every second-full of sins, and unfortunately am shut out from very few sins. F()r tkese I weep and mine eyes runneth down with water [Lament. I: 16]. I would rejoice to do penance and weep for all my sins but the anxieties 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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12 ONE’S OWN TROUBLES SEEM HEAVIEST and sorrow for my orphaned children do not let me do penance as I should like. I pray that God, my Creator, be gracious to me and lift from me the cares and worries I bear. In the hid places I weep. I have no one in whom to put my trust but only God in heaven. We humans do not confide our great troubles to one another. Each person thinks his the greatest. Once a philosopher walking in the street met a friend, who bemoaned the great hardships and worries he suffered. Said the philosopher to his friend, ‘Come with me; let us go up on the root’ They both ascended to the root From there they could see all the houses in the town. ‘Come hither, my friend,’ said the philosopher, ‘I will show you all the houses in town. Look at this house-there is trouble and joy. In that house-care and money.’ The philosopher showed him that every house had its troubles and worries. ‘Well, my friend, take your own burdens and cares and throw them among the houses and in their place take those from one of these houses.’ But the friend had observed well what worries there were everywhere and so decided to retain his own burden. The world is filled with such pain That each his own would retain. Therefore, put your trust in God. Pray that He should not desert us, nor all Israel-but bring us good tidings soon and send us our Messiah speedily, in our own time. Amen. END OF MY FIRST BOOK 4)2>E#)IA5E#)IA5<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>2- 

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BOOK II THAT which I have written and shall write comes from my troubled heart after the death of your father, peace unto him. He was our faithful shepherd. Surely because of our sins God took him to Himself. While I am yet in good health I shall with God’s help, leave all in seven small books. I shall begin with my birth. It was in the year of Creation 5407 [1646-47], I think, in Hamburg, that my pure, pious mother, with the help ofmerci-ful God, brought me into the world. And though our Sages have well said, it were better that man had not been born because man must suffer much, I thank and praise my Creator who has made me according to His will.1 [One page is kere missing from tke manuscript. The missing page apparently described tke household and charity oj Glilckel’s parents.] ¥.. (whoever) came into the house hungry, went out satisfied. He had his daughters taught religious and worldly things. I was born in Hamburg and as my parents and others told me, I was not yet three when Jews were driven thence’ and went to Altona which then belonged to the King of Denmark, where they enjoyed many privileges. Altona is about a quarter of an hour’s distance from Hamburg. Some twenty-five Jewish fami-lies lived there at that time and had a synagogue and cemetery.s They lived there for a time and through the efforts of prominent men of the Community obtained permits to trade in the town. Each was valid for one month and cost one ducat, and had to be renewed at the end of the month. But the four weeks were always eight because they knew the burgomaster and the officials. Still, it was a very hard life especially for the poor and needy, who risked going without a pass; if they were caught they 1 This quotation is in reality from the morning prayers and is recited by women only as an offset to that by men who say: ‘Blessed be He who has not made me a woman.’ I On 16 August 1648. the Council of Aldermen issued an order expelling all German Jews (Hochdeutsche Juden) from Hamburg. S The cemetery first used in 1621 was closed in 1872. 13 Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
‘THE SWEDE IS COMING!’ were imprisoned. This meant ransoming them and called for much expense and trouble before they were released. In the mornings, as soon as the men came from the sYnagogue, they went to town, returning to Altona towards evening when the gates were closed. When they passed through the gates their lives were in continual peril from attacks by sailors, soldiers and all sorts of hooligans. Each woman thanked God when her hus-band returned safely home. Counting those that had come from Hamburg, there were at that time about forty householders. There were then no very wealthy men and each earned his living in an honest way. Chaim Furst, peace unto him, possessor of 10,000 reichstaler, was the wealthiest; my father, peace unto him, had 8000, and there were others with 6000, some 3000–all lived well and at peace with one another; even people who possessed only 500 taler were content with their portion, not as the wealthy of these days, who are never content. Of them it has been said: No person before he dies receives half his desires.1 I remember my father as a God-fearing man, without equal. Though he suffered from gout he brought his children to good positions and settled us all comfortably. When I was about ten there was a war between the Swedes and Danes.á I cannot write much of it as I was in Ckede,s all day. The winter that year was the coldest for fifty years and is still known as the Swedish winter. Everything was so frozen that the Swedes were able to come right into Altona. Suddenly, one Sabbath day, the cry arose, ‘The Swede is coming!’ It was early. We were still in bed. We sprang up, half clad as we were, and rushed into the town seeking help from the Sephardi Jews’ and partly from the citizens. We were refugees for a short while. 1 Talmud. 8 Charles Gustav X of Sweden, after defeating Poland, moved against the Danes, with whom the Poles were in alliance. Advancing to attack South Jutland, via Schleswig-Holstein, in the very severe winter of 1657-8, the Swedish army performed the astounding feat of crossing the frozen sea into Zealand. It is this winter to which Gliickd refers as the Swedish winter. a Cheder, literally chamber or room, and to thia day a colloquial term for the old-fashioned Jewish dementary school, in which children are taught the dements of Hebrew and religion. It was only in Germany that Jewish girls and boys attended Cheder together. ‘The Sephardi Jewish community had right of residence in Hamburg. See Introduction. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
RETURN TO HAMBURG After a time, through great exertion on his part, and influence, my father received permission to resettle in Hamburg. He was the first German Jew to return. Later the other Jews returned from Altona, apart from those who had been living in Altona before. At that time government taxes were very low. We had no synagogue in Hamburg and no privileges and lived only by the grace of the town council. Still,Jews met together and held services in private rooms. This the town council looked at ‘through their fingers’. But when the priests learnt of this they would not allow it and we were driven, like timid sheep, to attend the Altona synagogue. This lasted a long while: we crept back to our little synagogue, had peace for a time, and then were driven away again, and so on, just as it is today.! I am afraid that this will last as long as we are in Hamburg and the town council rules. May God be gracious and send our Mes-siah that we may serve Him with good hearts and once more offer Him prayer in Jerusalem. Amen. So we lived in Hamburg. My father traded in jewellery and, like aJew, in anything else which could be profitable. The war between Denmark and Sweden grew fiercer till the King of Sweden was victorious and took everything he could from the King of Denmark and marched on the capital and besieged it. He would have succeeded if the Danish King had not had such good advisers and subjects who gave their blood and lives for him. This was God’s reward to him, for he was a just monarch and treated Jews well. Although they lived in Hamburg, every Jewish householder had to pay a tax of 6 reichstaler to the Danish Government. Later the King of Holland came to the aid of the Danes by bringing his ships through the strait and thus ended the war. But though the Swedes and Danes may be friendly and intermarry, they never remain on good terms for long but always peck away at one another. During this time my sister Hende1e, peace unto her, was betrothed to the son of the learned Rabbi Gumpel of Cleve.’ 1 Gliickel refers to the prohibition of synagogue services for the German Jews. The Hamburg archives testify to the strict scrutiny to which Jewish houses suspected of serving as synagogues were subjected. The Sephardi community, however, were allowed synagogues. ¥ Rabbi Mordecai Gumpel, known officially as Marcus Gompertz, dis-tinguished land rabbi and community representative of the duchy of Cleve, Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
16 A MAN OF GREAT FAITH She received 1800 reichstaler as her dowry, a very large sum in those days and one that no one had until then given in Ham-burg. It was the most important match in all Germany, and the whole world wondered at the large dowry. But my father was a man who trusted that God would not forsake him when it came to the tum of his other children. He lived better and was more hospitable than people who had 30,000 reichstaler-and lived thus to his last day. Now I will write of my sister’s wedding. I cannot describe how magnificent everything was and the distinguished com-pany that came with Rabbi Gumpel, nor what a pious saintly man he was. There is none today to compare with him. The poor and needy in particular rejoiced. May his merits stand us in good stead! My father, as I have already mentioned, was not very wealthy but he had great faith; he owed no one money and brought up his children to be honest. He suffered much ill health and because he was old, he was eager to marry off all his children. He was a widower when he married my mother, having lived fifteen years with his first wife, but they had no children. My dear, devout mother has often told me how much she suffered when she was young, for she was an orphan. Her mother, my grandmother Mattie, whom I knew, was a clever, pious woman whose equal may not be readily found. Her father was Nathan Melrich, a wealthy upstanding man who lived in Detmold and when expelled from there moved with his family to Altona at a time when there were not ten Jews living there. At that time Altona belonged not to Denmark, as now, but to the Duke of Schomberg, for it was part of the duchy of Pinne-berg. When the duke died childless the district fell to the king-dom of Denmark. It was Rebl Nathan Spanierl who obtained permission for Jews to live in Altona, and there he settled his son-in-law Leib, who came from Hildesheim. Though not rich, was founder of the Gompertz family. He lived first in Emmerich and later in Cleve, where he died 1664. Part of the Gompertz family settled in Londonj one of whom, Lewis Gompertz, was an inventor and a founder of the R.S.P.C.A.j his brother Benjamin a well-known actuary, and their brother Isaac a poet. 1 A respectful mode of address and reference to a Jew. I Nathan Moses Spanier of Stadthagen, died in Altona 1647. He was the representative of the Altona community. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
PLAGUE AND RESULTING RAVAGES 17 he was an honest man and provided well for the settlement of his children, as was the custom in those days. His wife Esther was a pious, upright woman who understood business well and supported the household. She went regularly to the fairs, taking not too much stock with her, for at that time people were satis-fied with little. She spoke well and God gave her favour in the eyes of all who saw her; the aristocratic ladies of Holstein esteemed her very highly. Though they gave their children dowries of only 3 to 400 reichstaler, their sons-in-law were rich men; one was Reb Moses Goldzieher, and another Reb Ella Ballin who was worth 30,000 reichstaler. Their son Reb Moses was a wealthy man to the end of his days, and though Reb Lipman was not so rich, he lived honestly and in a seeInly way as did the other children. I write this to show, that big dowries are not always the cause of great riches, for even people who have given small ones have had wealthy children. But to return to my grandfather, Reb Nathan Melrich. When he was driven out of Detmold and came to Altona, he went to the house of Reb Leib Hildesheim, the son-in-law of Nathan Spanier, and took with him all his riches. Reb Leib’s wife Esther told me incredible tales of his great wealth: he had boxes full of golden chains and jewels and bags full of pearls so that for more than a hundred miles around there was no one as rich as he. But, unfortunately, this did not last long. A plague-God preserve u8-“-broke out, and my grandfather and several children died of it. My grandmother was left bare and destitute with two unmarried daughters. They fled from the house, just as they were, taking nothing with them. Often did she tell me of the terrible hardships she underwent. They had no bed to sleep on but plain boards and stones, and though she had a married daughter, this daughter could not help her. Her married son Mordecai1 was well off, but unfortunately he and his wife and child died of the same plague. So my poor grand-mother and her daughters underwent severe trials and had to go from house to house until the plague had passed. When she returned to disinfect her house, she found all her best things gone and little left. The very floor-boards had been pulled up by the neighboUrs and the rooms were bare. What could they 1 Mordecai, the son of Nathan, and his wife Hannah, both died of the plague towards the end of 1638. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
18 Q.UARRELS IN THE COMMUNITY do? My grandmother still possessed some pledges and with these managed to bring up her remaining children, my aunt Ulka and my mother Beila-may she live long! My grand-mother scraped and economized and was able to marry my aunt Ulka to Reb Elijah Cohen, the son of Rabbi David Hanau, the great scholar who bore the distinguished title ‘Morenu’.1 He was, I think, land rabbi of Friesland and thence came to Altona to take up the position of rabbi. He gave his son a dowry of 500 reichstaler. But though Reb Elijah was a successful business man, he unfortunately died before he was forty. Had he lived he would have become immensely rich; in his hands dust turned to gold. But fate carried him off. At that time there were angry quarrels about the wardenship of the synagogue. My father had been parnassá for many years; and Reb Elijah Cohen, a young man whose wealth grew from day to day, who was also a clever man-was he not the son of the learned Rabbi David Hanau?-was often heard to say aloud, ‘Why should I not become warden like my brother-in-law Leib?8 Am I not as clever? Am I not as rich? Do I not come from as fine a family as he?’ But God in His time took him unto HiInself. While he was alive there were many quarrels in the commun-ity, and, as is the way of the world, each person belonged to a different party. So, unhappily, many misfortunes befell the community. Firstly, parnass Feibelman died; after him, Chaim Furst, the wealthiest man among them. Then Abraham the skammus (verger) lay down and died, but before his death he said, ‘I have been summoned to the heavenly Beth Din’ to give evidence.’ Zalman, the learned and highly respected son of Chaim Furst, who was warden, also died,6 besides many others 1 A title of honour, bestowed on married men only, and indicative of great learning. Hebrew, literally ‘our teacher’. II In Gluckel’s time the office of parnass (president or warden) was a monthly one. Each parnass in turn was appointed as overseer of the poor. He was empowered, when in office, to distribute alms to the needy, up to a certain sum. It was the duty of the parnass in office to allot the gueata, i.e., strangers then in town, to different householders for meals and lodging on sabbaths and holy days. a Gluckel’s father, Leib Pinkerle. , See footnote on p. 64. 6 This was in 1653, according to his tombstone in the Altona cemetery. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
PAINTED GOLD AND SILVER LACE 19 whose names I have forgotten. In this way God settled the quarrels among the parnassim. To return to my grandmother Mattie. When she settled Ulka she found herself with nothing left to support her e1even-year-old orphan, my mother. They went to live with her daughter Gluck, the wife of Jacob Ree. Though he was not a man of riches, Reb Jacob Ree was very honest. He gave his children dowries of from 400 to 500 reichstaler and made fine matches for them with young men of good families. After a time differ-ences arose because the orphan grandchildren visited her often, so that my grandmother left this daughter and went to live with Ulka. She and my mother, who knew how to make pointed gold and silver lace, supported themselves. My mother found favour in the eyes of the Hamburg dealers; they gave her gold and silver to work and for the first transaction Jacob Ree stood as surety. When the dealers saw that she was honest and prompt in her work, they trusted her, so that in time she was able to take in girls and teach them the trade. She and her mother lived from this, and clothed themselves neatly and cleanly. But besides this they had little, and at times no more than a crust of bread all day. Still they did not complain but trusted God not to forsake them-and my mother has the same trust today. I wish I had such a nature; God does no.t bestow the same gifts on everyone. My father, as I have already mentioned, had a former wife, Reize by name, an honest, capable housewife who kept a large house. Though she bore my father no children, she had by her first husband, a daughter who had no one to compare with her for beauty and accomplishments. She knew French per-fectly, the knowledge of which was of great service to my father on one occasion. My father had a pledge for 500 reichstaler from a certain landreeve. When the time for repayftlent was due he came, accompanied by two others, to redeem it. My father, not suspecting anything underhand, left them and went upstairs to bring the pledge. His stepdaughter sat playing the spinet, to amuse the men while they waited. She overheard them speak-ing softly behind her, ‘When the Jew returns with the pledge, we’ll snatch it from him and run away with it.’ They said this in French, not suspecting that the young girl understood a word. When my father returned, with the pledge, she sang out Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
