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Hungarian Synod.


Some of our readers may perhaps recollect a project which we assisted in originating rather more than three years ago, to form a union, and an assembly of lay delegates, in connexion with an ecclesiastical authority for American Israelites. Though the project failed of obtaining public support, we have every reason for believing that it was more its novelty than its impractibility which prevented its being carried into effect. We will, if spared, republish the whole proceedings with the plan, at some future day, as we cannot allow ourself to think that the subject has been laid to rest permanently, and since we believe that there is, or will be hereafter, sufficient religious patriotism, if we may coin a phrase, to carry out the project to an actual accomplishment.

We were reminded of the subject, by seeing the subjoined in the last received number of the Voice of Jacob, wherein similar measures are recommended for the Hungarian Jews, as our readers will acknowledge, when they compare them with the project spoken of above. We therefore ask their candid attention to this short article, in the hope that it may induce them to reflect upon their own want of spiritual guidance and general union.—Ed. Oc.

A correspondent of the A. Z. d. J., gives an outline of certain points said to have been proposed for deliberation by the Chief Rabbi of Pesth, to the Hungarian Synod, mentioned in one of our recent numbers. These points bear so strongly on the wants of our own communities, and are so applicable generally to our own circumstances, that we are induced to transfer them to these columns.

I. Object of the Assembly.

The object of the Rabbinical Assembly is, to confer and deliberate on the public religious wants of Israel—as called for by the age, and also, on the means to satisfy them.

II. Wants.

  1. In adults; the awakening and reviving of pious Jewish sentiments, and of attachment and love to the paternal religion.
  2. In youth; the training into pious Israelites, moral men, and good and useful members of society.
  3. Guarding the honour and dignity of our holy religion against attacks from without; and checking that hostility, or derogation, which proceeds from misconstruction and ignorance, by representing publicly its real essence and spirit.
  4. Reinstating the dignity and edification of public worship, by removing abuses, and all that is unseemly, from the house of God; and introducing such regulations as would be consonant with good and sound taste.

III. Remedial Measures.

  1. Appointing a religious authority, to consist of Rabbis and laymen, for the whole country, in order to guide all religious affairs, and especially to test the qualifications of, and to appoint, Rabbis; to superintend schools, to settle differences which might arise between Rabbis and their congregations, and also to be charged with various other functions.
  2. Establishing a good and proper school in every congregation; one in which youth should be instructed in religion, morality, and in other branches useful and interesting to the man and the citizen.
  3. Forming an association in every congregation, or canton, for the promotion of handicraft and agriculture, whereby to wean the rising generation from those pursuits for a livelihood hitherto resorted to.
  4. Publishing a class-book for religious instruction, which is to contain the fundamental doctrines and principal duties of Judaism, and to be approved by all Rabbis. This book is to form as it were a public confession, and an authenticated source, from which the non-Israelite may derive a true knowledge of the spirit and essence of our holy religion.