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I 




A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Sailors' and Soldiers' Edition 24m o (Eyre 
& Spottiswoode), eleven impressions 

Library Edition 8vo (Oxford University 
. Pre8s)| three impressions 



. 86,000 copies 
. 7,000 copies 



Printed in England 



A BOOK OF 

JEWISH THOUGHTS 



SELECTED AND ARRANGED 

BY 

THE CHIEF RABBI 

(DR. Jr H. HERTZ) 



Third Impression 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW COPENHAGEN 

NEW YORK TORONTO MELBOURNE CAPE TOWN 
BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS SHANGHAI PEKING 

5683—1922 



TO 

THE SACRED MEMORY 

OP THE 

SONS OF ISRAEL 

WHO FELL 

IN THE GREAT WAR 

1914-1918 






c:. 



<4J 

t 



€ 



-::iO 



\\ve->coc-vv 






T 



PREFATORY NOTE 

HIS Book of Jewish Thoughts brings the message 
of Judaism together with memories of Jewish 
martyrdom and spiritual achievement throughout the 
ages. Its first part^ ^I am an Hebrew'^ covers the 

0^2" more important aspects of the life and consciousness 

of the Jew. The second^ ' The People of the Book \ 
deals with Israelis religious contribution to mankind^ 
and touches upon some epochal events in Israel's 

'^ story. In the third, * The Testimony of the Nations \ 

will be found some striking tributes to Jews and 
Judaism from non-: Jewish sources. The fourth part^ 
^ The Voice of Prayer *, surveys the Sacred Occasions 
of the Jewish Year^ and takes note of their echoes in 
the Liturgy. The fifth and concluding part, 'The 
Voice of Wisdom \ is, in the main, a collection of the 
deep sayings of the Jewish sages on the ultimate 
problems of Life and the Hereafter. 

The nucleus from which this Jewish anthology 
gradually developed was produced three years ago for 
the use of Jewish sailors and soldiers. To many of 
them, I have been assured, it came as a re-discovery 
of the imperishable wealth of Israel's heritage; while 



viii PREFATORY NOTE 

to the non-Jew into whose hands it fell it was a 
striking revelation of Jewish ideals and teachings. 
I can pray for no better result for this enlarged 
Library Edition. 

Grateful acknowledgement is due to the authors^ 
translators^ and publishers^ for their courteous per- 
mission to reprint selections from their works; to 
Dayan H. M. Lazarus^ M.A.^ and Miss Elsa Linde^ for 
various useful suggestions ; and to the Revs. J. Mann^ 
D.Litt.^ S. Lipson^ and I. Livingstone for help in the 
preparation of the Index of Subjects. 

J* IT. H* 

London, 1920, 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PAGES 

L I AM AN HEBREW . .... l-60 



Ye are mt Witnessss : Isaiah ; Jacobs ; Aguilar 
I AH AN Hebrew : C. Adler .... 
The Good Fight : Eleazar of Worms . 
Eyeby Isbaelite Holds the Honour of His Entibb 

People in His Hands : Talmud ; Montefiore 
The Paths of Life : Eliezer ben Isaac ; Asher ben 

Yechiel 

In the Old Ghetto : Philipson ; E. G. Hirsch 
The Jewish Woman : M. Lazarus ; Hertz ; Talmud 
The Jewish Motheb : Szold ; Lucas . 



Religious Education : Cohen ; Book of Morals ; Morals 18 



The Sacbed Tongue: Joseph .... 
The Hebbew Language: Schechter; Szold 

What is Cultube ? Hertz 

The Student of the Torah : Jellinek 

Bar Mitzyah Prater : Artom .... 

On the Threshold of Manhood : ProYerbs ; Ethics 

of the Fathers 

A Father's Admonition : Maimonides 
What Makes a Man a Jew? Joseph 

' I Beldsye ' : Margolis 

Judaism a Positiye Religion: Schechter . 
The Mission of Israel : H. Adler ; Kohler 
Tolerance : Gabirol ; Midrash ; Crescas ; Mendels 

sohn ; Talmud 

Our Heritage : Josephus 

Our Fathers: Ecclesiasticus .... 
The Obugations of Hebedity : Dubnow ; Hertz 
Zedakah — ^Chabitt : Jacob ben Asher 

Zedakah — Justice : Geiger 

The Jewish Poor : Schechter ; Abrahams 

At 'The Old People's Rest', Jerusalem: E. N. Adler 

Sharing the Burden : Talmud ; Singer . 



8 
4 
6 

6 

7 
10 
11 
12 



14 
15 
16 
17 
18 

19 
20 
21 
22 
28 
24 

25 
27 
28 
80 
81 
82 
88 
84 
85 



X TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAOES 

The Duty of Self-Bespeot : Acliad Ha'am . . 86 
Aim-SEMinsH : Nordau; Schechter; Nordau; Dis- 
raeli ; Hertz ; Hagadah ; Isaiah .... 37 
The Jew as a Patriot : E. Lazarus ; Goldsmid . 40 

The Jewish Soldieb: Lucas 41 

The Jew's Love of Bbitain : H. Adler ... 42 

To Enolasd: Kaskin 43 

Judaism and the Jew in America: Harris; Kohut 44 
The Deluge of Fire: Hertz . . . .46 
The Healing of the Nations : Joel ; Isaiah ; Kings ; 

Daily Prayer Book 47 

The Messianic Hope : Mendes ; Malachi ... 48 

The Vision of a United Humanity : Isaiah ; Joseph 49 

Trust Ye in the Lord for Ever : Isaiah • . 50 

II. THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK . . 52-128 

Israel Immortal : Jeremiah ; Halevi ; Ecclesiasticus ; 

Midrash .53 

The Eternal Biddle : Raskin 54 

The Secret of Israel's Immortality : Graetz . . 56 

The Book of Books : Heine 57 

The Bible : Levi ; Zangwill . . . - . 58 
A Jewish Version of the Bible : Schechter ; Fried- 
l&nder ; Sulzberger ; Leeser ; H. Adler ; Trans- 
lators' Preface ; Bashi ; Ecclesiasticus ... 60 
Israel the People of Revelation : Halevi ; Geiger 64 
There is no Qod but God and Israel is His Pro- 
phet : Zangwill 65 

Mores : Heine 66 

The Prophets : Jacobs ; Shemtob ; Darmesteter ; 

J. Lazarus 67 

The Talmud : Deutsch 69 

Jewish Literature : Abrahams 71 

The Work of the Babbis : Bilchler .... 72 

Israel's History Never-ending : Magnus ; Zangwill 78 
The Meaning of Jewish History : Jacobs ; Halevi ; 

Gaster 74 

The Hallowing of Jewish History : Dubnow . 75 

Israel's Martyrdom: Zunz; Graetz .... 76 

Under the Roman Emperors : Josephus ; Fuerst . 77 

In Mediaeval Rome : Hertz ; Steinschneider . . 79 

The First Crusade : Kalonymos ben Yehudah . 80 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



XI 



PAGES 

Thb Second Gbusade : Ephraim of Bonn ... 81 

Jewish Suffebiko : Heine 82 

The Jews of York : D'Israeli 88 

The Expulsion from Spain : Frank 1 .... 86 

The Exodus : E. Lazarus 87 

A Song of Kedehption: Gabirol .... 89 

Shtlock: Joseph 90 

On the Eye of the Re-settlement in England 

Hanasseh ben Israel 

Jewish Emancipation : S. R. Hirsch ; Rothschild 
The Jewish Question : J. Lazarus ; Franzos ; Stein 

Schneider ; Zunz 

The Jews of England : Zangwill 

Welcome of the Hebrew Congregation, Newport, 

Rhode Island^ U.S.A., to George Washington 
British Citizenship: Hertz .... 
The Russian Jew: I. Friedlander 
Yiddish : Zangwill ; Wiener . . • « • ■ 
Russo-Jewish Education : I. Friedlander . 
Passover in Old Russia: Antin 

The Pogrom : Dymov 

Under the Romanoffs : Wolf ; E. Lazarus 
Soldiers of Nicholas: Antin .... 

BoNTZYE Shweig I Peretz 

The Watch on the Jordan : Imber . 

The Tragedy of Assimilation: Schechter; Achnd 

Ha'am 

The Valley of Dry Bones: Ezekiel 

Palestine: Munk 

The Last Corpses in the Desert: Byalik 

Zionism : Herzl ; Wolf ; Abrahams . 

The British Declaration on Palestine : Herzl 

Jewish Chronicle ; Hertz . . 
Judaism and the New Judea : Herzl ; Saadyah 

Schechter ; Noah ; Hertz ; Eichholz . 



91 
92 

93 
94 

95 
96 

97 

98 
99 
100 
101 
106 
107 
109 
117 

119 
121 
122 
128 
124 

125 

127 



III. THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 180-186 

World's Debt to Israel : Abbott ; Comill . . 181 

Israel and His Revelation: Arnold . . 182 

Israel, Greece, and Rome : Renan ; Wagner ; 

Lotze 188 



xu TABLE OP CONTENTS 

PAGES 

What is a Jaw? Tolstoy 185 

The Book or the Ages : Harnaek ; Scott ; Whitman 187 
The Bible, the Epic or the Wobld: Frazer; 

Stevenson ; Froude 188 

The Bible ur Education: Huxley; Goethe . • 189 

The Bible aed Dehoobaoy: Huxley; Nietzsche • 140 

The Hebkew Language: Renan . • . . 141 

Rebecca's Hteot: Scott .•••». 141 

Moses : George 143 

The Bubial or Moses: Alexander . • . . 146 

Isbael's Psalteb : Dow ; Rhys ; Comill . . 147 

The Psalms nr HincAir Life : Prothero . • 148 

The Spacious Firmakebt ok High : Addison • • 149 

O God, Our Help in Ages Past : Watts . . . 150 
The Living Power or the Jewish Prophets : Jowett ; 

Froude 151 

The Book or Jonah : Cornill ; Goethe . . • 158 

Job: Oarlyle ; Froude 155 

Eoclesiastes : Ellis 155 

The Book of Esther : Stanley ; Whittier . . 156 

The Talmud : Robinson 157 

The Humanity of Jewish Wisdom : Gorky . . 158 

The Pharisees : Huxley ; Box ; Herford . . 159 

The Jewish Prater Book : Biddle .... 160 

In a Synagogue: Eliot 161 

The Torch or Jewish Learning : Beaulieu . • 162 

During the Crusades: Strindberg . . . . 168 

The Expulsion from Spain and Portugal : Lecky . 166 
A Protest against the Axrro-DA-Fi of September 20, 

1761, Lisbon : Voltaire 170 

The Bible in Elizabethan England: Green . 171 

For the Emancipation of the Jews : Macaulay . 172 
Ignorance of Judaism : Eliot ; Blake . .178 

'They are Our Elders': Beaulieu .... 174 

The Jewish Cemetery at Newport: Longfellow . 175 

The Jew as a Citizen : Roosevelt .... 176 

In the East End of London : Schreiner . . . 176 
The Russian Agony : Milyukov ; Lecky ; Tolstoy ; 

Schreiner 178 

The Blood Libel — British Protest .... 181 

Jewish Nationalism : Eliot ; Sykes .... 188 

A Jewish National Home s Balfour .... 184 



TABLE OP CONTENTS xiii 

PAOBB 

Israel's Presbbyatioit : St. Jerome . • * . 185 

Israel akd the Nations : Twain .... 186 

IV. THE VOICE OF PRAYEE : THE JEWISH 

YEAE 189-268 

On Prater and Pratse : Philo ; Zohar . . . 189 

On Morning Servioe : Shulchan Aruch . . 190 

At the Dawn I Seek Thee : Gabirol . . 191 

MoRNiNO Pratebs : Daily Prayer Book ; Baohya . 192 

Adon Olau: Abrahams; Carvalho .... 198 

Adon Olam and Modern Science : Haffkine . . 195 

The Shema: Hertz; Zohar 196 

<The Soul Thou Hast Giten Me is Pure': Kohler 197 

The Merit of the Fathers : Levy ; Abrahams . 198 

The Kaddish: Kompert ; Wisdom of Solomon ; Daniel 199 
The Holiness of Home : Jacobs ; Disraeli .201 

Kindling the Sabbath Light : Raskin . . 202 

Lecha Dodi : Alkabetz ; Achad Ha'am . . 203 

Sabbath Prayer : Zohar 204 

The Sabbath : Salaman 205 

Prater before the New Moon : Daily Prayer Book 205 

The Seder: Raskin 206 

Israel's Watch-night: Joseph 207 

Passover and Freedom : Hertz ; Joseph . . . 209 

'AddirHu': Gottheil ; Talmud .... 210 

The Feast of Weeks : Psalms 211 

A Self-denting Guild : Joseph;- Daily Prayer Book 212 

Akdomus: Nehorai 213 

The Bible: Rosenfeld 218 

The Sepher Torah : Haffkine 214 

Religion and Morality: Daiches .... 215 

Symbols and Ceremonies : Jung . . ... 216 

Custom in Religion : Gottheil 217 

* In Accordance with the Times ' : S. R. Hirsch . 218 

Faith: Singer 219 

Ode to Zion : Halevi 220 

The Eternal City of the Eternal People : Hertz ; 

Isaiah 228 

New Tear : Moise 225 

Wrtiten and Sealed : Baalshem ; Joseph . . 226 

The Shofar : Maimonides ; Deuteronomy ; Psalms 227 

My King : Moses ben Nachman . « , * • 223 



XIV 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



^ 



V^ 



The Lord is King^ the Lord was Kino, the Lord 
SHALL BE •Kino for Eysr and Eybr : Kalir 

If hot Higher: Peretz 

Dat of Atonehent : Gottheil ; Ecclesiasticus . 

The Message of Yom Kipfur : Hertz 

* Forgiven ' : Yomtob of York .... 

Confession: Gabirol 

Yom Kippur Meditations; Bachya; Gabirol . 
The Infinite Mercies of God: Exodus; Talmud 
Brotherhood : Hertz ; Ezekiel .... 
Atonement Promise and Admonition: Isaiah . 
Lord, Thine Humble Servants Hear: Yehudah 
God that Doest Wondrously: Mosheh . 

Tabernacles: Halevi 

Psalms and Myrtles : Kalir .... 
The Harvest Festival : Joseph ; Disraeli 
Joyous Service : Abrahams ; Talmud 
Rejoicing of the Law : Festival Prayer Book . 

SiMCHAS Torah : Gordon 

The Macoabean Warriors: Maccabees 
The Feast of Lights : E. Lazarus 

The Menobah: Herzl 

The Story of the Maccabees : Joseph 
Chanucah Hymn: Gottheil .... 

PuRiM : Book of Esther 

Servant of God: Halevi 

Hymn of Glory : Judah the Pious . 



22^ 

28^ 

234 

235 

287 

238 

240 

248 

244 

246 

248 

249 

250 

251 

252 

258 

254 

255 

257 

259 

259 

262 

268 

264 

266 

268 



V. THE VOICE OP WISDOM . . . 270-819 

God, Whom shall I Compare to Thee! Halevi . 271 

Great is Truth : Esdras ; Talmud .... 272 

The Right Life : Micah ; Isaiah ; Spinoza . . 273 

The Goodness of God's Work : Maimonides . . 274 

The Two Natures in Man : Moses of Coucy , . 275 

Freedom of the Will : Maimonides .... 276 

The Wicked Saith in His Heart : Wisdom of Solomon 277 

Repentance of the Wicked : Wisdom of Solomon . 278 
Wise Counsel : Maimonides ; Benedict of Oxford ; 

Ethics of the Fathers 280 

The Ditty of 'Holiness : Leviticus ; Kohler ; Talmud 282 

The City of God : Philo ; Maimonides ; Zohar . 283 

Humility : Bachya ; Daily Prayer Book j Ibn Ezra , 284 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xv 

PAOXS 

Sayings fboh the Talmud 285 

The Dedicated Life: Philo 289 

God and Man : Ethics of the Fathers . . . 290 

Golden Ritles : Leviticus ; Talmud ; Achai . . 291 
Deeds the Best Commendation : Talmud ; Ethics of 

the Fathers 202 

A Mediaeval Jewish Moralist : Eleazar of Worms 298 

The Mysteet op Pain : S. A. Adler .... 296 

MEETiNa Advebsity: Hertz 297 

The Contemplation op Death: Monteflore; Eccle- 

siasticus 298 

Light in Dabkness : Talmud 299 

Whence and Whitheb: Ethics of the Fathers; 

H. Adler 800 

Time and Etebnity : Yedaya Peuini ; Ecclesiastes ; 

Derech Eretz Zutta 801 

Talmudio Pasables and Legends .... 802 

Almighty, What is Man? Gabirol . ... . 814 

Besignation : Green 315 

Immortality : Talmud ; Ethics of the Fathers . . 816 

Etebnal Hope : Psalms 816 

True Wisdom : Job ; Ethics of the Fathers . .817 

NOTES 821 

INDEX OF AUTHORS AND SOURCES . . .846 

INDEX OF SUBJECTS . . . . . . .869 



TyEROLDy the days come, saith the Lord Ood, that 
jLj I will send a famine in the land^ not a famine of 
bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words 
of the Lord. 

Amos 8. n. 



I AM AN HEBREW 



B 



2 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



7'^HEN said they unto hm^ Tell its, we pray tliee, . . . 
icAat is thine occupation ? and whence contest thou ? 
what is thy country ? and of what people art thou ? 

And lie said unto them, I am an Hebrew ; and I /ear 
the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea 
and the dry land. 

Jonah 1. 8, 9. 



I AM AN HEBREW 



YE ARE MY WITNESSES 

YE are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My 
servant whom I have chosen. 

Isaiah 43. lo. 

THE history of Israel is the great living proof of 
the working of Divine Providence in the affairs 
of the world. Alone among the nations, Israel has 
shared in all great movements since mankind became 
conscious of their destinies. If there is no Divine 
purpose in the long travail of Israel, it is vain to 
seek for any such purpose in man's life. In the 
reflected light of that purpose each Jew should lead 

his life with an added dignity. 

Joseph Jacobs, 1897. 

EVERY Hebrew should look upon his Faith as 
a temple extending over every land to prove the 
immutability of God and the unity of His purposes. 
,He should regard himself as one of the pillars which 
support that temple from falling to the ground ; and 
add, however insignificant in itself, to the strength, 
the durability, and the beauty of the whole. 

Grace Aguilar, 1842, 



B 2 



4 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



I AM AN HEBREW 

f WILL continue to hold my banner aloft. I find 
* myself born — ay, born — into a people and a reli- 
gion. The preservation of my people must be for 
a purpose, for God does nothing without a purpose. 
His reasons are unfathomable to me, but on my own 
reason I place little dependence ; test it where I will 
it fails me. The simple, the ultimate in every direc- 
tion is sealed to me. It is as difficult to understand 
matter as mind. The courses of the planets are no 
harder to explain than the growth of a blade of grass. 
Therefore am I willing to remain a link in the great 
chain. What has been preserved for four thousand 
years was not saved that I should overthrow it. My 
people have survived the prehistoric paganism, the 
Babylonian polytheism, the aesthetic Hellenism, the 
sagacious Romanism, at once the blandishments and 
persecutions of the Church; and it will survive the 
modern dilettantism and the current materialism, 
holding aloft the traditional Jewish ideals inflexibly 
until the world shall become capable of recognizing 
their worth. 

Cyrus Adler, 1894. 



I AM AN HEBREW 5 



THE GOOD FIGHT 

f P thou hadst lived in the dread days of martyrdom, 
and the peoples had fallen on thee to force thee to 
apostatize from thy faith, thou wouldst surely, as did 
so many, have given thy life in its defence. Well 
then, fight now the fight laid on thee in the better 
days, the fight with evil' desire; fight and conquer, 
and seek for allies in this warfare of your soul, seek 
them in the fear of God and the study of the Law. 
Forget not that God recompenses according to the 
measure wherewith ye withstand the evil in your 
heart. Be a man in thy youth; but if thou wert 
then defeated in the struggle, return, return at last 
to God, however old thou mayest be. 

Elbazar (RokISach) of Worms, c. 1 200. 
{TraTis. M. JosepL) 



6 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



EVERY ISRAELITE HOLDS THE HONOUR 
OF HIS ENTIRE PEOPLE IN HIS HANDS 



* ALL Israelites are mutually accountable for each 
*\ other/ In a boat at sea one of the men began 
to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being 
remonstrated with, he answered : ^ I am only boring 
under my own seat \ * Yes ', said his comrades, ' but 
when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with 
you/ So it is with Israel. Its weal or its woe is in 
the hands of every individual Israelite. 

Talmud. 

II 

WE Jews have a more pressing responsibility for 
our lives and beliefs than perhaps any other 
religious community. 

Don^t shelter yourself in any course of action by 
the idea that ' it is my affair \ It is your affair, but 
it is also mine and the community's. Nor can we 
neglect the world beyond. A fierce light beats upon 
the Jew. It is a grave responsibility this — to be 
a Jew; and you can't escape from it, even if you 
choose to ignore it. Ethically or religiously, we Jews 
can be and do nothing light-heartedly. Ten bad 
Jews may help to damn us ; ten good Jews may help 
to save us. Which minyan will you join ? 

C. G. MONTEPIORE, 1900. 



I AM AN HEBREW 



THE PATHS OF LIFE 



MY son, give God all honour and the gratitude 
which is His due. Thou hast need of Him, but 
He needs thee not. Put no trust in thy mere 
corporeal well-being here below. Many a one has 
lain down to sleep at nightfall, but at morn has not 
risen again. Fear the Lord, the God of thy fathers ; 
fail never at eventide to pronounce the great word 
wherein Israel is wont to proclaim that He is, and 
that He is One, and One only; at dawn fail never 
to read the appointed prayer. See that thou guard 
well thy souFs holiness ; let the thought of thy heai*t 
be saintly, and profane not thy soul with words of 
impurity. 

Visit the sick and suffering man, and let thy 
countenance be cheerful when he sees it, but not 
so that thou oppress the helpless one with gaiety. 
Comfort those that are in grief; let piety where 
thou seest it affect thee even to tears; and then it 
may be that thou wilt be spared the grief of weeping 
over the death of thy children. 

Respect the poor man by gifts whose hand he 
knows not of; be not deaf to his beseechings, deal 
not hard words out to him, and give him of thy 
richest food when he sits at meat with thee. 

From a wicked neighbour, see that thou keep aloof 
and spend not much of thy time among the people 



8 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

who speak ill of their brother-man; be not as the 
fly that is always seeking sick and wounded places ; 
and tell not of the faults and failings of those about 
thee. 

Take no one to wife unworthy to be thy life's 
partner^ and keep thy sons close to the study of 
Divine things. Dare not to rejoice when thine enemy 
comes to the ground; but give him food when he 
hungers. Be on thy guard lest thou give pain ever 
to the widow and the orphan ; and beware lest thou 
ever set thyself up to be both witness and judge 
against an other. 

Never enter thy house with abrupt and startling 
step, and bear not thyself so that those who dwell 
under thy roof shall dread when in thy presence. 
Purge thy soul of angry passion, that inheritance 
of fools; love wise men, and strive to know more 
and more of the works and the ways of the Creator. 

Eliezer ben Isa.ac, 1050. 



II 

« 

BE not ready to quarrel ; avoid oaths and passionate 
adjurations, excess of laughter and outbursts of 
wrath; they disturb and confound the reason of man. 
Avoid all dealings wherein there is a lie; utter not 
the name of God superfluously, or in places dirty 
or defiled. 

Cut from under thee all mere human supports, 
and make not gold the foremost longing of thy life ; 
for that is the first step to idolatry. Rather give 



I AM AN HEBREW 9 

money than words ; and as to ill words, see that thou 
place them in the scale of understanding before they 
leave thy lips. 

What has been uttered in thy presence, even though 
not told as secret, let it not pass from thee to others. 
And if one tell thee a tale, say not to him that thou 
hast heard it all before. Do not fix thine eyes too 
much on one who is far above thee in wealth, but on 
those who are behind thee in worldly fortune. 

Put no one to open shame ; misuse not thy power 
against any one ; who can tell whether thou wilt not 
some day be powerless thyself ? 

Do not struggle vaingloriously for the small 
triumph of showing thyself in the right and a wise 
man in the wrong ; thou art not one whit the wiser 
therefor. Be not angry or unkind to any one for 
trifles, lest thou make thyself enemies unnecessarily. 

Do not refuse things out of mere obstinacy to 
thy fellow-citizens, rather put thy will below their 
wishes. Avoid, as much as may be, bad men, men 
of persistent angry feelings, fools; thou canst get 
nothing from their company but shame. Be the 
first to extend courteous greeting to every one, what- 
ever be his faith; provoke not to wrath one of 
another belief than thine. 

ASHER BEN YeCHIEL, 1300. 



B3 



10 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



IN THE OLD GHETTO 

IN the narrow lanes and by-ways of the old Jewish 
quarter of many a European town there grew up 
that beautiful Jewish home-life which, though its 
story is seldom recorded, is more important than the 
outer events and misfortunes that historians have 
made note of. And as we look upon the unsightly 
houses, the wretched exterior seems to float away and 
the home-scenes of joy and love and religious constancy 
shine brilliantly forth — perpetual lamps— and explain 
how, in spite of woe and misery such as have fallen 
to the lot of no other people, the Jews have found 
strength to live and hope on. 

D. PiiiLiPSON, 1894. 



SAY what you will of the Judaism of the Middle 
Ages; call it narrow; deride it as superstitious; 
unless lost to all sense of justice, or without power 
to dive beneath the surface of the seeming to the 
roots of the real, you cannot but witness to the in- 
controvertible fact that for sweetness and spirituality 
of life, the Jew of the Ghetto, the Jew of the Middle 
Ages, the Jew under the yoke of the Talmud, challenges 
the whole world. 

£. G. HluscH, 1895. 



I AM AN HEBREW 11 

THE JEWISH WOMAN 

IN the days of horror of the later Boman Empire, 
throughout the time of the migration of nations, it 
was not war alone that destroyed and annihilated all 
those peoples of which, despite their former world- 
dominating greatness, nothing remains but their 
name. It was i*ather the ensuing demoralization 
of home life, Tiiis is proved — it cannot be repeated 
too often — by the Jews; for they sufEered more 
severely and more cruelly by wars than any other 
nation ; but, among them, the inmost living germ 
of morality — strict discipline and family devotion — 
was at all times preserved. This wonderful and 
mysterious preservation of the Jewish people is due 
to the Jewish woman. This is her glory, not alone 
in the history of her own people, but in the history 
of the world. 

M. LAZAIiUS. 

THE Jew^s home has rarely been his 'castle'. 
Throughout the ages it has been something far 
higher — his sanctuary. 

J. H. Hertz. 

BE careful not to cause woman to weep, for God 
counts her tears. Israel was redeemed from 
Egypt on account of the virtue of its women. He 
who weds a good woman, it is as if he had fulfilled 
all the precepts of the Law. 

Talmud. 



12 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE JEWISH MOTHER 

JEWISH custom bids the Jewish mother, after her 
preparations for the Sabbath have been completed 
on Friday evening, kindle the Sabbath lamp. That 
is symbolic of the Jewish woman's influence on her 
own home, and through it upon larger circles. She 
is the inspirer of a pure, chaste, family life whose 
hallowing influences are incalculable ; she is the centre 
of all spiritual endeavours, the confidante and fosterer 
of every undertaking. To her the Talmudic sentence 
applies: ^It is woman alone through whom God's 
blessings are vouchsafed to a house \ 

Henrietta Szold, 1893. 



YIDDISH CRADLE SONG 

O! HUSH thee, my darling, sleep soundly my son, 
Sleep soundly and sweetly till day has begun ; 
For under the bed of good children at night 
There lies, till the morning, a kid snowy white. 
We'll send it to market to buy Sechora, 
While my little lad goes to study Torah. 
Sleep soundly at night and learn Torah by day, 
Then thou 11 be a Rabbi when I have grown grey. 
But IMl give thee to-morrow ripe nuts and a toy, 
If thouMt sleep as I bid thee, my own little boy. 

{Tram. Alice Lucas.) 



I AM AN HEBREW 13 



RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 

IT seems to me that if the development of the 
religious sense is omitted from education, the most 
exalted idea of goodness is left out. Life is so much 
the poorer for being shorn of the halo of high spiritual 
aspiration. Instead of a fixed and lofty ideal of life 
and conduct, based on the highest conception o£ 
Divine Perfection of which the human mind is capable, 
there prevails a limited and fluctuathig ideal, subject 
to the chance influences of surroundings and associates, 
and coloured by the social grade and worldly interests 
of each individual. 

Julia M. Cohen, 1907. 

THE thread on which the different good qualities 
of human beings are strung as pearls, is the fear 
of God. When the fastenings of this fear are un- 
loosed, the pearls roll in all directions and are lost 
one by one. 

Book op Moeals, 16th cent. 

THE knowledge of Hebrew is the golden hinge 
upon which our national and religious existence 
turns. Flowing down from the hills of eternity, the 
Hebrew language has been set apart by God as 
the receptacle of truths destined to sway mankind and 
humanize the world. 

Sabato Morais, 1876. 



14 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE SACRED TONGUE ^ 

npHE Synagogue service is essentially the expression 
of the soul of collective Israel. In the Synagogue 
we meet as Jews, there in prayer, in aspiration, in 
confession of faith, to carry on the stream of spiritual 
effort which has flowed unbroken through the ages 
ever since Israel became conscious of himself. There- 
fore the prayers will not merely voice private needs 
and modern ideas, but will chiefly speak of Israel. 
And so they will largely be in Hebrew, Israel's historic 
language. You may get rid of Hebrew, but with 
it you will get rid of the Synagogue too, of the 
Synagogue as a living organism, as the well-spring 
of Jewish feeling and the inspiration of Jewish life. 
Nor is this all. The claim of Hebrew, though bound 
up with the interests of public worship, yet transcends 
them. It will meet you whenever you open your 
Jewish history, whenever you open your Bible. As 
long as we remain Jews and call the Bible our own, 
the Tongue in which it is written must be inestimably 
sacred to us. 

Morris Joseph, 1907. 

1 Of. p. 141. 



I AM AN HEBREW 15 



THE HEBREW LANGUAGE 

THE Hebrew language is the great depository of 
all that is best in the soul-life of the Congregation 
of Israel. Without it we will become severed from 
the great Tree which is life unto those that cling 
to it. Hellenistic Judaism * is the only one known to 
history which dared to make this experiment o£ 
dispensing with the Sacred Language. The result 
was death. It withered away and terminated in total 
and wholesale apostasy from Judaism. Let us not 
deceive ourselves. There is no future in this country 
for a Judaism that resists either the English or the 
Hebrew language. 

S. SCHECHTER, 1904. 



THERE is a vast storehouse filled with treasures. 
The key, the Hebrew language, is in our guardian- 
ship. Have we a right to throw the key into the 
ocean of oblivion ? More than that : when we have 
ceased to be efficient guardians of our treasures, of 
what use are we in the world? I fear that in the 
case of such flagrant dereliction of duty, the twentieth 
century will have in store for us not a Ghetto, but 
a grave. 

Hbnriktta Szold, 1896. 

^ The Greek-speaking Jewish communities of antiquity, 
especially Alexandria, Egypt. 



16 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



WHAT IS CULTURE? 

NOT what a man has — knowledge, skill, or goods 
of life — determines his culture, but what a man 
is: culture is not so much mastery of things as 
mastery of self. And only that nation can be called 
cultured which adds to or, at least, broadens and 
deepens the spiritual assets of mankind ; which intro- 
duces some distinctive note into the soul-life of the 
world ; which teaches humanity a new angle of vision 
towards the Infinite ; and by its living and, if need 
be, by its dying, vindicates the eternal values of 
life — conscience, honour, liberty. 

Judged by this test, some of the littlest of peoples 
— Judea, Greece, Elizabethan England — stand fore- 
most among cultured nations, champions of the sacred 
heritage of man. Judged by this test, many a poor 
Jew, though he be devoid of the graces, amenities, 
and comforts of life, is yet possessed of culture. 
An ancient language, a classical language, a holy 
language, is as familiar to him as his mother-tongue ; 
saturated is he ^ith the sublimest of literatures, 
which hallows his life and endows him with high 
faith and invincible courage. 

Sympathetic appreciation of this indomitable type, 
of this harmonious albeit rugged personality, might 
well be taken as a touchstone of a man's mentality, 
culture, and humanity. 

J. H. Hertz, 1916. 



I AM AN HEBREW 17 



THE STUDENT OP THE TORAH* 

IF one asks a student to-day why he studies^ he 
will at once, in spite o£ his youth, give a very 
practical answer. He mentions the profession for 
which he is preparing himself, and through which he 
will obtain a lucrative office or a comfortable position 
in life. 

It is entirely different with those who expended 
their time and powers on the study of the Talmud. 
They wished to derive no profit from their studies ; not 
to use them, as a Mishna teacher says, ' as a spade to 
dig wherewith nor as a crown wherewith to aggrandize 
oneself ^ 'Say not^, exclaims the Talmud, 'I wiH 
study the Torah in order that people may call me 
Sage or Master, but study from pure love to God, 
to cleave more closely unto Him through the knowledge 
and understanding of His word.' Day and night did 
they bury themselves in the study of subjects that 
had nothing to do with social life or with gain ; often 
they became engrossed in the investigation of laws 
of sacrifices and purification, although these had long 
since grown obsolete. They desired nothing but 
knowledge, understanding, illumination. Where is 
there another people on earth among whom studies 
which aimed only at truth and the development of the 
spiritual life were cultivated with such pure, devoted, 
and selfless love as in Israel ? 

A. Jelltnek. 1882. 

* The word Torah has various meanings — the Pentateuch, 
the Bible, the Talmud, as weU as the whole body of religious 
study and practice. 



18 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

BAR MITZVAH PRAYERS 

OMY God, and God of My Fathers, 
On this solemn and sacred day, which marketh 
my passage from boyhood to manhood, I humbly 
venture to raise my eyes unto Thee, and to declare 
with sincerity and truth that henceforth I will observe 
all Thy commandments, and undertake to bear the 
responsibility of all mine actions towards Thee. In 
my earliest infancy I was brought within Thy sacred 
covenant with Israel, and to-day I again enter as an 
active responsible member the pale of Thine elect 
congregation, in the midst of which I will never cease 
to glorify Thy holy name in the face of all nations. 

Do Thou, O Heavenly Father, hearken unto this 
my humble prayer, and vouchsafe unto me Thy 
gracious blessings, so that my earthly life may be 
sustained and made happy by Thine ineffable mercies. 
Teach me the way of Thy statutes, that I may obey 
them, and faithfully carry out Thy ordinances. Dis- 
pose my heart to love Thee and to fear Thy holy 
name, and grant me Thy support and the strength 
necessary to avoid the worldly dangers which encom- 
pass the path lying before me. Save me from temp- 
tation, so that I may with fortitude observe Thy holy 
Law and those precepts on which human happiness 
and eternal life depend. Thus I will every day of 
my life trustfully and gladly proclaim: 'Hear, O 
Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one ! * 

Benjamin Artom, 1868. 

1 In use in English Sephardi Congregations on the occasion 
of a lad reaching the age of thirteen — ^his religious majority 
(Bar Mitzvah). 



I AM AN HEBREW 19 

ON THE THRESHOLD OP MANHOOD 

MY son, keep the commandment of thy father. 
And forsake not the teaching of thy mother. 
Bind them continually upon thy heart, 
Tie them about thy neck. 
When thou walkest, it shall lead thee ; 
When thou Hest down, it shall watch over thee ; 
And when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 
For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is 

light. 
And reproofs of instruction are the way of life : 
To keep thee from the evil woman. 

Proverbs 6, 20-4. 



RABBI HANINA^ son of Dosa, said: 'He in 
whom the fear of sin comes before wisdom, his 
wisdom shall endure ; but he in whom wisdom comes 
before the fear of sin, his wisdom will not endure.* 

Rabbi Eleazaf ^, son of Azaryah, said : ^ He whose 
wisdom exceeds his works, to what is he like ? To 
a tree whose branches are many, but whose roots are 
few ; and the wind comes and plucks it up and over- 
turns it upon its face. But he whose works exceed 
his wisdom, to what is he like? To a tree whose 
branches are few, but whose roots are many, so that 
even if all the winds in the world come and blow 
upon it, it cannot be stirred from its place.^ 

Ethics of the Fathers. 

* Lived about 10 B.C.E.— 90 C.E. See p. 292. 

* Lived first century ; President of the Academy at Yabneh. 



20 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



A FATHER'S ADMONITION 

FEAR the Lord the God of thy Fathers and serve 
Him in love, for fear only restrains a man from 
sin, while love stimulates him to good. Accustom 
thyself to habitual goodness, for a man's character is 
what habit makes it. The perfection of the body is 
a necessary antecedent to the perfection of the soul^ 
for health is the key to the inner chamber. Measure 
thy words, for by multiplying words thou increasest 
error. If thou find in the Law or the Prophets or 
the Sages a hard saying which thou canst not under- 
stand, stand fast by thy faith and attribute the fault 
to thine own want of intelligence. Place it in a corner 
of your heart for future consideration, but despise not 
thy religion because thou art unable to understand 
one difficult matter. 

Love truth and uprightness — the ornaments of the 
soul — and cleave unto them ; prosperity so obtained 
is built on a sure rock. Keep firmly to thy word ; let 
not a legal contract or witnesses be more binding 
than thine verbal promise whether in public or in 
private. Disdain reservations and subterfuges^ evasions 
and sharp practices. Woe to him who builds his 
house upon them. Abhor inactivity and indolence, 
the causes of destruction of body, of penury, of self- 
contempt — the ladders of Satan and his satellites. 

Defile not your souls by quarrelsomeness and petu- 
lance. I have seen the white become black, the low 



I AM AN HEBREW 21 

brought still lower^ families driven into exile, princes 
deposed from their high estate^ great cities laid in 
ruins^ assemblies dispersed^ the pious humiliated^ the 
honourable held lightly and despised^ all on account 
of quarrelsomeness. Glory in forbearance, for in that 
is true strength and victory. 

Moses Maimonides. 



WHAT MAKES A MAN A JEW ? 

JUDAISM is something more than a badge, some- 
thing more than a birth-mark ; it is a life. To be 
bom a Jew does not declare any of us to be of the elect ; 
it only designates us for enrolment among the elect. 
God signs the covenant, but we have to seal it— to 
seal it by a life of service. 'What makes a man 
a Jew?' is a question that is often asked. The answer 
is, two things : membership of the Jewish brother- 
hood, and loyal fulfilment of the obligations which that 
membership imposes. To be of the Jewish race but to 
trample upon Jewish duty is to be faithless to Israel. 

MoERis Joseph, 1903. 



22 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



a BELIEVE' 

I BELIEVE in God, the One and Holy, the Creator 
and Sustainer of the world. 

I believe that man possesses a Divine power where- 
with he may subdue his evil impulses and passions, 
strive to come nearer and nearer the perfection of 
God, and commune with Him in prayer. 

I believe that select individuals are, from time to 
time, called by God as prophets and charged with the 
mission of declaring His will unto men. 

I believe that man is subject to God's law and 
responsible to the Searcher of the human heart and 
the Righteous Judge for all his thoughts and deeds. 

I believe that he who confesses his sins and turns 
from his evil ways and truly repents is lovingly for- 
given by his Father in Heaven. 

I believe that the pious who obey God's law and 
do His will with a perfect heart, and those who truly 
repent, share, as immortal souls, in the everlasting 
life of God. 

I believe that Israel was chosen by God as His 
anointed servant to proclaim unto the families of 
mankind His truth; and, though despised and re- 
jected by men, to continue as His witness until there 
come in through him the Kingdom of Peace and 
moral perfection, and the fullness of the knowledge 
of God, the true Community of the Children of the 
living God. 

M. L. Maroolis^ 1904. 



I AM AN HEBREW 28 



JUDAISM A POSITIVE RELIGION 

SATISFYING the needs of anybody and everybody, 
of every moment and every fleeting season, is not. 
the highest ideal which Judaism set before itself* 
Altogether I venture to think that the now fashion- 
able test of determining the worth of a religion by its 
capability to supply the various demands of the great 
market of believers has something low and mercenary 
about it. Time religion is not a jack-of -all-trades, 
meaning Monotheism to the philosopher. Pluralism to 
the crowd, some mysterious Nothing to the agnostic, 
Pantheism to the poet, and Service of Man to the 
hero-worshipper. Its mission is just as much to teach 
the world that there are false gods and false ideals as 
to bring it nearer to the true one. Abraham, the 
friend of God, who was destined to become the first 
winner of souls, began his career, according to the 
legend, with breaking idols, and it is his particular 
glory to have been in opposition to the whole world. 
Judaism means to convert the world, not to convert 
itself. It will not die in order not to live. It disdains 
a victory by defeating itself, in giving up its essential 
doctrines, its most sacred symbols, its most precious 
traditions, and its most vital teaching. It has con- 
fidence in the world; it hopes and prays and waits 
patiently for the Great Day when the world will be 
ripe for its acceptance. 

S. SCHECHTEE, 1893. 



24 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE MISSION OF ISRAEL 

THINK of the meaning of that simple ceremony 
in our service when the Minister takes his stand 
before the Ark, and clasping the sacred scroll in his 
arms, proclaims the yDK', the belief in the unity of 
One Eternal, Almighty God. This rite symbolizes 
the mission of Israel to the world. With the Law of 
God folded in his arms and its words engraved upon 
bis heart, he has gope up and down the earth pro- 
claiming his belief in the One Supreme Being — 
a Being whose spirit fills all time and all space, 
a Being never embodied, but made manifest to man in 
the glory of the creation and in His all-wise behests, 
which teach mercy, love, and justice. . . . 

Hermann Adler, 1895. 

A CLEAR and concise definition of Judaism is 
very difiicult to give, for the reason that it is 
not a religion pure and simple based upon accepted 
creeds, but is one inseparably connected with the 
Jewish nation as the depositary and guardian of the 
truths held by it for mankind. 

Far from having become 1,900 yeai*s ago a stagnant 
religion, Judaism has ever remained ' a river of God 
full of living waters \ which, while running within 
the river-bed of a single nation, has continued to feed 
anew the great streams of human civilization. 

K. KOULER,^ 1904. 

1 From The Jewish Encyclopedia, ^ Judaism * (London and New 
York: Funk & WagnalU). 



I AM AN HEBREW 25 



TOLERANCE 



THOU art the Lord, and all beings are Thy ser- 
vants, Thy domain ; 
And through those who serve idols vain 
Thine honour is not detracted from. 
For they all aim to Thee to come\ 
But thev are as the blind. 
That seeking the royal road could not find; 
The one sank in destruction's well ; 
Another into a cavity fell. 

And all thought they had reached what they sought 
Yet toiled for naught. 

Solomon ibn Gabirol, 1050. 
{Trans. M. Jastrow,) 



I CALL heaven and earth to witness that whether 
it be Jew or heathen, man or woman, free or bond- 
man — only according to their acts does the Divine 
spirit rest upon them. 

MlDRASH. 



SALVATION is attained not by subscription to 
metaphysical dogmas, but solely by love of God 
that fulfils itself in action. This is a cardinal truth 
in Judaism. 

CUASDAI CrESCAS, 1410. 



26 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



II 

YOUR questioD, why I do not try to make con- 
verts, has, I must say, somewhat surprised me. 
The duty to proselytize springs clearly from the idea 
that outside a certain belief there is no salvation. 
I, as a Jew, am not bound to accept that dogma, 
because, according to the teachings of the Rabbis, the 
righteous of all natmis shall have part m the rewards of 
the future world. Your motive, therefore, is foreign 
to me j nay, as a Jew, I am not allowed publicly to 
attack any religion which is sound in its moral 
teachings. 

MosES Mendelssohn, 1770. 
To a non-Jewish correspondent. 



I AM the creature of God, and so is my fellow-man ; 
my calling is in the town, and his in the fields; 
I go early to my work, and he to his; he does not 
boast of his labour nor I of mine, and if thou wouldst 
say, ^ I accomplish great things and he little things ', 
we have learnt that whether a man accomjplish great 
things or small , his reward is the same if only his heart 
be set upon Heaven. 

Talmud, 



I AM AN HEBREW 27 

OUR HERITAGE 

OUR laws have been such as have always inspired 
admiration and imitation in all other men. 

Nay, farther, multitudes of mankind have had 
a great inclination of a long time to follow our re- 
ligious observances ; for there is not any city of the 
Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation 
whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the 
seventh day hath not come, and by which our fasts 
and lighting up lamps, and many of our prohibitions 
as to our food, are not observed ; * they also endeavour 
to imitate our mutual concord with one another, and 
the charitable distribution of our goods, and our 
diligence in our trades, and our fortitude in under- 
going distresses on account of our laws. And what 
is here matter of the greatest admiration, our Law 
hath.no bait of pleasure to allure men to it, but it 
prevails by its own force ; and as God himself per- 
vades all the world, so hath our Law passed through 
all the world also. 

As to the laws themselves more words are un- 

« 

necessary, for they are visible in their own nature, 
and appear to teach not impiety, but the truest 
piety in the world. They are enemies to injustice; 
they banish idleness and luxurious living ; and they 
instruct men to be content with what they have, and 
to be laborious in their calling. They forbid men to 
make war from a desire of getting more, but make 
men courageous in defending the laws. On which 
account I am so bold as to say that we are become 

^ In the first century, large numbers of non-Jews throughout 
the Roman world became proselytes to Judaism. 



28 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

the teachers of other men in the greatest number 
of things, and those of the most excellent nature 
only; for what is more excellent than inviolable 
piety ? What is more just than submission to laws, 
and more advantageous than mutual love and con- 
cord? And this so far that we are to be neither 
divided by calamities, nor to become injurious 
and seditious in prosperity; but to contemn death 
when we are in war, and in peace to apply ourselves 
to our handicrafts, or to our tillage of the ground ; 
while we in all things and in all ways are satisfied 
that God is the Judge and Governor of our actions. 

Flavius Josephus, 1st cent. 



OUR FATHERS 

LET us now praise famous men, 
-^ Our fathers in their generations. 
The Lord manifested in them great glory. 
Even His mighty power from the beginning. 
Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms. 
And were men renowned for their power, 
Giving counsel by their understanding. 
Such as have brought tidings in prophecies : 
Leaders of the people by their counsels. 
And by their understanding men of learning for the 

people ; 
Wise were their words in their instruction : 
Such as sought out musical tunes, 



I AM AN HEBREW 29 

And set forth verses in writing : 

Rich men furnished with ability^ 

Living peaceably in their habitations : 

All these were honoured in their generations, 

And were a glory in their days. 

There be of them, that have left a name behind them. 

To declare their praises. 

And some there be, which have no memorial ; 

Who are perished as though they had not been. 

And are become as though they had not been born, 

And their children after them. 

But these were men of mercy, 

Whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten. 

With their seed shall remain continually a good 

inheritance ; 
Their children are within the covenants. 
Their seed standeth fast. 
And their children for their sakes. 
Their seed shall remain for ever. 
And their glory shall not be blotted out. 
Their bodies are buried in peace. 
And their name liveth for evermore. 
Peoples will declare their wisdom. 
And the congregation telleth out their praise. 

ECCLESIASTICUS 44. 1-15. 



\i 



80 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE OBLIGATIONS OF HEREDITY 

JEWISH history admonishes the Jews: * Noblesse 
ohlige \ The privilege of belonging to a people to 
whom the honoumble title of the 'Veteran of His- 
tory^ has been conceded puts serious responsibilities 
on your shoulders. You must demonstrate that you 
are worthy of your heroic past. 

S. M. DuBNOW, 1893. 



OUR virtues are Israel's : all our success in life we 
owe to the fact that the blood of the ' toughest 
of peoples ' is coursing in our veins. Our vices are 
our own. Now the world inverts the distribution. 
Our virtues it credits to us, to our individual bril- 
liancy, diligence, courage. Whereas the crimes, vices, 
and failings of any single Jew, no matter how 
estranged from his people or his people's faith he 
may be, it puts down to his Jewishness, and fathers i 
them upon the entire Jewish race. 

Is it not a matter of sacred honour, as far as in 
us lies, to counteract the world's injustice to our people 
by rendering, when the opportunity is ours, some 
repayment for all we owe to Israel ? 

J. H. Heutz, 1916. 



I AM AN HEBREW 31 

ZEDAKAH I— CHARITY 
TuR, II, §247 

THE dispensing of charity according to one's means 
is a positive precept, which demands greater care 
and diligence in its fulfilment than all the other 
positive precepts of the Law. For its neglect may 
possibly lead to the taking of life, inasmuch as the 
denial of timely aid may compass the death of the 
poor man who needs our immediate help. 

Whoso closes his eyes to this duty and hardens his 
heart to his needy brother is called a worthless man, 
and is regarded as an idolater. But whosoever is 
careful in the fulfilment of this duty attests himself 
as belonging to the seed of Abraham, whom the Lord 
hath blessed : ' For I have known him, to the end that 
he may command his children and his household after 
him, that they may keep the way of the Lord, to do 
Zedakah and justice ' (Genesis 1 8. 19). 

Charity is the main foundation of Israel's pre- 
eminence, and the basis of the Law of Truth. As 
the prophet says unto Zion : ^ By Zedakah shalt thou 
be established ' (Isaiah 64. 14). Its practice will alone 
bring about Israelis redemption : ^ Zion shall be re- 
deemed with justice, and they that return of her with 
Zedakah' (Isaiah 1. 27). Charity is greater than all 
sacrifices, says Rabbi Eleazar; even as it is written, 
' To do Zedakah and justice is more acceptable to the 
Lord than sacrifice^ (Proverbs 21. 3). 

Whoso pities the poor shall himself receive com- 
passion from the Holy One, blessed be He. Let man 

* In Hebrew there is only one word, Zedakah^ for both Charity 
and Justice. Charity to the poor is thus merely justice to th^ 
poor, 



82 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

further reflect that as there is a wheel of fortune 
revolving in this world, perchance some day either 
he himself, or his son, or his son's son, may be brought 
down to the same lowly state. Nor let it enter his 
mind to say : ' How can I give to the poor and thus 
lessen my possessions?* For man must know that 
he is not the master of what he has, but only the 
guardian, to carry out the will of Him who entrusted 
these things to his keeping. 

Whosoever withholds alms from the needy thereby 
withdraws himself from the lustre of the Shechinah 
and the light of the Law. 

Let man therefore be exceedingly diligent in the 
right bestowal of charity. 

Jacob ben Asher, 1320. 
{Trans, A. Feldmafi.) 

ZEDAKAH— JUSTICE. 

^ X TEITIIER shalt thou favour a poor man in his 
-^ ^ cause' (Exodus 23. 3). It is one of the deep and 
fundamental traits of Judaism that whilst presupposing 
sympathy and commiseration with the poor and the 
hapless, it nevertheless fears that in a suit-at-law 
justice might be outraged 171 favour of the poor man 
even when he is in the wrong — outraged just because 
of his very distress. Sympathy and compassion are 
emotions that have their proper place and use, but 
even these noble feelings must be silenced in the 
presence of Justice. In this Scriptural command 
there is a height of conception, a sublimity of moral 
view, which compels the reverence of all, 

A. Geigek, 1865. 



I AM AN HEBREW 83 



THE JEWISH POOR 

THE Kingdom of God— the Rabbis held— is inv 
consistent with a state of social misery. They 
were not satisfied with feeding the poor. Their great 
ideal was not to allow a man to be poor, not to allow 
him to come down into the depths of poverty. They 
say, ^ Try to prevent it by teaching him a trade. Try 
all methods before you permit him to become an 
object of charity, which must degrade him, tender as 
your dealings with him may be.' 

S. SCHECHTEH, 1893, ; 



IT is an arduous task to think for the Jewish poor. 
He has a rooted notion that he is the best, the only 
judge, of what is good for you to do for him. And 
the fact is that these self-confident recipients of your 
generosity really are often your betters in many 
qualifications. Large-mindedness is needed here. We 
must respect old habits; we must fathom the deep 
moral springs of life. We must beware that our 
brothers do not divest themselves of their best, and 
assume our worst. 

I. Abrahams, 1896. 



84 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

AT 'THE OLD PEOPLE'S REST^ 

JERUSALEM 

A SCORE or so of olJ men with white beards 
seated at a long table covered by open books of 
the Talmud. The sacred scroll of the Law is enshrined 
at their left, and behind them we see ponderous old 
tomes^ tight fitted into the alcove of a vault-like 
chamber^ with quaint curves and angles. Is not this 
some souvenir from the brush of an old master ? No, 
it is a group of inmates of the ' Old People^s Rest * at 
Jerusalem. 

What strikes one most about the inmates is the 
refinement and intellectuality of their features. It 
is a workhouse where aged failures in the struggle 
for existence are permitted to pass away in peace. 
Not here will we meet with degraded types of the 
European inebriate or jailbird. They are all repre- 
sentative of one very fascinating aspect of Judaism 
which it is the fashion to doubt or decry. It is not 
only in India that the Yogi, or contemplative Sage, 
is to be met with, who, having fulfilled his whole 
duty as a man, retires from active life to meditate on 
the here and the hereafter. We have our Jewish 
Yogis even outside the dazzling effulgence which 
emanates from the Zohar. They work not, neither 
do they spin, but the world is better for their being 
in it, even if not of it. It is refreshing to think that 
not everybody is in a hurry, not everybody busy 
money-making or money-spending, and that a few 
there are who are survivals of more tranquil ages. 

E. N. Adler, 1895. 



I AM AN HEBREW 35 

SHARING THE BURDEN 

I 

WHEN trouble comes upon the congregation, it 
is not right for a man to say, ^ I will eat and 
drink, ^nd things will be peaceful for me '. Moses, 
our Teacher, always bore his share in the troubles of 
the congregation, as it is written, ' They took a stone 
and put it under him' (Exodus 17. 12). Could they 
not have given him a chair or a cushion ? But then 
he said, ' Since the Israelites are in trouble, lo, I will 
bear my part with them, for he who bears his portion 
of the burden will live to enjoy the hour of consola- 
tion \ Woe to one who thinks, 'Ah, well, I will 
neglect my duty. Who can know whether I bear my 
part or not ? ' Even the stones of the house, ay, the 
limbs of the trees shall testify against him, as it is 
written, * For the stones will cry from the wall, and 
the limbs of the trees will testify \ 

Talmud. 



Ill 

' I T is high time ', wrote Leopold Zunz, in the days 
1 when the emancipation of the Jews in Europe 
was being constantly postponed, or was being dealt 
with in a huckstering and grudging spirit, 'It is 
high time that instead of having rights and liberties 
doled out to them, they should obtain Right and 
Liberty.' It was well said : ' Right and Liberty ' are 

* From Sermons (London : Geo. Routledge & Sons), 



86 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

one and indivisible^ and belong to all men as such. 
Well, ' Right and Liberty ' are ours, if any people on 
the face of the earth can be said to possess them. 
Surely we owe something to the land and the people 
where and among whom our lines are fallen, and of 
which WQ are an integral part. We owe it to them 
to take our share of the national burdens and in the 
national life, to seek our prosperity in theirs, to 
respect the law and its representatives, from the 
humblest oflScer of justice to the Sovereign upon the 
throne. 

