Amazingly, Jews have flourished for nearly
two thousand years in many different lands without having a
central authoritative institution of halakha. In spite of differences of custom
and emphasis which have arisen among different groups of
Jews, the essential unity of halakha was preserved. To this
day, every Jew who adheres to halakha shares in a truly
remarkable historic, religious, sociological, spiritual and national
Some individuals have called for
the establishment of a new Sanhedrin in our times. They
would like a revival of a central halakhic authority for the
Jewish people. The Sanhedrin would not only provide unity
in halakha, but would re-institute the original methodology
of the oral law--interpreting the Torah itself, applying the
law to life with the freedom to overrule precedents and previous
One of those calling for a Sanhedrin was the Sephardic
Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi BenzionUziel (1880-1953). In a
speech delivered on 12 Kislev 5697, he called for an authoritative
rabbinic body along the lines of the Great Court of
Jerusalem. He viewed this effort as a continuation of the
work of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zaccai, who had been instrumental
in establishing a quasi-Sanhedrin in Yavneh following the
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
Rabbi Uziel believed it was the responsibility of the
rabbinate to work to achieve this goal. Rabbis are delegated
the responsibility of establishing mishpat, justice. This refers
not only to cases between contending individuals, but also to
public issues, questions of taxation and communal needs. By
working for a Sanhedrin, the rabbis will be working for a
unifying force in Jewish life. Rabbi Uziel argued that one who
simply knew how to rule on what is permitted and what is
forbidden ,or on who is guilty and who is innocent is not in the category of being a posek, a decisor
of halakha. This person is known as a talmid or talmid hakham,
a student or a wise student. To be a posek, however,
involves having the power of the Great Court. Only the Sanhedrin
can serve as a real posek. "The responsibility of the
Sanhedrin was to clarify and distinguish between true interpretations
(which are true to the spirit of the Torah) and
casuistic interpretations (which are erroneous). "
Rabbi Uziel writes that the posek draws conclusions
from the Torah and the words of the prophets, as well as from
the traditional oral law. "The posek in Israel is not bound by
precedents of the posek who precedes him. If he was,
this would lead to great damage, in that an accidental error
would be fixed as a permanent halakha even though it was
erroneous in its foundation. In order to avoid this harmful
eventuality, the authority of the Great Court was restricted
only to the time in which it sits on the chair of judgment. But
the decisions of the Great Court are not established as law and
do not obligate the judges who will come after them to judge
and to teach like them. "
Rabbi Uziel was deeply impressed by the work of Moses
Maimonides and believed that he deserved the title posek.
Maimonides worked to make the laws of the Torah known to
the general public. In his comprehensive code of Jewish law,
Maimonides recorded the halakha anonymously, to signify
that it represents a consensus, not just the opinion of individuals.
He not only gathered his material from all rabbinic
literature, but he also derived benefit from the teachings of
non-Jewish thinkers. "In this matter, by the way, Maimonides
has informed us that in halakhic decisions one must
comprehend all things on the basis of their content and truth,
and not on the authority of their authors alone. Maimonides
taught a great principle: Accept the truth from those who
have stated it. "
In order to restore a central authority for halakha, Rabbi
Uziel urged: "Let us arise and establish the Great Court in
Jerusalem not in order to judge cases of fines, or capital
cases and not in order to permit the firstborn because of its
blemish. Rather, let us do so in order to solve the questions of
life which confront us each day in our settlements and in our
world, and in order to create a beginning for our destined
redemption: 'And I will return your judges as in the beginning
and your advisers as formerly; for out of Zion will the
Torah proceed and the word of God ·from Jerusalem.' ''
Until a Great Court is re-established in Jerusalem, the
halakha is taught by leading rabbinical sages who draw on
the vast rabbinic literature which has developed over the past
several thousand years. There are variations of opinion on
details of halakha; different sages rule differently: yet, the
halakhic process continues to provide the framework for
religious Jewish life. In order for a sage to be recognized as
authoritative, he must not only have great erudition; he must
not only be personally observant of halakha; he must also be
fully faithful to the idea that halakha is the expression of the
will of God to the Jewish people. Halakha, therefore, must
be taken seriously on its own terms.
