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NISSIM BEN JACOB NITTEL

by Isaak Landman,
NISSIM BEN JACOB NITTEL pupil of Anan ( hence dating at the beginning of the 9th cent.), but Harkavy found evidence that he lived in Persia not earlier than the nth cent. Since Nissi knew the Hebrew dictionary of David Alfasi, and seems in his turn to have been known to Judah Hadasi, the latter date appears to be preferable. Of the works ascribed to him, Sefer Asereth Hade-barim is a commentary on the Decalogue, and Bitan Hamaskilim is a disquisition on the precepts. Nissi wrote in Hebrew, although his native speech was probably Persian and Arabic, and he claimed to have known some Greek and Latin. He was familiar with the Talmud and later rabbinic literature, and urged his fellow Karaites to study them. Lit.: Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, vol. 11, pp. 249- 50; Graetz, H., Geschichte der Juden, 3d ed., vol. 5, pp. 199- 201, 443- 45; Steinschneider, Μ., Die arabische Literatur der Juden, 75. NISSIM BEN JACOB BEN NISSIM ( known also as Nissim ben Jacob Ibn Shahin and as Nissim of Kairwan), Talmud exegete, d. Kairwan, Tunisia, about 1050 ( according to Graetz, 1055). He was the son of Jacob ben Nissim, head of the Kairwan Yeshiva, and later, after the death of Hushiel ben Elhanan, Nissim was himself head of the Yeshiva. He was a contemporary of Hananel ben Hushiel, and although they lived in the same city, there seems to have been little relationship between them. Nissim corresponded with Hai Gaon and transmitted some of Hais work to Samuel Hanagid in Granada. Samuel was related to Nissim through the marriage of his son Joseph to Nissims daughter. Among Nissims exegetical works were Kitab Miftah Mag-halik al- Talmud ( in Hebrew, Sefer Mafteah Μanule Hatal-mud, Key to the Locks of the Talmud); Megillath Setharim, a notebook on the Halachah; and a commentary on the Pentateuch. Nissim used the Palestinian Talmud as the basis of his interpretations and disputed the Karaite rejec-tions of the Haggadah. He was also the probable author of a Siddur Hatefillah. Hibbur Yafe, a collection of tales of comfort, was published in its original Arabic version, edited by Julian Obermann, at New Haven in 1933. Nissim is known to have had many pupils who carried his teachings to Spain as well as through Africa. Lit.: Schioessinger, Max, in Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 9, pp. 315- 17; Graetz, H., History of the Jews, vol. 3 ( 1894) 248- 49. NISSIM BEN REUBEN GERONDI ( RaN), see GERONDI, NISSIM BEN REUBEN. NISSIM, CHARLES, Indian public official, b. Bombay, India, 1845; d. London, 1918. He was edu-cated in Bombay, receiving both a secular and a Hebrew training. In 1862 he went to China, where he remained until 1880. On his return to India Nissim became associated with the David Sassoon and Com-pany firm of bankers and merchants as a partner. He was also president of the Bank of Bombay. Among his public posts were that of justice of the peace, mem-bership on the Governor of Bombays Legislative Coun-cil and the honorable presidency of the magistrate for Bombay ( 1904). Nissim was vice- president of the Jewish Association, and held directive posts in various Jewish communal institutions in India. MEYER NISSIM, his son, was Lord Mayor of Bom-bay, and several times a member of the Bombay Mu-nicipality. [ 224] NISSIM PASHA, JACQUES, Turkish military doctor with the rank of a general of a division, b. Sa-lonika, 1858; d. Salonika, 1903. As military physician in Novi Bazar, Sarajevo and Salonika he improved the sanitary conditions of the Turkish army, and served also as chief surgeon at the Salonika military hospital. He was awarded many Turkish and foreign distinc-tions. Among his medical works, his treatises on ma-laria are outstanding. NISSUIN, see MARRIAGE. NITRA ( in Hungarian, Nyitra; in German and Judeo- German, Neutra), city in Slovakia. Until 1918 Nitra belonged to Hungary; in that year it was made a part of Czechoslovakia. The Jewish community of Nitra began to flourish in the 18th cent., when Jew-ish merchants were commissioned to purchase sup-plies for the Austrian army. In 1848 riots broke out in Nitra at the news that the Jews were to receive equal rights. The number of Jews in Nitra at the middle of the 19th cent. was about 2,500. In the secular school of the community, established in 1855, subjects were taught in Hebrew, German and Latin. During