29 April 2011

Rabbinic Popularity in the Mishnah V: סדר קדשים

Continuing my project to see which rabbis get the most mentions in the Mishnah (see previous posts on זרעים ,מועד ,נשים, and נזיקים), I perused through סדר קדשים. Once again, the most commonly appearing rabbi was Rabbi Yehudah, followed by Rabbi Shimon, and the Sages. One sage who popped up here and hadn't seemed to be prominent in the earlier four sedarim was Rabbi Eliezer son of Ya'akov. Also interesting is how prominent Rabbi Yehudah haNasi (רבי) appeared, as well. Also noteworthy is how frequently Rabbi Shimon is mentioned, since he hasn't been that frequently cited in the first four.
Here we go - the top ten most frequently mentioned sages in סדר קדשים:
1 - רבי יהודה
2 - רבי שמעון
3 - חכמים
4 - רבי מאיר
5 - רבי עקיבא
6 - רבי אליעזר
7 - רבי יוסי
8 - רבי יהושע
9 - רבי
10 - רבי אליעזר בן יעקב ורבי טרפון

As to the most frequently mentioned rabbis for each מסכת, here they are:

זבחים - רבי שמעון
מנחות - רבי שמעון ורבי יהודה
חולין - רבי יהודה
ערכין - רבי יהודה
תמורה - רבי שמעון
כריתות - רבי עקיבא
מעילה - רבי עקיבא
תמיד - רבי אליעזר בן יעקב
מדות - רבי אליעזר בן יעקב
קנים - (שמעון) בן עזאי

04 April 2011

Rabbinic Popularity in the Mishnah IV: סדר נזיקין

Continuing on the project I begun last week of counting up the most commonly appearing rabbis in the Mishnah (previously: סדר זרעים ,סדר מועד & סדר נשים), next up in the series is Seder Nezikin. Once again, unsurprisingly, Rabbi Yehudah is, again, the most commonly appearing rabbi within this seder. However, a caveat is in order: מסכת עדיות is rather anomalous, so I'm going to list the top ten without Eduyot and then the top ten with Eduyot (and I'm omitting Avot from this counting).
Top ten (without Eduyot):
1 - רבי יהודה
2 - חכמים
3 - רבי מאיר
4 - רבי שמעון
5 - רבי עקיבא
6 - רבן שמעון בן גמליאל
7 - רבי יוסי
8 - רבי אליעזר
9 - רבי ישמעאל
10 - רבן גמליאל

Now the top ten with Eduyot:
1 - חכמים
2 - רבי יהודה
3 - בית הלל
4 - בית שמאי
5 - רבי מאיר
6 - רבי עקיבא
7 - רבי שמעון
8 - רבי אליעזר
9 - רבן שמעון בן גמליאל
10 - רבי יוסי

Now the most appearances within each tractate:
בבא קמא - רבי יהודה
בבא מציעא - רבי יהודה
בבא בתרא - רבי יהודה
סנהדרין - רבי יהודה
מכות - רבי יהודה
שבועות - רבי מאיר
עדיות - בית הלל
עבודה זרה - חכמים
הוריות - רבי שמעון

01 April 2011

How the "Cohen Brothers" Changed Retail in the South

Yesterday, while doing some cleaning, I came across some things I had read and wanted to throw up on the blog. So, here is one of them: coming from Stephen J. Whitfield's "The Missing Piece: Jewish Shopkeepers in the American South" in the Fall 2009 AJS Perspectives, wherein he discusses something rather fascinating - Jewish retailers "modernizing" the American South. Whitfield writes that "Jacob Cohen may have been the first merchant in the South to put price tags on merchandise" in Jacksonville, Florida, which "even if the claim was inflated or apocryphal, Cohen Brothers helped to scuttle the barter system that had been customary before the twentieth century."
Whitfield continues that both the
company and its imitators thus activated transactions of trust between the customers and the sales force, and helped to reduce the power of the unscrupulous, there’s-one-born-every-minute hucksters. Eventually, instead of haggling and bargaining, came the assurance and the probity of “satisfaction guaranteed,” based on fixed prices and the right of customers to return what they had purchased and to get their money back.
Eventually, other stores tried to keep up and compete, causing other stores to follow in their footsteps. Thus, change occurred on a larger level for retail stores in the South:
The department stores and the specialty stores encouraged a consumerist ethos that would eventually bury the agrarian tradition that had so decisively shaped the mind of the South. The balance sheets on which the merchant princes depended can be understood as the death warrants of the old order. Such tradesmen helped their neighbors cultivate a taste for the products of the modern world, and thus altered the atmosphere of towns.