A Sephardic Approach To Halakhah
Without a Great Court in Jerusalem, it was only natural
that different approaches to halakha developed among various
Jewish communities during the past nearly two thousand
years. Customs and practices varied from place to place and
from time to time. Attitudes towards halakhic study also
differed. Certainly, the basic assumptions of the divinity of
the Torah and the authority of halakha were accepted: but
differences in style definitely did exist among religious Jewish
communities throughout the ages.
Two major streams of Jewish tradition are the Ashkenazic
and the Sepahardic. Ashkenazim (Ashkenaz means Germany
in Hebrew) primarily lived in Europe. In the Middle
Ages they were concentrated in France, Germany and Italy;
gradually, the centers of Ashkenazic Jewry shifted to Poland,
Russia and Eastern Europe in general. The common feature of
these communities is that they existed in Christian countries.
They were included within the orbit of Western civilization.
The Westernization of these communities was intensified
during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when
European Jews were gaining rights of citizenship in the countries
in which they lived. The doors of Western civilization
opened to them as never before. Jews studied in European
universities; and they advanced in professional, cultural and political
life. Their struggles for civil rights were painful and not fully
successful. Anti-Jewish attitudes and actual violence against
Jews ultimately led many Ashkenazim to migrate to Israel,
the United States and other safe havens. The Nazi holocaust
during World War II decimated European Jewry, most of
which was of Ashkenazic background. Yet, Ashkenazic
Jewry today represents a large majority of world Jewry.
Ashkenazic numerical dominance has been matched by
its cultural hegemony as well. Certainly, for the past three
centuries and more, Ashkenazic rabbis have dominated halakha;
Ashkenazic thinkers have dominated Jewish philosophy;
Ashkenazic writers and artists have dominated Jewish
The Sephardic Jews (Sepharad refers to Spain in Hebrew)
enjoyed their period of dominance during the centuries
prior to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. The contributions
of Sephardim to all areas of Jewish scholarship and
thought as well as to science, medicine, and mathematics
were impressive, unequalled in the Jewish world. Even during
the century following the expulsion, Sephardic Jewry
maintained a dynamic spiritual and cultural life which influenced
The considerable majority of Sephardim who left the
Iberian Peninsula settled in Muslim countries. Although Sephardim
also went to Italy, Holland. France and other Western
European locations, the much greater number flourished
in non-Western environments. The Ottoman Empire provided
haven for Sephardic refugees. Sephardic communities
developed throughout Turkey, the Balkan countries, the
Middle East and North Africa. Their experience was different
in many ways from that of the Ashkenazim of Europe. Indeed,
the two groups of Jews--those of Christian Europe and those
of the Muslim domains--lived in relative isolation from one another.
Although it is difficult to generalize about differences in
the realm of halakha, it may be argued that there were
different trends of halakhic thinking among the two groups,
just as there were differences in world views in general. It is
of interest to explore the Sephardic approach to halakha
since it may serve as an anodyne to the prevailing Ashkenazic
approach. Since Sephardim lived among non-Western
people, their perceptions and attitudes about Judaism may
serve as a counter-balance to the preponderant Westernization
A people's attitudes are often conveyed through their
words and actions when they are not self-conscious about
being observed. They are implied in proverbs and songs, in
the way people dress, in their gestures, in the way they
express themselves. In order to comprehend a Sephardic
approach to halakha, one must attempt to grasp the undocumented,
non-explicit elements of Sephardic culture--elements
which are known from sharing a people's mentality.
One element which needs to be considered is joie de
vivre. While Sephardim living in Muslim lands over the past
centuries were generally quite observant of halakha,
their observance did not lead them to become somber or
overly serious. Pious Sephardim sang Judeo-Spanish love
ballads and drinking songs at family celebrations in a natural
way, without self-consciousness. Singing in a lighthearted
spirit, even at public gatherings, did not strike them as being
irreverent. Rather, the pleasures and aesthetics of this world
were viewed in a positive light.
Sephardic holiday celebrations and life cycle observances,
for example, were characterized by the preparation of
elaborate delicacies to eat, the singing of songs, and a general
spirit of gaiety and hospitality. Sephardim appreciated colorful
fabrics, fine embroidery, excellent craftsmanship in metals.
On every happy occasion there was bound to be the
fragrance of rose water, herbs, fresh fruits. All of these accoutrements--
song, food, fragrances, decorative materials--gave
the specific religious observance its distinctive quality.