Simeon Singer, 1894. 



THE DUTY OF SELF-RESPECT 

VTOTHING is more dangerous for a nation or for 

^ ^ an individual than to plead guilty to imaginary 

sins. Where the sin is real — by honest endeavour 

the sinner can purify himself. But when a man has 

been persuaded to suspect himself unjustly — what 

can he do ? Our greatest need is emancipation from 

self -contempt, from this idea that we are really worse 

than all the world. Otherwise we may in course of 

time become in reality what we now imagine ourselves 

to be. 

AcHAD Ha^am, 1891. 



I AM AN HEBREW 87 



ANTI-SEMITISM 



JEWISH misery has two forms, the material and 
the moral. In Eastern Europe, in those regions 
which shelter the vast majority of our race, we see 
a painful fight for the maintenance of a bare existence. 
In Western Europe, the Jew has bread; but man 
docs not live on bread alone. His misery is moral. 
It exists in the constant wounding of self-respect and 

honour. 

Max Nordau, 1897. 



I REMEMBER when I used to come home from 
the Cheder ^, bleeding and crying from the wounds 
inflicted upon me by the Christian boys, my father 
used to say, ' My child, we are in Golus (exile), and 
we must submit to God's wilP. And he made me 
understand that this is only a passing stage in 
history, as we Jews belong to Eternity, when God 
will comfort His people. Thus the pain was only 
physical ; but my real suffering began later in life, 
when I emigrated from Roumania to so-called civilized 
countries, and found there what I might call the 
Higher Anti-Semitism, which burns the soul though 
it leaves the body unhurt. 

S. SCHECHTEK, 1903. 
^ School, usually for religious instruction only. 



38 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



II 

NOT rarely a Jew is heard to murmur that we 
must learn from our enemies and try to remedy 
our failings. He forgets, however, that the anti- 
Semitic aceusatioTis are valueless, because they are 
not based on a criticism of real facts, but are merely 
due to the psychological law according to which 
children, savages, and malevolent fools make persons 
and things against which they have an aversion 
responsible for their sufferings. 

Pretexts change, but the hatred remains. The 
Jews are not hated because they have evil qualities ; 
evil qualities are sought for in them because they are 

hated. 

Max Nordau. 



MY grandmother, the beautiful daughter of a 
family who had suffered much from persecu- 
tion, had imbibed that dislike for her race which the 
vain are too apt to adopt when they find they are 
born to public contempt. The indignant feeling that 
should be reserved for the persecutor, in the mortifi- 
cation of their disturbed sensibility, is lipo often 
visited on the victim ; and the cause of annoyance is 
recognized not in the ignorant malevolence of the 
powerful, but in the conscientious conviction of the 

innocent sufferer, 

Benjamin Disiueli, 1848. 



I AM AN HEBREW 89 



III 

ANTI-SEMITES accuse the Jewish people of an 
*^ incapacity for forgiveness and love. Let these 
preachers of love first practise it. Let them refrain, 
at least, from incendiary slanders against Israel who, 
among all the peoples of the world, has agonized and 
suffered most from hatred, malice, and all uncharitable- 
ness at the hands of others. Let such preachers of 
love remember the Mosaic Law : * Thou shalt not 
bear false witness against thy neighbour \ 

J. H. Hertz, 191 9, 



NOT one man alone has risen up against us to 
destroy us, but in every generation there rise 
up against us those who seek to destroy us; but 
the Holy One, blessed be He, delivers us from their 
hands. 

Passover Hagadah. 



NO weapon that is formed against thee shall 
prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against 
thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. 

Isaiah 64. 17. 






40 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE JEW AS A PATRIOT 

EVERY student of the Hebrew language is aware 
that we have in the conjugation of its verbs 
a mood known as the Intensive (Plel) Voice, which 
by means of an almost imperceptible modification of 
vowel points intensifies the meaning of the primitive 
root. A similar significance seems to attach to the 
Jews themselves in connexion with the people among 
whom thej dwell- They are the intensive form oi any 
nationality whose language and customs they adopt. 

Emma Lazakus, 1882. 



I QYALTY to the flag for which the sun once stood 
^"^ still, can only deepen our devotion to the flag on 
which the suii never sets. 

Col. A. E. GOLDSMID, 1902. 



I AM AN HEBREW 41 



THE JEWISH SOLDIER 

MOTHER England, Mother England, 'mid the 
thousands 
Far beyond the sea to-day. 
Doing battle for thy honour, for thy glory. 
Is there place for us, a little band of brothers ? 
England, say! 

Long ago and far away, O Mother England, 
We were warriors brave and bold ; 
But a hundred nations rose in arms against us, 
And the shades of exile closed o'er those heroic 
Days of old. 

Thou hast given us home and freedom^ Mother 

England, 
Thou hast let us live again. 

Free and fearless, 'midst thy free and fearless children, 
Sharing with them, as one people, grief and gladness, 
Joy and pain. 

For the Jew has heart and hand, our Mother England, 

And they both are thine to-day — 

Thine for life and thine for death — yea, thine for 

ever ! 
Wilt thou take them as we give them, freely, gladly ? 
England, say 1 

Alice Lucas, 1899. 



S 



42 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE JEW'S LOVE OF BRITAIN ^ 

IS it a matter of surprise that so goodly a number 
of our brethren offered themselves willingly among 
the people ? One of the masterpieces of eloquence 
bequeathed to us by classic antiquity is the funeral 
oration delivered by Pericles on those who had fallen 
in the Teloponnesian War. He dilates upon the 
sources of Athens' greatness. He portrays in glowing 
colours how justice is there equally meted out to all 
citizens^ from the highest to the lowest, how all are 
under tlie aegis of freedom, and all equally inspired 
by obedience to law. And he continues : ' Such 
a country well deserves that her children should die 
for her I ^ The membera of the House of Israel have 
always faithfully served the country of their birth or 
their adoption. But surely England deserves that 
we, her Jewish children, should gladly live and die 
for her : since here, as in no other country, the teach- 
ings of Holy Writ are venerated and obeyed. Here, 
as in no other Empire in the world, there breathes 
a passionate love of freedom, a burning hatred of 
tymnt wrong. 

Hermann Adleu, at the iiuveiling of the 
Memorial to the Jewish soldiers who fell 
in the South African War, 1905. 

^ From Anglo- Jewibh Memories (London : Geo. Kuutledge &Sons). 



I AM AN HEBREW 43 



TO ENGLAND 

Lines of a Russian Jew 

IN childhood I learned to love thee, 
Thy Dame was a legend to me ; 
I dreamt of a distant great island, 
Where men may be strong, yet be free. 

And I, who the clatter of fetters 
Have heard in my childhood and youth. 
Do bless thee for giving me refuge. 
And faith in the triumph of truth. 

Thou art not my stepmother, England, 
My sister of mercy thou art ; 
J'or thee in the hour of thy trial 
A brotherly love fills my heart. 

P. M. Raskin, 1914. 



44 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



JUDAISM AND THE JEW IN AMERICA 

I 

f IKE the river that takes its rise in the distant hills^ 
*-^ gradually courses its way through the country, 
passing alike through sublime landscape and hideous 
morass, offering its banks for the foundation of great 
cities, its waters enriched and modified by the tribu- 
taries that gradually flow towards it, until it at last 
loses itself in the ocean : so Judaism, taking its rise 
among the mountains of Sinai, slowly and steadily 
has advanced ; passing alternately through a golden 
age of tolemtion and an iron age of persecution, 
giving its moral code for the foundation of many 
a government; modified, by the customs and modes 
of life of each nation through which it has passed, 
chastened and enriched by centuries of experience — 
shall I say, as I said with the river, that it, too, at 
last loses itself in the great sea of humanity ? No ! 
rather like the Gulf Stream, which, passing through 
the vast Atlantic Ocean, part of it, and yet distinct 
from it, never losing its individuality, but always 
detected by its deeper colour and warmer temperature, 
until it eventually modifies the severe climate of 
a distant country : so Judaism, passing through all 
the nations of the old world, part of Ibem, and yet 






I 



I 



I AM AN HEBREW 45 

distinct from them, ever recognized by its depth and 
intensity, has at last reached this new world without 
having lost its individuality. And here it is still 
able, by the loftiness of its ethical truth and by the 
purity of its principles, to give intellectual and moral 
st-amina to a never-ending future humanity. 

M. H. Harris, 1887. 



II 

YY/E, more than any other nation on the globe, 
^^ recall the happy day when the light of promise 
first dawned in a modern Canaan, overflowing with 
the milk and honey of humane kindness, in a land 
symbolized by the torch of the goddess of liberty, 
whose soft, mild, yet penetrating rays are reflected 
o'er all the scattered sons of much-tried Israel, whom 
she so benignantly beckons to these shores. 

Alexander Kohut, on the 400^4 
Anniversary of the Discovery of 
America, 1892. 



46 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE DELUGE OF FIRE 

(1914-1918) 

MANKIND craves the conviction that the agony 
and tears and suffering of these hundreds of 
millions of belligerents^ constituting the vast majority 
of the human raee^ are not in vain ; that somehow 
good will come of all this infinite woe. 

In old Jewish books there is a wondrous legend of 
a second Deluge, a Deluge of Fire, that would sweep 
over the earth. In anticipation of it, the children of 
men were bidden to write the story of man on tables 
of clay, as such tables would not only escape destruc- 
tion, but would become the more enduring. We to-day 
are the eyewitnesses of such a fire-deluge dreamt of 
by the ancients. Let us not, however, fear that 
civilization and religion will perish from the earth. 
Quite other will be its far-reaching results for man- 
kind. Bight and humanity will emerge stronger than 
ever from this world-conflagration. Before this war 
we saw that the laws of God and man were written 
as it were on mere tables of clay, breakable and efface- 
able at will. This very world-conflagmtion, however, 
will yet render the Law of Nations indestructible 
and for ever unassailable by insolence or power. The 
behests of humanity, which so far have been but 
pious wishes, will be converted into regulative prin- 
ciples in international dealings. 

J. H. Heetz, to a congregation 
of Jewish soldiers at the Fronts 
France^ 1915. 



1 



> 



I AM AN HEBREW 47 

THE HEALING OP THE NATIONS 

• 

THE Bun and the moon are become blacky 
And the stars withdraw their shining • . . 
And the heavens and the earth shall shake; 
But the Lord^ill be a refuge unto His people. 

Joel 4. 15, 16. 



AND the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, 
A^ And the haughtiness of men shall be brought 

low ; 
And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 
And the idols shall utterly pass away. 

Isaiah 2. 17, 18. 



AND, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great 
*^ and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke 
in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord 
was not in the wind ; and after the wind an earth- 
quake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 
and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was 
not in the fire ; and after the fire a still small voice. 

1 Kings 19, n, la. 



HEAL us, O Lord, and we shall be healed ; save us, 
and we shall be saved ; for Thou art our praise. 
Vouchsafe a perfect healing unto all our wounds; 
for Thou, almighty King, art a faithful and merciful 

Physician. 

Daily Prayer Book. 



48 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE MESSIANIC HOPE 

WHEN the harp of Judah sounded, thrilled with 
the touch of inspiration Divifte, among the 
echoes it waked in the human heart were those sweet 
sounds whose witcheries transport the soul into the 
realms of happiness. That melody has been our 
source of courage, our solace and our strength^ and in 
all our wanderings we have sung it. It is the music 
of the Messianic age, the triumph-hymn to be one 
day thundered by all humanity, the real psalm of life 
as mankind shall sing it when Israelis world-task 
of teaching it shall have been accomplished. Its 
haimony is the harmony of the families of the earth, 
at last at peace, at last united in brotherhood, at last 
happy in their return to the One Great Father. 

H. Pereira Mendbs, 1887. 



HAVE we not all one father? 
Hath not one God created us ? 
Why do we deal treacherously every man against his 

brother, 
Profaning the covenant of our fathers ? 

Malachi 2. 10. 



I AM AN HEBREW 49 

THE VISION OF A UNITED HUMANITY 

AND it shall come to pass in the end of days^ 
** That the mountain of the Lord's house shall be 

established as the top of the mountains^ 
And shall be exalted above the hills; 
And all nations shall flow unto it, 
And many peoples shall go and say : 
' Come ye^ and let ns go up to the mountain of the 

Lord, 
To the house of the God of Jacob ; 
And He will teach us of His ways, 
And we will walk in His paths/ 
For out of Zion shall go forth the law, 
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
And He shall judge between the nations, 
And shall decide for many peoples ; 
And they shall beat their sworfs into ploughshares, 
And their spears into pruning-hooks ; 
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 
Neither shall they learn war any more. 

Isaiah 2. a-4. 



THE Jew who is true to himself will labour with 
especial energy in the cause of peace. His religion, 
his history, his mission, all pledge him to a policy of 
peace, as a citizen as well as an individual. The 
war-loving Jew is a contradiction in terms. The 
« Man of Sorrows * must beware of helping, however 
remotely, to heap sorrow upon others. 

Morris Joseph, 1903. 



50 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



TRUST YE IN THE LORD FOR EVER 

THOU wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind 
is stayed on Thee ; because he trusted in Thee. 
Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is God, 

an everlasting Rock. 
The way, of the just is straight : Thou, Most Upright, 

makest plain the path of the just. 
Yea, in the way of Thy judgements, O Lord, have 

we waited for Thee ; to Thy name and to Thy 

memorial is the desire of our soul. 
With my soul have I desired Thee in the night ; 
Yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early : 

for when Thy judgements are in the earth, the 

inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 
Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not 

learn righteousness : in the land of uprightness 

will he deal wrongfully and will not behold the 

majesty of the Lord. 
Lord, Thy hand is lifted up, yet they see not : but 

they shall see Thy zeal for the people, and be 

ashamed ; yea, the fire of Thine adversaries shall 

devour them. 
Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us : for Thou hast 

also wrought all our works for us. 

Isaiah 26. 3, 4, 7-12. 



II 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 



52 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



\J0W the Lord said unto Alrctm : * ... 7 will make 

jL\ of thee a great nation^ and I will bless thee^ and 

make thy name great ; and he thou a blessing : And 

I will bless them that bless thee^ and him that curseth 

thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of 

the earth be blessed^ 

Genesis 12. 1-3. 



^T^HUS saith God the Lord . . . / the Lord have 
•^ called thee in righteousness and have taken hold 
of thine handy and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant 
of the people, for a light of the nations ; to open the 
blind eyes^ to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon^ 
and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 

Isaiah 42. 5-7. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 53 



ISRAEL IMMORTAL 

THUS saith the Lord, Who giveth the sun for 
a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon 
and of the stars for a light by night, Who stirreth up 
the sea, that the waves thereof roar; .the Lord of 
hosts is His name : If these ordinances depart from 
before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel 
also shall cease from being a nation before Me for 

ever. 

Jeeemiau 31. 35, 56. 

THE sun and moon for ever shine — by day 
And night they mark the EternaFs high design. 
Changeless and tireless, speeding on their way. 
The sun and moon for ever shine. 

Symbols are they of Israel's chosen line, 

A nation still, though countless foes combine j 

Smitten by God and healed by God are they : 

They shall not fear, safe 'neath the Rock divine. 

Nor cease to be, until men cease to say, 

The sun and moon for ever shine. 

Yehudah Halevi, 1160, 
{Trans* Alice Zucas,) 

THE life of man is numbered by days, 
The days of Israel are innumerable. 

ECCLESIASTICUS 37, 25. 

INGDOMS arise and kingdoms pass away, but 
Israel endureth for evermore. 

MlDAASH. 



K 



54 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE ETERNAL EIDDLE* 

ISRAEL, my people, 
God's greatest riddle, 
"Will thy solution 
Ever be told ? 

Fought — never conquered. 
Bent — never broken. 
Mortal — immortal, 
Youthful, though old. 

Egypt enslaved thee, 
Babylon crushed thee, 
Rome led thee captive. 
Homeless thy head. 

Where are those nations 
Mighty and fearsome ? 
Thou hast survived them. 
They are long dead. 

Nations keep coming, 
Nations keep going, 
Passing like shadows, 
Wiped off the earth. 

Thou an eternal 
Witness remainest, 
Watching their burial, 
Watching their birth. 

* From kongs of a ^aneferer (Philadelphia : Jewish Publication 
Society), 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 55 

Pray, who revealed thee 
Heaven's great secret : 
Death and destruction 
Thus to defy ? 

Suffering torture. 
Stake, inquisition — 
Prithee, who taught thee 
Never to die ? 

Ay, and who gave thee 
Faith, deep as ocean, 
Strong as the rock-hills. 
Fierce as the sun ? 

Hated and hunted, 
Ever thou wand'rest. 
Bearing a message : 
God is but one ! 

Pray, has thy saga 
Likewise an ending. 
As its beginning 
Glorious of old ? 

Israel, my people, 
God^s greatest riddle. 
Will thy solution 
Ever be told ? 

P. M. Raskin, 1914. 



56 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE SECRET OF ISRAEL'S IMMORTALITY ^ 

WHAT has prevented this constantly migrating 
people, this veritable Wandering Jew, from de- 
generating into bnitalized vagabonds, into vagmnt 
hordes of gipsies ? The answer is at hand. In its 
journey through the desert of life, for eighteen 
centuries, the Jewish people carried along the Ark 
of the Covenant, which breathed into its heart ideal 
aspimtions, and even illumined the badge of disgmce 
aflSxed to its garment with an apostolic glory. The 
proscribed, outlawed, universally persecuted Jew felt 
a sublime, noble pride in being singled out to 
perpetuate and to suffer for a religion which reflects 
eternity, by which the nations of the earth were 
gradually educated to a knowledge of God and 
morality, and from which is to spring the salvation 
and redemption of the world. 

Such a people, which disdains its present but has 
the eye steadily fixed on its future, which lives as it 
were on hope, is on that very account eternal, like 
hope. 

H. Graetz, 1853. 

1 Cf. p. 214. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 57 



THE BOOK OF BOOKS 

THE Bible^ what a book I Large and wide as the 
world^ based on the abysses of. creation^ and 
towering aloft into the blue secrets of heaven. Sun- 
rise and sunset, promise and fulfilment^ birth and 
death — the whole drama of humanitv — are contained 
in this one book. It is the Book of Books, ^he 
Jews may readily be consoled at the loss of Jerusalem^ 
and the Temple, and the Ark of the Covenant, and 
all the crown jewels of King Solomon. Such for- 
feiture is as naught when weighed against the Bible, 
the imperishable treasure that they have saved. If I 
do not err, it was Mahomet who named the Jews the 
^People of the Book^, a name which in Eastern 
countries has remained theirs to the present day, and 
is deeply significant. That one book is to the Jews 
their country. Within the well-fenced boundaries of 
that book they live and have their being ; they enjoy 
their inalienable citizenship, are strong to admiration; 
thence none can dislodge them. Absorbed in the 
perusal of their sacred book they little heeded the 
changes that were wrought in the real world around 
them. Nations rose and vanished, States flourished 
and decayed, revolutions raged throughout the earth — 
but they, the Jews, sat poring over this book, un- 
conscious of the wild chase of time that rushed on 
above their heads. 

H. Heine, 1830. 



58 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE BIBLE ^ 

AS to an ancient temple 
*^ Whose vast proportions tower 
With summit inaccessible 
Among the stars of heaven ; 
While the resistless ocean 
Of peoples and of cities 
Breaks at its feet in foam. 
Work that a hundred ages 
Hallow : I bow to thee. 

Prom out thy mighty bosom 
Rise hymns sublime, and melodies 
Like to the heavens singing 
Praises to their Creator ; 
While at the sound, an ecstasy, 
A trance, fills all my being 
With terror and with awe — 
I feel my proud heart thrilling 
With throbs of holy pride. 

Oh I come, thou high beneficent 
Heritage of my fathers ; 
Our country, altar, prophet. 
Our life, our all, art thou ! 
In doubt, in woe, in outrage, 
In pangs of dissolution 
That wring our tortured hearts. 
Come, ope the rosy portals 
Of Hope to us once more. 

1 Cf. pp. 187-140. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 59 

Ah me ! what countless miseries^ 
What tears all unregarded^ 
Hast thou consoled and softened 
With gentle voice and holy ! 
How many heai*ts that struggle 
With doubtj remorse, anxiety, 
With all the woes of ages, 
Dost thou, on ample pinions. 
Lift purified to Heaven ! 

Listen ! the world is rising. 
Seeking, unquiet, thrilling, 
Awakens the new century 
, To new hopes and new visions. 
Men hear upon the mountains 
Strange and life-giving voices ; 
Every soul seems to wait. 
And from that Book the signal 
For the new day shall come. 

David Levi, 1846. 
(Trans. Mary A, Craig.) 



FROM century to century, even unto this day, 
through the fairest regions of civilization, the Bible 
dominates existence. Its vision of life moulds states 
and societies. Its Psalms are more popular in every 
country than the poems of the nation's own poets. 
Beside this one book with its infinite editions ... all 
other literatures seem ^trifles light as air \ 

Israel Zangwill, 1895. 



60 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



A JEWISH VERSION OF THE BIBLE 



OUR great claim to the gratitude of mankind is 
that we gave to the world the word of God, the 
Bible. We have stormed heaven to snatch down 
this heavenly gift, as the Paitan ^ puts it. We threw 
oureelves into the breach, and covered it with our 
bodies against every attack. We allowed ourselves 
to be slain in hundreds and thousands rather than 
become unfaithful to it, and we bore witness to its 
truth, and watched over its purity, in the face of 
a hostile world. The Bible is our sole raison ^ Stre ; 
and it is just this which the Higher Anti-Semitism, 
both within and without our ranks, is seeking to 
destroy, denying all our claims for the past and 
leaving us without hope for the future. This intellec- 
tual persecution can only be fought with intellectual 
weapons, and unless we make an effort to recover our 
Bible we are irrevocably lost from both worlds. 

S. SCHECHTEE, 1903. 



II 

THERE is an old tradition that the day on which, 
for the first time, the Pentateuch was ti*anslated 
into a foreign language — into Greek — was considered 
by Jews as a day of great national calamity. It was 
feared that the translation, being incorrect, might 
become the source of error instead of being the 

^ Name for Synagogue liturgical poet. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 61 

fountain of divine truths. The fear felt and expressed 
about two thousand years ago has been fully justified 
by the history of the several versions that have since 
been undertaken, and by the large number of false 
doctrines, supposed to be founded on the authority of 
Holy Writ, whilst really originating in mistakes 
made by translators. 

M. FuiEDLiNDER, 1886. 



NEW translations of the Bible have appeared and 
are appearing in various languages ; but none 
of them has made, or intends to make, a complete 
and exhaustive use of Jewish contributions to the 
subject. Great university professors who know much, 
very much, but who do not know Jewish literature, 
unconsciously assume that they do not know it because 
it is not worth knowing— a judgement that no man 
has a right to pronounce until he has studied it — and 
this they have not done. 

M. Sulzberger, 1898. 



THE book, commonly known as the Authorized, 
or King Jameses Version, has been so long looked 
upon with a deep veneration almost bordering on 
superstitious dread, that, to most persons, the very 
thought of furnishing an improved translation of the 
Divine records will be viewed as an impious assumption 
and a contempt of the wisdom of former ages. Since 
the time of King James, however, the world has 



62 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

progressed ia biblical knowledge no less than in all 
other branches of science; and giant minds have 
laboured to make clear what formerly was obscure. 

Isaac Leesek^ 1855. 



I FULLY admit the great merits of the Revised 
Version of the Bible. It corrects many faults, 
amends many mistranslations of the so-called King 
James's Version, without impairing the antique charm 
of the English Bible, without putting out of tune the 
music so dear to our ears. Yet even that great work, 
compiled by the most eminent scholars and learned 
theologians in the land, is disfigured by errors due to 
dogmatic preconceptions. 

Hermann Abler, 1896. 



Ill 

THE present translation^ has a character of its 
own. It aims to combine the spirit of Jewish 
tradition with the results of biblical scholarship, 
ancient, mediaeval, and modern. It gives to the 
Jewish world a translation of the Scriptures done by 
men imbued with the Jewish consciousness, while the 
non-Jewish world, it is hoped, will welcome a trans- 

* The Holy Scriptures : A New Translation, witli the aid of 
previous versions and with constant consultation of Jewish 
Authorities. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 63 

lation that presents many passages from the Jewish 
traditional point of view. 

The Jew cannot afford to have his own Bible trans* 
lation prepared for him by others. He cannot have 
it as a gif t^ even as be cannot borrow his soul from 
others. If a new country and a new language meta- 
morphose him into a new man^ the duty of this new 
man is to prepare a new garb and a new method 
of expression for what is most sacred and most dear 

to him. 

From Translators' Preface, 

Jewish Version of the Bible^ 1916. 



IV 

SCRIPTURE must be interpreted according to 
its plain, natural sense, each word according to the 
context. Ti*aditional exposition, however, may also 
be taken to heart, as it is said : ^ Is not My word like 
as fire?* — consisting of many sparks — 'and like a 
hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?* — ^and 
therefore capable of various explanations. 

Rasht, 1080. 



THERE is none that hath ever made an end of 
learning it, and there is none that will ever find 
out all its mysteries. For its wisdom is richer than 
any sea, and its word deeper than any abyss. 

ECCLESIASTICUS 24. 28, 29, 



64 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

ISRAEL THE PEOPLE OP REVELATION 

HAD there been no Israelites there would be no 
Torah. Israel's pre-eminence is not derived 
from Moses, it is Moses whose pre-eminence is due to 
Israel. The Divine love went out towards the multi- 
tude of the children of the Patriarchs, the Congrega- 
tion of Jacob. Moses was merely the divinely chosen 
instrument through whom God's Blessing was to be 
assured unto them. We are called not the people of 
Moses, but the people of God. 

Yehudah Halevf, 1141. 



THE Greeks were not all artists, but the Greek 
nation was alone capable of producing a Phidias 
or a Praxiteles. The same was the case with Judaism. 
It is certain that not all Jews were prophets; the 
exclamation, ^ Would that all the people of the Lord 
were prophets ! ' was a pious wish. Nevertheless, 
Israel is the people of Revelation. It must have 
had a native .endowment that could produce, that 
could rear, such men. Nor does Judaism claim to 
be the work of single individuals ; it does not speak 
of the God of Moses, nor of the God of the Prophets, 
but of the God of Israel. The fact that the greatest 
prophet left his work unfinished contains a profound 
truth. No ma7i hioweih of his sepulchre unto this day. 
Thereon our ancient teachers remark : ' His grave 
should not serve as a place of pilgrimage whither men 
go to do honour to one man, and thus raise him above 

the level of man *. 

A. Geiger, 1865. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK G5 



THERE IS NO GOD BUT GOD AND ISRAEL 

IS HIS PROPHET 1 

WHEN one thinki^ how this earliest of theistic 
creeds has persisted through the ages, by what 
wonderful constructive statecraft it has built up a 
race of which the lowest unit is no atom in a ' sub- 
merged tenth', but an equal member of a great 
historic brotherhood, a scion of the oldest of surviving 
civilizations^ a student of sacred books, a lover of 
home and peace; when one remembers how he has 
agonized — the great misunderstood of history — how 
his ^ pestilent heresy ' has been chastised and rebuked 
by Popes and Crusaders, Inquisitors and Missionaries, 
how he has remained sublimely protestant^ imper<» 
turbable amid marvellous cathedrals and all the 
splendid shows of Christendom, and how despite all 
and after all he is living to see the world turning 
slowly back to his vision of life ; then one seems to 
see the ^finger of God', the hand of the Master- 
Artist, behind the comedy-tragedy of existence, to 
believe that Israel is veritably a nation with a mission, 
that there is no God but God and Israel is His 

prophet. 

Israel Zangwill. 

* From * The Position of Judaism ', North Ammcan Review, 
April, 1895. 



66 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



MOSES 1 

HOW small Sinai appears when Moses stands upon 
it I This mountain is only the pedestal for the 
feet of the man whose head reaches up to the heavens, 
where he speaks with God. . • . Formerly I could not 
pardon the legislator of the Jews his hatred against 
the plastic arts. I did not see that, notwithstanding 
his hostility to art, Moses was a great artist, and 
possessed the true artistic spirit. But this spirit was 
directed by him, as by his Egyptian compatriots, to 
colossal and indestructible undertakings. He built 
human pjrramids, carved human obelisks; he took 
a poor shepherd family and created a nation from 
it — a great, eternal, holy people; a people of God, 
destined to outlive the centuries, and to serve as 
a pattern to all other nations, even as a prototype 
to the whole of mankind. He created Israel. 
- As of the master-builder, so of his work — the 
Hebrew people — I did not speak with suflScient 
reverence. I see now that the Greeks were only 
handsome youths, whilst the Jews were always men — 
powerful, indomitable men — who have fought and 
suffered on every battlefield o.f human thought. 

H. Heink, 18&4. 

1 Cf. p. 143. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 67 

THE PROPHETS ^ 

I 

♦'T'lS a little people^ but it has done great things. 
•■> It had but a precarious hold on a few crags 
and highlands between the desert and the deep sea, 
yet its thinkers and sages with eagle vision took into 
their thought the destinies of all humanity, and rang 
out in clarion voice a message of hope to the down- 
trodden of all races. Claiming for themselves and 
their people the duty and obligations of a true 
aristocracy, they held forth to the peoples ideals of 
a true democracy founded on right and justice. Their 
voices have never ceased to re-echo around the world, 
and the greatest things that have been done to raise 
men^s lot have been always in the spirit, often in the 
name, of the Hebrew prophets. 

Joseph Jacobs, 1919. 



THE mere foretelling of future events is the 
lowest stage of prophecy, and in the eyes of the 
great Prophets of Israel it was of quite secondary 
importance. Their aim was to fathom the secrets of 
holiness ; and their striving, by means of admonition 
and moral suasion, to guide the peoples in the paths 
which lead mankind to spiritual and political well- 
being. 

Shemtob ten Shemtob, 1489. 

1 Cf. p. 151-4. 

d2 



68 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

II 

IT was part of the spirit of Prophecy to be dumb- 
founded at human ferocity as at something against 
nature and reason. In the presence of the iniquities 
of the world, the heart of the Prophets bled as though 
from a wound of the Divine Spirit, and their cry of 
indignation re-echoed the wrath of the Deity. 
Greece and Rome had their rich and poor, just as 
Israel had in the days of Jeroboam II, and the various 
classes continued to slaughter one another for cen- 
turies; but no voice of justice and pity arose from 
the fierce tumult. Therefore the words of the Pro- 
phets have more vitality at the present time, and 
answer better to the needs of modem souls, than all 
the classic masterpieces of antiquity. 

James Darmesteter, 1891. 



IN Hebrew prophecy we have no crumbling monu- 
ment of perishable stone, the silent witness of 
«, past that is dead and gone, but the quickening 
breath of the spirit itself. In the ardent souls of the 
Prophets the thought of Deity was centred as in 
a burning-glass— ^a fire that consumed them, a shining 
light for men. Theirs was the abiding sense of an 
eternal Will and Purpose underlying human transient 
schemes, an eternal Presence, transfusing all of life 
as with a hidden flame; so that love of country, love 
of right, love of man, were not alone human things, 
but also divine, because they were embraced and 
focussed in a single living unity — the love of God. 

Josephine Lazarus, 1893. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 69 

THE TALMUD » 

THE Talmud is the work which embodies the civil 
and canonical law of the Jewish people, forming 
a kind of supplement to the Pentateuch — a supple- 
ment such as took 1,000 years of a nation's life to 
produce* It is not merely a dull treatise, but it 
appeals to the imagination and the feelings, and to 
all that is noblest and purest. Between the rugged 
boulders of the law which bestrew the path of the 
Talmud there grow the blue flowers of romance — 
parable, tale, gnome, saga; its elements are taken 
from heaven and earth, but chiefly and most lovingly 
from the human heart and from Scripture, for every 
verse and every word in this latter became, as it were, 
a golden nail upon which it hung its gorgeous tapestries. 
The fundamental law of all human and social 
economy in the Talmud was the absolute equality of 
men. It was pointed out that man was created alone 
— lest one should say to another, ' I am of the better 
or earlier stock ^ In a discussion that arose among 
the Masters as to which was the most important 
passage in the whole Bible, one pointed to the verse 
^And thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself^. 
The other contradicted him and pointed to the words 
^ This is the book of the generations of man ' (Gen. 
5. i) — not black, not white, not great, not small, but 

' The law given on Mount Sinai ^, the Masters said, 
' though emphatically addressed to one people, belongs 
to all humanity. * It was not given in any king's 

1 Of. pp. 157, 285, 802. 



70 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

land, not in any city or inhabited spot — it was given 
on God^s own highway, in the desert — not in the 
darkness and stillness of night, but in plain day, amid 
thunder and lightning. And why was it given on 
Sinai ? Because it is the lowliest of mountains — to 
show that God^s spirit rests only upon them that are 
meek- and lowly in their hearts.* 

The Talmud taught that religion was not a thing 
of creed or dogma or faith merely, but of active 
goodness. Scripture said, * Ye shall walk in the ways 
of the Lord \ ' But the Lord is a consuming fire ; 
how can men walk in His ways ? ' ' By being *, the 
rabbis answered, ' as He is — merciful, loving, long- 
suffering. Mark how on the first page of the Penta- 
teuch God clothed the naked — Adam; and on the 
last he buried the dead — Moses. He heals the sick, 
frees the captives, does good to His enemies, and is 
merciful both to the living and to the dead.' 

The most transcendental love of the rabbis was 
lavished on children. All the verses of Scripture that 
spoke of flowers and gardens were applied to children 
and schools. The highest and most exalted title 
which they bestowed in their poetical flights upon 
God Himself was that of ' Pedagogue of Man \ 
Indeed, the relationship of jgj^an to God they could not 
express more pregnantly than by the most familiar 
words which occur from one end of the Talmud to 
the other, ' Our Father in Heaven \ 

I have been able to bring before you what proves, 
as it were, but a drop in the vast ocean of Talmud — 
that strange, wild, weird ocean, with its leviathans, 
and its wrecks of golden argosies, and with its forlorn 
bells that send up their dreamy sounds ever and anon. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 71 

while the fisherman bends upon his oar, and starts 

and listens, and perchance the tears may come into 

his eyes. 

Emanuel Deutsch, 18G8. 



JEWISH LITERA.TURE 

RABBINISM was a sequel to the Bible, and if, 
like all sequels, it was unequal to its original, it 
nevertheless shared its greatness. The works of all 
Jews up to the modem period were the sequel to this 
sequel. Through them all may be detected the uni- 
fying principle that literature in . its truest sense 
includes life itself ; that intellect is the handmaid to 
conscience ; and that the best books are those which 
best teach men how to live. This underlying unity 
gave more harmony to Jewish literature -than is 
possessed by many literatures more distinctively 
national. The maxim ' Righteousness delivers from 
death' applies to books as well as to men. A 
literature whose consistent theme is Righteousness, 

is immortal. 

I. Abrahams, 1899. 



72 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE WORK OF THE RABBIS ^ 

JUDAISM and the Bible are by no means identical ; 
the Bible is only one constituent part of Judaism, 
though the most fundamental one. Who taught 
the average Jew to understand his Judaism, to 
love his religion and his God ? Without the zeal of 
the Rabbis^ the Bible would never have become the 
guide of every Jew. They translated it into the ver- 
nacular for the people^ and expounded it to the masses. 
They taught them not to despair under the tortures 
of the present, but to look forward to the future. 
At the same time they developed the spirit of the 
Bible and never lost sight of the lofty teachings of 
the Prophets. It is the immoi-tal merit of the 
unknown Rabbis of the centuries immediately before 
and after the common era that they found and applied 
the proper ' fences ^ for the preservation of Judaism^ 
and that they succeeded in rescuing real morality and 
pure monotheism for the ages that were to follow. 

A. BiJCHLEB, 1908. 

1 Cf. p. 150. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 73 

ISRAEL'S HISTORY NEVER-ENDING 

ISRAELIS ' Heroic History ', as Manassefa ben Israel 
called it, is in truth never-ending. Line upon 
line is still being added, and finia will never be 
written on the page of Jewish history till the Light 
which shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day 
shall fall upon it, and illumine the whole beautiful 
world. Each Jew and each Jewess is making his or 
her mark, or his or her stain, upon the wonderful un- 
finished history of the Jews, the history which Herder 
called the greatest poem of all time. ' Ye are my 
witnesses \ saith the Lord* Loyal and steadfast 
witnesses is it, or self-seeking and suborned ones ? 
A witness of some sort every Jew born is bound to be. 
He must fulfil his mission, and through good report 
and through evil report, and though it be only writ 
in water, he must add his item of evidence to the 
record that all who i-un may read. 

Lady Magnus, 1886. 



THE story of this little sect — the most remarkable 
survival of the fittest known to humanity — in no 
way corresponds with its numbers ; it is not a tale of 
majorities. It is a story that begins very near the 
beginning of history, and shows little sign of drawing 
to a conclusion. It is a story that has chapters 
in every country on earth, that has borne the impress 
of every period. All men and all ages pass through 
it in unending procession. 

Israel Zangwill, 1896. 
d3 



74 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE MEANING OF JEWISH HISTORY 

MAN is made man by history. It is history that 
causes the men of historic nations to be more 
civilized than the savage. The Jew recognizes that 
he is made what he is by the history of his fathers, 
and feels he is losing his better self so far as he loses 
his hold on his past history, 

Joseph Jacobs, 1889. 



I SRAEL is the heart of mankind. 

•^ Ybhudah Hale VI. 



THE high-road of Jewish history leads to wide 
outlooks. That which is great and lasting in 
Jewish history is the spiritual wealth accumulated 
through the ages ; the description of the fierce battles 
fought between the powers of darkness and light, of 
freedom and persecution, of knowledge and ignorance. 
Our great men are the heroes of the school and the 
sages of the synagogue, not the knights of the san- 
guinary battlefield. No widow was left to mourn 
through our victory, no mother for her lost son, no 
orphan for the lost father. 

M. Gastek, 1906. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 75 



THE HALLOWING OF JEWISH HISTORY 

THE first part of Jewish history, the Biblical part, 
is a source from which, for many centuries, 
millions of human Beings belonging to the most 
diverse denominations have derived instruction, 
solace, and inspiration. Its heroes have long ago 
become types, incarnations, of great ideas. The 
events it relates serve as living ethical formulas. 
But a time will come — perhaps it is not very far 
off — when the second half of Jewish history, the 
record of the two thousand years of the Jewish 
people's life after the Biblical period, will be accorded 
the same treatment. The thousand years^ martyrdom 
of the Jewish people, its unbroken pilgrimage, its 
tragic fate, its teachers of religion, its martyrs, 
philosophers, champions — this whole epic will, in days 
to come, sink deep into the memory of men. It will 
speak to the heart and conscience of men, not merely 
to their curious mind. It will secure respect for the 
silvery hair of the Jewish people, a people of thinkers 
and sufferers. It is our firm conviction that the 
time is approaching in which the second half of 
Jewish history will be to the noblest part of thinking 
humanity what its first half has long been to believing 
humanity, a source of sublime moral truths. 

S. M. DuBNOW, 1893. 



76 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

ISEAEL'S MARTYRDOM 

IF there are ranks in suffering, Israel takes pre- 

* eedence of all the nations; if the duration of 

sorrows and the patience with which they are borne 

ennoble, the Jews can challenge the aristocracy of 

every land; if a literature is called rich in the 

possession of a few classic tragedies — what shall we 

say to a National Tragedy lasting for fifteen hundred 

years, in which the poets and the actors were also the 

heroes ? 

Leopold Zunz, 1855. 



COMBINE all the w^oes that temporal and eccle- 
siastical tyrannies have ever inflicted on men or 
nations, and you will not have reached the full 
measure of suffering which this martyr people was 
called upon to endure century upon century. It 
was as if all the powers of earth had conspired — 
and they did so conspire — to exterminate the Jewish 
people, or at least to transform it into a brutalized 
horde. History dare not pass over in silence these 
scenes of wellnigh unutterable misery. It is her 
duty to give a true and vivid account of them ; to 
evoke due admiration for the superhuman endurance 
of this suffering people, and to testify that Israel, 
like his ancestor in the days of old, has striven with 
gods and with men, and has prevailed. 

H. Gkaetz. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 11 



UNDER THE ROMAN EMPERORS 

THERE had now a tumult arisen in Alexandria 
between the Jewish inhabitants and the Greeks, 
and three ambassadors were chosen out of each party 
that were at variance who came to Caius (Caligula). 
Now, one of the Greek ambassadors was Apion, who 
uttered many blasphemies against the Jews; and 
among other things he said that while all who were 
subject to the Roman Empire built altars and temples 
to Caesar, and in other regards universally received 
him as they received the gods, these Jews alone 
thought it a dishonourable thing for them to erect 
statues in honour of him, as well as to swear by his 
name. 

Hereupon Caligula, taking it very heinously that 
he should be thus despised by the Jews alone, gave 
orders to make an invasion of Judea with a great 
body of troops, and, if they were obstinate, to con- 
quer them by war, and then to erect the statues. 
Accordingly Petronius, the Governor of Syria, got 
together as great a number of auxiliaries as he 
possibly could, and took with him two legions of the 
Roman army. But there came many ten thousands 
of the Jews to Petronius, to offer their petitions to 
him, that he would not compel them to transgress 
and violate the law of their forefathers. ^ If ', said 
they, ' thou art entirely resolved to bring this statue, 
and erect it, do thou first kill us, and then do what 
thou hast resolved on; for, while we are alive, we 
cannot permit such things as are forbidden us to be 
done by the authority of our Legislator.^ 



78 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Petronius then hasted to Tiberias; and many 
thousands of the Jews met Petronius again^ when he 
was come to Tiberias. Then Petronius said to them : 
' Will you then make war with Caesar without con- 
sidering his great preparations for war and your own 
weakness?' They replied: ^ We will not by any means 
make war with him, but still we will die before we see 
our laws tmnsgressed \ So they* threw themselves 
down upon their faces, and stretched out their throats, 
and said they were ready to be slain. Thus they 
continued in their resolution, and proposed to them- 
selves to die willingly rather than to see the dedication 
of the statue.^ 

Plavius Josephus, 1st cent. 



IN the world-wide Roman Empire it was the Jews 
alone who refused the erection ef statues and the 
paying of divine honours to Caligula, and thereby 
saved the hononr of the human race when all the 
other peoples slavishly obeyed the decree of the 
Imperial madman. 

J. FUERST, 1890. 

1 Only the sudden death of the deranged emperor saved the 
defenceless population from fearful massacre. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 79 



IN MEDIAEVAL ROME 

IN the whole history of heroism there is nothing 
finer than the example of the Jews of the Roman 
Ghetto, a handful of men who for 1,500 years and 
longer remained true to their own ideals — unmoved 
and undazzled by the triumphant world-power of the 
dominant faith ; and undaunted 

By the torture prolonged from age to age, 
By the infamy, Israel's heritage. 
By the Ghetto's plague, by the garb's disgrace, 
By the badge of shame, by the felon's place. 
By the branding tool, by the bloody whip. 
And the summons to Christian fellowship. 

Helpless victims of all the horrors enumerated in 
these burning lines of Robert Browning, these Jews 
were yet free men. Not a trace of what a modem 
Jewish thinker — Achad Ha'am — has called ' spiritual 
slavery' was theirs. In all fundamental matters they 
were totally indifferent to the opinion of those who 
might torture the body but could never crush the soul. 

J. H. Hertz, 1916. 



THE history of the daughter religions of Judaism 
is one uninterrupted series of attempts to commit 

matricide. 

M. Steinschneider, 1893. 



80 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE FIRST CRUSADE (1096) ^ 

YEA, they slay us and they smite. 
Vex our souls with sore affright ; 
All the closer cleave we, Lord, 
To Thine everlasting word. 
Not a word of all their Mass 
Shall our lips in homage pass; 
Though they curse, and bind, and kill. 
The living God is with us still. 
We still are Thine, though limbs are torn ; 
Better death than life forsworn. 
Noblest matrons seek for death, 
Rob their children of their breath ; 
Fathers, in their fiery zeal, 
Slay their sons with murderous steel. 
And in heat of holiest strife. 
For love of Thee, spare not their life. 
The fair and young lie down to die 
In witness of Thy Unity ; 
From dying lips the accents swell, 
' Thy God is One, O Israel ' ; 
And bridegroom answers unto bride, 
'The Lord is God, and none beside \ 
And, knit with bonds of holiest faith. 
They pass to endless life through death. 

Kalonymos ben Yehudah. 
{Trans. E, H. Plumptre.) 

^ The Jewish communities in the Ehine region were then 
decimated by massacre, or by self- immolation in order to escape 
baptism. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 81 



THE SECOND CRUSADE 

IN the year 1146 Israel's communities were terror- 
stricken. The monk Rudolph who shamefully 
persecuted Israel^ arose against the people of God^ 
in order, like Haman of old, to destroy, to slay, and 
to cause to perish. He travelled throughout Germany 
to bestow the cross of the crusaders upon all who 
consented to set out for Jerusalem to fight against 
the Moslems. In every place where he came he 
aroused the people, crying, ^Avenge ye first the 
vengeance of our God on His enemies who are here 
before us, and then we will go forward \ When the 
Jews heard this, their courage failed them by reason 
of the rage of their oppressor who sought their 
destruction. They cried to God, saying: 'Alas, 
O Lord God ! Behold fifty years, like the period of 
a jubilee, have not yet elapsed since we shed our 
blood like water to sanctify Thy holy, great, and 
revered Name, on the day of the great slaughter. 
Wilt Thou indeed forsake us for ever and extend Thy 
wrath against us unto all generations ? Shall misery 
follow misery ? ' 

The Lord heard our supplications, and turned unto 
us, and had pity upon us, according to His abundant 
loving-kindness. He sent one of their greatest and 
respected teachers, the abbot Bernard, from the town 
Clairvaux in France, after this evil monk. And he 
also preached to his people according to their custom, 
crying ^It is good that you are ready to go forth 
against the Moslems; but whosoever uses violence 
against the Jews commits a deadly sin \ 



82 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

All honoured this monk as one of their saints^ 
neither has it ever been said that he received a bribe 
for his good service to us. Many desisted from any 
further murderous attacks against us. We gladly 
gave our possessions as a ransom for our lives. 
Whatever was asked of us, silver or gold, we withheld 
not. 

If our Creator in His great compassion had not 

sent us this abbot, there would have been none in 

Israel that would have escaped or remained alive. 

Blessed be He who saves and delivers. Praised be 

His Name. 

Ephraim op Bonn, 1180. 

JEWISH SUPFERING 

BREAK forth in lamentation, 
My agonizing song, 
That like a lava-torrent 

Has boiled within me long. 

My song shall thrill each hearer. 

And none so deaf but hears, 
Por the burden of my ditty 

Is the pain of a thousand years. 

It melts both gentle and simple, 

Even hearts of stone are riven — 

Sets women and flowers weeping ; 
They weep, the stars of heaven. 

And all these tears are flowing 

By channels still and wide, 
Homeward they are all flowing 

To meet in Jordan^s tide. 

H. Heine, 1824. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 83 

THE JEWS OP YORK (1190) 

\ Y 7HEN Richard I ascended the throne, the Jews, 
^^ to conciliate the Royal protection, brought 
their tributes. Many had hastened from remote 
parts of England, and, appearing at Westminster, the 
Court and the mob imagined that they had leagued 
to bewitch His Majesty. A rumour spread rapidly 
through the city that in honour of the festival the 
Jews were to be massacred. The populace, at once 
eager of Royalty and riot, pillaged and burnt their 
houses and murdered the devoted Jews. 

The people of York soon gathered to imitate the 
people of London. The alarmed Jews hastened to 
Jocenus, the most opulent of the Jews, who conducted 
them to the Governor of York Castle, and prevailed 
on him to afford them an asylum for their persons 
and effects. 

The castle had suflScient strength for their defence; 
but a suspicion arising that the Governor, who often 
went out, intended to betray them, they one day 
refused him entrance. He complained to the sheriff 
of the county ; and the chiefs of the violent party, 
who stood deeply indebted to the Jews, uniting with 
him, orders were issued to attack the castle. The 
cruel multitude, united with the soldiery, felt such 
a desire of slaughtering those they intended to 
despoil, that the sheriff, repenting of the order, 
revoked it ; but in vain : fanaticism and robbery once 



84 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

set loose will satiate their appetency for blood and 
plunder. The attacks continued^ till at length the 
Jews perceived they could hold out no longer, and 
a council was called to consider what remained to be 
done in the extremity of danger. 

When the Jewish council was assembled, the 
Haham ^ rose, and addressed them in this manner : 
*Men of Israeli the God of our ancestors is omni- 
scient, and there is no one who can say, Why doest 
Thou this? This day He commands us to die for 
His Law; for that Law which we have cherished 
from the first hour it was given, which we have pre- 
served pure throughout our captivity in all nations; 
and for which, because of the many consolations it 
has given us and the eternal hope it communicates, 
can we do less than die ? Death is before our eyes ; 
and we have only to choose an honourable and easy 
one. If we fall into the hands of our enemies, which 
you know we cannot escape, our death will be 
ignominious and cruel. It is therefore my advice 
that we elude their tortures; that we ourselves 
should be our own executioners; and that we 
voluntarily surrender our lives to our Creator. 
God seems to call for us, but let us not be unworthy 
of that call.' Having said this, the old man sat 
down and wept. 

The assembly was divided in its opinions. Again 

* Term for ^ rabbi * among Sephardi Jews. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 85 

the Babbiu rose^ and spoke these few words in a firm 
and decisive tone. ^ My children I since we are not 
unanimous in our opinions^ let those who do not 
approve of my advice depart from this assembly I ' 
Some departed, but the greater number attached 
themselves to their venerable priest. They now 
employed themselves in consuming their valuables 
by fire; and every man, fearful of trusting to the 
timid and iiTcsolute hand of the women, first destroyed 
his wife and children, and then himself. Jocenus 
and the Rabbin alone remained. Their life was 
protracted to the last, that they might see everything 
performed according to their orders. Jocenus, being 
the chief Jew, was distinguished by the last mark 
of human respect in receiving his death from the 
consecrated hand of the aged Rabbin, who immediately 
after performed the melancholy duty on himself. 

All this was transacted in the depth of the night. 
In the morning the walls of the castle were seen 
wrapt in flames, and only a few miserable and pusilla- 
nimous beings, unworthy of the sword, were viewed 
on the battlements pointing to their extinct brethren. 
When they opened the gates of the castle, these men 
verified the prediction of their late Rabbin ; for the 
multitude, bursting through the solitary courts, found 
themselves defrauded of their hopes, and in a moment 
avenged themselves on the feeble wretches who knew 

not how to die with honour. 

Isaac d'Iseaeli, 1793. 



86 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE EXPULSION FROM SPAIN, 1492 

LOOK, they move ! No comrades near but curses ; 
-^ Tears gleam in beards of men sore with reverses ; 
Flowers from fields abandoned, loving nurses, 
Fondly deck the women's raven hair. 

Faded, scentless flowers that shall remind them 
Of their precious homes and graves behind them ; 
Old men, clasping Torah-scroUs, unbind them, 
Lift the parchment flags and silent lead. 

Mock not with thy light, O sun, our morrow ; 
Cease not, cease not, O ye songs of sorrow ; 
From what land a refuge can we borrow. 
Weary, thrust out, God -forsaken we ? 

Could ye, suff'ring souls, peer through the Future, 
From despair ye would awake to rapture ; 
Lo ! The Genoese boldly steers to capture 
Frcedom^s realm beyond an unsailed sea ! ^ 

L. A. Feankl. 
{Trans, hy M. 1), Louis.) 

^ On the day following the expulsion, Columbus set sail for 
the discovery of America. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 87 



THE EXODUS (AUGUST 3, 1492) 

T^HE Spanish noon is a blaze of azure fire, and 
'*' the dusty pilgrims crawl like an endless sei'pent 
along treeless plains and bleached high-roads, through 
rock-split mvines and castellated, cathedral-shadowed 
towns, 

2. The hoary patriarch, wrinkled as an almond 
shell, bows painfully upon his staff. The beautiful 
young mother, ivory-pale, wellnigh swoons beneath 
her burden ; in her large enfolding arms nestles her 
sleeping babe, round her knees flock her little ones 
with bruised and bleeding feet. 'Mother, shall we 
soon be there ? ' 

3. The halt, the blind, are amid the train. Sturdy 
pack-horses laboriously drag the tented wagons where- 
in lie the sick athirst with fever. 

4. The panting mules are urged forward by spur 
and goad ; stufEed are the heavy saddle-bags with the 
wreckage of ruined homes. 

5. Hark to the tinkling silver bells that adorn the 
tenderly carried silken scrolls. 

6. Noble and abject, learned and simple, illustrious 
and obscure, plod side by side, all brothere now, all 
merged in one routed army of misfortune. 

7. Woe to the straggler who falls by the wayside I 
No friend shall close his eyes. 



88 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

8. They leave behind the grape, the olive, and the 
fig ; the vines they planted, the corn they sowed, the 
garden-cities of Andalusia and Aragon, Estremadura 
and La Maneha, of Granada and Castile ; the altar, 
the hearth, and the grave of their fathers. 

9. The townsman spits at their garments, the 
shepherd quits his flock, the peasant his plough, to 
pelt with curses and stones ; the villager sets on their 
trail his yelping cur. 

10. Oh, the weary march I oh, the uptorn roots of 
home ! oh, the blankness of the receding goal ! 

11. Listen to their lamentations. They that ate 
dainty food are desolate in the streets ; they that were 
reared in scarlet embrace dunghills. They flee away a?id 
wander about. Men say amo7ig the nations, They shall 
no more sojourn there ; our end is near, oitr days are 
full, our doom is come. (Lam. 4. 5, 15, 18.) 

12. Whither shall they turn ? for the West hath 
cast them out, and the East ref useth to receive. 

Emma Lazarus, 1883. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 89 

A SONG OF REDEMPTION 

SURELY a limit boundeth every woe, 
But mine enduring anguish hath no end ; 
My grievous years are spent in ceaseless flow, 

My wound hath no amend. 
Overwhelmed, my helm doth fail, no hand is strong 

To steer the bark to port, her longed-for aim. 
How long, O Lord, wilt Thou my doom prolong ? 
When shall be heard the Dove^s ^ sweet voice of song ? 
O leave us not to perish for our wrong, 

Who bear Thy Name ! 
Wherefore wilt Thou for get tis, Lord ^ for aye ? 

Mercy we crave ! 
Lordj we hope in Thee alway^ 

Our King will save I 

Wounded and crushed beneath my load I sigh. 

