Comprising Talmudic Treatises, Hebrew Melodies, and the Kabbalah Unveiled. Edited and with a Special Introduction by Epiphanius Wilson, A.M.
from generation to generation. Abarbanel and Maimonides disagree as to the names of these Receivers. While the Temple still stood as a centre of unity to the nation, it was considered unlawful to reduce these traditions to writing. But when the Temple was burned, and the Jews were dispersed among other peoples, it was considered politic to form them into a written code, which should serve as a bond of union, and keep alive the spirit of patriotism. The Jewish leaders saw the effect of Constitutions and Pandects in consolidating nations--the advantage of written laws over arbitrary decisions. Numberless precedents of case law, answering to our common law, were already recorded: and the teachings of the Hebrew jurisconsults, or "Responsa prudentium" which were held to be binding on the people, had been preserved from former ages.
All these traditions Rabbi Judah the Holy undertook to reduce into one digest. And this laborious work he completed about A.D. 190, or more than a century after the de