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The Baal Shem in London

Rev. Dr. H. Adler

<plain_text><page sequence="1">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. By the Rev, Dr. H. ADLER, Chief Rabbi. (Read before the Sonettj on November 29, 1903?) You have heard of the process of white-washing in so far as it applies to historic criticism. It is a process which has been adopted by several eminent writers in the interests of truth. The great his? torian, Professor Mommsen, whose recent demise is deplored by the whole world of letters, has essayed to prove that the views commonly entertained about the Roman emperors is not correct, and that Tiberius was by no means a tyrant of so dark a hue as he is ordi? narily depicted. Froude endeavours, and not without some measure of success, to clear Henry VIII. of the many imputations cast upon him. Marat, the unlovely, has recently been described as the People's Friend. And, indeed, gradually personages who were regarded aforetime as ogres are being transmuted into heroes or saints, so that the present period of historic writing may be described as the age of white-wash. I fear that I shall have to enter upon an opposite course, and cast something of a shadow upon a character that has hitherto loomed before the mind of Anglo-Jewry encircled with a halo of sanctity. But be assured that my colours will not be too dark. I shall speak of the Baal Shem as he was, "Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice." Chayim Samuel Jacob Falk, also called De Falk, Doctor Falk, or Dr. Falckon, the subject of my paper, was a very enigmatic per? sonage, who resided for about forty years in London, and was known 148</page><page sequence="2">DR. FALK. THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON</page><page sequence="3">THE BAAL SIIEM OF LONDON. 149 as the Baal SJiem of London.1 The halo of reverence which had for over a century irradiated that name has, in a great measure, been dissipated by recent researches, but the veil of mystery with which the personage bearing it has long been shrouded lias, despite much investigation and several curious discoveries, not yet been entirely removed. At the same time it is remarkable how many of the enigmas have been solved by a search of contemporary literature, and how the accounts given in Hebrew sources have been corrobo? rated by stray remarks that have been discovered in non-Jewish writings. Falk's personality is of interest, as he was connected with a move? ment which has left its impression upon Judaism to this day. He also came into contact with several noteworthy contemporaries, and lived on terms of intimacy with influential members of the Jewish community in London. Sources for his biography are very sparse. They are: 1. Notices in various contemporary writings, which will be duly indicated. 2. References in the polemical wTorks of R, Jacob Emden, his mplKnn (Wrestling) and rom rtf (the Trodden Winepress). (The Lemberg edition, 1877, will be quoted.) 3. His Diary, or rather Commonplace Book, which came into the possession of the late Solomon Herscheil, Chief Rabbi, now in the library of the Beth Haraedrash of the United Synagogue. The Diary, first described by Dr. Neubauer in his catalogue of this library (No. 127), contains fifty-nine octavo pages, and is written in Spanish-Rabbinic and German cursive characters. It forms a strange medley of notes of a diary, an account of dreams, charitable gifts, catalogues of books, Bible texts, Cabbalistic names of angels, recipes for making cakes and spiced liqueurs, accounts of monetary transactions, lists of pledges, &amp;c. The place of his birth is not known with absolute certainty. 1 See s.v. Baal Shcm, in the Jewish Encyclopedia, where the term is correctly explained as the designation of certain people who were supposed to work miracles through the name of God, This term, " Master of the Name," which at first was applied only as a special distinction to particular men, who were considered great saints and in whose miraculous powers the people be? lieved, developed later into a professional title. The bearers of it represented a mixture of quack doctor, physician, and Cabbalist.</page><page sequence="4">150 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. The statement copied by Picciotto,1 from Alexander,2 that he came originally from F?rth, is certainly incorrect. For, in his epitaph, he is described as having come from the East, KrUHIDD KHNT And Emden, his contemporary, and apparently well informed touching his antecedents, states that he came from Poland.3 In all probability he was a native of Podhayce, a town in Podolia, whence hailed his friend Moses David. Nothing is known about his father, except that his name was Raphael the Sephardi. It is uncertain why and how he received this appellation. Had he immigrated from Spain or Portugal ? 4 Falk's Sephardic pronunciation of Hebrew may have been due to his parentage. Although the pseudo-Messiah, Sabbattai Zebi, had died in 1676, the evil effects of the agitation he had caused in Jewry remained. It led to the formation of sects, some of which taught doctrines largely blended with Cabbalistic mysteries, and not entirely free from ideas at variance with the pure monotheism taught by Judaism. One of these sects was founded by Judah Chasid (the pious),5 who held that the advent of the Messiah could be hastened by a life of austere asceticism and self - mortification. He and his followers migrated from Poland to Jerusalem in 1700, by way of F?rth, the Tyrol, and Yenice. Did Falk come to F?rth with the intention of imitating Rabbi Judah's example and journeying to the Holy Land? We know that his mother died at F?rth and was buried there. A tombstone was at a later period erected on her grave by his direction.6 It is claimed by that congregation that they assisted him when 1 "Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History," p. 245. 2 " Memoirs of the Life and Commercial Connections of the late Benjamin Goldsmid of Roehampton," London 1808. 8 rom H3, p. 716. 4 In his Commonplace Book he gives his full name as 3p#* b#)?W D^FI n^HltO p^KSn- Did he claim relationship with the Laniados, a Sephardic family settled in Italy and the East ? 5 Not to be confounded, of course, with R. Judah Chasid the Elder, of Ratisbon, who died in 1217. See Gr?tz, Geschichte der Juden, vol. x., note 4, iv., Die Polnischen Sabbatianer Jehuda Chasid und Chajim Malach. 6 The Diary contains Memoranda of the gifts he sent to members of the F?rth community, who had occupied themselves with the funeral.</page><page sequence="5">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 151 he was in great want?a claim corroborated by the fact that, on several occasions, he sent the F?rth community sums of money, and bequeathed them a substantial legacy.1 Was Falk a follower of the Sabbattian craze ? To Professor Schechter belongs the merit of having discovered the connection between Falk and Sabbattianism.2 For he cites some passages, and draws attention to others, in Jacob Emden's writings denouncing Falk as a sectary with the utmost virulence, imprecating him as bV2, " master of a demon," and ??nKSin talDE?, " Samuel the Impostor." 3 These denunciations must, however, be taken cum grano salts. Emden viewed it as his life duty to imitate the example of his father, R. Zebi Ashkenazi, and to stamp out the heresy which had proved itself subversive of Jewish faith and morality. He composed several treatises on the history of the pseudo-Messiah and his alleged adherents and apostles. The principal grounds for his attack on Falk are, that he was a friend of Moses David of Podhayce, and that he had sheltered him when he arrived in London, after having been expelled from various congregations on the Continent.4 But in all probability, Falk befriended his countryman, because, like himself, he was a follower of the Cabbalistic school of R. Judah Chasid. The other ground for Emden's indictment was the TOP (cameo or amulet) on which the name of Samuel and Zebi were joined together.5 But there were other Samuels in Jewry besides Samuel Falk. It must also be urged in Falk's favour that, in his Commonplace Book, which was never meant for the public eye, nothing is to be found in corro boration of Emden's grave imputation. There is no evidence of his having kept any of the feasts sacred in the Sabbattian Calendar. 