20 ‘TAKE HEED! NO PLEDGE!’ loudly in Hebrew, ‘Take heed! No pledge! Today here, to-morrow fled!’ This was all she could say in her haste. But my father understood and said to the reeve, ‘Where is the money?’ He replied, ‘Give me the pledge first.’ My father answered, ‘I must have the money first.’ Then one of the men cried to the others, ‘We are betrayed! The hussy understands French!’ and they ran out of the house, shouting threats as they went. Next day, the chief reeve came alone, and giving my father capital and interest for the loan, said, ‘It has paid you well to have your daughter taught French’, and with these words went on his way. He brought her up as his own child and married her to the son of Kalman Aurich, a fine match. She died in her first child-birth. A few days after her death she appeared, in a dream, to her husband, robbed and stripped of her shrouds. She was dug up and found to be without her cerements. The women quickly got together to sew her others. As they sat sewing, a servant rushed into the room, crying, ‘For God’s sake! hurry with your sewing! Don’t you see that the corpse is sitting among you?’ But the women saw nothing. When they were finished they clothed the corpse and since that time she has not appeared again to the living, but remained resting in peace. When my parents married, they took my grandmother Mattie to live with them and set her at the head of the table, which position of honour was hers for the rest of her days. My father treated her with the greatest respect, as if she was his own mother. The underwear which she gave my mother on her marriage, my mother, with the knowledge and approval of my father, returned to her for her own use. She was as well treated as if she was in her own home. For seventeen years she lived with them, comforted and honoured. God grant that we and our children enjt>y the fruits of these merits! It was about this time that people fled from Vilna to Ham-burg1 and an epidemic broke out and there was no hekdeshl or 1 The anti-Polish rising of the Cossacks under Bogden Chmelnicki in 1648, affected numerous Jewish communities in Poland; thousands of Jews were slaughtered, and whole settlements annihilated. Gluckel’s mention of Polish Jewish refugees appearing in Hamburg is an interesting con-temporary proof of the wide effect of the outbreaks-and of the plight of the Jewish refugees. I Hlkdesh, a sort of workhouse in charge of a superintendent where des-Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
GRANDMOTHER MATTIE’S DEATH 21 any other place for sick people. There were in our attic ten sick people for whom my father cared. Several of these died. My sister Elka was also ill at the time. My revered grandmother tended all the sick and saw to their wants, they lacked nothing. Though my parents were not pleased at the risks she ran, they could not restrain her. Three or four times a day she would climb to the garret to tend the sick, till at last she, too, caught the sickness and after ten days in bed, in good repute, at the age of seventy-four, she died. She was as robust as a woman offorty. On her death-bed she made her confession and praised and thanked my father for all that he had done for her. Every week she had received from my parents either half a reichstaler or two marks for pocket-money, and my father never once went to a fair without bringing her back some present. All this she saved and did business in small loans. When she lay dying, she said to my father: ‘My son, I am going the way of all flesh. I have lived so long in your house and you have treated me as if I was your own mother. Not only did you serve me with the best food and clothe me well, but you have also given me money. I kept nothing of it for myself but saved it and lent it out on small loans. I have about 200 reichstaler. Whom does this money belong to more than my beloved son-in-law? It is all his. But if he desires to renounce it, let him give it to my two poor orphan grandchildren, of my son Mordecai. I leave it to him to do as he thinks fit.’ Reb Judah and Reb Anschel, all her children and sons-in-law were present. My father answered her, ‘My dear mother, be at ease. God grant that you remain with us a long while yet, and that you yourself will divide the money as you wish. I renounce it with all my heart and, God granting, will give you another 100 reichstaler sO that you may earn more and do with it as you yourself desire.’ When my grandmother heard these words she rejoiced and was happy and blessed him and my mother and their children with all the blessings of the world; and praised him before all the people present. The next day she fell asleep, gently and peacefully, and was buried with due honour. May her merits titute people slept. Every large Jewish community supported a hekJesh for the use of wandering Jewish beggars and refugees. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
22 TALE OF THE T ALMID CHOCHAM’ stand in good stead for her children and children’s children. Amen. To return again to my father, and how he married off my sister Hendele, peace unto her. But why should I write at such length? I wanted to show how my mother W3.$ left an orphan. How she put her trust in God who rewarded her in such a manner as the following story shows. For it shows that if things do not go well with all the children, still, thank God, most of them have bread. Therefore, whoever puts all his trust in Him, the All Highest will never desert: Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord and whose hope the Lord is Ueremiah 17: 7]. This is a pleasant story to comfort the bereaved and sorrowful heart. A man should never despair of God’s help, even as the pious man of whom I shall tell, for though poverty and sorrow befell him, he suffered patiently without wavering in his faith. And God, on His part, stood graciously by him and helped him, as you will read. There was once a pious man. He had a pious wife and two sons. He also had a little money on which he lived, so that he did no business but devoted the whole of his time to study. Nevertheless he wished to earn a little by the work of his hands so that his family should be secured against reliance on strangers. But fortune was not with him and he, poor man, fell into debt and could not pay. None would even be surety for him, with the result that his creditors brought him before the judge, and the judge decided that he must go to prison. And so it happened. His wife wept bitterly for she did not know how she would support herself and her two little ones, particularly as she now had to pro-vide her husband with food while in prison. And as she lamented and wept, an old man came to her and asked her why she cried so bit-terly. Seeing what a respectable, fine-looking old man he was, she told him all her troubles. And the old man said, ‘Cease weeping; God will help you. Because your husband studies Torah He will not desert you, for He does not desert a Talmid Chocham;l if He does not help him in his youth, He helps him in old age. Even more, I know that you will suffer much and, together with your husband, pass through much storm and stress, yet if you are patient, God will reward it all with good.’ Thus he comforted her and advised her to become a washerwoman; people would pay her for washing their shirts. ‘In this way,’ he concluded, ‘you will support your husband and children-if you are not shamefaced and approach all and sundry for work.’ 1 A wise and clever man, one well versed in the Torah and Talmud ¥. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
THE WIFE KIDNAPPED 23 So counselled by the old man, she was quieted and thanked him wannly, promising to obey his every word. Then the old man departed and she saw him no more. She went home, prepared some food for her husband and cheered him, telling him not to be impatient, but to continue his Talmud study even in his dire condition, while she would work day and night to support the family. And in that dark cell the pious prisoner and his wife wept bitterly imploring the mercy of Heaven on their little ones. The woman was the first to recover. She dried her eyes and said, ‘My dear husband, our cries and wails will not give us and our children bread: I will go and see what work God sends me, that I may support you and the children.’ So saying she went home to sleep a trustful sleep with full faith in the morrow. The following morning, while the children yet slept, she arose and went into the town, from house to house, to ask for washing. The town was situated by the shore of the sea. Every day she went with her children to the sea and washed clothes, spreading them out on the sands to dry. It happened once that as she was washing, a ship sailed by and the captain approaching close to the land, saw the woman and marvelled at her beauty. And when the woman enquired the cause of his staring, he answered, ‘My dear woman, I pity you. Tell me, how much do you get for washing a shirt?’ ‘For a man’s shirt,’ she replied, ‘I get two groschen, but I must wash it quite clean.’ Then he said, ‘I would gladly give you four groschen, if you washed my shirt clean.’ ‘I will wash it willingly,’ she returned. She took the shirt, washed it clean and spread it to dry on the grass, while the captain waited on the boat for her to finish. He watched her washing and drying the shirt and her neat folding. The boat was a little distance from the shore. As the captain could not get in close enough to the shore, he threw her the money, wrapped in paper, saying, ‘Reach me my shirt into the boat.’ But he caught her hand and pulled her into the boat and rowed off quickly. She cried aloud from the boat, but to no purpose. Soon she was out at sea and her cries were no longer heard. When the children saw and heard their mother no more they ran to their father, who was still in ‘prison, and told him what had occurred. The poor man lifted up his voice and cried aloud, ‘God, my God! Why have You forsaken me in such loneliness? I have now no one to help me while I am in prison.’ Weeping, he fell asleep and dreamed that he was in a great wilderness and wild beasts sur-rounded him. They stood over him eager to devour him. He Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
STORM AND SHIPWRECK trembled and . looked about him at the desolation. Then he saw a shepherd and flock approach. When the wild beasts saw the herd they left him and followed the cattle. He ran away and reached a castle which stood on a river full of boats. He entered the castle, where he was enthroned and rejoice4 greatly together with his shipmates. Then he awoke and remembered the dream and said to himself. ¥ Surely the dream shows that my troubles will pass away, and God will help me by the aid of sailors, because through them I have been abused.’ About this time the king of the town died and his son succeeded him. The young king remitted the taxes of the land for three years in order to earn himself a good name. He also freed the prisoners. And so it came to pass that our pious man, too, was freed. Once out of prison there was again the need of earning a living. He and his two sons went to and fro in the market to procure whatever work they could to buy bread. Once looking towards the port he saw a ship about to leave for the East Indies, so he said to his sons, ‘Come now. Your mother was taken away in a ship, so we shall go away in a ship. Perhaps we shall find her, and God will bring us together again.’ Straightway he went to the captain and told him all that had happened to him, and asked him to take him and his children on board, for he was poor and had no money for bread. The captain had pity on him and took him and his children on board and gave them food and drink and a place to lay their heads. When they were in mid-ocean, God let loose a great storm-wind and the ship was smashed to atoms. The sailors, the cargo and everything on board were lost–all except the Talmid Chocham, his sons, and the captain who had sustained them. They each had seized hold of a spar; our pious friend and the captain on separate fragments, and the two children together on a single piece of wreck-age. The sea carried them away to different lands. The Talmid Chocham was thrown on a great wilderness in a place where savages lived. Here the king’s daughter, who had charge of the sheep and cattle, saw him. She was naked and very hairy and wore fig-leaves to cover her shame. Perceiving him, she ap-proached him and made it clear that she loved him and would be his wife. Out of great fear he pretended love, and showed by signs that he would take her. The other savages saw this and they whistled and all the savages came leaping from their caves in the hills where they lived. They ran up to him, eager to drink his blood and eat his flesh. Even the king was there. The Talmid Chocham was so scared that he could Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
I” /0′./'” t. /’ I.’ I:!::.. “11 I I’A II t. 5. The Passover Meal. Engraving by Bernard Picart, 1723 6. Yom Kippur (The Day rif Atonement) as observed by German Jews. Engraving by Bernard Picart, 1723 Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
7. Lighting the Sabbath Lamp. Engraving. Utrecht, 1682 8. Cleansing the Passover Utensils. Engraving. Utrecht, 1682 Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
LIFE AMONG SAVAGES scarce breathe. When the king’s daughter saw his terror she showed him that there was no cause for fear, and arose and went to the king and begged him that he should let the man live, as she wanted him for her husband. He assented and the pious man was once again preserved. And so the Talmid Chocham lay with her that night and she was his wife and he was her husband. Nevertheless when he thought of his own beautiful wife and her miserable plight, and that nothing could be altered, he bore everything with fortitude, for he protested that God would help him to reach his dear wife and children. Very soon the princess was big with child, and in time she bore . him a savage child, a boy. For two full years he lived with them and tended the cattle in the wilderness; eating the flesh of the wild ass and dwelling in a cave in the hillside with his wife. They were now both overgrown with hair and’ he looked as savage as she. One day he stood on a small hill not far from the sea, thinking of all that had happened to him; the loss of his wife and children and-heaviest of all-how he now lived among uncivilized people. Who knew but that when his savage wife had tired of him her tribe would devour his flesh and crush his bones for marrow, and he would not be laid to rest among Jews. ‘Is it not better’, he mused, ‘that I should run from this hill into the sea and drown myself, as my children were drowned?’ (He did not know that the sea had cast them upon dry land.) Then he would meet them in the future world. He confessed his sins before God, with hot bitter tears. When he had made an end of confessing, he began to run towards the sea, to destroy himself. But a voice called to him by name, and said, ‘0 doubting one! Why should you mistrust and thus destroy your soul? Go back to the hill on which you stood and dig and you will find a chest of gold and precious stones-a great and won-derful fortune. You will drag the box to the sea and remain standing there a while. Then a ship full of civilized people, bound for An-tioch, will sail by. Shout to them to take you with them to save you and the chest in their ship. In the end you will become a king, things will go well and you will see the end of your sufferings and the beginning of your happiness.’ When he heard this he returned to the hill, and digging where the voice had bid him, he found the chest of gold and precious stones. Quickly he dragged it to the edge of the sea and lifting up his eyes he saw a ship sailing near. He cried in a loud voice imploring to be taken aboard as he was a civilized person despite his hairy un-clothed body. The sailors heard him and drew near to the shore, D Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
KING OF THE ISLAND where he told them all that had happened, and they took him and hill chest quickly on board ship. Just as he was about to step on board, his savage wife, who had heard his shouts, came running up, their child on her arm. Seeing him in the ship, she called to him to take her with him. But he mocked at her, shouting, ‘What have I to do with wild animals? I have a better wife than you,’ and such like. When she saw that he would return to her no more, anger arose in her. She took the savage child by his feet and tearing him in two, threw one half into the ship and in her rage began to gnaw away at the other half with her teeth. The Talmid Chocham sailed away. Mter some time he came to an islet in the sea where he landed. He opened his chest and lo! it was filled to the top with gold and priceless precious stones. He paid the captain his passage with pleasure, and had his chest carried to an inn. As he lay on his straw bed that night, he said to himself, ‘If I could buy this island from the king, I would build a castle, and a town, I would then have a regular income and not be afraid that my money might be stolen.’ Early next morning he went to the king, bought the island and several miles of seaboard and built a castle and town. In time the land became settled and prosperous. The people elected him their duke, and he reigned over all. Still he often thought of his wife and children and their tragic loss. At length he thought that as his wife had been stolen by a sailor, and all ships had to pass his’sea-board, every ship should register with him before passing, on pain of complete confiscation. This was proclaimed and cOnfirmed as a regular law. Owners of all registered ships partook of his hospitality. Time passed and still he had heard nothing of his family. One Pesack (Passover), as the Talmid Chocham sat at table, in a happy mood, his page announced the arrival of a well-known and wealthy shipowner who begged that he be not kept waiting long. The Talmid Chocham said, ‘Today is a holyday, and I may not ask him the nature of his cargo. He must wait till the holyday is over. Meanwhile let him come and pass the time with me.’ When he arrived, he received him and left him sitting. But the captain asked not to be detained, and that his ship be allowed to proceed. But to no purpose. He was constrained to remain and eat. The Talmid Chocham asked whence he came and whether he had a wife and children. The captain told him the country of his origin and said he had two wives-one at hOq).e with whom he had had three children. \ Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
