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The Jewish outlook. (Denver, Colo.) 1903-1913, April 20, 1906, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn91052361/1906-04-20/ed-1/seq-1/

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The JEWISH OUTLOOK
A Weekly Journal Devoted to the Jewish Communities of the Rooky Mountain Region
Vol. 11l Third Year
Gabriel Riesser
The First Champion of Equal
Rights for German Jews
By Max Grunewald of Vienna.
On April 2, 1806, on the first Seder
evening, just when the door was opened
to receive “Elijah the Prophet,” Gabriel
Riesser first saw the light, and the Ger
man people were presented with an
Elijah who was to prepare the way for
those who were to win their emancipa
tion from political oppression and civil
restriction. Napoleon had unreservedly
and unconditionally granted full equal
ity to the Jews of all the countries under
his sway. But in the year 1815 at the
Vienna congress the old German hatred
of the Jews was able to insert the thin
end of the wedge which eventually de
prived the Jews of all the rights they had
attained. In paragraph 16 of the treaty
it was laid down they should receive all
the rights which till then had been
granted to them in the German allied
states. Senator Smidt, of Bremen, to
whom the revision of the draft treaty
was entrusted, was clever enough to sub
stitute the word by for in. The Jews
had been granted no rights by the Ger
man states, but merely in the German
states by the French government. The
Jews were, as a result, expelled from
many towns whose gates had been opened
to them by Napoleon. Among others was
Lubeck, where Gabriel Riesser’s family
at that time lived. Dr. Bueholz, of
Lubeck, the legal representative of the
Jewish communities in the three Hansa
cities, and a friend of the family, dis
cussed with Riesser’s father the meas
ures to be taken for the protection of his
shamefully deceived coreligionists. Such
was the atmosphere in which Gabriel re
ceived his first impressions. The family
PUBLISHED EVERY FRIDAY
Denver, Colorado, Friday, April 20, 1906
removed to Hamburg, and in 1824 Ga
briel delivered a parting Greek oration
at the Hamburg Johanneum, a. high
grade public school which for 200 years
had been visited by Jews, amongst the
first Jewish pupils having been the two
sons of the celebrated physician Rodrigo
de Castro.
Gabriel Riesser elected to study juris
prudence. The days of the Jewish ref
erendary had not yet arrived. In Ham
burg, for instance, where Reisser thought
of settling later as a lawyer, only citi
zens were admitted to the bar. The Jews
were not citizens and there were, there
fore, no Jewish barristers. In the city
archives of Hamburg at that period
there are many pressing applications
from Jewish legal aspirants. They were
obstinately refused so long as the appli
cants did not qualify themselves by bap
tism. But for Riesser such a step did
not come within the realm of possibility.
Thanks to the influence of powerful pat
rons, above all Salomon Heine, the pros
pect was offered him of a post in the
Jewish communal court in Altona, or in
tin' Hamburg commercial court, or of
earning his livelihood in similar legal
work. At any rate so calculated his
father. Riesser had his eyes fixed early
on another goal. After having passed
his law examination in Heidelberg in
1826, to proceeded for further study to
Munich, which King Ludwig desired to
raise to the head of European cities in
art and science. In Munich he received
a severe blow by the news of the death
of his father, to whom he was united not
only by bonds of filial affection but by
relations of most intimate comradeship.
In 1830 Reisser returned to Heidel
berg in order, as he himself humorously
remarked, to live and die there as a pri
vate tutor. He applied for registration,
(Continued on Second Page.)
Jewish Idealism
It is not so useful to ask what America
has done for the Jew, as what the Jew
has done for America. If the Hebrews
were to be judged merely by their ability
to make money speedily, the verdict in
their favor would be instant. But there
are other questions to lie asked. Why
has the Jew contributed to the American
ideals? What has he done to better the
country spiritually? What is our debt
to him in the higher fields of human ac
tivity, in the domain of literature, music
and art? If these questions can not be
answered in his favor, we must admit
there would be reason to ask with alarm
when the heavy Jewish immigration is to
stop; and to view with dread the growth
of the Hebrew population in this city
and country.
Let it be said at the outset that no
section of our variegated population has
ever set up a higher ideal of what the
home ought to be than the Jews. Be it
because there still survives in Jewish
life the Scriptural tradition of the
family as an institution in which the
patriarch reigns supreme, or because
their social isolation has caused them to
cling more closely to one another than
would otherwise be the case, in the aver
age Jewish home of culture there is a
reverence for age and a tenderness of af
fection far too often lacking where
Anglo-Saxon traditions prevail. This is
not simply the result of the league for
offense and defense which Jews have
consciously and unconsciously been com
pelled to form—thanks to Christians.
There is in all their relations of family
life a mutual regard and respect, with a
recognition of the claims of kinship,
well worthy of imitation. And this vir.
(Continued on Seventh Page.)
Number 25

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