Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library


The Hebrew Sunday School Celebration,

At Columbia, S. C

Came off on Sunday, 5th May, at the Odd Fellows’ Hall, and was well attended by ladies and gentlemen of all religious denominations.

The school is in a most flourishing condition, numbering thirty scholars, and is under the direction of Miss Julia Mordecai, assisted by Mrs. Charlotte Levin, Miss Rachel Barnett, and Mr. Jacob Levin. The Columbia Daily Telegraph in noticing this celebration says:

“The exercises were very interesting, and evinced great assiduity and intelligence on the part of the pupils, as well as the most praiseworthy dili­gence on the part of their preceptors.

“After an opening prayer by the Directress, Miss Julia Mordecai, to whose zeal and energy the school is a great debtor, a hymn was sung by the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth classes, and another by the first and second. The examination of the different classes—commencing with the lowest and rising to the highest—on Bible questions, the Catechism, and Bible history then commenced, and was continued for two hours. 

 “It was most interesting to witness the readiness and accuracy of the answers to the questions—ranging over a wide surface—which was dis­played by the bright-eyed and quick-witted children of Israel, who answered not by rote, but with a full understanding of the subject, as the tenor of <<146>>their replies indicated. The mode of tuition pursued must have been most judicious to have produced such results, and it reflects great credit on the disinterested ladies to whose gratuitous labours it was due.

“These exercises were succeeded by recitations of selected Scriptural pieces—chiefly poetical—which were given with a grace of manner, and beauty of delivery truly remarkable. Many of the children exhibited rare powers, and extraordinary aptitude, for this difficult species of recitation, as the effect produced in their auditors, and the breathless silence with which they were listened to, abundantly testified.

“We have never seen grouped together a collection of more interesting and intelligent children on any similar occasion, and a generous spirit of emulation seems to animate the whole. It would be invidious to discriminate, or indicate any marked preference for particular individuals among these youthful aspirants, and it might moreover create jealousies among them; and we therefore forbear specifying the names of those whose performances struck us most, say, however, that talents of a high order, and the germs of future excellence were displayed by several of these young sons and daughters of Zion, whose recitations could not easily be surpassed, if equaled, by persons of much maturer years.

“After another hymn sung by the choir, with great taste and feeling, an address was delivered by Mr. Jacob Levin, displaying much research and characterized by good sense and strong thought. After paying a high but well-merited tribute to the signal services and devoted zeal displayed by the Directress, Miss Julia Mordecai, Mr. Levin proceeded to sketch briefly the outlines of Hebrew faith and creed, to dissipate the erroneous notions commonly entertained of both.

“He performed his task in a manner which convinced all who heard him of the conscientious and earnest manner in which he had prepared himself to do justice to it. and exhibited throughout that spirit of charity and toleration, which binds the professors of all creeds together as brethren in a common humanity; all travelling the same goal though taking different roads.”

The following discourse by Mr. Jacob Levin closed the labours of the day:

Brethren, Friends, And Fellow-Citizens :

Assembled, as we are, to celebrate the return of the natal day of the Israelite Sunday School, we exhibit to the world our adherence to the command of God, when He said, through his servant Moses, “These words which I command ye, shall ye teach unto your children when thou walkest by the way, when thou sittest in thy house, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up;” and is fully exemplified in the examination you have this day witnessed; and, although our teaching differs from that of our Christian friends, yet all will acknowledge that from a religious foundation in education youth must imbibe all the nobler qualities attending a virtuous life; to such a consummation do we use our zealous efforts—to such a consummation will we strive to lead them. We believe the seed has been properly sown, and the tender branches now shooting forth will, at maturity, produce good fruit.