A RIDDLE ‘Her I keep as a housewife. The other is delicate and no good at housework, but she is highly cultured and delicately nurtured. I have her always with me so that she can superintend dIe affairs of the ship. She collects the money from the passengers and enters it in a book. She manages everything. And all the time, I have never known her!’ Hereupon the Talmid Chocham said, ‘Tell me, my dear cap-tain, tell me though, why have you never lain with her?’ To this the captain replied, ‘The woman once had a husband who was a very clever man. She learnt a riddle from him. And she declares that whosoever solves this riddle shall be her husband-” for he shall be my late husband’s equal in cleverness, and him will I wed.” She would rather kill herself than allow any other man to come near her. For she says: “It is not meet for a clown to ride on a king’s horse!” , Then said the Talmid Chocham, ‘Dear captain, tell me the riddle.’ The captain answered, ‘The woman tells how a bird without wings flies from heaven to earth and settles on a little tree. From side to side it shakes the tree Though we the bird no longer see. It gladdens the tree with beautiful flowers, And draws to its branches wonder-powers. Till sudden the tree is sere and bare, And the bird flies crying up in the air. o tree! who robbed the strength from thee? ‘Twas I. Thy strength came all from me. That, my king, is her riddle and it is impossible for me to solve it.’ When the Talmid Chocham heard the riddle he was very agitated, for he knew that it was indeed his riddle and that the woman was his wife. The captain, seeing his agitation, said to him, ‘Sir, why are you upset?’ He answered, ‘I am overcome because of the rare and clever riddle. I would like to hear it from the woman hersel£ Perhaps you have forgotten or added to it. I wish to hear her tell it, and maybe I shall find the answer.’ The Talmid Chocham sent his messenger for her. The fellow ran quickly and said to her, ‘Get ready. You must come with me to the duke, to eat and drink.’ The heart of the good woman beat furiously when she heard this, for she could not fathom why she should be wanted, and feared that she might fall from a lesser misfortune into a greater one. But what could the poor woman do, but go where she was led? So she Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
THE RIDDLE SOLVED dressed herself and adorned herself with jewels as one about to enter the presence of a king. When she came into the castle and the king was informed of her he said, ‘Let her be admitted.’ She was brought in and a chair was placed for her beside the captain. The Talmid Chocham received her. They did not at first recog-nize each other, for both faces and modes of dress had changed out of all recognition. All ate and drank and were jolly, but the Talmid Chocham sat as one lost in deep thought. The captain asked, ‘Sir, why are you not happy? Why are you lost in heavy thought? Are you sorry that we eat and drink too much? We can stop, thank you nicely, and go our way.’ But he answered, ‘No. You are my very welcome guests. I am worried about the riddle, for I should like to hear it from the woman herself.’ Then the captain asked her to tell the riddle to the duke, and she told him, in the words I have already given. And the duke won-dered greatly and said, ‘Woman, from whom did you get this riddle?’ ‘Sir,’ she answered, ‘I had a devout husband, a great Jewish rabbi. He often told me stories and riddles. It is his riddle and no one knows the answer to it.’ ‘If someone gives you the right answer,’ he asked, ‘will you ack-nowledge it truthfully?’ And she replied, ‘Sir, there is no one who can give the right answer but my husband.’ ‘Then I am the one who can solve the riddle!’ the Talmid Chocham answered. ‘The bird that flies from heaven to earth is the soul which settles as on a tree, for the body of a person is likened to a tree that grows fresh, green and full of branches in its youth-youth which is likened to a pleasure-ground. The bird sways and shakes the tree-that is the soul-which regulates the limbs; but no one sees the bird, for the soul is hidden away in the body. So the tree draws to itself all strength till it dries up and withers-such is the man who not content with his own, yet wishes to draw every-thing he sees to himself, and so ends up in losing his own. That which he acquired through sin, destroys also that which he acquired righteously. Then speedily man dies and leaves all behind, and the bird-that is the soul-flies into the air, and mourns for the body, saying, “While you yet lived nothing was too good for you. You would not rest or sleep until you had acquired a fortune. But now that you are dead you leave everything behind you. You die, and what profited it either of us? But if you had practised charity with your wealth we should both have benefited.” This,’ he concluded, ¥ is Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
YET ANOTHER. R.IDDLE the meaning of the riddle. Acknowledge the truth of it and I shall take you again to me.’ She lifted her eyes and looked long at him. Then she recognized him and knew him as her husband. She sprang to her feet and fell on his neck, and together they wept in a long embrace. And they rejoiced greatly and made a great feast. The captain, in great fear, fell to his knees and prayed for his life. The Talmid Chocham said, ‘Because you have not lain with my wife I will spare your life. But because you have taken that which was not yours, I will take that which is yours.’ So the captain left his wealth with the Talmid Chocham, and went out, happy to be granted his life. They remained living in the island, leading a life of great piety, enjoying their peace and wealth in each other’s company. Often they told one another all that had happened. Nevertheless they were both sad about their children whom they thought had been drowned. Some time later it was so hot that it was impossible to sleep at night. So stifling was it that all the sailors in the port left their ships and went on land to while away the evening. Among those were also the two lost sons, unaware of the nearness of their parents. To make the night pass the more speedily they said to one another, ‘Let us tell riddles to while away the night.’ Everyone was pleased and it was arranged that ten gulden should be given to the solver of the riddle; but if no one guessed the answer, the money would be given to the one who had set the riddle. It was readily agreed that the two boys were to give their riddle first, as they were considered cleverer than the rest. So the boys began: ‘We see an exceptionally beautiful girl. But she is blind. She shows a beautifully graceful body, but it is not in being. She rises early each morning, but none sees her all day. In the evening she comes again, clad in costly jewels, such jewels that never were created. With closed eyes we see her; with open eyes she vanishes. That is the riddle, solve it if you can.’ The whole company was silent wondering at the strange riddle, but none could essay its solution. Among them sat an old merchant, who wished to force some foolish meaning on the assemblage as the correct answer, but the boys would not have it. A discussion followed, and eventually a long noisy wrangle broke out, lasting till dawn. Nevertheless none knew who had really won the ten gulden. At this the captain sug-gested that they should go to the castle and let the duke choose the winner. They agreed and went to the duke, who said, ‘What brings you here so early?’ Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
30 THE SECOND RIDDLE SOLVED But when the duke heard the riddle, he was overcome with emo-tion. He looked at the boys and recognized them, as they were still young and had not changed much. He, however, concealed his feelings and said to them ‘How do you know that the merchant’s answer is not the right one?’ ‘Sir,’ they replied, ‘our father was a very learned man and he composed the riddle and the answer, so that none but our father or we can give the right answer.’ ‘Then,’ said the duke, ‘if I give you the right answer, am I your father?’ ‘If anyone gives us the true solution,’ they answered, ‘he must indeed be our father, because only he told us the riddle, and we have told it to no one.’ ‘If you will listen to me,’ returned the Duke, ‘I may give you the right answer. According to my understanding, the beautiful maiden is the youth of young men. They think of naught all day except of beautiful damsels. At night, too, in dreams, they see beautiful girls, but not with their eyes because the dark nights show them in dreams, but when the eyes are open they are not to be seen; that is why the beautiful maiden is blind. In the morning the dreams vanish once again, but when night comes she shows herself again in pretty jewels-uncreated gems not present in this world, things seen only in dreams. This is the solution: if you acknowledge it, I will declare you my children.’ The lads wondered at this reply. And suddenly they recognized their father. And in a moment their father and mother sprang from their seats and embraced and kissed their sons and they lifted up their voices and wept together, and all saw that they were their children. The king made a great feast for his subjects and they all rejoiced together, for his children were now noble. And he taught his chil-dren the moral of all that had befallen them, and exhorted them to remain for ever devout in the service of God. And He would always help them. ‘If God deals adversely with a person,’ he said, ‘his friends are silent and vanish and do not help or counsel him. They go away from him and say he is good for nothing, and he is left alone. And when the Lord would do one ill, Then are all one’s best friends still, None will help him pursue the foe. All tum away, and wish him woe. So he remains in his despair. Of thousand friends no one is there. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
DISCOR.D IN THE COMMUNITY . But when the Lord’s good-will is come, Then are his greatest foes struck dumb.’ The sailors saw and heard all the wonders that had taken place and many became Jews. And in that port a fine new Jewish com-munity was established. Thus we learn that we must be patient and accept everything in a good spirit. And if we cannot give to the poor, one should at least comfort them. for God remembers for good and protects from evil. So God remembering His own for good. Will guard His own from every ill; And end our weary exile. and fulfil His ancient promise to rejoice His band Once more in our Holy Land; Oh, with what longing do I write. That God in mercy will give His own respite! And when we are as pious as we should be. He will shaw us all that we should see. This story I found in a book written by a certain worthy man from Prague. . But to return to my purpose and write once again of my father, the remembrance of the righteous for a blessing. If I wrote a hundred sheets they would not suffice. He, peace unto him, always aimed at marrying his children into respected families and therefore did more than he was really in a position to do. AB I have already mentioned in my first book, my father was parnass for a long period and during his time of office everything went well with the community and in truth everyone sat under his vine andfig tree. The community owed not even a pfennig. I remember the great quarrels when I was very young, the oppo-sition by evil men to my father and his colleagues. Two ob-tained permission from the government to be the king’s repre-sentatives. AB they are now dead and have already been judged in the Supreme Court, I do not wish to mention their names though members of the community know who they were. God spoilt the counsel of the wicked. With God’s help the leaders quelled the rebellion and then went to Copenhagen to see the King. The King was a righteous man who loved justice; he settled matters peaceably and the rascals were humbled. This Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
MARRIAGE TO CHAIM HAMELN did not cost much money, for the parnass and the members jealously guarded the community, like the apple of their eye, against debt. If a few hundred reichstalers were lacking, the leaders would advance the money and take it back by easy instalments. My God! when I begin to reflect on those days and compare them with the present, they were happy times, though people did not have half of what they have now. God increase-not diIninish-their fortunes. In their days and our days may Judah and Israel be redeemed. Before I was twelve years old I was betrothed and the betrothal lasted two years. My wedding was celebrated in Hameln. My parents, accompanied by a party of twenty people, drove there with me. At that time there were no post-wagons on this route. We had to hire wagons from the peasants to take us as far as Hanover. When we reached that town we wrote to Hameln for carriages to be sent to us. My mother imagined it a town like Hamburg, and that, at the very least, a carriage would be sent for the bride and her parents. On the third day three or four farm-wagons arrived, drawn by such old horses that looked as if they should themselves have been given a lift in the wagons. My mother was greatly offended but as she could not change it, entrusting ourselves to the God of Israel, we seated ourselves in the carts and arrived in Hameln. In the evening we had a great feast. My parents-in-law were good honest people, and my father-in-law, Reb Joseph,l of blessed memory, had few to equal him. At the feast he toasted my mother with a large glass of wine. She was still offended that no carriage had been sent to meet us. My father-in-law noticed her ill-humour and being a lovable and witty man set out to humour her: ‘Harken, my dear macktanista.1 I beg you not to be offended,’ he said. ‘Hameln is not Hamburg, and being plain country folk we have no carriages. I will tell you what happened to me when I journeyed to my own wedding. My 1 Joseph Hameln is mentioned in an official document as ‘Jost’ or ‘Jobst Goldschmidt’, and that’ he is surrounded by such pomp that it can scarcely be told’. I A term, for which there is no English equivalent, applied to the mothers of bride and bridegroom, denoting relationship through marriage to the parents of the bridal pair. The male parent is a meciudan, the plural being J1/I1&/donim. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
‘RIDING ON A pIsa!’ 33 father, Samuel Stuttgart,1 was parnass of the whole of Hesse. I was betrothed to Freudchen, Nathan Spanier’s daughter. I received 2000 reichstaler as dowry and my father promised me 1500 reichstaler-at that time a large dowry. When the time for the wedding drew near my father hired a messenger by the name of Fish. My father placed the whole dowry on his back, to be carried to Stadthagen, where my sainted father-in-law lived. I and the messenger Fish went on foot. At that time Leib Hildesheimer-whom I have mentioned in my first book-a son-in-law of Nathan Spanier, was also in Stadthagen. When I neared the town the cry went up that the bridegroom was not far off. Reb Leib, who came of a prominent Hildesheim family, drove out with a party to meet me. As I came near he saw that I and Fish were on foot, and he turned and hurried back to my bride with the news that her bridegroom was coming, riding on a fish! But now, I can ride fine horses, as you see, so I beg of you not to be impatient.’ So the ill-humour was dissolved in joyous laughter and friendship, and the marriage was celebrated with hearty good cheer. Mter my wedding my parents returned home and left me, a child not yet fourteen, in a strange town, among strangers. I was not unhappy but even had much joy because my parents-in-law were respectable, devout people and looked after me better than I deserved. How shall I write of the righteousness of my father-in-law? He was an honourable man. He was like one of God’s angels! Everyone knows the difference between Hameln and Ham-burg. I, a young child brought up in luxury, was taken from parents, friends, and everyone I knew, from a town like Ham-burg to a village where only two Jewish families lived. And Hameln is a dull, shabby place. But this did not make me unhappy because of my joy in my father-in-Iaw’s piety. Every morning he rose at three and wrapped in talith [prayer shawl], he sat in the room next to my chamber studying and chanting Talmud in the usual sing-song.á ThenI forgot Hamburg. What 1 Samuel Stuttgart, who lived in the town of Witzenhausen, Hesse, was Jewish government representative of the whole of the electorate of Hesse, being elected to the office by IUs fellow Jews. His was a civil office as opposed to the land rabbis, who dealt with religious matters only. I An invariable accompaniment to Talmudic study. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