1 On the occasion of my visit to F?rth I inquired of the Rabbi, Dr. Neub?rger, whether anything was known of Falk there. He informed me that the first mention occurred in the congregational records of 1838, when the bequest was sent from London. It was believed that when he arrived in F?rth he was taken ill, and met with much kindly care. 2 Jewish Chronicle, March 9, 1888. 3 nipSNnn, p. 20ft. 4 mpnxnn, p. 206. 5 HDIY! H?, p. 6. Emden asks, "To whom does he refer by the name ' Yemini' ? Thus did the Eybsch?tzer call himself. By the name Samuel he refers to Samuel the Impostor, the * Baal Shed1 of London."</page><page sequence="6">152 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. One thing, however, is certain, that he claimed to be a Cabbalist, and pretended to the possession of thaumaturgic powers. He lived at the time when Europe was overrun by a multitude of deceivers, some of them self-deceived, who claimed to be able to discover hidden treasure by the help of the divining-rod and talismanic incantations?men of the type of Schr?pf er, the necromancer, and Cagliostro, the " brass faced adventurer," as Carlyle calls him. It was the time when even great scientific geniuses were under the delusion that they could trans? mute silver into gold by the practice of the Black Art, or by White Magic. Some notices of Falk's doings at this time have been pre? served by Archenholz,1 who states that a certain Comte de Ranzow, a Major-General in French service, gives an account in his printed memoirs of so-called Cabbalistic and magical operations, which he had seen performed by this Falk in the territory of Brunswick and on his father's estate, in the presence of many distinguished personages, whom he names in his book, calling upon them to contradict him if he does not speak the truth. Archenholz deems it probable that " the wTonderful and incredible marvels performed by him " wrere due to the fact that he possessed some special knowledge of chemistry. During one of his wanderings the mysterious doctor came to West? phalia, where the authorities, incensed by his pretensions to discover hidden treasures, sentenced him to be burnt alive?the penalty inflicted in those days on a sorcerer.2 Falk escaped this punishment by flight, and came to London. Emden quotes a letter,3 stating that about this time Falk married a woman of dubious character. This statement cannot be implicitly relied upon, as Emden is always ready to believe anything to the discredit of those whom he suspects of holding heretical views. Falk had no children, but mentions in his will a stepson named Gedalyah.4 1 England und Italien, i, p. 249. A translation of this work appeared in 1797 with the title, " A Picture of England." 2 In Emden's ni&amp;Opn rmn, PP- 586, 59?, a similar story is told of a person named Samuel Essingen, who was in Warendorf (a town in Westphalia), and who is also termed a Baal Shem. 3 rom ru, p. iia. 4 Lyson, in his "History of Middlesex" (p. 442), mentions that in the cemetery of the German Jews at Mile End there is a curious epitaph in memory</page><page sequence="7">THE BAAL SHKM OF LONDON. He arrived in London in 1742, and was received with the hospitality which this country uniformly accords to refugees, without overmuch scrutiny as to their antecedents. He seems to have con? tinued here the methods which brought him into collision with the Westphalian authorities, though probably in a more guarded manner. He rapidly gained fame on the score of some exploits that seemed bordering on the supernatural.1 Among the feats told of him are his skill in causing a small taper to burn for many weeks. When he required coals, he had but to utter a Cabbalistic incantation, and the lumps glided obediently into his cellar. Plate, which he had left as a pledge at the pawnbroker's, found its way to his chest in defiance of the laws of nature. When a fire threatened to destroy the Great Synagogue, he is said to have arrested the progress of the flames by writing four Hebrew letters on the pillars of the door. On his first arrival in this country he probably gained his liveli? hood by playing on the credulity of the superstitious. Both con? temporaneous writings and his Commonplace Book contain references to mysterious journeyings to and from Epping Forest, accounts of meetings that were held, a tent he there erected, and of chests of gold that were there buried. Did he keep there his crucibles and alembics for calcining, subliming, and dissolving? Probably he had some knowledge of a process akin to electro-plating, and knew how to coat the base with the more precious metals?an emblem of his own composite character. The Baal Shem succeeded in winning the confidence of his acquaintances by investing himself with the glamour of saintliness. In a letter preserved by Emden,2 written by Susman Shesnowzi, a friend of Falk's, he describes him as a kind of super-man. " His chamber is lighted by silver candlesticks on the walls, with a central eight-branched lamp made of pure silver of beaten work. And albeit it contained oil to burn a day and night, it remained enkindled for of the wife of Dr, De Falk, and it is in the Hebrew character, but the words are so composed that it has puzzled the most learned Rabbis. I have not succeeded in the identification of the tombstone. 1 See Alexander's "Memoirs," pp. 47-50. Hyam Isaacs'"Jewish Cere? monies," p. 335. 2 ram m, pp. 696-709.</page><page sequence="8">154 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. three weeks. On one occasion he abode in seclusion in his house for six weeks without meat or drink. When, at the conclusion of this period, ten persons were summoned to enter, they found him seated on a throne, his head diademed with a golden turban, a golden chain round his neck with a pendent silver star, on which sacred names were inscribed. Verily this man stands alone in his generation, by reason of his knowledge of holy mysteries. I cannot recount to you all the wonders he accomplishes. I am grateful that I have been found worthy to be received among those that dwell within the shadow of his wisdom," &amp;c. I believe that we are not justified in accepting this eulogium. Reference to his Commonplace Book indicates that Falk, though not destitute of some knowledge of the Bible and Cabbalah, was but a poor Hebrew scholar, weak in grammar and even in orthography. On the other hand, Emden is probably too severe wdien he stigmatises him as an Am-haaretz (ignoramus), and when he says, on the authority of his correspondent, that when called to the Law in his oratory on a Sabbath morning he could hardly pronounce the blessings, that it was like the twittering of a sparrow, and that no voice could be heard. Tidings of Falk's fantastic proceedings soon reached the outer world. We now find him coming in contact with personages of dis? tinction. Archenholz (I.e.) mentions a royal prince, who in his eager quest of the philosopher's stone, applied to Dr. Falk. To his great chagrin he was not admitted. R. David Azulai, in his small book of travels, 21D (p. 13), mentions that, when in Paris in 1778, he met the Marquis de Torna and the Marchesa de Croua, who had saved many Jews from falling into the clutches of the Inquisition. This high-born dame intimated to Rabbi Azulai that the Baal Shem of London had taught her practical Cabbalah?a circumstance which greatly roused the ire of the worthy Rabbi. Falk also seems to have been on intimate