Czecho-slovak rule ( 1918- 39) the Orthodox community of Nitra, under its rabbis Aaron Katz ( d. 1927) and Moses Katz ( d. 1930), maintained a Yeshiva with forty students and a Talmud Torah with 145 students. Samuel Klein ( d. 1940), professor of geography at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was deputy rabbi of the pro-gressive community at Nitra until the election of Rabbi Lazar Schweiger in 1929. Béla Szilágyi, Jewish vice- mayor of Nitra, died in 1932. In the years 1939 to 1942 Jewish- owned property was confiscated; Jews were dragged away to do forced labor, and were taken to ghetto towns pending their deporta-tion to the German- occupied regions of Poland and Russia. NITTAI ( or MATTAI) OF ARBELA, sage who lived in the 2nd cent. B. C. E. He and his superior, Joshua ben Perahiah, form the second of the five pairs ( zugoth) who transmitted the Pharisaic tradition. His favorite saying ran:  Keep far from a bad neighbor; associate not with the wicked; do not abandon your belief in retribution ( Aboth 1: 7). NITTEL ( NACHT), popular expression for Christ-mas eve ( December 24th) and the following day, probably corrupted from the Latin dies natalis ( birth-day, that is, of Jesus). It is sometimes known as Blinde Nacht. In the Middle Ages the Jews were for-bidden to appear on streets and public places on the high Christian holidays under penalty of severe pun-ishment; hence the schools and synagogues were closed on those days. Young and old, who were compelled to remain at home, enjoyed themselves with round games; consequently the meaning of the word Nittel received the folk etymological explanation as being an abbreviation for Nit Iden- Tore- Lernen ( Jews must not study Torah). The Christians explained the omission of Torah- learning by the Jews in various ways, but mostly referring to Git. 57a, with the super-stition that Jesus is comforted only while the Jews are studying, and that the latter therefore cease out of malice. It is also possible that Nittel is a transference THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA Chapter Home | Index AAR- AZU | BAA- CAN | CAN- EDU | EDU- GNO | GOD- IZS | JAB- LEX | LEX- MOS |  MOS- PRO | PRO- SPE | SPI- ZYL

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NISSIM BEN JACOB NITTEL pupil of Anan ( hence dating at the beginning of the 9th cent.), but Harkavy found evidence that he lived in Persia not earlier than the nth cent. Since Nissi knew the Hebrew dictionary of David Alfasi, and seems in his turn to have been known to Judah Hadasi, the latter date appears to be preferable. Of the works ascribed to him, Sefer Asereth Hade-barim is a commentary on the Decalogue, and Bitan Hamaskilim is a disquisition on the precepts. Nissi wrote in Hebrew, although his native speech was probably Persian and Arabic, and he claimed to have known some Greek and Latin. He was familiar with the Talmud and later rabbinic literature, and urged his fellow Karaites to study them. Lit.: Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, vol. 11, pp. 249- 50; Graetz, H., Geschichte der Juden, 3d ed., vol. 5, pp. 199- 201, 443- 45; Steinschneider, Μ., Die arabische Literatur der Juden, 75. NISSIM BEN JACOB BEN NISSIM ( known also as Nissim ben Jacob Ibn Shahin and as Nissim of Kairwan), Talmud exegete, d. Kairwan, Tunisia, about 1050 ( according to Graetz, 1055). He was the son of Jacob ben Nissim, head of the Kairwan Yeshiva, and later, after the death of Hushiel ben Elhanan, Nissim was himself head of the Yeshiva. He was a contemporary of Hananel ben Hushiel, and although they lived in the same city, there seems to have been little relationship between them. Nissim corresponded with Hai Gaon and transmitted some of Hai's work to Samuel Hanagid in Granada. Samuel was related to Nissim through the marriage of his son Joseph to Nissim's daughter. Among Nissim's exegetical works were Kitab Miftah Mag-halik al- Talmud ( in Hebrew, Sefer Mafteah Μanule Hatal-mud, Key to the Locks of the Talmud); Megillath Setharim, a notebook on the Halachah; and a commentary on the Pentateuch. Nissim used the Palestinian Talmud as the basis of his interpretations and disputed the Karaite rejec-tions of the Haggadah. He was also the probable author of a Siddur Hatefillah. Hibbur Yafe, a collection of tales of comfort, was published in its original Arabic version, edited by Julian Obermann, at New Haven in 1933. Nissim is known to have had many pupils who