I have said we meet to celebrate the return of the anniversary of <<147>>this institution, and whilst doing so—whilst looking to futurity—let us not be unmindful of the past; let us turn our serious reflections to the occurrences of the past year. Whilst other portions of our country have been visited with pestilence and sorrow, the destroying angel has passed us by, permitting, through the tender mercies of a just and all-wise God, every member of our little band who were present at the last to witness this celebration. Have we not then great cause for gratulation? Then, as accountable beings, let us ask ourselves the question, Why have we been thus preserved, whilst others have been so unexpectedly removed from this stage of existence? Is it that we have been more free from sin? That we have adhered more strictly to the commands of the Most High? That we are more virtuous, or better citizens? No. It is to afford us a striking example of what we are, and to what at last we must come. It is to give us an opportunity for reflection, and to prepare for the awful change impending over us; to instruct us that the treasures of this world are but borrowed to teach the distressed and needy to place a proper reliance on Divine Wisdom to prove to them that, as in by-gone days, the humble of God’s creatures are in his keeping, and that He will not desert them when He is looked to as the chief good.

Let us then, in the sincerity of our hearts, express our sensibilities for the many mercies extended to us for the past, and especially for the blessing we this day enjoy; so that we may more fully understand the obligation we owe to each other, as children of the same heavenly Father, and that our daily acts may tend to the farther advancement in the knowledge of the duties we owe to our fellow-men, and a more strict adherence to God’s command.

To you, my little children, it is necessary I should address a few remarks, “Teach diligently unto thy children my words,” is God’s command. Of our obeying this injunction, you have this day appeared as living witnesses. It is true, we teach; but it is also true, that our instruction should make an impression on the heart. If, as good children, you obey the commands of your parents and instructers, with equal zeal should you strive to obey the command of that invisible Being, who is the great first Cause of our existence, our heavenly Father. We instruct not only that you may know God’s commands, but to make a lasting impression on your mind and hear that in after years you may look back with a proud recollection of your youthful days to this institution, wherein you received that instruction which is the groundwork and pillar of all the nobler qualities of the heart.

To you, highly esteemed lady, who directs the helm of this youthful institution, it is proper I should address a few words.

Six years have passed since, by your influence and exertion, this institution was ushered into existence. Six years have we witnessed with pride your zealous devotion to a holy cause. As one of its originators, you commenced the duties devolving on you with a determined ardour, that could neither be checked nor dismayed. Onward have you pressed; the glory of God your motto, and the happiness of those under your charge. Faithful to the cause you engaged in, summer heat or chill winter’s storm has never found you absent from the post of duty. The task you undertook was difficult and responsible, yet how cheerfully was it performed, amid the varied contending circumstances necessarily attending the instruction of youth. Happily, you had combined patience to endure, perseverance to fulfil, and zeal to perform. To soothe the passions, incline the heart to God, and to cultivate the virtues in its fullest term, was your great object.

Days, weeks, months, years have found you equally devoted to the cause as when you first began. Your recompense is the outpourings of all grateful hearts, and the proud satisfaction of exhibiting to the assembled throng this day a little band, who have shown forth with a fervency consequent on such a direction. It has swelled the parent’s heart with gratitude to God, the assembly with admiration.

And when, in after years, your little band will look back to the days of their early instruction, they will, with pride and grateful remembrance, record your name as one of the founders of that institution wherein they were taught the love of God, to cultivate the virtues, and their duty to all mankind.

I have deemed it most fit and proper on the present occasion to de fend publicly the principles and doctrines so diligently and universally adhered to by the Israelites. In doing so, I shall confine myself solely to that defence, without casting any reflection on those who differ with us on those points. We seek not proselytes, and I regard the liberty of conscience as too sacred a matter to condemn others because they believe not as I do.

The fundamental principles of an Israelite’s faith are thirteen, and as  follows:

1. We believe with a firm faith, that there exists a Creator, who has created and governs all his creatures, and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things that can, by any possibility, have existence.

2. We believe with a firm faith, that the Creator is one, and there is no unity like Him in any manner, and that He alone is our God, who was, who is, and who will be.

3. We believe with a firm faith, that the blessed Creator is incorporeal; that no bodily infirmities, or accidents, can reach Him, and that He can be compared to nothing corporeal of which we can form any idea.

4. We believe with a firm faith, that the blessed Creator is the first and the last.

5. We believe with a firm faith, that the blessed Creator is the only one to whom we should pray, and there is besides him no being to whom we should address our prayers.