Despised and abject, outcast, trampled low ; 
How long, O Lord, shall I of violence cry. 

My heart dissolve with woe ? 
How many years without a gleam of light 

Has thraldom been our lot, our portion pain ? 
With Ishmael ^ as a lion in his might. 
And Persia as an owl of darksome night, 
Beset on either side, behold our plight 

Betwixt the twain. 
Wherefore wilt Thou forget us^ Lord, for aye ? 

Mercy we crave ! 

Lordy we hope in Thee alway. 

Our Ki?ig will save ! 

Solomon ibn Gabtkol, 1050. 

(Tram. Nina Salaman.) 

^ Poetic name for Israel. 

2 * Ishmael' and ^Pei-sia* stand for Mohammedan and 
Christian Powers respectively. 



90 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

SHYLOCK 

SHYLOCK is ' the Jew that Shakespeare drew \ 
He is not the Jew of real life^ even in the Middle 
Ages, stained as their story is with the hot tears — 
nay, the very hearths blood — of the martyred race. 
The mediaeval Jew did not take vengeance on his 
cruel foes. Nay, more than this: with a sublime 
magnanimity he could actually preach and practise 
widest benevolence towards his oppressors. Through- 
out the Middle Ages, when Jews were daily plundered 
and tortured, and done to death * for the glory of God', 
not a word was breathed against the morality of the 
victims. They suffered because they were heretics, 
because they would not juggle with their conscience 
and profess a belief that did not live in their souls. 
But Jewish ethics soared to still nobler heights. The 
Jew preserved his integrity in spite of his suffering; 
but more than this, he forgave — ay, even blessed — its 
authors. The Jews hunted out of Spain in 1492 were 
in turn cruelly expelled from Portugal. Some took 
refuge on the African coast. Eighty years later the 
descendants of the men who had committed or allowed 
these enormities were defeated in Africa, whither they 
had been led by their king, Dom Sebastian. Those 
who were not slain were offered as slaves at Fez to 
the descendants of the Jewish exiles from Portugal. 
' The humbled Portuguese nobles \ the historian nar- 
rates, * were comforted when their purchasers proved 
to be Jews, for they knew that they had humane 
hearts/ 

Monnis Joseph, 1891. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 91 



ON THE EVE OF THE RE-SETTLEMENT 

IN ENGLAND 

THE Lord, blessed for ever, by His prophet Jere- 
miah (chap. 29. 7) gives it in command to the 
captive Israelites that were dispersed among the 
heathens, that they should continually pray for and 
endeavour the peace, welfare, and prosperity of the 
city wherein they dwelt and the inhabitants thereof. 
This the Jews have always done, and continue to this 
day in all their synagogues, with a particular blessing 
of the prince or magistrate under whose protection 
they live. And this the Right Honourable my Lord 
St. John can testify, who, when he was ambassador 
to the Lords the States of the United Provinces, was 
pleased to honour our synagogue at Amsterdam with 
his presence, where our nation entertained him with 
music and all expressions of joy and gladness, and 
also pronounced a blessing, not only upon His Honour 
then present, but upon the whole Commonwealth of 
England, for that they were a people in league and 
amity, and because we conceived some hopes that they 
would manifest towards us what we ever bare towards 
them, viz. all love and affection. 

Manasseh ben Israel, 1656. 



92 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



JEWISH EMANCIPATION 

THE whole question of emancipation, as it con- 
cerns only our external condition, is in Judaism 
but of secondary interest. Sooner or later the nations 
will decide the question between right and wrong, 
between humanity and inhumanity ; and the first 
awakening of a higher calling than the mere lust 
for possession and enjoyment, the first expression 
of a nobler recognition of God as the only Lord and 
Father, and of the earth as a Holy Land assigned by 
Him to all men for the fulfilment of their human 
calling — will find its expression everywhere in the 
emancipation of all who are oppressed, including the 
Jews. We have a higher object to attain, and this is 
entirely in our own hands — the ennobling of ourselves, 
the realization of Judaism by Jews. 

Samson Raphael Hirsch, 1836. 
{Trans, B. Drackmann.) 



IF the political privileges we have gained could in 
any way weaken our Jewish sympathies, they would 
have been purchased at a terrible cost, and would 
signally defeat the intentions of those who aided and 
laboured for the movement. 

Baron Lionel de RoTHscniLD, 1869. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 93 



THE JEWISH QUESTION 

TO approach the Jewish question is to be eon- 
fronted with every great question of the day — 
social^ political^ financial^ humanitarian^ national^ and 
religious. Each phase should be treated by an 
expert; but however discussed or dealt with, there 
is one point of view which should never be lost sight 
of, namely, the point of view of humanity. First 
and foremost we must be human if we would raise 
our voice on so human a theme. 

Josephine Lazarus, 1892. 



E 



VERY country has the Jews it deserves. 

K. E. Franzos, 1875. 



TO base the appeal for justice to present-day Jewry 
upon the cultural services of ancient Israel would 
be treason to the inalienable rights of man. A people 
may for a time be robbed of these rights, but — 
whatever the alleged political reason for such a 
crime — it cannot be legally or equitably deprived of 

them. 

M. Steinschneider, 1893. 



IN a free State, it is not the Christian that rules 
the Jew, neither is it the Jew that rules the 
Christian ; it is Justice that rules. 

Leopold Zunz, 1859. 



94 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE JEWS OF ENGLAND! (1290-1902) 

AN Edward^s England spat us out — a band 
*^ Foredoomed to redden Vistula or Rhine, 
And leaf-like toss with every wind malign. 
All mocked the faith they could not understand. 
Six centuries have passed. The yellow brand 
On shoulder nor on soul has left a sign. 
And on our brows must Edward^s England twine 
Her civic laurels with an equal hand. 

Thick'clustered stars of fierce supremacy 
Upon the martial breast of England glance ! 
She seems of War the very Deity. 
Could aught remain her glory to enhance ? 
Yea, for I count her noblest victory 
Her triumph o'er her own intolerance. 

Israel Zangwill, 1902. 

^ From Blind Giildren (London : Heinemann). 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 95 



WELCOME OF THE HEBREW CONGREGA- 
TION, NEWPORT/ RHODE ISLAND, 
U.S.A., TO GEORGE WASHINGTON 

SIR, 
Permit the Children of the Stock of Abraham 
to approach you with the most cordial affection and 
esteem for your pereon and merits, and to join with 
your fellow citizens in welcoming you to Newport, 

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the in- 
valuable rights of free citizens, we now (with a deep 
sense of gratitude to the Almighty Disposer of all 
events) behold a Government erected by the Majesty 
of the people — a Government which to bigotry 
gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance^ but 
generously affording to all, liberty of conscience^ and 
immunities of citizenship, deeming every one, of 
whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts 
of the great Government Machine. This so ample 
and extensive Federal Union, whose basis is Philan- 
thropy, Mutual Confidence, and Public Virtue, we 
cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the great 
God, Who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and 
among the inhabitants of the earth, doing whatever 
seemeth Him good. 

For all the blessings of civil and religious 
liberty which we enjoy under an equal and l)enign 
administration, we desire to send up our thanks to 
the Ancient of Days^, the great Preserver of men^ 

* One of the oldest Jewish congregations on the North 
American continent ; founded in 1658. Of. p. 175. 



96 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

beseeching Him that the Angel who conducted our 
forefathers through the Wilderness into the Promised 
Land may graciously conduct you through all the 
difficulties and dangers of this mortal life. And 
when, like Joshua, full of days and full of honour, 
you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be ad- 
mitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the 
water of life and the tree of immortality. 

Done and signed by order of the Hebrew Congre- 
gation in Newport, Rhode Island, August 17th, 1790. 

Moses Setxas. 



BRITISH CITIZENSHIP 

BRITISH patriotism is not the mediaeval demand 
that the citizens of any one country all think alike, 
that they be of the same blood, or that they even 
speak the same language. Bdtain^s mild sovereignty 
respects the personality of the ethnic groups found 
within the borders of its world-wide dominion; nay, 
it fosters the linguistic heritage, the national indivi- 
duality even, of Irishman and Welshman, of French 
Canadian and Afrikander Boer, and encourages them 
all to develop along their own lines. Any one, there- 
fore, who deems that patriotism exacts from him the 
purposeless sacrifice of his religious tradition and 
historic memory — that man is an alien in spirit to 
the Anglo-Saxon genius, and is unworthy of his 
British citizenship. 

J. II. Hertz. 1915, 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 97 



THE RUSSIAN JEW^ 

O CIENTISTS tell us that coal is nothing but con- 
^^ centrated sunlight. Primeval forests that for 
years out of number had been drinking in the rays of 
the 6un^ having been buried beneath the ground and 
excluded from the reviving touch of light and air, 
were gradually turned into coal — black, rugged, shape- 
less, yet retaining all its pristine energy, which, when 
released, provides us with light and heat. The story 
of the Russian Jew is the story of the coal. Under 
a surface marred by oppression and persecution he 
has accumulated immense stores of energy, in which 
we may find an unlimited supply of light and heat 
for our minds and our hearts. All we need is to 
discover the process, long known in the case of coal, 
of transforming latent strength into living power. 

I. Friedlandbr, 1916. 

* Prom History of the Jews in Poland and Russia (London : 
G. P. Putnam*s tSons). 



98 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



YIDDISH 1 

I HAVE never been able to understand how it is 
that a language spoken by perhaps more than half 
of the Jewish i-aee should be regarded with such 
horror, as though it were a crime. Six million 
speakers are sufficient to give historic dignity to any 
language ! One great writer alone is enough to 
make it holy and immortal. Take Norwegian. It 
is the language of only two million people. But it 
has become immortal through the great literary 
achievements of Ibsen. And even though Yiddish 
cannot boast of so great a writer as Ibsen, it has 
reason to be proud of numerous smaller men — poets, 
romancers, satirists, dramatists. 

The main point is that Yiddish incorporates the 
.essence of a life which is distinctive and unlike any 
other. There is nothing of holiness in any of the 
outer expressions of life. The one and only thing 
holy is the human soul^ which is the source and fount 

of all human efPort. 

Israel Zangwill, 1906. 

THERE is probably no other language in existence 
on which so much opprobrium has been heaped as 
on Yiddish. Such a bias can be explained only as 
a manifestation of a general prejudice against every- 
thing Jewish. 

Leo Wiener, 1899. 

^ From The Jewish Wmidj London, 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 99 



RUSSO-JEWISH EDUCATION 

A MONG the Jews of Poland and Russia there was 
*T^ no learned estate, not because there were no 
scholars, but because the people itself was a nation of 
students. The ideal type for the Russian Jew was 
the Lamdan^ the scholar. The highest ambition of 
the Russian Jew was that his sons, and if he bad only 
daughters, that his sons-in-law should be Zomdim; 
and the greatest achievement of a man^s life was his 
ability to provide suflSciently for them, so that, 
relieved from economic cares, they might devote 
themselves unrestrictedly to Jewish learning. To be 
sure, this learning was one-sided. Yet it was both 
wide and deep, for it embraced the almost boundless 
domain of religious Hebrew literature, and involved 
the knowledge of one of the most complicated systems 
of law. The knowledge of the Hebrew prayers and 
the Five Books of Moses would not have been suffi- 
cient to save the Russian Jew from the most terrible 
opprobrium — ^that of being an Am-HaaretZy an igno- 
ramus. The ability to understand a Talmudic text, 
which demands years of preparation, was the minimum 
requirement for one who wanted to be of any con- 
sequence in the community. 

I. FHIEDLANDBE, 1913. 






fi 2 



100 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



PASSOVER IN OLD RUSSIA ^ 

THE Passover season^ when we celebrated our 
deliverance from the land of Egypt, and felt so 
glad and thankful as if it had only just happened, 
was the time our Gentile neighbours chose to remind 
us that Russia was another Egypt. It was not so 
bad within the Pale ; but in Russian cities, and even 
more in the country districts, where Jewish families 
lived 6cattei*ed by special permission of the police, 
who were always changing their minds about letting 
them stay, the Gentiles made the Passover a time of 
horror for the Jews. Somebody would start up that 
lie about murdering Christian children, and the stupid 
peasants would get mad about it, and fill themselves 
with vodka, and set out to kill the Jews. They 
attacked them with knives and clubs, and scythes 
and axes, killed them or tortured them, and burned 
their houses. This was called a 'pogrom'. Jews 
who escaped the pogroms came with wounds on them, 
and horrible, horrible stories of little babies- torn limb 
from limb before their mother's eyes. Only to hear 
these things made one sob and sob and choke with 
pain. People who saw such things never smiled any 
more, no matter how long they lived ; and sometimes 
their hair turned white in a day, and some people 

became insane on the spot. 

Mary Antin, 1911. 

1 From The Promised Land (London : Heinemann). 



w- J * ' 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 101 

THE POGROM 

October, 1906 

IT had already lasted two days. But as nobody 
dined, nobody exchanged greetings, and nobody 
thought of winding up the clock for the night (for 
people slept dressed, anywhere,- on lofts, in sheds, or 
in empty railway carriages), all notion of time had 
disappeared. People only heard the incessant jingling 
of broken glass-panes. At this terrible sound, the 
arms stiffened and the eyes became distended with 
fright. 

Some distant houses were burning. Along the red* 
tinted street with the red pavement, there i*an by 
a red man, whilst another red man stretched his arm, 
and from the tips of his fingers there broke forth 
quickly a sharp, snapping, cracking sound — and the 
running man dropped down. 

A strange, sharp cry, ^ They are shoo-ooting ! ^ 
passed along the street. 

Invisible and inexorable demons made their appear- 
ance. Houses and nurseries were broken in. Old 
men had their arms f mctured ; women^s white bosoms 
were trampled upon by heavy, dirty heels. Many 
were perishing by torture ; others were burnt alive. 

Two persons were hiding in a dark cellar; an old 
man with his son, a schoolboy. The old man went 
up and opened the outer door again, to make the 
place look deserted by the owners. A merchant had 
nin in. He wept, not from fear but from feeling 
himself in security. 

^ I have a son like you ', he said, tearfully. 

He then breathed heavily and nervously, and added 
reflectively, ' Like you, my boy, yes I ' 



102 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

The master of the house caught the merchant by 
his elbow, pulled him close to himself^ and whispered 
into his ear : 

' Hush I They might hear us ! ' 

There they stood, expectant. Now and then, 
a rustling; an even, sleepless breathing could be 
heard. The brain cannot familiarize itself with these 
sounds in the darkness and silence. Perhaps they 
were asleep, none could tell. 

At night — it must have been late at night — 
another two stole in quietly. 

^Is it you?' asked one of them, without seeing 
anybody, and the sudden sound of his voice seemed 
to light up the darkness for a moment. 

* Yes *, answered the schoolboy. ' It *s all right ! ' 

'Hush I They might 'hear you', said the owner 
of the cellar, catching each of them by the arm and 
pulling them down. 

The new-comere placed themselves by the wall, 
while one of them was rubbing his forehead with his 
hand. 

'What is the matter?' asked the schoolboy in 
a whisper. 

'It is blood.' 

Then they grew silent. The injured man applied 
a handkerchief to his wound, and became quiet. There 
followed again a thick silence, untroubled by time. 
Again a sleepless breathing ! 

On the top, underneath the ceiling, a very faint 
whiteness appeared. The schoolboy was asleep, but 
the other four raised their heads and looked up. 
They looked long, for about lialf an hour, so that 
their muscles were aching through the protracted 
craning of their necks. At last it became clear that 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 108 

it was a tiny little window through which dawn 
peeped in. 

Then hasty, frightened steps were heard, and there 
appeared a tall, coatless man, followed by a woman 
with a baby in her arms. The dawn was advancing, 
and one could read the expression of wild fear that 
stamped itself upon their faces. 

' This way ! This way ! ' whispered the man. 

' They are running after us, they are looking out 
for us ', said the woman. Her shoes were put on her 
bare feet, and her young body displayed strange, 
white, malignant spots, reminding one of a corpse. 

'They won't find us; but, for God's sake, be 
quiet ! ' 

'They are close by in the courtyard. Oh! be 
quiet, be quiet. ... * 

The wounded man got hold of the merchant and 
the owner by the hand, while the merchant seized 
the man who had no coat. There they stood, forming 
a live chain, looking on at the mother with her baby. 

All of a sudden there broke out a strange though 
familiar sound, so close and doomful. What doom 
it foreboded they felt at once, but their brains were 
loath to believe it. 

The sound was repeated. It was the cry of the 
infant. The merchant made a kindly face and said : 
'Baby is crying. . . .' 

'Lull him, my dear', said he, rushing to the 
mother. ' You will cause the death of us all.' 

Everybody's chest and throat gasped with f aintness. 
The mother marched up and down the cellar lulling 
and coaxing. 

'You must not cry; sleep, my golden one . • • 
It is I, your mother . . . my heart. . . .' 



104 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

But the child cried on obstinately, wildly. There 
must have been something* in the mother's face 
that was not calculated to produce a tranquillizing 
effect. 

And now, in this warm and strange underground 
atmosphere, the woman's brain wrenched out a wild, 
mad, idea. It seemed to her that she had read it in 
the eyes, in the suffering silence of these unknown 
people. And these unhappy, frightened men under- 
stood that she was thinking of them. They under- 
stood it by the unutterably mournful tenderness with 
which she chanted, while drinking in the infant's 
eyes with her own. 

' He will soon fall asleep. I know. It is always 
like that ; he cries for a moment, then he falls asleep 
at once. He is a very .quiet boy.' She addressed 
the tall man with a painful, insinuating smile. From 
outside there broke in a distant noise. Then came 
a thud, and a crack, shaking the air. 

* They are searching', whispered the schoolboy. 
But the infant went on crying hopelessly. 

^ He will undo us all ', blurted out the tall man. 

* I shall not give him away . . . no, never ! ' 
ejaculated the distracted mother. 

^ O God ', whispered the merchant, and covered 
his face with his hands. His hair was unkempt after 
a sleepless night. The tall man stared at the infant 
with fixed, protruding eyes. . . . 

'I don't know you', the woman uttered, low and 
crossly, on catching that fixed look. * Who are you ? 
What do you want of me ? ' 

She rushed to the other men, but everybody drew 
back from her with fear. The infant was crying on, 
piercing the bmin with its shouting. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 105 

'Give it to me^ said the merchant, his right eye- 
brow trembling. ' Children like me/ 

All of a sudden it grew dark in the cellar ; some- 
body had approached the little window and was 
listening. . At this shadow, breaking in so suddenly, 
they all grew quiet. They felt that it was coming, 
it was near, and that not another second must be lost. 

The mother turned round. She stood up on her 
toes, and with high, uplifted arms she handed over 
her child to the merchant. It seemed to her that by 
this gesture she was committing a terrible crime . . • 
that hissing voices were cui*sing her, rejecting her 
from heaven for ever and ever. . . . 

Strange to say, finding itself in the thick, clumsy, 
but loving hands of the merchant, the child grew 
silent. 

But the mother interpreted this silence differently. 
In sight of everybody the woman grew grey in 
a single moment, as if they had poured some acid 
over her hair. And as soon as the child's cry died 
away, there resounded another cry, more awful, more 
shattering and heart-rending. 

The mother rose up on her toes ; and grey, terrible, 
like the goddess of justice herself, she howled in 
a desperate, inhuman voice that brought destruction 
with it. . • . Nobody had expected that sudden mad- 
ness. The schoolboy fell in a swoon. 

Afterwards, the newspapers reported details of the 

killing of six men and an infant by the mob; for 

none had dared to touch the mad old woman of 

twenty-six. 

Ossip Dtmov^ 1906. 

■3 



106 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



UNDER THE ROMANOFFS 

THE plaything of a heartless bureaucracy, the 
natural prey of all the savage elements of society, 
loaded with fetters in one place, and in another driven 
out like some wild beast, the Russian Jew finds that 
for him, at least, life is composed of little else than 
bitterness, suffering, and degradation. 

For magnitude and gloom the tmgical situation 
has no parallel in history. Some six millions of 
human beings are unceasingly subjected to a State- 
directed torture which is both destructive and de- 
moralizing, and constitutes at once a crime against 
l^umanity and an international perplexity. 

LuciEN Wolf, 1912. 



EACH crime that wakes in man the beast, 
Is visited upon his kind. 
The lust of mobs, the greed of priest. 
The tyranny of kings, combined 
To root his seed from earth again. 
His record is one cry of pain. 

• ••••• 

Coward ? Not he, who faces death. 
Who singly against worlds has fought. 
For what ? A name lie may not breathe, 
For liberty of prayer and thought. 

Emma Lazakus, 1882. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 107 



' SOLDIERS OF NICHOLAS ' ^ 

TPHERE was one thing the Gentiles might do to 
^ me worse than burning or rending. It was what 
was done to unprotected Jewish children who fell into 
the hands of priests or nuns. They might baptize 
me. That would be worse than death by torture. 
Every Jewish child had that feeling. There were 
stories by the dozen of Jewish boys who were kid- 
napped by the Czar's agents and brought up in Gen- 
tile families till they were old enough to enter the 
army, where they served until forty years of age; 
and all those years the priests tried, by bribes and 
daily tortures, to force them to accept baptism, but 
in vain. This was the time of Nicholas I. 

Some of these ' soldiers of Nicholas ', as they were 
called, were taken as little boys of seven or eight — 
snatched from their mothers' laps. They were carried 
to distant villages, where their friends could never 
trace them, and turned over to some dirty, brutal 
peasant, who used them like slaves, and kept them 
with the pigs. No two were ever left together ; and 
they were given false names, so that they were 
entirely cut off from their own world. And then 
the lonely child was turned over to the priests, and 
he was flogged and starved and terrified— a little 
helpless boy who cried for his mother; but still he 
1 From The Promised Land (London : Heinemann). 



108 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

refused to be baptized. The priests promised him 
good things to eat^ fine clothes^ and freedom from 
labour; but the boy turned away^ and said his 
prayers seCretly — the Hebrew prayers. 

As he grew older, severer tortures were invented 
for him ; still he refused baptism. By this time he 
had forgotten his mother^s face, and of his prayers 
perhaps only the * Shema ' remained in his memory ; 
but he was a Jew, and nothing would make him 
change. After he entered the army, he was bribed 
with promises of promotions and honours. He re- 
mained a private, and endured the cruellest discipline. 
When he was discharged, at the age of forty, he was 
a broken man, without a home, without a clue to his 
origin, and he spent the rest of his life wandering 
among Jewish settlements, searching for his family, 
hiding the scars of torture under his rags, begging 
his way from door to door. 

There were men in our town whose faces made you 

old in a minute. They had served Nicholas I, and 

come back, unbaptized« 

Maky Antin, 1911. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 109 



BONTZYE SHWEIGi 

(BONTZYB THE SiLBNT) 

DOWN here, in this world, Silent Bontzye's death 
made no impression at all. Ask any one you 
like who Bontzye was, how he lived, and what he 
died of; whether of heart failure, or whether his 
strength gave out, or whether his back broke under 
a heavy load, and they won^t know. Perhaps, after 
all, he died of hunger. 

Bontzye lived quietly and died quietly. He passed 
through our world like a shadow. He lived like 
a little dun-coloured grain of sand on the sea-shore, 
among millions of his kind ; and when the wind lifted 
him and blew him over to the other side of the sea, no- 
body noticed it. When he was alive, the mud in the 
street preserved no impression of his feet; after his 
death the wind overturned the little board on his grave. 
The grave-digger's wife found it a long way off from 
the spot, and boiled a potful of potatoes over it. 
Three days after that, the grave-digger had forgotten 
where he had laid him. 

A shadow 1 His likeness remained photographed 
in nobody's brain, in nobody's heart ; not a trace of 
him remained. 

' No kith, no kin I ' He lived and died alone. 

Had the world been less busy, some one might have 
remarked that Bontzye (also a human being) went 
about with two extinguished eyes and fearfully 
hollow cheeks ; that even when he had no load on his 

^ From Stories and Pictures (Jewish Publication Society, Phila- 
delphia). 



110 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

shoulders his head drooped earthward as though^ 
while yet alive, he were looking for his grave. When 
they carried Bontzye into the hospital, his corner in the 
underground lodging was soon filled — there were ten 
of his like waiting for it, and they put it up for auction 
among themselves. When they carried him from the 
hospital bed to the dead-house, there were twenty 
poor sick persons waiting for the bed. When he had 
been taken out of the dead-house, they brought in 
twenty bodies from under a building that had fallen 
in. Who knows how long he will rest in his grave ? 
Who knows how many are waiting for the little plot 
of ground ? 

A quiet birth, a quiet life, a quiet death, and 
a quieter burial. 

But it was not so in the Other World. There 
Bontzye's death made a great impression. 

The blast of the great Messianic Shofar sounded 
through all the seven heavens ; Bontzye Shweig has 
left the earth ! The largest angels with the broadest 
wings flew about and told one another; Bontzye 
Shweig is to take his seat in the Heavenly Academy ! 
In Paradise there was a noise and a joyful tumult: 
Bontzye Shweig ! Just fancy ! Bontzye Shweig ! 

Little child-angels with sparkling eye6, gold thread- 
work wings, and silver slippers, ran delightedly to 
meet him. The rustle of the wings, the clatter of 
the little slippers, and the merry laughter of the 
fresh, rosy mouths, filled all the heavens and reached 
to the Throne of Glory. Abraham our father stood in 
the gate, his right hand stretched out with a hearty 
greeting, and a sweet smile lit up his old face. 



THE PfiOPLE OP THE BOOK 111 

What are they wheeling through heaven ? Two 
angels are pushing a golden arm-chair into Paradise 
for Bontzye Shweig. 

What flashed so brightly? They were carrying 
past a gold crown set with precious stones all for 
Bontzye Shweig. 

: ' Before the decision of the Heavenly Court has 
been given?' ask the saints^ not quite without 
jealousy. ' Oh \ reply the angels^ ' that will be a mere 
formality. Even the prosecutor won't say a word 
against Bontzye Shweig. The case will not latt five 
minutes.' Just consider ! Bontzye Shweig 1 

All this time^ Bontzye^ just as in the other world^ 
was too frightened to speak. He is sure it is all 
a dream^ or else simply a mistake. He dared not 
raise his eyes^ lest the dream should vanish^ lest he 
should wake up in some cave full of snakes and 
lizards. He was afraid to speak^ afraid to move^ 
lest he should be recognized and flung into the pit. 
He trembles and does not hear the angels' compliments^ 
does not see how they dance round him^ makes no 
answer to the greeting of Abraham our father, and 
when he is led into the presence of the Heavenly 
Court he does not even wish it * Good morning I * 
He is beside himself with terror. ^ Who knows what 
rich man^ what rabbi^ what saint^ they take me for ? 
He will come — ^and that will be the end of me I ' His 
terror is such, he never even hears the president call 
out : ' The case of Bontzye Shweig ! ' adding, as he 
hands the deeds to the advocate^ ' Read^ but make 
hastcl' 

The whole hall goes round and round in Bontzye's 
eyes ; there is a rushing in his ears. And through 



112 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

the rushing he hears more and more clearly the voice 
of the advocate^ speakly sweetly as a violin. 

'His name'j he hears^ 'fitted him like the dress 
made for a slender figure by the hand of an artist- 
tailor/ 

'What is he talking about?* wondered Bontzye, 
and he heard an impatient voice break in with : 
* No similes^ please ! * 

* He never \ continued the advocate^ * was heard to 
complain of either Ood or man; there was never 
a flash of hatred in his eye ; he never lifted it with 
a claim on heaven.' 

Still Bontzye does not understand^ and once again 
the hard voice interrupts : ' No rhetoric, please ! ^ 

' Job gave way — this one was more unfortunate.' 

' Faets^ dry facts.' 

'He kept silent', the advocate went on, 'even 
when his mother died and he was given a stepmother 
at thirteen years old — a serpent^ a vixen.' 

' Can they mean me after all ? ' thought Bontzye. 

' No insinuations against a third party', said the 
president, angrily. 

* She grudged him every mouthful — stale, mouldy 
bread, tendons instead of meat — and she drank coffee 
with cream.' 

' Keep to the subject ', ordered the president. 

' She grudged him everything but her finger-nails, 
and his black and blue body showed through the holes 
in his torn and fusty clothes. Wmter time, in the 
hardest frost, he had to chop wood for her, barefoot 
in the yard ; and his hands were too young and too 
weak, the logs too thick, the hatchet too blunt. But 
he kept silent, even to his father.' 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 113 

'To that drunkard?' laughs the accuser^ and 
Bontzye feels cold in every limb. 

* And always alone ', he continued ; ' no playmates^ 
no school^ nor teaching of any kind — never a whole 
garment — never a free moment/ 

* Facts^ please ! ' reminded the president. 

' He kept silent even later^ when his father seized 
him by the hair in a fit of drunkenness and flung 
him out into the street on a snowy winter's night. 
He quietly picked himself up out of the snow and ran 
whither his feet carried him. He kept silent all the 
way to the great town — however hungry he might 
be^ he only begged with his eyes. Bathed in a 
cold sweaty crushed under heavy loads^ his empty 
stomach convulsed with hunger — he kept silent. 
Bespattered with mud^ spat at^ driven with his load 
off the pavement and into the road among the cabs^ 
carts^ and tramways^ looking death in the eyes every 
moment. He never calculated the difference between 
other people's lot and his own — he kept silent. And 
he never insisted loudly on his pay ; he stood in the 
doorway like a beggar^ with a dog-like pleading in 
his eyes — ^' Come again later ! '' and he went like 
a shadow to come again later, and beg for his wage 
more humbly than before. He kept silent even when 
they cheated him of part, or threw in a false coin. 

' He took everything in silence.' 

' They mean me after all '^ thought Bontzye. 
• ..•...... 

'Once', continued the advocate^ after a sip of 

water, ^ a change came into his life : there came 

flying along a carriage on rubber tires, drawn by 

two runaway horses. The driver already lay some 



114 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

distance off on the pavement with a cracked skiill^ 
the terrified horses foamed at the mouthy sparks shot 
from their hoofs, their eyes shone like fiery lamps on 
a winter's night — and in the carriage, more dead than 
alive, sat a man. 

^ And Bontzye stopped the horses. And the man 
he had saved was a charitable Jew who was not 
ungrateful. He put the dead man's whip into 
Bontzye^s hands, and Bontzye became a coachman. 
More than that, he was provided with a wife. And 
Bontzye kept silent ! ^ 

' Me, they mean me ! ' Bontzye assured himself 
again, and yet had not the courage to give a glance 
at the Heavenly Court. 

He listens to the advocate further : 

'He kept silent also when his protector became 
bankrupt and did not pay him his wages. He kept 
silent when his wife ran away from him.' 

' Me, they mean me! ' Now he is sure of it. 

• *.. .....a 

' He kept silent even ', began the angelic advocate 
once more in a still softer and sadder voice, 'when 
the same philanthropist paid all his creditors their 
due but him — and even when (riding once again in 
a carriage with rubber tires and fiery horses) he 
knocked Bontzye down and drove over him. He 
kept silent even in the hospital, where one may cry 
out. He kept silent when the doctor would not cotne 
to his bedside without being paid fifteen kopeks, and 
when the attendant demanded another five — for 
changing his linen. 

' He kept silent in the death struggle — silent in 
death. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 115 

'Not a word against God; not a word against 
men! 

* Dixi ! ' 

Once more Bontzye trembled all over. He knew 
that after the advocate comes the prosecutor. Who 
knows, what he will say ? Bontzye himself remem- 
bered nothing of his life. Even in the other world 
he forgot every moment what had happened in the 
one before. The advocate had recalled everything to 
his mind. Who knows what the prosecutor will not 
remind him of ? 

'Gentlemen', begins the prosecutor, in a voice 
biting and acid as vinegar^ — but he breaks off. 

'Gentlemen', he begins again, but his voice is 
milder, and a second time he breaks off. 

Then from out the same throat comes in a voice 
that is almost gentle: 'Gentlemen! He was silent! 
I will be silent too ! ' 

There is a hush — and there sounds in front a new, 
soft, trembling voice : ' Bontzye, my child ! * It 
speaks like a harp. ' My dear child, Bontzye I ' 

And Bontzye's heart melts within him. Now 
he would lift up his eyes, but they are blinded with 
tears; he never felt such sweet emotion before. 
'My child! Bontzye!' — no one, since his mother 
died, had spoken to him with such words in such 
a voice. 

'My child', continues the presiding judge, 'you 
have suffered and kept silent ; there is no whole limb, 
no whole bone in your body without a scar, without 
a wound, not a fibre of your soul that has not bled — 
and you kept silent. There they did not understand. 
Perhaps you yourself did not know that you might 



116 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

have cried out, and that at your cry the walls of 
Jericho would have shaken and fallen. You yourself 
knew nothing pf your hidden power. 

'In the other world your silence was not under- 
stood, but that is the World of Delusion; in the 
World of Truth you will receive your reward. The 
Heavenly Court will not judge you; the Heavenly 
Court will not pass sentence on you ; they will not 
apportion you a reward. Take what you will! 
Everything is yours.^ 

Bontzye looks up for the first time. He is dazzled ; 
everything shines and flashes and streams with light. 

' Taki — really ? ' he asks, shyly. 

' Yes, really ! ' answers the presiding judge, with 
decision; 'really, I tell you, everything is yours; 
everything in heaven belongs to you. Because all 
that shines and sparkles is only the reflection of your 
hidden goodness, a reflection of your soul. You only 
take of what is yours.' 

* Taki ? ' asks Bontzye again, this time in a firmer 
voice. 

* Taki ! taki ! taki ! ' they answer from all sides. 

' Well, if it is so ', Bontzye smiles, ' I would like 
to have eveiy day, for breakfast, a hot roll with 
fresh butter.* 

The Court and the angels looked down, a little 
ashamed ; the prosecutor laughed. 

J. L. Peretz, 1894. 
{Trans. Helena Frank,) 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 117 



THE WATCH ON THE JORDAN ^ 

(Zionist Hymn) 

I IKE the crash of the thunder 
*— ' Which splitteth asunder 
The flame of the cloudy 
On our ears ever falling 
A voice is heard calling 

From Zion aloud. 
' Let your spirits' desires 
For the land of your sires 

Eternally burn ; 
From the foe to deliver 
Our own holy river, 

To Jordan return.* 
Where the soft-flowing stream 
Murmurs low as in dream 

There set we our watch I 
Our watchword, * The sword 
Of our land and our Lord ' ; 

By Jordan then set we our watch. 

Best in peace, loved land. 
For we rest not, but stand, 

Off-shaken our sloth. 
When the bolts of war rattle. 
To shirk not the battle 

We make thee our oath. 
As we hope for a heaven. 
Thy chains shall be riven. 

Thine ensign unfurled. 

1 From Chiidren of the Qheito (London : Heinemann). 



118 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

• 

And in pride of our race 
We will fearlessly face 

The might of the world. 
When our trumpet is blown, 
And our standard is flown, 

Then set we our watch ! 
Our watchword, ^ The sword 
Of our land and our Lord ' ; 

By Jordan then set we our watch. 

Yea, as long as there be 
Birds in air, fish in sea. 

And blood in our veins ; 
And the lions in might. 
Leaping down from the height. 

Shaking, roaring, their manes ; 
And the dew nightly laves, 
The forgotten old graves 

Where Judah's sires sleep ; 
We swear, who are living. 
To rest not in striving. 

To pause not to weep. 
Let the trumpet be blown. 
Let the standard be flown, 

Now set we our watch ; 
Our watchword, * The sword 
Of our land and our Lord ' ; 

In Jordan now set we our watch. 

N. H. Imbkr. 
{Trans. L ZangwilL) 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 119 

THE TRAGEDY OF ASSIMILATION 

TV/HAT I understand by assimilation is loss of 
^^ identity. It is this kind of assimilation^ with 
the terrible consequences indicated^ that I dread most 
— even more than pogroms. 

It w a tragedy to see a great, ancient people, dis- 
tinguished for its loyalty to its religion, and its 
devotion to its sacred Law, losing thousands every 
day by the mere process of attrition. It is a tragedy 
to see a language held sacred by all the world, in 
which Holy Writ was composed, which served as the 
depository of Israel's greatest and best thoughts, 
doomed to oblivion. It i* a tragedy to see the 
descendants of those who revealed religion to the 
world, and who developed the greatest religious 
literature in existence, so little familiar with real 
Jewish thought that they have no other interpretation 
to offer 'of Israel's Scriptures, Israel's religion, and 
Israel's ideals and aspirations and hopes, than those 
suggested by their natural opponents, slavishly follow- 
ing their opinions, copying their phrases, and repeating 
their catch words, I am not accusing anybody. I am 
only stating facts. We are helpless spectators of the 
Jewish soul wasting away before our very eyes. 

Now, the rebirth of Israel's national consciousness 
and the revival of Judaism are inseparable. When 
Israel found itself, it found its God. When Israel 
lost itself, or began to work at Its self-effacement, it 
was sure to deny its God. The selection of Israel, 



120 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

the indestnictibility of God's covenant with Israel^ 
the immortality of Israel as a nation^ and the final 
restoration of Israel to Palestine^ where the nation 
will live a holy life, on holy ground, with all the 
wide-reaching consequences of the conversion of 
humanity, and the establishment of the Kingdom of 
God on earth — all these are the common ideals and 
the common ideas that permeate the whole of Jewish 
literature extending over nearly four thousand years. 

S. SCHECHTEB, 1906. 



THERE has been one short period in modern 
Jewish history when Israel grew utterly weary 
of toil and trouble, and began to take pleasure in the 
fleeting hour, as other nations do. But this was 
a mere passing phase, a temporary loss of conscious- 
ness. The prophetic spirit cannot be crushed, except 
for a time. It comes to life again, and masters the 
Prophet in his own despite. So, too, the prophetic 
People regained consciousness in its own despite. 
The Spirit that called Moses thousands of years ago 
and sent him on his mission, against his own will, now 
calls again the generation of to-day, saying, ^ And 
that which Cometh into your mind shaU not he at all ; in 
that ye sai/y We will he as the nations . . . As I live, 
saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand . . . will 

I he king over you* 

ACHAD Ha' AM, 1904. 

(Trans. Leon Simon.) 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 121 



THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES 

THE hand of the Lord was upon me, and the Lord 
carried me out in a spirit, and set me down in the 
midst of the valley, and it was full o£ bones ; and He 
caused me to pass by them round about, and, behold, 
there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, 
they were very dry. And He said unto me : * Son of 
man, can these bones live ? ' And I answered : * O Lord 
God, Thou knowest'. Then he said unto me : ' Prophesy 
over these bones, and say unto them : O ye dry bones, 
hear the word of the Lord : Thus saith the Lord God 
unto these bones : Behold, I will cause breath to enter 
into you, and ye shall live. And I will lay sinews 
upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and 
cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye 
shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord/ 
So I prophesied as I was commanded ; and as I pro- 
phesied, there was a noise, and behold a commotion, 
and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And 
I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and 
flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but 
there was no breath in them. Then said He unto 
me : ^ Prophesy unto the breath, prophesy, son of man, 
and say to the breath : Thus saith the Lord God : 
Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe 
upon these slain, that they may Hve.^ So I prophesied 
as He commanded me, and the breath came into 
them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, 
an exceeding great host. Then He said unto me : 
^Son of man, these bones are the whole house of 
Israel ; behold, they say : Our bones are dried up, and 



122 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

our hope is lost: we are clean cut off. Therefore 
prophesy^ and say unto them : Thus saith the Lord 
God : Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you 
to come up out of your graves, O My people ; and I 
will bring you into the Land of Israel. And ye shall 
know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your 
graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, 
O My people. And I will put My spirit in you, and 
ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land ; 
and ye shall know that I the Lord have spoken, and 
performed it, saith the Lord.^ 

EZBKIBL 37. I -14. 



PALESTINE 

THE very name Palestine stirs within us the most 
elevated sentiments. There is no country, no 
matter how important in itself, to which such sublime 
memories attach themselves. From our earliest youth, 
our imagination, nourished on the sacred traditions of 
the Hebrew Scriptures, loves to transport itself to 
those heights where of old pious souls heard in each 
echo the voice of God, where each stone is a symbol 
of divine revelation, each ruin a monument of divine 
anger. The followers of three religions turn with 
veneration towards these ruins of 2,000 years. All 
find consolation in that land, some by its memories, 
others by its hopes. Even sceptics are ready to 
render historic justice to the great events of which it 
was the theatre : thus the description of this land 
and its story have a palpitating interest for all. 

S. MuNK, 1863. 



THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK 123 

THE LAST CORPSES IN THE DESERT 

UP, wanderers in the wild, and come away ! 
Long is the journey yet and long the fray. 

Enough of roving now in desert places — 
There lies a great, wide road before your faces. 

But forty years of wandering have sped. 
And yet we leave six hundred thousand dead. 

Dishonoured let them lie, across the pack 
They bore from out of Egypt on their back. 

Sweet be their dreams of garlic and of leek. 
Of flesh-pots wide, of fatty steam and reek. 

Around the last dead slave, maybe to-night. 
The desert wind with desert beast shall fight, 

And joyously to-morrow^s dawning shine 
Upon the firstlings of a mighty line, 

And lest the sands with all their sleepers start, 
Let each man's footfall sound but in his heart. 

Let each man in his heart hear 6od*s voice say : 
^ A new land^s border shalt thou cross to-day ! 

*No more the quails from heaven, no more light bread — 
The bread of toil, fruit of the hands, instead. 

^ No more wild tents pitched under heaven's dome — 
Another kind shall ye set up for home. 

^Beneath His sky, the wilderness outside, 
God has another world that reaches wide, 

^ Beyond the howling desert with its sand. 

There waits beneath His stars the Promised Land.' 

Ch. N. Byalik, 1896. 
(Trans. Helena Fraiik,) 



124 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

ZIONISM 

/^NE thing is to me certain, high afcove any doubt : 
^^ the movement will continue. I know not when 
I shall die, but Zionism will never die. 

TflEODOK Herzl, 1898. 



^^lONISM is the lineal heir of the attachment to 
^^ Zion which led the Babylonian exiles under 
Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple, and which flamed 
up in the heroic struggle of the Maccabees against 
Antiochus Epiphanes. The idea that it is a set-back 
of Jewish history is a controversial fiction. The 
great bulk of the Jewish people have throughout 
their history remained faithful to the dream of a 
restoration of their national life in Judea. 

The Zionist movement is to-day the greatest popular 
movement that Jewish history has ever known. 

LuciBN Wolf, 1910, 
hi Bncyclojpaedia Britaunica. 

ALL over the world Jews are resolved that our 
*^ common Judaism shall not be crushed out by 
short-sighted fanatics for local patriotism ; and, in so 
far as Zionism strengthens this sense of the solidarity 
of our common Judaism, we are all Zionists. 

I. Abrahams, 1905. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 125 

THE BRITISH DECLARATION ON 

PALESTINE 1 

November 2, 1917 — Apeil 24, 1920 

r'NGLAND, great England, whose gaze sweeps 

^"^ over all the seas — free England — will understand 

and sympathize with the aims and aspirations of 

Zionism. 

Theodob Herzl, 1900. 

r'OR the first time since the days of Cyrus, a great 
*' Government has hailed the Jews as one among the 
family of nations. This is much more than a Jewish 
triumph. It is a triumph for civilization and for 
humanity. It will mean releasing for mankind, as 
a great spiritual force, the soul of our people. 

Jewish Chronicle, November 9, 1917. 

A LAND focuses a people, and calls forth, as 
*^ nothing else can, its spiritual potentialities. 
The resurrection of the Jewish nation on its own soil 
will reopen its sacred fountains of creative energy. 
Remember the days of old. After the proclamation 
issued by Cyrus, the mass of the Jewish people still 
remained in Babylon. All told, only 42,000 men, 
women, and children took advantage of the king's 

1 Cf. p. 184. 



126 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

proclamation and followed Ezra back to Zion, the 
land of their fathers. But compare the contribution 
to civilization made by these men with that of their 
brethren who remained in the Dispersion. The 
handful of ^ Zionists ' and their descendants^ because 
living on their own soil, changed the entire future of 
mankind. They edited and collected the Prophets, 
wrote some of the fairest portions of the Scriptures, 
formed the canon of the Bible, and gave the world its 
monotheistic religions. As in the days of Cyrus, the 
overwhelming majority of Jews of to-day will con- 
tinue to live where they now are, praying and working 
in absolute loyalty for the land of their birth or 
adoption, and ever beholding their peace in its welfare. 
Only a remnant shall return. But it is the national 
rejuvenation of that remnant that will open a new 
chapter in the annals of the human spirit. 

J. H. Hertz, 1917. 



r'OR millions of poor and hundreds of thousands of 
* prosperous Jews Mr. Balfour's announcement had 
the serene sound of a long-expected Messianic message. 
The day that witnessed Great Britain's decision to 
stake the whole of the Empire's power in the Jewish 
cause is one which can never be blotted out from the 

world's history, 

Maximilian Harden, 1917. 



THE PEOPLE OP THE BOOK 127 

JUDAISM AND THE NEW JUDEA 

I 

THE return to Zion must be preceded by our return 
to Judaism. 

Theodoe Herzl, 1897. 



ISRAEL is a nation by reason only of his religion, 
by his possession of the Torah. 

Saadyah Gaon, 933. 



ISRAEL, to the Rabbis at least, is not a nation by 
* virtue of race or of certain peculiar political com- 
binations. The brutal Torah-lcss nationalism pro- 
mulgated in certain quarters would have been to 
them just as hatef al as the suicidal Torah-less univer- 
salism preached in other quarters. And if we could 
imagine for a moment Israel giving up its allegiance 
to God, its Torah, and its divine institution, the 
Rabbis would be the first to sign its death warrant 

as a nation. 

S. ScnECHTER^ 1909. 



w 



E will return to Zion as we went forth, bringing 
back the faith we carried away with us. 

MoRDECAi M. Noah, 1824. 



128 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

II 

ISRAEL'S contribution to the common treasure of 
humanity will ever be primarily religious. Wide 
sympathy, ready help, and absolute self-determination 
must therefore be accorded in the New Judea to 
Jewish religious learning, Jewish religious institutions, 
and Jewish religious life. They alone contain the 
secret of Israel's immortality. The story of Israel's 
ancient kinsmen — Moab, Ammon, Edom — ^though 
these remained on their own soil, loses itself in the 
sands of the desert, while the story of Israel issues in 
eternity. Why ? Israel alone had the Torah, and it 
is that which endowed him with deathlessness. And 
Israel will remain deathless — as long as Israel con- 
tinues to cling to the Torah. Without the Torah, 
Israel's story will also lose itself in the sands of the 
desert, even ofi its own soil. 

The New Judea must be the spiritual descendant 
of old Judea, and the mission of Judea, new or old, is 
first of all to be Judea. 

J. H. Hertz, 1918. 



I LIKE to think of Jewish History as standing ever 
at the centre point of its path — having as much 
to look forward to as to look back upon; and the 
events of to-day, with their special message to Israel, 
must surely fortify us in this view, and speed us to 
make good our efforts for our people and for the 
nations. 

A. ElCHHOLZ, 1917. 



ni 

THE TESTIMONY OF THE 

NATIONS 



F 



130 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



T^NGLANl), awake I awale ! awake ! 
•^^ JeruBalem thy sister calls. 
Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death 
And close her from thy ancient walls ? 

Thy hills and valleys felt her feet 
Gently upon their bosoms move ; 

Thy gates beheld sweet Zion's ways : 
Then was a ti?ne of Joy and love, 

William Blake. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 131 



WORLD'S DEBT TO ISRAEL 

VVZE Gentiles owe our life to Israel. It is Israel 
^^ who has brought us the message that God is 
one^ and that God is a just and righteous God^ and 
demands righteousness of his children^ and demands 
nothing else. It is Israel that has brought us the 
message that God is our Father. It is Israel who, 
in bringing us the divine law^ has laid the foundation 
of liberty. It is Israel who had the first free institu- 
tions the world ever saw. It is Israel who has 
brought us our Bible^ our prophets^ our apostles. 
When sometimes our own unchristian prejudices 
flame out against the Jewish people, let us remember 
that all that we have and all that we are we owe, 
under God, to what Judaism has given us. 

Lyman Abbott. 



AT a time when the deepest night of inhumanity 
** covered the rest of mankind, the religion of 
Israel breathed forth a spirit of love and brotherhood 
which must -fill even the stranger, if he be only willing 
to see, with reverence and admiration. Israel has 
given the world true humanitarianism, just as it has 
given the world the true God. 

C. H. CoRNiLL, 1895. 



182 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



ISRAEL AND HIS REVELATION 

THE religion of the Bible is well said to be revealed^ 
because the great natural truth^ that ' righteous- 
ness tendeth to life'^ is seized and exhibited there with 
such incomparable force and efficacy. All, or very 
nearly all^ the nations of mankind have recognized 
the importance of conduct^ and have attributed to 
it a natun^ obligation. They, however, looked at 
conduct, not as something full of happiness and joy, 
but as something one could not manage to do without. 
But ^ Zion heard of it and rejoiced, and the daughters 
of Judah were glad, because of thy judgements, O 
Eternal ! ^ Happiness is our being's end and aim, 
and no one has ever come near Israel in feeling, and 
in making others feel, that to righteousness belongs 
happiness I As long as the world lasts, all who want 
to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel 
for inspiration, as to the people who have had the 
sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest. 

This does truly constitute for Israel a most extra- 
ordinary distinction. 'God hath given command- 
ment to bless, and He hath blessed, and we cannot 
reverse it ; He hath not seen iniquity in Jacob, and 
He hath not seen perverseness in Israel ; the Eternal, 
his God, is with him.' 

Matthew Arnold, 1875. 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 133 



ISRAEL, GREECE, AND ROME^ 

FOR a philosophic mind there are not more than 
three histories of real interest in the past of 
humanity : Greek history, the history of Israel, and 
Roman history. 

Greece has an exceptional past. Our science, our 
arts, our literature, our philosophy, our political code, 
our maritime law, are of Greek origin. The frame- 
work of human culture created by Greece is susceptible 
of indefinite enlargement. Greece had only one thing 
wanting in the circle of her moral and intellectual 
activity, but this was an important void ; she despised 
the humble and did not feel the need of a just God. 
Her philosophers, while dreaming of the immortality 
of the soul, were tolerant towards the iniquities of 
this world. Her religions were merely elegant muni- 
cipal playthings. 

. . . Israel's sages burned with anger over the 
abuses of the world. The prophets were fanatics in 
the cause of social justice, and loudly proclaimed that 
if the world was not just, or capable of becoming so, 
it had better be destroyed — a view which, if utterly 
wrong, led to deeds of heroism and brought about 
a grand awakening of the forces of humanity. 

One other great humanizing force had to be 
created — a force powerful enough to beat down the 
obstacles which local patriotism offered to the idealistic 

^ From History qf ihe People qf lerael (London : Chapman & 
Hall). 



134 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

propaganda of Greece and Judea. Rome fulfilled this 
extraordinary function. Force is not a pleasant thing 
to contemplate^ and the recollections of Rome will 
never have the powerful attraction of the affairs of 
Greece and of Israel ; hut Roman history is none the 
less part and parcel of these histories^ which are the 
pivot of all the rest, and which we may call provi- 
dential. 

Ernest Renan, 1887. 



NONE of the resplendent names in history — 
Egypt, Athens, Rome — can compare in eternal 
grandeur with Jerusalem. For Israel has given to 
mankind the category of holiness. Israel alone has 
known the thirst for social justice, and that inner 
saintliuess which is the source of justice. 

Charles Wagner, 1918. 



A MONG the theocratic nations of the ancient East, 
*T^ the Hebrews seem to us as sober men in a world 
of intoxicated beings. Antiquity, however, held them 
to be the dreamers among waking folk. 

H. LoTZE, 1864. 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 135 



WHAT IS A JEW?- 

WH AT is a Jew ? This question is not at all so 
odd as it seems. Let us see what kind of peculiar 
creature the Jew is, which all the rulers and all 
nations have together and separately abused and 
molested, oppressed and persecuted, trampled and 
butchered, burned and hanged — and in spite of all 
this is yet alive! What is a Jew, who has never 
allowed himself to be led astray by all the earthly 
possessions which his oppressors and persecutors con- 
stantly offered him in order that he should change his 
faith and forsake his own Jewish religion ? 

The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down 
from heaven the everlasting fire ^ and has illumined with 
it the entire world. He is the religious sourcey spring^ 
and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have 
drawn their beliefs and their religions. 
. The Jew is the pioneer of liberty. Even in those 
olden days, when the people were divided into but 
two distinct classes, slaves and masters — even so 
long ago had the law of Moses prohibited the practice 
of keeping a person in bondage for more than six 
years. 

The Jew is the pioneer of civilization. Ignorance 
was condemned in olden Palestine more even than 
it is to-day in civilized Europe. Moreover, in those 
wild and barbarous days, when neither life nor the 
death of any one counted for anything at all, Rabbi 
Akiba^ did not refrain from expressing himself 

^ See p. 290. 



186 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

openly against capital punishment^ a practice which 
is recognized to-day as a highly civilized way of 
punishment. 

The Jew is the emblem of civH and religious tolerU' 
tion. ' Love the stranger and the sojourner ^j Moses 
commands^ * because you have been strangere in the 
land of Egypt/ And this was said in those remote 
and savage times when the principal ambition of the 
races and nations consisted in crushing and enslaving 
one another. As concerns religious toleration^ the 
Jewish faith is not only far from the missionary 
spirit of converting people of other denominations, 
but on the contrary the Talmud commands the 
Babbis to inform and explain to every one who 
willingly comes to accept the Jewish religion, all the 
difficulties involved in its acceptance, and to point 
out to the would-be proselyte that the righteous of all 
nations have a share in immortality. Of such a lofty 
and ideaj religious toleration not even the moralists 
of our present day can boast. 

The Jew is the ewhlem of eternity. He whom neither 
slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could 
destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword n^t inquisition 
was able to wipe off from the face of the earth, he 
who was the first to produce the oracles of God, he 
who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, 
and who transmitted it to the rest of the world — 
such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is ever- 
lasting as is eternity itself. 

Leo Tolstoy. 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 187 



THE BOOK OP THE AGES^ 

THE Bible is the book of the ancient world, the 
book of the Middle Ages^ and the book of modern 
times. Where does Homer stand compared with the 
Bible? Where the Vedas or the Koran? The 

Bible is inexhaustible. 

A. Harnack. 



WITHIN this awful volume lies 
The mystery of mysteries : 
Happiest he of human race 
To whom God has given grace 
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray, 
To lift the latch, and learn the way ; 
And better had he ne'er been born 
Who reads to doubt, or reads to scorn. 

Sia Walter Scott. 



HOW many ages and generations have brooded 
and wept and agonized over this book I What 
untellable joys and'ecstasies, what support to martyrs 
at the stake, from it I To what myriads has it been 
the shore and rock of safety — the refuge from driving 
tempest and wreck ! Translated into all languages^ 
how it has united this diverse world ! Of its thousands 
there is not a verse, not a word, but is thick-studded 

with human emotion. 