34 FLIGHT FROM POLAND a holy man he was! May his merits benefit us! And may he persuade God to send no further ills; and that we may not sin, or come to shame. It was also a pleasure to know his children. When his eldest son Moses, a fine young man, left for his own marriage he was accompanied by the learned Rabbi Moses and a servant known as ‘ShotJ acob’ . He had his dowry with him. When they neared Bremervorde they were attacked by thieves, robbed of all they had and all three were left dangerously wounded. They were brought into the town and doctors and barber-surgeons were quickly summoned. The doctors said that the bridegroom and Moses would live but that the servant was mortally wounded. After two days Jacob was alive and the other two had died. Because of this he received the name of’ Shot Jacob’. One can imagine the weeping and pain of the bereaved parents. All efforts to find the murderers were in vain and the murders remained unavenged. May God revenge their blood! I knew the other son. He was as full of Torah as a pome-granate of seeds. He was exceptionally clever, well learned in Talmud, who spoke very little, though when he did speak, every breath was full of wisdom. When very young he was sent to Polandl to study, and because of his learning soon acquired great fame. He became the bridegroom of the daughter of Reb Chaim Boas of Posen. He continued studying after his marriage and was famed far and wide as a great scholar. When war with Chmelnickill broke out, Poland was in great upheaval and he and his wife and daughter fled barefooted and almost naked to the house of my father-in-law. The birth of this daughter was a miracle. For seventeen years his wife was barren. When his mother-in-law fell ill and was about to die, she summoned her daughter, this Abraham’s wife, and said to her, ‘My dear daughter, I am in God’s hands and will soon die. If I have one merit before God, I shall beg that you should bear children.’ And after her death my sister-in-law Sulka became pregnant and in due time gave birth to a daughter whom she named Sarah, after her mother. Seven years later she bore a son, Samuel. Much can be written of this same Rabbi Abraham 1 Talmud study in Gliickel’s day was in its finest bloom in Poland. The sons of well-to-do German Jewish families were sent there to study. II See footnote on p. 20. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
Q.UARRELS AND LAWSUITS 35 Hameln; how my father-in-law settled him in Hanover where he was quite rich; how he was tricked by his partners into returning to Hameln; how the partners did not keep their word and through this he and his family were ruined. May God pardon them. Next came a daughter, Yenta. When she was very young she was betrothed to the son of Reb Sussman Gans, who lived in Minden-on-the-Weser. He at that time was reputed to be worth 100,000 taler. It was while my father-in-law and Suss-man Gans were drinking that the match was settled, but the following day, when Sussman Gans was sober, he regretted the arrangement. But my father-in-law being an important person, and as what had been agreed upon could not be altered, things remained as they were. The betrothed pair being still very young, the bridegroom was sent to study in Poland. Shortly after, Sussman Gans died and nothing came of his vast wealth. His wife married again, a man of the name of Feibusch. After some years the bridegroom returned from Poland and instead of several thousands had only a few hundred taler. My father-in-law wished to break off the match, but my mother-in-law would not allow an orphan to be so shamed. So the young couple married and lived for a time in Minden. Now it hap-pened that to celebrate the marriage of their son, Feibusch and his wife gave a large party on the Friday evening before the wedding. On the table was displayed expensive cutlery which Solomon Gans recognized as having belonged to his father from whom he had inherited so little. He went into the office and took a box full of bonds for he felt he had a right to them. But how can I dwell at length on this? Twenty sheets of paper would not suffice to write of all that happened. Enough to say that on the following day Feibusch Inissed the box of docu-ments and straightWay suspected his stepson. Quarrels began and my father-in-law was dragged into them. It cost Feibusch and my father-in-law more than 2000 reichstaler. It was a matter of life and death! It lasted several years, each summoned the other before the courts. At one time Feibusch had my father-in-law put into prison, at another my father-in-law had Feibusch imprisoned. It continued until both had only a little money left. Nevertheless, my father-in-law was in a better position. In the end, people intervened and rabbis were Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
36 MORE OF THE HAMELN FAMILY summoned from Frankfurt-on-Main to settle the matter. They came, stayed a long while, but settled nothing, though they took great sums back with them! With this money one of the rabbis furnished a fine study, ornamented with a picture of a goose, surrounded by three or four rabbis in black, clerical garb, plucking its feathers.1 After this, my father-in-law took Silomon Gans and Yenta from Minden and settled them in Hanover, where he obtained permission for them and their children to reside. It was a large town and Solomon Gans was happy there. He became very rich, but his joy was short-he died young, in his best years. His wife, who was a capable young woman, remained a widow for some years and did not wish to marry again. But Reb Lipmanl had the luck that Solomon Gans had had to yield and he married my sister-in-law Yenta. At that time he was not so wealthy as he is now. The great Lord, Who has everything in His power, raises up and brings low. My father-in-law spent many hundreds and spared no trouble to settle his children in Hanover, thinking that by doing so he would secure his children and children’s children for ever. But for whom did the good man work and weary himself in the end? For strangers! As it is written: They will leave their wealth to others. What more can I add? for everything happens as the dear Lord desires. The third son was the learned Rabbi Samuel. Like Abraham he studied Talmud in Poland and married the daughter of the renowned Rabbi Shalom of Lemberg. He too had settled in Poland.and at the time of the war had fled and came away with nothing. For some time he and his family had to be supported by my father-in-law. Later, he became rabbi of Hildesheim. It is impossible to do justice to his piety and holiness; he pre-dicted to a second the time of his own death, as all Hildesheim knows. The fourth child was Rabbi Isaac of blessed memory, whom 1 Presumably in jocular reference to one of the litigants Gam whose name signifies ‘goose’. I Lipman Cohen, better known as Leffinan Behrens, court factor and agent of Ernst August of Hanover and Duke Rudolf August of Bruns-wick. He frequented the Leipzig Fairs and was held in high favour in the Guelph courts. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
RETURN TO HAMBURG 37 I did not know. He lived in Frankfurt-on-Main. Of his purity of soul and learning I leave those that knew him to tell; there was indeed no one like him. He was not fifty when he died, wealthy and honoured. Day and night he studied, fulfilling the verse: Thou shAlt meditate Torah day and night. The fifth child was Esther, peace be to her. It is not possible to write enough of her gentleness, her womanly virtues, and of her patient suffering borne uncomplainingly till her pure soul breathed its last. There is much to tell of her, but silence must suffice. It is enough that the whole world knows how virtuous she was. Reb Leib Bonn was the sixth child, a highly respected man who, though not a great scholar, was well educated. He was the community representative of the Cologne district and lived at Bonn. He died young, wealthy and honoured. The seventh child was a daughter, Hannah, who may be compared with her namesake of the Bible. She was pious, respectable and died young leaving no fortune behind. Your dear, devoted father was the eighth child. I shall not say much about him here; you will find it all in its place. My dear children, I write this of the family lest today or tomorrow your children or grandchildren may not know about their family. I have put it briefly, anxious only that they should know from whom they are descended. To return. I lived in Hameln for a year after my marriage. We did little business because Hameln is a small town and no place for business. We had dealings with the small farmers and lent money on pledges. But my husband, of blessed memory, was not content with this and from the hour of our marriage had it in mind to settle in Hamburg. As the Talmud says, Wheresoever a man desires to go, there he is led. The Lord lead us well. Ifonly the crown of our head had remained with us! The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; what cannot be changed must be endured. At the end of the first year of married life, my husband would not stay any longer in Hameln. Though my parents-in-law wanted us to stay and remain with them in their house, he refused. So, with their consent we moved to Hamburg. We were both very young, children who understood little or no-thing of business as carried on in Hamburg. But God Who led Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
38 A PATTERN OF A FINE JEW my husband from his father’s house and birthplace always stood faithfully by him. When we reached Hamburg my father, of blessed memory, undertook to give us Kestl for two years. My husband, being a stranger to the city, looked about, to see what he could do. At that time the jewellery trade was not so well developed as now. The citizens and gentile bridegrooms wore little or no jewellery and it was the fashion to wear chains of pure gold and only give presents made of gold. There was less profit to be made out of gold than out of precious stones. My husband’s first business was trading in gold. He ran about all day from house to house buying up gold, which he sold either to the smelters or to the merchants who sold it again to the betrothed young men. This brought good profit, and though he was busy running about on business all day, he never once missed learning the appointed Talmud lesson for the day. And until he went on long journeys he fasted every Monday and Thursday.’ He suffered much because of this and though still young, fell seriously ill and had to submit to much doctoring. He never spared himself, but suffered much for the sake of his wife and children. There is much to write of him; he was such a loving and faithful hus-band and father. His like will not be found. All his days he refused any prominent position in the community, laughing at people when he saw what store they set by these things. In short: he was a pattern of a pious Jew, as were also his father and brothers. I know that even great rabbis do not pray with such devotion as he did. When he, peace on him, was in his room praying, and anyone came to sell him something, even the greatest bargain, neither I nor anyone of the household dared disturb him to tell him of it. Because of this he once neglected a deal and lost a: profit of several hundreds. But he did not mind this, for he served his God with zeal, and He rewarded him doubly and trebly, as it is said, Trust in tke Lord and tke Lord will be your trust. Such modesty and patience as he possessed, even under 1 Kest, an undertaking to board and clothe the bridal pair for a stated period, was usually included in the betrothal contract and formed part of the dowry. Owing to the young age at which marriages were contracted, this was a necessity of the time. I A minor religious observance of the pious. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
‘A PRETTY INCIDENT’ 39 sufferings through friends or strangers, is not to be found. When I often, in my human weakness, would complain, he would laugh at me and say, ‘You are foolish. I trust in God and do not heed people’s words.’ May his merits stand us in good stead both in this and the other world! About the time we came to Hamburg I became pregnant, and my mother, long may she live, was in the same condition. Though I was still a child to whom such unaccustomed things came hard, I was happy when the All Highest presented me with a beautiful, healthy baby. My mother expected her child about the same time, but was pleased that I had had mine first and that she could attend me and the child the first few days. Eight days later she also gave birth to a daughter, so there was no envy or reproach between us. We lay in one room, beside each other, and had no peace from the people who came running to see the wonder of mother and daughter lying in childbed together. To lengthen this book a little and while away more time, I shall write of a pretty incident. It was winter time and my mother and I lay together in a small room. My father’s family was large and the room was crowded, but both parents and children suffered the discomfort quite patiently. I left childbed eight days before my mother, and to make the room less crowded returned to my own chamber. As I was still so young, my mother would not let me take my baby to my room at night. So, the baby was left in her room, where she and also her maid slept. My mother told me not to worry; if the baby cried she would send the maid with it for me to suckle it and later return the babe to its cradle. With this arrangement I was well satisfied. For several nights all went well: usually, as I lay in bed, about midnight, the maid would bring the baby to be fed. One morning, about three o’clock, I awoke with a start and cried to my husband, ‘What can be the matter? the maid has not yet brought the baby!’ He replied, ‘Baby must be still sleeping.’ This did not satisfy me. I ran to my mother’s room to see what had happened to the babe. I went straight to the cradle: it was empty! Though I was very alarmed I was afraid to shout for fear my mother would awake and suffer a fright. I went over to the maid and began to shake her, hoping to rouse her quietly. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
‘WHERE IS GLUCKEL’S BABY?’ But she was in a deep sleep. I had to shout before I could rouse her from her torpor. I asked her, ‘Where is my baby?’ The girl answered, speaking out of her sleep, and did not know what she was saying. My mother-long may she live-woke up. She too cried to the maid, ‘Where is Gliickel’s baby?’ But she was still so sleepy that she could not give a clear reply. Then I said to my mother, ‘Mumma, perhaps you have my baby in bed with you?’ She answered, ‘No! I have mine in bed with me,’ and held it close to her as though someone was trying to snatch the baby away. I bethought me to go to the other cradle, and there lay her baby, fast asleep! I said, ‘Mumma, give me my baby, yours is in the cradle.’ But she would not believe me, so I had to fetch a light and take her baby to her, so that she could see for herself before she returned my own to me. The whole house-hold had been awakened and alarmed, but soon the consterna-tion turned to laughter, and they said we would really have needed King Solomon soon. Though the arrangement was intended for two years, because it was so crowded at home, we only lived one year with my parents. My husband refused to remain longer and would not take a pfennig of the money offered him in place of the second year’s Xest. We found a nice house, 50 reichstalers rent a year, and with maz;al tov,l together with our maid and one manservant, we moved into our own house. If God had not struck us such a severe blow and so soon taken the crown of my head, I do not think that there would have been a more loving couple than we in the whole world. But we must bear all patiently. So, while still very young, we went to live in our own house. Though we were econOInical, we had everything necessary for the upkeep of a fine house. Abraham Kantor ofHildesheim was our first servant; he looked after our children. He left us after some years and did business on his own. He married a widow who died soon after the wedding. Then he married again, a young girl from Amsterdam, and they settled in Hamburg. We lent him money to go to Copenhagen to do business. In short, people say he is now worth more than 10,000 reichstaler. When my daughter Zipporah was two years old, I was again brought to my bed, with my son Nathan. My husbaIid’s happi-ness cannot be described; nor the wonderful party to celebrate 1 Hebrew for good-luck, good fortune, a term of felicitation. Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
T u.gu.ri ola . ‘277á 9. Scene from the Feast of Tabernacles. Engraving. Utrecht, 1682 10. A Jewish Marriage Ceremony. Engraving. Utrecht, 1682 Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
at’:!l'” .” plJ1 ,1), Iii tel. ‘1) 1’1 J’I, t Jnl rj r. 1’\:1″) mJ. ., .. d ,1j1J..,1) I IH C”II F1)” 11)1 n: \b I””” I”” “)”r t'” t’l” !’OI”‘M n::l”:l I. e;)’ ‘JI 0″)1 :3″ .” :I’ . , .,,, I H nIt /l)1 ¥ “”n I””” I”” ., j EI,l)IIIl) ,,, I’H . Jlm ef’ pM 1’\’, ‘J ,,, . n:llnJ &’ 1″”” 1.D”P:PID Jil3H n” IH . I”” “1” I’K1WOl rJ”:l ‘,In 1’0””” .,3H.I rKlW’l nJ”\J IH .,,,n l’0l.,’M 1’1:3’:3 . . .,., 1 I. A Jewish Wedding, from a Book of Minhagim. Woodcut, 1692 Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
THESE WHO READ-BE INDULGENT 41 the Bris Milah.1 May God grant that I live to see such joy of my children, for now my only comfort is in them. Here I end my second book and beg all who read this to be indulgent to my follies, for this is written in sorrow and heart-ache. Praised be God who has given me strength to bear adversity. Now with the help of the All Highest I will begin my third book. 1 Circumcision. E Gluckel, of Hameln. Life of Gluckel of Hameln, Jewish Publication Society, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3039341.Created from nyulibrary-ebooks on 2019-11-29 17:21:22.Copyright © 2010. Jewish Publication Society. All rights reserved.