6. We believe with a firm faith, that all the words of the prophets ire true.

7. We believe with a firm faith, that the prophecy of our teacher Moses is true, and that he was the chief of all the wise men that lived before him, or will come after him.

8. We believe with a firm faith, that the whole law, which we have now in our possession, is the same which was given to our teacher Moses.

9. We believe with a firm faith, that this law will not be changed, or will there be another law from the Creator.

10. We believe with a firm faith, the Creator knows all the deeds of the sons of men, and all their thoughts, as it is written, “He fashioneth all their hearts and understandeth all their works.”

11. We believe with a firm faith, that the blessed Creator will reward those who keep his commandments, and punish those who transgess them.

12. We believe with a firm faith, in the coming of the Messiah, and though he tarry, still do we daily wait for his coming.

13. We believe with a firm faith, that the dead will be called to life at the time it may be the will of the blessed Creator, whose memorial be glorified for everlasting and to all eternity.

On this faith we rest our salvation, and I shall now proceed to discuss the subjects selected, which are three.

1st. Our belief in the unity of one God.

2d. Our disbelief in the fulfilment of the famous prophecy contained the 49th chapter of Genesis. And

3d. Our ground for disbelief in the advent of the Saviour, and a firm belief in a Messiah to come.

I am aware that the subjects selected would seem delicate and difficult, particularly to one who has not made the sacred volume his particular study; but reason and common understanding fortify me in the undertaking; and if I err, it is because I cannot understand the plain and intelligible language in which our Almighty Father thought proper to address his people.

His decrees were not shrouded in mystery, but were such as could be easily comprehended by all to whom they were addressed.      

That the Israelites were the first and only people whom Almighty God gave laws for their government, cannot be denied; neither can it be denied that He held them under his own special care and favour, but for disobedience they were punished.

Of the fact that we are yet under his special care, Holy Writ furnishes ample proof.

This sacred volume teaches us to acknowledge the existence of a Being infinite in time, wisdom, and greatness, existing before anything else existed, the Governor of nature, and Preserver of all things.

Yet those who differ with us in faith, regard the old things as done away, and believe it necessary for our salvation to take up those of the new order, or that else we are irretrievably lost. But satisfy us that the Being who has created all things well, changes with the rising and setting of the sun; satisfy us that the order of creation which was produced from chaos has been annulled; “that the sun which was formed to give light by day, and the quiet moon by night;” the starry firmament, with its myriads of gems of light sending forth their beams upon us, have ceased to perform the several courses allotted them, and then, but only then, will we believe that Israel’s God has also changed.

In the first place, then, our belief in the existence of but one God, and no other being equal to Him, is derived from the conviction that we are bound to consider, that however great or sublime anything may be, it is directly derived from a first Cause, the incomprehensible Spirit by whom all things were first produced.

Whatever we contemplate, or wherever we seek for the origin of anything, we must at last come to a point beyond which our knowledge cannot go, and where we must admit that our capacities are not sufficient to allow us to dive farther into the undiscovered recesses which are hidden from the ken of mortals.

With what powerful feeling does this truth then present itself, that <<151>>however hidden from our capacities the first great Cause may be, it is perfectly uniform in its course; and there does not exist any one thing which, from its regularity and the harmony it has when compared with all others, is not traceable to the same descent.

The Deity, then, truly termed the first Cause, is uniform in all nature; is in harmony with himself, and in concert with all creation.

Such being the case, I shall proceed to discuss the subjects selected in a style and language that I have been educated in, using no metaphor or flights of fancy, but such only as I am able to comprehend myself, in order that, by so doing, it will be perfectly intelligible to all.

It is then an impossibility for an Israelite to believe in a plurality of the godhead. This Holy Book (without which no religious denomination can erect a foundation) instructs us to believe in one God. “I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other god before Me,” cannot  mean that one is more than one, or that one is three, or that the Deity divided itself, and occupied different situations, was actuated by different wills, no matter how charitable may be the object, whilst either portion sought and accepted the sacrifice. Where a submission is necessary there is no unity; where one emanates from another there is no unity; one means the same uniform and unchangeable being, and this the God of Israel is—one in action, one in might, and one in forgiveness, as He is alone in the creation and government of the world.