Walt Whitman. 

» Of. pp. 67-68. 

» 3 



188 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE BIBLE, THE EPIC OP THE WORLD i 

A PART from all questions of religious and historical 

*» import, the Bible is the epic of the world. It 

unrolls a vast panorama in which the ages move 

before us in a long train of solemn imagery from the 

creation of the world onward. Against this gorgeous 

background we see mankind strutting^ playing their 

little part on the stage of history. We see them 

taken from the dust and returning to the dust. We 

see the rise and fall of empires, we see great cities, 

now the hive of busy industry, now silent and 

desolate — a den of wild beasts. All life's fever is 

there, its hopes and joys, its suffering and sin and 

sorrow. 

J. G, Frazer, 1896. 

WRITTEN in the East, these characters live for 
ever in the West ; written in one province, they 
pervade the world; penned in rude times, they are 
prized more and more as civilization advances; 
product of antiquity, they come home to the business 
and bosoms of men, women, and children in modem 

days. 

R. L. Stevenson. 

THE Bible thoroughly known is a literature in 
itself — the rarest and the richest in all departments 
of thought or imagination which exists. 

J. A. FttOUDB, 1886. 

* From Passages of the Bible Chosen for their Literary Beauty 
(London : A. & C. Black). 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 139 



THE BIBLE IN EDUCATION » 

CONSIDER the great historical fact that for three 
centuries this Book has been woven into the life 
of all that is best and noblest in English history ; that 
it has become the national epic of Britain^ and is 
familiar to noble and simple, from John o' Groat^s 
to Land's End ; that it is written in the noblest and 
purest English, and abounds in exquisite beauties 
of a merely literary form ; and, finally, that it forbids 
the veriest hind who never left his village to be 
ignorant of the existence of other countries and other 
civilizations, and of a great past, stretching back to 
the furthest limits of the oldest nations of the worldr 
By the study of what other book could children be so 
much humanized, and made to feel that each figure 
in that vast historical procession fills, like themselves, 
but a momentary space in the interval between the 
Eternities ; and earns the blessings or the curses of 
all time, according to its effort to do good and hate 
evil? 

T. H. Huxley, 1870. 



THE greater the intellectual progress of the ages, 
the more fully will it be possible to employ the 
Bible not only as the foundation, but as the instru- 
ment, of education. 

J. W. Goethe. 



^ From Life and Works qf T, B. Huxley (London : Macmillan 
& Co.). 



140 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE BIBLE AND DEMOCRACY 

THROUGHOUT the. history of the Western 
world the Scriptures have been the great insti- 
gators of revolt against the worst forms of clerical 
and political despotism. The Bible has been the 
Magna Charta of the poor and of the oppressed; 
down to modern times no State has had a constitution 
in which the interests of the people are so largely 
taken into account^ in which the duties so much more 
than the privileges of rulers are insisted upon, as that 
drawn up for Israel in Deuteronomy and in Leviticus ; 
nowhere is the fundamental truth that the welfare 
of the State, in the long run, depends on the upright- 
ness of the citizen so strongly laid down. . . . The 
Bible is the most democratic book in the world. 

T. H. Huxley, 1892. 



WHERE there is no reverence for the Bible, 
there can be no true refinement of manners. 

F. Nietzsche, 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 141 



THE HEBREW LANGUAGE 

A QUIVER full of steel arrows, a cable with strong 
coils, a trumpet of brass crashing through the 
air with two or three sharp notes — such is the Hebrew 
language. The letters of its books are not to be 
many, but they are to be letters of fire. A language 
of this sort is not destined to say much, but what it 
does is beaten out upon an anvil. It is to pour floods 
of anger and utter cries of rage against the abuses of 
the world, calling the four winds of heaven to the 
assault of the citadels of evil. Like the jubilee horn 
of the sanctuary it will be put to no profane use ; but 
it will sound the notes of the holy war against 
injustice and the call of the great assemblies ; it will 
have accents of rejoicing, and accents of terror; it 
will become the trumpet of judgement. 

EaNEST Renan, 1887. 



REBECCA'S HYMN 

WHEN Israel, of the Lord beloved. 
Out from the land of bondage came, 
Her fathers' God before her moved. 

An awful guide in smoke and flame. 
By day, along the astonished lands^ 
The cloudy pillar glided slow ; 
By night, Arabia's crimsoned sands 
Returned the fiery column's glow. 



142 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

There rose the choral hymn of praise, 

And'trump and timbrel answered keen^ 
And Zion's daughters poured their lays^ 

With priest's and warrior's voice between. 
No portents now our foes amaze, 

Forsaken Israel wanders lone ; 
Our fathers would not know Thy ways, 

And Thou hast left them to their own. 

But present still, though now unseen ! 

When brightly shines the prosperous day. 
Be thoughts of Thee a cloudy screen 

To temper the deceitful ray. . 
And oh, when stoops on Judah's path 

, In shade and storm the frequent night, 
Be Thou, long-suffering, slow to wrath, 

A burning and a shining light ! 

Our harps we left by Babel's streams. 

The tyrant's jest, the Gentile's scorn ; 
No censer round our altar beams. 

And mute are timbrel, harp, and horn. 
But Thou hast said, ' The blood of goat. 

The flesh of rams, I will not prize ; 
A contrite heart, a humble thought, 

Are Mine accepted sacrifice*. 

Sm Walter Scott, 1820. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 143 



MOSES 1 

TO lead into freedom a people long ernshed by 
tyranny; to discipline and order such a mighty 
host; to harden them into fighting men, before whom 
warlike tribes quailed and walled cities went down ; 
to repress discontent and jealousy and mutiny; to 
combat reactions and reversions ; to turn the quick^ 
fierce flame of enthusiasm to the service of a steady 
purpose, require some towering character — a character 
blending in highest expression the qualities of politi- 
cian, patriot, philosopher, and statesman — the union 
of the wisdom of the Egyptians with the unselfish 
devotion of the meekest of men. 

The striking difEerences between Egyptian and 
Hebrew polity are not of form, but of essence. The 
tendency of the one is to subordination and oppression ; 
of the other, to individual freedom. Strangest of 
recorded birth I From the strongest and most splendid 
despotism of antiquity comes the freest republic. 
From between the paws of the rock-hewn Sphinx rises 
the genius of human liberty, and the trumpets of the 
Exodus throb with the defiant proclamation of the 
riofhts of man. 

The Hebrew commonwealth was based upon the 
individual — a commonwealth whose ideal it was that 
every man should sit under his own vine and fig-tree, 

1 Cf. p. 60. 



144 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

with none to vex him or make him afraid; a common- 
wealth in which none should be condemned to cease- 
less toil ; in which, for even the bond slave there 
should be hope ; in which, for even the beast of burden 
there should be rest. It is not the protection of 
property, but the protection of humanity, that is 
the aim of the Mosaic code. Its Sabbath day and 
Sabbath year secure, even to the lowliest, rest and 
leisure. With the blast of the jubilee trumpets the 
slave goes free, and a re-division of the land secures 
again to the poorest his fair share in the bounty of 
the common Creator. The reaper must leave some- 
thing for the gleaner; even thepx cannot be muzzled 
as he treadeth out the corn. Everywhere, in every- 
thing, the dominant idea is that of our homely 
phrase — ^ Live and let live.' 

That there is one day in the week that the working 
man may call his own, one day in the week on which 
the hammer is silent and the loom stands idle, is due, 
through Christianity, to Judaism — to the code pro- 
mulgated in the Sinaitic wilderness. And who that 
considers the waste of productive forces can doubt 
that modern society would be not merely happier, 
but richer, had we received as well as the Sabbath 
day the grand idea of the Sabbath year, or, adapting 
its spirit to our changed conditions, secured in another 
way an equivalent reduction of working hours. 

It is in these characteristics of the Mosaic institu- 
tions that, as in the fragments of a Colossus, we may 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 145 

read the greatness of the mind whose impress they 
bear — of a mind in advance of its surroundings^ in 
advance of its age ; of one of those star souls that 
dwindle not with distance^ but, glowing with the 
radiance of essential truth, hold their light while 
institutions and languages and creeds change and 
pass. 

Leader and servant of men! Law-giver and 
benefactor ! Toiler towards the Promised Land seen 
only by the eye of faith ! Type of the high souls 
who in every age have given to earth its heroes and 
its martyrs, whose deeds are the precious possession 
of the race, whose memories are its sacred heritage ! 
With whom among the founders of Empire shall we 
compare him ? 

To dispute about the inspiration of such a man 
were to dispute about words. From the depths of 
the Unseen such characters must draw their strength ; 
from fountains that flow only from the pure in heart 
must come their wisdom. Of something more real 
than matter ; of something higher than the stars ; of 
a light that will endure when suns are dead and 
dark ; of a purpose of which the physical universe is 
but a passing phrase, such lives tell. 

Henry George, 1884, 



146 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE BURIAL OF MOSES 

BY Nebo's lonely mountain, 
On this side Jordan's wave. 
In a vale in the land of Moab, 
There lies a lonely grave. 
But no man built that sepulchre, 

And no man saw it e'er ; 
For the angels of God upturned the sod 
And laid the dead man there. 

That was the grandest funeral 

That ever passed on earth ; 
Yet no man heard the trampling, 

Or saw the train go forth : 
Noiselessly as the daylight 

Comes when the night is done. 
And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek 

Grows into the great sun. 

Perchance the bald old eagle 

On grey Beth-peor's height 
Out of his rocky eyrie 

Looked on the wondrous sight ; 
Perchance the lion stalking 

Still shuns that hallowed spot; 
For beast and bird have seen and heard 

That which man knoweth not. 

This was the bravest warrior 

That ever buckled sword j 
This the most gifted poet 

That ever breathed a word ; 
And never earth's philosopher 

Traced with his golden pen 
On the deathless page truths half so sage 

As he wrote down for men. 

C. F. Alexandee, 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 147 

ISRAEL'S PSALTER 

AT no period throughout the whole range of Jewish 
4^ history has the poetic voice been mute. Every 
great fact throughout its entire course, right down 
to modem times, has left its impress on the Syna- 
gogue liturgy. Jewish poetry is the mirror of Jewish 
national life, and poetic utterance a divine instinct of 
the Jewish mind. For to the Hebrew, poetry was both 
prayer and praise, and alike in mercy and affliction 
the poet's words became for the Hebrew the medium 
of direct communion with the Divine. Adoration can 
rise no higher than we find it in the Psalter. 

John E. Dow, 1890, 



THE ancient psalm still keeps its music, and this 
is but the outer sign of its spiritual power, which 
remains as near and intimate to our needs, human 
and divine, as in David's day. So, indeed, it seems 
to have remained through all the centuries — the one 
body of poetry which has gone on, apart from the 
change of races and languages, speaking with a voice" 
of power to the hearts of men. 

Ernest Rhys, 1895. 



THE Psalms resound, and will continue to resound, 
as long as there shall be men created in the image 
of God, in whose hearts the sacred fire of religion 
shines and glows ; for they are religion itself put into 

speech. 

C. H. CoRNiLL, 1897. 



148 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE PSALMS IN HUMAN LIFE 

ABOVE the couch of David, according to Rabbini- 
^ cal tradition j there hung a harp. The midnight 
breeze, as it rippled over the strings, made such 
music that the poet king was constrained to rise from 
his bed, and till the dawn flushed the eastern skies he 
wedded words to the strains. The poetry of that 
tradition is condensed in the saying that the Book of 
Psalms contains the whole music of the heart of man, 
swept by the hand of his Maker. In it are gathered 
the lyrical burst of his tenderness, the moan of his 
penitence, the pathos of his sorrow, the triumph of 
his victory, the despair of his defeat, the firmness 
of his confidence, the rapture of his assured hope. 

The Psalms express in exquisite words the kinship 
which every thoughtful human heart craves to find 
with a supreme, unchanging, loving God, who will 
be to him a protector, guardian, and friend. They 
translate into speech the spiritual passion of t&e 
loftiest genius ; they also utter, with the beauty born 
of truth and simplicity, the inarticulate and humble 
longings of the unlettered peasant. They alone have 
known no limitations to a particular age, country, or 
form of faith. In the Psalms the vast hosts of 
sufFering humanity have found the deepest expression 
of their hopes and fears. 

R. E. Prothero, 1903. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 149 



THE SPACIOUS FIRMAMENT ON HIGH 

(Psalm 19) 

THE spacious firmament on high^ 
With all the blue ethereal sky. 
And spangled heavens, a shining frame. 
Their great Original proclaim. 
Th^ unwearied sun from day to day 
Does his Creator^s power display, 
And publishes to every land 
The work of an Almighty hand. 

Soon as the evening shades prevail, 
The moon takes up the wondrous tale ; 
And nightly to the listening earth, 
Repeats the story of her bii*th : 
Whilst all the stars that round her burn^ 
And all the planets in their turn, 
• Confirm the tidings as they roll. 

And spread the truth from pole to pole.. 

What though in solemn silence all 
Move round the dark terrestrial ball ? 
What though nor real voice nor sound 
Amid their radiant orbs be found ? 
In reason's ear they all rejoice. 
And utter forth a glorious voice ; 
For ever singing as they shine, 
' The hand that made us is divine.' 

Joseph Addison, 1719. 



150 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



^O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST' 

(Psalm 90) 

OGOD, our help in ages past. 
Our hope for years to come. 
Our shelter from the stormy blast, 
And our eternal home ; 

Beneath the shadow of Thy Throne 
Thy saints have dwelt secure ; 

Sufficient is Thine arm alone. 
And our defence is sure. 

Before the hills in order stood. 

Or earth received her frame. 
From everlasting Thou art God, 

To endless years the same. 

A thousand ages in Thy sight 

Are like an evening gone ; 
Short as the watch that ends the night 

Before the rising sun. 

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, 

Bears all its sons away ; 
They fly, forgotten, as a dream 

Dies at the opening day. 

O God, our help in ages past, 

Our hope for years to come. 
Be Thou our guard while troubles last. 

And our eternal home. 

Isaac Watts, 1719. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 151 



THE LIVING POWER OP THE JEWISH 

PROPHETS 1 

THE moral feelings of men have been deepened 
and strengthened^ and also softened^ and almost 
created, by the Jewish prophets. In modern times 
we hardly like to acknowledge the full force of their 
words, lest they should prove subversive to society. 
And so we explain them away or spiritualize them, 
and convert what is figurative into what is literal, 
and what is literal into what is figurative. And still, 
after all our interpretation or misinterpretation, 
whether due to a false theology or an imperfect 
knowledge of the original language, the force of the 
words remains, and a light of heavenly truth and love 
streams from them even now more than 2,500 years 
after they were first uttered. 

Benjamin Jowbtt. 



ONE lesson, and only one, history may be said to 
repeat with distinctness, that the world is built 
somehow on moral foundations ; that in the long run 
it is well with the good ; in the long run it is iU with 
the wicked. But this is no science; it is no more 
than the old doctrine taught long ago by the Hebrew 

prophets. 

J. A. FkoudEj 1889. 

^ Cf. pp. 67 and 68. 



152 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE BOOK OF JONAH 

AN involuntary smile passes over one's features at 
*^ the mention of the name of Jonah* For the 
popular conception sees nothing in this book but 
a silly tale exciting us to derision. I have read the 
Book of Jonah at least a hundred times^ and I will 
publicly avow that I cannot even now take up this 
marvellous book, nay, nor even speak of it, without 
the tears rising to my eyes and my heart beating 
higher. This apparently trivial book is one of the 
deepest and grandest that was ever written, and I 
should like to say to every one who approaches it, 
*Take off thy shoes, for the place whereon thou 
standest is holy ground '. 

Jonah receives from God the command to go to 
Nineveh to proclaim the judgement, but he rose to 
flee from the presence of the Lord by ship unto Tar- 
shish in the far west. From the very beginning of 
the narrative, the genuine and loyal devotion of the 
heathen seamen is placed in intentional and exceed- 
ingly powerful contrast to the behaviour of the 
prophet — they are the sincere believers: he is the 
only heathen on board. After Jonah has been saved 
from storm and sea by the fish, he aga>in receives the 
command to go to Nineveh. He obeys ; and, wonder- 
ful to relate, scarcely has the strange preacher 
traversed the third part of the city crying out his 
warning, than the whole of Nineveh proclaim a fast 
and put on sackcloth. The people of Nineveh believed 
the words of the preacher and humiliated themselves 
before God; therefore, the ground and motive of the 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 158 

Divine judgement ceased to exist : ' God repented of 
the evil that He thought to do them, and He did it 
not\ Now comes the fourth chapter^ on account of 
which the whole book was written^ and which cannot 
be replaced by paraphrase. 

'But it* [i.e. God^s determining not to destroy 
Nineveh because of its sincere repentance] ' displeased 
Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he 
prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Loi'd, 
was not this my saying, when I was yet in my 
country ? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish : 
for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and full 
of compassion, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, 
and repentest Thee of the evil. Therefore now, O 
Lord, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it 
is better for me to die than to live. And the Lord 
said, Doest thou well to be angry ? Then Jonah 
went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the 
city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it 
in the shadow, till he might see what would' become 
of the city. And the Lord God prepared a gourd 
and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be 
a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his 
evil case. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because 
of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the 
morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd 
that it withered. And it came to pass, when the 
sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; 
and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he 
fainted, and requested for himself that he might 
die, and said. It is better for me to die than to 
live. And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be 
angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to 



154 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

be angry even unto death. And the Lord said, Thou 
hast had pity on the gourde for the which thou hast 
not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up 
in a night and perished in a night ; and should not 
I have pity on Nineveh, that great city ; wherein are 
more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot 
discern between their right hand and their left hand ; 
and also much cattle ' ? 

With this question the book closes. More simply, 
as something quite self-evident, and therefore more 
sublimely and touchingly, the truth was never spoken 
in the Hebrew Scriptures that God, as Creator of the 
whole earth, must also be the God and Father of the 
entire world, in whose loving, kind, and fatherly 
heart all men are equal, before whom there is no 
difference of nation and creed, but only men, whom 
He has created in His own image.^ 

C. H. CORNILL, 1894. 



I 



AM Oonvinced that the Bible becomes ever more 
beautiful the more it is understood, 

J. W. Goethe. 



* The Book of Jonah, together with Isaiah 58, is the pro- 
phetical Lesson for the Day of Atonement. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 155 



JOB 

I CALL the Book of Job one of the grandest things 
ever written with pen ... a noble book, all men's 
book ! There is nothing, I think, in the Bible or out 

of it, of equal literary merit. 

T. Caulyle. 

THIS extraordinary book — a book of which it is to 
say little to call it unequalled of its kind, and 
which will one day, perhaps, when it is allowed to 
stand on its own merits, be seen towering up alone, 
far away above all the poetry of the world. 

J. A. Froude, 1885. 



ECCLESIASTES 

THE old cycles are for ever renewed, and it is no 
paradox' that he who would advance can never 
cling too close to the past. Tie thing that has leen 
is the thing that will he again ; if we realize that, we 
may avoid many of the disillusions, miseries, in- 
sanities that for ever accompany the throes of new 
birth. Set your shoulder joyously to the world's 
wheel; you may spare yourself some unhappiness 
if, beforehand, you slip the Book of Ecclesiastes 

beneath your arm. 

Havelock Ellis. 



156 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE BOOK OF ESTHERS 

YYJITHIN it burn a lofty independence and a 
W genuine patriotism. 

The story of Esther, glorified by the genius of 
Handel and sanctified by the piety of Racine, not 
only affords material for the noblest and gentlest of 
meditations, but is a token that in the daily events 
— the unforeseen chances^ — of life, in little unremem- 
bered acts, God is surely present. 

When Esther nerved herself to enter, at the risk 
of her life, the presence of Ahasuerus — ' I will go in 
unto the king, and if I perish I perish ' — when her 
patriotic feeling vented itself in that noble cry, ^ How 
can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my 
people ? or how can I endure ta see the destruction of 
my kindred ' ? — she expressed, although she never 
named the name of God, a religious devotion as 
acceptable to Him as that of Moses and David. 

A. P. Stanley, 1876. 



WE search the world for truth ; we cull 
The good, the pure, the beautiful 
From graven stone and written scroll, 
From all old flower- fields of the soul ; 
And, weary seekers of the best. 
We come back laden from our quest, 
To find that all the sages said 
Is in the Book our mothers read. 

J. G. Whittier. 

1 From History of the Jewish Church •(London : John Murray). 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 157 



THE TALMUD 1 

THE Talmud^ which was as a second life to the 
men of the Ghetto, was not only a book of philo- 
sophy or devotion, it was a reservoir of national life ; 
it was the faithful mirror of the civilization of Babylon 
and Judea, and, at the same time, a magical phan- 
tasmagoria of all the wild dreams, the fables, the 
legends, the scraps of science more or less exact, 
the reveries, the audacious theories discovered by the 
Wandering Jew in his endless travels. Every gene- 
ration of Judaism had accumulated its facts and 
fancies there. Even the Bible itself did not come so 
close to the daily life of the Ghetto as the Talmud 
and the Mishna. The Bible was a thing eternal, 
apart, unchanging. The Talmud was a daily com- 
panion, living, breathing, contemporary, with a 
hundred remedies for a hundred needs. A nation 
persecuted, lives through its time of stress rather by 
its commentaries than by its Scriptures. In the 
Ghetto the Talmud was a door into the ideal always 
open. When the Christians burned the Jews they 
did no enduring harm to Judaism, for martyrdom 
purifies and strengthens every cause. But when they 
sequestrated every copy of the Talmud that fi-aud or 
force could discover, and burned the spiritual bread 
of a devoted people upon the public square, they 
committed an irreparable injury ; for, by withdrawing 
its ideal, they debased the population of the Ghetto. 

A. Mary P. Robinson, 1892. 

* Cf. p. 69. 



158 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE HUMANITY OF JEWISH WISDOM 

IN my early youth I read — I have forgotten where 
— the words of the ancient Jewish sage — Hillel, if 
I remember rightly : ' If thou art not for thyself, who 
will be for thee ? But if thou art for thyself alone^ 
wherefore art thou ^ ? ^ 

The inner meaning of these words impressed me 
with its profound wisdom, and I interpreted them for 
myself in this manner : I must actively take care of 
myself, that my life should be better, and I must not 
i^ipose the care of myself on other people^s shoulders ; 
but if I am going to take care of myself alone, 
of nothing but my own personal life, it will be useless, 
ugly, meaningless. This thought ate its way deep 
into my soul, and I say now with conviction : HillePs 
wisdom served as a strong staff on my road, which 
was neither even nor easy. 

I believe that Jewish wisdom is more all-human 

and universal than any other; and this not only 

because of its immemorial age, not only because it 

is the firstborn, but also because of the powerful 

humaneness that saturates it, because of its high 

estimate of man. 

Maxim Gorky, 1916. 

^ See p. 290 for the exact wording of Hillel's saying. 



THE TESTIMONY OP THE NATIONS 159 

THE PHARISEES i 

OP all the strange ironies of history^ perhaps the 
strangest is that ^ Pharisee ' is current as a term 
of reproach among the theological descendants of that 
sect of Nazarenes who, without the martyr spirit of 
those primitive Puritans, would never have come into 

existence. 

T. H. Huxley. 

THE Pharisees built up religious individualism and 
a purely spiritual worship; they deepened the 
belief in a future life; they championed the cause of 
the laity against an exclusive priesthood ; they made 
the Scriptures the possession of the people, and in the 
weekly assemblages of the Synagogue they preached 
to them the truths and hopes of religion out of the 
Sacred Books. . . . The Pharisees consistently strove 
to bring life more and more under the dominion of 
religious observance. By carefully formed habits, by 
the ceremonial of religious observances, religious ideas 
and sanctions could be impressed upon the people's 
mind and heart. But the outward was subordinated 
to the inward. 

Canon G. H. Box, 1911. 

PHARISAISM in history has had a hard fate. 
For there has seldom been for Christians the 
opportunity to know what Pharisaism really meant, 
and perhaps still more seldom the desire to use that 
opportunity. Is then the Christian religion so weak 
that it must be advocated by blackening the character 

of its oldest rival ? 

R. Travers Herford, 1912. 

1 Of. p. 72. 



160 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE JEWISH PRAYER BOOK 

WHEN we come to view the half-dozen or so 
great Liturgies of the world purely as religious 
documents^ and to weigh their value as devotional 
classics^ the incomparable superiority of the Jewish 
convincingly appears. The Jewish Liturgy occupies 
its pages with the One Eternal Lord; holds ever 
true, confident, and direct speech with Him ; exhausts 
the resources of language in songs of praise, in 
utterances of loving gratitude, in rejoicing at His 
nearness, in natural outpourings of grief for sin; 
never so much as a dream of intercessors or of hidings 
from His blessed punishments; and, withal, such 
a sweet sense of the divine accessibility every moment 
to each sinful, suffering child of earth. Where shall 
one find a hymn of universal faith like the Adon 
01am, of mystical beauty like the Hymn of Glory ^ ; 
or services so solemn, touching, and tender as those 
appointed for Yom Kippur? Compare the misery, 
gloom, and introspection surrounding other requiem 
and funeral services, with the chastened, dignified 
sobriety of the Hebrew prayer for the dying,* and 
the healthy, cheerful manliness of the Mourner's 
Kaddish. 

Again, there is most refreshing silence in regard 
to life-conditions after death. Neither is there any 
spiteful condemnation of the followers of other faiths ; 
the Jew is singularly free from narrow intolerance. 

Certainly the Jew has cause to thank God, and the 

fathers before him, for the noblest Liturgy the annals 

of faith can show. 

G. E. BiDDLB, 1907. 

» See p. 268. « Authorized Prayer Book, p. 817. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 161 



IN A SYNAGOGUE! 

DERONDA gave himself up to that strongest 
effect of chanted liturgies which is independent 
of detailed verbal meaning. The most powerful 
movement of feeling with a liturgy is the prayer 
which seeks for nothing special, but is a yearning to 
escape from the limitations of our own weakness and 
an invocation of all Good to enter and abide with usj 
or else a self-oblivious lifting up of gladness, a ^ Gloria 
in excelsis ^ that such Good exists ; both the yearning 
and the exultation gathering their utmost force from 
the sense of communion in a form which has expressed 
them both for long generations of struggling fellow- 
men. The Hebrew liturgy, like others, has its transi- 
tions of litany, lyric proclamation, dry statement, 
and blessing; but this evening all were one for 
Deronda; the chant of the Chazan^s or Header's 
grand wide-ranging voice with its passage from 
monotony to sudden cries, the outburst of sweet boys* 
voices from the little choir, the devotional swaying 
of men's bodies backwards and forwards, the very 
commonness of the building and shabbiness of the scene 
where a national faith, which had penetrated the 
thinking of half the world, had moulded the splendid 
forms of that world's religion, was finding a remote, 
obscure echo — all were blent for him as one expression 
of a binding history, tragic and yet glorious. 

George Eliot, 1876. 

* From Daniel Deronda (London : William Blackwood k Sons). 

G 



162 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE TORCH OF JEWISH LEARNING » 

IEARNING was for two thousand years the sole 
-^ claim to distinction recognized by Israel. ' The 
scholar ', says the Talmud^ ' takes precedence over the 
king/ Israel remained faithful to this precept 
throughout all her humiliations. Whenever^ in 
Christian or Moslem lands, a hostile hand closed her 
schools^ the rabbis crossed the seas to reopen their 
academies in a distant country. Like the legendary 
Wandering Jew, the flickering torch of Jewish scholar- 
ship thus passed from East to West, from North to 
South, changing every two or three hundred years 
from one country to another. Whenever a royal 
edict commanded them to leave, within three months, 
the country in which their fathers had been buried 
and their sons had been bom, the treasure which the 
Jews were most anxious to carry away with them 
was their books. Among all the auioi'dorfe which 
the daughter of Zion has had to witness, none has 
cost her such bitter tears as those flames which, 
during the Middle Ages, greedily consumed the 
scrolls of the Talmud. 

A. Leroy Beaulteu, 1893. 

^ From Isra/A Among the Nations (London : Heinemann). 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 163 



DURING THE CRUSADES ^ 

IN the little town Tiberias, on the shore of the 
Lake of Gennesaret, sat the old Jew Eleazar, with 
his family^ prepared to celebrate the Passover. It 
was the fourteenth day of the month Nisan of the 
year 1089. 

After the head of the family had washed his hands, 
he blessed the gifts of God, drank some wine, took 
some of the bitter herbs, and ate and gave to the 
others. After that, the second cup of wine was 
served, and the youngest son of the house asked, 
according to the sacred custom, * What is the meaning 
of this feast ? ' 

The father answered : ' The Lord brought us with 
a strong hand out of the Egyptian bondage '. There- 
after a blessing was pronounced on the unleavened 
bread, and they sat down to eat. The old Eleazar spoke 
of past times, and contrasted them with the present : 
' Man born of woman lives but a short time, and is 
full of trouble; he cometh up like a flower, and is 
cut down ; he fleeth hence like a shadow, and con- 
tinueth not. A stranger and a sojourner is he upon 
earth, and therefore he should be always ready for his 
journey as we are, this holy evening.' 

The eldest son, Jacob, who had come home in the 
evening after a journey, seemed to wish to say some- 
thing, but did not venture to do so till the fourth and 
last cup was drunk. 

^ From Historical Miniatures (London: George Allen k tJnwin). 

G 2 



164 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

'Now, Jacob', said Eleazar, 'you want to talk. 
You come from a journey, though somewhat late, and 
have something new to tell us. Hush I I hear steps 
in the garden ! ' 

All hurried to the window, for they lived in 
troublous times ; but, as no one was to be seen out- 
side, they sat down again at the table. 

'Speak, Jacob', Eleazar said again. 

'I come from Antioch, where the Crusaders are 
besieged by Kerboga, the Emir Mosul. Famine has 
raged among them, and of three hundred thousand 
Goyim, only twenty thousand remain.' 

* What had they to do here ? ' 

'Now, on the roads, they are talking of a new 
battle which the Goyim have won, and they believe 
that the Crusadei*s will march straight on Jerusalem.' 

^ Well, they won't come here.' 

' They ' won't find the way, unless there are 
traitors.' 

' The Christians are misguided, and their doctrine 
is folly. They believe the Messiah has come, 
although the world is like a hell, and men resemble 
devils ! And it ever gets worse. . . .' 

Then the door was flung open, and on the threshold 
appeared a little man, emaciated as a skeleton, with 
burning eyes — Peter the Hermit. He was clothed in 
rags, carried a cross in his hands, and bore a red cross- 
shaped sign on his shoulder. 

'Are you Christians ? ' he asked. 
'No ', answered Eleazar, ' we are of Isi-ael.' 
' Out with you I — down to the lake and be bap- 
tized, or you will die the death I ' 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 165 

Then Eleazar turned to the Hermit, and cried, 
^ No ! I and my house will serve the Lord, as we 
have done this holy evening according to the law of 
our fathers. We suffer for our sins, that is true; but 
you, godless, cursed man, pride not yourself on your 
power, for you have not yet escaped the judgement o£ 
Almighty God/ 

The Hermit had gone out to his followers. Those 
within the house closed the window-shutters and the 
door. 

There was a cry without : ^ Fire the house ! ' 

^Let us bless God, and die!^ said Eleazar, and 
none of them hesitated. Eleazar spoke: 'I know 
that my Redeemer liveth, and that He will stand at the 
latter day upon the earth. And when I am free from 
my flesh, I shall see God. Him shall I see and not 
another, and for that my soul and my heart cry out.^ 

The mother had taken the youngest son in her 
arms, as though she wished to protect him against 
the fire which now seized on the wall. 

Then Eleazar began the Song of the Three Children^ 
in the fire, and when they came to the words, 

' O thank the Lord, for He is good. 
And His mercy endureth for ever', 

their voices were choked, and they ended their days 
like the Maccabees. 

August Strindberg, 1907. 

^ A book in the Apocrypha. 



166 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE EXPULSION FROM SPAIN AND 
PORTUGAL, 1492-14971 

npHE persecution of the Jewish race dates from the 
*■ very earliest period in which Christianity obtained 
the direction of the civil powers ; and the hatred of 
the Jews was for many centuiies a faithful index 
of the piety of the Christians, 

Insulted, plundered, hated, and despised by all 
Christian nations, banished from England by Edward I, 
and from France by Charles VI, they found in the 
Spanish Moors rulers who were probably not without 
a special sympathy for a race whose pure monotheism 
formed a marked contrast to the scarcely disguised 
polytheism of the Spanish Catholics; and Jewish 
learning and Jewish genius contributed very largely 
to that bright but transient civilization which radiated 
from Toledo and Cordova, and exercised so salutary 
an influence upon the belief of Europe. But when, 
in an ill-omened hour, the Cross supplanted the 
Crescent on the heights of the Alhambra^ this solitary 
refuge was destroyed, the last gleam of tolerance 
vanished from Spain, and the expulsion of the Jews 
was determined. 

This edict was immediately due to the exertions of 

^ From History qf RationaXism in Europe (London : LongmanS| 
Green & Co.). 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 167 

Torquemada ; but its ultimate cause is to be found in 
that steadily increasing popular fanaticism which' 
made it impossible for the two races to exist together^ 
In 1390^ about a hundred years before the conqueist 
of Granada, the Catholics of Seville being excited by 
the eloquence of a great preacher^ named Hernando 
Martinez^ had attacked the Jews' quarter^ and mur? 
dered 4,000 Jews, Martinez himself presiding over 
the massacre. About a year later, and partly through 
the influence of the same eminent divine^ similar 
scenes took place at Valentia, Cordova, Burgos, 
Toledo, and Barcelona • • . and more than once during 
the fifteenth century. At last the Moorish war, which 
had always been regarded as a crusade, was drawing 
to a close, the religious fervour of the Spanish rose to 
the highest point, and the Inquisition was established 
as its expression. Numbers of converted Jews were 
massacred; others, who had been baptized during 
past explosions of popular fury, fled to the Moors, in 
order to practise their rites, and at last, after a 
desperate resistance^ were captured and burnt alive. 
The clergy exerted all their energies to produce the 
expulsion of the entire race, and to effect this object 
all the old calumnies were revived, and two or three 
miracles invented. 

It must be acknowledged that history relates very 
few measures that produced so vast an amount of 
calamity. In three short months, all unconverted 



168 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Jews were obliged^ under pain of death^ to abandon 
the Spanish soil. Multitudes^ falling into the hands 
of the pirates^ who swarmed around the coast^ were 
plundered of all they possessed and reduced to slavery; 
multitudes died of famine or of plague^ or were 
murdered or tortured with horrible cruelty by the Afri- 
can savages. About 80,000 took refuge in Portugal, 
relying on the promise of the king. Spanish priests 
lashed the Portuguese into fury, and the king was 
persuaded to issue an edict which threw even that of 
Isabella into the shade. All the adult Jews were 
banished from Portugal ; but first of all their children 
below the age of fourteen were taken from them to be 
educated as Christians. Then, indeed, the cup of 
bitterness was filled to the brim. The serene fortitude 
with which the exiled people had borne so many and 
such grievous calamities gave way, and was replaced 
by the wildest paroxysms of despair. When at last, 
childless and broken-hearted, they sought to leave the 
land, they found that the ships had been purposely 
detained, and the allotted time, having expired, they 
were reduced to slavery and baptized by force. 
A great peal of rejoicing filled the Peninsula, and 
proclaimed that the triumph of the Spanish priests 
was complete. 

Certainly the heroism of the defenders of every 
other creed fades into insignificance before this 
martyr people, who for thirteen centuries confronted 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 169 

all the evils that the fiercest fanaticism could devise^ 

enduring obloquy and spoliation and the violation 

of the dearest ties^ and the infliction of the most 

hideous sufferings^ rather than abandon their faith. 

Persecution came to the Jewish nation in its most 

horrible forms, yet surrounded by every circumstance 

of petty annoyance that could destroy its grandeur, 

and it continued for centuries their abiding portion. 

But above all this the genius of that wonderful people 

rose supreme. While those around them were grovelling 

in the darkness of besotted ignorance ; while juggling 

miracles and lying relics were the themes on which 

almost all Europe was expatiating ; while the intellect 

of Christendom, enthralled by countless superstitions, 

had sunk into a deadly torpor, in which all love of 

inquiry and all search for truth were abandoned, the 

Jews were still pursuing the path of knowledge, 

amassing learning, and stimulating progress with the 

same unflinching constancy that they manifested in 

their faith. They were the most skilful physicians, 

the ablest financiers, and among the most profound 

philosophers. 

W. E. H. Lecky, 1866. 



G 3 



170 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



A PROTEST AGAINST THE AUTO-DA-FE 
OF SEPTEMBER 20, 1761, LISBON 

WHAT was their crime ? Only that they were 
bora. They were born Israelites, they celebrated 
Pesach; that is the only reason that the Portuguese 
burnt them. Would you believe that while the 
flames were consuming these innocent victims, the 
inquisitors and the other savages were chanting our 
prayers ? These pitiless monsters were invoking the 
God of mercy and kindness, the God of pardon, while 
committing the most atrocious and barbarous crime, 
while acting in a way which demons in their rage 
would not use against their brother demons. Your 
madness goes so far as to say. that we are scattered 
because our fathers condemned to death him whom 
you worship. O ye pious tigers, ye fanatical pan- 
thers, who despise your sect so much that you 
have no better way of supporting it than by exe- 
cutioners, cannot you see that it was only the 
Romans who condemned him ? We had not, at that 
time, the right to inflict death ; we were govenied by 
Quirinus, Varus, Pilate. No crucifixion was practised 
among us. Not a trace of that form of punishment 
is to be found. Cease, therefore, to punish a whole 
nation for an event for which it cannot be responsible. 
Would it be just to go and burn the Pope and all the 
Monsignori at Rome to-day because the first Romans 
ravished the Sabines and pillaged the Samnites ? 

O God, who hast created us all, who desirest not the 
misfortune of Thy creatures, God, Father of all, God 
of mercy, accomplish Thou that there be no longer on 
this globe, on this least of all the worlds, either 
fanatics or persecutors. Amen. 

F. M. A. Voltaire, 

in ' Sermon du Rabin AMb \ 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 171 



THE BIBLE IN ELIZA.BETHAN ENGLAND » 

NO greater moral change ever passed over a nation 
than passed over England during the years of the 
reign of Elizabeth. England became the people of 
a book^ and that book was the Bible. It was read in 
churches^ and it was read at home^ and everywhere 
its words, as they fell on ears which custom had not 
deadened to their force and beauty, kindled a startling 
enthusiasm. As a mere litemry monument, the 
English Version of the Bible remains the noblest 
example of the English tongue, while its perpetual 
use made it from the instant of its appearance the 
standard of our language. But far greater than its 
effect on literature was the effect of the Bible on the 
character of the people at large. Elizabeth might 
silence or tune the pulpits, but it was impossible for 
her to silence or tune the great preachers of justice, 
and mercy, and truth, who spoke from the Book 
which the Lord again opened to the people. The 
effect of the Bible in this way was simply amazing. 
The whole temper of the nation was changed. A new 
conception of life and of man superseded the old* 
A new moral and religious impulse spread through 
every class. 

J. R. GuEEN, 1874. 

^ From A Short History of the English People (London : MacmiUan 
& Co.). 



172 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF THE JEWS 

IN the infancy of civilization^ when our island was 
as savage as New Guinea^ when letters and arts 
were still unknown to Athens, when scarcely a 
thatched hut stood on what was afterwards the site 
of Rome, this contemned people had their fenced 
cities and cedar palaces, their splendid Temple, their 
fleets of merchant ships, their schools of sacred 
learning, their great statesmen and soldiers, their 
natural philosophers, their historians, and their poets. 
What nation ever contended more manfully against 
overwhelming odds for its independence and religion ? 
What nation ever, in its last agonies, gave such 
signal proofs of what may be accomplished by a brave 
despair? And if, in the course of many centuries, 
the oppressed descendants of warriors and sages have 
degenerated from the qualities of their fathers . . • 
shall we consider this as a matter of reproach to them? 
Shall we not rather consider it as matter of shame 
and remorse to ourselves ? Let us do justice to them. 
Let us open to them the door of the House of 
Commons. Let us open to them every career in 
which ability and energy can be displayed. Till we 
have done this, let us not presume to say that there 
is no genius among the countrymen of Isaiah, no 
heroism among the descendants of the Maccabees. 

LoED Macaulay, 1833. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 173 



IGNORANCE OF JUDAISM 

HE had been roused to the consciousness of knowing 
hardly anything about modem Judaism or the 
inner Jewish history. The Chosen People have been 
commonly treated as a people chosen for the sake of 
somebody else^ and their thinking as something (no 
matter exactly what) that ought to have been entirely 
otherwise; and Deronda^ like his neighbours^ had 
regarded Judaism as a sort of eccentric fossilized form 
which an accomplished man might dispense with 
studying^ and leave to specialists. But there had 
flashed on him the hitherto neglected reality that 
Judaism was something still throbbing in human 
lives^ still making for them the only conceivable 

vesture of the world. 

George Eliot, 1876, 

in ' Daniel Beronda \ 



MOCK on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau ! 
Mock on, mock on ! 'tis all in vain : 
You throw the sand against the wind, 
And the wind blows it back again. 

And every sand becomes a gem 

Reflected in the beams divine ; 
Blown back, they blind the mocking eye. 

But still in Israel's paths they shine. 

William Blake. 



174 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THEY ARE OUR ELDERS 

K TEXT to the selection that has been in operation 
* ^ for centuries, it is, in my opinion, the antiquity 
and the continuity of their civilization that throws 
some light upon the Jews as well as upon the place 
they occupy in our midst. They were here before us ; 
they are our elders. Their children were taught to 
read from the scrolls of the Torah before our Latin 
alphabet had reached its final form, long before 
Cyrillus and Methodius had given writing to the 
Slavs, and before the Runic characters were known 
to the Germans of the North. As compared with 
the Jews, we are young, we are new-comers ; in the 
matter of civilization they are far ahead of us. It 
was in vain that we locked them up for several 
hundred years behind the walls of the Ghetto. No 
sooner were their prison gates unbaiTcd than they 
easily caught up with us, even on those paths which 
we had opened up without their aid. 

A. Leroy Beauliexj, 1893. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 175 



THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT NEWPORT ^ 

HOW strange it seems ! These Hebrews in their 
graves, 
Close by the street of this fair seaport town, 
Silent beside the never-silent waves, 

At rest in all this moving up and down. 

How came they here ? What burst of Christian hate, 
What persecution, merciless and blind. 

Drove o'er the sea — that desert desolate — 
These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind ? 

Pride and humiliation hand in hand 

Walked with them through the world wherever 
they went ; 
Tmmpled and beaten were they as the sand. 

And yet unshaken as the continent. 

For in the background figures vague and vast 
Of patriarchs and prophets rose sublime, 

And all the great traditions of the Past 

They saw reflected in the coming time. 

And thus forever with reverted look 

The mystic volume of the world they read. 

Spelling it backward, like a Hebrew book, 
Till life became a Legend of the Dead. 

H. W. Longfellow, 1858. 

* Cf. foot-note, p. 95. In consequence of the American Revo- 
lution, the congregation became extinct. No Jew lived in 
Newport when this poem was written. 



176 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE JEW AS A CITIZEN 

f AM glad to be able to say that while the Jews of 
* the United States have remained foyal to their 
faith and their race traditions, they are engaged in 
generous rivalry with their fellow-citizens of other 
denominations in advancing the interests of our 
common country. This is true, not only of the 
descendants of the early settlers and those of American 
birth, but of a great and constantly increasing pro- 
portion of those who have come to our shores within 
the last twenty-five years as refugees reduced to the 
direst straits of penury and misery. la a few years, 
men and women hitherto utterly unaccustomed to 
any of the privileges of citizenship have moved 
mightily upward toward the standard of loyal, self- 
respecting American citizenship; of that citizenship 
which not merely insists upon its rights, but also 
eagerly recognizes its duty to do its full share in the 
material, social, and moral advancement of the nation. 

Theodoue Boosevelt, on the 250^ annu 
venary of the Settlement of the Je%09 in 
the United States^ November y 1906. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 177 

IN THE EAST END OP LONDON 

SOME years ago^ when I was living in Earope^ 
I went for six months to reside in the very poorest 
part of the East End of London^ when I made friends 
with a poor Jewish woman. She took me into the 
tiny one-roomed tenement where she and her husband 
and their children lived on the few shillings a week 
they earned by their joint labour. Though it had all 
the misery and confinement which extreme poverty 
means in a great city^ I had yet often a curious 
feeling that it was a home. With however much 
diflSculty, a few pence would be saved to celebrate, if 
it were but in a pitiful little way, the festivals of their 
people; though it were by starving themselves, the 
parents would lay by something for the education of 
their children or to procure them some little extra 
comfort. And the conclusion was forced on me that, 
taking the very poorest class of Jew and comparing 
him with an exactly analogous class of non-Jews 
earning the same wages and living in the same locality, 
the life of the Jew was, on the whole, more mentally 
healthful, more human, and had in it an element of 
hope that was. often wanting in that of others. I 
felt that these people needed but a little space, a little 
chance, to develop into some far higher form. The 
material was there. . 

Therefore I would welcome the exiled Russian Jew 
to South Africa, not merely with pity, but with a 
feeling of pride that any member of that great, much- 
suffering peaple, to whom the world owes so great 
a debt, should find a refuge and a home among us. 

Olive Schrbiner, 1906. 



178 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE RUSSIAN AGONY ^ 

I. The Beginnings 
IN 1563 Ivan the Terrible conquered Polotzk, and 
* for the first time the Russian Government was 
confronted by the fact of the existence of the Jewish 
nationality. The Czar's advisers were somewhat 
perplexed, and asked him what to do with these newly 
acquired subjects. Ivan the Terrible answered un- 
hesitatingly : ^Baptize them or drown them in the 
river'. They were drowned. 

P. MiLYUKOV, 1916. 



II. In the Nineteenth Centuey^ 

IT'EW facts in the nineteenth century have been so 
^ well calculated to disenchant the believers in per- 
petual progress with their creed as the anti-Semite 
movement, which in a few years has swept like an 
angry wave over the greater part of Europe. 

The recent movement for proscribihg, under pre- 
tence of preventing cruelty to animals, the mode of 
killing animals for food which is enjoined in the 
Jewish ritual, is certainly at least as much due to 
dislike to the Jews as to consideration for cattle. It 
appears to have arisen among the German anti- 
Semites, especially in Saxony. . • . 

» Cp. pp. 97-108. 

9 From Democracy and Liberty (London : Longmans, Green & Co.)* 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 179 

The Russian persecution stands in some degree apart 
from the other forms of the anti-Semite movement, 
both on account of its unparalleled magnitude and 
ferocity^ and also because it is the direct act of 
a Government deliberately, systematically, remorse- 
lessly seeking to reduce to utter misery millions of its 
own subjects. 

An evil chance had placed upon the throne an 
absolute ruler who combined with much private virtue 
and very limited faculties all the genuine fanaticism 
of the great persecutors of the past, and who found 
a new Torquemada at his side. He reigned over an 
administration which is among the most despotic, and 
probably, without exception, the most corrupt and 
the most cruel in Europe. 

W. E. H. Lecky, 1896. 



III. In the Twentieth Century 

nPO lock people like wild beasts in a cage, to sur- 
^ round them with disgraceful laws, as in an 
immense circus, for the sole revolting purpose to let 
loose the murderous mob upon them whenever practic- 
able for St. Petersburg — terrible, terrible ! 

Anti-Semitism is a mad passion, akin to the lowest 
perversities of diseased human nature. It is the will 
to hate. 

The Emperor Hadrian was an honest anti-Semite. 



180 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

One day^ the Talmud records^ on his journey in the 
East^ a Jew passed the Imperial train and saluted the 
Emperor. He was beside himself with rage. ' You^ 
a Jew, dare to greet the Emperor I You shall pay 
for this with your life.' In the course of the same 
day another Jew passed him^ and^ warned by example^ 
he did not greet Hadrian. ^ You, a Jew, dare to pass 
the Emperor without a greeting!^ he angrily ex- 
claimed. 'You have forfeited your life.' To his 
astonished courtiers he replied : ' I hate the Jews. 
Whatever they do, I find intolerable. I therefore 
make use of any pretext to destroy them.^ 
So are all anti-Semites. 

Leo Tolstoy, 1904. 



IV, The Moral 

nPHE study of the history of Europe during the 
^ past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson : TAal 
tie nations which have received and in any way dealt 
fairly and mei'cifuUy with the Jew have prospered ; and 
that the natio?ts that have tortured and oppressed him 
have written out their own curse. 

Olive Schreiner, 1906. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 181 



W 



THE BLOOD LIBEL 

British Protest, 1913 

E desire to associate ourselves with the protests 
signed in Russia, France, and Germany by 
leading Christian Theologians, Men of Letters, 
Scientists, Politicians, and others against the attempt 
made in the City of Kieff to revive the hideous 
charge of Ritual Murder — known as the 'Blood 
Accusation ^ — against Judaism and the Jewish People. 
The question is one of humanity, civilization, and 
tnith. The ' blood accusation ' is a relic of the days 
of witchcraft and ' black magic \ a cruel and utterly 
baseless libel on Judaism, an insult to Western cul- 
ture, and a dishonour to the Churches in whose name 
it has been falsely formulated by ignorant fanatics. 
Religious minorities other than the Jews, such as the 
early Christians, the Quakers, and Christian Mis- 
sionaries in China, have been victimized by it. It 
has been denounced by the best men of all ages and 
creeds. The Popes, the founders of the Reformation, 
the Khalif of Islam, statesmen of every country, to- 
gether with all the great seats of learning in Europe, 
have publicly repudiated it. 

Signed by : — 
TAe Archbishops of Canterbury, York, Armagh ; 
ike Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and 
the heads of all other Christian denominations. 

The Bishops of London, Oxford, Worcester, 



182 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Winchester, Birmingham, Gloucester, Liver- 
pool, Manchester, ^c. ; tAe Deans of West- 
minster, Canterbury, Norwich, Ripon, Sfc. 

The Dukes of Norfolk and Northumberland, ancl 
the Earls of Rosebery, Selbornb, and Cromer ; 
Lords Milner and Rayleigh ; A. J. Balfour, 
Sir Edward Carson, Gen. N. G. Lyttelton, ^-c. 

Frederic Harrison, A. V. Dicey, Sir William 
OsLER, Sir Francis Darwin, Sir William 
Ramsay; James A. H. Murray, Norman 

LOCKYER, J. G. FrAZBR, <§•(?. 

Sir Oliver Lodge, the Principals of eleven Oxford 
Colleges; the Masters of seven Cambridge 
Colleges, S. R. Driver, F. C. Burkitt, A. E. 
Cowley, W. Sanday, H. B. Swete, Estlin 
Carpenter, A. E. Garvie, A. C. Headlam, 
KiRsopp Lake, S^c. 

Justices E ve, Warrington, awrfVAUGHAN Williams. 

A. C. Doyle, Thos. Hardy, Anthony Hope, 
A. QuiLLER-CoucH, G. B. Shaw, H. G. 
Wells, S^c. 

The Editors of the Edinhurgh, (^uarterly^ Fortnightly^ 
Hibbertj Quest, Spectator, Nation, Daily Telegraphy 
Manchester Guardian, Daily Chronicle, Daily NewSj 
Pall Mall Gazette, ^c,, ^c. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 183 



JEWISH NATIONALISM 

VV/HEN it is mtional to say, ^I know not my 
^^ father or my mother, let my children be aliens 
to me that no prayer of mine may touch them ', then 
it will be rational for the Jew to say, 'I will not 
cherish the prophetic consciousness of our nation- 
ality — let the Hebrew cease to be, and let all his 
memorials be antiquarian trifles, dead as the wall- 
paintings of a conjectured race \ 

The divine principle of our race is action, choice, 
resolved memory. Let us help to will our own better 
future and the better future of the world — not 
renounce our higher gift and say, * Let us be as if we 
were not among the populations ^ ; but choose our 
full heritage, claim the brotherhood of our nation, 
and carry into it a new brotherhood with the nations 
of the Gentiles. The vision is there; it will be 

fulfilled. 

George Eliot, 1876, 
in ^ Daniel Derouda \ 

K TO British Jew would be less British because he 

^ ^ looked upon the cradle of his race with pride, 

and at the religious centre of his faith with happiness 

and reverence. 

SiE Mark Sykes, 1918. 



184 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



A JEWISH NATIONAL HOME ^ 

FOREIGN OFFICE, 

November 2, 1917. 

Dear Lord Rothschild, 

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on 
behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following 
declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspira- 
tions which has been submitted to, and approved by, 
the Cabinet : — 

' His Majesty's Government view with favour the 
establishment in Palestine of a national home for 
the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 
to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being 
clearly understood that nothing shall be done which 
may prejudice the civil and religious rights of exist- 
ing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the 
rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any 
other country.* 

Yours sincerely, 

Arthur James Balfour. 

iCp. p. 126. 



THE TESTIMONY OF THE NATIONS 185 



ISRAEL'S PRESERVATION 

T^HE desfcmction of the Holy City, the ruin of the 
*" House of God, the dispersion of the Chosen People 
into all the kingdoms of the earth, and their con- 
tinued existence as a nation, notwithstanding every 
attempt to exterminate them or to compel them to 
forsake those ordinances which distinguish them to 
this very day from all other nations, is emphatically 
one of the strongest evidences we can have of the 
truth of the Bible. Jerusalem was indeed once 
a great city, and the Temple magnifical; but the 
Jews themselves were greater than either; hence^ 
while the two former have been given over to spolia- 
tion, the latter have been wonderfully, miraculously 
preserved. The annals of the world do not contain 
anything so remarkable in human experience, so 
greatly sui*passing human power and human pre- 
science. Exiled and dispersed, reviled and persecuted, 
oppressed and suffering, often denied the commonest 
rights of humanity, and still more often made the 
victim of ruthless fanaticism and bigoted prejudice, 
the Jews are divinely preserved for a purpose worthy 

of a God 1 

St. Jerome^ 4th cent. 



186 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



ISRAEL AND THE NATIONS ^ 

'T'HE Jew has made a marvellous fight in this 
^ worlds in all the ages ; and has done it with his 
hands tied behind him. The Egyptian^ the Baby- 
lonian, and the Persian rose^ filled the planet with 
sound and splendour^ then faded to dream-stuff and 
passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed^ 
and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other 
peoples have sprung up and held their torch high 
for a time, but it burned out^ and they sit in twilight 
now, or have vanished. j^The Jew saw them all, beat 
them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting 
no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of 
his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his 
alert and aggressive mind. I 

Mark Twain, 1898. 

^ From The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg (London : Cliatto & 
Windus). 



