Vol. I, No. 1
Birmingham, England, 2d Dec.  It gives us pleasure to announce, that the Philosophical faculty of the Protestant University of Giessen has conferred the dignities of Doctor of Philosophy, and Master of Arts upon the Rev. Morris Jacob Raphall, Lecturer to the Birmingham Synagogue, and Head Master of the Hebrew National School there. These distinctions, conferred upon the Rev. Gentleman unsolicited, and altogether free of expense, have given great satisfaction, not only to his own congregation, but to those liberal-minded men of all creeds, who can recognize talent in those who differ from them. Similar honours have been conferred, by the same learned body, upon two eminent Unitarian Divines in this country.
For some time past the Jewish Gazette has held up to its readers the necessity of founding an Israelitish hospital at Jerusalem. When we reflect on the misery of the Israelites of that city, on the yet imperfect state of medicine, and even of the ordinary rules of health in the East, and lastly on the efforts of Europeans in favour of the Christians, such an idea merits all our sympathy. If charity were general for all the unfortunates in that land, we might be able to confine ourselves to a contribution to some philanthropic establishment; but since the Jews are forgotten, by everybody except the missionaries, it is but just that we should recall to our minds, that they profess our belief, and that they are unfortunate. If this thought finds an echo in France, the Archives will open their columns, in order to cause it to arrive at a successful result.
In imitation of our contemporaries, we open the Occident for the same beneficial object; and should any contributions be entrusted to us to further the good work already commenced by Sir Moses Montefiore, we shall be happy to transmit them to the proper quarter in England. --ED. OF THE OCCIDENT.
The Leipzig Gazette contains the following:
During the coming year, the Israelites of Poland will be subject to the military enlistment law, and will not be able to get clear by the payment of money. They are already making up the muster-rolls. Men from the age of eighteen to twenty-five are to be called into service; the Rabbins alone are to be exempt from this military service, which is to be of ten years' duration.
Mr. Marx, director of the Israelitish school at Nancy, has been elected Rabbi of Bayonne.
Mr. Charleville, preacher at Lyons, has been elected Rabbi of Dijon.
The twelfth volume of the translation of the Bible by Mr. Cahen has just appeared. It contains the twelve smaller prophets, and is accompanied by an inedited commentary of Rabbi Tanhum, with a translation and notes by Mr. S. Munk.
(We take this opportunity to inform our readers that for about ten years past, the learned editor of the Archives Israelites has been engaged in translating the Scriptures into French, of which we have unfortunately not seen any part as yet, with the single exception of the introduction (on the Hebrew worship, by Mr. Munk) to the book of Numbers. We should judge that the whole work will be completed in eighteen volumes. The thirteenth is now in press. The cost of each volume on common paper is six francs, and nine on fine paper.- Ed. Oc.)
At Geneva the Israelites have addressed a petition to the council of state, to demand the free exercise of their worship: the council has refused. Let us hope that this refusal may not be final. Shall a Protestant republic be less tolerant than the autocrat of Russia? The mind feels an agreeable sensation in seeing a spirit more in consonance with the times prevailing at Argau. The journals of this canton give some very interesting. details concerning the opening of the Jewish school at Lengau.
Dr. [Louis] Loewe writes to the Orient that Sir Moses Montefiore had remitted to Col. Churchill, who has just returned to the East, a small capital, for the purpose of making loans to the poor Israelites of Palestine, in sums from five hundred to a thousand piasters, for which they are to pay two or three per cent, in order to keep the capital entire.
The editor of the Orient observes with reason, on occasion of the discussion concerning the money which is every year sent from Europe to the poor of Palestine, that true assistance does not consist in the distribution of alms, but in giving to the poor the means of raising themselves. Alms keep up poverty, whilst loans furnish them with the means of relieving themselves from it.
Alexandrow, a Cossack village in the Caucasus, is almost entirely inhabited by Jews. Their language, their exterior, their garments, several of their customs are Russian: their religion is the Jewish religion. They practice circumcision, celebrate the Sabbath, and the principal Jewish feasts, but their Bible is in the ancient Slavonian. Up to this time it has not been discovered when and in what manner these people have exchanged Christianity for Judaism. The real Jews despise them, and call them Subbotnics, Sabbath-people. Having come from various governments of Russia, they have established themselves at Alexandrow, and up to 1838 they have been peasants, small burghers and traders. In that year, Emperor Nicholas, on his return from Georgia, gave, them the right of Cossacks, Among a population of 130,000 souls which are found in the Caucasus, there are 1500 of these Subbotnics.
(We were informed in the beginning of last autumn of the existence of this curious body of men by a native Russian, but paid very little attention to his narration, believing it almost too strange to be true; when singular enough, the account is more than confirmed by the above extract from the latest Jewish Journal which we think has as yet reached America. ED.)
According to the last resolution of the burghers of Hamburg, the Israelites can acquire landed property in all parts of the city and territories. A violent opposition against this measure has formed itself in and out of the council, not from religious, political, or scientific motives, but from motives springing from private interest. It is known that there are but seven thousand Jews at Hamburg.
They write from Christiania (Norway) under date of October, 22: Four deputies, Messrs. Waelstedt, Staf, Ole-Sociberg, and Henry Schmidt, who, during the last session of the Storthing, (General Assembly of Norway) voted against the bill for the admission of the Israelites to a residence in that kingdom, and to enjoy there all the rites of citizenship, have just published, that one would deceive himself greatly were he to believe that it is from hatred or prejudice against the Jews that they would vote in this manner; that, quite on the contrary, they are fully convinced that the acquisition of good citizens, of whatever religion they may be, cannot be otherwise than useful to a country as yet so thinly peopled as Norway; and that the only motive which induced them to vote against the bill in question is, that it contained only a half-measure, inasmuch as it suffered to remain in full force that article of the constitutional charter which interdicts the exercise of every mode of worship other than that of the state, that is to say, Christianity according to the Augsburg confession; that they themselves intend to propose at the next session of the Storthing a bill having for its object, first to render free the exercise of all religions, and secondly, to repeal the article of the charter which excludes the Jews from Norway.
We learn that the Rev. S. E. Cohen Noot, who lately arrived in the United States from Holland, was on Sunday last, the second day of Nissan, elected Hazan of the Congregation "House of Israel" of this city.