These things were not peripheral to halakha, but gave
halakha its proper context: a context of love, happiness.
This spirit carried itself even to the serious season of the
High Holy Days, when self-scrutiny and repentance were
expected. The travel account of Rabbi Simhah ben Joshua of
Zalozhtsy (1711-1768) sheds interesting light on this fact.
He travelled to the Holy Land with a group of ascetic Hassidim
in1764, and the majority of his Jewish co-passengers
on the ship were Sephardim. The rabbi noted that "the Sephardim
awoke before daybreak to say penitential prayers in
a congregation as is their custom in the month of Elul." He
then added: "During the day they eat and rejoice and are
happy at heart." For Rabbi Simhah, this behavior may have seemed
paradoxical: but the Sephardim themselves did not even
realize that their behavior was in any way noteworthy. Their
unstated assumption was that eating, rejoicing and being
happy of heart were not in conflict with piety, even in the
serious season of penitential prayers.
Alan Watts has pointed out that in Western thought the
individual is "split." He is both himself and an observer of
himself. Western culture teaches us to analyze ourselves, to
see ourselves as though we are somehow outside of ourselves.
We are both subjects and objects. Carried to an extreme,
this way of viewing ourselves can be confusing and guilt inducing. It is as though we live our lives while seeing ourselves in a mirror. We are apt to become overly self-conscious, self-critical, and self-centered. Eastern culture, on the other hand, tends to be more holistic, less self-analytic.
People are taught to live naturally and easily, without objectifying
themselves overly much.
Watts has written: "The most spiritual people are the
most human. They are natural and easy in manner: they give
themselves no airs; they interest themselves in ordinary
every day matters and are not forever talking and thinking
about religion. For them there is no difference between spirituality
and usual life , and to their awakened insight the lives
of the most humdrum and earth-bound people are as much in
harmony with the infinite as their own."
The Sephardim tended to have the Eastern, rather than
the Western, attitude on life. The halakha was observed
naturally and easily, as a vital part of life. Andre Chouraqui,
in his study of North African Jewry, has noted that the Jews of
the Maghreb were quite observant of halakha, yet "the
Judaism of the most conservative of the Maghreb's Jews was
marked by a flexibility, a hospitality, a tolerance . .. " The
Jews of North Africa had a "touching generosity of spirit and
a profound respect for meditation." These comments are
equally applicable to Sephardim throughout the Mediterranean
These qualities were placed into halakhic terms by Rabbi
Hayyim Yosef David Azulai ( 1724-1806), one of the leading
Rabbinic figures of his time. He wrote that in matters of
halakha, Sephardic sages clung to the quality of hesed,
kindness, and tended to be lenient. Ashkenazim manifested
the quality of gevurah, heroism, and therefore tended to be
strict. Rabbi Azulai's statement--regardless of its objective truth--is
a profound indication of his own self-image. He and nu-
merous other Sephardic rabbis saw themselves as agents of
hesed. This self-image could not but influence the manner in
which they dealt with questions of halakha. Hesed was not
merely a pleasant idea but a working principle.
H. J. Zimmels, in his book Ashkenazim and Sephardim,
indicates that as a general rule Sephardim were more
lenient than Ashkenazim in their halakhic rulings. He
suggests that the Ashkenazic inclination to stringency was
largely the result of centuries of persecution suffered by
German Jewry. It also stemmed from the doctrines of the
German Hassidim of the 12th and 13th centuries, who emphasized
strictness in religious observance. Groups of Ashkenazic
Jews imposed upon themselves greater stringencies
than the law demanded and, in time, many of these observances
Rabbi Benzion Uziel offered an insight into the differences
between Sephardic and Ashkenazic sages. Sephardic
rabbis felt powerful enough in their opinion and authority to
annul customs which were not based on halakhic foundations.
In contrast, Ashkenazic rabbis tended to strengthen
customs and sought support for them even if they seemed
strange or without halakhic basis. The rabbis of France and
Germany had a negative opinion of the rabbis of Spain, feeling
that the Sephardic sages were too independent and irreverent
to tradition. On the other hand, the Sephardim felt
that their method was correct and were quite proud of promoting
Sephardic tradition stressed the idea that the halakha is
a practical guide to behavior. It is not a metaphysical system
set aside for an intellectual elite. On the contrary, each person
was entitled and obligated to understand what the halakha
requires. It is not surprising, therefore, that the classic codes
of Jewish law were produced in Sephardic communities.