IV 

THE VOICE OF PKAYER 

(THE JEWISH YEAR) 



188 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



TT OW precious is Thy loving-kindness , God, and 

^ "^ the childre7i of men take refuge under the shadow 

of Thy wings. For with Thee is the fountain of life ; 

in Thy light do we see light* 

Psalm 36. 8, lo. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 189 



ON PRAYER AND PRAISE 

'T'HERE is an old story, invented by the sages and 
•*■ handed down by memory from age to age. They 
say, when God had finished the world. He asked one 
of the angels if aught were wanting on land or on 
sea, in air or in heaven. The angel answered that 
all was perfect; one thing only he desired — speech, 
to praise God's works, or recount them, which would 
be their praise. And the Father approved the angel's 
words, ai^d not long afterwards appeared the race, 
gifted with the muses and with song. This is the 
ancient story, and in consonance with its spirit I say : 
' It is God's peculiar work to benefit, and His creatures' 
work to give Him thanks '. 

Philo Judaeus, 1st cent. 



T 



HERE are halls in the heavens above that open 
but to the voice of song. 

ZOHAB. 



190 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



ON MORNING SERVICE 

f ET man strengthen himself like a lion and arise in 
*— ' the early morn to render service to his Creator; 
as David said, ' I will awake the dawn ' (Psalm 57. 9). 

Commentary : Strengthen him%elf. — The root-idea of 
such strengthening is to prepare himself to resist 
temptations and evil desires which during this day 
may assail him : as it is said, ' Who is strong ? He 
that subdues his passions.' Like a lion. — As a lion is 
the most fearless of animals, so shall he likewise, in 
the performance of his duties, fear nothing^ but rely 
firmly on his God, 

Gloss: ^I have set the Lord always before me' 
(Psalm 16. 8) : This is a leading principle in Religion, 
and in the upward strivings of the righteous who 
walk ever in the presence of God. For a man's mode 
of life, his demeanour and his deeds, his speech and 
his movements, when alone in the house or in the 
intimate circle of his family and friends, are unlike 
those which he would exhibit when in the presence of 
a great king. And how much mor^ considered will 
his demeanour be, if he reflect that there stands over 
him the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He; 
whose glory fills the whole earth, watching his 
conduct and surveying his deeds ; even as it is 
written : * Can any hide himself in secret places that 
I shall not see him?' saith the Lord (Jeremiah 
23. 34). Such contemplation must perforce imbue 
him with a true sense of reverence and humility, 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 191 

prompted by a feeling of unworthiness, before the 
Holy Name ; and he will be heedless of whoever may 
mock at him because of his devotions. 

Shulchan Aruch, 1,§i. 
{Trans. A. Feldman.) 



AT THE DAWN I SEEK THEE 

AT the dawn I seek Thee, 
*^ Refuge, Rock sublime ; 
Set my prayer before Thee in the morning, 
And my prayer at eventime. 

I before Thy greatness 

Stand and am afraid : 
All my secret thoughts Thine eye beholdeth 

Deep within my bosom laid. 

And, withal, what is it 

Heart and tongue can do ? 
What is this my strength, and what is even 

This, the spirit in me, too ? 

But, indeed, man's singing 

May seem good to Thee ; 
So I praise Thee, singing, while there dwelleth 

Yet the breath of God in me. 

Solomon ibn Gabirol, 1060. 
{Trans, ^ina Salaman.) 



192 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

MORNING PRAYERS 

MAY it be Thy will, O God, that I walk in Thy 
law, and cleave to Thy commandments. Lead 
me not into sin or temptation or contempt. Let not 
evil desire rule over me. Bend my will to Thine. 
Keep me from sinful men and worthless companions. 
Help me to cling to the good, and give me grace in 
Thy sight and in the sight of those about me. Amen. 

Daily Prayer Book. 



OGOD, I stand before Thee, knowing all my 
deficiencies, and overwhelmed by Thy greatness 
and majesty. But Thou hast commanded me to pray 
to Thee, and hast suffered me to offer homage to 
Thine exalted Name according to the measure of my 
knowledge, and to lay my supplication before Thee. 
Thou knowest best what is for my good. If I recite 
my wants, it is not to remind Thee of them, but 
only so that I may understand better how great is 
my dependence upon Thee. If, then, I ask Thee 
for the things that make not for my well-being, it 
is because I am ignorant ; Thy choice is better than 
mine, and I submit myself to Thine unalterable 
decrees and Thy supreme direction. 'O Lord, my 
heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither 
do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things 
too wonderful for me. Surely I have stilled and 
quieted my soul ; like a child with his mother, my 
soul is with me like a weaned child ^ (Psalm 131). 

Bachya ibn Pakudah, 1040. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 193 



ADON OLAMi 
I 

THE charm of the Adon Olam consists in the 
subtle manner in which Jewish dogmatics are 
associated with the simplest spiritual thoughts. In 
the first four lines we have a picture of God, the 
eternal Lord, existing before the creation of the world, 
existing still when the world shall cease to be. 
Between the eternal past and the eternal future comes 
the world of time. This is purely Jewish dogmatics. 
Aristotle held that the world was eternal; Judaism, 
that it was created. It is God alone who is eternal. 
Further, Judaism conceives of God as Something 
apart from, outside of. His world. He transcends 
man and the universe. Yet God is also immanent ; 
He dwells within the human soul as well as within 
the world. God is not one with man, but akin to 
man; He is high above the world, yet nigh unto 
them that call upon Him. The God who exists for 
ever is proclaimed King when men acknowledge His 
Kingship and show Him the allegiance of worship 
and obedience. The God who stands high above 
creation is the One into whose hand man commits 
himself without fear. The Majestic King is also the 
Redeemer. The transcendent God is a Refuge in 
man's distress. He does not merely raise a banner, 
He is the Banner; He does not only hold out the 
cup of salvation. He is the consummate Cup. 

I. Abrahams, 1906. 

^ Authorized Prayer Book, p. S. 



194 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



II 

BEFORE the glorious orbs of light 
Had shed one blissful ray, 
In awful power, the Lord of might 
Reign'd in eternal day. 

At His creative, holy word 

The voice of nature spoke. 
Unnumbered worlds with one accord 

To living joys awoke. 

Then was proclaimed the mighty King 

In majesty on high I 
Then did the holy creatures sing 

His praises through the sky. 

AU-mercifiil in strength He reigns 

Immutable! supreme 1 
His hand the universe sustains, 

He only can redeem. 

Almighty, powerful and just ! 

Thou art my God, my Friend, 
My rock, my refuge and my trust. 

On Thee my hopes depend. 

O ! be my guardian whilst I sleep, 
For Thou didst lend me breath : 

And when I wake, my spirit keep. 
And save my soul in death. 

D. N. Carvalho, 1830, 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 195 



ADON OLAM AND MODERN SCIENCE 

ALONE of all religious and philosophic conceptions 
*^ of man^ the faith which binds together the Jews 
has not been harmed by the advance of research, bat, 
on the contrary, has been vindicated in its prof oundest 
tenets. Slowly and by degrees Science is being 
brought to recognize in the universe the existence of 
One Power, which is of no beginning and no end; 
which has existed before all things were formed, and 
will remain in its integrity when all is gone; the 
Source and Origin of all, in Itself beyond any concept 
tion or image that man can form and set up before 
his eye or mind; whereas all things perceivable as 
matter and force are subjected to his inquiry and 
designs. This sum total of the scientific discoveries 
of all lands and times is an approach of the world's 
thought to our Adon 01am, the sublime chant, by 
means of which the Jew has wrought and will further 
work the most momentous changes in the world. 

W. M. Hafjkine, 1&16. 



H 2 



196 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE SHEMA 

' If EAR, O Israel J the Lord is our God, the Lord 
^ ^ is one/ That is at once the quintessential 
embodiment of all our philosophy, as well as chief 
among Israelis contributions to the everlasting truths 
of religion. The first prayer of innocent child-lips, 
the last confession of the dying, the Shema has been 
the watchword and the rallying-cry of a hundred 
generations in Israel. By it were they welded into 
one Brotherhood to do the will of their Father who 
is in heaven. The reading of the Shema has — in 
rabbinic phrase — clothed Israel with invincible lion- 
strength, and endowed him with the double-edged 
sword of the spirit against the unutterable terrors 

of his long night of exile. 

J. H. Hertz, 1912. 



\ Y/HEN men in prayer declare the Unity of the 
^^ Holy Name in love and reverence, the walls of 
earth's darkness are cleft in twain, and the Face 
of the Heavenly King is revealed, lighting up the 
universe. 

ZOHAB. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 197 

T T : T v: 

'THE SOUL THOU HAST GIVEN ME 

IS PURE' 

K TEXT to God's unity, the most essential and 
*' ^ characteristic doctrine of Judaism is that con- 
cerning God's relation to man. Heathenism degraded 
man by making him kneel before brutes and the 
works of his hand: Judaism declared man to be 
made in the image of God, the crown and culmination 
of God's creation, the appointed ruler of the earth. 
In him, as the end of Creation, the earthly and the 
divine are singularly blended. 

Judaism rejects the idea of an inherent impurity 
in the flesh or in matter as opposed to the spirit. 
Nor does Judaism accept the doctrine of Original Sin. 
In the words of the daily morning prayer, ^ The 
soul that. Thou hast given me is pure, Thou hast 
created it. Thou hast fashioned it, and Thou 
hast breathed it into me, and Thou preservest it 
within me, and at the appointed time Thou wilt take 
it from me to return it within me in the future '. 

K. KOHLER, 1904, 
in Jewish Encyclopedia. 



198 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE ' MERIT OP THE FATHERS ' . 

JUDAISM insists that man has an inborn impulse 
to virtue ('Original Virtue') which can overcome 
all temptation to sin; an impulse immeasurably 
strengthened through the merit of the fathers [Zechuih 
Aboth) which is accounted unto their children as 
righteousness. That man is best able to advance on 
the road to moral perfection who starts with the 
accumulated spiritual heritage of righteous ancestors* 

S. Levy, 1905. 

"T'HE old Jewish doctrine of the 'merit of the 
^ fathers' has a counterpart — the idea that the 
righteousness of the living child favoumbly affects 
the fate of the dead father. This might be caviled 
the doctrine of the ' merit of the children *. In this 
way the living and the dead hold converse. The real 
messageof the dead is — their virtue. The real response 
of the living is again — their virtue. Thus is a bridge 
built over the chasm of the tomb. Thus do the 
hearts of fathers and children beat in eternal unison. 

I. Abrahams^ 1919. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 199 



THE KADDISH 

T TS origin is mysterious ; aDgels are said to have 
* brought it down from heaven and taught it to 
men. About this prayer the tenderest threads of 
filial feeling and human recollection are entwined ; 
for it is the prayer of the orphans ! When the 
father or the mother dies^ the surviving sons are to 
recite it twice daily, morning and evening, throughout 
the year of mourning, and then also on each recurring 
anniversary of the death — on the Yahrzeit. 

It possesses wonderful power. Truly, if there is 
any bond strong and indissoluble enoagh to chain 
heaven to earth, it is this prayer. It keeps the living 
together, and forms the bridge to the mysterious 
realm of the dead. One might almost say that this 
prayer is the watchman and the guardian of the 
people by whom alone it is uttered; therein lies 
the warrant of its continuance. Can a people disap* 
pear and be annihilated so long as a child remembers 
its parents ? It may sound strange : in the midst of 
the wildest dissipation has this prayer recalled to his 
better self many a dissolute character, so that he has 
bethought himself and for a time at least purified 
himself by honouring the memory of his parents. 

Because this prayer is a resurrection in the spirit 
of the perishable in man, because it does not acknow- 
ledge death, because it permits the blossom which. 



200 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

withered^ has fallen from the tree of mankind to 
flower and develop again in the human hearty 
therefore it possesses sanctifying power. To know 
that when thou diest^ the earth falling on thy head 
will not cover thee entirely; to know that there 
remain behind^ those who, wherever they may be on 
this wide earth, whether they may be poor or rich, 
will send this prayer after thee ; to know that thou 
leavest them no house, no estate, no field by which 
they must remember thee, and that yet, they will 
cherish thy memory as their dearest inheritance — 
what more satisfying knowledge canst thou ever hope 
for? And such is the knowledge bequeathed to us 
all by the Kaddish. 

L. KOMPERT. 



TPHE souls of the righteous are in the hand of 
*• God, and no torment shall touch them. They 
are in peace. Their hope is full of immortality. 

Wisdom of Solomon 3. i, 3, 4. 



AND they that be wise shall shine as the brightness 
*^ of the firmament ; and they that turn many to 
righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 

Daniel 12. 3. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 201 

THE HOLINESS OP HOME 

IT is impossible to describe to those who have not 
experieDced it, the feeling of holy joy which is 
diffused throughout the humblest Hebrew home by 
the solemn repetition of acts which in themselves 
may be regarded as mere customs, without vital con- 
nexion with the souls of men. And the particular 
institution in which it is embodied most characteristi- 
cally is that of the Sabbath. I do not know how it 
has come about that a ' Judaic Sabbath ' meatls a day 
of austere gloom. As a matter of fact, it is the one 
bright spot in the Jewish life. All is joy and good- 
humour in the Jewish home on the Friday night, 
when Sabbath ' comes in \ I would attribute a good 
deal of the difference between the Jewish and the 
Christian Sabbath to the seemingly mechanical 
difference that the former begins and ends at an 
hour when its advent or exit can be solemnized by 
ceremonial. It is, indeed, to the Sabbath primarily^ 
and the other home ceremonials which embody the 
Hebraic conception of the Holiness of the Home, that 
we can trace the remarkable persistence of the Jewish 
race through the ages. 

Joseph Jacobs, 1889. 



THE patriarchal feeling still lingers about his 
hearth. A man, however fallen, who loves his 
home, is not wholly lost. The trumpet of Sinai still 
sounds in the Hebrew ear. 

Benjamin Disbaeli. 

H3 



202 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



KINDLING THE SABBATH LIGHT 

IT'ROM memory's spring flows a vision to-night, 
* My mother is kindling and Messing the light ; 

The light of Queen Sabbath, the heavenly flame^ 
That one day in seven quells hunger and shame. 

My mother is praying and screening her face, 
Too badhful to gaze at the Sabbath light's grace. 

She murmure devoutly, ' Almighty, be blessed, 
For sending Thy angel of joy and of rest. 

' And may as the candles of Sabbafh divine 
The eyes of my son in Thy Law ever shine.' 

Of childhood, fair childhood, the years are long fled : 
Youth's candles are quenched, and my mother is dead. 

And yet fev'ry Friday, when twilight arrives. 
The face of my mother within me revives ; 

A prayer on her lips, ' Almighty, be blessed^ 
For sending us Sabbath, the angel of rest/ 

And some hidden feeling I cannot control 

A Sabbath light kindles deep, deep in my soul. 

P. M. Raskin. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 203 



T i 

COME, my beloved, with chorusing praise, 
Welcome the Sabbath Bride, Queen of the days. 

Sabbath, to welcome thee, joyous we haste ; 
Fountain of blessing from ever thou wast. 
First in God^s planning, though fashioned the last — 
Crown of His handiwork, chiefest of days. 

City of holiness, filled are the years ; 
Up from thine overthrow ! Forth from thy fears I 
Long hast thou dwelt in the valley of tears. 
Now shall God's tenderness shepherd thy ways. 

Wake and bestir thee, for come is thy light ! 
Up ! With thy shining the world shall be bright. 
Sing ! For thy LorJ is revealed in His might — 
Thine is the splendour His glory displays ! 

Solomon Halevi Alkabetz, 16th cent. 
{Trans. & Solis-Co/ien.) 



FAR more than Israel has kept the Sabbath^ it is 
the Sabbath that has kept Israel. 

AcHAD Ha^am, 1898. 



204 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



SABBA.TH PRAYEE 

BLESSED be the name of the Sovereign of the uni- 
verse. Blessed be Thy crown and Thy abiding- 
place. Let Thy favour rest with Thy people Israel 
for ever: show them the redemption of Thy right 
hand in Thy holy temple. Vouchsafe unto us the 
benign gift of Thy light, and in mercy accept our 
supplications. May it be Thy will to prolong our 
life in well-being. Let me also be numbered among 
the righteous, so that Thou mayest be merciful unto 
me, and have me in Thy keeping, with all that belong 
to me and to Thy people Israel. Thou art He that 
f eedetli and sustaineth all ; Thou art He that iiileth 
over allj Thou art He that ruleth over kings, for 
dominion is Thine. I am the servant of the Holy 
One, blessed be He, before whom and before whose 
glorious Law I prostrate myself at all times ; not in 
man do I put my trust, nor upon any angel do I rely, 
but upon the God of Heaven, who is the God of 
truth, and whose Law is truth, and whose prophets 
are prophets of truth, and who aboundeth in deeds 
of goodness and truth. In Him I put my trust, and 
unto His holy and glorious name I utter praises. 
May it be Thy will to open my heart unto Thy Law, 
and to fulfil the wishes of my heart and of the hearts 
of all Thy people Ismel for good, for life, and for 
peace. 

ZOHAR. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 205 

THE SABBATH 

NOT for us the Sabbath of the quiet streets^ 
Sabbath^ peaceful o'er the world outspread, 
Pelt where every man his neighbour greets, 
Heard in hush of many a slowly passing tread. 

Not the robe of silence for our holy day : 
Noisy run the worker and the player; 

Toil and stir and laughter of the way. 

Surge around the steps that seek a place of prayer. 

Silent we, while through the. thronging street and 
mart 

Work-day clamour of the city rolls : 
Cloistered inly, from the world apart, 

Ours it is to bear the Sabbath in our souls. 

Nina Salaman, 1918. 

PRAYER BEFORE THE NEW MOON 

MAY it be Thy will, O Lord ouV God and the 
God of our fathers, to renew unto us this 
coming month for good and for blessing. O grant 
us long life, a life of blessing, of sustenance, of bodily 
vigour, a life marked by the fear of Heaven and the 
dread of sin, a life free from shame and reproach; 
a life in which the desires of our heart shall be 
fulfilled for good. 

May the Holy One, blessed be He, renew it unto 
us and unto all His people, the house of Israel, for 
life and peace, for gladness and joy, for salvation and 
consolation ; and let us ^ay, Amen« 

Daily Peayer Book. 



206 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE SEDER 1 

FAIR is the twilight, 
And fragrant and still : 
Little by little 
The synagogues fill. 

One by one kindle 
The night^s gleaming eyes ; 
Candles in windows 
And stars in the skies. 

Ended in Skool is 
The service divine ; 
Seder is started 
With legends and wine. 

Father is blessing 
The night of all nights; 
All who are hungry 
To feast he invites. 

' All who are homeless 
Yet masters shall be, 
Slaves who are this year — 
The next shall be free ! ' 

Children ask * questions ', 
And father replies ; 
Playfully sparkle 
The wine and the eyes. 

Hymns of redemption 
All merrily sing; 
Queen is each mother^ 
Each father a king. 

* From Smgs qfa Jew (London : Geo. Routledge k Sons). 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 207 

Midnight. The Seder 
Is come to an end ; 
Guardian angels 
From heaven descend. 

Each one a message 
Of liberty brings ; 
Scattering blessings 
Of peace from his wings. 

P. M. Raskin. 



ISRAEL'S WATCH-NIGHT 

ISRAEL'S great watch-night dates its origin from 
the very Deliverance it was to commemorate 
through all the coming years. Ah ! With what 
a delirious impatience did Pharaoh's slaves await the 
midnight hour that was to be at once the knell 
of Egypt's tyranny and the joy-note that announced 
their own freedom I God Himself had singled it 
out as the time for fulfilling His ancient promise— « 
singled it out^ as the Rabbins tell us in hyperbolical 
language^ from the days of creation itself. Too 
long had unrighteousness flourished. Too long had 
God seemed to slumber in His Heaven; but now 
He was to show that the cry of the oppressed had 
never failed to reach Him^ for accumulated wrongs 
were to be redressed by a complete and unpamlleled 
deliverance. It was for so signal a vindication of the 
Divine justice that this night was reserved. It was 



208 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

as though the Supreme had set His finger upon this 
nighty in the almanac of Heaven^ and declared : This 
shal] witness the long-deferred triumph of Right over 
Might; this shall tell for all time that I am the 
Lord, that I reign> and that righteousness and justice 
are the foundation of My throne^ the principles on 
which I govern My world. This night shall show to 
all coming generations that it is only the fool who 
says in his heart * There is no God * ; that the earthly 
despot who pursues his career of cruelty^ thinking 
that he has only his victims' tears to reckon with^ is 
deluding himself to his own ruin. 

And is this truth not worth treasuring in these 
latter days ? Often does God seem to hide Himself^ 
to have deserted earth and shut Himself up in Heaven. 
It is the souls of the meek and the faithful from which 
humanity's tears are distilled^ from which the painful 
chorus of a world's lament goes up, and seemingly up 
in vain. But the lesson taught to Pharaoh and to Israel 
on that awful^ that joyous night of deliverance^ is 
still a living lesson ; not one jot of its force is abated. 
God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He watches ever. 
Not one sigh passes unrecorded in the Heavenly 
Volume. 

Morris Joseph^ 1893. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 209 



PASSOVER AND FREEDOM 

rtASSOVER is the Festival of Spring. Its human 
^ appeal^ therefore^ is as old as humanity^ and as 
perennial as Spring. But it is as an historical festival 
— Israel's birthday — as the annual commemoration of 
an event which has changed the destinies of mankind^ 
that it proclaims the man-redeeming truths God is 
the God of Freedom. Even as in Egypt He espoused 
the cause of brick-making helots against the mighty 
royal oppressor, He for ever judgeth the world in 
righteousness, and the peoples with equity. There is 
an overruling Providence that exalts righteousness 
and freedom and humbles the Dominion of iniquity 
and oppression. This teaching has been as a light 
unto the nations of the Western world in their weary, 
age-long wai'fare for liberty, 

J. H. Hertz, 1918. 



nPHE Passover affirms the great truth that liberty 
^ is the inalienable right of every human being. 
The Feast of Israel's freedom, its celebration is IsraePs 
homage to the great principle of human freedom. 

Morris Joseph, 1903. 



210 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



'ADDIR HU' 

GOD of Might, 
God of Right, 
Thee we give all glory. 
Thine the praise 
In our days 

As in ages hoary. 

When we hear, 
Year hy year, 

Our redemption's story. 
Now as erst. 
When Thou first 

Mad^st the proclamation. 

Warning loud 
Ev'ry proud, 

Ev^ry tyrant nation. 
We Thy fame 
Still proclaim, 

God of our salvation. 

G. GOTTHEIL, 



WHEN the Egyptian hosts were drowning in the 
Red Sea, the angels in heaven \^ere about 
to break forth in songs of jubilation. But the Holy 
One, blessed be He, silenced them with the words: 
*My creatures are perishing, and ye are ready to 
sing ! ' 

Talmud. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 211 



THE FEAST OF WEEKS 

POR ever, O Lord, 

* . Thy word is settled in heaven. 

Thy faithfulness is unto all generations : 

Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 

They abide this day according to Thine ordinances ; 

For all things are Thy servants. 

Unless Thy law had been my delight, 

I should then have perished in mine affliction. 

I have seen an end of all perfection ; 

But Thy commandment is exceeding broad. 

Thy commandments make me wiser than mine 

enemies ; 
For they are ever with me. 

I have more understanding than all my teachers ; 
For Thy testimonies are my meditation. 
I understand more than the aged, 
Because I have kept Thy precepts. 
I have refrained my feet from every evil way. 
That I might observe Thy word. 
I have not turned aside from Thy judgements ; 
For Thou hast taught me. 

Psalm 119. 90—3,96, 98-102. 



212 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

A SELF-DENYING GUILD 

T S there not something spiritually attractive in the 
* idea of the Jew of this age voluntarily submitting 
to restrictions on his appetites for the sake of duty — 
forming one of a religious guild whose special charac- 
teristic is self-control ? It ought to be the pride of 
the modern Jew — ^and every child should be taught 
to feel it— ^that his religion demands from him a self- 
abnegation from which other religionists are absolved ; 
that the price to be paid for the privilege of belonging 
to the hierarchy of Israel is continuous and conscious 
self-sacrifice. 

The Dietary Laws foster this spirit of self-surrender. 
Respect for them teaches and helps the Jew, in 
Rabbinic language, to abase his desires before the 

will of his Father in Heaven. 

Motfuis Joseph, 1893. 



YY/ITH everlasting love Thou hast loved the house 
^^ of Israel, Thy people; a Law and command- 
ments, statutes and judgements, hast Thou taught us. 
Therefore, O Lord our God, when we lie down and 
when we rise up we will meditate on Thy statutes ; 
yea, we will rejoice in the words of Thy Law and in 
Thy commandments for ever; for they are our life 

and the length of our days. 

Daily Prayer Book. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 218 

COULD we with ink the ocean fill. 
Were every blade of grass a quill, 
Were the world of parchment made, 
And every man a scribe by tmde, 

To write the love ' 

Of God above 
Would drain that ocean dry ; 

Nor would the scroll 

Contain the whole. 
Though stretched from sky to sky ! 

Meir ben Isaac Nehohai, 1050. 



THE BIBLE 

IS it a book, a world, a heaven ? 
Are those words, or flames, or shining stars. 
Or burning torches, or clouds of fire 
What is it, I ask ye — the Bible ? 

Who inspired those infinite truths ? 
Who spoke through the mouth of the prophet ? 
Who mapped out the highways of ages. 
The glorious lines of the Scriptures ? 

Who planted the flowers of wisdom 
In this sacred soil of the angels ? 
O dream of eternity — ^Bible — 
O Light that is all and for ever. 

MOUEIS BOSENFELD, 1918, 



214 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

THE SEPHER TOBAH » 

r'OR any community of people to be, and to re- 
'^ main, Jewish, they must be brought up from 
their tenderest childhood to regard the Sepher Torah 
as the title-deed of their birthright and pedigree, 
which they are religiously to hand down unaltered 
from generation to generation. For is there a Jewish^ 
community anywhere, however safely domiciled, 
which has relinquished the Torah for even one genera* 
tion and has survived that separation ? The Jewish 
masses, though dispersed to the four winds of the 
world and mostly destitute of mere shelter — because 
tenacious of their creed^ endure, true to themselves and 
to their past. 

The Torah, therefore, is a fountain of life. In it 
is protection greater than in fortresses. Those who 
forsake the Torah, bringing it into disrepute and 
weakening the hold it has on us, are working at the 
destruction of the brotherhood that cradled and 
sheltered their fathers and forefathers through all 
the vicissitudes of the bygone ages, to whom they 
owe their own life and presence on earth. 

W. M, Haffkine, 1917. 

^ Scroll of the Law. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 215 



RELIGION AND MORALITY 

' I AM the Lord thy God' — ^the pronouncement that 
* forms the introduction to the Decalogue — is 
rightly regarded as the indispensable basis for all the 
Commandments, upon whose conscientious fulfilment 
the well-being of humanity depends. The identifica- 
tion of moral laws with religious precepts, which has 
been so fully accomplished for the first time in the 
Law of Moses, gives to the Bible its exceptional 
importance as a regulator of the conduct of men and 
of nations. Those who are convinced that by wronging 
their fellow-men, or transgressing any of the established 
laws, they violate a command that comes from God, 
and defy the will of their Maker as expressed in His 
law, are much less liable to wrongdoing than those 
who create their own ethical theories and set up their 
own standards of right and wrong, relying upon their 
conscience and sense of honour as infallible guides. 
To some it seems a kind of humiliation if a super- 
human authority is pointed to as the indispensable 
guide of human conduct. But man ought never to 
have assumed such pride as to feel humiliated by the 
idea of his imperfection and his need of guidance and 
restraint. History does not justify this pride. 

Salis Daiches, 1910. 



216 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



SYMBOLS AND CEREMONIES 

YOU have heard that in Egypt the waters of the 
Nile overflowing its banks^ take the place of rain ; 
and that these fructifying waters are led by various 
channels into the remote fields to inigate them. 
Now, the Nile with its precious floods would be of no 
benefit to the fields without these channels. Thus it 
is with the Torah and the Mitzvoth.^ The Torah is 
the mighty stream of spirituality flowing since ancient 
times through Ismel. It would have caused no useful 
fruits to grow, and would have produced no spiritual 
progress, no moral advancement, had the Mitzvah not 
been there to lead its divine floods into the houses, the 
hearts, and the minds of the individual members 
of the people, by connecting practical life in all its 
variety and its activities with the spiritual truths of 
religion. 

It is the greatest mistake, based on an entire 
misunderstanding of human nature, to assume that 
men are capable of living in a world of ideas only, 
and can dispense with symbols that should embody 
these ideas and give them tangibility and visible form. 
Only the Mitzvah is the ladder connecting heaven 
and earth. The Tefillin, containing among others 
the commandment: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all 
thy might \ are laid on the head, the seat of thought; 
and on the arm, the instrument of action, opposite to 
the heart, the seat of feeling ; thus teaching that all 

1 Plural of Mitsvah, a ritual precept i)r ceremonial law. Uitzwxh 
bIso means * a good deed '. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 217 

our thoughts^ feelings^ and actions must conform to the 
will of Ood. This Mitzvah^ performed daily^ has 
contributed more elEectively to preserve and to further 
the morality of our people than have all the learned 
books on ethics written by our religious philosophers. 

M. Jung, 1917. 



CUSTOM IN RELIGION 

D ELIGION, they say, is only custom. I might 
* ^ agree with this if the ' only ' were left out. 
Customs are the flowers of civilization. You can tell 
a man's education, yea, even much of his character, 
by his habits. Morality, ethics, are words derived 
from roots denoting that which is acknowledged and 
adopted by the people as right and proper. Manners 
and usages are the silent compact, the unwritten law 
which preserve the proprieties of civilized society. 

Religion will not come to our aid the moment 
we call for her ; she must be loved and cherished at 
all times if she is to prove our true friend in need. 
Much of the present indifference of our young people 
is directly traceable to the absence of all religious 
observances in their homes. Piety is the fruit of 
religious customs. 

G. GOTTHEIL, 1896. 



218 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



' IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TIMES ' 

YY/AS Judaism ever 'in accordance with the times'? 
^^ Did Judaism ever correspond with the views of 
dominant contemporaries? Was it ever convenient 
to be a Jew or a Jewess ? 

Was the Judaism of our ancestors in accordance 
with the times^ when compelled by the Egyptians to 
bend their necks during centuries under the yoke of 
slavery and to suffer their babes to be buried in the 
waves of the Nile ? Was the Judaism of the Mac- 
cabees in accordance with their times, when they 
resisted to the utmost the introduction of Grecian 
manners prevailing in their days ? When the Temple 
at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the 
sons of Judah were slaughtered^ sold in slave markets^ 
cast before wild beasts or scattered through every 
country then known; when Worldly Wisdom would 
have taught, ' Now it is certainly impossible for us to 
remain Jews' — did not the Hillels^ and tBe son of 
Zakkai ' teach yet more earnestly the holiness of our 
laws and our customs, and so order and regelate things 
that not a fibre might be lost from the ancestral 
sanctuary? Was that Judaism in accordance with 

1 See p. 290. 

' Johanan ben Zakkai, pupil of Hillel and leader of Israel 
after the Destruction of Jerusalem (70 C.E.)* He rescued 
Judaism by founding the Academy at Yabneh. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 219 

the times^ for which, during the centuries following the 
Dispersion^ our fathers suffered in all lands^ through 
all the various periods, the most degrading oppression^ 
the most biting contempt, and a thousand-fold death 
and persecution ? 

And yet we would make it the aim and scope of 
Judaism to be always ^ in accordance with the times ^ ! 

Samson Raphael Hirsch^ 1854. 
{Trans, Isaac Leeser.) 



FAITH 

TV/HILE faith and reason are blended in the 
^^ religion of Israel as perhaps in no other, it is 
not the second place that must be assigned to faith. 
From the foot of Sinai there is wafted to us the 
voice declaring with the most perfect childlike faith, 
' All that the Lord hath spoken we will do and we will 
hear \ It is not surprising that a people who, in their 
infancy, could give utterance to an expression of tmst 
so childlike, yet so sublime, should produce a prophet 
who summed up the whole of Israelis law in the 
words, ' Theju^t shall live by his faith \ 

Simeon Singer, 1906. 



220 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



I _. . . _. I . 



ODE TO ZION 
(Hymn for the Past of Ab) 

A RT thou not, Zion, fain 

*^ To send forth greetings from thy sacred rock 

Unto thy captive train, 

Who greet thee as the remnants of thy flock ? 

Take Thou on every side, 

East, west and south and north, their greetings 
multiplied. 

Sadly he greets thee still. 

The prisoner of hope who, day and night, 

Sheds ceaseless tears, like dew on Hermon^s hill. 

Would that they fell upon thy mountain's height 1 

Harsh is my voice when I bewail thy woes. 

But when in fancy's dreams 

I see thy freedom, forth its cadence flows. 

Sweet as the harps that hung by Babel's streams. 

The glory of the Lord will ever be 

Thy sole and perfect light ; 

No need hast thou then, to illumine thee 

Of sun by day, or moon and stars by night. 

I would that, where God's spirit was of yore 

Poured out unto thy holy ones, I might 

There too my soul outpour. 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 221 

Oh^ who will lead me on 

To seek the spots where^ in far distant years^ 

The angels in their glory dawned upon 

Thy messengers and seers ! 

Oh, who will give me wings 

That I may fly away, 

And there, at rest from all my wanderings, 

The ruins of my heart among thy ruins lay ? 

1^11 bend my face unto thy soil, and hold 

Thy stones as special gold. 

And when in Hebron I have stood beside 

My fathers' tombs, then will I pass in turn 

Thy plains and forest wide. 

Until I stand on Gilead and discern 

Mount Hor and Mount Abarim, 'neath whose crest 

Thy luminaries twain, thy guides and beacons rest. 

Thy air is life unto my soul, thy grains 

Of dust are myrrh, thy streams with honey flow 

Naked and barefoot to thy ruined fanes 

How gladly would I go ! 

To where the ark was treasured, and in dim 

Recesses dwelt the holy cherubim. 

Perfect in beauty, Zion, how in thee 

Do love and grace unite ! 

The souls of thy companions tenderly 



222 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Tura unto thee ; thy joy was their delight, 

And weeping they lament thy rain now. 

In distant exile, for thy sacred height 

They long, and towards thy gates in prayer they how. 

Shinar and Pathros ! come they near to thee ? 

Naught are they hy thy light and right divine. 

To what can be compared the majesty 

Of thy anointed line ? 

To what the singers, seers, and Levites thine ? 

The rule of idols fails and is cast down ; 

Thy power eternal is, from age to age thy crown. 

The Lord desires thee for His dwelling-place 

Eternally, and bless'd 

Is he whom God has chosen for the grace 

Within thy courts to rest. 

Happy is he that watches, drawing near. 

Until he sees thy glorious lights arise. 

And over whom thy dawn breaks full and clear. 

Set in the Orient skies. 

But happiest he, who, with exultant eyes. 

The bliss of thy redeemed ones shall behold. 

And see thy youth renewed as in the days of old. 

Yehudah Hale VI, 1145. 
{l)ram. Alice Lucas) 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 223 



THE ETERNAL CITY OP THE ETERNAL 

PEOPLE 

JERUSALEM, the hearth of pure religion, the 
home of prophecy, the sacred fountain of the word 
of God, is the very emblem of the deathlessness of 
the spirit. With its 4,000 years* history it is coeval 
with the Jew, and is as unique among cities as is 
Israel among the nations. Like the Jew, this Holy 
City of Israel — the spiritual capital of humanity that 
hafi for ages been the magnetic pole of the love and 
reverence of mankind — is deathless; fire and sword 
and all the engines of destruction have been hurled 
against it in vain. A score of conquerors have held 
it as their choicest prize; and more than a dozen 
times has it been utterly destroyed. The Assyrians 
burnt it and deported its population; the Romans 
slew a million of its inhabitants, razed it to the 
ground, passed the ploughshare over it, and strewed 
its furrows with salt; Hadrian banished its very 
name from the lips of men, changed it to 'Aelia 
Capitolina', and prohibited any Jew from entering 
its precincts on pain of death. Persians and Arabs, 
Barbarians and Crusaders and Turks, took it and re- 
took it, ravaged it and burnt it ; and yet, marvellous 
to relate, it ever rises from its ashes to renewed life 
and glory. And now, on the very day that 2,080 
years ago Judah Maccabee rescued it from the 
heathens, the Holy City has passed into British 
occupation 1 What a privilege it is to have lived 
to see such a world-historic event ! A new future, 
with undreamt-of possibilities, opens before this 



224 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

eternal city of the eternal people. But in the future, 
as in the past^ it will proclaim the prophetic teaching 
of the Maccahean festival : ' Not by mighty nor by 
power y but by My spirit^ saifh the Lord of Hosts \ 

J. H. Hertz, at the Thanksgiving 
Service for the Taking of Jerusalem 
by IL M. Forces y 1917. 



ARISE, shine, for thy light is come 
** And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 

Lift up thine eyes round about, and see : 

They all are gathered together, and come to thee ; 

Thy sons come from far. 

And thy daughters are borne on the side. 

Then thou shalt see and be radiant. 

And thy heart shall throb and be enlarged. 

Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, 
So that no man passed through thee, 
I will make thee an eternal excellency, 
A joy of many generations. 

Thy sun shall no more go down. 
Neither shall thy moon withdraw itself. 
For the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, 
And the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 

Isaiah 60. i^ 4-5, 15, ao. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 325 



T T - 

NEW YEAR 

INTO the tomb of ages past 
* Another year hath now been east ; 
Shall time unheeded take its flight, 
Nor leave one ray of higher light 
That on man's pilgrimage may shine 
And lead his soul to spheres divine ? 

Ah I which of us, if self -reviewed, 
Can boast unfailing rectitude ? 
Who can declare his waywai*d will 
More prone to righteous deed than ill ? 
Or, in his retrospect of life. 
No traces find of passion^s strife ? 

With firm resolve your bosoms nerve 
The God of right alone to serve ; 
Speech, thought, and act to regulate 
By what His perfect laws dictate ; 
Nor from His holy precepts stray. 
By worldly idols lured away. 

Peace to the house of Israel : 
May joy within it ever dwell ! 

Penina MoisE, 1838, 



y 



226 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

WRITTEN AND SEALED 

' nnO be iDscribed in the Book of Life/ This must 
X be understood in a spiritual sense. When a man 
clings to the love of God^ and, putting his trust in 
His infinite mercy, takes upon himself the yoke of 
the Kingdom of heaven — he therewith inscribes him- 
self in the Book of Life. Whereas the man, a slave 
to his passions, who so loses his belief in the all- 
embracing love of God that he fails to repent and 
return to his Father in heaven, this despairing of 
the love of God is equivalent to his being inscribed — 
God forbid — in the Book of Death. 

ISBAEL BaALSHEM, 1700. 

IN a higher than their literal sense the words of the 
liturgy are true. Our destiny — our spiritual destiny 
— is written down on New Year's Day, and sealed 
on the Day of Atonement. We write it down in the 
penitence with which we greet the dawn of the year, 
we seal it with the amendment which we solemnly 
vow on the Fast of Kippur. The time for penitence 
is with us ; the Fast with its supreme task awaits us. 
Let our endeavours to see ourselves as we really are, 
our sorrow for our shortcomings, the unrest of our 
unshriven soul, prepare us for the final act of atone- 
ment. The Day of Atonement shall lead us, with 
hearts bowed in submission, to the Divine throne; 
and God will lovingly lift us up, absolved, forgiven, 
filled with the spirit of faith and loving obedience. 
We shall begin to live at last, to live before Him, to 
live the true life which is inspired by the constant 
thought of His presence. 

Morris Joseph. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 227 

THE SHOPAR 

THE Scriptural injunction of the Shofar for the 
New Year's Day has- a profound meaning. It 
says : Awake, ye sleepers, and ponder your deeds ; 
remember your Creator, and go back to Him in peni- 
tence. Be not of those that miss realities in their 
hunt after shadows, and waste their years in seeking 
after vain things which cannot profit or deliver. 
Look well to your souls and consider your acts; 
forsake each of you his evil ways and thoughts, and 
return to God, so that He may have mercy upon you. 

Moses Maimonides, 1180. 



FOR this commandment which I command thee 
this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it 
far off. It i^ not in heaven that thou shouldst say : 
^ Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto 
us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it ? ' 
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldst say : 
' Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto 
us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it ? ' But 
the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and 
in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 

Deuteronomy 30. 11-14. 



THE Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom 
shall I fear ? The Lord is the stronghold of my 

life ; of whom shall I be afraid ? 

Psalm 27. i. 



I a 



228 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



MY KING 

T^ RE time began, ere age to age had thrilled, 
'-^ I waited in His storehouse, as He willed. 
He gave me being ; but, my years fulfilled, 
I shall be summoned back before the King. 

Thou gayest me a light my path to guide, 
To prove my heart's recesses still untried ; 
And as I went, Thy voice in warning cried : 
' Child ! fear thou Him who is thy God and King ! ' 

Erring, I wandered in the wilderness. 
In passion's grave nigh sinking, powerless ; 
Now deeply I repent, in sore distress. 
That I kept not the statutes of the King ! 

Thine is the love, O God, and Thine the grace 
That folds the sinner in its mild embrace ; 
Thine the forgiveness bridging o'er the space 
'Twixt man's works and the task set by the King. 

Unheeding all my sins, I cling to Thee ! 
I know that mercy will Thy footstool be ; 
Before I call, oh ! do Thou answer me. 
For nothing dare I claim of Thee, my King. 

Moses ben Nachman, 1300. 
{Trana. Alice Lucas,) 



THE VOICE OP PEAYER 229 



THE LORD IS KING, THE LORD WAS KING, 

THE LORD SHALL BE KING FOR 

EVER AND EVERi 

'T'HY people in passionate worship cry 

•■• One to another the Lord is King. 
In awe of the marvels beneath the sky 

Each explains that the Lord was King. 
One sound from Thy pastures ascends on high : 
The chant that the Lord shall be King for ever. 
The Lord u King^ the Lord was King, the Lord shall he 
King for ever and ever. 

The universe throbs with Thy pauseless praise. 

Chorus eternal, the Lord is King. 
Thy glory is cried from the dawn of days, 

Worshippers calling the Lord was King. 
And ever the Saints who shall witness Thy ways 
Shall cry that the Lord shall be King for ever. 
The Lord is King, the Lord was King, the Lord shall he 
King for ever and ever. 

Elbazau Kalik, 8th cent. 
(li'ans, L Zangwill.) 

^ From Service of the Synagogue (Qeorge Routledge & Sons). 



280 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

IF NOT HIGHER 

AND the Rebbe^ of Nemirov, every Friday morning 
*^ early at Sliehes *-time, disappeared^ melted into 
thin air I He was not to be found anywhere, either 
in the synagogue or in the two houses-of-study, or 
worshipping in some Minyan,^ and most certainly not 
at home. His door stood open, people went in and 
out as they pleased — no one ever stole anything from 
the Rebbe — but there was not a soul in the house. 

Where can the Rebbe be ? 

Where should he be, with the Solemn Days so 
near, if not in heaven? Jews need a livelihood, 
peace, health ; they wish to be good and pious, and 
their sins are great, and Satan with his thousand 
eyes spies out the world from one end to the other, 
and he sees, and accuses, and tells tales — and who 
shall help if not the Rebbe ? So thought the people. 

Once, however, there came a Lithuanian — and he 
laughed ! You know the Lithuanian Jews — they 
rather despise books of devotion, but stuff themselves 
with the Talmud and the Codes. And who, I ask 
you, is going to argue with a Litvack ? 

What becomes of the Rebbe ? 

'I don't know, and I don't care', says he, shrugging 
his shoulders, and all the while (what it is to be 
a Lithuanian I) determined to find out ! 

The very same evening, soon after pmyere, the 
Lithuanian steals into the Rebbe's room, lays himself 

^ Term for ^ rabbi ' among the Chassidim or Pietists of Eastern 
Europe. 

^ Penitential Prayers before New Year and Atonement Day. 

' Temporary group of worshippers ; also term for the quorum 
of ten males required for public worship ; see p. 6, last line. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 281 

down under the Rebbe's bed, and lies low. He in- 
tends to stay there all night, to find out where the 
Refobe goes, and what he does at Sliches-time. 

Day has not broken when he hears the call to 
prayer. The Rebbe has been awake some time. The 
Lithuanian has heard him sighing and groaning for 
a whole hour. Whoever has heard the groaning of the 
Nemirover Rebbe knows what sorrow for All-Israel, 
what distress of mind, found voice in every groan. 

After that th^ Lithuanian hears the people rise 
and leave the house. Once more it is quiet and dark, 
only a very little moonlight comes in through the 
shutter* He confessed afterwards, did the Lithua- 
nian, that when he found himself alone with the 
Rebbe, terror took hold of him. But a Lithuanian 
is dogged. He quivers and quakes like a fish, but 
he does not budge. 

At last the Rebbe (long life to him !) rises in his 
turn. He goes to the wardrobe, and takes out a 
packet which proves to be the dress of a peasant: 
linen trousers, high boots, a pelisse, a wide felt hat, 
and a long and broad leather belt studded with brass 
nails. The Rebbe puts them on. 

Out of the pockets of the pelisse dangles the end 
of a thick cord, a peasant^s cord. 

On his way out, the Rebbe steps aside into the 
kitchen, stoops, takes a hatchet from under the bed, 
puts it into his belt, and leaves the house. The 
Lithuanian trembles, but he persists. 

A fearful Solemn Day hush broods over the 
dark streets, broken not infrequently by a cry of 
supplication from some little Minyan, or the moan 



282 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

pf some sick person behind a window. The Bebbe 
keeps to the street side^ and walks in the shadow of 
the houses. He glides from one to the other^ the 
Lithuanian after him. And the Lithuanian hears 
the sound of his own heart-beats mingle with the 
heavy footfall of the Rebbe ; but he follows on, and 
together they emerge from the town. 

Behind the town stands a little wood. The Bebbe 
(long life to him !) enters it. He walks on thirty or 
forty paces^ and then he stops beside a small tree. 
And the Lithuanian^ with amazement, sees the Bebbe 
take his hatchet and strike the tree. He sees the Bebbe 
strike blow after blow, he hears the tree creak and 
snap. And the little tree falls, and the Bebbe splits 
it up into logs, and the logs into splinters. Then he 
makes a bundle, binds it round with the cord, throws 
it on his shoulder, replaces the hatchet in his belt, 
leaves the wood, and goes back into the town. 

In one of the back streets he stops beside a poor, 
tumble-down little house, and taps at the window. 

* Who is there ? ' cries a frightened voice within. 
The Lithuanian knows it to be the voice of a 

Jewess, a sick Jewess. 

' I ^, answers the Bebbe, in the peasant tongue. 

* Who is I ? ' inquires the voice, further. 

And the Bebbe answers again in the Little-Bussiaii 
sj)eech : 

' 'Vassil.' 

' Which Vassil ? And what do you want, Vassil ?^ 

* I have wood to sell *, says the sham peasant, ^ very 
cheap, for next to nothing.' And without further 
ado he goes in. The Lithuanian steals in behind him, 
and sees, in the grey light of dawn, a poor room with 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 233 

poor^ broken furniture. In the bed lies a siek Jewess 
huddled up in rags, who says bitterly : 

' Wood to sell — and where am I, a poor widow, to 
get money to buy it ? ' 

^ I will give you a six-groschen worth on credit/ 

* And how am I ever to repay you ? ' groans the 
poor woman. 

' Foolish creature ! ' the Rebbe upbraids her, ' See 
here : you are a poor sick Jewess, and I am willing to 
trust you with the little bundle of wood ; I believe 
that in time you will repay me. And you, you have 
such a great, mighty God, and you do not trust Him ! 
Not even to the amount of a miserable six groschen 
for a bundle of wood ! ' 

^And who is to light the stove? ^ groans the 
widow. ' Do I look like getting up to do it, and my 
son away at work ? ' 

'I will also light the stove for you', said the 
Rebbe. And the Rebbe, while he laid the wood in 
the stove, repeated, groaning, the first part of the 
Sliches. Then, when the stove was alight and the 
wood crackled cheerily, he repeated, more gaily, the 
second part of the Sliches. He repeated the third 
part when the fire had burnt itself out, and he shut 
the stove doors. 

The Lithuanian, who saw all this, remained with 
the Rebbe as one of his followers. 

And, later, when any one told how the Rebbe early 
every morning at Sliches-time raised himself and flew 
up into heaven, the Lithuanian, instead of laughing, 
added quietly : 
^ If not higher.' 

J. L. Pbretz. 
(Trans. Heletia Fra^ik.) 

I 3 



284 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

DAY OF ATONEMENT 

TO Thee we give ourselves to-day. 
Forgetful of the world outside ; 
We tarry in Thy house, O Lord, 
From eventide to eventide. 

From Thy all-searching, righteous eye 
Our deepest heart can nothing hide ; 
It crieth up to Thee for peace 
From eventide to eventide. 

Who could endure, shouldst Thou, O God, 
As we deserve, for ever chide ? 
We therefore seek Thy pardoning grace 
From eventide to eventide. 

O may we lay to heart how swift 
The years of life do onward*glidc; 
So learn to live that we may see 
Thy light at our lifers eventide. 

G. GOTTHEIL. 

FORGIVE thy neighbour the hurt that he hath 
done thee ; 
And then thy sins shall be pardoned when thou 

prayest. 
Man cherisheth anger against man ; 
And doth he seek healing from the Lord ? 
Upon a man like himself he hath no mercy ; 
And doth he make supplication for his own sins ? 

ECCLESIASTICUS 28. a-4. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 235 

THE MESSAGE OF YOM KIPPUR 

IN large letters, so that even he that runs may read, 
* does Yom Kippur spell forth the fundamentals of 
Judaism, of religion, of the higher life of man. Sin 
is not an evil power whose chains the children of 
flesh must helplessly drag towai'ds a weary tomb. 
We can always shake off its yoke ; and what is more, 
we need never assume its yoke. An ancient fable 
tells us of distant oceans with mountainous rocks of 
magnet of such terrific power that wreck and ruin 
befell any ship venturing near them. Instantly 
the iron nails would fly out of the ship, bolts and 
fastenings would be torn away by that magnetic 
force; the vessel would become nothing more than 
so many planks of wood, and all on board fall a prey 
to the hungry waters. Sins there are that, likewise, 
unhinge all our stays of character, rob uj3 of the 
restraints of past habits and education, and leave us 
helpless playthings on the billows of temptation and 
passion. Yet a man is the pilot of his life's barque, 
and can at all times steer it so as never to come near 
those mountains of destruction and death. 

And, secondly, there is an atonement for man's 
sins. We may repair the ravages of sin, rebuild the 
shifting foundations of character, and join again the 
sundered strands of our spiritual fabric. We spurn 
the old pagan fatalism which declares that there is no 
forgiveness for sin. Nature provides some escape 



236 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

from physical disease; shall the sool^ iDJured by 
temptatioD^s fire^ searred by sin^ not be able to 
recover its pristine strength and beauty ? No matter 
how harsh nature and man may seem^ the God of 
Eternal Bight holds a deep pity that can atone and 
save, bury not ouly sin, but its grave and graveyard 
with it ! 

As clear as a bell resounds the third and greatest 
teaching of Yom Kippur : man himself must prepare 
himself for atonement, and no priest or mediator can 
prepare or work atonement for him. Virtue is victory 
by the individual himself over temptation that assails 
him. The battle cannot be fought nor the victory 
won by another. The human soul, wandering on the 
devious labyrinthine paths of sin, must itself essay to 
foi'sake the Way of Sorrow and proceed on the Way 
of Salvation. This is the most splendid, the most 
momentous fact in human life : that though man 
cannot always even half control his destiny, Gxxl has 
given the reins of man^s conduct altogether into his 
hands. 

No wonder that the Synagogue has ever looked 
upon this day of prayer, fasting, and humiliation as 
a festival, A genemtipn or two ago our forefathers 
stood robed in white in the Synagogue, during the 
entire Atonement Day, Originally these white gar- 
ments were not worn as reminders of the grave ; they 
were an outward sign of the festal character of this 
Day, appointed for life's spiritual renewal. ' When 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 237 

men are summoned before an earthly ruler ', says the 
Jerusalem Talmud, 'to defend themselves against 
some charge, they appear downcast and dressed in 
black like mourners. Israel appears before God on 
the Atonement Day attired in white as if going to 
a feast, because he is confident that as soon as he 
returns penitently to his Maker, He will not condemn, 
but will abundantly pardon/ 

J. H. Hkrtz, 1900. 



• : - T I ♦• T : T 

' FORGIVEN ^1 

RAISE to Thee this my plea, take my prayer. 
Sin unmake for Thy sake and declare, 
' Forgiven I * 

Tears, regret, witness set in sin's place ; 
Uplift trust from the dust to Thy face — 
' Forgiven ! ^ 

Voice that sighs, tear-filled eyes, do not spurn ; 
Weigh and pause, plead my cause, and return 
^ Forgiven ! ' 

Yea, off-rolled — as foretold — clouds impure, 
Zion's folk, free of yoke, O assure 

'Forgiven!* 

YoMTOB OP York, 1190. 
(Trans. L Zanf/wilL) 

* From Service of (he Synagogue (Geo. Routledge & Sons). 



288 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



I - V V 

CONFESSION 

SHAME-STRICKEN, bending low, 
My God, I come before Thee, for I know 
That even as Thon on high 
Exalted art in power and majesty. 
So weak and frail am I : 
That perfect as Thou art. 
So I deficient am in every part. 

Thou art all-wise, all-good, all-great, divine^ 

Yea, Thou art God : eternity is Thine ; 

While I, a thing of clay. 

The creature of a day. 

Pass shadow-like, a breath, that comes and flees away. 

My God, I know my sins are numberless^ 

More than I can recall to memory 

Or tell their tale : yet some will I confess, 

Ji!Ven a few, though as a drop it be 

In all the sea. 

I will declare my trespasses and sin, 
And peradventure silence then may fall 
Upon their waves and billows^ raging din. 
And Thou wilt hear from heaven, when I call, 
And pardon all. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 239 

My God, if mine iniquity 
Too great for all endurance be, 
Yet for Thy name^s sake pardon me. 
For if in Thee I may not dare 
To hope, who else will hear my prayer ? 
Therefore, although Thou slay me, yet 
In Thee my faith and trust is set : 
And though Thou seekest out my sin, 
From Thee to Thee I fly to win 
A place of refuge, and within 
Thy shadow from Thy anger hidc; 
Until Thy wrath be turned aside. 
Unto Thy mercy I will cling 
Until Thou hearken, pitying : 
Nor will I quit my hold of Thee 
Until Thy blessing light on me. 

Remember, O my God, I pray. 

How Thou hast formed me out of clay. 

What troubles set upon my way. 

Do Thou not, then, my deeds requite 

According to my sins aright. 

But with Thy mercy infinite. 

