תמונות בעמוד

In Cairo, the number of Jews is stated at 2000, including, it should seem, sixty Karaite families. The Falishas, or Jewish tribe named by Bruce, inhabit the borders of Abyssinia; and it is probable that in that singular kingdom, many Jews either dwell or make their periodical visits *.

In Asia, the Jews still, most likely, might be found in considerable numbers on the verge of the continent; in China, where we are not aware that their communities have ceased to exist, and on the coast of Malabar, in Cochin, where two distinct races, called black and white Jews, were visited by Dr. Buchanan. The traditions of the latter averred that they had found their way to that region after the fall of Jerusalem, but the date they assigned for their migration singularly coincided with that of a persecution in Persia, about A. c. 508, from whence, it is probable, they found their way to India. The origin of the black Jews is more obscure; it is not impossible that they may have been converts of the more civilised whites, or, perhaps, they are descendants of black slaves. The Malabar Jews were about 1000; they possessed a copy of the Old Testament. Many are found in other parts of the East Indies.

In Bokhara reside 2000 families of Jews; in Balkh, 150.

In Persia, they have deeply partaken of the desolation which has fallen on the fair provinces of that land ; their numbers were variously stated to Mr. Woolff at 2974 and 3590 families. Their chief communities are at Shiraz and Ispahan, Kashaan and Yazd. They are subject to the heaviest exactions, and to the capricious despotism of the governors. “I have travelled far,” said a Jew to Mr. Woolff; “the Jews are oeverywhere princes in comparison with those in the land of Persia. Heavy is our captivity, heavy is our burthen, heavy is our slavery; anxiously we wait for redemption.'

In Mesopotamia and Assyria, the ancient seats of the Babylonian Jews are still occupied by 5270 families, exclusive of those in Bagdad and Bas

The latter are described as a fine race, both in form and intellect; in the provinces they are broken in mind and body by the heavy exactions of the pashas, and by long ages of sluggish ignorance. At Bagdad the ancient title of Prince of the Captivity, so long, according to the accounts of the Jews, entirely suppressed, was borne by an ancient Jew named Isaac. He paid dear for his honour; he was suddenly summoned to Constantinople and imprisoned.

At Damascus there are seven synagogues and four colleges.

In Arabia, whether not entirely expelled by Mahomet, or having returned to their ancient dwellings in later periods, the Beni-Khaibr still retain their Jewish descent and faith. In Yemen reside 2658 families, 18,000 souls.

In Palestine, of late years, their numbers have greatly increased ; it is said, but we are inclined to doubt the numbers, that 10,000 inhabit Safet and Jerusalem. They are partly Karaites. Some very pathetic hymns of this interesting Israelitish race have been published in the Journals of Mr. Woolff, which must have a singularly affecting sound when heard

* In the Weimar statement, the Jews of Africa stand as follows : Morocco and Fez, 300,000; Tunis, 130,000 ; Algiers, 30,000 ; Gabes or Habesh, 20,000 ; Tripoli, 12,000 ; Egypt, 12,000. Total, 504,000.


from children of Israel, bewailing, upon the very ruins of Jerusalem, the fallen city, and the suffering people*.

In the Turkish dominions, not including the Barbary States, the Israelites are calculated at 800,000. In Asia Minor they are numerous, in general unenlightened, rapacious, warred on, and at war with mankind.

In Constantinople, they are described as the most fierce and fanatical race which inhabit the city. Hated by and hating the Greeks with the unmitigated animosity of ages, they lend themselves to every atrocity for which the government may demand unrelenting executioners. They were employed in the barbarous murder and maltreatment of the body of the Patriarch ; on the other hand, the old rumours of their crucifying Christian children are still revived: the body of a youth was found pierced with many wounds; the murder was, with one voice, charged upon the Jews. Their numbers are stated at 40,000.

At Adrianople reside 800 families, with thirteen synagogues.

In Salonichi, 30,000 possess thirty synagogues ; and in this city, the ancient Thessalonica, the most learned of the Eastern Rabbins are reported to teach in their schools, with great diligence, the old Talmudic learning.

In the Crimea, the Karaites still possess their wild and picturesque mountain fortress, so beautifully described by Dr. Clarke, with its cemetery reposing under its ancient and peaceful grove, and the simple manners of its industrious and blameless people, who are proverbial elsewhere, as in this settlement, for their honesty. Their numbers amount to about 1200.

In the Russian Asiatic dominions, about Caucasus and in Georgia, their numbers are considerable. In Georgia some of them are serfs attached to the soil ; some, among the wild tribes about Caucasus, are bold and marauding horsemen like their Tartar compatriots.