BOOK III WHO can write and who can tell of the wonders that happen to mortals? I was about twenty-five years old at the time of which I write. My husband was very energetic in business and I, too, helped. It is not to praise myself that I mention that he took advice from no one but me, and did nothing until we had talked it over together. At this time a young man, Mordecai, from Hanover-may the Lord avenge his blood-who worked for my brother-in-law Lipman, came to Hamburg and was our guest. We took a liking to him and engaged him to travel for us in such places where business could be done. He was a native of Poland and knew the language well. We sent him to Danzig to buy seed pearls,l for we had heard that there were several parcels to be bought there, and seed pearls were then the most important article in the jewellery trade. We gave him a credit note for a few hundred reichstaler and instructed him how to buy the pearls. Had we sent jewellery to Danzig to be sold there and bought in return, we should have made handsomer profits, but we were so deep in the pearl business that we did not think of this. Mordecai went to Danzig, bought the pearls and sent them on to us. He bought well and we made a good profit. But he was a young man, and desiring to marry did not wish to remain in Danzig. He therefore returned to Hamburg, became en-gaged to the daughter of Tall Nathan and the marriage was fixed for six months later. My husband wished him to return to Danzig until his wed-ding. As if decreed from heaven, he refused. He said, ‘It is less than six months to my wedding day. Before I go there and return the time will have gone. I will go instead to Germany to buy wine.’ My husband then said, ‘How do you come to buy wine? I want nothing to do with that business.’ And Mor-decai answered, ‘Then I’ll buy it on my own account.’ My husband did not approve, and tried to dissuade him, first in a friendly and then an angry way, from this business, 1 These small pearls are sold, not singly, but by the ounce. The profit is made by picking and sorting, and selling according to size. 42 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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‘ ¥¥¥ OTHERWISE I SHOOT yOU!’ 43 but it was of no avail. He remained quite firm and no one could move him. My husband sent for his future father-in-law to get him to use his influence to dissuade him from the ill-fated journey, but to no effect. It was just as though the good man had to go to make room for others. If God had prolonged his life, perhaps Judah Berlin and Issacher Cohen would never have come to their wealth, as I wU1 relate later. Thus Mordecai set out on his journey carrying with him about 600 reichstaler. This money he handed to my brother-in-law Reb Lipman, when he reached Hanover, to be forwarded to those places where he bought wine. Thence he had to go to Hildesheim. Mordecai was a stingy man who grudged the money that taking the post would have cost him. He made the distance from Hanover to Hildesheim, three miles, on foot. When he was about 2000 feetl distant from the latter place, he came face to face with a poacher, who said to him, ‘Jew, give me money for a drink, otherwise I will shoot you!’ Mordecai laughed at him, for he knew that the highway between Hano-ver and Hildesheim is safer than that between Hamburg and Altona. The poacher addressed him again, ‘You Jew carcase! Why do you think so long? Say yes or no!’ and took his gun and shot him in the head. Mordecai fell dead immediately. This road was rarely deserted for as long as a quarter of an hour, but on this occasion, unfortunately, it just happened that no one passed. Thus the upstanding, noble and honest young man met an early end and instead of celebrating his marriage, he had to creep into dark earth, though so innocent. My God! When I remind myself of this, my hair stands on end. He was a truly good, God-fearing man, and had his life been spared, he would have done great things and it would have been better for us. God knows how pained we were over his death, and how much sorrow we suffered, as will be revealed He had not lain long wallowing in his young blood when people coming from Hildesheim found him in this miserable plight. He was recog-nized immediately, for he was well-known in that district. The grief is indescribable! But what did it help? We received letters from Hanover and Hildesheim, for people knew that he was our partner and thought he had had much of our money with him. All that he had was a few reichstaler for immediate needs. I can 1 The Sabbath walking distance, permitted by Rabbinical law. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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44 HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF A COURT JEW remember how upset my husband and 1 were when the news reached us, for at that time 1 was pregnant with my daughter Mattie, peace unto her. We could have done much business with him-but what has come to pass cannot be changed, especially death. Though efforts were made in Hildesheim and Hanover to find the murderer, he was never discovered. May his name be blotted out! and may the Lord avenge the guiltless blood, with the rest of the holy and pious martyrs. We were left without anyone to help us in our business. A short time after, the wealthy Reb Judah Berlin,l then a very young man, was brought by Jacob Oberkirchen, the match-maker, as a possible suitor for Pinches Harburg’s daughter. Nothing, however, came of this match, through whose fault 1 cannot say. Judah, who was related to us on my husband’s side-he was a cousin to my brother-in-law, Lipman-re-mained with us as our guest for a short time. He pleased us in every way; he was well read, understood business very well, and was, besides, very intelligent. One day, my husband said to me, ‘Gliickelchen, what do you say to our engaging the youth and sending him to Danzig for us? He seems to be a very sharp fellow.’ ‘I have already thought the same,’ 1 replied. ‘We must have someone.’ We spoke to him and he was very pleased to travel for us. Before eight days passed he was on his way to Danzig. All that he had of his own was amber to the value of2o-so reichstaler, which he left with my husband to sell or hold for him. See, my dear children, if God wishes to help anyone, He makes much out of little, for from this small capital, which really amounted to next to nothing, He brought Judah to great riches, and today he is a great man. Reb Judah was in Danzig some time and did good business, buying up seed pearls. He did not strive much after deals, for we did not enjoy such big credits in Hamburg as we do now, we were still young and had no great fortunes. Still, we supplied him with letters of credit and promissory notes so that he was 1 Later, the well-known Court Jew, Jost Liebman, son of Elieser Lieb-man of Gottingen, who through his second marriage with the widow of Israel Aron, factor of the Great Elector (1670), succeeded him in the Elector’s favour and later in that of his son, Frederick I of Prussia: the composer Meyerbeer and the poet Michael Beer are among his descendants. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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THE ADVENT OF SABBATAI ZEVI 45 not short of money. He was in Danzig about two years. On his return my husband went over the accounts with him and gave him 800 reichstaler as his share of the profits. With this he moved to Hanover, intending to marry and settle there. During this time I was brought to bed with my daughter Mattie; she was a beautiful child. And also, about this time, people began to talk of Sabbatai Zevi,l but woe unto us,jor we have sinned, for we did not live to see that which we had heard and hoped to see. When I remember the penance done by young and old-it is indescribable, though it is well enough known in the whole world. 0 Lord of the Universe, at that time we hoped that you, 0 merciful God, would have mercy on your people Israel and redeem us from our exile. We were like a woman in travail, a woman on the labour-stool who, after great labour and sore pains, expects to rejoice in the birth of a child, but finds it is nothing but wind. This, my great God and King, happened to us. All your servants and children did much penance, recited many prayers, gave away much in charity, throughout the world. For two or three years your people Israel sat on the labour-stool-but nothing came save wind. We did not merit to see the longed-for child, but because of our sins, we were left neither here nor there-but in the middle. Your people hope daily, that you in your infinite mercy will redeem them yet and that the Messiah will come-if it be your divine will to redeem your people Israel. The joy, when letters arrived, is not to be described. Most of the letters were received by the Portuguese. They took them to their synagogue and read them aloud there. The Germans, young and old, went into the Portuguese synagogue to hear 1 The advent of Sabbatai Zevi and his rise to pseudo-messiahship in the years 1665-7 provided a romantic and colourful interval in the life of the J ewries in most parts of the world. In many COWltries Jews were wrought up to a fervour offaith which made them ready to believe that redemption was at hand and that the sons of Israel were now to prepare for the second exodus. In many communities whole families liquidated their possessions and waited only for the trumpet of Messiah before setting forth on their journey to the Holy Land. There is no doubt that Gliickel’s sidelight is by no means an exaggeration, but an interesting personal picture of the effect of the messianic delusion upon her inlmediate surroWldings. The excitement spread also to the non-Jews. The Fifth Monarchy literature of Puritan England was not Wlconnected. In Pepys’s diary reference is made to these Jewish messianic expectations. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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PREPARING FOR THE HOLY LAND them. The young Portuguese on these occasions all wore their best clothes and each tied a broad green silk ribbon round his waist-this was Sabbatai Zevi’s colour. So all, ‘with kettle-drums and round dance’ went with joy ‘like the festival of the house, of the pouring of the water’, to hear the letters read. Many people sold home, hearth and everything they possessed, awaiting redemption. My father-in-law, peace unto him, who lived in Hameln, moved from there, leaving things standing in the house, just as they were, and went to Hildesheim. He sent us here, to Ham-burg, two big barrels of linenware, in them were all kinds of food-peas, smoked meat, all sorts of dried fruits–that could keep without going bad. The good man thought they would leave from Hamburg for the Holy Land. These barrels were more than a year in my house. At last, fearing that the meat and other things would get spoilt, he wrote that we should open the barrels and take out all the food, so that the linen underneath should not spoil. They remained here for three more years, my father-in-law always expecting to need them at a moment’s notice for his journey. But this did not suit the Almighty. We knew well that He had promised us that if we were devout and pious from the bottom of our hearts, He would have mercy on us, if only we obeyed His word: Loveyour neighbour asyourself. But the jealousy, the needless hate that is among us! No good can come of it. That which you have promised, dear Lord, will be graciously fulfilled. If it is delayed because of our sins, when the right time comes we shall surely have it. For this we pray and hope, great God, that we will rejoice in a perfect redemption. I shall end this matter and begin anew. A3 I have related, about this time I was in childbed with my daughter Mattie. It began to be whispered that the Plague 1_ not upon us!-had broken out in the gentile quarter. Three or four Jewish houses were afterwards infected and the people living in them died, so that the houses remained unoccupied. It was a time of trouble and desolation. May God shield us from the way in which the dead were treated. Most of the Jewish householders moved to Altona. They had with them pledges to the value of several thousand reichstaler, small ones from 10 1 This was July 1664. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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FLIGHT FR.OM THE PLAGUE 47 taler to larger sums of 100 taler. Nevertheless, in dealing with pledges one must be as careful of one worth only a schilling as of one worth 20 taler. We had no peace from the gentiles in the town who rushed to redeem their pledges. Though we knew that they were infected, we had to let them redeem their pledges. We knew that even if we moved to Altona they would follow us there, so we decided to move to Hameln, where my father-in-law lived. We left Hamburg the day after rom Kippurl and arrived in Hanover the day before the Feast of the Tabernacles.1I Here we were the guests of Abraham Hameln, my brother-in-law, who was then living in that town. The festival being so near, we were not allowed to con-tinue our journey. With us were my daughter Zipporah, then four years old, my two-year-old son Nathan, and Mattie, peace unto her, a baby of eight weeks. My brother-in-law, Leib Hanover,3 invited us to stay with him for the first days of the festival; the synagogue was in his house. My husband was there praying on the first day, and I was in my room downstairs dressing Zipporah. I must write here of an incident that happened while he was still alive. There are many troubles of which I cannot tell, par-ticularly now, for to whom can I tell them? We have no one in whom to confide save God, our father in heaven; may He be our help, and to His people Israel, and make us rejoice even as He has afflicted us. When my husband was alive trouble did not miss us, bringing up our children and other worries. Some things may be told, but others must not be mentioned. My beloved companion would allay all my worries and comfort me, so that somehow they passed easily. But now, who is my comforter? and who listens to my heavy thoughts now, and lightens my sad heart as kindly and easily as he? Half an hour before his pure soul left his body, when my mother fell on his bed weeping and lamenting and asked, ‘My beloved son-in-law, have you any request that I may carry out for you?’ he said, ‘My dear mother, I have nothing to ask or say-only comfort my afflicted Gliickelchen’. After this he did not wish to say more, as 1 The Day of Atonement: the chieffast in theJewish Calendar. S The Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated after the Day of Atonement and lasts a week. The journey to Hanover took five days. a He was married to Esther, the sister of Chaim Hameln. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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4B EXCITEMENT OF THE HANOVER RELATIVES I will relate later on. Who is now my comforter? Before whom shall I pour out my bitter lot, and whither shall I turn? At present I am overwhelmed in a sea of sorrows and despondent thoughts. There were many incidents like the following-great trouble which the merciful God removed from us. To start where I left off: I noticed, when dressing Zipporah, that the child recoiled when I touched her. ‘What ails you, Zipporah, my dear?’ I asked. ‘Mumma, dear,’ the child answered, ‘it hurts me very much under my arm.’ I examined her and saw that there was a boil under her arm. My husband, too, had had such a boil and cured it with a small plaster applied by a barber-surgeon in Hanover. I said to my servant who was with me, ‘Go to my husband-he is upstairs in the synagogue-and ask him which barber he went to and where he lives. You will then take the child there and have a plaster applied.’ I had no bad fore-bodings. The maid went into the synagogue, obtained the address from my husband and had to return through the room where the women sat, for one had to pass there to reach the men’s sec-tion. My sisters-in-law Yenta, Sulka and Esther, who were seated there, asked the maid, ‘What were you doing in the men’s synagogue?’ Quite innocently, having no suspicion of trouble, the maid answered, ‘Our child has a boil under her arm. I asked my master which barber it was that had healed his boil, so that I could take the child to him.’ The women were cowards in such matters and were greatly alarmed, particularly as we had come from Hamburg. They put their heads together and conferred. There was seated among them an old Polish woman, a visitor, who heard what they said and noticed their terror. She said to them. ‘Do not be fright-ened; nothing will happen. I have had about twenty years’ dealings with such things. If you like, I will go down and examine the little girl and let you know at once if-God for-bid!-it is dangerous, and what you should then do.’ My sisters-in-law answered, ‘Yes. For mercy’s sake, go straight-way and see whether there is any danger.’ I knew nothing, then, of this talk. The old Polish woman came down and said, ‘Where is the little girl?’ ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘I am a healer,’ she answered. ‘I will give her something which 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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‘PLY! WE HAVE THE TRUE PLAGUE!’ 49 will make her better at once.’ Not suspecting any ill, I led the child to her. She examined her, rushed away and up to the women crying, ‘Flee from herel All who can, fly and run! For our great sins we have the true plague in the house. The little girl has the pestilence!’ Well, you can imagine the wailing and confusion among the women, especially among such a timorous crowd. Men and women rushed from the synagogue during the most solemn prayers of the holy festival and quickly thrust the maid and the child out of the house. You can conceive our feel-ings. I wept and cried aloud, ‘For God’s sake, people, what are you doing? Nothing is the matter with the child, she is quite healthy, God be praised. She had a sore head before we left Hamburg, I anointed it and the fluid from the head has, doubtless, led to this boil. If, God forbid, one has the plague the signs are different. See how freely my child is running about the street and eating a roll.’ Nothing helped. They said, ‘If it comes to the knowledge of his highness, our duke, that anyone has this in his residential city, desolation will befall us.’ The old woman stood in front of me saying that she would give her neck if the child had not something catching. What could we do? I begged: ‘For mercy’s sake, let me remain with my child. Where she is, I want to be. Let me out to her.’ This also they would not allow. In short, my brothers-in-law, Reb Lipman, Reb Leib and Reb Abra-ham and their womenfolk held counsel where to lodge the maid and child and keep the whole thing secret from the authorities; great troubles would befall the Jews if, God for.., bid, the Duke heard of the matter. They decided to dress the maid and child in old, tom clothes and send them to a small village not a Sabbath’s journey from Hanover. This village was called Peinholz [Pinewood]. There they were to lodge with some peasants and say that as theJews in Hanover were celebrating their festival, they would not receive them, for they already had as many poor people as they could accommodate. They would pay for their keep and were sure that food and drink would be sent to them from Hanover, so that they would not suffer hunger during the festival. There was an old Polish Jew staying in Hanover, a guest of the community. We hired him, and the old Polish woman whom I have already mentioned, to stay with the child until we saw 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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50 ‘WHY ARE YOU NOT AMONG JEWS?’ how things turned out. Neither would move from the place until they received 30 taler, because they insisted that they were putting themselves into dire peril. My three brothers-in-law again held counsel and with them the teacher of Hanover, a great scholar. They discussed whether it was permissible according to the Torah to desecrate the holy festival by giving the money the Poles demanded. They decided that it was, as it was a question of danger to life. So we were compelled to send our dear child from us on this festival and to persuade ourselves that-God forbid!