terms with that strange adventurer, Baron Theodor de INeuhoff, who, having headed a Corsican rising against the Genoese, was crowned king of the island, and on being subsequently banished, settled in London in 1749. The erstwhile king buoyed himself with the hope of restoring his fallen fortunes by the recovery of treasures hidden in the depth of the</page><page sequence="9">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 155 ocean. In this attempt he enlisted the aid of an aged Jewish Rabbi, who visited him while in prison.1 Falk records a mysterious meeting with Prince Czartoryski, probably Adam Czartoryski, "one of the most eminent princes of Poland, connected with royalty." He was probably leader of the reforming or Czartoryski party, opposed to the king, Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski.2 Falk was also acquainted with a personage Emanuel, whom he describes as a " servant of a king of France " (Louis XVI.). The Baal Shem is also believed to have given the Duke of Orleans a ring as a talisman to insure his ascending the throne. This ring Philippe Egalite is said to have sent to a Jewess, Juliet Goud chaux, who passed it on to his son, the Due de Chartres, subsequently King Louis Philippe. The king at his death bequeathed it to the Comte de Paris, and it is believed to be at present in Stow House, Twickenham.3 This ring is also mentioned in a brochure by Hermann von Seharff-Scharfenstein, entitled Das geheime Treiben, der Einfluss und, die Macht des Judenthums in Frankreich seit hundert Jahren (1771 1871), 2 Auflage, Stuttgart 1872, bei Heinrich Killinger. The writer desires to prove that the Jews were the authors of all the misdeeds recorded in history. He asks (p. 2): " Why did the infamous Duke of Orleans, Philippe Egalite, abandon Louis XYI ?" Answer : " The Jews instigated him to high treason and to all kinds of abominable actions. The notorious Falk-Scheck, Chief Rabbi of England (sic!), gave Philippe Egalite a ring with a talisman of lapis lazuli. The ring with the 1 Identified with our Baal Shem by a series of arguments contained in an article?in^DI &gt;3? TQ^ nnhnS : by K. David Kahana, in Ha Shiloach, vol. v. p. 54, who has made a special study of the Sabbattian move? ment. See also Varnhagen von Ense's Biographische Denkm?ler, 1 Band 2 Auflage, Berlin, and Fitzgerald's " King Theodore of Corsica." 2 In a letter sent to me by the late Professor David Kaufmann (dated February 2, 1897) he writes: ''Best?tigt sich meine Vermuthung dass der Londoner bv2 der ?V b)}2 Emden's und ein Sabbattianer war 1 Czartoryski war ja selber ein halber Sch?ps ? " Unfortunately the brilliant scholar was taken from us before he could answer my inquiry as to the reasons which led him to regard the prince as an adherent of this craze. 3 Drumont, La France Juive, pp. 275, 276, quoting from Von Gleichen's Denkw?rdigkeiten.</page><page sequence="10">156 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONBOX. talisman was presented to the Duke under the pretence that it possessed the magic virtue to seat him on the throne of France. Such a ring as the Rabbi Falk-Sheck gave Orleans is termed by the Jews Kamaoth. And it was one of their stratagems to give such rings to high personages, whom they thought useful for their purposes, in order to stimulate them by these fictitious talismans to energetic measures in the interests of Israel." It is not the first time in Anglo-Jewry that we hear of such magic rings. Professor Berliner has drawn my attention to a Biblical manuscript in the Harleian Collection of the British Museum (Cod. 12, No. 24, fol. 314-317), where mention is made of an English Jew who possessed a demon enclosed in a ring. Dr. Falk's principal friends were the eminent bankers, Mr. Aaron Goldsmid and his son George, to whom frequent reference is made in his diary, and who wyouid seem to have afforded him valuable advice in respect to his legitimate mercantile transactions. During the last twenty years of his life he became a man of means, owing to his being engaged in pawnbroking and in successful speculations and investments in stocks. He resided in a commodious house in Well close Square, where be had built a Synagogue, to which two Readers were attached, and a Tabernacle, which is said to have been built in the public garden of the square, the site now occupied by the day school of St. Paul's Church for seamen. We find him using a coach and four for his journeys, and alternating his Cabbalistic lucubrations with solicitous care for the pleasures of the table. While certainly not a man of much learning, he was fond of books. He gives a list of the works he possessed, which indicates that he was not averse to grammatical, philosophical, and controversial studies. He entertained relations with the Chief Rabbi David Tevle Schiff, fron JD^T HD^t? l"2 ^nytD 1)1 n"lD, author of " Talmudic Miscellanies," edited under the title of nn? \)tth by R. Gabriel Adler. Falk calls the Rabbi runorn ]Tb\b P"p Urhnpl lf,,2X, thus showing that even then the Rabbi of the Great Synagogue was regarded as the Chief Rabbi of the Jews of the United Kingdom. He was also on friendly terms with the newly appointed Rabbi of the New Synagogue, Moses Myers. In proof of the influential position he had attained, it may be mentioned that Simeon Geldern</page><page sequence="11">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 157 had entered his name among the persons he intended visiting in London.1 Although there is some obscurity as to the method by which Falk acquired his fortune, there is none as to the manner in which he dispensed it. He was of a highly benevolent disposition. We meet in his diary with many memoranda of various charitable gifts. In his will, dated April 14, 1782, and preserved in the archives of the United Synagogue, he appointed Mr. Aaron Goldsmid, his son George Goldsmid, and his son-in-law Lyon de Symons, to be his executors. His principal bequests were a gift of two miniature Scrolls of the Law in silver cases, still enshrined in the Ark of the Great Synagogue, and annual payments of one hundred pounds to the Great Synagogue ; annual payments of ten guineas to the Beth Hamedrash of the Ashkenazim and of the Sephardim, respectively ; of twenty guineas to the F?rth Congregation and to various charities; of ten guineas to the Chief Rabbi or High Priest, as he is called, for the time being, and of various sums amounting in the aggregate to about ??160, the surplus being entrusted to the executors for the benefit of the poor. These annual payments are regularly made by the Overseers of the United Synagogue. But owing to shrinkage of dividends the amounts have been materially reduced. The story of his having left a sealed packet of papers to Aaron Goldsmid, with strict injunctions never to open it under penalty of serious misfortune befalling the family, must be dismissed as apocryphal, for, besides other reasons, there is no mention of such a packet in the will. He died a few days after making his will, on April 17, 1782} and was buried on the morrow in the burial ground at Globe Road, Mile End, his grave being close to that of R. Tevle Schiff. The epitaph on his grave declares, that during the forty years of his residence here he upheld the banner of the Law, and that at his death he devoted his entire property to charitable uses. The annexed protrait is from an original painting in the possession of Mr. W. H. Goldsmid by Copley, and is fully worthy of the artist.2 The likeness bears out the description of the Baal 1 Kaufmannes Aus Heinrich Heine's Ahnensaal, p. 112. 2 The credit of having discovered this portrait belongs to Mr. Lucien Wolf. By dint of consulting the will of the late William Goldsmid and contemporary sale lists in the British Museum, he traced the picture to a descendant of the</page><page sequence="12">158 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. Shem given by a contemporary, who writes that " when he walks abroad he is garbed in a flowing robe, which strikingly harmonises with his long white beard and venerable features*" May we not apply to him Pope's famous lines slightly modified? " If to his share some mortal errors fall* Look at his face and you'll forget them all.'