But the ancient kingdom of Poland, with the adjacent provinces of Moravia, Moldavia, and Wallachia, is still the great seat of the modern Jewish population. Three millions have been stated to exist in these regions ; but probably this is a great exaggeration. In Poland, they form the intermediate class between the haughty nobles and the miserable agricultural villains of that kingdom t. The rapid increase of their population, beyond all possible maintenance by trade, embarrasses the government. They cannot ascend or descend ; they may not become possessors, they are averse to becoming cultivators of the soil; they swarm in all the towns. In some districts, as in Volhynia, they are described by Bishop James as a fine race, with the lively, expressive eye of the Jew, and forms, though not robust, active and well-proportioned. Of late years much attention, under the sanction of the government, has been paid to their education, and a great institution established for this purpose at Warsaw.

The number of Jews in the Austrian dominions is estimated, including Gallicia, at 650,000. In the Prussian dominions at 135,000. In the rest of Germany, 138,000. The emperor of Austria has afforded to Europe the novel sight of a Jew created a baron, and invested with a patent of nobility.

* Asia :-- Asiatic Turkey, 330,000; Arabia, 200,000; Hindostan, 100,000 ; China, 60,000 ; Turkistan, 40,000 ; Province of Iran, 35,000 ; Russia in Asia, 3000. Total, 738,000.- Weimar Statement.

† A Jewish free corps served under Kosciusko during the insurrection in Poland.


In Denmark and Sweden the Jews are in considerable numbers ; those resident in Copenhagen were stated, in 1819, at 1,491. They enjoy freedom of trade and the protection of the government.

The Netherlands contain 80,000.

In France, now deprived of the German and Italian provinces of the empire, the Israelites are reckoned at about 40 or 50,000.

In Spain, the iron edict of Ferdinand and Isabella still excludes the Israelite. At the extremity of the land, in Gibraltar, 3 or 4,000 are found under the equitable protection of Great Britain.

In Portugal they have been tolerated since the time of the late king, John VI., who remunerated their services in introducing large cargoes of corn during a famine, by the recognition of their right to inhabit Lisbon*.

In Italy their numbers are considerable. It is said that many have taken refuge in Tuscany from the sterner government of Sardinia ; where, under the French dominion, among a Jewish population of 5,543, there were 182 landed proprietors, 402 children attended the public schools : 7,000 is given as their number in the Austrian territories in Italy.

In Great Britain, the number of Jews is variously stated from 12 to 25,000. They are entitled to every privilege of British subjects, except certain corporate offices and seats in parliament, from which they are excluded by the recent act, which requires an oath to be taken on the faith of a Christian. In the city of London they are prevented by municipal regulations from taking out their freedom ; a restriction which subjects them to great occasional embarrassment and vexation, as no one can legally follow a retail trade without having previously gone through this ceremony.

In America the Jews are calculated at about 6,000; the few in the former dominions of Spain and Portugal, are descendants of those who, under the assumed name of Christians, fled from the Inquisition ; in Surinam a prosperous community is settled under the protection of the Dutch ; they were originally established at Cayenne : there are some in Jamaica. In the United States, their principal settlements are at New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston t.

Such, according to the best authorities to which we have access, is the number and distribution of the children of Israel ; they are still found in every quarter of the world, under every climate, in every region, under every form of government, wearing the indelible national stamp on their features, united by the close moral affinity of habits and feelings, and, at least the mass of the community, treasuring in their hearts the same reliance on their national privileges, the same trust in the promises of their God, and the same conscientious attachment to the institutions of their fathers.

Europe :- In Russia and Poland, 608,800 ; Austria, 453,524 ; European Turkey, 321,000 ; States of the German Confederation, 138,000; Prussia, 134,000; Netherlands, 80,000; France, 60,000; Italy, 36,000 ; Great Britain, 12,000 ; Cracow, 7300; Ionian Isles, 7000 ; Denmark, 6000 ; Switzerland, 1970; Sweden, 450. Total number of Jews in Europe, 1,918,053; or a proportion of about a 113th part of the population, calculated at 227 millions.— Weimar Statement.

+ America :-North America, 5000; Netherlandish Colonies, 500; Demerara and Esse quibo, 200. Total, 5700.

New-Holland, 50.- Weimar Ştatement.



The religious customs of the Jews of modern times are not all of equal authority ; neither are they observed by all alike; for this reason they Three classes of are divided into three classes.