On the subject of unity, we find that the great Author of all things cautioned his people, and reminded them that He was a jealous God, visiting the sins of those who forsook him upon their children unto the third and fourth generation. That we are now suffering for this act of disobedience in our forsaking God, committed by our ancestors, our present dispersed condition fully testifies.

And when we turn to Deuteronomy xi. 16, 17, we find the caution repeated, and the consequence of disobedience recorded in these words: “Take heed to yourselves that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; for then the Lord’s wrath will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens that there be no more rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.”

When we refer to Isaiah xliii. 1, 3, 11, 13, 15, what stronger language can there be needed in support of God’s unity? We read as follows: “And now, thus saith the Lord thy Creator, O Jacob, and thy former, O Israel, Fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by name; thou art mine.” “For I am the Lord thy God, the <<152>>Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; already from the beginning of time I am the same, and no one can save out of my hand. I am the Lord, and without me there is no saviour.” There is no associate who can  redeem when the Lord punishes. “I will work, and who will prevent me? I the Lord am your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King, I am the Lord, and there is no god beside me; that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.” “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He; before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me.” “I am the first and I am the last, end beside me there is no God.”

We also read in Deuteronomy iv. 39: “Know, therefore, this day and consider it in thy heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath, there is none else.”

Proceeding to Jeremiah, we find (x. 10-12) the unity of God thus described: “But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and everlasting King; at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say to them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, He hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.”

Yet those who diner with us in faith, contend that the old things are done away, and that it is necessary for our salvation to believe in the new  order; but I will endeavour to show, in the progress of this discourse, that according to our faith such is not the case, and according to God’s holy word his commands are perpetual, and will exist even beyond the time of the coming of him who, as He hath promised, shall gather his people from the north and the south, the east and the west.

When I turn to the New Testament, I find Christ himself instructing his disciples in the permanence of the old law; for in his Sermon on the Mount, he says: “I come not to destroy the law or the prophets.” And again in the 12th chapter of Mark, 28th and 29th verses, we find him acknowledging the unity of God, as follows: “And one of the scribes came and asked of him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered, saying, The first of all the commands are, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” And again, in the 6th chapter of Matthew, 24th verse: “No man can serve two masters; for <153>>either he will hate the one or love the other, or else he will hold to the one or reject the other.”

By reference to the sacred volume, we have the evidence that the laws given, and covenants made with the Israelites, were to be perpetual throughout all generations; consequently they must be perpetually obligatory upon them to observe and to do them.

Almighty God covenanted with our teacher Moses (Exodus xxxi. 16, 17) as follows: “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever.”

In Genesis xvii. 7, 9, we find the covenant with Abraham as follows: “And I will establish my covenant between me and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee. Thou shalt keep my covenant, therefore, and thy seed after thee in their generations.”

Refer to the commandments regarding our festivals, and you will invariably find this concluding injunction: “And they shall be observed as a perpetual covenant unto all your generations,” and that soul who disregardeth these ordinances “shall be cut off from among the people” of Israel.

When we turn again to Genesis ix. 9,12, what stronger evidence can we have of the existence of these perpetual covenants than that made with Noah? Do we not almost daily, in the present age, witness the sign which is the seal of this perpetual covenant? “And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations; I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” Certainly perpetual does not mean a definite period. If then the laws and covenants were not given for a definite time, we believe that it is obligatory upon us to observe them to the end of time.

With regard to God’s ordinances, we find, on referring to Jeremiah xxxi., the following language: “Thus saith the Lord which giveth the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar, the Lord of Hosts is his name, If these ordinances depart from before me, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before me for ever. If heaven above can be measured and the foundation of the earth searched out beneath, then will I cast off the seed of Israel for all they have done.”

