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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, December 10, 1905, Image 6

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THE 2ioth anniversary of the
settlement of Hebrews in the
United States suggests many a
train of thought, but there is
probably none whose pursuit
•would be more appropriate than
that which concerns itself with the fu
ture of the religion of the Hebrews.
The early Hebrew settlors w^re imbued
with great uiety. They did not treat Ju
daism as the empty phrsse designed to
pive an air of respectability to their lives.
They knew that it is a positive rollgrion
Imposing well dsiinod obligations and du
ties, and they honored these obligation?
and dtitios accordingly.
In the 25J years now drawing to a close
the Hebrew population of the United
States has increased by leaps and bounds:
and to-day it is probably only exceeded
by that of Russia and Austria. Its mate
rial prosperity has kept pace with its
growth, and it has become a highly im
portant rJement in the general population.
But white the Hebrew is too sensible
and too practical to def pise material pros
perity, he does not make its attainment
the chief aim of his existence. He kn3ws
full well that wealth is a blessing when
justly acquired and properly employed.
Bu» he also recognizes that without Ju
daism there can be no Hebrews. He real
izes that the Almighty has preserved the
Hebrew poople through centuries of un
paralleled persecution that they misht be
livin? evidence of the divine authority of
the Mosaic law, and that by their dutiful
observance of that law they should ex
emplify its perfection. The Hebrew
therefore regards the perpetuation of Ju
daism as his iirst and most sacred duty;
and as the ceremonial institutions of Ju
daism have manifestly been the means
employed by Providence In preserving the
identity of the Hebrew people and in per
potuating their faith, he honors these cer
emonial institutions not only because of
their divine origin but because they alone
render possible the performance of Is
rael's mission as a kingdom of priests
and a holy naiion.
The growth of the Hebrew reform move
ment in the United States is familiar to
all who have followed th*- religious events
of the last half century. Its effect is now
manifest in the existence of a generation
of Hebrews who are practically ignorant
of Judaism. Beginning with the repudia
tion of those ceremonial institutions
which have enabled the Hebrews to
weather the storms of ages, and assum
ing the right to abrogate divine laws, re
form Judaism has now assailed doctrines
held sacred by Hebrew and Christian
alike, such as supernatural revelation and
the divine authority of the Mosaic law.
Its foremost representative asks If we
roust yet be cowed by fear of the thun
ders of Sinai, and declares explicitly that
the Bible Is not binding or authoritative
for the reform Jew.
Fortunately the overwhelming majority
of the Hebrew people have no sympathy
with this destructive radicalism. The
principles of the early Hebrew settlers
are the principles of the masses to-day,
for the altar of true Hebrew teaching has
never lacked faithful priests. In days
Challenge to Hebrew
Ministry of New York
Mnnnjrlnjr Editor Jc«l«h Encyclopedia.
THERE cannot be the slightest
doubt that American Judaism
sUinds to-day before a momen
tous crisis, Religious, politico
economical and social, and It is,
therefore, the duty. of all those
who have the capacity of clear thinking
and the courage of plain speaking to work
out a Jewish platform broad enough
for every progressive Jew to stand
upon. Had the 250,000 Jews who lived
in ISSO in this country- had the time to
work out their religious programme
without the intervention of the about
200,000 orthodox Russian, Roumanian
and Galicia n Jews who landed on these
shores from ISBI to 190S, Temple Ema
nu-El and Temple Beth-El — to remain
only on our own Fifth avenue — would
have stood to-day where Chicago's
Sinai Congregation of Dr. Emil G.
Hirscb stands; synagogue closed on
Saturday and opened on Sunday, no
Holy Ark and the reading of the Torah,
and bo on. Now that the barbaric May
laws of May 15, 1882, which by forcing
hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews
to this country have Interrupted the
natural development of the American
synagogue have been practically an
nulled by the last ukase of Nicholas IL
granting a liberal constitution to all
inhabitants of Russia without distinc
tion of creed or race, there is hope that
the 1,600,000 Jews living In this country
gone Dy tne advance of rauicalism was
checked by a Leeser, a Lyons, an Illo
way, an Isaacs, a Morias and other ex
ponents of traditional Judaism, and the
orthodox rabbis of the present time are
equally loyal to the principles of their
ancestral faith, equally jealous In pro
claiming those eternal truths which He
brew and Christian alike revere.