Sephardic scholars studied texts with the goal of applying
them directly to actual situations: therefore, they had to
remain sensitive to the needs of people. This very sensitivity
helped maintain the quality of hesed in halakha.
When halakha is studied as an intellectual system divorced
from actual life situations, it may follow the dictates
of logic and intricate reasoning rather than the dictates of
human kindness. A legal conclusion might be reached in the
abstract and then be applied to human conditions as a derrick
operation from above. This approach is contrary to the overall
spirit of Sephardic halakhic thought.
Although it is incumbent upon each Jew to study Torah
and halakha, difficult questions and disputes cannot always
be solved by the individuals involved. Thus, over the past
centuries, Sephardic communities normally appointed a
chief rabbi, often referred to as haham, sage. He had the
final word in matters of halakha for his community. The
institution of haham provided the Jews with a recognized
authority who could resolve their questions. When the Sephardim
of the Island of Rhodes wanted to appoint a chief
rabbi in the early 17th century, for example, they agreed that no one had
the right to contest the haham's rulings. "All which he will
decide will be correct and acceptable as the law which was
determined by the Court of Rabban Gamliel. . .. All which he
will decide ... will be correct and acceptable as a law of
God's Torah as it was given at Sinai."
The Jews of Rhodes linked their haham's authority to
that of the powerful court of Rabban Gamliel and to the Torah
itself. Other Sephardic communities did likewise. This was a
way of restoring, at least on a communal level, the original
function of the Great Court in Jerusalem which, according to
Maimonides, was the essential institution of the halakha.
Rabbi Joseph Taitasak (16th century, Salonika) expressed
this idea clearly: "Know that each and every community has
authority over its members, for every community may legislate
in its city just as the Great Court could legislate for all
Law and Life
Since halakha is an all-encompassing guide to life
that describes what God wants us to do, it is essential that
we understand its role in our lives. Observing the mitzvoth is a
Jew's way of connecting with the eternal reality of
God. To treat halakha as a mechanical system of laws is to
miss its meaning and significance. Halakha provides the
framework for spiritual awareness, religious insight, and
At the root of halakha is the awareness that God is
overwhelmingly great and that human beings are overwhelmingly
limited. Humility is the hallmark of the truly
religious person. One must be receptive to the spirit of God
which flows through the halakha and to the religious experience
that it generates.
A true sage must be humble; arrogance is a sign of not
understanding the real lesson of halakha. Solomon Schechter.
in his beautiful essay about the mystics of Safed of the
16th century, quotes Shlomel of Moravia who described the
scholars, saints and men of good deeds of Safed, indicating
that many of them were worthy of receiving the Divine Spirit.
"None among them is ashamed to go to the well and draw
water and carry home the pitcher on his shoulders, or go to
the market to buy bread, oil and vegetables. All the work in
the house is done by themselves.” These sages followed the
model of Talmudic rabbis who also did not find it beneath
their dignity to work at menial tasks. Egotism and a sense of
inflated self-importance are contrary to the spirit of Jewish
It is interesting to note how this ideal has been somewhat
diminished among Western Jews. Isidore Epstein, in his
study of the responsa of Rabbi Simon Duran, displays a
Western bias when he writes that "the multifarious functions
of the rabbis [of North Africa] also testify to the low standards
of Jewish culture of North African Jewry. In adverting to
Jewish past and present day history, we cannot fail to notice
that wherever there is a strong, virile and advanced Jewish
life, there is the tendency to keep the rabbinical office distinct
from other callings: and the combination of rabbinical
charges with other functions is a sign of decadence and of
lack of appreciation of learning as such. North Africa in our
period exhibited that characteristic system of cultural decline.
There the rabbi was not ‘rabbi’ in the understood
sense of the word, but combined with that office the functions
of school teacher, slaughterer, and reader to the consequent
lowering in his prestige and rabbinical authoritv."
