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The Southern Jewish weekly. [volume] (Jacksonville, Fla.) 1939-1992, February 19, 1954, Image 6

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Page Six
The Jewish
Quiz Box
BY RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX
(Copyright, 1954, Jewish Telegraphic
\ Agency,-Inc.)
QUESTION: Why are there 13
months in the Jewish Calendar
this year?
ANSWER: The Jewish calendar
year is a lunar year. That means
that it is calculated according to
the revolutions of the moon
around the earth. Therefore, the
months are of 29 and one-half
days duration. The Solar year,
which is reckoned according to
the earth’s revolutions around the
sun, has months usually either 30
or 31 days in length.
In comparison to the solar year,
then, there is a shortage of 11
days in the Hebrew calendar each
year. It is necessary to equalize
this difference so that the Pass
over always falls in the spring
time. Otherwise Passover would
fall back 11 days each year, thus
come out in different seasons at
different years. To prevent this,
an additional month of 30 days is
added to the Hebrew calendar
seven times in 19 years.
Thus, for example in a cycle
of 19 years, the third, sixth,
eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, sev
enteenth and nineteenth years,
respectively, are the years in
which the extra month is added
to equalize the two calendar sys
tems. As complicated as this
seems this lunar system of the
Rhodesian Centenary Brings Out
. Role Played by Jews in Country's
Development
Jews have had a significant
role in the development of South
ern Rhodesia which this year
has been observing The Rhodes
Centenary.
Sir Godfrey Huggins, Rhode
sian Prime Minister, has written,
“The part which was played by
the Jewish men and women in
the early settlement of Southern
Rhodesia has received little pub
licity and acknowledgement. The
sons and daughters of Israel have
played a worthy part in the his
tory of this country.
Jewish traders crossed malar
ial swamps to be the first white
people to penetrate into the very
depths of Barotseland. There
were Jewish names in the origi
nal occupation column of 1890,
and many Jews fought and died
Meet Your Friends ui
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Hebrew calendar has proven
more accurate than that of our
secular Gregorian Calendar which
has already, be e h adjusted be
cause of apparent inaccuracy.
*** » *
QUESTION: Why is it that the
extra month is added to the
Month of Adar and called Adar
11, instead of any other month?
ANSWER: It has already been
indicated that one of the prime
reasons for adjusting the calendar
is the Passover holiday which
must fall in a certain season. Adar
is the last month before the
spring month of Nisan in which
the Passov.er festival falls. Also,
there is a motive of adherence to
the words of Scripture in which
it is written in the Book of Esther
that Adar is the twelfth month.
Since the Biblical system of num
bering the months begins with
Nisdn, adding a month to any
other month would make Adar
the thirteenth month instead of
the twelfth, as the first Adar is
in the - case of every leap year.
Also, the other months, some of
which are numbered according
to their sequence after Nisan
would also retain their original
number. Thus Tishri would al
ways be the, seventh month, etc.
in the 1893 battle against Loben
gula. Daniel M. Kisch became
advisor to Lobengula in 1869 and
made the first Jewish donation
to the London Missionary So
ciety.
In 1894 the first organized
Jewish congregation was estab
lished at Bulawayo. The * “Bula
wayo Chovevei Zion” had ' 100
members, was observing all Jew
ish holidays, and was raising
money to help "restore Israel to
its ancient home,”' in 1899, ac
cording to records left by its
leader. Marks Landau.
In 1900, the Rev. M. I. Cohen
arrived in the colony to become its
first Jewish minister. He labored
untiringly for the betterment of
all people, regardless of race or
icreed.
The 20 Jewish men and two
Jewish women who lived in Salis
bury had already expressed their
determination to build a syna
gogue in 1895. When Cecil John
Rhodes heard of this he became
happy and excited and said, “My
country is alright; if the Jews
come, my country is alright.”
Rhodes thought that Ms Jews
were willing to settle in Rhode
sia it had commercial prospects.
The history of Rhodesian Jewry
is one of peach and harmony with
co-settlers. ,
Rhodesian Jews, < have always
been active in the effort to es
tablish a Jewish home land in
Israel, and are now organized in
their efforts to support Israel with
the Jewries of the British Com
monwealth. Personal representa
tives of the state of Israel are fre
quent visitors to the colony.
THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
"Unusual" Book
Prepared
mm
mm , . imm
mk * -if
H f Jin
WmiM
< ■ iv • s v -'
I |
DR. JOSHUA BLOCH
To fill a long- felt need among
students of Jewish life and cul
ture in this country the Jewish
Publication Society of America
last week issued a volume entitled
Os Making Many Books, prepared
by Dr. Joshua Bloch, distinguish
ed bibliophile and chief of the
Jewish Division of the New York
K
Public Library.