Judaism survived the policy of a Jason
and a Menelaus. and Judaism will flour
ish in America when the present reform
movement has teen relegated to the pages
of history. The descendants of the radi
cals of to-day will not be Hebrews, but
Judaism, divine in its origin and in its
mission, will not be affected thereby. The
providence that guided a \u25a0 Maccabaean
movement against the heresy of Hellen
ism will not forsake Israel now. . History
is ever repeating Itself.
will gradually consolidate in one homo
geneous group.
The Jews of the United States need
a religious declaration of -Independence
sui generis. The following questionary
may, then, serve as starting point to
our Thomas JerTersons, John Adamses,
Benjamin Franklins, .and so on:
"First — Did Almighty God really re
veal himself unto our patriarchs, unto
Moses and our prophets; i.e., are. the
monologues and dialogues in^the Bible
purporting to be these revelations to
be taken as authentic manifestations
of the divinity, or are \ they . nothing
else than the utterances of Inspired,
saintly men, similar to those mentioned
in the Koran and in the Holy Scrip
tures of other nations?
'^Second — Are the. commandments
contained. in the Pentateuch, and, above
all, the Decalogue, really laws given
by the creator of the universe, or are
they simply human enactments given
by Moses, or whatever ,the v name of
their originator - may_ be?
"Third — Does, for Instance, the He
brew violating the Sabbath and the
holidays and the dietary, laws really act
against the will of God, or is he only
destroying; by his acts - the bonds \u25a0of
national unity? •\u25a0; '
"Fourth— -Has the rabbinical law,
based, . as !f» Is, : upon . an_ Oriental -" text
book of hoary antiquity, yet the right
[to impose its statutes on the Jews of
> 1905, or is it not the only logical and
- honest policy onthe part of our up-to
date theologians to vote its complete
and unreserved abolition?'
"Fifth— Has the synagogue the intention'
to keep its' real or nominal devotees in a
perpetual state, of suspense between the
theories .of the world mission of Israel,
national . Zionism, 'Kulturzlonlsmus,'
moral Zionism and spiritual nationalism?
"Sixth— ls the .study of Bible, Talmud,
• post-Talmudicai, neo-Hebraic* literature
and Jewish history to be considered as an
integral part of Jewish* religion proper,
or are these matters .merely as many
branches of general human knowledge?"
: "Seventh— lf the second theory be right,
are we justified in continuing our present
Sunday-school programmes and maintain
ing the instruction our "rabbis give the'
adults from the pulpits of our syna
gogues? . .'. .'\u25a0"...
"Eighth— Were it, further, on the ground
.of the same r theory which , seems to be
tacitly admitted by - the
majority, of our "educated and well-to-do
co-religionists In Central and Western
Europe and the New> World, not logical
if our rabbinical seminaries were radical
ly to change their programmes— Lie., in
stead of training at a relatively enormous
expense a few rabbis yearly, for communi
ties which do not heed | their.; preachings
for fifty ; weeks of : the .year, Ito
colleges for Jewish history, literature and
religion, where Jew .. and • Gentile alike
could inform themselves about . the i past
of .Israel, her/ contribution to ', the - world :
" literature and .the. tenets of ; her, faith ?/^V'
"Ninth-Ms the continued maintenance of
Jewish hospitals, Jewish" orphan asylums,
Jewish cemeteries," a natural phase of the;
religious development 'of the Jew or rath
er the logical. consequence; of ; a reaction
against the ahtl-Jewlsh : ; policy of the
Christian nations "in the past? .
"Tenth— Do the pleaders \of .American
Judaism consider *~ the T erection ' •'.; of >, new.
synagogues and the artificial constitution
of new. congregations a higher/ duty "than
helping our. unfortunate brethren in East
ern Europe and the Orient, to escape from*
. political , slavery, "\u25a0 economical annihilation
and spiritual anaemia?'.' ; , . *-l'£'.% ",>
- These and many ; others : of ' similar im
A FEW years since Israel Zangwill,
7\ when on a visit to this country,
'/"\. delivered an address to his own
people. A few of the epigrams
which he then coined concerning the char
acteristics of the Hebrews are here of
The Jews had^no country of their own.