* Whilst on the one hand we dare not class him among worthies who have borne the designation of Baal Shem, it would be equally unjust to stigmatise him as a rank impostor and to describe him as the Jewish Cagliostro. He lived at a time when superstitions flourished in rank luxuriance. Shall it be accounted to him an unpardonable offence, that he did not rise superior to the spirit of his age ? APPENDIX A.?Hebrew Sources I. Abstract of letter in rowi f15 (p. 69^ fa), addressed by Busman Shesnowzi to his son in Poland.1 Hear, my beloved son, of the marvellous gifts entrusted to a son of man, who Verily is not a mati, a light of the captivity, who hath set his heart to gather the dispersed of Ariel. He is a holy light, a saintly man* His name is Samuel Falk, Samuel Jacob Chajim, the son of Raphael, the Sefardi who dwells at present in the great city of London. Albeit I could not fully under* stand him on account of his volubility and of his speaking as an inhabitant of Jerusalem, yet he wrote an explanation of his words to the worthy Moses David, the aged and renowned Oabbalist who formerly dwelt in Podhayce, and was then famed as a Baal Shem. He was certainly well known to the Rabbi of our Community. He now dwells in the shadow of the before Goldsmids resident in Ashford. He was enabled to prove its authenticity by a piece of parchment in the back of the frame, which contained a reproduction of the seven-branched candlestick with Hebrew inscriptions, and the signature of Falk. 1 It was necessary to condense the letter, as it is couched in oriental exuber? ance of style. There was a further difficulty, as Emden changes laudatory into vituperative terms?thus TnXD instead of TTin?&gt;</page><page sequence="13">TUE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 159 mentioned saintly man. And seeing his handwriting I have copied it ver? batim. [Here follow explanations of the Torah?the sorcerer mumbles words, but does not know their meaning?as the writer himself testifies that he is not at liberty to reveal the mysteries. He then proceeds to relate the sorceries and the juggleries.] My son, I have written to you this, that you may show it to our Babbi. He will certainly understand his words and holy deeds. How good, how pleasant and delightful are these wondrous mysteries and extraordinary actions to the unsealed eye and the open ear. Know thou, that all the candelabra on the walls, of which there are many pairs in each chamber, are of fine silver, in the form of the heavenly lumi? naries. There is a big candelabrum of pure silver, with double and triple lights one above the other, with eight branches and flowers coming out of the sides, of beaten work. And with this candelabrum he wrought a great miracle. On the eve of a certain Sabbath he put therein oil of the same measure as he did each week. But the oil continued burning for three weeks, until he annulled the holiness of the light; then the lights were suddenly quenched as though they had never burnt. This was a wondrous feat, more wondrous than the miracle of Chanucab. On the night of Tuesday, the 8th of Kislev, we beheld this marvel with our eyes. In Cheshvan he withdrew into his house near the bridge (London Bridge). His house was entirely closed, so that no one could go out, and there he abode about six weeks without food, drink, or sleep, or kindling any fire. In the sixth week from the commencement of his retreat he directed that ten learned men should assemble, who had purified themselves by immersion in the Ritual Bath. At midnight we came to his house, and then donned white surplices. On Wednesday he bade the Cabbalist, Moses David, write in his note-book. Then he directed Moses and another member of the Brotherhood, Jacob, grandson of Meir Eisenstadt, to kindle the light of two candlesticks. When Moses had completed the writing he asked the company to enter his chamber barefooted. Lo ! and behold, the saintly man was seated on his throne arrayed like an angel of heaven, diademed with a golden mitre, a golden chain round his neck reaching to his waist, from which a great silver star was pendent, and on the star holy names were engraved. His face was covered with a veil star-shaped, and his headgear was marvellously fashioned of parchment, whereon holy names were written. And to each corner of the turban a star of pure gold was fastened, and names were engraven thereon as on the tablets. And who can describe the beauty of the painting on the tapestries that were hung on the walls with sacred figures, as on the heavenly throne in Ezekiel's vision ; and on these figures holy names were inscribed. In that chamber there were silver chains. Five men sat within, and five outside the chains. And before him a Shofar was placed on the table, which the saintly man had made, and also a trumpet, on which holy names were inscribed. . . . This is the saintly man who, according to my poor understanding, stands</page><page sequence="14">160 THE BAAL SHEM OF LOKDON. alone in our generation, for he knows the mystery of our Law and does wondrous things. He is the friend of that great Cabbalist, famed throughout the province of Volhynia, Moses David, known as the Baal Shem of Pod hay ce, who is well known to Rabbi Jonathan, Chief Rabbi of Hamburg, who related to him the wondrous deeds and the greatness of that man, so that the Rabbi applied to him the words of the Tikkunin : " Happy the generation to which such mysteries have been disclosed, even as Hannah said, ' He giveth strength to his king, and exalteth the horn of his anointed.'" [Then the foolish man describes his marvels and acts in Goraloth (the casting of lots), and praises them as though they were Urim and Thummim, and after dwelling upon this at great length he concludes :] I am grateful that I have been received into this Brotherhood, who by their piety can hasten the advent of the Messiah. I know that many will believe my words, but others who do not occupy themselves with mysteries will laugh thereat. Therefore, my son, be very circumspect, and show this only to wi.se and discreet men. For here in London this matter has not been disclosed to any one who does not belong to our Brotherhood.?Your affectionate father, Eliezer Susman. II. Abstract of a letter sent by Emden to a disciple in answer to his inquiry touching the Baal Shem (rrjm nJ, p. 71a). The letter purports to be a copy of a communication sent from England to Poland. This foolish Susman received his wage for writing the preceding letter. Surely be deserves to be excommunicated. With regard to this Falk, although I do not know him personally, yet I have heard that he has come from Poland without any one knowing his antecedents, except that he pretends to be an adept in practical Cabbalah, and thus to discover hidden treasures. He was imprisoned for the offence of sorcery in Westphalia, and was in danger of being burnt alive if he had not tied. He then married a woman of evil repute and went with her to London. There he found supporters, especially among the lower orders, who thought to profit by him. Some rich non-Jews believed in him, that he could discover for them the treasures of sea and land. By means of wonderful feats, which were nothing but jugglery, he succeeded in entrapping a wealthy captain, who spent all his fortune on him. He has now been reduced to poverty, so that he is dependent upon Falk's charity. But despite this the captain praises him among wealthy Christians, so that they spend much money upon him. By this means the Baal Shem is enabled to live as a man of wealth. He spends his bounty on the men of his Brotherhood, so that they