Epstein's assumption that it is a sign of decadence when
rabbis assume responsibilities other than purely academic is
quite absurd. The contrary seems much truer. The Talmudic
sages assumed other responsibilities as did the outstanding
sages of the Sephardic world: and they did not feel demeaned
thereby. It is precisely when rabbis relegate to themselves
purely academic functions and when they consider it undignified
to meet other communal needs that egotism and
pettiness arise. It is actually to the credit of North African
Jewry and many other Sephardic communities as well, that
rabbis often served in practical capacities, participating more
fully in the life of their communities. This was not at all a
shame for them or a reflection of cultural decadence for the
Humility is a virtue which halakha fosters for sages and
laymen alike. Rabbi David Ibn Zimra (16th century) offered
an explanation of a rabbinic dictum that one is not supposed
to argue with the greatest of the judges who has made a ruling
on a legal question. Yet, what if that judge is wrong? Shouldn't the
lesser judges have the right and responsibility to dissent?
Rabbi David Ibn Zimra explains that the dictum was not
intended as a warning for the lesser judges but rather for the
greatest judge. The judge occupying the highest position
should not give his decision first because others will be afraid
to argue with him. His decision will intimidate the others.
Therefore, true justice demands that the greater judges withhold
their opinions until the lesser ones have had their say. In
this way, all opinions can be evaluated fairly and without intimidation
In a similar spirit, Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai
comments on a passage in the Ethics of the Fathers which
teaches that each person should prepare himself to study Torah
since it does not come to him as an inheritance. Rabbi Azulai
notes that each sage received his specific portion from Sinai
and therefore even a great sage needs to learn from others. No
scholar is self-sufficient, no sage inherits all wisdom. It is
necessary for everyone to be humble, to be open to the opinions
of others, to try to learn from everyone.
Many wonderful and horrible things have been done in
the name of religion. George Bernard Shaw once wrote: "Beware
of a man whose God is in Heaven.'' It is difficult, perhaps
impossible, to have reasonable communication with
someone who feels that he knows Truth, that only he and
those who share his beliefs are absolutely right.
There have been great prophets, mystics and pietists
who have lived their lives in relationship with God. There
have also been inquisitors, murderers and arrogant criminals
who have thought that they acted according to the will of
God. If religion attracts the most sensitive and thoughtful
people, it also draws those who wish to seem important and
holy in the eyes of others, who use the cloak of religion to
hide their own egocentric purposes.
Since the Jewish religious tradition is deeply tied to
halakha, it is not surprising that there have been people who
have found their self-importance in legalism. There is a fine
line between pious devotion and misguided asceticism.
Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai has taught that one should
not follow unnecessary stringencies in law. Even in private,
one should not be overly stringent, unless he is motivated by
pure and humble piety. Those who do accept additional
obligations upon themselves should not consider themselves
superior to others who do not accept such stringencies. A
truly pious person feels no need to compare his piety to that
of others; his life is lived in relationship to God; he lives with
humility and equanimity.
Jewish history has witnessed the honest spirituality of
innumerable pious men and women who have sincerely
served God through their observance of halakha. It has also
witnessed pietistic movements, where groups of people observed
Jewish law with intensity and introduced pious customs
into Jewish religious life. Such movements include the
German Hassidim of the 13th century; the Sephardic mystical
schools of the 16th century; the Hassidic movement of
the 18th century; the Musar movement of the 19th century.
These and other religious movements called on Jews to deepen
their religious experience by intensifying their observance
of halakha and by adopting additional pious practices.
Rabbi Moshe Cordovero of 16th century Safed, for example,
composed a list of rules for Jews to observe. The
following are some of his recommendations.
One should not turn his heart from meditating on Torah
and holiness, so that his heart will constantly be a sanctuary
for the Divine Presence. He should never allow himself to
become angry. One should always be concerned about the
needs of his fellow beings and should behave kindly to them.
One should behave nicely, even with those who transgress
the laws of the Torah. One should not drink wine except on Shabbat and holy
days. One should pray with concentration. One should not
speak badly about any person or any other living creation of
God. One should never speak falsehood or even imply falsehood.
One should meet with a friend each Friday evening to
review what has occurred during the course of the past week.