They could not possess the land of their
fathers in reality. So they made a port
able Palestine. They carried it wherever
they went. This was a spiritual country.
It could not be assailed by their oppres
There have been two conceptions of the
Jew. One that he lends money and want 3
it back again; the other that he deals in
old clothes. The truth is Jews. have been
everywhere. They have been everything
except Pope of Rome, and they have come
near to that. If they dealt in old clothes
it was because papal decrees forbade them
trading in anything else but old clothes
and old iron.
Jews, in a way, were as good as United
States bonds; only United States bonds
may be converted, but when a Jew was
converted he lost his value.
Because Bhylock was rich and Jessica
beautiful, all Jews are rich and' all Jew
esses are beautiful. . I wish It were so.' V,
, A ' good looking Jew .was considered' the
fool \of the family, which' Is consolation
for some of us. ' .'\u25a0 ' .
_ The black plague swept over Europe.
The Jews escaped:by reason of ; their dif
ferent hygienic y laws. \ The Christians
charged him- 'with poisoning the wells and
portance are the. burning questions of ,the
day. .And if _; any \u25a0of the^ orators^ on the
programme of ( the :Cairnegie' Hall 'c'elebra-;
tion^would have \u25a0 the ; courage 'and .; could
find the wisdom. to give us in ? clear C terms
unequivocal" answers'* to \u25a0 these 'questions,
American ;' Israel,-? yea£ the entire interna-;
tionalf Judaism -, would be ; grateful 5 and t a
new. « epoch , would ; be \ started ? in •, the % hls
tory f ,of Judaism; and indirectly v ln *th« ;"'re^
Hglous evolution r of mankind, r ',".
thousands of- Jews, were put to death for
not dying of the plague.
Colonel Roosevelt told me thai the Jews
of his regiment were among: his bravest
soldiers. And when Hobson had to be
*klssed it took a Jewess to do it. \u25a0 t ..
. Jews not only furnished money for Co
lumbus" expedition, but his first lieuten
ant was a Jew. This officer discovered to
bacco, which Is greater than America.
\u25a0 Carlyle said the Jews had no humor, but
Carlyle was a Scotchman.
A beggar stole a spoon from a wealthier
member of his race who had entertained
him. When detected the beggar said:
;'By taking the spoon I broke the eighth
commandment, which says, 'Thou shalt
not steal.' If I had not taken it I w«uld
have broken the tenth, which says: 'Thou
shalt not covet." I saw I had to break
one commandment anyhow, so I thought
I might as well have the spoon."
It has always been the desire of Jewish
! fathers, however rich, to have ' learned
sons-in-law, however poor. I do not find
this custom prevalent to-day.
To illustrate why there are no good
Jews in fiction Mr. Zangwill related the
story of the lion 'and the cub. The ciib
had seen a painting of Samson vanqulsh
* ing a lion, and said to its parent: "I have
'seen many contests' betweeri lions and
men and always the men have been the,
victors. Why are there no pictures show
ing lions overpowering men?" "It is be
cause we lions have no painters," was the
. parent's reply. ' i.
The Jews have been scattered to the
four winds among all tlie nations of the
earth. They have been of immense ser
vice to every country that has harbored
them. "It reminds me of the itory of the
crocodile, which opened its mouth so ; that
a bird might go into it and eat the leeches
which annoyed ltr There was mutual be:ie^
fit from the operation. It is not strange
that sometimes the Jews find the croco
dile's mouth closing upon them. It was
natural tliat Jews should congregate
arourid their synagogues. They became to
some , extent Isolated I . from the ,' people
among whom they dwelt. This isolation
brought . with 4 it ;," suspicion. , and suspicion
caused : more Isolation for mutual protec
tion. •. .".-, ./\u25a0:'.;,. ;/ ~ ' . .\u25a0'..'. ."..". '
. In medieval times the nations of Europe
had* a" conception of the "' Jewish character
compared' to which Shakespeare's Shyldck '
was " a saint. .It was this " that brought
about the compulsory ghetto.