may spread his fame. Yet he is at times penniless and obliged to borrow from tradesmen and shopkeepers. According to general opinion he is very ignorant. He claims to be a</page><page sequence="15">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 161 Cabbalist, but his utterances and writings are devoid of sense. He himself admits this, for he says that no one understood his interpretation of the Scriptures save Moses David. A trustworthy and learned man also informed me that he was once in his oratory when he was called to the Law, and his enunciation of the blessing was like the twittering of a sparrow, almost inaudible, without clear articulation. I will not speak of his other objectionable actions, nor would I have stated anything to his disparagement, not even about his circulation of an amulet, as he is far away, and I do not know that he has wrought much mischief, were it not that he is sending his messenger Susman to Poland to confuse people's minds. It is therefore my duty to unmask him. The fact that he is allied with Moses David, the friend of the Eybschiitzer, testifies against him. I will further tell you what this foolish Susman has done. He came to me and told me of the glories of this Baal-Shed, of which I had already heard, and he also handed me his fictitious letter. I said to him : " Were I not already entangled in a controversy with the Eybschiitzer I would send forth my denunciation against you." Forthwith I wrote this to my disciple in Danzig, for I knew that he (Susman) was going there and would boast that I had concurred with him. Then my pupil wrote to me that Susman had made this groundless assertion, and that he was glad that I had acquainted him with the true facts of the case. III. Extract from Asulai's " Itinerary," biy? (p. 136). On Thursday, the Marquis de Torna came with the Marchesa de Croua. She sat with me and asked that I might pray for her. She afterwards said that she studied the Scriptures, and that she had visions of angels and demons who spoke to her. But when they were of adverse influence she thrust them off. She gave a louis as a charitable gift for Hebron, and mentioned the Baal Shem of London. She said that the Jew gave her a book on Cabbalah, and she told some other remarkable things. I answered her accordingly. Afterwards she said that she was a very highly placed Princess, that she had saved many Jews from the Inquisition, that she was the daughter of a Marquis, and that her husband was a Marquis, and other exaggerations. How much misehief did this so-called Baal Shem work, who in his conceit and arrogance revealed practical Cabbalah and conjuration to many princes and princesses to aggrandise himself! Many asked me about him. [My attention was drawn to this passage by Professor Schechter.] VOL. V. L</page><page sequence="16">162 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON". B.?Sources in Languages other than Hebrew. I. Archenholz, England und Italien, p. 240. For thirty years a remarkable man has been living among this people, who is famed in the annals of Cabbalists. His name is Chaim Sehniul Falk, but he is universally called here Dr. Falcon. A certain Comte de Ranzow, who a short time ago died in French service as Major-general, gives an account in his printed Memoirs 1 of the so-called Cabbalistic and magic feats which he had seen performed by this Falk in the State of Brunswick and on his father's estate in the presence of many distinguished personages, whom he names in his books, and whom he asks to contradict him, if he does not report the truth. It is possible that he used Schr?pf er's arts. Suffice it to say that the man is now living in London without ever having followed openly the role of a Cabbalist. He resides in a splendidly decorated house with a few friends. He is not engaged in business, lives in great moderation, and largely dispenses alms to the poor. He leaves his house very rarely, and when he does so he wears a flowing robe which well accords with his long white beard and noble features. He is now about seventy years old. I will not here recount the wonderful and incredible things which are told of him. The most probable explanation is that Dr. Falk is a clever chemist, and that he possesses some special knowledge of the science which he is unwilling to communicate to others. A royal Prince, who eagerly searches for the philosopher's stone, desired to visit him a few years ago. He drove to Falcon's house, but to his great disappointment was not admitted. In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1762, vol. 32, p. 418, there is an account of a Cabbalist and his connection with magic and mystery. The article obviously refers to Dr. Falk, though his name is not mentioned. II. Memoirs of the Life of Benjamin Goldsmid. By L. Alexander, London, 1808, pp. 46-50. A mysterious circumstance occurred about the time of old Mr. Goldsmid's death, that occasioned much talk among our people then, and I think is not yet forgotten by many. A little before the above event, died a Cabalistical doctor of ours, named De Falk, a man of universal acquaintance, singular manners, and wonderful talents, that seemed bordering on the supernatural agency of spiritual life. He had made his will, and appointed Mr. Aaron 1 I have not been able to find a copy of these Memoirs either in the British Museum or the Paris National Library.</page><page sequence="17">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 163 Goldsmid one of his executors, and Mr. De S vmons the other. Among other items, he left a packet of papers carefully sealed, in the care of the first gentleman, to be securely treasured up, but never opened, nor looked into on the severest injunction, as such an attempt to discover their contents would be peremptorily attended with fatal consequences to the person who opened it; but on the contrary, if carefully preserved, himself and family would be highly prosperous in all their undertakings. I know this doctrine is very unphilosophical in the present century, but I feel myself inclined to detail the public report on this head, rather than incur the blame of omission by our people, who at that time looked on these parcels as the palladiums of the family. This Divine, for so he may be considered, kept a private Synagogue in his house in Weliclose Square, and exercised his benevolence in the most surprising ways, an instance of which I am about relating. Curiosity, the most impulsive power over the human mind, acted over Mr. Goldsmid's resolution to keep this secret depot inviolably closed, till at last he yielded to the silly desire of investigating the contents of one packet; when, astonish? ing to relate, his death ensued the same day, and threw the family into the greatest consternation. When the fatal paper was found, it was covered with Cabalistical figures and Hieroglyphics. Upon this the remainder of the papers were secured by some of the family, who have placed them in a private corner, where they are not likely to be disturbed. Many besides this family believe in such magical secrets, and the supernatural preparations of the adepts in the ancient Cabala of the Egyptians ; a few instances of which I shall beg leave to insert, as they fa'l from living and creditable report, who do not study to deceive others no more than themselves. Mr. De Falk at Mr. Goldsmid's table one day was invited to call on a gentleman, who resided in the Chapter House in St. Paul's Church Yard, and have some conversation with him in a friendly way on some curious subject. " But when," says the gentleman, " will you come ?" upon which he pulled out a small piece of wax candle from his pocket, and, giving it to him, said, " Light this up, sir, when you get home, and I shall be with you as soon as it goes out." The next morning the gentleman hastened to try the experiment; he lighted up his room with this bit of candle, which seemed to possess the virtue