One should recite the afternoon prayer with a prayer
shawl and tefillin. One should chant the Grace after Meals
aloud. Each night, one should sit on the ground and lament the
destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and should also cry
over his own sins which lengthen the time before our ultimate
A person should avoid being part of four groups which
do not receive the Divine Presence: hypocrites, liars, idlers
and those who speak evil about others. One should give
charity each day in order to atone for his sins. One should pay
his pledges immediately and not postpone them. One should
confess his sins prior to eating and prior to going to sleep. A
person should fast as often as his health allows.
These rules, and other similar ones, stem from the overwhelming
desire of religiously sensitive people to serve God
in fullness. The more they can do, the closer they feel to the
Almighty. When their deeds are performed in the spirit of love
and selflessness, they are spiritually meaningful. The problem,
of course, is that these rules of piety may themselves
become merely mechanical observances.
The genius of halakha is that it provides Jews with a
medium for approaching God on a constant basis. Each law,
each observance is a link between the human and the Divine.
But the power of halakha cannot be appreciated without
spiritual sensitivity, openness and--above all--humility.
It is a rare experience to be in the presence of a truly saintly person who lives in a deep relationship
with God. We might describe such a person as having
wisdom, humility, inner peace, tranquility. The saintly person
lives life on a different plane from most other people.
One cannot attain saintliness as the result of following
any specific prescriptions. There are no schools to educate
and graduate saints. There are no rituals or techniques which,
if followed, will result automatically in the creation of a
genuinely pious person.
In describing the actions and observances of deeply pious
people, we only describe the evident and superficial
aspect of their lives. Their inner lives remain a secret to us.
We are intrigued with such people because we do not understand
their inner beings.
Following the external dictates of halakha does not
guarantee the quality of saintliness. Without mystical insight,
without an all-encompassing love, the practitioner of
halakha mimics saintliness. Halakha must be experienced
as a fulfillment of the will of God if it is to generate spirituality.
Modern Western society does not place a particularly
high premium on saintliness. Our society is achievement oriented,
pragmatic, material-centered. Even religion is profoundly
influenced by these values. Religious institutions
are concerned with perpetuating themselves-- raising money,
obtaining members, providing services. Prayer services
might pass for good (or not so good) theater. They may
provide parodies of prayer where people appear to be praying
while having no sense of the presence of God. It is difficult
to preach about God and mystical saintliness except to
The ideal of halakha is to create righteous, pious
people. Even those who may never attain this spiritual level
still need to know what the goal is.
In describing the religious life of North African Jewry,
Andre Chouraqui has noted that the Jews of the Maghreb
valued saintliness as the ultimate quality. They expected
that their rabbis be well-versed in Torah and rabbinic literature:
but more than this, they expected them to be able to pray
with sincerity and real devotion. By being in the presence of
saintly teachers, the average people could be raised in their
own spiritual life.
In summation, halakha is the ever-present link between
God and the Jewish people. Through observance of halakha
in the spirit of humility, the Jew has the opportunity to .live
life on a deep spiritual level.
 Mikhmanei Uziel, Tel Aviv, 1939, p. 358.
 Ibid., p. 371.
 Ibid., p. 376.
 Ibid., p. 382.
 Ibid., p. 391.
 This material is drawn from my article, “A Sephardic Approach to Halakha,” Midstream, August/September 1975, pp. 66-69.
 The travel account is found in J. D. Eisenstein, Ozar HaMasaot, Tel Aviv, 1969. See page 241.
 Alan Watts, The Supreme Identity, New York, 1972, p. 128.
 Andre Chouraqui, Between East and West, Philadelphia, 1968, p. 61.
 London, 1969, pp. 128f.
 Mikhmanei Uziel, p. 407.
 The text of this contract is found in Yehoshua Benveniste, Sha’ar Yehoshua, Husiatyn, 1904, no. 2.
 Tam ben Yahya, Tumat Yesharim, Venice, 1622, no. 213, p.112b.
 Solomon Schechter, Studies in Judaism (second series), Philadelphia, 1908, p. 208.
 Isidore Epstein, The Responsa of Rabbi Simon Duran as a Source of History of the Jews of North Africa, New York, 1968, pp. 58-59.
 David Ibn Zimra, Responsa, New York, 5727, vol. 1, no. 308.
 See his commentary on Pirkei Avot, p. 103b.
 Ibid., p. 97b.
 Appendix A to Schechter’s article, p. 292.
 Chouraqui, p. 63. See also p. 71f, on the veneration of tombs.