„ Dr. Solomon Grayzel, editor of
the Society, characterized it as
“an unusual book,” adding: “On
the surface it appears to be no
more than an annotated biblio
graphy qf the three hundred vol
umes published and . distributed
by the Jewish Publication Society
from its organization in 1888 to
the end of the year 1952. Differ
ently evaluated, the volume is to
be considered as a contribution to
the history of Jewish culture in
the United States. For here,
stated in factual terms, is the recr
ord of efforts made over two
generations to transmit and inter
pret the Jewish heritage. The
book is thus, in a special sense, a
contribution to the self-appraisal
which American Jewry must
make during this tercentenary
year.”
College Names
Chairman
JPH W'-f
' MtnL
-: jßn.
Dr. Leo M. Davidoff, internationally
known neuro-surgeon, has been ap
pointed Professor and Chairman of
the Department of Surgery at the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
of Yeshiva University and Director
of Surgery at the Bronx Municipal
Hospital Center, it was announced
by Dr. Samuel Belkin, President of
the .University. Dr. Davidoff is the
first department head appointed by
the College, now under Construction
in New York City. The Hospital
Center, now being constructed ,by
the City of New York at a cost of
will adjoin the College '
and serve as its clinical teaching
center.
Dr. Davidoff is Director of Neuro
logical Surgery at Beth Israel Hos
pital and Neuro-Surgeon, Mt. Sinai
Hospital in New York. World-fam
ous in the field of surgery and neuro
surgery, Dr. Davidoff was surgeon to
the Byrd-MacMillan Arctic Expedi
tion in 1925.
The Mystery About 50,000 Jews
According to the American
Jewish Year Book and other
authentic sources, Brazil has
about 120,000 most of them
concentrated in Rio de Janeiro
and Sao Paulo. But according to
the latest Brazilian census only
69,957 residents among them
36,022 men and 33,935 women—
identified themselves as Jews.
What happened to the rest of
the 50,000 Jews known to be
domiciled in Brazil? The “Yid
dishe Presse’ of Rio de Janeiro
recently ! opined that Jews were
heavily represented among the
274,000 Brazilians who told the
census takers they were' not af
filiated with any religion. This
explanation, it seems, raises more
questions than it -answers for it
assumes the tragic fact that forty
percent of the total Jewish popu
lation in Brazil has escaped from
Jewishness. Moreover, it simply
is incredible that the ratio of
“godlessness” among the Jews
should be so monstrously dispro
portionate to the rest of the popu
lation.
What then is the mystery be
hind the “missing” Brazilian
Jews?
A. Alperin of The Day-Jewish
Journal, who has delved into the
problem, believes he has found a
partial key to the mystery in the
following item in a recent issue
of “Die Shtimme,” Yiddish news
paper appearing in Mexico City:
“Not long ago there came to
C&racas a representative’of a cer
tain Jewish organization in New
York. He visited Venezuel’s capi
tal so as to familiarize himself
with its Jewish life. But t as a
delegate, he could not resist the
compulsion to visit the President
of Venezuela before returning to
New York. In the course of the
audience, the delegate thanked
the President for his tolerance to
ward Jews, and he was even so
carried away by ecstasy as to re
mark: ‘Senor President, in the
name of the 6,000 Jews residing
in your country, permit me to
thank you for your attitude** to
ward them.’
“The President’s r’eply was: ‘I
am amazed that you are thanking
me in the namp of only 6,000
Jews. We estimate that Venezuela
today has a population of about
12,000 although half of
them came in as Catholics we are
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not concerned since in our coun
try there are no religious and
racial problems.’
“The worthy delegate turned
pale, not knowing wjhat to reply.”
This may be a cue to what hap
pened in Brazil and other South
American countries during the
years of the second world war,
when it was comparatively "’easy
to gain admission with “Catholic
documents.” But it still does not
explain why so many Jews are
concealing their identity now that
they have become rooted in the
soil and are immune from legal
fear. Moreover, there is reason to
believe that thousands of the
Brazilian Jews who “officially”
concealed their identity are ac
tively engaged in Jewish com
munal affairs. Have the rest
chosen the self-imposed role of
privately clinging to their faith
and people while publicly and
officially denying such affilia
tion?
There are always those who
would barter their heritage for
imaginary security. If the 50,000
Jews in Brazil, who concealed
their identity believe the storm
will pass them if it ever comes,
they are victims of illusion who
have apparently learned nothing
from the most tragic chapter in
Jewish history. In any event this
is a development which merits
wide and serious attention.
saw**
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