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Execute the Judgment of Truth and Peace in your Gates.
A WEEKLY JOURNAL DEVOTED TO SOCIAL INTERESTS AND PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM. VOL. I. CHICAGO, SEPTEMBER 13,1878. No. 14. WATCHING THE SKY. I am standing' here at the garden-gate; The night is pleasant, too— Tis the Summer-time, and its tender bloom Is sweet with evening-dew. And a dear little girl is at my side, Her hand is on my arm; And together we watch the distant sky That has a dreamy charm. A few tieecy clouds hang over its depths, lake drapings soft and light, And a crown of gems a re the twinkling stars Upon the brow of Night. The moon, as the Queen of the azure sea, Its silvery light bestows; And, as far as the eye can penetrate, There is beauty and repose. And the heart of the child is taking in The glory of the sky; For a dreamy look comes over her face; Then, ere it passes by, She points above with a wandering gaze, And softly says to me, “If the side thus seen is so beautiful, What must the other be?” F. s. Barnes, in the Tribune, For t he- Jewish Advance. ALBERT COHN. ’ -^(joni;nuecl) In the meantime reports of a very saddening nature have spread over Europe about the situation of the Is raelites of Palestine. It is well known that the Jews of Palestine are sustained by charitable contributions which are sent them from Europe, and the largest portion of which comes from Ivussia. In the month of March, 1854, an ukas was issued by the Pussian Government, which prohibited the Jews to send their alms for their brethren to Pales tine. This ukas, together with the de pression caused by the war have pro duced a disastrous effect. The harvest -of that year had been very poor, the prices of all alimentary provisions have risen to unusually high rates, the four Jewish communities of Jeiusalem, Hebron, Tiberia and Safet have been re duced to starvation. I hey have ad dressed heartrending appeals to the Jews of Europe and of America, and especially to Sir Moses Montefioic, v\ho had visited them three times before. In London and in other English cities meetings were held by the Israelites with a view to organize for the purpose of raising means to help the famine stricken communities. Subscriptions opened. Sir Moses Montefiore has raised in England alone nearly £8,000 for the sufferers, On the Isle of^ St. Thomas, 3,000 francs were raised. The suffering of the Jews of Palestine was promptly allayed. It was necessary now to devise some Klan of durable assistance for the East ern Jews. In two sessions (of May 31 and June IE 1854), the Central Consis tory has deliberated on this question and has resolved “to take the initiative in the great work of civilizing the On ental Jews, and to demand the support j of all principal communities of Europe j in these labors.” The Consistory of Paris has imme diately joined the Central Consistory of France, and the following resolution was adopted : “The Central Consistory having re solved to open communications with all “principal Jewish communities of Europe “for the purpose of aiding, instructing “and civilizing their brethren of the East, “and particularly those of Jerusalem. “It was furthermore resolved to raise a “public subscription for the means “which will be necessary for this object, “after an investigation will be made on “the place of operation, and from this “day onward the education of young “Orientalists in the East shall be the “primary means to be imployed in this “labor.” In a letter addressed to Dr. Philipp son, on June 12th, the Consistory says : “Mr. Albert Cohn will depart for the “East to make the investigations men tioned in this resolution. He will “bring us the exact information which IiA “will gather on this important subject.” The mission of Albert Cohn was summed up by the Journal des Dehats in the following remark : “Mr. Albert Cohn, the President of “the Committee on Benevolence of the “Jewish Central Consistory, goes to “Jerusalem, the centre and metropolis “of the Eastern Jews, to study the “question (of civilizing the Eastern “Jews), in the very place of operation. “Mr. Colin will bring to the Jews of the “Holy Land material assistance, moral “encouragement and strong protection. “He will organize at Jerusalem schools, “charitable institutions, societies for the “propagation of industry, art and agri culture. He will establish a Hebrew “journal for the purpose of continually “keeping up an exchange of ideas on “subjects of religion and morality be tween the Oriental Jews and their “European brethren. ’ The situation ot the Jews of the Euvopean-Turkisli provinces was quite unknown in Europe at that time, the sympathies of the European Israelites belonged entire to their brethren of the Orient, and especially to those of the Holy Land, the spot which has been hallowed by so many remembrances of olden times—Jerusalem, the holy mountain and the venerated ruins of the temple-wall—And toward that con secrated spot Albert Cohn directed his efforts. Nobody thought of asking : What will be done with the Jews of European-Turkey—not even Hr. Pliil ippson, as it seems—they were strangers to the sympathies of their brethren of other European countries. Albert Cohn’s programme covered the demands of every one, it gave entire