The "imprecation against the Sadducees" stands twelfth among the
collects of the Shemoneh Esreh. It is popularly known as
"Velama-leshinim" from its opening words, and is given thus in
modern Ashkenazi liturgies:--"Oh, let the slanderers have no
hope, all the wicked be annihilated speedily, and all the
tyrants be cut off, hurled down and reduced speedily; humble
Thou them quickly in our days. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who
destroyest enemies and humblest tyrants." There has been much
misconception with regard to this collect against heretics.
There is every reason to believe it was composed without any
reference whatever to the Christians. One point of interest,
however, in connection with it is worth relating here. Some have
sought to identify the author of it, Samuel the Little, with the
Apostle Paul, grounded the conclusion on his original Hebrew
name, Saul. They take Paulus as equal to _pusillus_, which means
"very little" or "the less," and answers to the word _Hakaton_,
a term of similar import. Samuel, however, died a good Jew (see
Semachoth, chap. 8), and Rabbon Gamliel Hazaken and Rabbi
Eleazar ben Azariah pronounced a funeral oration at his burial.
"His key and his diary were placed on his coffin, because he had
no son to succeed him." (See also Sanhedrin, fol. ii, col. 1.)
Eighteen denunciations did Isaiah make against the people of Israel, and
he recovered not his equanimity until he was able to add, "The child
shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against
the honorable" (Isa. iii. 5).
THE TALMUD, _Chaggigah_, fol. 14, col. 1.