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THE JEWISH SOUTH. I
INTERESTS OF JUDAISM. PUBLISHED WEEKLY. HERBERT T. EZEKIEL, Editor aii Proprietor, 72a EAST MAIN STREET. Subscription, One Dollar per annum. Single Copy, Five Cents. Advertising Rate, 25 cents per inch. Entered at the Poat Office, Richmond, V*., as second class mail matter. OUR GREETING. As it is generally conceived, every book of any consequence should have a preface. Likewise, the initial number of a newspaper is not com plete without a salutatory. There is the difference, however, that a a preface is ordinarily written after the book is finished, and the writer can measure his claims by his work and tell definitely what he has at tempted to do. The salutatorian has the untilled field of journalistic possibility still before him, and has to content himself with a statement of what he hopes to do. This, then, be the endeavor of "The Jewish It does not presume to say that it is going to fill a long-felt want,, but it does claim, that there being only one Jewish newspaper south of the Mason and Dixon line, there is room for another. That room it hopes to occupy and to become the welcome visitor in thousands of homes of the intelligent Jews of the South. There is ever a profound need of a journal, even here in America, to defend Judaism against silly, and often dangerous charges, conceived in ignorance, born in big otry, and fostered with unreason ing malevolence, that are too fre quently allowed to continue unan swered, because of the unwilling ness or inability of individuals to take up the lance. There is, also, always need of a Tlie Jewish South. of our co-religionists who are cut off from the benefits of communal institutions, that will be the medium of intercommunication and ex change of thoughts and ideals. The Jewish South will endeavor, in so far as shall lie within its pow ers to answer these needs. Its voice will never be silent when the honor kits faith is assailed, and there 1 be no effort too great, nor too en repeated, that it will not make in its defence. Nor will it, on the other hand, be dumb when a fault will be seen among its own, but will endeavor to raise Judaism and the Jews unto such lofty planes of life, that, like Bilaam of old, those ' who come to curse, must perforce, remain to bless. Should it in some degree succeed in this, it feels it will not in vain have been called Into existence. To its cotemporaries it extends the hand of fellowship, and asks only that it receive from them the treatment it shall merit. i - AS TO JEWISH CONVERTS. The apocryphal tradition as to the Jew's love of money is hardly borne out by the statistics in Eng land. During the past year the so ciety having for its object the con version of our British co-religionists succeeded they claim in twelve cases. The average cost per capita was something over $15,000. As eleven of the converts so-called were un der the age of twenty-one, it would seem that the affection for "the root" entertained by the Jewish adult is hardly so strong as is gen erally attributed. \ Not so satisfactory are the re ports we hear of conversions on this side of the water. If these be true, men reared in Russia as rabbis are now in the employ of low-countrymen become Christains. It is also said they have been quite "successful." We sincere!}' trust that these statements are untrue, but if they are not, we can but con sole ourselves with the thought that men who on so slight a provo cation degenerate into renegades and apostates, would scarcely, un der the best conditions, reflect credit upon Judaism. * While on the subject we can but remember the action of our lament ed Dr. Harris in this direction. By order of the Episcopal Bish op a day was set apart upon which prayer was to be offered in all the churches in the diocese for the con version of the Jews. In an "open letter" to the Bishop, published at the time in a local daily, Dr. Harris expressed his thanks for the distin guished consideration, but declared there was no desire whatsoever on the part of the Jews for conversion as they were very well satisfied with their condition. * Indeed, it is almost impossible to regard the matter seriously when we reflect how little our faith has suffered in this direction. Even when effected, conversions so-called sig nify but little. All of us probably remember the story of the conver sion of the young Jewish student at Oxford. So proud was the society who wrought the wonder of its la bors, that a special public meeting was had, that the thoroughness of, their handiwork might be demon jstrated. The affair came off on a Saturday. After certain prelimina ries a curtain was thrown back, disclosing the young convert seated ?n a table, devouring an immense am sandwich with evident gusto. Such a diet on such a day satisfied the most skeptical. But, sorrowful to relate, the new accession to the church was discovered the next day, Sunday, endeavoring to sell slate pencils at an advance of one hun dred per cent, on their value.