of the ancient sepulchral lamps, that were found burning after being buried many centuries, for he watched it all day and at night did not find it in the least lessened from what it appeared to be when he first took it. He then removed it to a closet where it might be out of the way, observing it now and then, expecting its going out, and Mr. De Falk to arrive that minute. Upwards of three weeks elapsed, and the inch of candle was still burning</page><page sequence="18">164 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. in the morning of the day that De Falk called in the evening in a hackney coach, and surprised the gentleman, who had given over all hopes of seeing him soon, as the candle showed no signs of diminution, hut kept burning as brightly as at first. As soon as mutual civilities were over, the gentleman went upstairs to look at his candle in the closet, and 10 his utter surprise found it gone, as well as the stick it stood in. When he returned to Mr. De Falk he expressed his astonishment at this occurrence, and inquired if the agent that removed it would return the candlestick. " Oh yes," replied De Falk, "you have it now in the kitchen below," It was sought after and found, as related, under the dresser. The quantity of money this gentleman was possessed of at times was surprising, and yet on other occasions he was so necessitous as to be obliged to pawn his plate. When this was the case, Mr. Benjamin Bunn's shop in Houndsditch was constantly resorted to ; but it sometimes happened that the articles found their ways back to the owner before the premium and interest was paid, as in the following instance, which is well remembered. Having left a considerable quantity of plate with this convenient neigh? bour, he called sometime after with the duplicate and the money exactly reckoned, and putting it on the counter, told them to save themselves the trouble of going upstairs, as he had received the plate back, and they had it not then in their possession. This they found to be the truth, and nothing else of other people's deranged by the transposition. Once on a time as a fire in Duke's Place was fiercely ravaging, and the Synagogue was considered in very great danger of being burnt, he came on being applied to give his advice and assistance on this distressing occasion, when he only wrote four Hebrew letters on the pillars of the door, and the wind immediately changing the Synagogue was saved, and the fire subsiding directly, was happily got under without any further considerable damage. His advice was sought for on all difficult emergencies, and he was seldom unsuccessful in removing the obstacles that lay in the way of his consultors. Many to this day have reason to bless his memory, not only for his advice, but for the liberal and permanent donations he has left, which are dispensed now by Mr. De Symons, the surviving executor. III. Hymah Isaacs, Jewish Ceremonies, p. 355. About fifty years ago there was a Jew of the name of Dr. Falk, who is venerated among them, and who, if I am not mistaken, lived and ended his days in Wellclose Square, London. If I were to enumerate or specify all the wonders which they say he performed by means of the Cabbalah, it would fill a volume; but I shall confine myself and only mention a few of them. They say :t was the custom of this man, between twelve and one o'clock on various</page><page sequence="19">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON". 165 occasions, to go in his carriage to Epping Forest. One night as he was going through Whitechapel Road, one of the hinder wheels of his carriage came off, which certainly alarmed the coachman; but the Doctor ordered him to proceed, and the hinder wheel, it is said, followed the carriage all the way to the forest. The purpose or object of his journey is kept a secret; and all the proof we have been able to obtain on this point, after enquiry, is this. Many Jews and Jewesses say they have heard so. They proceed further and say that this doctor at certain times was very poor, and when so his servants would inform him that they were in want of provision and fuel for the household. When this happened, the doctor at set times would order three shirts to be aired by the fire. He then withdrew into a private chamber, and the servants, being accustomed to Ids manner, knew how to proceed after he had left them. They waited till they heard the sound of a ram's horn ; this was a sign to them to bring him one of the aired shirts. This was done three times, and after this ceremony the cupboard was always supplied with provisions, and the coals were in such abundance that it took them a long time to shovel them in and to shut the door. If a Jew should at all appear doubtful on hearing this matter related, he would be looked upon as a hypocrite and a doubtful Jew. IV. Drumont, La France Juive, pp. 275, 276. Le due d'Orleans, le chef de la Maconnerie francaise, qui conspirait ouvertement contre son cousin, n'avait point l'excuse de l'ignorance ; il etait intimement lie avec les Juils et savait que e'etaient eux qui dirigeaient la Maconnerie. Le eomte de Gleichen, dans son livre intitule : " Faits remar quables," raconte que, lors de son voyage en Angleterre, le due d'Orleans avait recu du Rabbin Falk-Scheck une bague talisman, un Kamaoth qui devait lui assurer le trone; cette bague, quoi que la prophetie ne se soit pas realisee pour Philippe-Egalite, parait avoir et6 comme le gage de l'engoue inent incomprehensible que tous les d'Orleans, a part le fils aine de Louis Philippe, ont toujours eu pour les Juifs. S'il faut en croire l'auteur du Judaisme en France, cette bague que Philippe-Egalite portait encore au moment de monter ? l'echafaud, aurait etc remise par lui a une Juive, Juliette Goudchaux, qui la fit passer au due de Chartres. Louis-Philippe garda ce bijou jusqu'a sa mort, et le transmit au moment de sa mort au comte de Paris. L'anneau se trouvant trop grand pour lui, on l'envoya ? Paris ? un bijou tier juif nomine Jacques a la vitrine duquel il aurait ete quelque temps expose.</page><page sequence="20">160 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. C.?Falk's Commonplace Book. It contains 59 pages, several of them, however, being blank, and is written partly in square Hebrew characters, partly in Spanish-rabbinic or Rashi script. It constitutes a strange medley. Interspersed with Cabbalistic and mystical notes and scriptural quotations, we und bills, accounts of excur? sions to the " Forest"?Epping Forest?in a four-horsed coach, prescrip? tions, dreams, lists of pledges, monetary transactions, and names of friends, acquaintances, &amp;c. An idea of the nature of the Diary may be gained by an abstract of a portion of the first page. " On Friday, 28th Nisan, 5532 (1772), R. Abele, who is well known as a heretic, came to bid farewell. I did not see him, and sent him by Gedaljah [his stepson] three shillings for the third time. He said to Gedaljah that he asked R. Simeon what is the meaning of the term Bath Kol [daughter of a voice], i.e. divine voice? why is it not termed Ben Kol [son of a voice], and R. Simeon answered as a wise man." There follows a string of scriptural verses in which the word Kol occurs. This is followed by a Talmudic quotation interpreting a passage in Job, chap, xxxviii. Reference is then made to the inheritance of a man named Mendel, in connection with which the assistance of R. Tevle Schiff is solicited. He is described as K'ty PUnDiTI iTVart ]T\rh p"p Un^lpl Y'SK, President of the Beth Din of our London Community and of the kingdom. Repeated reference is made in the Diary to his visiting na^DKH Tin, the meeting chamber in the forest, and to his placing a chest containing gold in the custody of a certain R. Tobias and his two sons, Rabbi Simeon and R. Abraham, the first-boni. I have consulted Buxton's "Epping Forest" and Fisher's " The Forest of Essex," but have found no reference to any hidden treasure. An interesting catalogue is appended of books which he takes with him on his journeys, and another list of books which he places in his Succah. They are principally of a Cabbalistic character, but there are also treatises on ethics and grammar, and polemical works like "jinVJ aild pltn n31D^&gt; probably indicating that he occasionally engaged in religious disputa? tions with Christian acquaintances. We read about a sensible question addressed to him by R. Abraham Doctor : " Why are the imprecations in Ps. cix. couched first in the plural and afterwards in the singular number?" (thequestion perhaps indicating that he guessed the correct solution of the difficulties in this psalm). References are made to his business transactions ; lists of candlesticks, gold watches, rings, a ewer and basin, which had been left as pledges, and which, not having been redeemed, were sold. We read of his purchasing lottery tickets (this objec? tionable mode of gambling not having been prohibited until 1826), accom? panied by a special prayer for the success of his speculations. Dealings of a</page><page sequence="21">?