There are two general types of Jews,
' the German 'and; the' Spanish.' The Span—
'\u25a0\u25a0 i'shj Jews speak a mixture \u25a0 of . Hebrew and
Spanish."' The German Jews - speak v Yid
dish,' a mongrel'of bad German and every
other language in'the world.' '_ . "
-" ."'.The . Jews financed the .Crusades vyolu'n- '
l tartly and' Involuntarily. There was' noth
ing they had not financed, 'not even their
"own/ persecutions.'/ / \u0084:'
Business and Profession
of New York Hebrews
In New York City the percentage of Hebrews In the various busi
ness Interests and professions is as follows:
Per Cent. Per Cent
Cloaks, clothing (manufacturers) 9S Embroideries 50
Cloaks, clothing (laborers).... 50 Boots and shoes (retail) 75
Children's clothing and caps Boots and shoes (wholesale) 15
(manufacturers) 98 Braids -. TO
Children's clothing and caps Laces SO
(laborers) 45 Millinery 80
Cigars (manufacturers) 85 Xeckwear (ladles') 90
Cigars (laborers) 40 Neckwear (men's) 85
Leaf tobacco 90 Lawyers 60
Bristles 98 Physicians 45
Fancy goods and notions 85 Shirts 85
Feathers 90 Skirts 90
Bonnet wire 99 Suspenders 85
Ladles' hats 95 Woolens .-.'. 45
Ladles' waists (manufacturers) 99 Flour . 5
Furriers 94 Gloves 30
Hosiery 75 Hides and skins 35
Jewelry (jobbing) 75 Chemicals 5
Jewelry (retail) 40 China 7
Ivory ...:... 75 Brokers (stock) 10
Department stores 9u Brokers (real estate) ..\u25a0; 40
Amusement managers 85 Contractors and builders 35
Actors 50 Bankers 40
Song- publishers 90 Bakers 35
Song composers 80 Dentists 25
Belt (manufacturers) 75 Druggists 15
Butchers (wholesale) 7 S Teachers '. 45
Butchers (retail) ..'. 60 Other businesses and professions
German-American Jews
f"y ERMAN Hebrews occupy a prom
s'^ Tir.e'nt and conspicuous position in
the city -of New York, and as a
class are highly respected In commercial
and financial circles.
There were only a few hundred ip this
city until about the year IS4S, and from
that time they have emigrated to this
country in large numbers. There are to
day several hundred thousands in this
city. They or their descendants have be
come leaders in every branch of business
and crowd the legal and medical profes
sions as well. They have outnumbered
the Spanish and Portuguese Hebrews, who
were at one time' 30 prominent in commu
nal affairs, by a thousand to one, and by
their ability and industry have become
the leaders in the Hebrew community.
Although nearly, all the large benevolent
Japanese as Flower Lovers
AMERICANS and Europeans may
have a love for flowers, but the
people of Japan show in many
ways that beautiful blossoms fill a much
larger place In their hearts than in those
of any other people. From the members
of the royal family to the poorest beg
gar in the streets the love seems to be
innate. In the palaces of Tokio there are
exquisite vases of every description which
arc dally filled with rare blossoms. But
the peasant In his paper hut is quite as
particular to fill his bamboo vases "with
some blossoms. Should one chance to
stay at a hotel more 'than twenty-four
hours he will .find fresh flowers every
day to replenish" those which greeted him
on his arrival. Even the half-naked
coolie will have a flower of some kind
stuck behind his ear. At every corner
and all along the streets there are nu
merous flower merchants, and it is sel
dom that a Japanese beggar will hesitate
to part with his last coin to purchase a
blossom. Parents choose flower names
for their daughters, and a Japanese lady
always ' adorns her person with the flow
ers which are appropriate" to the season.