For well I know, through good and ill, 

That Thou in love hast chastened still, 

Afflicting me in faithfulness. 

That Thou my latter end may'st bless. 

Solomon ibn Gabirol, 1050. 
{Trans. Alice Lucas.) 



240 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 
YOM KIPPUR MEDITATIONS 

I 

MY soul, be not senseless, like a beast, deeply 
sunk; — be not drowsy, with passion drunk. — 
Hewn from reason^s mind thou art ; — from wisdom's 
well thy waters start, — from the Lord's heavenly 
realm ! 

My soul, let not the body's wanton pleasures 
capture thee, — its showy treasures not enrapture 
thee; — they melt away — like the dew before the 
day, — ^they avail naught when they begin, — and 
their end is shame and sin. 

My soul, look carefully back — on thy pilgrim's 
track; — all cometh from the dust, — and thither 
return it must. — Whatever has been moulded and 
built, — when its timo is fulfilled, — must go back to 
the ground — where its material was found. — Death is 
life's brother. — They keep fast to one another, — 
each taking hold of one end of their plunder, — and 
none can tear them asunder. — Soon thou wilt come 
— ^to thine eternal home, — where thou must show 
thy work and receive thy wages— on rightful scales 
and gauges, — or good or bad, according to the 
worth — of thy deeds on earth. 

Therefore get thee up, and to thy Master pray — 
by night and day ; — bow down before Him, be 
meek, — and let thy tears bedew thy cheek. — Seek the 
Lord, thy Light, — with all thy might;— walk in 
meekness, pursue the right ; — so that with His mercy- 
screen the Master — hide thee in the day of disaster. — 
Then thou shalt shine like the heavens bright, — and 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER '241 

like the sun when going forth in might; — and o'er 
thy head — shall be spread — the rays — of the sun of 
grace — that brings — healing and joy in his wings. 

Bachya ibn Pakxtdah, 1040. 
{Trans. M. Jastrow,) 

II 

FORGET thine anguish, 
Vexed heart, again. 
Why shouldst thou languish, 
With earthly pain ? 
The husk shall slumber, 
Bedded in clay. 
Silent and sombre, 
Oblivion's prey. 
But, Spirit immortal, 
Thou at Death's portal 
Tremblest with fear. 
If he caress thee. 
Curse thee, or bless thee, 
Thou must draw near. 
From him the worth of thy works to hear. 

Why, full of terror. 

Compassed with error, 

Trouble thy heart 

For thy mortal part ? 

The soul flies home — 

The corpse is dumb. 

Of all thou didst have 

Follows naught to the grave. 

Thou fliest thy nest. 

Swift as a bird to thy place of rest. 



242 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Life is a vine-branch ; 
A vintager. Death. 
He threatens and lowers 
More near with each breath. 
Then hasten, arise I 
Seek God, O my soul I 
For time quickly flies. 
Still far is the goal. 
Vain heart praying dumbly, 
Learn to prize humbly 
The meanest of fare. 
Forget all thy sorrow, 
Behold, death is there I 

Dove-like lamenting. 

Be full of repenting ; 

Lift vision supernal 

To raptures eternal ; 

On every occasion 

Seek lasting salvation. 

Pour thy heart out in weeping 

While others are sleeping. 

Pray to Him when all ^s still, 

Performing His will. 

And so shall the Angel of Peace be thy warden, 

And guide thee at last to the heavenly garden. 

Solomon ibn Gabihol, 1050. 
i^Frans. Emma Lazanis). 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 243 



THE INFINITE MERCIES OF GOD 

nPHE Lord, the Lord is a merciful and gracious 
^ God, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkind* 
ness and truth ; keeping lovingkindness for thousands, 
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. 

Exodus 34. 6, 7. 



ly yiAY it be Thy will, O God, that we return to 
IVl Thee in perfect penitence, so that we may not 
be ashamed to meet our fathers in the life to come. 

Unite our hearts, O God, to fear Thy name ; keep 
us far from what Thou hatest ; bring us near to what 
Thou lovest ; and deal mercifully with us for Thy 
name^s sake. 

May it be Thy will, O God, that love and peace 
and brotherliness dwell among us I May our hopes 
of Heaven be fulfilled ! Grant that the good inclina- 
tion may uphold us. Fill us with the desire to fear 
Thy name, and do Thou give us our souFs peace. 

Amen. 

Talmud. 



244 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

BROTHERHOOD 

AT the beginning of the Atonement service the 
** most venerable mm in the congregation solemnly 
repeat from the Almemor ^ : ' With the permission 
of the Court on High, and with the permission of 
the Congregation below, we declare it permitted to 
pray with hardened transgressors \ Why this cus- 
tom? In some communities of the Middle Ages 
there were persons who, by their conduct, had placed 
themselves outside the pale of Judaism; cowardly 
apostates, for example, who sold their souls ; informers, 
who spread broadcast false accusations against their 
brethren; insubordinates, outcasts, criminals. Through- 
out the year these never sought spiritual fellowship 
with their brethren. On Yom Kippur, however, they 
would steal into some comer of the synagogue and 
join the worshippers in prayer. The Rabbis thereupon 
instituted this solemn declaration, in order to proclaim 
in most unmistakable terms that, no matter what is 
a man^s mode of life — slanderer, apostate, outcast— -he 
is still a brother. ^ We have transgressed, we have 
dealt treacherously, we have robbed,' do we pray. 
We associate ourselves with the most forlorn souls 
that sin in darkness, because we recognize that 
society — we ourselves — are largely responsible for 
their actions. Many a time has our evil example 
misled others, and become a stumbling-block in the way 
of the blind. And all our Yom Kippur vows to 
rise to a higher life are useless, unless we endeavour 
to raise others who have fallen. A traveller was 

^ Reading Desk, usually in the centre of the Synagogue. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 245 

crossing mountain heights of untrodden snow alone. 
He struggled bravely against the sense of sleep which 
weighed down his eyelids, but it was fast stealing 
over him, and he knew that if he fell asleep death 
would inevitably follow. At this crisis his foot struck 
against a heap lying across his path. Stooping 
down, he found it to be a human body half buried in 
the snow. The next moment he held him in his arms, 
and was rubbing and chafing the frozen man's limbs. 
The effort to restore another unto life brought back 
to himself warmth and energy, and was the means of 
saving both. The same law obtains in the realm 
of the soul. In order that our spiritual vitality may 
quicken into new life, we must help others in highest 
matters of faith and hope. 

* Heaven's gate is shut 

To him who comes alone ; 
Save thou a soul, 

And it shall save thine own/ 

J. H. Heutz, 1898. 



I WILL seek that which is lost, and will bring 
again that which is driven away, and will bind up 
that which is broken, and will strengthen that which 
is sick. 

EZEKIEL 34. i6. 



246 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



ATONEMENT PROMISE AND ADMONITION 



SEEK ye the Lord while He may be found, 
Call ye upon Him while He is near ; 
Let the wicked forsake his way. 
And the man of iniquity his thoughts ; 
And let him return unto the Lord, 
And He will have compassion upon him, 
And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
Neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord, 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
So are My ways higher than your ways. 
And My thoughts than your thoughts. 
For as the rain cometh down and the snow from 

heaven. 
And returneth not thither. 
Except it water the earth. 
And make it bring forth and bud. 
And give seed to the sower and bread to the eater ; 
So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My 

mouth : 
It shall not return unto Me void, 
Except it accomplish that which I please. 
And make the thing whereto I sent it prosper. 

Isaiah 66. 6-11. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYEK 247 



II 

THEN shall thy light break forth as the morning, 
And thy healing shall spring forth speedily ; 

And thy righteousness shall go before thee, 

The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. 

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer ; 

Thou shalt cry, and He will say : ^ Here I am/ 

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, 

The putting forth of the finger, and speaking wicked- 
ness; 

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, 

And satisfy the afflicted soul ; 

Then shall thy light rise in darkness, 

And thy gloom be as the noonday ; 

And the Lord will guide thee continually. 

And satisfy thy soul in drought. 

And make strong thy bones ; 

And thou shalt be like a watered garden. 

And like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 

*And they that shall be of thee shall build the old 
waste places, 

Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many genera- 
tions ; 

And thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach. 
The restorer of paths to dwell in. 

Isaiah 58. 8-12. 



248 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



LORD, THINE HUMBLE SERVANTS HEAR 

f ORD, thine humble servants hear, 
^^ Suppliant now before Thee ; 
Our Father, from Thy children's plea 
Turn not, we implore Thee ! 

Lord, blot out our evil pride. 

All our sins before Thee ; 
Our Father, for Thy Mercy's sake. 

Pardon, we implore Thee. 

Lord, no sacrifice we bring. 

Prayers and tears implore Thee ; 

Our Father, take the gift we lay. 
Contrite hearts before Thee. 

Loi-d, Thy sheep have wandered far. 

Gather them before Thee; 
Our Father, let Thy shepherd's love 

Guide us, we implore Thee. 

Lord, forgive and comfort all 

That in truth implore Thee ; 
Our Father, let our evening prayer 

Thus find grace before Thee. 

R. Yehudah. 
{Trails. S. SolU'CohenJ) 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 249 



rfyh^ tiiSi Sst 



G' 



GOD THAT DOEST WONDROUSLY 

(NE^ILAH) 

OD, that doest wondrousiy, 
God, that doest wondrously, 
Pardon at Thy people's cry, 
As the closing hour draws nigh ! 

Few are Israelis sons, and weak ; 
Thee, in penitence, they seek. 
O regard their anguished cry, 
As the closing hour draws nigh ! 

Souls in grief before Thee poured. 
Agonize for deed and word ; 
^ We have sinned. Forgive I ' they cry. 
As the closing hour draws nigh ! 

Heal them ! Let their trust in Thee 
Turn aside Wrath's dread decree ; 
Doom them not, but heed their cry, 
As the closing hour draws nigh ! 

For our Fathers' righteousness 
Save us now in our distress ; 
Make us glad with freedom's cry, 
As the closing hour draws nigh ! 

R. MOSHEH. 

(Trans. S. Solis-Cohen,) 



250 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



T 



TABERNACLES 

HE divine religion does not urge us to lead an 
ascetic life^ but guides us in the middle path^ 
equidistant from the extremes of too much and too 
little ; it allows free play to every God-given faculty 
of both body and soul, within the limits drawn by 
the Divine Hand itself. For cei*tain it is that what 

• 

we devote to one faculty in excessive measure we 
withdraw from another faculty, and thus lose the 
harmony which should pervade our whole life. 
In general^ let me impress this principle upon thy 
mind : the essence of our whole law is contained in 
these three things — reverence, love, joy. They are 
the way to bring us near to God. Thy contrition 
on the day of fasting is in no wise more pleasing to 
Him than thy joy on the sabbath or the festival, if 
80 be that thy delight comes from a devout and full 
heart. Just as prayer requires reflection and devotion^ 
so does joy iu God^s commandments and the study of 
His revelation. Thou must rejoice in the love of Him 
who gave the Law, being persuaded that the giving 
thereof was an act of His love towards thee« 

Yehudah Hale VI, 114K 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 251 



PALMS AND MYRTLES 

T^HY praise, O Lord, will I proclaim 
^ In hymns untx) Thy glorious name. 
O Thou Redeemer, Lord and King, 
Redemption to Thy faithful bring ! 
Before Thine altar they rejoice 
With branch of palm and myrtle-stem ; 
To ^hee they raise the prayerful voice— 
Have mercy, save and prosper them. 

They overflow with prayer and praise 
To Him who knows the future days. 
Have mercy Thou, and hear the prayer 
Of those who palms and myrtles bear. 
Thee day and night they sanctify 
And in perpetual song adore ; 
Like to the heavenly host, they cry, 
* Blessed art Thou for evermore '. 

Eleazae. Kalir, 8th cent. 
{Trans. Alice Lucas,) 



252 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE HARVEST FESTIVAL 

TN keeping in view the agricultural aspect of the 
•^ Three Festivals, the modern Jew performs no un- 
important duty. He realizes the fact that Israel 
was once a people who lived by tilling the soil, and 
that the commercial character which so largely 
distinguishes his people in these times is not, as is 
commonly thought, inborn^ but is the result of the 
unkindly conditions in which they have been com- 
pelled to live. It is good for us and the world at 
large to remember that the history of our race has its 

idyllic side. 

Morris Joseph, 1903. 



THHE vineyards of Israel have ceased to exist, but 
•*■ the eternal Law enjoins the children of Israel 
still to celebrate the vintage. A race that persist in 
celebrating their vintage, although they have no 
fruits to gather, will regain their vineyards. 

Benjamin Disraeli, 1846. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 263 



JOYOUS SERVICE 

THE easily depressed, the despondent and morose 
man has often become what he is from mere 
selfishness. It is so delightful to pity ourselves, to 
yield to the ' luxury of woe ', and sing a plaintive 
song of self-commiseration in a minor key. But the 
next step is to give your soul to the devil. Judaism is 
not more emphatic against the latter than the former, 
and I am sure that there are few wickeder thoughts 
than this: that God made me with a despondent, 
melancholy heart. Shammai said : ' Always be 
cheerful \ R. Ishmael said : ' Ever be joyful \ This 
Rabbi Ishmael died a martyr^s death in the second 
century of this era. Do you think that when he 
suffered he repined and said : ^ If I had known how 
my life was to end I would have wept my days away 
instead of joyously doing my duty'? Serve the 
Lord with gladness, and the gladness will leave its 
after-glow of resignation, contentment, and peace. 

I. Abrahams, 1893. 



THE Spirit of God abideth not where there is 
either needless grieving or inactivity; but only 

where there is joyful performance of duty. 

Talmud. 



264 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



REJOICING OF THE LAW » 

THIS Feast of the Law all your gladness display^ 
To-day all your homages render. 
What profit can lead one so pleasant a way^ 
What jewels can vie with its splendour ? 
Then exult in the Law on its festival day^ 
The Law is our Light and Defender. 

My God I will praise in a jubilant lay^ 

My hope in Him never surrender^ 
His glory proclaim where His chosen sons pray, 

My Bock all my trust shall engender. 
Then exult in the Law on its festival day. 

The Law is our Light and Defender. 

My heart of Thy goodness shall carol alway, 

Thy praises I ever will render ; 
While breath is, my lips all Thy wonders shall say. 

Thy truth and Thy kindness so tender. 
Then exult in the Law on its festival day, 

The Law is our Light and Defender. 

Festival Phayer Book. 
{Trans. /. Zangwill.) 

^ From Service of the Synagogue (George Routlodge & Sons). 



THE VOICE OP PRAYER 255 



SIMCHAS TORAH. 

f ECHAYIM,^ my brethren, Lechayim, I say, 
^— ' Health, peace, and good fortune I wish you to- 
day. 
To-day we have ended the Torah once more ; 
To-day we begin it anew, as of yore. 
Be thankful and glad and the Lord extol, 
Who gave us the Law on its parchment scroll. 

The Torah has been our consolation. 

Our help in exile and sore privation. 

Lost have we all we were wont to prize : 

Our holy temple a ruin lies ; 

Laid waste is the land where our songs we sung ; 

Porgotten our language, our mother-tongue ; 

Of kingdom and priesthood are we bereft ; 

Our Paith is our only treasure left. 

God in our hearts, the Law in our hands. 

We have wandered sadly through many lands. 

We have suffered much ; yet, behold, we live 

Through the comfort the Law alone can give. 

Two thousand years, a little thing when spoken ; 
Two thousand years tormented, crushed, and broken ! 
Seven and seventy dark generations 
Pilled up with anguish and lamentations ! 
Their tale of sorrow did I unfold. 
No Simchas Torah to-day we'd hold. 

I 'Your health!' 



25G A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

And why should I tell it you all again ? 

In our bones 'tis branded with fire and pain. 

We have sacrificed all. We have given our wealthy 

Our homes^ our honours^ our land^ our healthy 

Our lives — like Hannah ^ her children seven — 

For the sake of the Torah that came from heaven. 

And now, what next ? Will they let us be ? 

Have the nations then come at last to see 

That we Jews are men like the rest, and no more 

Need we wander homeless as heretofore, 

Abused and slandered wherever we go ? 

Ah ! I cannot tell you. But this I know. 

That the same God still lives in heaven above, 

And on earth the same Law, the same Faith, that wc 

love. 
Then fear not, and weep not, but hope in the Lord, 
And the sacred Torah, his Holy Word. 

Lechayim, my brethren, Lechayim, I say ! 

Health, peace, and good fortune I wish you to-day. 

To-day we have ended the Torah once more ; 

To-day we begin it again, as of yore. 

Be thankfid and glad and the Lord extol. 

Who gave us the Law on its parchment scroll. 

J. L. Gordon. 
{Trans. Alice Lucaa and Helena Fratik.) 

1 See 2 Maccabees for the story of the martyr mother and 
her seven sons. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 257 

THE MACCABEAN WARRIORS 

They were ready either to live or die nobly. 

1 Maccabees 4. 35. 

AND King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, 

^*' that all should be one people, and that each 
should forsake his own laws. And he sent letters 
unto Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that they 
should profane the sabbaths and feasts, pollute the 
sanctuary, and build altars and temples and shrines 
for idols; and whosoever shall not do according to 
the word of the king, he shall die. And he appointed 
overseers over all the people, and he commanded the 
cities of Judah to sacrifice, city by city. And they 
did evil things in the land ; and they made Israel to 
hide themselves in every place of refuge which they 
had. And they rent in pieces the Books of the Law 
which they found, and set them on fire. And where- 
soever was found with any a Book of the Covenant, 
and if any consented to the Law, the king's sentence 
delivered him to death. 

And in those days rose up Mattathias, a priest 
from Jerusalem ; and he dwelt at Modin. And he 
had five sons, John, Simon, Judas (who was called 
Maccabaeus), Eleazar, Jonathan. And he saw the 
blasphemies, that were committed in Judah and in 
Jerusalem, and Mattathias and his sons rent their 
clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourned exceed- 
ingly. 

K 



258 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

And the king's officers^ that were enforcing the 
apostasj, came into the city Modin. And many 
of Israel came unto them^ and Mattathias and his 
sons were gathered together. And the king's officers 
spake to Mattathias^ sayings ' Thou art a ruler and an 
honourable and great man in this city^and strengthened 
with sons and brethren; now therefore come thou 
first and do the commandment of the king^ as all 
nations have done^ and the men of Judah, and they 
that remain in Jerusalem; so shalt thou and thy 
house be in the number of the king's Friends^ and 
thou and thy children shall be honoured with silver 
and gold^ and many rewards/ And Mattathias 
answered and said with a loud voice/ ' Though aU the 
nations that are tinder the hinges dominion obey hinty and 
fall away every one from the religion of their fathers^ yet 
will I and my sons and my brethren walk in the covenant 
of our fathers.^ And Mattathias cried out in the city 
with a loud voice, saying, ' Whosoever is zealous for 
the Law, and maintaineth the Covenant, let him 
follow me/ 

Then were gathered together unto them every one 

that offered himself willingly for the Law. And all 

they that fled from the evils were added to them, and 

became a stay unto them. And they mustered a host, 

and pulled down the altars ; and they pursued after 

the sons of pride, neither suffered they the sinner to 

triumph. 

Selection from 

1 Maccabees 1. 41 — 2. 48. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 259 



THE FEAST OF LIGHTS 

KINDLE the taper like the steadfast star^ 
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth. 
And add each night a lustre till afar 

An eightfold splendour shine above thy hearth* 
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre, 

Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued 
horn; 
Chant psalms of victory till the heart takes fire. 
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born. 

Emma Lazauus. 



THE MENORAH 

DEEP in his soul he began to feel the need of being 
a Jew. His circumstances were not unsatis- 
factory ; he enjoyed an ample income and a profession 
that permitted him to do whatever his heart desired. 
For he was an artist. His Jewish origin and the 
faith of his fathers had long since ceased to trouble 
him, when suddenly the old hatred came to the surface 
again' in a new mob-cry. With many others he 
believed that this flood would shortly subside. But 
there was no change for the better ; and every blow, 
even though not aimed directly at him, struck him 
with fresh pain, till little by little his soul became 
one bleeding wound. These sorrows, buried deep in 
his heart and silenced there, evoked thoughts of 
their origin and of his Judaism; and now he did 
something he could not perhaps have done in the 
old days — he began to love his Judaism with an 
intense fervour. Although in his own eyes he could 
not, at first, clearly justify this new yearning, it 
became so powerful at length that it crystallized 



K 2 



260 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

from vague emotions into a definite idea which he 
must needs express. It was the conviction that there 
was only one solution for this moral misery — the 
return to Judaism. 

The Jew of to-day had lost the poise which was his 
fathers' very being. This generation^ having grown 
up under the influence of alien cultures, was no longer 
capable of that return which he had perceived to be 
their redemption. But the new generation would be 
capable of it, if it were only given the right direction 
early enough. He resolved, therefore, that his own 
children, at least, should be shown the proper path. 
They should be trained as Jews in their own home. 

Hitherto he had permitted to pass by unobserved 
the holiday which the wonderful apparition of the 
Maccabees had illumined for thousands of years with 
the glow of miniature lights. Now, however, he 
made this holiday an opportunity to prepare something 
beautiful which should be for ever commemorated in 
the minds of his children. In their young souls 
should be implanted early a steadfast devotion to their 
ancient people. He bought a Menorah, and when he 
held this nine-branched candlestick in his hands for 
the first time, a sti*ange mood came over him. In his 
father's house also the lights had once burned in his 
youth, now far away, and the recollection gave him 
a sad and tender feeling for home. The tradition was 
neither cold nor dead — thus it had parsed through 
the ages, one light kindling another. Moreover, the 
ancient form of the Menorah had excited his interest. 
Clearly the design was suggested by the tree — in the 
centre the sturdy trunk, on right and left four 
branches, one below the other, in one place, and all of 
equal height. A later symbolism brought with it the 
short ninth branch, which projects in front and 
functions as a servant. What mystery had the 
generations which followed one another read into this 
form of art, at once so simple and natural I And our 
urtist wondered to himself if it were not possible to 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 261 

animate again the withered form of the Menorah — 
to water its roots, as one would a tree. The mere 
sound of the name, which he now pronounced every 
evening to his children, gave him great pleasure. 
There was a lovable ring to the word when it came 
from the lips of little children. 

On the first night the candle was lit and the origin 
of the holiday explained. The wonderful incident of 
the lights that strangely remained burning so long, 
the story of the return from the Babylonian exile, the 
second Temple, the Maccabees — our friend told his 
children all he knew. It was not very much, to be 
sure ; but it served. When the second candle was lit, 
they repeated what he had told them ; and though it 
had all been learnt from him, it seemed to him quite 
new and beautiful. In the days that followed, he 
waited keenly for the evenings which became ever 
brighter. Candle after candle stood in the Menorah, 
and the father mused on the little candles with his 
children till at length his reflections became too deep 
to be uttered before them. 

Then came the eighth day, when the whole row 
burns, even the faithful ninth, the servant, which on 
other nights is used only for the lighting of the others. 
A great splendour streamed from the Menorah. The 
children's eyes glistened. But for our friend all this 
was the symbol of the enkindling of a nation. When 
there is but one light, all is still dark, and the solitary 
light looks melancholy. Soon it finds one companion, 
then another, and another. The darkness must 
retreat. The light comes first to the young and the 
poor — then others join who love Justice, Truth, 
Liberty, Progress, Humanity, and Beauty. When 
all the candles burn, then we must all stand and 
rejoice over the achievement. And no office can be 
more blessed than that of a Servant of the Light. 

Theodor Hebzl. 
{Trans, B. L. Pouzzner.) 



262 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE STOEY OF THE MACCABEES 

IT is good for Jewish lads to include warriors of 
their own race in their gallery of heroes, to be able 
to say, * My people has produced its brave men equally 
with the Greeks and the Romans \ 

But still better it is for them to feel that these 
brave men drew their courage from the purest of all 
sources, from a passionate love for their religion, 
from a veneration for the good and the true and the 
morally beautiful. The Maccabees boldly faced over- 
whelming odds, not for their own selfish ends, but in 
a spirit of self-sacrificing fidelity to the holiest of all 
causes. They threw themselves upon the enemy in 
the temper that takes the martyr to the stake ; they 
did it not for gain or glory, but solely for conscience^ 
sake. They felt that God was calling to them, and 
they could not hold back. Theirs was a unique effort. 
Others had, it is true, displayed an equally noble 
courage on the battle-field. But what they had fought 
for was their fatherland and their mother tongue, 
their hearths and homes. To fight for Religion was 
a new thing. 

The little Maccabean band was like a rock in the 
midst of a surging sea. Standing almost alone in 
their day, the heroes beat back the forces that 
threatened to involve all mankind in a common 
demoralization. They kept a corner of the world 
sweet in an impure age. They held aloft the torch 
of true religion at a time when thick darkness was 
covering the nations. 

MoERis Joseph, 1903, 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 263 

CHANUCAH HYMN 

ROCK of Ages, let our song 
Praise Thy saving power ; 
Thou, amidst the raging f oes^ 
Wast our sheltering tower. 
Furious they assailed us. 
But Thine arm availed us ; 
And Thy word 
Broke their sword 
When our own strength failed us. 

Kindling new the holy lamps, 
Priests approved in suffering 
Purified the nation's shrine. 
Brought to God their offering. 
And His courts surrounding 
Hear, in joy abounding, 

Happy throngs 

Singing songs 
With a mighty sounding. 

Children of the Martyr-race, 
Whether free or fettered. 
Wake the echoes of the songs 
Where ye may be scattered. . 
Yours the message cheering, 
That the time is nearing 

Which shall see 

All men free, 
Tyrants disappearing. 

G. GOTTHBIL. 



264 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



PURIM 1 

THERE was a certain Jew in Shusban • . • whose 
name was Mordeeai. . . . And he brought up 
Hadassah^ that is^ Esther^ his uncle's daughter • . . 
and when her father and mother were dead^ Mordeeai 
took her for his own daughter. , . . And Esther 
was taken unto King Ahasuerus into his house 
royal . . . and the king loved Esther . . . and she 
obtained grace and favour in his sight. . . . 

After these things did King Ahasuerus promote 
Haman^ and set his seat above all the princes that 
were with him. And Haman said, ' There is a certain 
people scattered abroad and dispel'sed among the 
peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom ; and 
their laws are diverse from those of every people, 
neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not 
for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the 
king let it be written that they be destroyed . . . 
both young and old, little children and women, in 
one day.' And the king said unto Haman, 'The 
people is given to thee to do with them as it seemeth 
good to thee '. 

Now, when Mordeeai knew all that was done he 
rent his clothes . . . and charged Esther that she 
should go in unto the king to make supplication 
unto him for her people — 'Think not with thyself 
that thou shalt escape in the king's house, ndore 
than all the Jews. For if thou altogether boldest 

1 Cf. p. 156. 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 265 

thy peace at this time^ then shall relief and deliver- 
ance arise to the Jews from another place : and who 
knoweth whether thou art not come to the kingdom 
for such a time as this?' . • . Esther bade them 
return answer unto Mordecai, ' So will I go in unto 
the king . , . and if I perish, I perish . . . / 

Then Esther the queen . . . said, 'If I have 
found favour in thy sight, O king ... let my life 
be given me at my petition, and my people at my 
request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be 
destroyed, to be slain and to perish, . . .' Then spake 
the king Ahasuerus, ' Who is he, and where is he, 
that durst presume in his heart to do so ? ' And 
Esther said, ' An adversary and an enemy, even this 
wicked Haman \ 

Then said one of the chamberlains, 'Behold also, 
the gallows which Haman hath made for Mordecai, 
who spake good for the king (and saved the king's 
life) standeth in the house of Haman'. And the 
king said^ 'Hang him thereon'. So they hanged 
Haman. • . . And the king said, ' Write ye also to 
the Jews as it liketh you, in the king's name. . . .' 
The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honour. 
And whithersoever the king's commandment and his 
decree came, the Jews had gladness and joy. ... 

. . . Therefore do the Jews • . . make the four- 
teenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and 
feasting . • • and of sending gifts to the poor. 

Book of Estheb. 



266 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



SERVANT OF GOD 

O PIRIT and flesh are Thine, 

^^ O Heavenly Shepherd mine ; 

My hopes^ my thoughts, my fears. Thou scest all, 

Thou measurest my path, my steps dost know« 
When Thou upholdest, who can make me fall ? 

When Thou restrainest, who can bid me go ? 
woidd that I might be 
A servant unto Thee^ 

Thou God, by all adored / 
The^ty though by friends out-cast. 
Thy hand would hold me fast, 

And draw me near to Thee, my King and Lord ! 

Fain would my heart come nigh 

To Thee, O God, on high, 

But evil thoughts have led me far astray 

From the pure path of righteous government. 
Guide Thou me back into Thy holy way, 

And count me not as one impenitent. 
would that I might be- 
A servant unto Thee, 

Thou God, by all adored I 
Then, though by friends out-cast, 
Thy hand would hold me fast, 

And draw me near to Thee, my King and Lord ! 



k 



THE VOICE OF PRAYER 267 

Contrite and full of dread^ 
I mourn each moment fled^ 
^Midst idle follies roamiug desolate : 

I sink beneath transgressions manifold^ 
That from Thy presence keep me separate^ 

Nor can sin-darkened eyes Thy light behold. 
would that I might he 
A servafit unto Thee^ 

Thou God, by all adored ! 
Then, though by friends out-cast, 
Thy hand would hold me fast , 

A?id draw me near to Thee, my King and Lord ! 

So lead me that I may 

Thy sovereign will obey. 

Make pure my heart to seek Thy truth divine ; 

When burns my wound, be Thou with healing near! 
Answer me^ Lord I for sore distress is mine^ 

And say unto Thy servant^ I am here. 
would that I might be 
A servant unto Thee, 

Thou God, by all adored I 
Then, though by friends out-oast. 
Thy hand would hold me fast, 

And draw me near to Thee, my King and Lord ! 

Yehudah Halevi, 1140. 
{Trans. Alice Lucas,) 



268 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



HYMN OF GLORY 

SWEET hymns and songs will I indite 
To sing of Thee by day and night — 
Of Thee, who art my souVs delight. 

How doth my soul within me yearn 
Beneath Thy shadow to return, 
Thy secret mysteries to learn ! 

And even while yet Thy glory fires 
My words, and hymns of praise inspires. 
Thy love it is my heart desires. 

Thy glory shall my discourse be; 
In images I picture Thee, 
Although Thyself I cannot see. 

O Thou whose word is truth alway. 
Thy people seek Thy face this day ; 
O be Thou near them when they pray. 

O may my words of blessing rise 

To Thee, who, throned above the skies. 

Art just and mighty, great and wise. 

My meditation day and night. 
May it be pleasant in Thy sight. 
For Thou art all my souPs delight. 

JuDAH THE Pious, 12th cent. 
{Trans. Alice Zticas.) 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 



270 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



^TT^HUS saitik the Lordy Let not the wUe man glory 

J- in his wisdom^ neither let the might]/ man glory in 

his mighty let not the rich man glory in his riches ; but 

let him that glorieth gloy in this, that he under- 

standeth and hnoweth ife, that I am the Lord who 

exercise lovingkindnesSy jtidgementy and righteousness 

in the earth : for hi these things I delight^ saith the 

Lord. 

Jeremiah 9. 33-4. 



T T^ that planted the ear^ shall He not hear ? 
-^ -* He that formed the eye^ shall He not see ? 
He that instructeth the nations^ shall not He correct^ 
Even He that teacheth man hiowJeSge ? 

Psalm 94. 9-10. 



THE VOICE OP WISDOM 271 



GOD, WHOM SHALL I COMPARE TO THEE ! 

/^ OD, whom shall I compare to Thee, 

^^ When Thou to none canst likened be ? 

Under what image shall I dare 

To picture Thee, when everywhere 

All Nature's forms Thine impress bear ? 

Hearts, seeking Thee, from search refrain, 
And weary tongues their praise restrain. 
Thyself unbound by time and place. 
Thou dost pervade, support, embrace 
The world and all created space. 

Deep, deep beyond all fathoming. 
Far, far beyond all measuring, 
We can but seek Thy deeds alone ; 
When bow Thy saints before Thy throne 
Then is Thy faithfulness made known. 

Thy righteousness we can discern. 

Thy holy law proclaim and learn. 

Is not Thy presence near alway 

To them who penitently pray, 

But far from those who sinning stray ? 

Pure souls behold Thee, and no need 
Have they of light : they hear and heed 



272 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Thee with the mind's keen ear^ although 
The ear of flesh be dull and slow. 
Their voices answer to and fro. 

Thy holiness for ever they proclaim : 

The Lord of Hosts 1 thrice holy is His name. 

Yehudah Halevi. 
(Trans. Alice Lucas.) 



GREAT IS TRUTH 

/^ REAT is Truth, and stronger than all things. 
^^ All the earth calleth upon Truth, and the heaven 
blesseth her; all works shake and tremble, but with 
her is no unrighteous thing. . . . Truth abideth, and 
is strong for ever; she liveth and conquereth for 
evermore. . • . She is the strength, and the kingdom, 
and the power, and the majesty, of all ages. Blessed 
be the God of Truth. 

1 ESDIIAS 4. 35, 36, 38, 40. 



T 



RUTH is the seal of God. 

Talmud. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 278 



THE RIGHT LIFE 

TT hath been told thee, O man, what is good; and 
•* what the Lord doth require of thee : only to do 
justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with 
thy God. 

MiCAH 6. 8. 



VV/O^ ^^^0 them that call evil good, and good 
^^ evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for 
darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for 
bitter ! 

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, 

and prudent in their own sight ! 

Isaiah 5. ao-a. 

THE proper study of a wise man is not how to 
die, but how to live. 
A man who desires to help others by counsel or 
deed will refrain from dwelling on men^s faults, and 
will speak but sparingly of human weaknesses. But 
he will speak at large of man^s virtue and power, and 
the means of perfecting the same, that thus men may 
endeavour joyously to live, so far as in them lies, 
after the commandment of reason. 

BsNEDioT Spinoza, 1674. 



274 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE GOODNESS OP GOD'S WORK 

1i ^EN frequently think that the evils in the world 
^ ^ '^ are more numerous than the good things ; many 
sayings and songs of the nations dwell on this idea. 
They say that the good is found only exceptionally^ 
whilst evil things are numerous and lasting. The 
origin of this error is to be found in the circumstance 
that men judge of the whole universe by examining 
one single person only. If anything happens to him 
contrary to his expectation^ forthwith they conclude 
that the whole universe is evil. All mankind at 
present in existence forms only an infinitesimal portion 
of the permanent universe. It is of great advantage 
that man should know his station. Numerous evils 
to which persons are exposed are due to the defects 
existing in the persons themselves. We seek relief 
from our own faults ; we suffer from evils which we 
inflict on ourselves, and we ascribe them to God who 
is far from connected with them. As Solomon 
explained it : The foolishness of man perverteth his 
way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord. 

Moses Maimonides, 1190. 



THE VOICE OP WISDOM 276 



THE TWO NATURES IN MAN 

TT is because man is half angel^ half brute^ that his 
^ inner life witnesses such bitter war between such 
unlike' natures. The brute in him clamours for 
sensual joy and things in which there is only vanity ; 
but the angel resists and strives to make him know 
that meat^ drink^ sleep are but means whereby the 
body may be made efficient for the study of the truths, 
and the doing of the will, of God. Not until the very 
hour of death can it be certain or known to what 
measure the victory has been won. He who is but 
a novice in the fear of God will do well to say audibly 
each day, as he rises : ^ This day I will be a faithful 
servant of the Almighty. I will be on my guard 
against wrath, falsehood, hatred, and quarrelsomeness, 
and will forgive those who wound me.' For whoso 
forgives is forgiven in his turn ; hard-heartedness and 
a temper that will not make up quarrels are a heavy 
burden of sin, and unworthy of an Israelite. 

Moses of Coucy, 13th cent. 



276 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



FREEDOM OF THE WILL 

f^REE WILL is granted to every man. If he 
^ desire to incline towards the good way and be 
righteous, he has the power to do so; and if he 
desire to incline towards the unrighteous way and be 
a wicked man^ he has also the power to do so. Give 
no room in your minds to that which is asserted by 
heathen fools^ and also by many of the ignorant 
among the Ismelites themselves^ namely: that the 
Holy One^ blessed be He^ decrees that a man from 
his birth should be either a righteous man or a wicked 
man. 

Since the power of doing good or evil is in our 
own handsj and since all the wicked deeds which we 
have committed have been committed with our full 
consciousness^ it befits us to turn in penitence and to 
forsake our evil deeds ; the power of doing so being 
still in our hands. Now this matter is a very 
important principle ; nay^ it is the pillar of the Law 
and of the commandments. 

MosEs Maimonides, 1180. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 277 



THE WICKED SAITH IN HIS HEART 

17*011 they said within themselves, reasoning not 

* aright, 

* Short and sorrowful is our. life; 

And there is no healing when a man cometh to his end, 
And none was ever known that returned out of Hades. 
Because by mere chance were we born. 
And hereafter we shall be as though we had never 

been: 
And our name shall be forgotten in time. 
And no man shall remember our works ; 
And our life shall pass away as the traces of a cloud, 
And shall be scattered as is a mist. 
For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow. 
And there is no putting back of our end. 
Come therefore and let us enjoy the good things 

that now are ; 
And let us use the creation with all our soul as youth's 

possession. 
Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and perfumes ; 
And let no flower of spring pass us by : 
Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be 

withered : 
Let none of us go without his share in our proud 

revelry : 



278 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Everywhere let us leave tokens of our mirth : 
Because this is our poi*tiou^ and our lot is this. 
Let our strength be to us a law of righteousness ; 
For that which is weak is convicted to be of no 
service/ 

Thus reasoned they, and they were led astray ; 
For their wickedness blinded them, 
And they knew not the mysteries of God, 
Neither hoped they for wages of holiness, 
Nor did they judge that there is ^ prize for blame- 
less souls. 
Because God created man for incorruption. 
And made him an image of His own everlastingness. 

Wisdom of Solomon 2. i, a, 4-9, n, 31-3. 



REPENTANCE OF THE WICKED 

' i *HEY shall say within themselves repenting : 
^ 'Verily we went astray from the way of truth, 
We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and 

destruction. 
And we journeyed through trackless deserts, 
But the way of the Lord we knew not. 
What did our arrogancy profit us ? 
And what good have riches and vaunting brought us ? 



THE VOICE OP WISDOM 279 

Those things all passed away as a shadow^ 
As a ship passing through the billowy water, 
Whereof^ when it is gone by, there is no trace to be 

found. 
Neither pathway of its keel in the billows : 
Or as when a bird flieth through the air, 
No token of her passage is found, 
But the light wind, lashed with the stroke of her 

pinions, 
And rent asunder with the violent rush, is passed 

through by the motion of her wings, 
And afterwards no sign of her coming is found therein : 
So we also, as soon as we were bom, ceased to be ; 
And of virtue we had no sign to show. 
But in our wickedness we were utterly consumed. 
Because the hope of the ungodly man is as chaff 

carried by the wind, 
And passeth by as the remembrance of a guest that 

tarrieth but a day. 

' But the righteous live for ever. 
And in the Lord is their reward, 
And the care for them with the Most High.' 

Wisdom op Solomon 6. 3, 6-1 1, 13-15. 



280 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



WISE COUNSEL 

I 

'T'HE soul, when accustomed to superfluous things, 
■*• acquires a strong hahit of desiring others which 
are necessary neither for the preservation of the indi- 
vidual nor for that of the species. This desire is 
without limit ; whilst things which are necessary are 
few, and restricted within certain bounds. Lay this 
well to heart, reflect on it again and again; thai 
which is superfluous is without end (and therefore 
the desire for it also without limit). Thus you desire 
to have your vessels of silver, but golden vessels are 
still better; others even have vessels studded with 
sapphires, emeralds, or rubies. Those, therefore, who 
are ignorant of this truth, that the desire for super* 
fluous things is without limit, are constantly in 
trouble and pain. When they thus meet with the 
consequences of their course they complain of the 
judgements of God; they go so far as to say that 
God's power is insufficient, because He has given to 
this Universe the properties which they imagine cause 

these evils. 

MosES Maimonides. 

II 

n^'EFEB one in hand to two in hope ; a little cer- 
^ tainty is better than a great perhaps. Sooner a 
servant among the noble than leader among the 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 281 

common; for some of their honour will stick to 
you, while you must share the contempt pf your 
contemptible followers. 

The proud cedar is felled, the lowly bush is un- 
touched ; fire rises and dies away, water flows down 
and for ever. If for what beauty or riches you have, 
you raise your head above neighbour or brother, you 
feed hateful envy, and the beggar whom you despise 
may yet triumph over you. Better enough in freedom 
than plenty at the table of another. 

Love thy children with impartial love; the hope 

oft errs that you place on the more promising, and 

all your joy may come from him that you have kept 

in the background. 

Benedict of Oxford, 1195. 

(Trans. Joseph Jacobs.) 

Ill 

THERE are seven marks of an uncultured, and 
seven of a wise, man. The wise man does not 
speak before him who is greater than he in wisdom, 
and does not break in upon the speech of his fellow ; 
he is not hasty to answer ; he questions according to 
the subject-matter, and answers to the point; he 
speaks upon the first thing first, and upon the last, 
last; regarding that which he has not understood, 
he says, 'I do not understand it^^ and he acknowledges 

the truth*. 

Ethics of the Fathers. 



282 A book; of JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE DUTY OF HOLINESS 

I AM the Lord your God : sanctify yourselves 
* therefore, and be ye holy; for I am holy. 

Leviticus 11. 44. 

TN rabbinical ethics, holiness is the highest ideal. 
The entire system of the Jewish law has the hallow- 
ing of life as its aim, to be reached through good 
works, through observance of the Sabbath and Holy- 
days, and through the sanctification of God^s name 
(Kiddush Hashem). Holiness became for rabbinical 
Judaism synonymous with purity of life, purity of 
action, and purity of thought ; and under its influence 
personal purity in Judaism became the highest standard 
and maxim of ethics found in any religious system. 

K. KOHLER,^ 1904. 



' /CLEANLINESS is next to Godliness.'— Careful- 
^^ ness leads to cleanliness ; cleanliness to purity ; 
purity to humility; humility to saintliness; saintli- 
ness to fear of sin; fear of sin to holiness; and 
holiness to immortality. 

Talmud. 

^ In The Jewish Encyclopedia, * Holiness ' (London and New 
York : Fuiik & Wagnalls). 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 283 



THE CITY OF GOD 

DO not seek for the City of God on earth, for it is 
not built of wood or stone ; but seek it in the 
soul of the man who is at peace with himself and is 
a lover of true wisdom. 

If a man practises ablutions of the body^ but defiles 
his mind — if he offers hecatombs, founds a temple, 
adorns a shrine, and does nothing for making his 
soul beautiful — let him not be called religious. He 
has wandered far from real religion, mistaking ritual 
for holiness; attempting, as it were, to bribe the 
Incorruptible and to flatter Him whom none can 
flatter. God welcomes the genuine service of a soul, 
the sacrifice of truth; but from display of wealth He 
turns away. 

Will any man with impure soul and with no 
intention to repent dare to approach the Most High 
God ? The grateful soul of the wise man is the true 
altar of God. 

Philo Judabus, 1st. cent. 



THINK not meanly of thyself, and despair not of 
perfection, 

Moses Maimonides, 1200. 

MAN should so live that at the close of every 
day he can repeat : ' I have not wasted my day \ 

Zohah. 



A 



284 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



HUMILITY 

THE man who does good works is more likely to be 
overtaken by pride in them than by any other 
moral mischance^ and its effect on conduct is injurious 
in the extreme. Therefore, among the most necessary 
of virtues is that one which banishes pride ; and this 
is, humility. 

First among the signs by which the meek are 
known is that when misfortunes come to them their 
endurance triumphs over their fear and grief, and 
they willingly submit to the decree of God, and own 
that His judgements are righteous. 

In matters of justice, however, the meek will 
be high-spirited and fearless, punishing the wicked 
without fear for favour. He will help the oppressed 
and rescue him from the power of the oppressor. 

Bachya ibn Pakudah, 1040. 



AT all -times let a man fear God as well in private 
** as in public, acknowledge the truth, and speak 
the truth in his heart; and let him rise early and 
say : Sovereign of all worlds I Not because of our 
righteous acts do we lay our supplications before 
Thee, but because of Thine abundant mercies. 

Daily Prayer Book. 



w 



ISDOM begetteth humility. 

Abraham ibn Ezra, 1167. 



B 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 285 

SAYINGS FROM THE TALMUD 

I 

E tbou the cursed, not he who curses. Be of 



them that are persecuted^ not of them that perse- 
cute. Look at Scripture : there is not a single bird 
more persecuted than the dove ; yet God has chosen 
her to be offered up on His altar. The bull is hunted 
by the lion, the sheep by the wolf, the goat by the 
tiger. And God said, ^ Bring Me a sacrifice, not 
from them that persecute, but from them that are 
persecuted '. 

Scripture ordains that the Hebrew slave who 
'loves' his bondage shall have his ear pierced 
against the door-post (Exodus 21). Why ? Because 
it is that ear which heard on Sinai, ' They are My 
servants, they shall not be sold as bondsmen \ They 
are My servants, not servants' servants. And this 
man voluntarily throws away his precious freedom — 
* Pierce his ear I ' 

II 

Even when the gates of heaven are shut to prayer, 
they are open to tears. Pmyer is Israel's only weapon, 
a weapon inherited from his fathers, a weapon tried 
in a thousand battles. 

When the righteous man dies, it is the earth that 
loses. The lost jewel will always be a jewel, but the 
possessor who has lost it — well may he weep. 



286 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

To one who denied resurrection, Oabiha ben Pasissa 
said : ' If what never before existed, exists, why may- 
no^ that which once existed exist again ? * 

Life is a passing shadow, says Scripture. Is 
it the shadow of a tower, of a tree ? A shadow 
that prevails for a while ? No, it is the shadow of a 
bird in its flight — away flies the bird, and there is 
neither bird nor shadow. 

Repent one day before thy death. There was a 
king who bade all his servants to a great repast, but 
did not indicate the hour. Some went home and 
put on their best garments and stood at the door of 
the palace ; others said, ' There is ample time, the 
king will let us know beforehand \ But the king 
summoned them of a sudden ; and those that came 
in their best garments were well received, but the 
foolish ones who came in their slovenliness, were 
turned away in disgmce. 

Iron breaks the stone, fire melts iron, water 
extinguishes fire, the clouds drink up the water, a 
storm drives away thd clouds, man withstands the 
storm, fear unmans man, wine dispels fear, sleep 
drives away wine, and death sweeps all away — 
even sleep. But Solomon the Wise says: * Charity 
delivereth from death'. 

Ill 

Pour shall not enter Paradise : the scoffer, the liar, 
the hypocrite, and the slanderer. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 287 

The cock and the owl both await the dayh'ght. 
'.The light', says the cock, ^bringfs delight to me; 
but what are you waiting for ? ' 

Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend's friend 
has a friend : be discreet. 

He who is ashamed will not easily commit sin. 
Commit a sin twice, and you will think it perfectly 
allowable. There is a great difference between him 
who is ashamed before his own self, and him who is 
only ashamed before others. 

The sun will go down all by himself, without thy 
assistance. Not what thou sayest about thyself, but 
what others say. He who humiliates himself will 
be lifted up; he who raises himself up will be 
humiliated. Whosoever runs after greatness, great- 
ness runs away from him; he who runs from greatness, 
greatness follows him. 

If the young tell thee. Build; and the old tell 
thee. Destroy — follow the counsel of the elders; for 
often the destruction of the elders is construction, 
and the construction of the young is destruction. 



IV 

*Fear God, as much as you fear man ', said Johanan 
ben Zakkai.^ ' Not more ? ' asked his pupils in 
surprise. *If you would but fear Him as much!' 
said the dying sage. 

1 See foot-note, p. 218. 



288 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

The righteous are majsters of their passions. Not 
80 the wicked : they are the slaves of their desires* 
The righteous need no monuments : their deeds are 
their monuments. The righteous promise little and 
do much ; the wicked promise much and do not per- 
form even a little. Let thy yea be yea, and thy nay 
be nay. 

In Palestine it was considered a sign of descent 
from a good family if any one first broke off in a 
quarrel. The greatest of heroes is he who turneth 
an enemy into a friend. 

Giving is not the essential thing, but to give with 
delicacy of feeling. Scripture does not say, ' Happy 
is he who giveth to the poor \ but, ' Happy is he who 
wifely cormdereth the poor'. He who makes the 
sorrowful rejoice will partake of life everlasting. 

As the ocean never freezes, so the gate of repen- 
tance is never closed. The best preacher is the heart, 
the best teacher time, the best book the world, the 
best friend God. 

He who curbs his wrath, his sins will be forgiven. 
Whosoever does not persecute them that persecute 
him, whosoever takes an offence in silence, he who 
does good because of love, he who is cheerful under 
his sufferings, they are the friends of God, and of 
them the Scripture says, * But they that love Him 
shall be as the sun^ when he goeth forth in his might \ 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 289 

THE DEDICATED LIFE 

|i yiOSES has showil that we should all (Confess 
^^'' our gratitude for the powers we possess. The 
wise ifian should dedicate his sagacity^ the eloquent 
man should devote his excellence of speech, to the 
praise of God in prose and verse; and, in general, 
the natural philosopher should offer his physics, the 
moralist his ethics, the artist and the man of science 
the arts and sciences they know. So, too, the sailor 
and the pilot will dedicate their favourable voyage, 
the husbandman his fruitful harvest, the herdsman 
the increase of his cattle, the doctor the recovery of 
his patients, the general his victory in fight, and the 
statesman or the monarch his legal chieftaincy or 
kingly rule. Let no one, however humble and insig- 
nificant he be, despairing of a better fortune, scruple 
to become a suppliant of God. Even if he can 
expect nothing more, let him give thanks to the best 
of his power for what he has already received. 
Infinite are the gifts he has : birth, life, nature, soul, 
sensation, imagination, desire, reason. Reason is 
a small word, but a most perfect thing, a fragment 

r 

of the world-soul, or, as for the disciples of the Mosaic 

philosophy it is more pious to say, a true impression 

of the Divine Image. 

Philo Jtjdabus, 1st cent. 



290 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



GOD AND MAN 

O ABBI AKIB A ^ said : Beloved is man, for he was 
* ^ created in the image of God ; but it was by 
a special love that it was made known to him that he 
was created in the image of God. 

Everything is foreseen, yet freedom of choice is 
given; and the world is judged by grace, yet aU 
is according to the amount of the work. 

Ben Azzai ^ said : Despise not any man, and carp 
not at anything ; for there is not a man that has not 
his hour, and there is not a thing that has not its 
place. 



I flLLEL^ said : If I am not for myself, who will 
* * be for me ? And being for myself only, what 
am I ? and, if not now, when ? 

Separate not thyself from the community. Trust 
not in thyself until the day of thy death. Judge not 
thy neighbour until thou art come into his place. 

Ethics of the Fathees. 



^ Greatest of Mishna teachers ; mystic, warrior, and martyr 
(182 C.E.). 

' Companion of Akiba ; declared the brotherhood of man to 
be the fundamental principle of religion. 

' Most renowned of the Rabbis ; bom in Babylon about one 
hundred years before the Destruction of the Temple (70 c.e ). 



T 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 291 

GOLDEN RULES 

HOU shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, 

Leviticus 1^. i8. 



Babbi a kiba said : Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself. This is a fundamental principle of religion, 

HiLLEL used to say : Whatever is hateful unto thee^ 

do it not unto thy fellow^ This is the whole Law ; the 

rest is but commentary. 

Talmud. 

' ^f^HOU shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart* 
-*- (Leviticus 19. 17). Our Rabbis taught that 
this precept might be explained to mean only that 
you must not injure him, nor insult him, nor vex him, 
and so the words ' in thine heart ' are added to forbid 
us even to feel hatred in our heart without giving it 
outward expression. Causeless hatred ranks with the 
three capital sins : Idolatry, Immorality, and Murder, 
The Second Temple, although in its time study of 
the Law and good works flourished and God^s 
Commandments were obeyed, was destroyed because 
of causeless hatred, one of the deadly sins. 

AcHAi (Gaon), 8th cent. 
(Tra/ns. K N. Adler.) 



L 2 



292 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

DEEDS THE BEST COMMENDATION 

YY/HEN Akabya/ son of Mahalalel, was on hiff 

^^ death-bed, his son asked, 'Father, commend me 

to thy friends*. 'No, my son,' said he, 'I shall not 

commend thea' ' Hast thou found aught unworthy 

in me ? * * No, my son,* replied he, ' thy deeds will 

bring thee near unto men, and thy deeds will drive 

thee from them.' 

Talmud. 

13 ABBI HANINA, son of Dosa, said : He in whom 
*• the spirit of his fellow men taketh delight, in 
him the Spirit of the All-present taketh delight ; and 
he in whom the spirit of his fellow men taketh liot 
delight, in him the Spirit of the All-presqnt taketh 
not delight. 

pABBT JUDAH THE PRINCE « said. Which 
^ ^ is the right course that a man should choose for 
himself ? That which he feels to be in itself honour- 
able to the doer, and which also brings him the 
respect of his fellow men. Reflect upon three things, 
and thou wilt not come within the power of sin : 
Know what is above thee — a seeing Eye, a hearing 
Ear, and all thy deeds are written in a Book. 

Ethics of the Fathers. 

^ Died in the middle of the first century. 

> Lived 185-220; < Patriarch* and editor of the Mishna. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 293 



A MEDIAEVAL JEWISH MORALIST 



X TO crown carries such royalty with it as doth 
* ^ humility ; no monument gives such glory as an 
unsullied name ; no worldly gain can equal that which 
comes from observing God's laws. The highest 
sacrifice is a broken and contrite heart; the highest 
wisdom is that which is found in the Law; the 
noblest of all ornaments is modesty ; the most beauti- 
ful of all things man can do is to forgive wrong. 

Cherish a good heart when thou findest it in any 
one ; hate^ for thou mayest hate it^ the haughtiness of 
the overbearing man^ and keep the boaster at a dis- 
tance. There is no skill or cleverness to be compared 
to that which avoids temptation ; there is no force, 
no strength that can equal piety. All honour to him 
who thinks continually and with an anxious heart oE 
his Maker; who prays^ reads, and learns, and all 
these with a passionate yearning for his Maker's 
grace« 



L 



II 

ET thy dealings be of such sort that a blush need 
never visit thy cheek; be sternly dumb to the voice 



294 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

of passion j commit no sin^ saying to thyself that 
thou wilt repent and make atonement at a later time. 
Let no oath ever pass thy lips ; play not the haughty 
aristocrat in thine heart ; follow not the desire of the 
eyes; banish carefully all guile from thy soul^ all 
unseemly self-assertion from thy bearing and thy 
temper. 