satisfaction. VI. The work Albert Cohn took upon him to perform was full of difficulties, not withstanding the programme hawing been considerably reduced. Jerusalem had at that time a Jewish population of about 8,000 souls. It has since then increased to the number of 13,000, which is a third part -of the en tire population of the city. This number is divided into two principle groups—the Sephardim, (7,000 souls), and the Ash kenazim. The former group com prises the descendants of ancient inha bitants of the land, the exiles from Spain and the constantly increasing in flux of emigrants from all portions of Asia and of North Africa as far down as Morocco. The latter consists of the Isralites who have settled in Jerusalem since the midflfe ages, escaping the per secutions of European governments. Natives of Galicia, Russia, and Rou mania continue still to increase the num ber of that group. The Ashkenazim form a separate group since the six tlte name of Pernslmm ^A portion <>f the Perushim have embraced the mystic teachings of Israel Baal-Sham (who was the originator of the Hassidaic de nomination in Podolia in the middle of the last century), and form a separate congregation. The entire group of Perushim (or Ashkenazim) at the present time is formed of the following component parts : 3,000 Russians, <00 natives of Warsaw, 100 natives of Germany and Holland, 500 Hungarians. The Hassidim are comprised of 1,000 natives of Volhynia, 500 Galicians, and 200 of Chabad or Liubavitz, There is also a small community of Karaites at Jerusalem. The Jewish population of Jerusalem has always been very poor. Of the 13,000 Israelites living in that city at the present time there is hardly half the number who gain their livelihood, and there are fully 3,000 who live on alms. The causes of this deplorable state of affairs are various. Jerusalem is no commercial city, no important road to a commercial point passes by it, and on account of the general poverty of the country, even such as have learned a trade cannot find work for their main tenance. Among the Israelites of that city there are masons, tailors, glaziers, painters, carpenters, silver and gold smiths, shoemakers, and what not. They exercise every imaginable profession and their skill is perfectly sufficient for the demand of the people ; but in hard times work is lacking for the working men, and hard times are of frequent oc currence in that country. Years of drought and dearness, epidemic mala dies and political calamities visit the country at frequent intervals and the misery of the people becomes indescrib able. In summer time water becomes sometimes so dear that many a poor man cannot buy a drink to quell bis parching thirst, and since commerce has developed in the maritime cities in the latter times, eatables and all other nec essaries of life have become very dear indeed. In addition to all this it must be remembered that the general state of health of the Israelites has become re duced considerably during the centuries of suffering and depression at Jerusa lem, <and thus they have become gen erally susceptible for all kinds of sick ness ; that the community at Jerusalem has at least 1,000 helpless widows to maintain ; that there is every year an influx of poor emigrants consisting of rabbins of Africa. Asia and Poland, coming thither to consecrate their lives to religious studies, or poor persons on whom the name of the Holy City exer cises an irresistible charm, or pious old men who desire to be buried in the sod where the remains of the prophets are resting—and it will easily be understood that the: misery of the people is caused by the' permanent evils of climatic de mpf Tie economical and political situation of the country, of historical misfortunes, and at last of the most ardent religious sentiments. This mis ery may be alleviated, diminished, re duced—but never can it be entirely ban ished. Agriculture may in time furn ish the means of subsistence for a large portion of the Jewish population, but this requires long experience and tradi tional support. Agriculture cannot thrive without security—and Jewish settlements in Palestine are at any time exposed to the ravages of wild Ara bians. For the purpose of instructing the Jews of Palestine in agriculture the Alliance Israelite, seconded by the benevolence of Mr. Charles Netter, has established an agricultural school at Jaffa—a long-winded piece of work, the benefits of which will not show them selves very soon. For a long, long time yet it will be necessary to take care of the widows, the orphans, the aged and the infirm which are so numerous in the Holy Land. The Christian population of that country stands also in need of alms from outside, and receives them regularly. All that can be done at the present time is to have an honorable committee taking charge of the distribution of alms and making the best use of the money which is sent for the poor of Palestine. Above all, earnest and de voted men should be appointed to use their influence for promulgating sound ideas on popular education, who should not misuse their authority by the fear ful weapon of Gherein, by means of which the community is now so often thrown into consternation, and its pro gress is checked in its course. A blind folded charity may be ever as lofty in