Again, Isaiah liv.: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with thee or rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, saith the Lord who hath compassion on thee.”

I could multiply texts from the sacred volume in proof of the oneness of the Godhead, as we understand it; but sufficient,  however, for my purpose are those already quoted, the object not being conviction but defence.

I now approach the second portion of this discourse,—the prophecy contained in Genesis xlix, 10, which is so often referred to in order to prove the error of our faith regarding our salvation.

The Israelitish people never did, nor do they at the present day, deny that the prophecy alludes to their promised Messiah; but they do contend that the original Hebrew has been wrongly translated. We are commanded in Deuteronomy iv. 2, as follows : “Ye shall add nothing unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish aught from it;” and we cannot, therefore, admit as authority anything beyond what is taught in the holy text.

The translation of the prophecy alluded to is in the following words: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shilo come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

The translation given by us, as taken from the original language, is in these words: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet for ever; for Shilo shall come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” And I will now proceed to show upon what grounds we base our proof of the incorrectness of the translation.

This prophecy was delivered by Jacob before there was any king in Judah. And the sceptre did depart from Judah at the dethronement and captivity of Zedekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem, conse­quently if the sceptre was not to depart from Judah until Shilo come, and unto him was the gathering of the people to be, Shilo should have <<155>>appeared before or at that time. As we have no proof of this coming, we regard that portion of the prophecy as not fulfilled.

Furthermore, the sceptre has never been restored to Judah since the dethronement of Zedekiah, nor have the people been gathered; on the contrary, they were scattered to the four quarters of the globe since that event took place, and they still remain so.

Now, the translation we give to the text before us—“shall not depart for ever”—certainly conveys a definite period, at which time, alone known to Almighty God, the sceptre is again to be restored; and for the support of our correctness in forming this conclusion, we refer to Ezekiel xxi. 26 and 27, where we find the word of God thus expressed in reference to that subject: “Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem. This shall not be the same. I will overturn it, and it shall be no more until he come, whose right it is and I will give it him;” which proves  decidedly that our view of Jacob’s prediction is correct, since the Deity expressly declares that from the dethronement of Zedekiah, the crown of Judah should be no more till the coming of the Messiah, to whom He would restore it. Can we have any stronger support of our explanations than that of Deity itself? And that this belief will exist until he does come, we rely on the language contained in Numbers iii. 19: “God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should repent, Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and will not fulfil it?”

Thus, then, our disbelief in the fulfilment of this prediction extends only to the forced construction given to the same; but we have a firm belief in its entire fulfilment, when he comes to whom the sceptre is to be restored, according to God’s holy word.

Centuries have passed away, and the belief of Israelites is the same to-day that it was when our ancestors journeyed in the wilderness; and though in the dark ages of superstition, fanaticism, and tyranny, rivers of blood have been made to flow from their veins; though they were cast forth in poverty and indigence; though they have suffered by the sword, the rack, the gibbet, flaming fire, the den of wild beasts, and every species of invention to compel them to renounce their faith, we see them hold out triumphantly as martyrs who sacrificed all happiness here, property and life in defence of their belief. The dark ages of intolerance and persecution have passed away, and with grateful hearts and swelling pride we are here, equals in privilege, equals in devotion <<156>>to this great republic with any other sect; here under that bright banner, the lustre of whose stars has never been yet tarnished with the breath of intolerance or persecution, all are permitted to offer the outpouring of their heart to the great Creator, according to the dictates of their conscience.

Can he doubted when I say we look on our faith as a holy one? a faith which armed our ancestors with fortitude to endure all the tortures inflicted on them; all the privations consequent on their dispersion among the nations of the earth? If, then, such is our faith, should the change of circumstances, the improvement in the condition of the people, cause us to regard the principles of our faith with less devotion? Our obligation to observe the commands promulgated on Sinai as less binding, or our dependence on the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth as less in extent now than in the days of terror and persecution?