* U0 tun rum*t J iJwif ??m ******j?* ' B#m!tWwW Jt-* w*-* **** W* ?i Mill* w*^'*^ ?? *'^a&gt;^lfc^V'*; vw^m ma** 9tt ?r^?an 4m?**?? j*???*.m fJ?*+ ?cm? ? w*-? C*&lt;afm* ? ^vwBkMt p?? w &gt;jyA&gt;m ?Mm ??? ? M*??,"'? **** - XJJ &gt;mp*? ? wpa?lrtf prV ?Mm **? *ffW* &lt;p&gt;? . . ? 4*9*9 4-? I Ali? y?*JV * ***** u A PAGE OF DR. FALKS COMMONPLACE BOOK.</page><page sequence="22">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 167 more ambitious character are mentioned?a sum of ?3402 which he delivers in bank-notes to B. Tobias ; the purchase of bonds of a French loan to the amount of 86,600 francs; three bonds of the French East Indian Company of the value of 42,000 francs. We meet with copious references to charitable gifts. " Through Jochanan I sent to F?rth ?5 for the Burial Brotherhood ; ?5 for charity to be distributed among the poor; ?4, 10s. for the tombstone; ?19 to the brother of Moses, the Shochet. To the person who had under? taken the burial of my mother I sent a present of silver. To Moses, who was first in the performance of this religious duty, a guinea and a half." Further on there is an entry characteristic of his vanity. "I gave ten guineas to the funds of the congregation. When R. Isaac the Chazan had received this amount, he communicated to me the intention of the Parnas R. Meyer, to name me a $&gt;JQ (a privileged member). ' Heaven for fend, I replied, 4 that I should be named in this connection, for I am a n"Q ^JQ&gt; a householder of the whole world.' I warned him not to entertain such an intention, and tendered my thanks. I gave him a present of two guineas, and I believe that I owe him a guinea for his Purhn gift." Under date 1772-3 (pp. 25, 32), there are several references to Prince Ozartoryski couched in somewhat cryptic language, the interpretation of which is rendered doubly difficult by grammatical and orthographical inac? curacies. When the projected visit of the Prince had been announced, Falk was too ill to receive him. " On Monday, the 23rd Tebeth, Norden received a letter of R. Simeon from the Prince. R. Jacob was with the Prince, and said that he had handed to Salii Norden, the day before, a letter of credit of R. Simeon Boaz." On Wednesday, the 24th Shebat, the Prince departed for Kalisch. There he took counsel with Kosman on Friday night for about four hours, and, as stated in a letter written by him to R. Jacob, when they separated from the Conference the Prince embraced and kissed Kosman. Under date Friday, Shebat 26th, he mentions a letter which he sent to the Prince Emmanuel, servant (or Minister ?) of the King of France. Interspersed with these entries, mention is made of pills for the gout. There are recipes for the making of cakes and spiced liqueurs, lists of barrels and bottles of wine which he purchased, and accounts of his clothing, "suits of honour," white and black garments, payments to his tradesmen? ? s. (I Baker 25 16 6 Grocer ....... 788 Coal merchant . ? , ? 15 15 4 Coachman . . . . ? . 9 14 9 Wages to Samuel, his manservant, to Suky, his maidservant, ?4 a year. He asks forgiveness for having omitted to celebrate the feast of the 15th Shebat by partaking of various kinds of fruit.</page><page sequence="23">168 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON, Reference is made to the death of his wife. Towards the end of the Diary frequent mention is made of his friends the Warden, Aaron Goldsmid, and of his son George, who generously lent him considerable sums, which he punctually repaid. He carefully notes the exact weight of two silver cups which he presented to Lyon de Symons on his marriage to Polly, daughter of Aaron Goldsmid, on Wednesday, Kislev 4, 1781. The name of the bridegroom is given thus, 2nt3B*TQ H p yh '*b and of his mother, the pious npD"lQ (Fradche ?). D.?Copy of Inscription on Grave. [D*n npsr taw] unto taipon tb&amp;n Dann Krunoo *nan kiti ?naj mb *ntr:n jpr y^r tasn mn unio p taw 'n mn n^nm d*tfi px *np2 jnu rrn w D^pn rrrajjrri rrnnn j?a nw rw D^iim? nn D^pinm nvraorn rrnnn d*pi nof&gt; d^pbd mpns hd3^ nn pn vdm 5d rnn wo n$ai dv*&gt;k tow dw arm nr rvon D^pnv nat? inj; pa iriy )rrom wit "wpk tans^ t?d na&amp;y dj; nrinn i)?]h man TOM 13p31 T?k Kin VT mfc pijqik 'n Dl* HD DBD .rrwfe rfnpnn rrvaD5&gt; Dnpy wn dv unro^ todpo*</page><page sequence="24">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 169 [Translation. ] Here is interred [SAMUEL JACOB CHAYIM] An aged and honourable man, a great personage who came from the East, an accomplished sage, an adept in Cabbalah, the learned Rabbi Samuel, son of the learned Rabbi Raphael of blessed memory. His name was known to the ends of the earth and distant isles. During the forty years that he resided here he uplifted the banner of the Law and of Divine Worship. He studied and kept the Law, the Commandments, and Statutes. At the time of his decease he devoted all his possessions?a great substance? among many different charities. For the merit hereof may the Creator of the heavens and the Founder of the globe Bind up his soul in the Garden of His Eden with the other righteous men. And may He grant him the privilege of arising at the Resurrection with the other dead of Israel, whom He will hereafter raise up. He departed with a good name on Thursday, the fourth of the month of Splendour, i.e. Iyar (April 17th), and was buried with honour and with mourning on the morrow, Friday, the twentieth day of the Omer, 5542 a.m. (April 18, 1782). May his soul be bound up in the bond of life !</page><page sequence="25">170 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. E.?Falk's Will. Extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. In the name of Almighty God Amen. I the underwritten Samuel De Falk of Wellelose Square of the Parish of St. John, Wapping, finding myself indisposed but of sound mind and memory and fully capable to make my last Will and Testament and knowing the certainty of death and the un? certainty of the hour thereof do hereby come to make this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say In the first place I do recommend my soul to Almighty God Second I do hereby nominate and appoint to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament Mr. Aron Gold smid and his son Mr. George Goldsmid of Leman St. Goodmans Fields and Mr. Lyon de Symons of Great Prescot Street Goodmans Fields giving through my said Executors full Power and Authority of all my Estate and Effects goods wares and chattels whatsoever to dispose of and settle the same in such manner as I shall hereafter either in writing or in words explain the same to my said Executors and that they shall be in every respect believed in such manner that no Person or Persons whatsoever shall oppose or con? tradict whatever these my Executors shall do or act. Witness my Hand this 