carried his teachings to Spain as well as through Africa. Lit.: Schioessinger, Max, in Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 9, pp. 315- 17; Graetz, H., History of the Jews, vol. 3 ( 1894) 248- 49. NISSIM BEN REUBEN GERONDI ( RaN), see GERONDI, NISSIM BEN REUBEN. NISSIM, CHARLES, Indian public official, b. Bombay, India, 1845; d. London, 1918. He was edu-cated in Bombay, receiving both a secular and a Hebrew training. In 1862 he went to China, where he remained until 1880. On his return to India Nissim became associated with the David Sassoon and Com-pany firm of bankers and merchants as a partner. He was also president of the Bank of Bombay. Among his public posts were that of justice of the peace, mem-bership on the Governor of Bombay's Legislative Coun-cil and the honorable presidency of the magistrate for Bombay ( 1904). Nissim was vice- president of the Jewish Association, and held directive posts in various Jewish communal institutions in India. MEYER NISSIM, his son, was Lord Mayor of Bom-bay, and several times a member of the Bombay Mu-nicipality. [ 224] NISSIM PASHA, JACQUES, Turkish military doctor with the rank of a general of a division, b. Sa-lonika, 1858; d. Salonika, 1903. As military physician in Novi Bazar, Sarajevo and Salonika he improved the sanitary conditions of the Turkish army, and served also as chief surgeon at the Salonika military hospital. He was awarded many Turkish and foreign distinc-tions. Among his medical works, his treatises on ma-laria are outstanding. NISSUIN, see MARRIAGE. NITRA ( in Hungarian, Nyitra; in German and Judeo- German, Neutra), city in Slovakia. Until 1918 Nitra belonged to Hungary; in that year it was made a part of Czechoslovakia. The Jewish community of Nitra began to flourish in the 18th cent., when Jew-ish merchants were commissioned to purchase sup-plies for the Austrian army. In 1848 riots broke out in Nitra at the news that the Jews were to receive equal rights. The number of Jews in Nitra at the middle of the 19th cent. was about 2,500. In the secular school of the community, established in 1855, subjects were taught in Hebrew, German and Latin. During Czecho-slovak rule ( 1918- 39) the Orthodox community of Nitra, under its rabbis Aaron Katz ( d. 1927) and Moses Katz ( d. 1930), maintained a Yeshiva with forty students and a Talmud Torah with 145 students. Samuel Klein ( d. 1940), professor of geography at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was deputy rabbi of the pro-gressive community at Nitra until the election of Rabbi Lazar Schweiger in 1929. Béla Szilágyi, Jewish vice- mayor of Nitra, died in 1932. In the years 1939 to 1942 Jewish- owned property was confiscated; Jews were dragged away to do forced labor, and were taken to ghetto towns pending their deporta-tion to the German- occupied regions of Poland and Russia. NITTAI ( or MATTAI) OF ARBELA, sage who lived in the 2nd cent. B. C. E. He and his superior, Joshua ben Perahiah, form the second of the five pairs ( zugoth) who transmitted the Pharisaic tradition. His favorite saying ran: \\" Keep far from a bad neighbor; associate not with the wicked; do not abandon your belief in retribution\\" ( Aboth 1: 7). NITTEL ( NACHT), popular expression for Christ-mas eve ( December 24th) and the following day, probably corrupted from the Latin dies natalis (\\" birth-day,\\" that is, of Jesus). It is sometimes known as Blinde Nacht. In the Middle Ages the Jews were for-bidden to appear on streets and public places on the high Christian holidays under penalty of severe pun-ishment; hence the schools and synagogues were closed on those days. Young and old, who were compelled to remain at home, enjoyed themselves with round games; consequently the meaning of the word Nittel received the folk etymological explanation as being an abbreviation for Nit Iden- Tore- Lernen (\\" Jews must not study Torah\\"). The Christians explained the omission of Torah- learning by the Jews in various ways, but mostly referring to Git. 57a, with the super-stition that Jesus is comforted only while the Jews are studying, and that the latter therefore cease out of malice. It is also possible that Nittel is a transference THE UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA << Chapter >> Home | Index AAR- AZU | BAA- CAN | CAN- EDU | EDU- GNO | GOD- IZS | JAB- LEX | LEX- MOS | MOS- PRO | PRO- SPE | SPI- ZYL
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