Speak never mere empty words; enter into strife 
with no man ; place no reliance on men of mocking 
lips; wrangle not with evil men; cherish no too 
fixed good opinion of thyself^ but lend thine ear to 
remonstrance and reproof. 

Be not weakly pleased at demonstrations of honour ; 
strive not anxiously for distinction; never let a 
thought of envy of those who do grave wrong cross 
thy mind ; be never enviously jealous of others, or 
too eager for money. 

Honour thy parents ; make peace whenever thou 
canst among people, lead them gently into the good 
path ; place thy trust in, give thy company to, those 
who fear God. 



Ill 

f F the means of thy support in life be measured 

out scantily to thee, remember that thou hast to be 

thankful and grateful even for the mere privilege to 

breathe, and that thou must take up that suffering as 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 295 

a test of thy piety and a preparation for better things. 
But if worldly wealth be lent to thee, exalt not thy- 
self above thy brother ; for both of ye came naked 
into the world, and both of ye will surely have to 
sleep at last together in the dust. 

Bear well thy heart against the assaults of envy, 
which kills even sooner than death itself ; and know 
no envy at all, save such envy of the merits of vir- 
tuous men as shall lead thee to emulate the beauty 
of their lives. Surrender not thyself a slave to hate, 
that ruin of all the hearths good resolves, that 
destroyer of the very savour of food, of our sleep, of 
all reverence in our souls. 

Keep peace both within the city and without, for it 
goes well with all those who are counsellors of peace ; 
be wholly sincere ; mislead no one by prevarications, 
by words smoother than intention, as little as by 
direct falsehood. For God the Eternal is a God of 
Truth; it is He from whom truth flowed first. He 
who begat truth and sent it into creation. 

Eleazab (EokEach) of Worms, c. 1200. 



296 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE MYSTERY OF PAIN 

'T'HE mystery of pain is an old problem. The 
^ Rabbis were deeply impressed with its gravity and 
complexity. The sorrows of the universe and the 
agony of Israel ; the suffering of the nation and the 
pain of the individual, formed the inspiration of some 
of their noblest thoughts. They fully realized that 
suffering can chasten and heal and purify, even ^ as 
€alt cleanses meat'. And so they call God's chastise- 
ments the blessed scourges of love, and tell us that 
even as the olive only gives forth its sweet and 
perfumed oil on being crushed, so also Israel only 
reaches perfection through crushing sorrows. They 
tell us that in the thick darkness of the world- 
problem is God — the * Light Behind ' ; that all things 
work together for good— even Death; they represent 
God as saying to mankind, ' with thy very wounds 
I will heal thee'; they say that those whom God 
aflBicts bear His name ; that only through a * sorrow's 
crown of sorrows ' cometh true life. Heaven is not 
to be won by rest and ease and quiet. Only those 
who have suffered and endured greatly have achieved 
greatly. The world's greatest workers, thinkers, and 
teachers have only reached the pinnacle of fame by 
surmounting obstacles which to ordinary men, content 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 297 

with the lower slopes^ would have seemed insuperable. 

Man has ever risen nearer to God by the altar-stairs 

of pain and sorrow — those altar-stairs which lead 

through darkness^ for ever upwards, towards the very 

Throne of God. 

S. Alfked Adlek, 1906. 



MEETING ADVERSITY 

ACCORDING to ancient Jewish custom, the cere- 

* * mony of cutting our garments when our nearest 

and dearest on earth is lying dead before us, is to 

be performed standing vp. This teaches : meet all 

sorrow standing upright. The future may be dark, 

veiled from the eye of mortals — ^but not the manner 

in which we are to meet the future. To rail at life, 

to rebel against a destiny that has cast our lines in 

unpleasant places, is of little avail. We cannot lay 

down terms to life. Life must be accepted on its own 

terms. But hard as lifers terms are, life (it has been 

finely said) never dictates uurighteousness, unholiness, 

dishonour. 

J. H. Hertz, 1900. 



^ 3 



298 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



THE CONTEMPLATION OF DEATH 

'T'HE contemplation of death should plant within 
^ the soul elevation and peace. Above all, it should 
make us see things in their true light. For all things 
which seem foolish in the light of death are really 
foolish in themselves. To be annoyed because So-and- 
so has slighted us or been somewhat more successful 
in social distinctions, pulled himself somehow one 
rung higher up the ladder than ourselves — ^^how 
ridiculous all this seems when we couple it with the 
thought of death I To pass each day simply and 
solely in the eager pursuit of money or of fame, this 
also seems like living with shadows when one might 
take one's part with realities. Surely when death is 
at hand we should desire to say, * I have contributed 
my grain to the great store of the eternal. I have 
borne my part in the struggle for goodness.' And let 
ho man or woman suppose that the smallest social act 
of goodness is wasted for society at large. All our 
help, petty though it be, is needed ; and though we 
know not the manner, the fruit of every faithful 
service is surely gathered in. Let the true and noble 
words of a great teacher ring in conclusion upon our 
ears : ' The growing good of the world is partly 
dependent on unhistoric acts ; and that things are not 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM . 299 

so ill with you and me as they might have been^ is 
half owing to the number who lived faithfully 
a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs \ 

C. G. MONTEFIORE, 1893. 



R 



EMEMDER thy last end, and cease from enmity. 

ECCLESIASTICUS 28. 6. 



LIGHT IN DARKNESS 

YY/HEN Adam saw for the first time the sun go 
. ^^ down, and an ever-deepening gloom enfold crea- 
tion, his mind was filled with terror. God then 
took pity on him, and endowed him with the divine 
intuition to take two stones — the name of one was 
Darkness and the name of the other Shadow of 
Death — and rub them against each other, and so 
discover fire. Thereupon Adam exclaimed with 
grateful joy : ' Blessed be the Creator of Light \ 

Talmud. 



800 A BOOK or JEWISH THOUGHTS 

WHENCE AND WHITHER 

I 

AKABYA^ son of Mahalalel^ said^ 'Reflect upon 
a\ three things, and thou wilt not come within the 
power of sin : know whence thou earnest^ and whither 
thou art goings and before whom thou wilt in future 
have to render account and reckoning \ 

Ethics of thb Fathers. 

II 

AN old Saxon chieftain was once revelling with his 
aT^ boon companions in the brilliantly lighted ban- 
queting hall, when he noticed a bird flying from end 
to end, and he exclaimed : ^ Even thus is our fate. 
Out of the darkness we come ; we speed for a while 
through a gay and merry world, and then again into 
darkness we lapse/ Ah, not so, dear Congregants ! 
' The dust returneth to the earth, as it was, but the 
spirit returneth unto God who gave it/ Our true 
essence is deathless — spirit of God*s undying Spirit, 
soul of His immortal Soul. If we have risen to a 
true conception of life and our duty^ if we have 
proved ourselves faithful to our mission, then our end 
will not be a leap in the dark, but — 

* Life's race well run. 
Life's work well done. 
Life's crown well won ' : 

then come rest and peace — rest with God, peace 
everlasting. 

Hermann Adler, 1898. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 301 

TIME AND ETERNITY 

GOD, the Source of life, has placed in our nature 
tlie blessed hope of immortality, by which we 
may console ourselves for the vanity of life, and over- 
come the dread of death. If thou art in truth of the 
higher sphere, why should the thought of leaving 
this lower region trouble thee ? Especially since the 
very pleasures which thou seekest on earth are, in 
reality, but briars and thorns. Therefore seek them 
not. But what shouldst thou do ? This : Use thy 
time as thou would st a doubtful companion : extract 
the good and avoid the evil. Avail thyself of the 
few opportunities of improvement in his company, 
and use thy discretion so that thou mayest suffer no 
injury from thy association with him. And remem- 
ber that the companionship of time is but of short 
duration. It flies more quickly than the shades of 
evening. We are like a child that grasps in his 
hand a sunbeam. He opens his hand soon again, 
but, to his amazement, finds it empty and the 

brightness gone. 

Yedaya Penini, 14th cent. 



WHATSOEVER thy hand findeth to do, do it 
with all thy might. 

ECCLESIASTES 9, lo. 



ACCUSTOM thyself to complete any good work 
** thou hast undertaken. 

Derech Eretz Zutta, 8th cent. 



802 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

TALMUDIC PARABLES AND LEGENDS 

I 
The Heart Ennobles any Calling 

13 ABBI BAROKA, a saintly mystic, one day as 
*• ^ he was walking through the crowded market- 
place of his town, met Elijah, the wandering spirit of 
prophecy in Jewish lore. * Who of all this multitude 
has the best claim to Heaven ? ' asks the Rabbi of 
his spirit companion. The prophet points to a disre- 
putable, weird-looking creature, a turnkey. ^That 
man yonder, because he is considerate to his prisoners, 
and refrains from all unnecessary cruelty. In that 
miniature hell over which he presides he has sup- 
pressed many a horror.* * And who else is here sure 
of eternal life ? ' continues the Rabbi, Elijah then 
points to two motley-dressed fellows, clowns, who 
were supplying amusement to the bystanders. The 
Rabbits astonishment knew no bounds. * Scorn 
them not/ explains the prophet ; ^ it is always their 
habit, even when not performing for hire, to cheer 
the depressed and the sorrowful. Whenever they see 
a sufferer they join him, and by merry talk cause him 
to forget his grief.' 

The heart ennobles any calling. A turnkey may 
leave the saintly behind in true merit of life ; and 
a jester may be first in the kingdom of heaven, if 
disinterestedly he has diminished the sadness of 
human lives. 



THE VOICE OP WISDOM 80S 

II 

' We Live in Deeds, not Yeahs ' 

A KING had a vineyard, and he hired a number of 
labourers^ one of whom worked more diligently 
and better than the others. What did the king? 
He took him by the hand and showed him friendship, 
and walked in the vineyard conversing with him. 
At eventide, all the labourers came to receive their 
hire, and the king paid that labourer too for a full 
day^s work. : 

Then were the other labourers sorely vexedr They 
said^ ' Behold, we have worked the whole day, whereas 
this one has only worked a few hours \ 

Then said the king, 'Why do you speak thus? 
Consider. This one, in a few hours, did more work 
for me than you who toiled the whole day long.' 

Ill 
The Acorn 

A RABBI was once passing through a field where 
he saw a very old man planting an oak-tree^ 
'Why are you planting that tree?' said he. 5 You 
surely do not expect to live long enough to see the 
acorn growing up into an oak-tree ? ' 

'Ah,' replied the old man, 'my ancestors planted 
trees not for themselves, but for us, in order that we 
might enjoy their shade or their fruit. I am doing 
likewise for those who will come after me.* 



804 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



IV 

Earthly Treasures 

A LEXANDER, the world conqueror, came across a 
* ^ simple people in Africa who knew not wai\ He 
lingered to learn their ways. Two citizens appeared 
before their chief with this point of dispute: One 
had bought a piece of land and discovered a treasure 
in it; he claimed that this belonged to the seller, 
and wished to return it. The seller, on the other 
hand, declared that he sold the land with all it might 
contain. So he refused to accept the treasure. The 
chief, turning to the buyer, said : ' Thou hast a son ? ' 
*Yes.' And addressing the seller, *Thou hast a 
daughter ? ' * Yes.' ' Marry one to the other and 
make the treasure their marriage portion.' They 
left content. ' In my country ' , said the surprised 
Alexander, 'the disputants would have been im- 
prisoned, and the treasure confiscated for the king.' 
' Is your country blessed by sun and rain ? ' asked the 
chief. 'Yes,' replied Alexander. 'Does it contain 
cattle ? ' ' Yes.* ' Then it must be for the sake of 
these innocent animals that the sun shines upon it ; 
surely its people are unworthy of such blessing.* 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 305 



Alexander at the Gates op Pabadtsb 

ALEXANDER the Great, in his travels in the East, 
*^ one day wandered to the gate of Paradise. He 
knocked, and the guardian angel asked, 'Who is 
there?* 'Alexander,' was the answer. 'Who is 
Alexander?' 'Alexander, you know — the Alexan- 
der — Alexander the Great — Conqueror of the world.' 
' We know him not — he cannot enter here. This is the 
LorXs gate ; ordy the rightemis enter here J Alexander 
then more humbly begged for something to show he 
had reached the heavenly gate, and a small fragment 
of a human skull was thrown to him, with the words, 
'Weigh it'. He took it away, and showed it con- 
temptuously to his Wise Men, who brought a pair of 
scales, and, placing the bone in one, Alexander put 
some of his silver and gold against it in the other ; 
but the small bone outweighed them all. More and 
more silver and gold were put into the scale, and at 
last all his crown jewels and diadems were in ; but 
they all flew upwards like feathers before the weight 
of the bone, till one of the Wise Men placed a few 
grains of dust on the bone. Up flew the scale I The 
bone was that which surrounded the eye, and nothing 
will ever satisfy the eye until covered by the dust of 
the grave. 



306 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



VI 

Heavenly Treasures 

ly^ ING MONOBAZ, who in the days of the Second 
*^ Temple became a proselyte to Judaism^ unlocked 
his ancestral treasures at a time of famine^ and distri- 
buted them among the poor. His ministers rebuked 
him, saying, ' Thy fathers amassed, thou dosfc squan- 
der \ 'Nay,' said tlie benevolent king, 'they pre- 
served earthly, but I heavenly, treasures ; theirs could 
be stolen, mine are beyond mortal reach ; theirs were 
barren, mine will bear fruit time without end ; they 
preserved money, I have preserved lives. The 
treasures which my fathers laid by are for this world, 
mine are for eternity/ 

VII 

Toleration 

AN aged man, w^hom Abraham hospitably invited 
** to his tent, refused to join him in prayer to the 
one spiritual God. Learning that he was a fire-wor- 
shipper, Abraham drove him from his door. That 
night God appeared to Abraham in a vision and said : 
*I have borne with that ignorant man for seventy 
years : could you not have patiently suffered him one 
night?' 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 807 

VIII . 

The Torah is Israelis Life 

/^NCE the Romans issued a decree that the Jews 
^^ should no longer occupy themselves in the study 
of the Torah. Rabbi Akiba, however, was most zealous 
in spreading a love and knowledge of the Torah 
amongst all the Jewish communities. One day his 
friend Pappus met him and spake thus : ' Akiba, art 
thou not af mid ? Thou surely must know that thy 
deeds will bring thee into mortal danger 1 ' ^ Stay 
a while ! ' retorted Akiba, ' let me tell thee a story : 
A fox was walking on the brink of a stream, in 
the clear waters of which were a number of fishes 
runnmg to and fro. Said the fox to the fishes, ^Why 
do you run so ? ' ^ We run ', replied they, ' because 
we fear the fishermen^s nets.* ' Come up on the dry 
land ^, said the fox, ' and live with me in safety, even 
as my forefathers once lived in safety with yours.' 
But the fishes said, ' This surely is not the cleverest 
amongst animals that speaks thus. Water is our natural 
home. If we are not safe there, how much less safe 
should we be on land, where we must surely die ! ' * It 
is exactly so with us Jews \ continued Akiba. ' The 
Torah is our life and the length of our days. We 
may, whilst loving and studying the Torah, be in 
great danger from our enemies ; but if we were to 
give up its study, we should speedily disappear and 
be no more.' 



308 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

• IX 

Isra?:l's Loyalty 

'T'HERE was once a man who betrothed himself to 
^ a beautiful maiden and then went away, and the 
maiden waited and he came not. Friends and rivals 
mocked her and said, ^ He will never come *. She 
went into her room and took out the letters in which 
he had promised to be ever faithful. Weeping she 
read them and was comforted. In time he returned, 
and inquiring how she had kept her faith so long, she 
showed him his letters. Israel in misery, in captivity, 
was mocked by the nations for her hopes of redemp- 
tion ; but Israel went into her schools and synagogues 
and took out the letters, and was comforted. God 
would in time redeem her and say, ' How could you 
alone among all the mocking nations be faithful? 
Then Israel would point to the Law and the Prophets 
and answer, * Had I not your promise here ? ' 



The Jewels 

RABBI MEIR sat during the whole of the Sabbath- 
day in the School instructing the people. During 
his absence from the house his two sons died, both of 
them of uncommon beauty, and enlightened in the 
Law. His wife bore them to her bedchamber, and 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 809 

spread a white covering over their bodies. In the 
evening Babbi Meir came home. * Where are my 
sons?' he asked. *I repeatedly looked round the 
School^ and I did not see them there/ She reached 
him a goblet. He praised the Lord at the going out 
of the Sabbath^ drank, and again asked : ^ Where are 
my sons ? * ' They will not be afar o£E ', she said, and 
placed food before him that he might eat. When he 
had said grace after the meal, she thus addressed 
him : * With thy permission, I would fain propose to 
thee one question*. ^ Ask it then^, he replied. 'A 
few days ago a person entrusted some jewels into my 
custody, and now he demands them of me ; should 
I give them back again ? * ' This is a question *, said 
the Rabbi, * which my wife should not have thought 
it necessary to ask. What 1 wouldst thou hesitate to 
restore to every one his own?' *No,' she replied; 
* but yet I thought it best not to restore them without 
acquainting you therewith.* She then led him to the 
chamber, and took the white covering from the dead 
bodies. 'Ah, my sons! my sons!' loudly lamented 
the father. * My sons ! the light of my eyes ! ^ The 
mother turned away and wept bitterly. At length 
she took her husband by the hand, and said : ^ Didst 
thou not teach me that we must not be reluctant to 
restore that which was entrusted to our keeping? 
See — the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; 
blessed be the name of the Lord I ' 



810 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



XI 

The Two Ships 

TPWO ships were once seen to be sailing near land. 
*■• One of them was going forth from the harbour, 
and the other was coming into the harbour. Every 
one was cheering the outgoing ship, and every one 
was giving it a hearty send-off. But the incoming 
ship was scarcely noticed. 

A wise man was looking at the two ships, and he 
said : ^ Rejoice not over the ship that is setting out 
to sea, for you know not what destiny awaits it, 
what storms it may encounter, what dangers it may 
have to undergo. Rejoice i-ather over the ship that 
has reached port safely and brought back all its 
passengers in peace/ 

It is the way of the world, that when a human 
being is born, all rejoice ; but when he dies, all sor- 
row. Rather ought the opposite to be the case. No 
one can tell what troubles await the child on its 
journey into manhood. But when a man has lived 
and dies in peace, all should rejoice, seeing that he 
has completed his journey, and is departing this 
world with the imperishable crown of a good name. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM «11 



XII 

The Man and His Three Friends 

A CERTAIN man had three friends, two of whom 
*^ he loved dearly, but the other he lightly esteemed. 
It happened one day that the king commanded his 
presence at court, at which he was greatly alarmed, 
and wished to procure an advocate. Accordingly 
he went to the two friends whom he loved; one 
flatly refused to accompany him, the other offered to 
go with him as far as the king's gate, but no farther. 
In his extremity he called upon the third friend, 
whom he least esteemed, and he not only went 
willingly with him, but so ably defended him before 
the king that he was acquitted. 

In like manner, every man has three friends when 
Death summons him to appear before his Creator. 
His fii-st friend, whom he loves most, namely, his 
money, cannot go with him a single step ; his second, 
relations and neighbours, can only accompany him to 
the grave, but cannot defend him before the Judge; 
while his third friend, whom he does not highly 
esteem — his good works — goes with him before the 
King, and obtains his acquittal. 



312 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

XIII 
Vanity op Human Pleasure 

A POX was eyeing longingly some luscious fruit in 
a very fine garden. But there was no way for 
him to enter. At last he espied an opening through 
which, he thought, he might possibly get in, but 
soon found the hole too small to admit his body. 
' True,' he said, ' the hole is small, but if I fast three 
days my body will become sufficiently reduced to 
admit me.' He did so ; and to his joy he now feasted 
to his hearths content upon the grapes and all the 
other good things in the orchard. But lo ! when he 
desired to escape before the master of the garden 
came upon him he saw, to his great consternation, 
that the opening had again become too small for him. 
Poor animal ! he had a second time to fast three 
days; and having made good his escape, he cast 
a farewell glance upon the scene of his late revels, 
saying : * O garden, charming art thou and exquisite 

■t 

are thy fruits I But of what avail hast thou been 
unto me? What have I now for all my labour and 
cunning ? ' 

It is even so with man. Naked he comes into the 
world, naked he must leave it. Of all his toil 
therein he carries nothing away with him save the 
finiits of his good deeds. 



T 



THE VOICE OP WISDOM 818 

XIV 

Body and Soul 

HE Roman Emperor Antoninus once said to Babbi 
Judah the Prince, * On the great Day of Judge- 
ment, soul and body will each plead excuse for sin 
committed. The body will say to the Heavenly Judge, 
'^ It is the soul, and not I, that has sinned. With- 
out it I am as lifeless as a stone/' . On the other 
hand, the soul will say, " How canst Thou impute 
sin to me? It is the body that has dragged me 
down/' ' 

'Let me tell you a parable', answered Rabbi Judah 
the Prince. 'A king once had a beautiful garden 
stocked with the choicest fruits. He set two men to 
keep guard over it — a blind man and a lame man. 
" I see some fine fruit yonder ", said the lame man one 
day. '^ Come up on my shoulder ", said the blind 
man, " I will carry you to the spot, and we shall both 
enjoy the fruit." The owner, missing the fruit, haled 
both men before him for punishment. '* How could 
I have been the thief ? " queried the lame man, 
" seeing that I cannot walk ? " '^ Could I have stolen 
the fruit ? " retorted the blind man ; '' I am unable 
to see anything.'* What did the king? He placed 
th6 lame man on the shoulders of the blind man and 
sentenced them both as one.' 

In the same way will the Divine Judge of the 
Universe mete out judgement to body and soul 
jointly. 



314 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



ALMIGHTY, WHAT IS MAN ? 

ALMIGHTY, what is man ? 
*^ But flesh and blood. 
Like shadows flee his days, 
He marks not how they vanish from his gaze, 
Now like a flower blowing. 
Now scorched by sunbeams glowing. 
And wilt Thou of his trespasses inquire ? 
How may he ever bear 
Thine anger just, Thy vengeance dire ? 
Then spare him, be Thou merciful, O King, 
Upon the dreaded day of reckoning ! 

Almighty, what is man ? 

A faded leaf ! 

If Thou dost weigh him in the balance — lo I 

He disappears — a breath that thou dost blow. 

His heart is ever filled 

With lust of lies unstilled. 

Wilt Thou bear in mind his crime 

Unto all time ? 

He fades away like clouds sun-kissed. 

Dissolves like mist. 

Then spare him I let him love and mercy win. 

According to Thy grace, and not according to his sin ! 

Solomon ibn Gabirol, 1050. 
{Tram. Emma Lazarus.) 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 815 

RESIGNATION 

p IGHTEOUS art Thou, O God, and ever just, 
* ^ And none can question, none withstand Thy will; 
And though our hearts be humbled to the dust, 
Teach us, through all, to see Thy mercy still. 

Our life is measured out by Thee above, 

And to Thy will each human heart must bow ; 

No frail remonstrance mars our perfect love. 
No man shall say to Thee, ' What doest Thou ? ' 

When suffering to human fault is due. 

Forgive, O Lord, and stay Thine hand, we pray ; 

And when it brings but trial of faith anew. 
Turn Thou the night of gloom to trustful day. 

When blessings bring Thy sunshine to our heart. 
Let gratitude uplift each soul at rest ; 

And when to bear our griefs becomes our part. 
Let faith and hope exhort us — God knows best. 

The Lord hath given — praise unto His Name 1 
But with that praise our task is but begun. 

The Lord hath taken — still our thought the same. 
His Law our Law ; His will, not ours, be done. 

A. A. Geeen, 1917. 



316 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



T 



IMMORTALITY 

HERE are those who gain eternity in a lifetime, 

others who gain it in one brief hour. 

Talmud. 



D ABBI JACOBS said: This world is like a vesti- 

*• ^ bule before the world to come. Prepare thyself 

in the vestibule, so that thou mayest enter into the 

palace. 

Better is one hour of repentance and good deeds 

in this world than the whole life in the world to 

come ; and better is one hour of blissfulness of spirit 

in the world to come than the whole life of this 

world. 

Ethics of the Fathers. 



ETERNAL HOPE 

YY 7H0M have I in heaven but Thee ? 

^^ And there is none upon earth that I desire 

beside Thee. 

My flesh and my heart faileth : 

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion 

for ever. 

Psalm 73. 25-6. 

^ Mishna teacher of the 2nd century. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 317 



TRUE WISDOM 

O URELY there is a mine for silver, 

^^ And a place for gold which they refine. 

Iron is taken out of the earth. 

And brass is molten out of the stone. 

Man setteth an end to darkness, 

And searcheth out to the furthest bound 

The stones of thick darkness and of the shadow of 

death. 
He breaketh open a shaft away from where men 

sojourn ; 
He putteth forth his hand upon the flinty rock ; 
He overturneth the mountains by the roots. 
He cutteth out passages among the rocks. 
And his eye seeth every precious thing. 
He bindeth the streams that they trickle not. 
And the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. 

But where shall wisdom be found ? 

And where is the place of understanding ? 

Man knoweth not the price thereof ; 

Neither is it found in the land of the living. 

The deep saith. It is not in me : 

And the sea saith, It is not with me. 

It cannot be gotten for gold. 

Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 

Whence then cometh wisdom ? 



818 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

And where is the place of understanding ? 

Destruction and Death say, 

We have heard a rumour thereof with our ears^ 

God understandeth the way thereof^ 

And He knoweth the place thereof. 

And unto man He said^ 

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; 

And to depart from evil is understanding. 

Job 28. 1-4, 9-15, ao, a 2-3, 28, 



Q ABBI TARPHON ^ said : The day is short, and 
* ^ the work is great, but the labourers are idle, 
though the reward be great, and the Master of the 
work is urgent. It is not incumbent upon thee to 
complete the work; but neither art thou free to desist 
from it. Faithful is thine Employer to pay the reward 
of thy labour. But know that the reward unto the 
righteous is not of this world. 

Ethics of the Fathers. 

I Mishna teacher of the 2nd century. 



THE VOICE OF WISDOM 819 



F) EMEMBER also thy Creator in the days of thy 
youth^ or ever the evil days come, and the years 
draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in 
them : or ever the sun and the light, and the moon and 
the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the 
rain ; and the dust return to the earth as it was, aiid the 
spirit return to God who gave it. 

This is the end of t/ie matter ; all hath been heard : 
fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the 
whole duty of man. 

ECCLESIASTES 12. 1-2, 7, 13. 



NOTES 

Thboughout this Jewish Anthology the unit of selection 
is the Jewish thought. Abridgement has therefore been 
unhesitatingly resorted to, wherever condensation helped to 
make the thought stand out in clearer light. Utmost care 
has» however, been taken that such condensation in no way 
obscure the original meaning of the Author. 

The bibliographic notes are intended for those who may 
desire to extend their ficquaintance with Jewish books. 
Only such sources as are available in English and are within 
possible reach of the ordinary reader have been indicated. 

In the Scripture selections, wherever the rhythm and 
beauty of either the Authorized Version or the Revised 
Version could be retained, this has been done. In the 
majority of cases, however, the quotations are from the 
more faithful Jewish Version. The numbering of the Bible 
verses is according to the Hebrew text. 

ABBREVIATIONS : 

B. P. C. = Bloch Publishing Co., New York. 
J. Q. R. B= Jewish Quarterly Review (Old Series), 
J. P. S. = Jewish Publication Society of America; 
Philadelphia. 
J. E. = Jewish Encyclopedia. This standard refer- 
ence work should be consulted for fuller information on the 
authors, sources, and subjects brought together in this book. 

I 

PAGE 

3. Jacobs: *The Typical Character of Anglo-Jewry.* 

J. Q. R., 1898. 
Aguilar: The Spirit of Judaism, chap. viii. A. S. 

Isaacs' The Young Champion is a biography of Grace 

Aguilar for young readers. J. P. S., 1916. 
5. For Eleazar of Worms, see M. Joseph in Jewa^ College 

Jubilee Volume^ 1905. 

M 



822 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

6, Montefiore: From a Sermon preached before the 
Jewish students of Cambridge University. 
< Individual offences bring shame not only upon the 
persons who commit them, but upon the entire race, 
which, says an old writer, like a harp-string, has but 
to be struck at one end and it vibrates throughout. 
This has been the fate of Israel in every age ; and 
the world's habit of identifying the mce with the 
shortcomings of the individual seems to be ineradi- 
.cable. Public transgression — transgression which 
involves the whole House of Israel — is in a special 
sense branded as a Chillul Hashemi as *' a profanation 
of the Name " ; just as good deeds, done publicly, 
which reflect lustre on all Israel, are praised as 
a Kiddush Hashem, ^* a sanctification of the Name '*/ 
(Morris Joseph, Judaism as Life and Creed. 8rd 
Edition. Routledge— an excellent book that should 
be in every English-speaking Jewish home.) 
7-9. For other specimens of Jewish Moralists see Hebrew 
Characteristics^ published by the old American Jewish 
Publication Society, 1872 ; and I. Abrahams, ' Jewish 
Ethical Wills,' in J. Q. R., 1891. 

10. Philipson : Old European Jewries, J. P. S. 

11. Lazarus : Quoted in Nahida Remy, The Jewish Woman, 

B. P. C. 

The Jewish Home— Cf. Morris Joseph on the question 
of intermarriage. 

* Every Jew should feel himself bound, even though 
the duty involves the sacrifice of precious affections, 
to avoid acts calculated, however remotely, to weaken 
the stability of the ancestral religion. It is true 
that occasional unions between Jew and Gentile do 
no appreciable harm to the Jewish cause, however 
much mischief they may lay up, in the shape of 
jealousy and dissension, for those who contract them, 
and of religious confusion, for the children. But 
a general practice begins as a rule by being occasional. 
Every Jew who contemplates marriage outside the 



NOTES 828 

PAGE 

11. pale must regard himself as paving the way to a dis- 
ruption which will be the final, as it will be the 
culminating, disaster in the history of his people.' 

12. Szold: *What has Judaism done for Woman?' in 

Judaism at » the [Chicago] World's Parliament of 
Religions^ Cincinnati, 1894. 

Cradle Song: Quoted in Schechter, Studies in Judaism, 
i, 1896. * The Child in Jewish Literature.* Another 
version in I. Zangwill's They that Walk in Darkness is 
as follows : — 

Sleep, my birdie, shut your eyes, 
Oh, sleep, my little one ; 
Too soon from cradle you'll arise 
To work that must be done. 

Almonds and raisins you shall sell, 
And Holy Scrolls shall write ; 
So sleep, dear child, sleep sound and well, 
Your future beckons bright. 

Brum shall learn of ancient days, 
And love good folk of this ; 
So sleep, aear babe, your mother^prays, 
And God will send you bliss. 

For the Yiddish folk-song see Wiener, History of Yid* 
dish Literature in the Nineteenth Century, New York 
and London, 1899; and Kurt Schindler, 'The 
Russian-Jewish Folk Song *, in The Menomh Journal, 
New York, 1917. 

'The Russian Jewish folk-song has grown and was 
reared under the greatest oppression, and the 
grimmest tyranny that a race ever went through. 
By this very oppression it has become tense, quiver- 
ing, abounding with emotion ; in its melodies the 
Jewish heart is laid open, and it speaks in a language 
understandable to all. Its songs have an elemental 
appeal — they represent the collective outcry of a 
suifering, unbendable race.' (Schindler.) 

13. Cohen: Preface, Children's Psalm Book, (Rout- 

ledge.) 

m2 



324 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

13. The following words recently written by America's 
leading educationist are of deep significance: — 
^Education the world over was at first for a long 
time almost solely religious, and, while it was 
once a master-stroke of toleration to eliminate it 
from the school, in doing so we nearly lost from our 
educational system the greatest of all the motives 
that makes for virtue, reverence, self-knowledge and 
self-control. Now we are beginning to realize the 
wrong we have committed against child-nature and 
are seeking in various ways to atone for ii ' (6. Stan- 
ley Hall, in Introduction to L. Grossmann's The Aims 
of Teaching in Jewish Schools, Cincinnati, 1919.) 

Cf. the chapter on Religious Education with Biblio- 
graphy in M. Friedl&nder, The Jewish Bdigion, 
second edition (P. Vallentine). 

Morals : In AbarbaneVs School and Family Reader for 
Isfvelites, New York, 1883— a book well worth 
reprinting. 

H. Joseph, The Message of Judaism (Routledge), 'Hebrew 
and the Synagogue.* 

15. Schechter : Seminary Addresses^ Ark Publishing Co., 
Cincinnati, 1915. These addresses of eloquent wisdom 
contain the ripest thoughts of that great scholar. 
In 1870 Peretz Smolenskin, then the foremost neo- 
Hebrew writer, proclaimed : * The wilfully blind bid 
us be like all the other nations. Yea, let us be 
like all the other nations, unashamed of the rock 
whence we have been hewn ; like the rest, holding 
dear our language and the honour of our people. 
We need not blush for clinging to the ancient 
language with which we wandered from land 
to land, in which our poets sang, and our seers 
prophesied, and in which our fathers poured out 
their hearts unto God. They who thrust us away 
from the Hebrew language meditate evil against our 
people and against its glory.* 



NOTES 825 

PAGE 

20. Maimonides : Some scholars question the Maimonidean 

authorship of this Admonition. 
22.. In Year Book of Central Conference of American Rabhia, 

1904. 

23. Aspects of Rabbinic Theology , p. 76. 

24. Adler : Anglo-Jewish Memories, p. 272. 

25. Gabirol: Probably the very earliest enunciation of 
Tolerance in Western Europe. 

27. Against Apion, concluding paragraphs. 
Ecclesiasticus : Written originally in Hebrew by Simon 

ben Jeshua ben Sira, who flourished in Jerusalem in 
the second century, b. c. e. Translated into Greek 
by the author*s grandson, who resided in Egypt be- 
tween 132-116. The Hebrew original was lost for 
over IjOOO years, and was re-discovered in the Cairo 
Geniza by Dr. Schechter in 1896. 

28. The change from the Revised Version in the second 

line is according to the newly-discovered Hebrew 

I original. 

Their name liveth for evermore; the phrasing of the 
Authorized Version has been restored. These five 
words have been chosen by the Imperial War Graves 

I Commission as the inscription for the central monu- 

ments on the cemeteries in France and Flanders. 

30. Dubnow : Jewish History^ J. P. S., chap. 12. Dubnow's 
sketch is a brief, philosophical survey of Jewish 

! History. 

j Hertz : From Presidential Address, Union of Jewish 

Literary Societies, * On "Renaissance" and "Cul- 
ture " and their Jewish Applications \ 

32. Geiger : Judaism and its History, I, 2. B. P. C. 

33. Aspects of Rabbinic Theology , p. 112. 

34. Jews in Many Lands, J. P. S. 

35. Singer: Sermons, i. * Judaism and Citizenship.' 
(Routledge.) 

36. Ahad Ha*am: Selected Essays, J. P. S., 1912. *Some 
Consolation.* A number of those original and 



826 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

36. thought-compelling essays have been republished in 
the Bevies Zionist PamphletSj 1916 & 1917. 

The words * The Duty of Self-Respect ' are the title of 
a paper by the late F. D. Mocatta. 

37. Nordau : Address at First Zionist Congress, Basle. 
Schechter : Semina)y Addf^sses, * Higher Criticism 

—Higher Anti-Semitism.' 

38. Disraeli : From Preface to Collected Wotics of Isaac 

D'Isi*aeli. 

39. Hertz : From Reply to * Verax ', The Times, Novem- 

ber 29, 1919. 
Recent anti-Semitic attacks in the Press recall Stein- 
Schneider's comment: *When dealing with Jewish 
questions it is not necessary to be either logical or 
fair. It seems one may say anything of Jews so long 
as it brings them into contempt.* 

40. An Epistle to the Hebrews, Letter 4. Republished by 

the Federation of American Zionists, 1900. 

41. These stirring lines were written during the Boer War. 

42. Dr. Adler continues: ^Here we are spared the most 

distressful sight, the revival of odious religious preju- 
dices and pernicious racial antipathies.' These 
words would require some qualification to-day. 

43. Songs of a Wanderer, J. P. S. 

48. * Why am I a Jew ? ' North American Review. 

A similar thought is expressed by the same writer in 
his Address at the Chicago Parliament of Religions : 

'There is a legend that when Adam and Eve were 
turned out of Eden, an angel shattered the gates, 
and the fragments flying all over the earth are the 
precious stones. We can carry the legend further. 
The precious stones were picked up by the various 
religions and philosophies of the world. Each 
claimed and claims that its own fragment alone 
reflects the light of heaven. In God's own time we 
shall, all of us, fit our fragments together and recon- 
struct the Gates of Paradise. Through the gates shall 



NOTES 327 

PAGE 

48. all peoples pass to the foot of God*8 throne. The 
throne is called by us the mercy-seat. Name of 
happy augury, for God*s Mercy shall wipe out all 
record of mankind^s errors and strayings, the sad 
story of our unbrotherly actions.* 

49. Judaism as Creed and Life, Book III, chap. x. Book 

III is the best modern presentation of the ethical 
life under the aspect of Judaism. 

II 
53. Lucas : The Jewish Year, Macmillan, 1898. Every 
one of Mrs. Lucas's admirable versions of the principal 
mediaeval Jewish hymns quoted in this book are 
from the above volume. 

58. Levi: See Miss Helen Zimmern*s monograph on 

* David Levi, Poet and Patriot *, in the J. Q. R., 1897. 

59. Zangwill: ' The Position of Judaism \ North American 

Review. 

60. Schechter : Seminary Addresses. ' Higher Criticism^ 

Higher Anti-Semitism \ 

61. Sulzberger : From Address at the Decennial Meeting 

of the J. P. S. 
Leeser: Preface, The Twenty-four Books of the Holy 
Scriptufvs. 

62. Adler : From a Sermon, ^This Book of the Law'. 

63. Rashi : On Exodus vi. 9. Scripture must he interpreted 

according to its plains natural sense — ^an epoch-making 
pronouncement in the history of Bible exegesis. 
Though he is not the author of this canon of inter- 
pretation, Rashi is the first seriously to attempt its 
application. * Rashi deserves the foremost place 
which the judgment of Jewish scholars generally 
accords him. He has two of the greatest and rarest 
gifts of the commentator, the instinct to discern pre- 
cisely the point at which explanation is necessary, 
and the art of giving or indicating the needed help 
in the fewest words/ (G. F. Moore.) 



828 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

6i. Halevi : Cusari, ii, 56. Translated by H. Hirachfeld 
under the Arabic title Kittib AUKhazari (Routledge), 
1905. 

Geiger : Judaism and its History ^ I, 3. 

67. Jacobs : Jewish Contributions to Civilization^ J. P. S. 
Shemtob : A remarkable anticipation by over three 

and a half centuries of the modern view of the 
rdle of the Prophets. 

Compare with the two other selections on the Prophets 
the following by Felix Adler ; — 

'Either we must place nature uppermost, or man 
uppermost. If we choose the former, then man 
himself becomes a mere soulless tool in the hands of 
destiny, a part of a machine, the product of his cir- 
cumstances. If we choose the latter, then all nature 
will catch a reflected light from the glory of the 
moral aims of man. 
'The Hebrew Prophets chose the latter alternative. 
They asserted the freedom of man ; and the general 
conscience of mankind, despite all cavilings and 
sophistry to the contrary, has ever responded to 
their declaration with a loud Amen. They argued, 
to put their thought in modem language, that we 
may fairly judge of the whole course of evolution by 
its highest outcome, and they believed its highest 
outcome to be, not mere mechanical order of beauty, 
but righteousness. 

'The Hebrew Prophets interpreted the universe in 
terms of humanity^s aspirations. They believe that 
the ends of justice are too precious to be lost; that, 
if righteousness is not yet real in the world, it must 
be made real; and, hence, that there must be a 
Power in the world which makes for righteousness.* 

68. Darmesteter : Selected Essays, translated by Jastrow, 

New York, 1895. 

Lazarus: The Spirit of Judaism t New York, 1895. 



NOTES 829 

PAGE 

69. The Literaty Remains of Emanuel Deutsch, 1874. The 
Talmud: Two Essays hy Deutsch and Dannesteter, 
J.RS., 1911. 

71. Chapters in Jewish Literature^ J. P. S. Preface. 

73. Magnus: Outlines of Jewish History ^ J. P. S., p. 333* 

74. Jacobs : Jewish Ideals and other Essays^ 1896. 
Halevi : Cusari, ii, 36. 

Gaster : Presidential Address, Transactions of Jewish 
Historical Society of England, vol. viii. 

75. Jewish History , concluding paragraph. 

76. Zunz : Synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters, chap. ii. 

* Leiden.' This wonderful presentation of the Suffer- 
ings of the Jews in the Middle Ages has been trans- 
lated by Dr. A. LOwy in Miscellany of Hebrew 
Literature. First Series, 1872 ; and has been re- 
published in the * Library of Jewish Classics ', B. P.O., 
1916. 

77. Antiquities of the Jews. Book xviii, 8. 
80. Dean Plumptre, Lazarus and other Poems. 

82. Heine : The following is a more literal version by 
Nina Salaman : — 

Break out in loud lamenting, 
Thou sombre martyr-song, 
That all aflame I have carried 
In my silent soul so long. 

Into all ears it presses, 
Thence every heart to gain — 
I have conjured up so fiercely 
The thousand-year-old pain. 

The great and small are weeping, 
Even men so cold of eye ; 
The women weep and the flowers, 
The stars are weeping on high. 

And all these tears are flowing 
In silent brotherhood, 
Southward-flowing and falling 
All into Jordan's flood. 



830 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAOB 

83. Cunosities of lAteratwe, vol. ii. 

86. Abarbanel'B Reader. 

87. Poems of Emma Lazattis, New York, 1889, vol. ii. 

89. Songs of Exile, J. P. S., 1901. 

90. From * Jewish Ethics ' (M. Joseph) in Religious Systems 

of the Woiid, London, 1892. 

91. ' Vindiciae Judaeorum ', i. 7, in L. Wolf, Manasseh Ben 

Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell, 1901. 

92. Hirsch : Nineteen Letters of Ben Uziel, 16th Letter. 

(Funk and Wagnalls) New York, 1899. 
96. J. E., vol. xii, 348. 

96. Hertz : ^ Lord Rothschild : A Memorial Sermon.* 

97. History of the Jews in Poland and Russia (Putnam s), 

1915, conclusion. 
99. Past and Present : A Collection of Jewish Essays, chap. 

xvi, Ark Publishing Co., Cincinnati, 1919. 
101. 'What is a pogrom? Better than any abstract 
definition is a concrete record taken haphazard of 
an actual pogrom. Orscha is a town of 14,000 
inhabitants, half of them Jews. On October 18, 
1905, the news of the proclamation of the Constita- 
tion reached Orscha. On the 19th the general 
strike stopped ; Jew and Christian embraced ; the 
houses were hung with flags, a service of thanks- 
giving was held ; processions filled the streets. In 
the evening the Mohilev police officer Misgaib 
entered the town, and the rumour ran round that 
a patriotic demonstration was to take place and the 
Jews to be beaten. On the 20th, drunken men 
gathered to take the officiaPs orders. On the morning 
of the 21st, the peasants entered the town armed 
with axes and guns. "The village authorities have 
sent us; whoever does not come will be punished. 
We are to do whatever is ordered." At one o'clock, 
a priest exhorted the crowds of the faithful to purge 
. their city of the aliens, and the cry arose, " Long live 
absolutism ! Down with the mayor, who has sold the 
town to the Jews". The first murders followed. 



NOTES 3.31 

PAGE 

101. The house of a rich Jew was stormed. Without the 
soldiers fired, a priest held service, and a band 
played the national anthem ; while within eight 
men, women and children were tortured to death. 
The appetite was only whetted. At six o'clock the 
peasants begged the police for more orders, more 
work. They were told to wait till daylight; the 
darkness might encourage the Jews to resist. On 
the same day twelve Jewish youths came from Shklov 
to help their brethren. They were met at the 
station and murdered, and for seven hours every 
man that passed mutilated or insulted their dead 
bodies. The massacre became general. The 23rd 
was given up to plunder. At mid-day the Vice- 
Governor spoke to the crowds : " Children, it is 
enough. Ton have had three days* amusement, now 
go home and sing * God save the Czar ' '\ The pogrom 
at Orscha was typical of the 690 greater and lesser 
pogroms which took place that October.* (H. Sacher 
on 'Die Judenpogromme in Russland'. Jewish 
Review J i.) 
106. Wolf; Hie LegtU Sufferings of the Jews in Russia, 
Lazarus: First appeared in Songs of a Semite, "New 
York, 1882. 

' Each crime that wakes in man the beast. 
Is visited upon his hind,* 
These lines, written in 1882, apply with hundredfold 
force to the uninterrupted pogroms that have been 
raging in the Ukraine throughout 1919. More 
than 100,000 Jews — men, women, and children — have 
been butchered in cold blood by the hordes under 
Generals Denikin and Fetlura. The soldiery, intoxica- 
ted with blood, invented the most diabolical tortures. 
See the Report on Jewish Pogroms by Eieff Pogrom 
Relief Committee, controlled by the Russian Red 
Cross, London, 1920. ' Our masses in Eastern Europe 
have been facing death in seven circles of hell. 
It is sufficient to remember the multi- massacres 



882 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

106. of Ukrainia. For this cold murder of whole com- 
munities, not Heaven itself nor all the mercy of the 
angels could find palliation. There is no instance 
that shows so much as this the ghastly descent of 
human character into primitive brutality and canni- 
balism. This is a deed which in its horror and 
wicked purposelessness should have stunned the 
world.* (Nahum Sokolow, Opening Address of 
London Zionist Conference, July 7, 1920.) The 
following stanzas are from Mr. ZangwilFs appeal to 
American Jewry on behalf of the victims : — 

OUR OWN 

By devastated dwellings, 
By desecrated fanes, 
By hearth-stones, cold and crimsoned. 
And slaughter-reeking lanes, 
Again is the Hebrew quarter 
Through half of Europe known ; 
And crouching in the shambles, 
Rachel, the ancient crone. 

Weeps again for her children and the fate that is her 
own. 

No laughter rings in these ruins 
Save of girls to madness shamed. 
Their mothers disembowelled 
Lie stark *mid children maimed. 
The Shool has a great congregation 
But never a psalm they drone. 
Shrouded in red-striped Tallisim, 
Levi huddles with Eohn ; 

But the blood from their bodies oozing is the blood that 
is your own. 

Shot, some six to the bullet, 
Lashed and trailed in the dust. 
Mutilated with hatchets 
In superbestial lust-^ 



NOTES 838 

PAGE 

106. No beast can even imagine 
What Christians do or condone — 
Surely these bear our burden 
And for our sins atone, 

And if we hide our faces, then the guilt is as our own. 

At last but a naked rabble, 
Clawing the dust for bread, 
Jabbering, wailing, whining, 
Hordes of the living dead. 
Half apes, half ghosts, they grovel, 
Nor human is their tone, 
Yet they are not brutes but brethren. 
These wrecks of the hunger-zone. 
And their death-cry rings to heaven in the tongue that 
is your osm. 

107. For an historical account of these child-martyrdoms, 

see Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland^ 
J. P. S., 1918, vol. ii, pp. 18-29. 

109. Stones and Pictures, J.P. S., 1906, contains the best 
work of Peretz. The Yiddish original of ' Bontzie 
Schweig \ with English translation, is published in 
Wiener, pp. 332-53. 
With Peretz, Yiddish letters 'Alter into competi- 
tion with what is best in the world's literature, 
where he will Eome day occupy an honourable place. 
Peretz offers gladly all he has, his genius, in the 
service of the lowly. Literature, according to him, 
is a consolation to those who have no other con,sola- 
tion, a safe and pleasurable retreat for those who 
are buffeted about on the stormy sea of life. For 
these reasons he prefers to dwell with the down- 
trodden and the submerged.* (Wiener). 

117. Cf. Emma Lazaras* Banner of the Jew : — 

Oh for Jerusalem's trumpet now, 
To blow a blast of shattering power, 
To wake the sleepers high and low. 
And rouse them to the urgent hour ! 



884 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

117. No hand for vengeance— but to save, 
A million naked sworde should wave. 

Oh deem not dead that martial fire, 
Say not the mystic flame is spent ! 
With Moses' law and David's lyre, 
Your ancient strength remains unbent. 
Let but an Ezra rise anew, 
To lift the Banner of the Jew ! 

A rag, a mock at first— ere long, 
When men have bled and women wept 
To guard its precious folds from wrong, 
Even they who shrunk, even they who slept, 
Shall leap to bless it, and to save. 
Strike ! for the brave revere the brave ! 

'When the anti-Semite agitation took the form 
of massacre and spoliation, several pamphlets 
were published by Jews in Russia, advocating the 
restoration of the Jewish State. They found a 
powerful echo in the United States, where a young 
Jewish poetess. Miss Emma Lazarus, passionately 
championed the Zi4)nist cause in verse not unworthy 
of Yehudah Halevi.' (Lucien Wolf, Encyclopaedia 
Britannicaj * Zionism *.) 

119. Seminaiy Addresses, * Zionism'. 

120. Selected Essays, * Moses '. 

123. Jewish Beview, I. 

124. Herzl : ' Herzl's personal charm was irresistible. His 

sincerity, his eloquence, his tact, his devotion, his 
power, were recognized on all hands. He spent 
his whole strength in the furtherance of his ideas. 
Diplomatic interviews, exhausting journeys, impres- 
sive mass meetings, brilliant literaiy propaganda— all 
these methods were employed by him to the utmost 
limit of self-denial. He was beyond question the 
most influential Jewish personality of the nineteenth 
century. He effectively roused Jews all the world 



NOTES 886 

PAGE 

124. over to an earnest and vital interest in their present 
and their future. Herzl thus left an indelible mark 
on his time, and his renown is assured whatever be 
the fate in store for the political Zionism which he 
founded and for which he gave his life.* (I. Abrahams 
in Encyclopaedia Bntannica.) 

125. Herzl : Address at Zionist Congress, London, 1900. 
Hertz: Address at Thanksgiving Meeting for the 

Balfour Declaration, Dec. 2, 1917. 

127. Herzl : Address at First Zionist Congress, Basle, 1897. 
Schechter: Aspects^ 105. 

Noah : See ' Noah's Ark * in ZangwilFs Dreamer's of 
the Ghetto for an account of this early American 
Zionist. 



Ill 

131. Cornill : In the same masterly address. Humanity in 
the Old Testament^ this gi*eat Biblical scholar says : — 
' But not only to man does the humanitarianism of 
the Torah extend, it cares for the brute as well, and 
places it likewise under legal protection, to which I 
know of no analogy in older extra-Israelitish codes. 
The Israelite ascribed a soul even to the brute, and 
saw in it a creature of God, which, while subservient 
to man by God, yet should not be helplessly exposed 
to his caprice. What a truly humanitarian sentiment 
finds expression in the Law ; *^ Thou shalt not muzzle 
the ox when he treadeth out the corn ". The brute 
should not perform hard labour, and at the same time 
have food before its eyes, without the possibility of 
eating therefrom. I remember some time ago, to have 
read that one of the richest Italian real-estate owners, 
at the grape-harvest, fastened iron muzzles to his 
miserable, fever-stricken workmen, so that it might 
not occur to these poor peasants, working for starva* 
tion wages under the glowing sun of Southern Italy, 



386 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAQB 

131. to satiate their burning thirst and their gnawing 
hunger with a few of the millions of grapes of the 
owner.' 

132. LHet*ature and Dogma, 1, 4, and xi, 6. 

133. History of the People of Israel. Preface. 

134. Lotze : Miavcosniy III. 

138. Frazer : Passages of the Bible chosen for their Literary 

Beauty.— "Preface, 

Compare the following from the same writer's The 
Folklofv of the Old Testament (Macmillan, 1918) :— 

'The revelation of the baser elements which underlay 
the civilization of ancient Israel, as they underlie 
the civilization of modern Europe, serves rather as 
a foil to enhance by contrast the glory of a people 
which, from such dark depths of ignorance and 
cruelty, could rise to such bright heights of wisdom 
and virtue. The annals of savagery and superstition 
unhappily compose a large part of human literature ; 
but in what other volume shall we find, side by side 
with that melancholy record, psalmists who poured 
forth their sweet and solemn strains of meditative 
piety in the solitude of the hills or in green pastures 
and beside still waters; prophets who lit up their 
beatific visions of a blissful future with the glow 
of an impassioned imagination; historians who 
bequeathed to distant ages the scenes of a remote 
past embalmed for ever in the amber of a pellucid 
style ? These are the true glories of the Old Testa- 
ment and of Israel.' 

139. Huxley : Educational Essays, 

140. Huxley: 'From the free spirit of the Mosaic law 

sprang the intensity of family life that amid all 
dispersions and persecutions has preseiTod the indi- 
viduality of the Hebrew race ; that love of indepen- 
dence that under the most adverse circumstance 
has characterized the Jew ; that burning patriotism 
that flamed up in the Maccabees and bared the 



NOTES 837 

PAGE 

140. breasts of Jewish peasants to the serried steel of 
Grecian phalanx and the resistless onset of Roman 
legion ; that stubborn courage that in exile and in 
torture held the Jew to his faith. It kindled that 
fire that has made the strains of Hebrew seers and 
poets phrase for us the highest exaltations of 
thought ; that intellectual vigour that has over and 
over again made the dry staff bud and blossom. 
And it has exerted its power wherever the influence 
of the Hebrew scriptures has been felt. It has 
toppled thrones and east down hierarchies.* (Henry 
George.) 

141. Renan : History of the People of Israel, chap. 7. 

143. Moses. This splendid lecture should be read in full. 
It is published in a penny edition by the 'Land 
Value ' Publication Dept., Strand. 

147. Dow : * Hebrew and Puritan ', J. Q. R., iii. 

Rhys : Lyrical Poetry from the Bible. (Dent.) Intro- 
duction. 

Comill : The Culture of Ancient Israel, Open Court 
Publishing Co., Chicago. * The Psalms in the World's 
Literature.' 

151. Jowett : Selected Passages from the Theological Writings^ 

1903, p. 53. 

152. The Prophets of Israel. Open Court Publishing Co., 

Chicago, 1895. 

156. Stanley : History of the Jeunsh Church, iii, lecture 45. 

157. * Social Life in France in the Fourteenth Century • 

(The Jews), Fortnightly Review, vol. 57. 

158. The Shield, edited by Gorky, &c., A. A. Knopf, New 

York, 1917. * Russia and the Jews.* 

159. Herford : Pharisaism : Its aim and methods, 1912, 

chap. vi. 
IGO. * A Theist^B Impressions of Judaism *, J. Q. R., xix. 
166. Rationalism in Europe, chap. vi. 
171. Short History of the English People, chap, viii, i. 



888 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAOB 

172. Essay and Speech on Jewish DisabUHieSy ed. I. Abrahams 
and S. Levy. (Jewish Hieiorical Society of England) 
1910. 

177. From * A Letter on the Jew' sent to a Jewish meeting, 

Capetown, July 1, 1906. 