14th day of April 1782 p^? Signed Published and declared in the presence of me Abraham d'Hambourg Signed published and declared in the presence of me and in the presence of the above Witness Abraham d'Ham? bourg. Joseph Schabracq. Translated from the Hebrew. God be praised On this day the second of the month Iyar in the year 5142 finding myself of sound mind and understanding I do again confirm what I yesterday the first of Iyar (April 14th 1782 according to the Christian reckoning) signed with my own Hand that after my decease (which Heaven defer) Mr. Aron Goldsmid his son Mr. George Goldsmid and his son in law Mr. Judah Lion son of Samuel of blessed memory shall be my Executors And whereas in the writing which I signed yesterday it is mentioned that what I might in writing or by word of mouth further order my Executors to do should all take place I therefore direct as follows (the first of all things is to fear the Lord) that my Executors shall give every year yearly for ever ?100 say One hundred Pounds sterling to the behoof of the great Synagogue of the holy Congregation here in London which is called by the name of the Dukes Place Synagogue They shall also give to the Hambro Synagogue of the Holy Congregation here at London every year yearly for ever ?15 say Fifteen pounds Sterling they shall also give to the New Synagogue here in London every year yearly for ever ?15 say fifteen pounds Sterling they shall also</page><page sequence="26">THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. 171 give to the holy Congregation of the Portuguese here in London every year yearly for ever ?15 say fifteen pounds sterling They shall also give to the Beth Hamedrash of the Holy Congregation of the German Jews here in London every year yearly for ever ?10 say Ten pounds sterling they shall also give to the Beth Hamedrash of the Holy Portuguese Congregation of the Jews here in London ?10 say Ten pounds Sterling every year yearly for ever They shall also give to the four Charitable Societies called Talmud Torah the Society called Gidul Jethomim the Society called Malbish Arumim and the Society called Meshibath Nefesh to each of the said Societies every year yearly for ever ?5 say five pounds sterling that is to say to the said four Charitable Societies together ?20 say Twenty pounds every year yearly for ever They shall also give to the Congregation at F?rth (whom the Lord protect) every year yearly for ever ?20 say Twenty pounds sterling They shall also give every year yearly for ever to the High Priest of the Great Synagogue that is to say to the High Priest for the time being whosoever he may be Ten Guineas say ten pounds ten shillings, to my step son Gedaliah they shall also give every year yearly during his life Ten Guineas say ten pounds ten shillings. To the learned Mr. Joseph Sheknopzh they shall give every year yearly during his life three guineas say three pounds three shillings To Mr. Mendle Reader in my Synagogue they shall give during his life five guineas every year yearly say five pounds five shillings I hey shall also give out of my Estate as a present to my Servant Mendle Ten Guineas say ten pounds ten shillings as a present they shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Hirsh Bristol ten guineas say ten pounds ten shillings They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mrs. Rachel wife of Meyer of blessed memory ten guineas say ten pounds ten shillings They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Aaron under-Reader in my Synagogue five guineas say five pounds five shillings. They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to my Servant Meyer five guineas say five pounds five shillings. They shall also give out of my Estate as a present to Mr. Moses Priest in the New Synagogue ten Guineas say ten Pounds ten shillings They shall also give out of my Estate as a present to Mr. Abraham Doctor ten guineas say ten pounds ten shillings They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Levi Throko ten guineas say ten pounds ten shillings They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Menish at the Hague One hundred Dutch Guilders say One hundred Guilders Hollands They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr* Susman at Amsterdam five guineas say five pounds five shillings. They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Mordecai the son of Lina Dresden ten guineas say ten pounds ten shillings They shall also give as a present out of my Estate six guineas say six pounds six shillings to Mr. Jacob son of Lina Dresden. They shall also give as a present out of my Estate to Mr. Abraham the son of Shelomo of blessed memory usually called Abraham Nancy the sum of fifty guineas say fifty two Pounds ten shillings And they</page><page sequence="27">172 THE BAAL SHEM OF LONDON. shall moreover give as a present to the said Mr. Abraham Furniture House Utensils and Books to the amount of Fifty pounds in the whole. My Books of Torah with all their Ornaments Holy Dresses and Holy Utensils shall be faithfully given to the Great Synagogue of the Holy Congregation here in London as a present and as those who are remembered or mentioned in this Will to whom the specified Sums are to be given every year yearly for ever to the behoof of the Great Synagogue in London and as to what further may be requisite either for the burial or to take ten men to learn the first year or to give money to the poor between the decease and the burial and in the thirty Days of Mourning be it what it will to the Honour of the living and the Dead it shall all be left at the option of the Executors aforesaid to do as they shall think proper and also whatever may be left of my Estate after all that has been mentioned shall remain in the Hands of the aforesaid Executors at their Option to divide it to the Poor and if in a short or a long time be it when it will any Relation of mine should come who is entitled to have inherited me the Executors shall give him five pounds say five pounds out of my Estate and therewith he shall be cut off from my Estate and shall have no further claim whatever not even for a farthing upon my Estate. To all the foregoing I now come to sign my name and all has been written in the presence of the Executors Mr. Aron Goldsmid whom the Lord protect And in Testimony I now sign my name London the day on the other side written. p^S ^KIDEP We are witnesses to the above signature Falk the son of Abraham Gisa, Belah Behilah. The aforegoing is a faithful translation out of the Hebrew Language of the Will of Dr. Samuel Falk hereunto annexed. Translated by me the underwritten London 6th May L782. Quod Attestor Josh Schabracq Not^ Pub 1782. Proved at London with a Codicil the 11th May 1782 before the wor? shipful Andrew Coltee Ducasne Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the Oaths of Aron Goldsmid George Goldsmid and Lyon - De Symons the Executors named in the Will to whom Administration was granted having been first sworn duly to administer. This paper writing was shown to Joseph Shabracq at the time of his examination in the above cause on the part of the Plaintiff and was deposed unto by hirn before me. May 18, 1782 George Gort ling Deputy Registrars. James Tously I In the Exchequer Goldsmid and an0 against Lehman. B. Hotham. J. Nathan.</page><page sequence="28">THE BAAL SHEM OF LOKDON. 173 According to the Bequest and Trusts Account of the United Synagogue the bequest of Dr. Falk (1782) ?3355, is at present invested in Metropolitan 3 per cents, yielding ?1003 12s. The sums annually given are? F?rth Congregation . Beth Hamedrash Talmud Torah . Bread, Meat, and Coal Charity Portuguese Congregation . New Synagogue Hambro' ? Great ? Chief Rabbi . ? *. (I 4 8 0 12 0 0 4 0 0 2 4 0 11 0 0 6 12 0 6 12 0 45 12 4 4 12 0 The above documents and facts were placed at the disposal of the writer by the authorities of the United Synagogue.</page></plain_text>