No visitor to the land of the cherry
blossom festival has failed to describe
this most important occasion. The open
ing of the season is the blooming of this
flower, and It is a national holiday. Thou
sands of people, j dressed in their best,
wander about all day under the arch of.
overhanging • rose { red \u25a0 trees, refreshing
themselves = with tea or, rice wine at the
tea houses or buying souvenirs of the oc
casion ;at the I many little shops erected
for i. the day: Each owner of a cherry or
chard has his own. private festival, and
Findin g of a Lost Tribe
AT, the north end of Hudson. Bay Is
i an . Island - about .the \u25a0 size of the
State of Maine, which is onlled
Southampton Island, on which has been
discovered -. a lost tribe of Eskimo,
iwhich has been- without -any Intercourse
with human beings for centuries and until
a^few years ago had never seen a white
man."';-' Apparently / these people; have
dwelt tfiere ; since before , the time of Co
lumbus. \u25a0 They are still in the stone age,
knowing no metals./ They grow no plants
and ; their "homes are built of the skulls
of whales. ; Thetr huts, are 1 built by put
ting together the great Jaws of whale and
; covering - them ; over \with . skins. In- tho
middle of this * dwelling : is the familiar \
elevated place* on which stands .the lamp.
'.With r this : they cook, light .their dwell
ings, provide warmth, melt snow and dry
their; clothes:" The whale is. their chief
\u25a0"• \ \u25a0\u25a0 - \u25a0 * *\u25a0 " • \u25a0 '
societies were originally founded by the
Portuguese and all the first presidents
were of that class to-day these Institu
tions are managed almost entirely by the
Germans, and that they are capably ad
ministered no one can gainsay.
The German Hebrews have, with few
exceptions, adopted the modern or reform '
service In their worship. The two larga
temples— Emanu-El and Beth-El— in Fifth
avenue are their most conspicuous and
palatial synagogues. There are besides
less pretentious temples in different parts
of the city. Many of these temples hold
service on Sundays as well as on Satur
days, but there is not yet any congrega
tion in this city that has followed the ex
ample of Dr. Emll Hirch in Chicago,
whose congregation does not worship at .
all on Saturdays, but holds service liko
their Christian brethren on Sundays only.
sends out invitations ornamented with
cherry blossoms to his especial . friends.
AH sorts of games are played, and In the
evening thousands of lanterns are hung
on the trees. The royal court invites the
nobility and the diplomatic corps to a
gardent party. It Is also the season for
family picnics, which are looked forward
to throughout the year by the humbler
classes. Only too. soon is the cherry blos
som festival at an end.
The Japanese cherries are not Intended
to be eaten, but their value Is simply In,
the blossom. It Is the most luxuriant
bloom of, all, and of such importance
that before the bursting of the blossoms
the fact is advertised in all the local pa
pers. The cherry tree sometimes grows
as tall as an oak., and during the time of
bloom it Is so laden with flowers that not
a vestige of leaf Is visible. The flowers
have also a singular and delicate per
, The Japanese woman has a pretty cus
tom of making her dress correspond to the
flowers which are in season. At the cher
ry blossom festival she wears a kimono^
embroidered with the flower so much In"
evidence then. When tha azalea season
ccmes this. garment is replaced with one
covered with effective sprays of the vari
colored azaleas, and this in turn gives
way before the wistaria and chrysanthe
mum. ,'
In the arrangement of their flowers the
people of Japan show great artistic ta3te.
Each separate bud is allowed Its chance
to be admired. A single flower held by a
crystal vase makes a feast for the eyes
which Is not forthcoming when dozens of
the blossoms are crowded together and
their individual charm entirely lost.
means of subsistence.- They use the
bones In a variety of ways, even making:
their cups and buckets of it, by bending
it In shape and sewing on the bottom.
The tribe is composed of about fifty
eight individuals, about evenly divided
between the sexes. They speak a dialect
peculiar to themselves, quite unlike that
spoken by any other tribes of Eskimo,
A fact which shows the perfect isolation
of the community Is evidenced by their
ignorance \u25a0 of soapstone. Among other
tribes it is the favorite material for pots
and kettles, and when they are unable to
obtain it in their own neighborhood they
will : make long pilgrimages, lasting sev
eral years. In quest of this material. But
as, the people of this lost tribe are in i?-)
norance of such a stone they make tfcr'A
receptacles ' from slabs .of llmestoni^
which they glue together in rectangular
shapes by mixing deer's blood and crease.

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