-there was something really the matter with her. Every father and mother can imagine our feelings. My husband, of blessed memory, stood weeping in one corner of the room and I in the other, imploring God’s mercy. It was surely because of my husband’s piety that God heard him. I do not think that our father Abraham was heavier of heart than ours then. Our father Abraham, out of obedience and love of God, did his duty, so his sorrow was mixed with joy. But this befell us in a strange place and troubled our hearts sorely. We could do nothing but suffer patiently. As we must praise the Lord God for good, so also must we for the bad. My maid put her clothes on inside out, dressed the child in old, tattered rags and tied up the clothes into bundles which she carried like the beggar-women. So, my good maid, my child, the old man and woman, set off for the hamlet. The Priest’s benediction, which we sent after them, and the hundreds of tears we shed may easily be imagined. Nevertheless, the child was jolly and carefree, as a child is who does not understand. But we ourselves, in Hanover, wept and implored God and spent the holy day in great grief. They reached the small village and found lodgings in a peasant’s house, for they had money with them, and as long as one has money, use can be made of it. The peasant said, ‘To-day is your festival: why are you not among Jews?’ They answered as they had been told: that there were enough poor Jews in Hanover by the time they had arrived and that they had not been allowed to enter; however, they expected the community would send them out food. When we returned again to the synagogue, prayers had ended. At that time Judah Berlin, still a bachelor, was in 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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A HEAR.TR.ENDING SCENE Hanover. Also Michael, a young man from Poland who taught the children and later took a wife from Hildesheim and is now living there in great wealth and highly respected as the parnass. The same Reb Michael was a kind of household servant, as was then the practice in Germany when a young man was brought from Poland to teach young children. Coming out of the synagogue Reb Leib invited us to the feast, for as I have already mentioned, he had invited us to be his guests. My hus-band of blessed memory said to him, ‘Before we eat I must first take my child and the others some food. It is rom TOV.’l ‘Yes, certainly,’ answered the others. ‘You are right. None of us will eat before those outside have had something.’ The village was as near Hanover as Altona to Hamburg. When the food was brought they argued as to who was to take it to the village. Reb Judah said, ‘I will take it.’ Reb Michael answered, ‘I will go with you.’ In the end my husband, who loved the child well, too, went with them. But the Hanoverians did not trust him not to go near the child. My brother-in-law Lipman joined them, and all went off together with the food. Meanwhile, the child and the others, being very hungry, went in the fields, to await the arrival of the food. When the little one espied her father she was full of joy and, like a child, wanted to run up to him. On seeing this, Reb Lipman shouted that the child must be kept back and that the old man should approach to take the food. My husband had to be held fast as though by a rope, for he strained from the grasping hands to reach our child. They both wept; for he saw her hale and well, yet could not approach her. The food and drinks were placed on the grass and after the maid and company took it, the others went away. This lasted until the eighth day of the Tabernacles. The old man and woman had plaster and salve with them, which they applied to the boil. It was soon quite nicely healed and the child sprang about the fields like a young doe. We said to the Hanoverians, ‘What will be the outcome of your folly? You can see that the child is quite healthy and well, and that there is no danger. Let her in again.’ Once more they held counsel together and decided that the child and her companions were not to return before Simckat 1 Literally good day-the term for religious festivals. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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THE MAID OF PEINHOLZ T orak.1 We had to be content with this. On the day of the festi-val Reb Michael brought back the child and the others. Oh, the great joy of my husband and myself! We wept for joy. Yes, the eye wept but the heart was glad. Everyone wanted to eat the child, she was so lovely, without an equal. For a long time after she was called the maid of Peinholz. So, my dear children, this sad event passed happily and the end was full of joy. We cannot praise and thank the Highest enough for His goodness and mercy to me, His unworthy ser-vant, even if I should write ten books they would not suffice. I will hold my peace about the great hardships I underwent through my children’s sufferings. I would have given half my health for their sakes. But God in a second helped so graciously that I did not know where the sufferings remained. Years I worried and was troubled about the health of a child, and of a sudden God restored to us a strong and healthy child. There-fore we must ever thank and praise the Lord for His great mercy. We poor, sinful people should accept our fate with love, thanking God for everything comes from Him, God gives and God takes away-blessed be His Name. Here is a pleasant story to show what happened to an empress and how patiently she bore adversity and all that befell her. Charle-magne was a mighty emperor as one may read in German books. He had no wife. It was resolved at a council which he held one day that he and Irena Empress of the Orient who likewise had no spouse, should wed. He sent an embassy to the Empress to ask her hand in marriage so that in this way the East and Germany would be united in amity. He sent grand ambassadors to Constantinople for this purpose and alliance. The Empress was neither in favour nor against this suit, and said, , I will give you an answer in a few days.’ The ambassadors were well pleased with these words expecting a favourable outcome which they would convey, with this treasure, to their emperor. They expected joyful celebrations in Constantinople and right royal receptions, and so waited in happy expectation of her final answer. But, my God! what a change occurred in a few days to the Empress! In place of the settlement of the marriage plans which they awaited, they were forced to witness a tragic change-the Empress Irena was driven from her royal throne and her govern-1 Festival of the Rejoicing of the Law, celebrated immediately after that of Tabernacles. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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TALE OF THE EMPRESS IRENE 53 ment was overthrown. Then a great lord, Nicoporas by name, who claimed to be the emperor and had a large following, got the royal servants on his side and in great haste had himself crowned emperor. Before the coronation he, in person, spoke to the Empress out of his false heart, first excusing himself diffusively, declaring that all that had taken place had been against his will. It would have been more to his liking to have remained in his former low state and serve her as a loyal subject. But as the courtiers and nobles of the land wanted to relieve her from the yoke of the heavy cares of the State and governing the nation, so that she could live in peace and quiet, they had chosen him to take her place. This they had de-cided. He bowed to their will and so took on the high office. He hoped that she would refrain from all interference and reveal to him the secrets of State and all its treasures. He promised his friend-ship; that she would lack nothing and that no harm would befall her. Hereupon the Empress Irena answered him in a friendly manner, ‘Dear Nicoporas, the All Highest who reigns over all, acts accord-ing to His will: giving the kingdom to whom He will, setting up and casting down kings as He chooses. He set me on the throne and sustained me till now, but because of my sins and misdeeds, He has taken away my rule. Yet, I must praise His Name and as a true noble lady say with patient Job, The Lord Iuzs taken, praised be His Name. If power came justly to you, you will give account to God. That which has befallen me has happened often before. I know I had the means to. prevent such events as happen to those who do as you have done, but because of my tender heart, I am the cause of what has happened, and have helped towards it. Now it is im-possible for me to alter the position. Therefore, I entreat you, spare me and let me spend the rest of my life peacefully in the palace which I have built.’ Nicoporas promised to grant her behests and give her what she desired, but only if she would reveal the whereabouts of the whole royal treasure, hiding nothing from him. When she had done this and disclosed the treasures, in the very presence of the Emperor Charlemagne’s ambassadors, he sent her to the lonely Isle of Lesbos, where, after much hardship, she died the following year. To know what befell such a mighty empress and how patiently she bore all, is to learn that everyone should accept sufferings with patience, as I have already written. We had a happy festival and rejoiced that God had brought us out of sorrow. We remained in Hanover till the beginning of 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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54 SUDDEN ARRIVAL OF GREEN MOSES Marcheshvan,l after which we all left for Hameln. We in-tended to stay there until all was well again in Hamburg. We had no rest where we were, for we did a great deal of business and had an agent in Poland who was called Green Moses. We received letters from him to say that he had bought 600 LotI of seed pearls and had arrived with them in Hamburg. From there he wrote again to say that he had brought the pearls with him and my husband should leave forthwith for Hamburg. My husband did not leave immediately but remained another four-teen days in Hameln, for things were still very bad in the former place and his parents would not suffer him to endanger his life by going there, and would not even allow us to receive letters from there. When a letter did come, we had to fumigate it two or three times, and immediately after we had read it, we threw it into the river. Once, as we sat chatting together, Green Moses came sud-denly into the room. It was mid-winter and he had a cowl drawn over his head. We recognized him immediately, and signed to him to go out; no one else had seen him, for we were alone in the room. Had my parents-in-law known that anyone from Hamburg had come to see us, they would have driven him and us away. In truth, it was dangerous, in case the authorities got to know; it was perilous, a matter of death, if anyone from Ham-burg was taken in. All travellers were thoroughly examined before they were allowed to enter the city gates. We asked Green Moses, ‘How did you manage to get here?’ He answered, ‘I said I was the clerk to the official of Hachen’ -a village not far from Hameln. What were we to do? He was already here and had the pearls with him. We could not hide him, for our parents were sure to find out. We decided that we would have to tell them, and even if they did not like it, it could not be altered. But Green Moses did not wish us to say anything; he only wanted my husband to return to Hamburg with him and sell the pearls, so that he could go away and buy more goods. What was my husband to do? There was much money tied up in the 10ctober/November. I A Lot equals half an ounce. Seed pearls were BOld by the two Lots or ouncc. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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WIDE OF THE MARK.! 55 pearls and it does not pay to keep such goods a long while, for the profits are not large; when they lie a long time, the interest eats up the profit. He therefore resolved to return with Green Moses, to sell the pearls and look round and see whether I and the children could return to our little nest. Though I lacked nothing, I was used to Hamburg and we had our business there, and I was tired of being away from home. So, my husband returned to Hamburg with his pearls, worth 6000 reichstaler banco,l and went with them to the merchants trading with Moscow. Altogether he went to six merchants, but no one made him a good offer; the profit was too small. This was in the month of Shevat.1 The bill which he had had discounted to enable us to buy the pearls had to be met. As ships bound for Moscow leave Hamburg in the month of Ab,’ it is best to sell in the month of Tammuz.’ Because of the low bids he had received, my husband pawned the pearls for 6000 reichstaler. He thought he would get better prices in Tammuz. But he was wide of the mark! Letters arrived from Muscovy with tidings that a great war was raging.1i The merchants lost all inclination to buy pearls. My husband had to sell at 4000 reichstaler, less than he had been offered, besides having to pay six months’ interest. See, therefore, the first buyer is always the best and a dealer must know his own mind at once-yes or no. My husband enquired how things were in Hamburg. Every-one told him that all was quiet. He sent me as travelling com-panion a Jew of the name of Jacob. Though he was an honest man, he had one fault-a fondness for drink, a failing over which he had no control. My good Jacob went to Hanover where he stayed, idling. From thence he wrote that I and my children should come and together we would take the post to Hamburg. I wrote straightway to Hildesheim, to Abraham Kantor, who had once worked for us, that he should come to Hameln and travel with us to Hamburg. We rode to Hanover and there found our Shot Jacob. He went on Friday to the deputy postmaster, who was his sworn pot-brother, and hired the post for us. We remained for the Sabbath in Hanover. The 1 Cash. B January/February. 3 July/August. ‘ Jwte/July. Ii Warfare between Poland and Russia was frequent wtder the first Romanoff Tsar. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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56 JACOB AND HIS POT-BROTHER weather was very bad and I had three little ones with me. All day Saturday my brother-in-law Lipman and his wife Yenta spoke with Jacob and begged him to take good care of me and the children and look after us well, and not to drink as was his custom. He promised them by hand and mouth, not to get drunk but only to drink that which he needed. But how he kept his word you will see. Early Sunday I, the three children, the maid, the man-servant, and our guide Jacob, left Hanover. The deputy post-master, too,journeyed with us. As I have already mentioned, he was Jacob’s pot-brother. Jacob helped us into the wagon and saw to everything; he and the deputy walked together beside our vehicle. I thought they would wait until we had passed through the gate and then seat themselves in the wagon. When we had left the gates behind us, I told Jacob that he and the deputy should take their seats so that we should not be held up and arrive too late at the inn. But Jacob answered, ‘You ride on in God’s name. I and the deputy must go to thevillage,ashehasto speak with someone there. We will walk as quickly as you ride, and will soon be with you again.’ I did not know the secret reason for this. The village lay quite close to Hanover and was called Langenhagen. It was a mile in length and throughout the land there was no better’ Broyan ‘1 than in that village. So, my good helper Jacob and the post-deputy remained the whole day and a good part of the night, drinking in Langenhagen. I knew nothing of this at the time. We rode on our way; every second I looked behind to see whether Jacob was coming, but whoever came into view, it was not Jacob. We rode until we came to a pass, two miles from Hanover, where we had to pay toll. The postillion said to me, ‘We must pay toll here.’ I paid the toll and asked the postillion to ride on, so that we should reach the inn in time. The weather was bad, not fit to send dogs out in. It was about Purims time, with dismal dripping rain and snow which froze as it fell on us. The children, poor things, 1 A wheaten beer of sweet, spiced flavour, named after its supposed inventor Kurd Broyan, a brewer who lived near Hanover. I This feast, preceded, by Orthodox Jews, by a fast, is in commemoration of the downfall of Haman and the triumph of the Jewish queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai, as related in the book of Esther. It usually falls either in February or in March. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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12. Purim Players. Engraving by Johan van den Avele. 17th Century 13. The Purim Feast. Engraving. Niirnberg, 1734 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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14. A Jewish Wedding Procession. Engraving. Nurnberg, ca. 1700 15. A Jewish Wedding Ceremony. Engraving. Nurnberg, 1734 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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THE INN REACHED AT LAST 57 suffered greatly-I also. I again begged the postillion to drive on. ‘ You can see’, I cried, ‘what the weather is like-and here we are without shelter, under the open sky.’ He answered, ‘I must not leave here till the deputy postmaster comes; he ordered me to wait here till he and Jacob arrive.’ What was I to do? We sat there another two hours, until the tollman came and had pity on us. He let us step out of our coach and took us into his warm room, where the children were thoroughly warmed. Mter we had spent an hour there, I said to the tollman, ‘I beg you, sir, make the postillion ride on, so that I and my little children may get to the inn before night. You can see how bad the weather is and know how terrible the way is by day. How much worse will it be in the dark of the night! If-God for-bid!-the wagon were to tum over we would break our necks immediately. ‘ On this, the tollman told the postillion to ride on straight-way. The postillion replied, ‘If I ride on, the post-deputy will break my neck and I shall not get a pfennig of my wages.’ But the tollman was a good, honest man; he urged him to drive on. ‘When the two drunken knaves arrive,’ he said, ‘let each hire a horse and follow after you; you will stay overnight at the inn.’ What was the poor postillion to do? He had no choice but to ride on with us. It was really awful weather, but we arrived at the inn in good time, and there found a fine, warm room where we were nicely received. Though the place was packed with drivers and travellers so that the room was crowded, everyone showed kindness and sympathy for the children, who had not a dry thread on them. I hung up their little frocks to dry and soon they were themselves again. We had good food with us and in the inn there was good beer. So, after our dreary, laborious journey we were revived with good fare and drink; and sat up till late at night expecting the two pot-brothers to arrive. But no one came, so I had straw spread on the floor and I and my little ones lay down to rest. I could not fall asleep, but lay still, thanking God that the children at least were sleeping. About Inidnight I heard a fear-ful scream in the room: the post-deputy, quite drunk, had entered, and with a drawn sword had fallen on the postillion to kill him for driving on by himself. The postillion answered as F 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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58 ‘POOR ME, IN MY LITTLE CORNER’ well as he could. The innkeeper came in, tried to calm the drunkard, and at length succeeded in quietening him. I sat, poor me, in my little corner, quiet as a mouse, for he was drunk and mad and I was in terror, for I did not see Jacob with him. A little while later the deputy postmaster sat down to eat and I saw that his fury had died down. So I went up to him and said, ‘Herr Petersen, where have you left my Jacob?’ ‘Where should I have left him?’ he answered. ‘He could not go any farther, so remained by a hedge near some water; he may already be drowned.’ This frightened me very much: I did not know what to do; he was a human being, and a Jew, and I was alone. I begged the innkeeper to send two peasants to look for him and bring him back. The two peasants rode away. Half an hour from the village they found my good Jacob, lying as one killed, worn out by his journey and drunkenness. The good overcoat and little money he had had with him, were all gone. The peasants put him on a horse and brought him to the inn. Though I was very angry with him, still I thanked God when I saw him again. It cost me more than 6 reichstaler. I gave him something to eat, and my fine servant, who was to look after me and my children, I had to serve! Well, day dawned, the drivers brought out the wagon, ready once more to set out. I, the children, the maid and servant seated ourselves. I told Jacob to get up behind and not behave as he had done before. He answered, ‘No, I only want to go back and see if anything has been left behind in the room.’ I thought he meant this, but my fine Jacob went again into the inn and began drinking anew. I sent the drivers in to tell them to come out, since we had been delayed enough by the bad weather. The drivers, too, began to shout that their horses would be ruined standing idly about in such weather. But nothing helped-the post-deputy was master and the drivers had to wait. So, once more, we sat waiting two hours and did not set out before both were quite drunk, and at length took their seats in the wagon. What more shall I write of this journey? The same thing happened at all the inns. But God helped us to Harburg, which is a mile distant from Hamburg, where my husband and father met us. Our joy is easily imagined. We went by water to Ham-burg and I thanked God that I found all our friends well. Very 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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JUDAH ASKS FOR PARTNERSHIP 59 few Jewish houses had been attacked by the plague while I was away. But the trouble was not yet over, for here and there it flickered. Among the Jews everything was well and remained well. May God continue to protect US, and redeem us from all our troubles. So, we were once more back in our dear Hamburg, after an absence of half a year. We reckoned that we lost during the time, in pearls and interest, more than 1200 reichstaler. Still, we were thankful that we had been saved, for we did not care too much for money. ‘Give me the person and the wealth take unto thee.’ God again vouchsafed these to us. After this, the people who had moved to Altona because of the pest, singly, one after the other, came back to the town, and once more attended to business. During the time of the plague little business had been done, as a Hamburger could not go anywhere. Shortly after, my husband went to the Leipzig Fair and there fell very ill. At that time things were very dangerous for Jews in Leipzig. If a Jew-God forbid!-died there, it would have cost him all he had. Reb Judah Berlin was also at the fair, at this time; he was very good to my husband and tended him well. When he got better, he spoke to him, as one good friend to another, and told my husband that as he was not a strong man he should not undertake such difficult journeys, but should go into partnership with him. He was a young man, he could travel all over the world and earn enough for both to live royally. My husband answered him, ‘I can give you no answer here in Leipzig; I am not quite well yet and dare not remain longer because I am afraid I may-God forbid!-get worse. I will hire a wagon and go home. As it is now pay week, there is little to do at the Fair. Why not come with me, free of charge, on the wagon? When we are, if God wills, at home, we can talk it over. And, besides, my Gliickelchen will then be present and will be able to give her good advice.’ For my dear husband did nothing without my knowledge. At this time Reb Judah was already married.1 My husband had induced his brother, the learned Rabbi Samuel of Hildes-heim, to give him his daughter as wife, together with a dowry 1 To Maika, daughter of Rabbi Samuel Hameln of Hildesheim, and resided in Hildesheim. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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60 APPREHENSION-AND A FALSE ALARM of 500 reichstaler. They both arrived here from Leipzig and though my husband had not recovered his full strength, he was not ill enough to lie in bed. It was eight days before he was quite well. During this time Judah pleaded with me to persuade husband to go into partnership with him. I could not bear die thought of my husband travelling again, for if-God for-bid!-anything had happened to him in Leipzig, he would have lost his life and fortune. In truth I never cared for him to go on these long journeys and suffered much agony in case he should fall ill, just as had happened in Leipzig. Once, before this, he had come home in the middle of a Fair. I knew nothing and was looking out of the door when I saw him come riding up-my fright can easily be imagined. And besides this, there were other things of which I cannot write. Who can write of all that happens? Once when my husband had gone to the winter fair at Leip-zig, about New Year’s time, he journeyed back with other Jews and was to be here on a certain day. But they did not arrive on the day expected. The woman letter-carrier brought me letters from Frankfurt and told me that in the king’s post-office they had received terrible news: two wagons, full of Jews and Christians, on the way over the Elbe in a ferry-boat to the custOIns office were all drowned; the ice was moving so strongly that the flat-bottomed boat was smashed to pieces. Then, my God, as though my soul flew out, I began to cry and call out and lament. Then Green Moses, whom I have already de-scribed, came into the room, and finding me in such a state asked me what had happened. I told him and begged him, ‘For the sake of His Name, take a horse, quick, and ride to the Zollen pieker1 and see what has happened.’ Although Green Moses and others tried to comfort me, I could not be comforted. So Green Moses rode off. I ran to a man who had horses for hire and he sent his servant straightway on a horse by another road to the same place. When I reached home again I found my dear husband sitting in the room, warming himself and drying his wet clothes, for the weather was frightful. All that the letter-carrier had told me was quite untrue. 1 :(.ollm pieker, a toll-house. This was an old fortified house dating from the thirteenth century where toll was collected from the merchandise pro-. c:eeding across the Elbe from Hamburg and Lubeck. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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AN AGREEMENT DRAFTED 61 I write of this to show what worries and frights I underwent with every journey, and I longed to see things were so arranged that my husband could remain at home. For this reason I was not averse to the partnership with Reb Judah. So, once more, Reb Judah spoke with us and made the best propositions. I said to him, ‘What you say is good and right, but you see our big household and the large responsibilities we have. Our expenses are more than 1000 reichstaler a year, apart from the interest we have to pay, and other expenses. I do not see where this money is to come from.’ Reb Judah replied, ‘Are you worried about that? If I do not bring in at least 1000 reichstaler banco a year, you will have the right to cancel the partnership.’ He promised this and more than is possible for me to write. I spoke with my husband and told him what Reb Judah and I had discussed, and how he had praised his business abilities. On this my husband said to me, ‘My dear child, talk is very easy. I have heavy expenses; I do not see how they can be met by partnership with Reb Judah.’ Said I to my husband, ‘We can try it for one year. I will draft a short agreement and see how it suits you.’ That night I sat up alone and drafted an agreement. Reb Judah insisted that we should not worry but trust the business to him, for he knew all ways and means and everything would be all right. I said, ‘How can we give over all our business to you?’ To which he replied, ‘I know well that you have jewels worth many thousands; these you will not throwaway. We will arrange that you sell or exchange these jewels as best you can or will.’ This was the first point. The second was that the partnership should last ten years and every year account should be taken. If the partnership did not show 2000 reichstaler profit yearly, my husband had the right to cancel it. Without this condition we would not consider the business. When the partnership ceased, everything would be sold and each get his money back. Thirdly, my husband should go to AInsterdam once or twice to show Reb Judah where and how to buy; and the latter should hold the goods and sell them. Fourthly, my husband should put in at the beginning of the business 5000 or 6000 reichstaler and Judah 2000; all our goods and jewels we had we could sell or exchange. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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FIRST GRUMBLINGS On these conditions a precise agreement was drawn up, and each point well guarded. Reb Judah then left for Hildesheim, saying he would get together the cash he had undertaken to put into the business; two or three weeks after they were to go together to Amsterdam. My husband prepared for this journey and remitted his money to Amsterdam. Nothing was missing but that Reb Judah should arrive with his money. He came at the appointed time and brought with him a bill for 500 reichstaler. We said to him, ‘What is this? There is supposed to be 2000,’ to which he replied, ‘I have left my wife gold to sell and she will remit the rest from Hildesheim to Amster-dam.’ We were satisfied with this. Together, in the name of the God of Israel, they left quite happily for Amsterdam. There my husband began to buy up small things, as was then the custom. At every post he asked Judah, ‘Have you received your bills?’ He always answered, ‘They should be here; I expect them at any moment.’ But nothing came of it: nothing arrived. What was my husband to do? Reb Judah gave him hope and spoke a great deal and my husband put his money with Reb Judah’s 500 reichstaler, and bought stock-as one can very quickly in Ansterdam. After this they returned-my husband home, and Reb Judah to Hildesheim, taking with him the stock that my husband had bought. He travelled here and there to sell and trade just as he wished. When my husband returned home, he spoke to me, grumb-ling at the partnership, saying that I had persuaded him into it. Reb Judah had not kept to the agreement from the very beginning; what would it be like at the end? One could-God forbid!-drop dead over such business. I coaxed him out of his fears as best I could. I said to him-as in truth it was-‘Judah is a young man. How much did he receive as dowry? Only 500 taler. He had 800 or goo of his own, which he had earned from us-that was two years ago. It is impossible for him to get 2000. Let yourself imagine that he has nothing and we are sending him, as before, to travel, and trusting him with several thousands, as we have often done. If God will grant luck, He can do so with little as well as much money.’ What could my husband do? Whether he liked it or not, we were involved-and a man in a bath has to get wet. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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‘IS THIS THE THANKS I GET?’ Some time passed; Reb Judah earned a little and wrote to us from time to time, but a handful cannot satisfy a lion. In short, the year soon ended and we were neither of us satisfied, for we saw that enough had not been earned to sup-port one household, let alone two. At length, after a year of partnership my husbandá went to Hildesheim to settle the account. He spoke to Judah as one brother to another, ‘You can see that neither of us can afford to go on with this partner-ship. According to the agreement we must make at least 2000 reichstaler profit; we have not made even 1000.’ Reb Judah himself saw they could not go on with it. In a friendly way the partnership was dissolved. My husband wrote two bills, one for himself and one for Judah, which they both signed, as is cus-tomary. There remained in Judah’s hands a few thousand talers’ worth of rings and jewellery which he was to sell and then send the money on to my husband. They also fixed a time when this payment should be made. The time arrived, but no payment was made. We wrote to Judah, in a polite way, to remind him what he had signed; the time had already gone, would he please remit the money to Hamburg? He replied, equally politely, that he had not yet sold all the goods; he would shortly send us a bill. Mter this another year passed. We eQuId get nothing from Judah, so my husband sent once again to Hildesheim, expect-ing to get his money. Instead of this he learnt something new. After Judah had led my husband on for some days, he said to him, ‘I won’t give you anything and I would be more pleased if I had twice as much of yours. Our business according to the agreement should have lasted ten years, instead of which it lasted one year. I claim many thousands from you, and what you possess is mine. You cannot pay me off with all that you have.’ My husband was very alarmed and cried, ‘RebJudah, what are you saying? Is this the thanks I get for the good I did you? You came to me denuded and bare, and after a short while you got through me goo reichstaler in ready cash. I have trusted you with many thousands. I have shown you all the places I knew, where business could be done, since I thought you an honest and respectable man. I persuaded my brother Rabbi Samuel to give you his daughter for wife. In spite of all this, from the very beginning you broke our agreement; instead of 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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64 THE STRONGER WHO HOLDS THE GOODS putting in 2000 reichstaler, you put in only 500. Besides, there was a clause in our agreement that if there was not a profit of 2000 reichstaler, the partnership was at an end. So in friendli-ness we freed ourselves of all obligations. What do you want now? I beg of you, don’t give people the chance of talking about us. We are still relatives; we can still, if God wills, do business again together,’ and other words to the same effect. But nothing changed my fine Judah, he remained of his own opinion. As happens in these affairs, there was much talk and wrang-ling. People intervened. They made it their business that each should take an arbitrator and go before the Hildesheim Beth Din.1 The time was fixed for four months later and my husband had to agree to this, who can contend with him that is stronger? As is known, he is the stronger who holds the goods. My husband returned home with these new tidings. We were both very upset, for we knew how honestly and justly we had dealt with him and the good we had done him-may God reward us for it. My husband grumbled at me because I had persuaded him to the partnership, but God knows, I did it for the best, in the hope that he would not need to undertake any more difficult journeys. I had no thought that things would turn out so and certainly never expected such treatment from Judah, for I held him to be an honest man. He still had in hand a large sum of our money, which did not please us. I asked my husband why he had agreed to a trial in Hildesheim; he should have insisted on it in some neutral place. He answered quite crossly, ‘If you’d been there, would you have done better? He has my goods in his possession, so I have to agree to what he wants.’ In short our little dispute came to an end. We had to put our trust in God, Who had before now helped us out of business worries, to help us out of this. We were young people, just beginning to stand on our own feet, doing good business-now such an unexpected complica-tion had set in! From what I have written, you see that my husband had the note dissolving the partnership, but perhaps Judah suspected that he had dealings at the time of the partnership which were 1 Rabbinical court oflaw, sits to administer justice according to theJewish code of law. Civil as well as religious matters are judged by the court. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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LAWSUIT IN HILDESHEIM not revealed to him, but of this I am not certain. Maybe the following incident was tinder to the fire. When my husband arrived home from 1:Iildesheim, at the time of the dissolution of of the partnership, he met a Frenchman who dealt in all sorts of merchandise. My husband exchanged goods with him and did good business. But, as is the . among Jews, if one earns 100 taler, people make thousands out of it. So the cry arose that we had made a fortune. This happening just after the partnership was ended must have come to the ears of Judah. He may have believed the stories that were told to him, or perhaps persuaded himself to believe them. Whether Judah dissolved the partnership with his whole heart, or regretted the dissolution, or again, perhaps did not wish to let the money out of his hands-God knows. We had never seen any wrong in him and certainly never expected that he would refuse to give up what was ours. Man looketh on tJze outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.1 Perhaps he persuaded himself he was in the right and persisted in this, for manfinds nofault with himself [Talmud]. It was thus harder and more bitter for us, for we knew the whole truth; how straight-forwardly we had dealt with him-and now to be paid back in this way! But what God does, He does for good. The time of the Frankfurt Fair arrived. A3 usual, my hus-band attended it, staying at the house of his brother Isaac Hameln. He related to him all that had happened, and asked him to find an upright Talmud scholar as he had to be in Hildesheim by a certain date and must bring an arbitrator with him. My brother-in-law said to him, on the spot, ‘You are lost if you go to law with him in his own community.’ ‘What could I do?’ answered my husband, ‘I couldn’t help it,’ and showed him all the papers and told him everything. ‘Yes, brother,’ said Isaac, ‘you are quite right. If you have impartial judges and the trial is in a neutral place, you may win.’ To which my husband replied, ‘It is too late to change anything. Let it be as God wills. I want to be finished with it. Get me a good arbitrator.’ Mer thinking a while, my brother-in-law said, ‘I have someone for you, a young man, upright and honest-Rabbi &her. He is dayanl of our congregation. He will be just right for you.’ 1 Samuel 16: ,. lOne of three ecclesiasticaljudges at the B,th Din. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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66 A COMPROMISE SO, my husband saw Rabbi Asher, told him everything and showed him all the papers. ‘Do not worry,’ said Rabbi Asher. ‘You have right with you. I will go with you when the fair is over.’ During this time, too, my husband asked his brother whether he could recommend him an honest young man to take into our business. To make it short-he recommended Issachar Cohen, who, unfortunately, was the real Herod of my whole family; of him I shall write later, in the right place, when I come to it. Straight from the fair my husband and his arbitrator went to Hildesheim. How shall I write at full length of the trial? One hundred pages would not suffice to tell of all that happened. Our arbitrator could do nothing, he was one against two. Rabbi Asher would not agree to a judgement contrary to the Torah. He knew that if he did not agree to their decision, they could imprison him, or at least threaten him with imprison-ment. Well, my good Rabbi Asher left Hildesheim secretly. However, before he left, he wrote a great responsum, in my husband’s favour. Nothing helped. The chief of the Beth Din of Hildesheim and a parnass, whose names I do not wish to reVeal as they are both in everlasting truth, stood by Judah, limb and life. They wanted my husband to compromise, a thing very hard for him. He would not agree to this and the case nearly came to the gentile courts. My father-in-law, of blessed memory, who then lived in Hildesheim, begged, with tears in his eyes, ‘My dear son, you can see quite well what is happen-ing here. I beg of you, for God’s sake, not to let this go any further; be patient and make as good a compromise as you can. His Blessed Name will reward you better for it.’ Indeed, this happened, as will follow. What was to be done? As Judah had my husband’s goods in his possession and it was hard to get them from him, my hus-band was compelled to agree. The compromise may easily be imagined. We did not have twice the amount of our expenses out of it. I do not blame Judah so much as those who helped him, for no man sees his own faults. All is long since over. We have all forgiven him and those who helped him and bear no ill-will against Judah, who thought he was in the right and persisted against us. Perhaps, if it happened now, he would act differently. It reallv hurt my husband very m\lch, but who 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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SUCH AR.E THE WAYS OF FATE could help him? Hi who weeps over what is past, indulges in useless prayer [Talmud]. But the dear Lord ásaw our innocence. Ere four weeks had passed, through a good deal, we earned almost all that we had lost. After this, my husband lived in unity and trust withJudah Berlin and later, in its place, I will tell with what honour I was received by Judah and his wife when I was in Berlin. He always did business with my children, and we had no cause to grumble at him. If the first business had gone through well, there would never have been anything between us. It was Issachar’s good fortune that we severed With Judah, for then the former’s luck began to bloom. Although, perhaps, the whole affair with Judah was not worth writing, as also my whole book, I write to drive away miserable sad thoughts when they come to plague me. From it we may see that all human things change with time. God makes ladders, one He lowers and another He raises on high [Talmud]. When Judah first came to us he really had nothing; today he cannot be bought out for 100,000 reichstaler banco. He now carries on such a big business and stands in such high esteem with the Prince Elect-God exalt his radiance-that I believe that if God does not set His face against him, when he dies he will be the wealthiest man in all Germany. We helped many and-before God-all those with whom we had business dealings became rich as kings, but mostly without acknowledgement, as is the way of the world. On the contrary, many to whom we did good repaid our children with evil. But Almighty God is right and we sinful people cannot say, even once, what is good or bad for us. A person often thinks when adversity hits him, that it is bad for him. But what he thinks bad, may be for his good. Had the honest, upright Mor-decai-God revenge his death!-remained alive, perhaps many would not then have got into such a pickle ¥. He himselfwould assuredly have been a great man. After him we had Green Moses; though we did not do much business through him, still, as I have already mentioned, we did get some nice parcels of seed pearls. He journeyed to distant places and left his wife and children here. We had to support them, though we did not know ifhis profits would come to as much as the cost of keeping them. Of this the Bible says, Cast thy bread upon the waters, for 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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68 THE FORTUNES OF OTHER PARTNERS thou shalt find it after many days. In short, though we did not have much profit, we parted amicably from one another. We would have been longer together if he had not moved away from Hamburg and settled in Schottland,l near Danzig. He did not change for the worse, for things went well with him. Abraham Kantor, of Copenhagen, whom I have also men-tioned, as a young lad was in service with us and conducted himself honestly and well. We later sent him several times to Copenhagen, where he became rich, and moved there his wife and children. Mter this, there was no partnership between us. It is said that he has a good business and is now worth 15,000 reichstaler and gives his children dowries of thousands. I could write of all that we did for him, but who acknowledges good? Ah, we humans are ungrateful creatures. My nephew Mordecai Cohen, a young man, and Leib Bischere went into partnership with my husband. He sent them to England with letters of credit and money. They were unable to complete their journey as war broke out and they could not proceed. However, they made good money in Amsterdam. Since then, my nephew has travelled in Holland and Brabant andá done good business. That first journey was his beginning in trade and wealth. I have already written of the now wealthy Judah and how through heavenly aid he came to great riches. To my brother-in-law Elia,2 a young man of no experience in business, my husband gave big credits and finally he sent him to Amsterdam with credit to the value of20,000 reichstaler. Many of the people of this place who are now the foundation props of the community, would have thanked God if we had given them credit. I can name many, but what does it help me? Nothing avails. For where is the good that you, honest, upright Reb Chaim Hameln, did in the world, who helped everyone willingly and did them favours? Often with profit and often with loss. Many times, though he knew that he would gain nothing, he did it, without any hope of reward, exercising true charity, 1 A suburb of Danzig, founded by Scottish sailors and named after their native land. Here Jews were to be found residing before they had received rights of residence in Danzig. 11 Ella Ries, of Berlin, son of the head of the Vienna community Model Ries, was wedded to Gliickel’s sister Mattie. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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‘LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD’ 69 for it was as though done to a dead man. And now your dear, devout children are the very same; they would sooner die than do anyone harm. But those to whom we did good do not remember and do not care to know my children, who losing their pious father so young are likeá sheep without a shepherd. They could help them a little. May God have mercy on them, they do the reverse. I wish I had no bad from them, as I have had no good. They defra.uded my of thousands and caused my Mordecai to lose his money among common people. The president of the council and the whole court decided that it was an honest transaction, and that he did not need to return any of the merchant’s goods, which he had bought in a regular way. But they gave him no rest. He lost money and was forced to come to a settlement with them. From thisá sprung his mis-fortune. His andá my feelings about it-may God take them as atonement for our sins! My son was so pressed. May God avenge him according to their deeds. I cannot blame the man I have in mind because I do not know his thoughts. Man judges according to his eyes, but God by the heart. But I know this well: my children were young and needed a little credit, as is usual in business. They wanted some bills discounted. The merchants took them from them and told them to come after Borsel hours. The same merchant, I think, asked a Jew of whom he thought highly, for his opinion. When, after Borse-time, my children went again to the merchant expecting to receive cash for the bills, which bore good endorsements, he returned them. This was why they often did not know where to tum for help. Thou great and only God, I beg from the bottom of my heart for pardon: perhaps the man did what he did in all sincerity and I do him injustice in my thoughts. Everything must be commended to God and we must always bear in mind that this frivolous world passes soon. Thou, 0 Lord, know how I pass my days in sorrow and anxiety. I was a woman held in high esteem by her devout husband, and was to him like the apple of his eye. But with his death my honour and wealth went. For him I have to lament and mourn all my days and years. I know well that in my 1 Stock market and meeting-place of money-brokers and merchants for the transaction of business. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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CONSIDER HOW BEST TO SERVE GOD weakness I do wrong to pass my time in such loneliness and mournfulness. Far better were it if I fell on my knees every day and gave thanks and praised the Lord for the great kindness He shows me, who am unworthy. I still sit at my own table, eat what I desire, rest in my bed at night, still have a schilling to spend-as long as the Lord wills. And I have my dear children. If at times it does not go well with this one or with that one, still, we live and know our Creator. There are many people in this world, better, more pious, more righteous and more truth-ful than I who yet have much less than I; not enough even for one meal. Some I know personally, exceedingly devout people. How can I praise and thank the Creator enough for all the good-ness he shows us without our repaying Him, as I have already asked? If only we poor sinners would recognize God’s great mercy. He made us out of a clod of clay in His awesome and holy name-for which we must serve him with all our heart. See, my dear children, what a person does to obtain the favour of a monarch who is himself no more than flesh and blood, here today and tomorrow in his grave. Who knows how long he will live, or how long the receiver of his favours will live, or even what he will receive from an earthly king. He can raise him to riches-but this is only temporary, not for ever. He can have all in his power-till the day of his death-but it is naught. When bitter death comes all is forgotten; and his riches and honour are less than nothing! There is no ruler on the day of death [Eccles 8: 8]. Even though man knows all this, still he strives to serve the earthly king well and to obtain the temporal reward. How much more then should man consider day and night how best to serve the Holy One, blessed be He, the King of kings who lives for ever and ever! From Him proceeds all the good we enjoy from earthly kings, in whose hearts He gives it to do good according to His will for the heart of the king is in the hand of God [Proverbs 2 I: I]. Also, the gifts of an earthly monarch are as naught compared with those which the blessed Lord gives to those who fear Him. It is eternity that has no measure, aim or passing. So, my heart-beloved children, be comforted and patient in your trials and serve God the Almighty with all your heart, as well when things are contrary as when they are well, and know that He does not burden His servants with more than they can bear. I pray to God to give me strength when things go con-trary. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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DISMISSAL OF THE PHYSICIANS Now, I shall with God’s help begin again from where I left off. My daughter Mattie, peace unto her, was in her third year, and a more beautiful and clever child was nowhere to be seen. Not only did we love her, but everyone who saw her and heard her speak, was delighted with her. But the dear Lord loved her more. When she entered her third year, her hands and feet suddenly swelled. Although we had manyá doctors and much medicine it suited Him to take her to Himself after four weeks of great suffering, and left as our portion heartache and suffer-ing. My husband and I mourned indescribably and I feared greatly that I had sinned against the Almighty by mourning too much, not heeding the story of Reb Jochanan, as will follow. I forgot that there were greater punishments, as I was to find out later. We were both so grieved that we were ill for some time. I was pregnant with my daughter Hannah and soon after was brought to bed. Because of my great sorrow over my child of blessed memory, about whom I would not be comforted, I was dangerously ill and the physicians doubted my recovery and wished to resort to the last, most desperate of remedies. Not thinking I could understand what they were saying, they dis-cussed it with my faInily. I told my husband and mother that I would not take the medicine that had been mentioned. This they told the physicians, and though the latter tried their best to persuade me to take it, it was of no use, and I said to them, ‘You may say what you like; I take nothing more. If God will help me, He can do so without the medicine. If it is another decision of the Great Lord, what can medicine help?’ I begged my husband to dismiss the physicians and pay them off; this he did. And the Blessed Name gave me strength, and five weeks after my confinement I went to the synagogue, although still somewhat weak. Daily I improved, and at length dismissed my nurse and wet-nurse and myself saw to all that was necessary for my household. And at last I had to submit and forget my beloved child, as is the decree of God, I amforgotten as a dead one to the heart.l It may be learnt in the following story of what happened to a pious man that it is necessary to be patient when ill befalls one’s 1 Psalm 81: 18. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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FORTITUDE OF JOCHANAN THE SAGE children or fortune and not give way to immoderate grief. If one is devout and thinks, ‘Why, dear Lord, do you afBict me so bitterly? I do not know what are my sins that you punish me so,’ he should ask that the full measure of trouble may not come. Accept every-thing as a just decree and say, ‘Blessed be the True Judge,’ for whatever the Almighty does, He does justly. Who can say, ‘What doest Thou?’ for we must understand that all God’s doings are for our good. Who knows if it is not better for a man when he-God for-bid!-suffers the loss of children, money or other such things, more than if all goes well. The Lord is merciful-and who can stand before judgement in the future world? What more can I write about this? As I have said many times already: our Sages have written about everything. Reb Jochanan, on whom be peace, a great Tanna,l lost nine sons in his own life-time. He was left with but one son, a child of three. It happened once that a servant, washing clothes, placed a vessel of water to boil on the fire. This soon seethed and boiled over. Now, near the fire on the bench on which the washing was placed, sat the child. He, being curious, got up to see what was doing in the vessel. But the form was not standing straight, and as he stood up it tipped in the air and the child fell into the pan of boiling water. He cried out loud. Startled, everyone rushed to the pan. The father tried to snatch his son from the water, but only a finger of the child’s hand re-mained in his, for he was already seethed in the boiling water. He, the father, banged his head against the wall, then rushed out to the Bet Hamidrashl crying to his pupils, ‘Mourn my vanished star! This bone is all that is left of my tenth child whom I brought up, a sacrifice to God.’ And from that time he carried, hanging from his neck, the child’s bone as a remembrance. Whenever a stranger, a scholar, came to visit him, he would show him in all humility this bone—just as though he was showing his son. Well, my dear children, if this could come to pass to Rabbi Jochanan, peace unto him, what may not happen to anyone else? Rabbi Jochanan was learned in the Talmud, in the Bible, Mishna, Gemara and the commentaries. He could conjure up angels and demons, and was a great Kabalist and knew what the stars foretell. He understood the swaying of the trees, and their boughs-yet despite all this such misfortune befell him! He took it all for good and was devout and god-fearing all his days. lOne of the great sages in the Talmud. II Literally house of instruction, where after cheder Jewish youths received instruction in Talmud and kindred subjects. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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16. Jewish Wedding Celebrations. Engraving. Niirnberg, 1734 17. Simchat-Thora (The Rejoicing of the Law). Engraving. Niirnberg. 1734 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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18. Jewish Divorce. Engraving. Niirnberg, 1734 [g. Circumcision in a Dutch-Jewish Home. Painting by R. de Hooghe, 1665 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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THE EXAMPLE OF lUNG DAVID 73 Therefore, my heart’s children, though I know well that some are pressed by the loss of money and even the loss of children, what does sorrow and lamenting help? We ruin our health, shortening our life, and cannot serve the Almighty with a heavy heart, for the Shechi-nah cannot dwell in a sad body. When the Prophets wished the Shechinah to inspire them, they had all kinds of musical instruments played to them so that the body should be glad-as may be read in our books. When your father lived, I, your mother, lost a child of three to whom none could be compared, as I have already written. I was not so understanding as King David. When his first child by Bathsheba was ill, he recited many prayers-and gave away much in charity-and did all he could for it. When the child died, the servants were fearful of breaJclng the news to him because of his great grief over the child’s illness. The king understood from their silence that the child had died, and asked them. As no one answered him he knew for certain that his child was dead. He rose from his ashes and asked for water and ordered food and drink. The servants wondered at this and said, ‘While the child lived you did not rest bv day or night, but sat on ashes; but now that the child is dead. you have accepted the decree and said, “Blessed be the true judge. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away-blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.” And now you order food and drink!’ . And the king answered his servants, ‘While the soul was still in the child’s body, I did all I could for his recovery-called aloud, wept, did penance, prayed, gave charity, and thought that perhaps God would show mercy. But nothing helped, and the Holy One, blessed be He, took away His pledge. Of what use is weeping now? My son cannot return to us; but we shall go to him. , See, therefore, how the saintly David acted. From this we may learn and take as an example. We were sinful in sorrowing so much. Mer this, as long as my husband and I suffered any loss or misfortune, trembling and fearing that we had lost everything, God always assisted us most graciously. God, the great and living, will yet again have mercy on us and redeem us from exile so that we may serve as befits Him-and that all nations may acknowledge and know that we are His beloved people. And, Almighty God, you are our Father: have mercy on us as a father on his children. You are our master and we are your menservants and maidservants. We will not refrain from praying G 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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74 ‘I, YOUR MAID-SERVANT, SUPPLICATE’ that the gracious Lord show mercy to His servants; I, your maid-servant, supplicate as a maid to her mistress. Our eyes and heart are set on you. Here I end my third book and with heaven’s help begin my fourth book. 4)2>E#)IAE#)IA<1DIHI>D#159LI:2#013=IIE1#H1L<)C11J#=IIE>#H1L<)JLI.2#01>IG)D=H52)D=L1DIH/?I>62- 

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