The first contains the inCustoms among junctions of the written law, viz. those included in the the modern Jews. Pentateuch, or five first books of Moses. The second class relates to the oral law, or that which was delivered by word of mouth. It comprehends those comments which the rabbins and doctors made in their days upon the Pentateuch, and an infinite variety of ordinances. These were collected into one large volume, called the Talmud. The third class includes such things as custom has sanctioned in different times and places, or which have been lately introduced among them. These are properly termed customs. Of these three classes the first and second are received by all Jews, wheresoever dispersed; but in regard to the third, they differ greatly from each other; because sojourning in various parts of the world, many of them have adopted the names, and fallen into the manners of the nations among whom they dwell.

In this respect the greatest difference lies between the Eastern, German, and Italian Jews.


We shall here transcribe the thirteen articles of the Jewish creed, which contain all that they believe, according to what rabbi Moses, or Mai

monides, the Egyptian, has said of it, in his commentaries Articles of

on the Misna, in the discourse Sanedrin, chap. Helec ; belief.

which the Jews have received without any opposition, and from which they are never permitted to swerve.

I. I believe with a strong and lively faith, that there is one God, the Creator of all things, and first principle of all beings, who is self-sufficient and independent, and without whom no created being can subsist.

II. I believe, &c., that God is one and indivisible, but of an unity peculiar to himself alone : that he has been, is, and shall for ever be, the only God, blessed for evermore.

III. I believe, &c., that God is an incorporeal being; he has no bodily quality of any kind whatever, which either is possible, or can any ways be imagined. · IV. I believe, &c., that God is eternal, and all beings, except himself, had once a beginning; for God is the beginning and end of all things.

V. I believe, &c., that none but God is the object of divine adoration ; and no created being ought to be worshipped as a mediator or intercessor.

VI. I believe, &c., that whatever is written in the books of the prophets is true ; for there have been, and still may be, prophets qualified to receive the inspirations of the Supreme Being. : VII. I believe, &c., in the truth of the prophecies of our master Moses, (peace be with him ;) for Moses was a prophet superior to all others; and God Almighty honoured him with a peculiar gift of prophecy which was never granted to any of the rest.

VIII. I believe, &c., that the law left by Moses (peace be with him) was the pure dictate of God himself; and consequently, the explication of those commandments, which were handed down by tradition, came entirely from the mouth of God, who delivered it to our master Moses, as we have it at the present day.

IX. I believe, &c., that this law is unchangeable, and that God will never give another; nor can there be the least addition to, or diminution from it.

X. I believe, &c., that God perfectly knows the most secret thoughts, and governs

all the actions of mankind. XI. I believe, &c., that God will reward those who observe this law, and will severely punish such as are guilty of the least violation of it. Eternal life is the best and greatest reward, and damnation of the soul the most severe punishment.

XII. I believe, &c., that a Messiah shall come, more deserving than all the kings that have ever lived. Although he thinks proper to delay his coming, no one ought on that account to question the truth of it, or set an appointed time for it, much less produce Scripture for the proof of it; since Israel will never have any king to rule over it but one that shall be of the line of David and Solomon.

XIII. I believe, &c., that God will raise the dead, and though I know not when, yet it will be when he sees most convenient.--Hallowed be his name for ever and ever. Amen.

There are other articles besides these fundamental ones, which, though not universally received, are not absolutely rejected.

The Jews go to prayers three times every day in their synagogues, and when they enter, they bow towards the HECHAL, or Ark, repeating some

verses from the Psalms, in an humble tone. The first four Prayers thanksgivings.

hours after sun-rise, are appointed for the morning service,

which is called SCIACRID : the second service is in the afternoon, and called MINCHA: the third, at the close of the evening, which they call HARUID. But in several places, on such days as are not festivals, the afternoon and evening prayers, for convenience sake, are said together, at sun-set.

The prayers which they use at present may be called a supplement to their ancient sacrifices ; and for this reason they have given the title, or name, of small temples to their synagogues. And as two sacrifices were offered every day in the temple of Jerusalem, one in the morning, and the other in the evening, so they have morning and evening service in their synagogues, to correspond with those two sacrifices.

Besides these, there was another sacrifice offered up on holidays, for the solemnity of the festival; and for this reason they add a new prayer on feast-days, called MUSAPH, that is, addition.

They must not eat, drink, or do any kind of thing, or salute even a friend, till they have been at morning prayers :—they are obliged, however, to wash their hands before they enter the synagogue.

At their first entrance into the synagogue, having put on a devout and


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