« הקודםהמשך »
I HAVE two objects in offering the following translation to the public. The first, and of itself sufficient motive, is the hope of being useful to such of my co-religionists as are unacquainted with the German, and therefore unable to avail themselves of the varied sources of religious instruction which a knowledge of that language opens to its readers. My father, who has acted, both in public and private, on the opinion that religious education can be best conducted at home, shares with me this hope. In that homeinstruction I have found, and think that others will find, these discourses conducive to the attainment of clear and comprehensive views of the Mosaic faith. To all who are engaged in
the formation of the religious character of the young, but above all to mothers, whose especial vocation it is, diligently and lovingly to foster true piety in the hearts of their children, everything must be valuable, that can assist them in the fulfilment of this, their most important duty. To mothers and instructors, then, I especially offer such aid as these sermons can furnish. I have selected twelve from many published by one of the most learned, able, and eloquent teachers in Germany, in that land of profound Hebrew historians, scholars, and theologians. I have not selected them because they were superior to any others as compositions, but because they appeared to me to embrace the whole circle of our highest religious and moral obligations.
I have a second and a secondary motive for their publication—the hope, that from their perusal, many of my christian countrymen may derive a better knowledge than they previously possessed, of the actuating faith of the Jew. Until a recent period, when general attention has been in some degree directed to the subject, we were scarcely aware of the amount and extent of ignorance that prevailed as to the real tenets of the Israelite, of the
misconceptions that had been formed, concerning the duties enjoined on us by the Mosaic code. Of the erroneous opinions that have been lately, on more than one occasion, publicly expressed, the best refutation may be found in writings, whose direct object is, not the correction of such misconceptions, but the religious and moral instruction of the sons and daughters of Israel. To such writings, and to these Sermons among the number, I confidently ask the attention of the kindly and conscientious Christian. I may add, that many of them will be found available for
every religious denomination and sect.
If, in religious discussion, men of all creeds would seek, not points of difference, but points of agreement, how much of the strife and bitterness that deform God's earth, would disappear-mutual ignorance it is, that but too often produces mutual alienation. Let us seek, then, to know each other, let us all strive after that knowledge, in the same spirit in which we strive after the knowledge of God, that we may better imitate Him in the universality of our charity, of our love ; that we may be instruments in His hands, of the accomplishment of the glorious prophecy that “ The know