I now approach that subject which is the great dividing line between the believer in Christianity and that of Judaism, the Messiah. As I before stated, we believe with a firm faith in the coming of the Messiah, and I have endeavoured to show that at his coming the sceptre shall be restored to Judah. The circumstances which are to attend this event are recorded in Isaiah ii. By referring to it, we find that “in that day the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all the nations shall flow unto it, and many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, let us 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 among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples. And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” since peace is to reign for ever.

Until these predictions can be proved to us as having been fulfilled, we must believe in a Messiah to come. But have the implements of destruction been turned into ploughshares? Have nations ceased to learn the art of war? Has the sword of one nation ceased to be lifted up against another? or has peace, universal peace, ever reigned on earth since these predictions went forth?

Pursuing the subject, we find in Isaiah xi., that in that day, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them; the cow and bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw with the ox.” Where is the fulfilment of these predictions to be found? Where is the record of the ferocious natural feeling in the beast creation having been subdued?

That these predictions will ultimately be fulfilled we must believe, and then will all the nations be as one, universal peace will reign on earth, one language, one creed, and one faith will pervade all the human family. Then will the Eternal fulfil his promise contained in Isaiah xliii. 5, 7, 10, 11: “Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather them from the west; I will say unto the north, Give up, and unto the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my  daughters from the ends of the earth, even every one who is called by my name, for I have created him for my glory. Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that ye may know and believe me and understand that I am he; before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be any after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour.”

In conclusion, I call your attention to the eighty-ninth Psalm of David; which contains the following promise,—speaking of David; the Lord says: “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore; his seed will I make endure for ever. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing which hath gone out of my mouth. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David; his seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me; it shall be established for ever, as the moon, and as a faithful witness in the heaven.”

We are styled a peculiar people, and the Lord God has said to us: “Ye are my witnesses who shall endure for ever.” Change our faith, and where are the witnesses? But that this destruction of our race shall not be, is foretold in Numbers xxiii. 9, where we find this peculiar passage: “Israel shall dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations.” Centuries have passed since this prediction was proclaimed, and how faithfully has it been carried out; for to this day do Israel dwell alone and are not reckoned among the nations, Seek them in the east and in the west, the north or the south, and you find the same perfect nationality in them, they being a people, although without a country. Need I inquire what has established this nationality among them?—<<158>>this peculiarity of a people? It is their peculiar doctrine, rites, ceremonies, and language, which are the same in spirit and intent at this day as they were before the destruction of the temple.

It is by these very ceremonies that we are God’s witnesses. We are a people in every sense of the word; and though, as religious body, our great principle is in the belief of God’s unity, yet as a people, we are bound by God’s commands to preserve our nationality. But if we are bound to preserve our nationality, how can we do so unless we preserve our peculiar rites ceremonies, and language? And if ye obliterate the faith of Israel, by destroying the people which practise the rites and ceremonies commanded in the Scriptures, you destroy the only evidence on which you can rely for the truth of revelation.

I have thus in a brief manner, and in the sincerity of one who believes what he has uttered, placed before you, my friends, this day, the source from which we derive our belief in the only one and eternal God without any associate. I have given you our evidence for the disbelief in the fulfilment of that prophecy which is said to be our great stumbling-block. I have given you the grounds on which we base our disbelief in the assertion that the redeemer has come, and our firm belief in one whom God will send; not with a view or expectation of changing the faith of those who differ with us on this topic, but that the community may better understand our belief and the proofs on which we rely.

Note By Editor.—We place before our readers, in the above address, the reasons which induce a plain Israelite, “a man of the people,” to believe the doctrines of Judaism as received by us. Mr. L. is no minister, and he utters what he feels from full conviction. As such, we call particular attention to his words; and though he does not come before us as a finished orator, we doubt not that his mode of reasoning will produce more conviction in the mind of the reader than if he were a pensioned preacher, who is expected, from his position, to uphold his peculiar doctrines. Give us at all times the opinions of the men of sound understanding; there is a freshness and force about them peculiarly their own; and though we do not depreciate learning, we cannot help saying that it is not the only thing required; but that sincerity and honesty far outweigh any studied phraseology which is acquired from the teacher of rhetoric and the cunning grammarian.