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The Jewish outlook. (Denver, Colo.) 1903-1913, August 16, 1907, Image 1

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A Weehly Journal Devoted to the Jewish Communities of the Rochy Mountain Region
Vol. IV Fourth Year
Falashas of Abyssinia—BlacK Jews of India—Chinese and
Cochin Jews
It is commonly supposed that the Jews
of the present day world are limited to
types familiar in Europe, America and
throughout the Orient, without including
the stage Jew or the Jew of the comic
weeklies. That scattered remnants, mys
terious and remote in origin, peculiar in
appearance and traits, can he found in
most distant portions of the globe, and
that these are a never failing subject of
interest to the ethnologist and historian,
is a fact less generally known. To refer
to them as the missing descendants of
the long last ten tribes is comparatively
easy, but it is no satisfactory or scien
tific solution. It is hardly necessary,
however, in most instances to presuppose
so remote an ancestry, as considerable
light has been thrown in recent years
on their origin and characteristics.
Of these remnants of Israel the Fal
ashas, of Abyssinia, lead the list in num
bers and interest. They had long been
known under various names, but have
usually been termed Falashas or emi
grants. Various traditions of their
origin have been preserved—some trace
them to the time when .Menilek, the son
of Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba left
Jerusalem; others to the period of Is
rael's captivity under Shalmaneser, or
after the capture of Jerusalem by the
Romans. It was in 1868, however, that
a more probable identification was given
by Joseph Halevy, a French Orientalist
of distinction, who published the story
of his visit to Abyssinia. lie was of the
opinion that the Jewish element in the
Falashes can be derived from the Ilim
yarites captured in Ethiopia, who took
refuge in the mountains and converted
Peculiar Types of Jews
By Prof. A. S. Isaacs.
Denver, Colorado, Friday, August 16, 1907
a part of the Agaus, whence the Falashas
type. They form an active element of
the population, being masons, builders,
smiths, traders and agriculturists.
Darker than the people among whom
they dwell, their religion is Mosaism.
based upon the Ethiopic version of the
Pentateuch—they have no knowledge of
Hebrew. They keep the Sabbath, the
Passover and other holy days, with many
Jewish ceremonials, some modified. Their
history, despite palpable legends and ex
aggerations, is of undoubted antiquity.
Their conversion has been attempted of
recent years by Protestant missionaries,
but as yet without important results.
Of no less striking interest, although
limited in number, are the Black Jews,
or Beni Israel, native Jews of India.
These date their origin from 1,600 to
1,800 years ago. They were first brought
to tin* knowledge of Europeans at the
same time with intelligence of the white
and black Jews of Cochin, on the coast
of Malabar, by Christian missionaries
in the beginning of the nineteenth cen
tury. Since 18116 they have been fully
restored to Judaism, have their schools
and synagogs, are physically strong, are
welcomed as soldiers, and have gained
rank in Ihe British army in India, while
they are active in various trades. They
are less than nine thousand in number,
the majority residing in Bombay. As to
their origin, although they claim a pure
Jewish descent, they are probably the
result of mixed marriage with their
neighbors. Their native name signifies
“Saturday oil pressers,” thus alluding
(Continued on Page 2.)
Temple Treasurer Defaults
The treasurer of the Jewish Congre
gation, Arndt, who had served in that
capacity for many years, lias disap
peared, leaving a deficit of about 60,000
marks. The financial loss in this ease is
not so annoying as the loss of prestige.
The Jewish Congregation of Berlin has
passed as a model institution in all mat
lei's of administration, whatever criti
cism it may have been open to in reli
gious questions and on account of its in
dolence in social matters. It is a severe
blow to be obliged to admit that
the supervision of communal busi
ness was so carelessly conducted, that
a faithless official was able for years
to carry on his pilferings and to
falsify the accounts without having
his operations uncovered by the regu
larly recurring examinations. It appeal's
also that this official was entrusted with
the task of forwarding Jewish emigrants
from Western Europe and that his con
duct toward them had been, for years,
of incredible brutality, having even been
guilty of acts that may not be more
particularly described. It appears abso
lutely incredible that such things could
continue for years without being noticed
or denounced. It is to be hoped that this
sad incident will have the wholesome ef
fect of causing a stricter supervision of
officials by the executive board. It need
scarcely be mentioned with what delight
the anti-Semitic press have taken up the
Arndt incident. It is rumored that the
various parties in the Jewish community
of Berlin are already rallying under
their several banners for the struggle
which is to take place at the election of
representatives in the fall. The Cohn
and Arndt affairs will, of course, play
an important part at this election. There
Number 42

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