178. Milyukov: In The Shield, *The Jewish Question in 

Russia \ 

179. The Talmudic Stoiy is from Three legends (Berlin, 

1904), written and published by Tolstoy in aid of the 
victims of the Eishineff pogrom. 

180. Schreiner : See Note 177. 

181. The British Protest, together with the French, German, 

and Russian Protests, were republished in pamphlet 
form by the Jewish Chronicle in 1913. 

185. Quoted in Davies^s Gems from the Fathers (Bagster). 



IV 

189. Philo: C. G. Montefiore, *Florilegium Philonis', in 
J. Q. R. vii (1895) is a good introduction to the Moses 
Mendelssohn of Hellenistic Judaism. 

198. Abrahams: Authorized Fray erBooh^ Annotated Edition, 
p. viii. 
Both Mrs. Lucas in The Jewish Year, and Mr. Zangwill 
in The Setvice of the Synagogue (Routledge) have 
produced versions of Adon 01am. The following 
is by George Borrow in The Bible in Spain: — 

Reigned the Universe^s Master, 

ere were earthly things begun ; 

When His mandate all created, 

Ruler was the name he won ; 

And alone He*ll^*ule tremendous 

when all things are past and gonCi 



NOTES 889 

PAQE 

193. He no equal has, nor consort^ 

He, the singular and lone, 
Has no end and no beginning ; 

His the sceptre, might, and throne. 
He *8 m J God and living Saviour, 

rock to whom in need 1 run ; 
He *8 my banner and my refuge, 

fount of weal when cali'd upon ; 
In His hand I place my spirit, 

at nightfall and at rise of sun, 
And therewith my body also ; 

God 's my God — I fear no one. 

194. From the first Jewish Hymn Book in America—a free 

rendering. 

195. The Menorah Journal, vol. ii, 1916. *A Plea for 

Orthodoxy.' 

1 96. Hertz : Inaugural Sermony Congregation Oittch Ghay im, 

New York, 1912.. 

198. Abrahams : ' Judaism and Spiritism \ in Jewish 

Guardian, October 1, 1919. 

199. In Philipson, Old Euivpean Jewties, J. P. S. 

201. Jacobs: Jewish Ideals, 'And what great bliss and 
happiness did the Sabbath bring to the family life. 
When Friday evening came and the Sabbath lamps 
were lighted and our fathers sang their Sabbath 
hymns, they forgot, once in each week, all the 
sorrows and cares of everyday life, and all the 
affronts and insults which, without pity and without 
mercy, were heaped upon them, and at last on the 
Sabbath they felt released in body and soul from all 
troubles and burdens.* (B. Felsenthal.) 

A SABBATH TABLE-SONG. 

Treasure of heart for the broken people, 
Gift of new soul for the souls distrest, 
Soother of sighs for the prisoned spirit — 
The Sabbath of rest. 



840 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

201. This day is for Israel light and rejoicing, 
A Sahhath of rest. 

When the wt)rk of the worlds in their wonder was 

finished, 

Thou madest this day to be holy and blest, 

And those heavy-laden find safety and stillness, 

A Sabbath of rest. 

This day is for Israel light and rejoicing, 

A Sabbath of rest. 

Isaac Luria, 1560. 

{Tfxtns, Nina Salaman,) 

202. Sotigs of a Wanderer. J. P. S. 

204. See Authorized Prayer Book, Annotated Edition, pp. cxlix 
and cclix. 

206. Also in Songs of a Wanderer. 

207. The Ideal in Judaism, 1893. 

209, Hertz : Passover as Israel's birthday. * A people who, 
though they never founded a great empire nor built 
a great metropolis, have exercised upon a large 
portion of mankind an infiuence, wide-spread, potent 
and continuous ; a people who have for nearly two 
thousand years been without country or organized 
nationality yet have preserved their identity and 
faith through all vicissitudes of time and fortune ; 
who have been overthrown, crushed, scattered ; who 
have been ground, as it were, to very dust, and flung 
to the four winds of heaven; yet who, though thrones 
have fallen, and empires have perished, and creeds 
have changed, and living tongues have become dead, 
still exist with a vitality seemingly unimpaired ; a 
people who unite the strangest contradictions ; whose 
annals now blaze with glory, now sound the depths 
of shame and woe — the advent of such a people 
marks an epoch in th& history of the world.* (Henry 
George.) 

213. Akdomus : Translation of a thought at the beginning 
of Akdomus, the Aramaic hymn that precedes the 



NOTES 841 

PAGE 

213. Reading of the Law on Pentecost. I have not been 
able to discover the name of the translator. 

Rosenfeld: From a forthcoming book of poems, 
Songs of a Pilgrim (Jewish Forum Publishing Co., 
New York). He is known to the non-Jewish world 
by his Songs ffvm the Ghetto - powerful descriptions 
of the New York sweatshop inferno. This volume 
has been translated into most Western languages. 

* It was lefL for a Russian Jew at the end of the 
nineteenth century to see and paint hell in colours 
not attempted by anyone since the days of Dante . . . 
the hell he has not only visited, but that he has 
lived through.' (Wiener.) 

214. The Sinaist, 1, 2. 'The Torah— our Greatest Bene- 

factor.' 

216. The Sinaist, 1, 3. 

TEPHILLIN 

Erect he stands, in fervent prayer, 
His body cloaked in silken Tallis ; 

He seems a king, so free from care, 
His wife a queen, his home a palace. 

These bands he wears and softly prays, 
Devoting strength and mind to God ; 

His body slowly, gently sways — 
He walks the ground his fathers trod. 

^ This daily commune with the Master 

Lifts him above mere common clay ; 
The Jewish heart, like alabaster, 
Grows pure and pm'er every day. 

(Aaron Schaffer in Standard Book of 
Jewish Verses^ New York, Dodd, Mead & Co.) 

217. Sun and Shield, A Book of Devout Thoughts for every- 

day Use. B. P. C. 

218. The Occident, vol. 12. It is a pity that no selection of 

S. R. Hirsch's Essays has as yet appeared in English. 



842 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAaE 

219. Seftnons, i. * Faith* — the last sermon preached by him. 

The Jewish idea of faith is that of fidelity, absolute 
loyalty to God. * Though He slay me, yet will I trust 
in Him.* 

Toung Sorley, writing a few days before he fell in 
battle, says : * Real faith is not that which says *' we 
must win for our cause is just " ; but that which says 
''our cause is just; therefore we can disregard 
defeat ". All outlooks are at present material, and 
the unseen value of justice as justice, independent 
entirely of results, is forgotten. It is looked upon 
merely as an agent for winning battles.* {Letters of 
Charies Sorley, 1919.) 

220. Halevi*8 Ode to Zion is one of the noblest religious 

poems in the literature of the World : — 

Pure and faithful, ever spotless. 
Was his sonfi^, even as his soul was ; 
Soul, that when the Maker fashioned, 
With His handiwork delighted. 

Straight He kissed the beauteous spirit ; 

And that kiss of grace, re-echoing, 

Fills with music all his singing, 

Whom it consecrated — poet. (Heine.) 

226. For Israel Baalshem, see Schechter, Studies^ i. ' The 
Ghassidim.* 
Joseph : The Message of Judaism. 

228. Songs of Zion, An excellent translation of a poem of 

great mystic beauty. 

229. This hymn forms part of the New Year Morning 

Service. 

230. Stories and Pictures. Peretz inimitably succeeds in 

revealing the whole inner world of Chassidic life. 
The Rebbe referred to is Nathan ben Naphtali Hertz, 
a disciple of Nahman of Bratzlav. The story is also 
related of B. Moses Sassow. 

235. From a Sermon preached at Capetown to a Congrega- 
tion of Refugees from the Transvaal during the Boer 
War. 



NOTES 348 

PAas 

237. Service of the Synagogue, Eve of the Day of Atonement. 
Only the laRt portion of this alphabetic acrostic is 
given here. 

238t From The Royal Ct-otcn, Gabirol's best known and 
most important composition, containing his thoughts 
on religion and philosophy, and expressing all his 
ardent love of God. In many congregations, this 
poem is recited at the conclusion of the Eve of 
Atonement (Kol Nidra) Service. 

240. Ahodath Yiarael, by Szold and Jastrow, Philadelphia, 

1873. 

241. Poems of Emma Lazarus, vol. ii. 

249. This hymn introduces the concluding service on the 

Day of Atonement in the Sephardi Liturgy. 

250. Cusari, ii, 50. The translation is from Gottheil, Sun 

and Shield. 

252. Joseph : Judaism as Life and Creed. 
Disraeli : Tancred. 

253. Aspects of Judaism^ p. 109. 

255. J. Q. R., 1903. For the Yiddish original, see Wiener, 
History, p. 272. 

259. The Menorah— the more correct title would be *The 
Ghanukah Lamp *. 

268. In England every morning service closes with this 
hymn being recited before the open Ark. 



273. Spinoza: Ethics. 

274. Guide to the Perplexed. 

275. See Notes 7-9. 

280. Maimonides: !7%e Eight Chapters on Ethics^ ed. 
Gorfinkle, New York, 1912. 
Jacobs : Jews of Angevin England, p. 172. 
Ethics of the Fathers : Authorized Prayer Book, pp. 
184-209. A good edition, Hebrew and English, 



344 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

PAGE 

280. with commentary, is by Gorfinkle, in Library of 
Jewish Classics, B. P. C. 

282. ' Cleanliness is next to Godliness * : The Jewish my 8tic*s 

Ladder of Perfection. Its author is Rabbi Pinhas 
ben Tair — a second-century saint and teacher. 

283. Tellin-Abrahams, MaimonideSy J. P. S. 

285. The Liieraty Remains of Emanuel Deutsche *The 
Talmud *, for a larger selection of Talmudic sayings. 

296. The Discipline of Sorrow, 1911. *The terrible events 

of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn 
that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which 
habitually we try to ignore, namely, that really we 
have no claim on a long life; that we are each of 
us liable to be called off at any moment, and that 
« the main point is not how long we live, but with 

what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for 
short it is at best. 

As in every battle, so in the great battle of Humanity, 
the fallen and wounded, too, have a share in the 
victory; by their sufferings they have helped, and 
the greenest wreaths belong to them.* (Felix Adler 
in Life and Destiny , New York, McClure, Philips & Co.) 

297. See Note 235. 

298. Aspects of Judaism, ii, 5. 

300. Adler: * Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild — a Funeral 

Address *. 

301. Penini : translation in Gottheil, Sun and Shield, 
308. * The Jewels '—based on a version by S. T. Coleridge. 
315. Cf. AuthoHzed Prayer Bodk, p. 318. 

318. Ethics of the Fathers: The fourth chapter of the Ethics 
ends with the words of R. Eleazar Hakkappar : — 
'The bom are to die and the dead to live on again; 
and those who enter the eternal life, to be judged. 
Therefore, let it be known, understood and remem- 
bered, that He, the Almighty, is the Maker and the 
Creator ; He is the Discerner, He the Judge, He the 
Witness, He the Complainant; and that He shall 



NOTES 845 

PAGE 

318. judge in the hereafter, before whom there is no 
unrighteousness, and no forgetting, no regard for 
rank, no taking of bribes. Enow that all is according 
to reckoning. Let not thy passions persuade thee 
that the grave will be a place of refuge for thee. 
For without thy will wert thou created, without thy 
will thou wast born; thou livest perforce, and 
perforce thou shalt at last die, and perforce thou 
shalt in the future have to give account before the 
Supreme King, the Holy One, blessed be He.* 



INDEX OF AUTHORS AND 

SOURCES 



t Indicates translators or translations. 



Abraham ibn Ezra 



Abrahams, Israel . 



ACHAD Ha'am . . 
AcHAi (6a on) . . 



Adler, Cyrus . • . 
Adler, Elkan N. . 



Adler, Felix . . . 
Adleb, Hermann . 



Adler, S. Alfred 



AauiLAB, Grace • 



• t 



I -JEWISH 

. (1104-1167). Famous Spanish- 
Jewish Bible commentator, 
traveller and poet. Visited 
London Jewry in 1158. 284. 

. Reader in Talmudic, Cambridge 
University. * Jewish Life in the 
Middle Ages.' 33, 71, 124, 193, 
198, 253. 

. See GiNZBERO, Asher. 

. Eighth century. First rabbinical 
author after close of Talmud. 
*Sheeltoth.* 291. 

. American educationist ; Editor of 

* Jewish Quarterly Review \ 4. 
. Communal worker, traveller, and 

collector of Hebrew MSS. * Jews 
in Many Lands.' 34, t[291]. 
American educationist of Jen^ish 
descent. 328, 344. 
. (1839-1911). Chief Rabbi (1891). 

* Anglo- Jewish Memories.' 24, 
42, 62, 300. 

. (1875-1910). Son of above. *The 
Discipline of Sorrow,' 296. 
(1816-1847). Anglo-Jewish author. 
« The Vale of Cedai-s.' 8. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS 347 

Alkabetz, Solomon 16tli century, hymn-writer and 

Halevi mystic. 203. 

Antin, Mary .... Russo-American writer. *The 

Promised Land.' 100, 107. 
Artom, Benjamin . . (1835-1879). Italian Rabbi. 

London Haham (1866). 18. 

AsHEB ben Yechiel . (1250-1328). Spanish Jewish Tal- 

mudist. 8. 

Baalsuem, Israel • . (1700-1760). Famous Mystic. 

Founder of the sect of Chassi- 
dim (Pietists). 226. 
Baghya ibn Pakuda . 11th century, Spanish-Jewish 

ethical philosopher. ' The 
Duties of the Heart.' 192, 240, 
284. 
Benedict of Oxford . (Berechyah Nakdan), 12th-cen- 
tury Anglo-French fabulist. 
280. 
Bible: Genesis 52; Exodus 243; Leviticus 282, 291; 
Deuteronomy 227; 1 Kings 47; Isaiah 3, 39, 47, 
49, 50, 52, 224, 246, 247, 273 ; Jeremiah 53, 270 ; 
Ezekiel 121, 245 ; Joel 47 ; Amos xvi ; Jonah 2 ; Mieah 
273; Malachi 48 ; Psalms 188, 192, 211, 227, 270, 310 ; 
Proverbs 19 ; Job 317 ; Lamentations 88 ; Ecclesiastes 
301, 319 ; Esther 264 ; Daniel 200. 
Book of Morals . . 15th-centui7 ethical work. 13. 

BtJCHLER, A Jewish scholar; Principal of Jews* 

College, London. 72. 
Byalik, Chayim Nach- Greatest contemporary Hebrew 

man poet. 123. 

Carvalho, David Nunes (1784-1860). Lay Reader of 

Charleston, S.C., Synagogue. 
194. 
Cohen, Julia M. . . . (1862-1917). Anglo-Jewish com- 
munal worker. 13. 
Cbescas, Chasdai . . (1340-1410). Religious philoso- 
pher. * Or Adonay.* 25. 
DaICHES, Sails . . . Anglo- Jewish Rabbi. 215. 



848 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Dbutsoh, Emanuel 
Disraeli, Benjamin 

DlsBAELi, Isaac . . 



DUBNOW, Simon . 
Dymov, Ossip 



Darmestetbb, James . (1849-1894). French Orientalist. 

* The Prophets of Israel.* 68. 
Derech Ebetz Zutta 8th-century ethical treatise. 301. 

(1829-1873). Jewish scholar and 
Orientalist. < The Talmud.* 69. 
(1804-1881). British Prime Minis- 
ter and novelist. ' Alroy.* 38, 
201, 252. 
(1766-1848). Anglo-Jewish man 
of letters. * Curiosities of Li- 
terature.* 83. 
tDBAGHHANK, Bernard American rabbi. 92. 

Russo- Jewish historian. 30, 75. 
Russian writer. 101. 
EccLESiASTicus (Ben A book of the Apocrypha. 28, 
Sira) 53, 63, 234, 299. 

EiCHHOLZ, A English educationist. 128. 

Eleazar(Rokeagh) of 13th century, mystic and hymn- 

WoRMS writer. 5, 293. 

Eliezer ben Isaac . 11th century, ethical writer. 7. 
Ephraim of Bonn . . (1133-1196). Chronicler, poet, 

and Talmudist. 81. 

1 EsDRAS A book of the Apociypha. 272. 

Ethics of the Fathers (Pirke Aboth) ; treatise of Mish- 

nah, containing ethical sayings. 
19, 281, 290, 292, 300, 316,318, 
344. 

Dayan of the United Synagogue. 
31, 190. 

(1822-1908). American rabbi. 
339. 

Translator of Peretz and other 

Yiddish writers. 109, 123, 230, 

255. 

Frankl, L. A. . . . (1810-1894). Poet and writer. 86. 

Fbanzos, Earl Emil . (1848-1904). Ghetto novelist. 

* The Jews of Barnow.* 93. 



+FELDMAN, Ashev . 

Felsenthal, B. . 

tFRANK, Helena . 



INDEX OF AUTHORS 849 

Friedlandeb, Israel (1876-1920). Bible Bcholar and 

hifitorian. 97, 99. 

Fbiedlandeb, Michael (1833-1910). Late Principal of 

JeW College. 'The Jewish 
Religion.' 60. 

FuEBST, Julius . . . (1826-1899). Talmudic lexico- 
grapher. 78. 

Gabibol, Solomon ibn (1021-1058). Poet and hymn- 
writer. Great philosopher. 
Known in Middle' Ages as 
Avicebron. * The Royal Crown.' 
25, 89, 191, 2?&, 241, 314. 

Gasteb, Moses . . . Haham (1887). Folklorist. 74. 

Geioeb, Abraham . . (1810-1874). Noted rabbi and 

Bible critic. ' Judaism and its 
History.' 32,64. 

Ginzbebg, Asher . . (Achad Ha*am) Hebrew writer 

and philosopher. * Selected 
Essays.' 36, 120, 203. 

GoLDSMiD, Col. A. £ . (1846-1904). Anglo-Jewish sol- 
dier. 40. 

GoBDON, Judah Leon . (1831-1892). Hebrew poet. 255. 

Gottheil, Gustav . . (1827-1903). American rabbi and 

hymn-writer. 210, 217, 234, 
263. 

Gbaetz, Hirsch . . . (1817-1891). Famous historian 

of the Jews. 56, 76. 

Gbsen, a. a Anglo-Jewish minister. 315. 

HAFFKiNE,WaldemarM. CLE. Russo-British bacteriolo- 
gist. 195,214. 

Halevi, Yehudah . (1085-1140). Physician, religious 

philosopher, and greatest post- 
Biblical Jewish poet. 53, 64, 
74, 220, 250, 266, 271. 

Habden, Maximilian . German journalist of Jewish de« 

scent. 126. 

Habbis, M. H. . . • Ameiican rabbi. 44. 



850 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Heine, H. 



Hertz, J. H. 



Herzl, Theodor . . . 



HiRSGH, Emil G. . . . 
HiRSGH, Samson R. . . 



Imber, Naphtali H. 



Jacob ben Asher . . 



Jacobs, Joseph . . . 



tJASTROW, Marcus . . 



Jewish Chronicle . 



Jellinek, a. 



Joseph, Morris . . 



JOSEPHUS, FlAVIUS . 



(1797-1856). Great lyric poet 

and journalist. 57, 66, 82, 329, 

342. 
Chief Rabbi (1913). 11, 16, 30, 

39, 46, 79, 96, 125, 128, 196, 

209, 223, 235, 244, 297. 
(1860-1904). Founder of the 

Political Zionist Movement. 

124, 125, 127, 259. 

American rabbi. 10. 

(1808-1888). Rabbi and religious 
philosopher. * The Nineteen 
Letters of Ben Uziel.' 92, 218. 

(1856-1909). Hebrew poet. *Ha- 
tikvah.' 117. 

Died 1340. Spanish Talmudist, 
codifier, and Bible commenta- 
tor ; son of Asher ben Yechiel. 
^ArbaTuiim.' 31. 

(1854-1916). Folklorist and essay- 
ist. 'Jewish Ideals.* 3, 67, 
74, 201, t[280]. 

(1831-1903). American rabbi and 
Talmudic lexicographer. 25, 
240. 

(1841). Anglo- Jewish Weekly. 
125. 

(1821-1893). Famous preacher 
and Jewish bibliographer. 17. 

Anglo-Jewish minister. 'Judaism 
as Creed and Life.' 14, 21, 49, 
90, 207, 209, 212, 226, 252, 262, 
322, t[5]. 

(37-95 C.E.). Ancient Jewish 
general, historian, and apolo- 
gist. ' Antiquities of the Jews,' 
27, 77. 



INDEX OP AUTHORS 



851 



JuDAH the Pious . . 



Jung, Maier .... 



Kalir, Eleazar . . 
Ealokymos ben Yeiiu- 

DAH 

EoHLER, Kaufmann 

KoHUT, Alexander . . 

KoMPEBT, Leopold . . 

Lazarus, Emma . . 



Lazarus, Josephine . 



Lazarus, Moritz • . 



Leeser, Isaac . . . . 

Levi, David .... 

Levy, S 

+L0UIS, Minnie D. . . 

Lucas, Alice .... 



LuRiA, Isaac . . . 



1 Maccabees 



• • * 



Died 1217. Ethical writer and my- 
stic. 'The Book of Saints.' 268. 

(1863-1921). Chief Minister of 
Federation of Synagogues, Lon- 
don. 216. 

8th century, liturgical poet. 229, 
251. 

12th century, liturgical poet. 
80. 

President Hebrew Union College, 
Cincinnati. 24, 197, 282. 

(1842-1894). American rabbi and 
Talmudic lexicographer. 45. 

(1822-1866). Ghetto novelist. 

199. 
(1849-1887). American poetess. 

40, 87, 106, 259, 333, t[241, 

314]. 

(1846-1895). Sister of above. 
*The Spirit of Judaism.' 68, 
93. 

(1824-1903). Co-founderofEthnic 
Psychology. 'The Ethics of 
Judaism.' 11. 

(1806-1868). American preacher 
and Bible translator. 61,t[218]. 

(1816-1898). Italian Jewish poet. 
58. 

Anglo-Jewish minister. 198. 

(1842-1922). American commu- 
nal worker. 86. 
Translator of Mediaeval Jewish 
poets. * The Jewish Year.' 41, 
t[12, 221, 228, 238, 251, 255, 
266, 268, 271]. 

(1534-1572). Great Mystic. Foun- 
der of modern Cabala. 339, 

Book of the Apocrypha. 257. 



852 A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Magnus, Lady . . . 
Maimonides, Moses . 



Manasseh ben Israel. 



Margolis, M. L. • . 
Meir ben Isaac Neho- 

RAit 

Mendelssohn, Moses • 



Mendes, H. Pereira . . 
Midbash; 3rd to 10th 

MoifSE, Penina . . . 

Montefiore, C. G. . . 



MoRAiS, Sabato . . . 



Moses of Coucy . . . 

Moses ben Nachman 

(Nachmanides) 
Mosheh, R 

MuNK, Salomon • . . 



Author of * Outlines of Jewish 
History.' 73. 

(1135-1204). Great Talmudist, 
foremost mediaeval Jewish 
philosopher, and court-physi- 
cian. * Guide of the Perplexed * ; 
'Tad Hachazakah*. 21, 227, 
274, 276, 280, 283. 

(1604-1657). Amsterdam rabbi, 
apologist and theologian. Ob- 
tained the re-admission of the 
Jews to England under Crom- 
well. 91. 

Editor-in-chief, new Jewish Bible 
Version. §2. 

11th century, hymn-writer. 213. 

(1729-1786). Philosopher and 
Bible translator ; foremost Jew- 
ish figure of 18th century. 26. 

American rabbi. 48, 326. 

centuries. Rabbinic homilies on 
the Scriptures. 25, 53. 

(1797-1880). American hymn- 
writer. 225. 

Theologian and lay preacher. 
* Bible for Home Reading.' 6, 
298. 

(1823-1897). Italian - American 
rabbi. Founder, Jewish Theo- 
logical Seminary of America. 
13. 

13th century, Talmudic codifier. 
275. 

(1194-1270). Talmudist, mystic, 
exegete, and apologist. 228. 

Date unknown. Mediaeval hymn- 
writer. 249. 

(1803-1867). French Orientalist. 
122. 



INDEX OP AUTHORS 858 

Noah, M. M (1785-1851). American journal- 
ist and politician. Pioneer 
Zionist. 127. 

NoBDAU, Max . . . Author and philosopher. Vice- 
President Zion Congresses. 87, 
88. 

Penini, Yedaya . . (1270-1340). Proven9al Jewish 

poet and philosopher. 801. 

Peretz, Isaac L. . . (1851-1915). Yiddish man of 

letters. 109, 280. 

Philipson, D. ... American preacher. 10. 

Philo Judaeus ... (20 B.O.-40 ce.). Flourished in 

^exandria. Renowned Jewish 
philosopher. 189, 288, 289. 
tPouzzNEB, B. L. . . . Translator of 'The Menorah*. 

259. 

Prayer Book . . . Daily. 47, 192, 205, 212, 284. 

Festival. 89,254. 

Bashi (Rabbi Solomon (1040-1105). French Bible exe- 
ben Isaac of IVoyes) gete and greatest commentator 

of Talmud. His commentary 
on Pentateuch has never been 
surpassed in enduring popu- 
larity. 63. 

Raskin, P. M. ... Anglo-Russian poet. 43, 54, 202, 

206. 

RosENFELB, Morris . . Russian-American Yiddish poet. 

213. 

Rothschild, Baron (1808-1879). Leader of Anglo- 
Lionel de Jewish community. First Jewish 

M.P. 92. 

SaadyahGaon. . . (892-942). President of the 

Academy at Sura, Babylon; 
religious philosopher, exegete, 
and polemic writer. 127. 

Saoheb, H English journalist; Zionist writer. 

830. 

N 



854 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



SoHAFFEB, Aaron • 
ScHECHTER, Solomon 



SCHINDLER, Eurt . . 

Shehtob, ibn Shem- 

TOB 

Shulchan Aruch . . 



Balam AN, Nina Davis . Translatormediaeval Jewish poets. 

'Songs of Exile.' 205, t[89, 
191, 329, 339]. 
Lecturer at Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity. 341. 

(1847-1915). Theologian, Tal- 
mudist, and essayist. * Studies 
in Judaism.* 15, 23, 33, 37, 
60, 119, 127. 

Jewish musical composer. 323. 

15th-centur7 Spanish philosopher. 
67. 

Authoritative code of Rabbinic 
Judaism by Joseph Garo (1488- 
1575). The * Commentary ' is 
by David ben Samuel (1586- 
1667); and the 'Gloss* by 
Moseslsserles(1520-1572). 190. 

Hebraist and Zionist writer. 120. 

(1846-1906). Anglo Jewish prea- 
cher. 35, 219. 

(1842-1885). Hebrew novelist 
and journalist. 'Astray on Life's 
Pathways \ 324^ 

Hebrew writer and Zionist 
leader. 331. 
fSoLis-GoHEK, Solomon American physician and writer. 

203, 248, 249. 

(1632-1677). Great Dutch-Jewish 
philosopher. 273. 

(1816-1907). Noted Hebrew 
bibliographer. 79, 93, 326. 

American jurist, bookman, and 
communal leader. 61. 

American Jewish writer and trans- 
lator. 12, 15. 
Talmud : Body of Jewish law and legend as expounded in 
the Jewish Academies of Palestine (200-375) and of 
Babylon (200-500) ; generic designation for the whole 



tSiMON, Leon . . . 
Singer, Simeon . . 

Smolenskin, Peretz 



SoKOLOW, Nahum 



Spikoza, Benedict . 

Steinsghneider, 

Moritz 
Sulzberger, Mayer 

SzOLD, Henrietta . 



INDEX OP AUTHORS 865 

of early Rabbinic literature. 6, 11, 26, 35, 210, 243, 
253, 272, 282, 285, 291, 292, 299, 302-313, 316. 

Wiener, Leo . . • • Professor at Harvard University. 

Historian of Yiddish Literature. 
98, 333, 341. 

Wisdom of Solomon • A book of the Apocrypha. 200, 

277, 278. 

Wolf, Lucien . . . Journalist and historian. 106, 

124, 334. 

Yehudah, R Date unknown. Mediaeval hymn- 
writer. 248. 

YoMTOB of York . . Hymn-writer, probably suffered 

martyrdom at York in 1190. 
237. 

Zangwill, Israel . . Novelist and playwright. * Child- 
ren of the Ghetto.' 59, 65, 73, 
94, 98, 332, t[117, 229, 237, 254, 
323]. 

ZoHAR: A mystical Commentary on the Pentateuch,. pro- 
bably 1290. 189, 196, 204, 283. 

ZUNZ, Leopold . . . . (1794-1886). Founder of the New 

Jewish Learning. 76, 93. 



II— NON-JEWISH 

Abbott, Lyman . , . American preacher and journalist. 

131. 
Addison, Joseph . . (1672-1719). Essayist and poet. 

149. 
Alexander, C. F. . . (1818-1895). Irfsh poet. 146. 
Arnold, Matthew . . (1822-1888). Poet and critic. 

132. 
Balfour, A. J. . . H.M.SecretaryofState for Foreign 

Affairs. 184. 
BEAULiEU,Anatol6Leroy French historian. 'Israel among 

the Nations.' 162, 174. 
BiDDLE, a. E Unitarian writer. 160. 

N 7, 



856 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Blake, William . . . 

tBoEROW, George . . 

Box, Canon G. H. . . 

Cabltle, Thomas . . 



CoRNiLL, Carl H. . . 



tCBAia, Mary A. . . . 
Dow, John E 

Eliot, George . . . 
(Marian Lewes Cross) 
Ellis, Havelock . . . 
Fbazer, Sir James G. • 
Froude, James Anthony 

George, Henry . • . 



Goethe, J. W. 



GoRKT, Maxim . . . 
Green, John R. . . . 

Hall, G. Stanley . . . 

Harnace, a 

Herford, R. Travers . 

Huxley, T, H. . . . 



Jerome, St. 



(1757-1827). Poet, mystic, and 
painter. 130, 173. 

(1803-1881). English traveller. 
338. 

English Hebraist. 159. 

(1795-1881). Essayist, historian, 
and philosopher. 155. 

(1854-1920). Theologian and 
Bible critic. 131, 147, 152, 335. 

Translator of David Levi's Poems 
58. 

Author of * Hebrew and Puritan *. 
147. 

(1819-1880). EngHsh noveHst. 
'Daniel Deronda.' 161, 173, 183. 

British psychologist. 155. 

British anthropologist. 138, 336. 

(1818-1894). Histoiian and essay- 
ist. 138, 151, 155. 

(1839-1897). Political economist 
and social reformer. 143, 336, 
340. 

(1749-1832). Great German poet 
and critic. 139, 154. 

Russian man of letters. 158. 

,(1837-1883). English historian. 
171. 
American psychologist and 
educationist. 324. 

Church historian. 137. 

Theologian and Rabbinic scholar. 
'Pharisaism.* 159. 

(1825-1895). Biologist and reli- 
gious controversialist. 139, 140, 
159. 

(340-420). Church Father ; trans- 
lated Bible into Latin (Vulgate 
Version). 185. 



INDEX OF AUTHORS 857 

JowiSTT, Benjamin . • (1^17-1893). Theologian and 

translator of Plato. 151. 

Lecky, William £. H. . (1838-1903). Historian and pub- 

. Heist. 166,17a 

Longfellow, Henry W. (1807-1882). American poet. 175. 

LoTZE, H (1817-1881). German idealist 

philosopher. 134. 

Macaulay, Lord . . (1800-1859). Historian, essayist, 

and politician. 172. 

MiLYUKOY, Paul . . Russian politician. 178. 

MooBE, G. F. ... American Bible critic. 327. 

Nietzsche, F. . . . (1844-1900). German philoso- 
pher. 140. 
tPLUMPTBE, Dean E. H. (1821-1891). Anglican divine. 

80. 

Pbothebo, R. E. . . Former editor 'Quarterly Review*. 

'The Psalms in Human Life.' 
148. 

Rekan, Ernest . . . (1823-1892). Historian, philoso- 
pher, and Orientalist. 133, 141. 

Rhys, Ernest .... Man of letters. 147. 

Robinson, A. M. F. . . English poet and writer. 157. 
(Madame Duclaux) 

Roosevelt, Theodore . (1858-1919). Historian and states- 
man ; President, U.S.A. 176. 

SOHBEINEB, Olive . . (1862-1920). South African 

novelist. 177, 180. 

Scott, Sir Walter . . (1771-1823). Great novelist and 

poet. 137, 141. 

SoBLEY, Charles . • • (1896-1915). Student and soldier. 

342. 

Stanley, A. P. . . . (1815-1881). Author of * History 

of the Jewish Church \ 156. 

Stevenson, Robert Louis ( 1 850-1 894). Essayist and novel- 
ist. 138. 

Stbindbebo, August • (1849-1912). Swedish author. 

163. 

Sykes, Sir Mark . . (1879-1919). British statesman. 

183. 



858 A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 

Tolstoy, Leo .... (1828-1910). Russian novelist 

and social reformer. 135, 179. 

Twain, Mark .... (1835-1910). American writer. 
(S. L. Clemens) 186. 

Voltaire, P. M. A. de (1694-1778). French philosopher 

and man of letter^. 170. 

Wagneb, Charles . . (1851-1918). French Protestant 

divine. 134. 

Watts, Isaac .... (1674-1748). Hymn-writer. 150. 

Whitman, Walt . . (1819-1892). American poet. 137. 

Whittieb, J. G. . . . (1807-1892). American poet. 156. 



index: of subjects 



Ab, Fast of; Hymn for, 220 fP. 

Abraham, 23, 52; and Tolera- 
tion, 306. 

Achad Ha'am, 79. 

Acorn, Parable of, 303. 

Addir Hu, 210. 

Adon Olam, 190, 193 ff., 338. 

Adversity, meeting, 297. 

Ahasnerus, 264. 

Akabya ben Mahalalel, 292, 300. 

Akdomus, 213. 

Akiba, Rabbi, 135, 290, 291, 
807. 

Alexander the Great, 304-5. 

Am-Haaretz, 99. 

Amebica, The Jew in, 44-5, 
95-6, 176. 

Ammon, 128. 

Anger, 8, 9. 

Animals, kindness to. See Cattle. 

Antiochus Epiphanes, 124, 257. 

AktiSemitism, 37-9, 178-82; 
30, 107, 131, 157, 165, 169, 175, 
185, 326. * Higher anti-Se- 
mitism *, 37, 60. See Persecu- 
tion, Suffering, Pogrom. 

Antoninus, Emperor, 318. 

Apion, 77. 

Apostasy, 5, 15. 

Aristotle, 193. 

Asceticism, 250. 

Assimilation, 119-20. 

Assyrians, 223. 



Athens, 42, 134, 172. 
Atonement, Day of, 160, 226, 

235 ff. 
Auto-da-fe, 157, 162, 167, 170. 

Babylon, 125, 186. 

Barcelona, Massacre at, 167. 

Babmitzyah, 18. 

Baroka, Rabbi, 302. 

Belief, and Duty, 22. See Faith. 

Ben Azzai, 290. 

Ben Sira, 325. 

Bernard of Clairvaux, 81. 

Bible, 57-63, 137-40; in Eng- 
land, 42, 171 ; Book of the 
Ages, 59, 75, 137 ; Epic of the 
world, 57, 59, 188, 213; in 
Education, 139; and Demo- 
cracy, 140, 143, 159; and 
Israel, 5, 57-60, 131, 132, 140, 
157, 185, 808, 336 ; the inter- 
pretation of, 68, 327; and 
Literature, 137, 138, 154, 336 ; 
Reverence for, 140. Versions : 
English, 61, 62, 171 ; Greek, 
60, 61 ; Jewish, 60-3. 

Blood Libel, 100, 181. 

Body and soul, 20 ; parable of, 
313. 

Bones, Valley of Dry, 121. 

Bontzye Shweig, 109 ff. 

Book of Life and Death, 226. 

Books^ Jews* love of their, 162. 



860 



A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Britain, 42, 43, 91, 96, 125. 
Brotherhood, 244. See Re- 
sponsibility. 
Browning, Robert, quoted 79. 
Burden, Sharing the, 25. 
Burgos, massacre at, 167. 

Caligula, Jews refuse divine 

honours to, 77. 
Cattle, 144, 304, 335. 
Ceremonial, 23, 216. See 

Symbols, Custom. 
Chanukah, 259, 263. 
Charity, 31-3 ; 7, 27, 286, 288, 

306. 
Chazan, 161. 
Cheder, 37. 
Children, 70 ; Merit of, 198 ; 

torn from parents in Portugal, 

168; love for, 281. 
ChiUid Hashem, 322. 
Christianity and the Jews, 166 ff. 
Christians, early, 181. 
Citizen, Jew as, 173, 183. See 

Patriotism. 
Citizenship, British, 96. 
Civilization, Jews as Pioneers of, 

135, 172, 174 
' Cleanliness next to godliness *, 

282. 
Columbus, 86. 
Commentaries, of a nation, 

157. 
Commercial Character of Jew 

inborn, 252. 
Conduct, Rules of, 7-9, 19-21, 

292. 
* Confession * by Gkibirol, 238. 
Consciousness, Jewish, 119. 



Conversion of Jews, 10^,168, 178. 

See Proselyte. 
Cordova, massacre at, 167. 
'Corpses, Last in the desert', 

123. 
Counsel, g^od. See Conduct, 

Jewish. 
Courage of the Jew, 5, 106. 
Courtesy, 8, 9. 
Cradle song, 12. 
Creed, Jewish, 22, 23. See 

Belief, Faith. 
Crescent and Cross, 166. 
Crucifixion, 170. 
Crusades, 163. First Crusade, 

80 ; Second Crusade, 81. 
Culture, What is ? 16. 
Custom in Religion, 217. See 

Ceremonial. 
Cyrillus, 174. 
Cyrus, 125, 126. 

Dante, 341. 
David, 147. 
Death, 240-2 and 298-301 ; 160, 

285ff.,309ff.,344. ^Eaddish. 
Dedication. See Chanucah. 
Deeds, the Best Commendation, 

292, 303. 
Deluge of Fire, Legend of, 46. 
Democracy and Bible, 140, 143. 
Deronda, Daniel, 161, 173. 
Destiny. See Free-will. 
Dietary Laws, 212. 
Dogmas, Judaism and, 24, 25. 

East End of London, Jew of, 177. 
Ecclesiastes, 155. 
Eden, Gates of, 326. 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS 



861 



Edom, 128. 

Education, Religious, 13, 324. 

See also Bible, Law, Torah. 
Egypt, 135, 186; and Israel, 143; 

drowning Egyptians, 210. 
Eleazar ben Azariah, 19. 
Elizabeth, Queen, 171. 
Emancipation of Jew, 35>6, 

92-3 ; Macaulay on, 172. 
Enemy, Love of, 8. 
England, 41-3 ; 94, 96 ; 125, 

130; EHzabethan, 16, 171; 

resettlement of Jews in, 91 ; 

and Zionism, 125. 
EsTHEB, 156, 264 fiP. 
Eternity, Jew the emblem of, 

136; Time and, 301. 
Ethics, Jewish, 5,7-9, 32,293-5. 
Evening Prayer. See Prayer. 
Evil inclination, 5, 22. 
Exile, 37. 
Exodus, the. See Passover ; from 

Spain. See Spain. 
Ezra, 125. 

Faith, 219 ; 3, 342. 
Family.' See Home. 
< Famous Men, Let us now 

praise ', 28. 
Fathess, Mebit of, 198. 
Fight for religion, 5, 262. 
Fire, Deluge of, 46. 
Fishes, Akiba's Parable of, 307. 
Forgiveness, 39, 234, 237, 249. 
Folk-song, Russian-Jewish, 323. 
Fbeedom, 143, 144; 42, 340. 

Feast of. See Passover. 
Free-will, 276; 226, 236-6, 

290, 328. 



Gabiha, 286. 

Gates of Eden, legend of, 326. 

Ghetto, 10, 157, 174 ; in Lon- 
don, 177 ; in New York, 341. 

*Glory, Hymnof, 268. 

God, 193-7 ; and man, 70, 228, 
283, 290; Kingship of, 120, 
228-9 ; love of, 25, 243 ; the 
fear of, 5, 6, 13, 20, 234, 287 ; 
trust in, 50 ; servant of, 266-7; 
work of, 274, 328. 

Godliness, 282. 

Good and evil, 274. 

Good inclination, 5, 243. 

Gratitude, 289. 

Greece, 133 ; 16, 186. 

Greeks and Jews, 64, 68. 

Gulf Stream, comparison to, 44. 

Hadrian, 179, 223. 

Haham of York, 84. 

Halevi, Heine on, 342. 

Haman, 264. 

Hanina ben Dosa, 19, 292. 

Hannah and her seven Sons, 256. 

Harvest Festival, 252. 

Health, preservation of, 20. 

' Hebrew, I am an *, 4. 

Hebrew Language, 13-16, 
141, 324; in public worship, 
14 ; key to IsraePs treasures, 
15, 119 ; a holy language, 16. 

Hellenism, 4. See Greece, 
Greeks. 

Hellenistic Judaism, 15. 

Heredity, Obligations of, 30. 

Heritage, Israel's, 27. 

Hero, the true, 288. 

Herzl, 834. 



862 



A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



HiLLBL, 290-1 ; 158, 218. 

HiBTOBY, Jewish, 73 ff.; im- 
portance of Jewish, 75, 128. 

Holiness, 282 ; 134, 201. 

Home, Jewish, 10 ff., 177, 202, 
839, 341. 

Homer, 137. 

Honour, 30, 292. 

Humanity, a united, 48, 49 ; 
and Israel, 68, 131 ; and Pro- 
phets, 67, 68, 151, 328 ; pro- 
tection of, aim of Jewish Law, 
144, 335. See Messianic Hope. 

Humility, 284; 192, 248, 281, 
287, 29a 

Ihsen, 98. 

Idolatry, 8, 23, 291. 

Immorality, cardinal sin of, 291 ; 
purity of life, thought, and 
action, 282. 

Immortality, 300, 801, 316; 
286, 344; shared by righteous 
of all faiths, 26; of Israel. 
iSiM Israel. 

Inquisition, 167. 

Intermarriage, 322. 

Ishmael Rabbi, 253. 

Israel, antiquity of, 174; 
brotherhood of, 196, 244-5; 
and Greece, 64, 133-4 ; heart 
of mankind, 74 ; and human- 
ity, 3, 16, 67, 68, 128, 131, 135 ; 
immortality of, 52 ff., 120-1, 
128, 136, 185-6, 340; loyalty 
of, 308 ; martyrdom of, 5, 39, 
54-5, 76, 82, 97, 106, 168; 
mission of, 8, 4, 23, 24, 48, 65, 
120, 128, 131-2, 135, 207 ff. 



and the nations, 133, 134, 186 ; 
people of revelation, 64, 132 ; 
preservation of, 3, 4, 11, 22, 
28, 119, 120, 340 ; St. Jerome 
on preservation of, 185; and 
Rome, 77 ff., 133-4; and the 
Sabbath, 203 ; and the Torah, 
64, 307 ; and Woman, 10, 11 ; 
witnesses of God, 3. 

Israelite, responsibility of 
each, 6, 30, 35, 244, 322. 

Ivan the Terrible, 178. 

Jacob, Rabbi, 316. 

Jeremiah and Jewish patriotism, 
90. 

Jerusalem, 134, 185, 223 ; the 
* Old People's Rest ' at, 34. ' 

Jew, What is a? 135 ; 21 ; and 
Bible, 56-64; the misunder- 
stood of history, 65, 826 ; and 
Greek, 66 ; heroism of, 66, 78, 
79 ; and scholarship, 99 ; and 
commerce, 252 ; and non* Jew, 
9, 25, 26 ; as citizen, 176 ; of 
East London, 177; duty of 
every, 3, 4, 35. See Israel, His- 
tory, Patriotism, Leaming,ftc. 

Jewels, story of, 305. 

Jewish question, 93. 

Job, Book of, 155. 

Johanan ben Zakkai, 218, 287. 

Jonah, Book of, 152 ff. 

Jordan, The Watch on the, 177. 

Joy, Religious aspect of, 250, 
252 ff., 302. 

Judah the Prince, 292, 313. 

Judaism, 21, 23, 24, 65 ; a life, 
21, 92 ; iU obligations, 21 ; 



INDEX OP SUBJECTS 



863 



original truth of, 25, 197 ; and 
daughter religions, 79 ; and 
the times, 218-9 ; and original 
sin, 197; and peace, 48-9; 
connected with Jewish nation, 
24; a positive religion, 23; 
revival of, 119; consciousness 
of, 259-61. See Israel, Mis- 
sion ; dogmas of, see Dogma. 

Judea, New, 128. 

Justice, sacredness of, 82, 93, 
133, 134, 328 ; faith and, 342. 

Kaddish, 160, 199 ff. 
Kiddush Hashem, 282, 322. 
Kieff, Blood Libel in, 181. 
Koran, 137. 

Lamdan, 99. 

Language, Hebrew. See Hebrew. 

Law, Jewish, and humanity, 
69, 144, 335 ; study of, 5, 293 ; 
and Israers immortality, 128. 
Sle^Torah. 

Law of Nations, 46. 

Lazarus, Emma, Lucien Wolf on, 
334. 

Learkikg, Israel and, 162, 169, 
177. See Torah. 

Lecha Dodi, 203. 

Legends, Talmudic, 302 ff. 

Liberty, and the Jew, 135, 209, 
285. 

Life, Paths of, 7 ff. ; the right, 
278 ; the dedicated, 289 ; con- 
sists of deeds, not years, 803, 
344 ; life and death, 310, 344. 

Light in darkness, 298. 

Light, Sabbath, 201, 389 ; kind-' 
ling the, 202. 



Lisbon, Auto-da-f(§, 170. 
Literature, Jewish, 61, 71, 

336 ; classic, and the prophets, 

68. 
Liturgy, superiority of Jewish, 

160 ; George Eliot on Jewish, 

161 ; and prayers for the 

Dying, 160 ; poetry and, 140. 

See Prayer. 
Utvack, 230. 

London, the Jew of East, 177, 
Love, of God, 20, 25, 212 ; to our 

neighbour, 39. 
Loyalty to faith and country, 

40-1. See Patriotism. 
Lulav, 251. 

Maccabaeus, Judas, 223. 

Maccabees, 124, 218, 257 ff., 
262. 

Mahomet, 57. 

Man, What is ? 314 ; half angel, 
half brute, 275 ; and God, 290, 
318, 319 ; and Nature, 328 ; his 
descent and destiny, 197, 300 ; 
his three friends, 311 ; his 
work for future, 303 ; Jewish 
great men, 74. 

Manasseh ben Israel, 73. 

Manners, good. See Conduct. 

Marriage, 8, 11, 322. 

Martinez, Hernando, 167. 

Martyrdom, Jewish, 76,82,168. 

Mattathias, 257. 

Mediation between man and 
God. See God. 

Meekness. See Humility. 

Meir, Rabbi, 308-9. 

Menorah, 259 ff. 



364 



A BOOK OP JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Mercifal God. See God. 

Merit of the ehUdren, 198. 

Mebit of the Fathers, 198. 

Messianic Hope, 23, 48, 49. 

Methodius, 174. 

Middle Ages, Jew of. See Jew. 

Mishnah. See Talmud. 

Mission of Israel. See Israel, 
Messianic Hope, Zionism. 

Missionaries, Christian in China, 
181. 

Miizvahf 216. See Ceremonial. 

Moah, 128. 

Modin, 257. 

Money, 806, 811. 

Monohaz, King, 306. 

Monotheism, 28, 196, 197. 

Moors of Spain, 166 ff. 

Moral Foundations, 151. 

Mordecai, 264 ff. 

Moses, 35, 120, 143 ff., 146, 289 ; 
and Israel, 64-6 ; and Art, 66. 

Mother, The Jewish. See "Wo- 
man. 

Murder, 291. 

Myrtles, Palms and, 251. 

Nation, Jewish. See Zionism. 

National consciousness. See Con- 
sciousness, Jewish. 

Nationalism, and the Torah, 
127. 

Nations, Israel and the, 130ff., 
186. 

Nature and Man, 328. 

Nazarenes, 159. 

Neighbour, love of, 291. 

Nemirov, Rabbi of, 230, 842. 

New Moon, 205. 



Newport, Hebrew Congregation 

and George Washington, 95 ; 

Hebrew cemetery at, 175. 
New Yeab Festival, 226 ff. 
Nicholas I, Czar, 107-8. 
Nineveh, repentance of the men 

of, 152. 
Noblesse Oblige, 80. 
Non-Jews and Future Life, 

26. 
Norwegian and Yiddish, 98. 

Original Sin, 197. 
Original Virtue, 198. 
Orscha, massacre at, 330. 

Pain, the Mystery of, 296; a 
discipHne, 296, 297, 344. 

Palestine, as a Jewish National 
Home, 184; the British De- 
claration on, 125 ff. ; restora- 
tion to, 120. 

Palm-Branch, 251. 

Pantheism, 23. 

Pappus and Rabbi Akiba, 307. 

Parables and legends, Talmudic, 
302 ff. 

Parents, duties towards, 19. 

Passoveb, 163, 207 ff. ; in Old 
Russia, 100 ; and liberty, 285, 
340 ; the Seder, 206-7. 

Paths of Life, 7 ff. 

Patbiotism, 35, 40-1, 183. See 
Citizen, Jew as. 

Peace and Judaism, 48-9. 

People of the Book, 57. 

Peloponnesian War, 42. 

Pentecost, 211 ff. 

Pericles, 42. 

Pebsecution, 97, 166-70, 178- 



INDEX OF SUBJECTS 



365 



80, 285, 340. See Pogrom, 
Israel. 

Persians, 186. 

Peter the Hermit, 164. 

Pharisees, 159. 

Philo on Prayer, 189. 

Pleasure, worldly, 312. See As- 
ceticism, Joy. 

Pluralism, 23. 

Poets, Poetry, 147; folk-song, 
323. 

Pogrom in Russia, 100-5, 330. 
See Persecution. 

Polytheism, 4. 

Poor, 33, 140, 288 ; Jewish, 33, 
177. 

Popes, repudiate Blood Libel, 
181. 

Portugal and the Jews, 90, 166 ff. 

Posterity, duty to, 303. 

Praise of God's works, 189. 

Prayer, 160, 161, 189 ff. ; Philo 
on, 189 ; and Tears, 285. See 
Liturgy. 

Preservation of Israel. See Is- 
rael. 

Pride, 281, 285. 

Prophets, the Hebrew, 67-8, 
151, 328. 

Proselytes, 26, 27, 136. See Con- 
yersion. 

Providence, 3. 

Psalms, The, 147 ff. 

PuRiM, 264-5. 

Quakers, 181. 

Rabbis, Work of the, 69-72. 

Rashi, 327. 

Rebecca (Ivanhoe), 141. 



Redeemer, God as, 39, 193. 

Rejoicing of the Law, 254 ff. 

Religion, 13, 282 ; and moral- 
ity, 215; and Education, 13, 
324; custom in, 217; fight 
for, 262; and science, 195; 
and Zionism, 127-8. 

Repentance, 5, 22, 226, 243, 
278, 288. 

Resignation, 308-9, 315. 

Responsibility, Jewish, 6, 80, 
35, 244, 322. 

Resurrection, 286. See Immor- 
tality. 

Revelation and Israel, 64, 132, 
336. 

Revival, Israelis, 122. See Is- 
rael. 

Richard I, and the Jews, 83. 

Righteousness, 67 ff., 134, 
328. 

Romanoffs, Under the, 106. 

Rome and Israel, 4, 77 ff., 
133-4, 186, 223. 

Rousseau, 173. 

Russia, Jew of, 97, 99, 100, 
101 ff., 178-80, 323, 330 ff.; 
Olive Schreiner on the, 177. 

Sabbath, 12, 27, 144, 201 ff , 339. 
Sage, Jewish, 34. 
Saintliness. See Holiness. 
Salvation, secured by conduct, 

25. 
Scholarship, Jewish, 162; 16, 

17, 99. 
Science and Judaism, 195. 
Scripture, interpretations, 63. 

See Bible. 



866 



A BOOK OF JEWISH THOUGHTS 



Scroll of the Law, 2U. 
Sbdeb, the, 206, 168. 
Self-denial. See Dietaiy Laws. 
Selfishness, 158, 290. 
Self-reliance, 158, 290. 
Sblf-rsspect, Jewish, 36. 
Selichoth, 280. 
Sepher Torah, 214. 
Servant of God, 266, 285. 
Service of God, joyous, 253 ; the 

morning, 190-1. 
Service of Synagogue. See Litur- 
gy, Synagogue, Prayer. 
Shakespeare, 90. 
Shame, 287. 
Shammai, 253. 
Shema, 24, 196. 
Ships, Parable of the two, 310. 
Shofar, 227. 
Shylogk, 90. 
Sick, visiting the, 7. 
SiMGHAS Torah, 254 fiPl 
Sin, 235, 282 ; Original Sin, 197. 
Sincerity, 295. 
Slaughtering, Ritual, of animals, 

178. 
Slavery, Spiritual, 36, 79, 123. 
Social Justice, 133, 134. 
Soldier, The Jewish, 41, 
Song of the Three Children 

quoted, 165. 
Soul, 20, 197, 240; Soul and 

body, 313. 
South Africa and the Russian 

Jew, 177. 
Spain, Expulsion from, 86-8, 

166-9. 
Speech, 20. 
Spiritualism, the real, 198. 



Student, the Jewish, 17, 162. 
Superstition, 10. 
Symbols. See Ceremonies. 
Sympathy, 32. 

Synagogue, the, 14, 161 ff. See 
Prayer, Liturgy. 

Tabernacles, 250 ff. 
Talmud, 69 ff.; sayings from, 

285 ff. ; parables and legends, 

6, 302 ff.; study of, 17, 34; 

burning of the, 156, 162. See 

Index of Sources. 
Tarphon, Rabbi, 318. 
Temple, 172, 185, 218, 291. 

Ten COMMAi^DMENTS, 215. 

Tephillin, 216, 341. 
Time and Eternity, 301. 
Times, Judaism and the, 218. 
Toledo, massacre at, 167. 
ToLERANGE, 25 ff., 136, 160, 306; 

Jew, emblem of, 136, 306. 
Torah, meaning of, 17 ; student 

of, 17; and Israel, 127, 128, 

307. See Law, Bible. 
Torah, Sepher, 214. 
Torquemada, 166 ; a new, 179. 
Tragedy of Assimilation, 119. 
Transcendentalism of God, 193. 
Treasures, earthly, 804 ; 

heavenly, 306. 
Trust in God, 50, 204, 239. 
Truth, 8, 20, 272, 284. 

Ukraine, multi-massacres in, 
331. 

Uprightness, 20. 

Unity of God. See God, She- 
ma.