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Haham Meldola and Hazan De Sola

Richard D. Barnett

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola1 RICHARD D. BARNETT, M.A., Litt.D., F.B.A. It may seem superfluous for a President of this Society to point out that the first requisite for work by this Society is the provision of abundant source material in the form of original docu? ments, whether printed or manuscript. It is, however, valuable to stress the continuous need for this Society not only to study such material but also to seek it out, record it, and preserve it in our library, or ensure its preservation elsewhere. There is still much material of importance for this purpose, both manuscript and printed, to be found in private hands, and a collection of such material recently came to light which has largely contributed to make this lecture possible. I refer to the generosity of Mrs. Belle de Sola,2 who has presented some parts, and deposited on trust at Bevis Marks Synagogue others, of her family papers, both printed and manuscript, mostly inherited or collected by her late husband, Mr. Clarence de Sola, concerning the Meldola and de Sola families and their service under the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. The only Haham [Chief Rabbi] of the London congregation of former times of whom hitherto we could form much of a picture was Haham David Nieto, who died in 1728, and of whose career and work we know something from his publications.3 But while the papers of the Ashkenazi Beth Din are preserved, private papers of the Sephardi Hahamim scarcely exist. The Sephardim, so careful, in general, of their own records, always consented to the Hahamim keeping their own papers. As a result they have usually disappeared without a trace. Here,then, is a fortunate exception. We owe to Mrs. de Sola's example our deepest thanks, since it is largely as a result of her action that we are for the second time enabled to form a picture of a Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation of former times and his work and life. In 1784 there died the venerable Haham of the London congregation, Rabbi Moses Cohen d'Azevedo, whose funeral was duly conducted with the usual marks of honour and respect. The congregation, however, was in no hurry to elect a successor, often in its history finding a breathing space necessary, whether for financial or other reasons, between the decease of one Haham and the appointment of another. In this case the delay lasted two full decades. In 1804 they finally felt the need for an ecclesi? astical head to be overwhelming and sent letters to the principal Sephardi communities of Europe inviting applications. Their choice fell upon Rabbi Raphael Meldola, of Livorno, whom the Va'ad Hagadol, or Council of Rabbis, of that city (then one of the most influential and flourishing Sephardic centres of learning and culture) had suggested, and he was appointed Haham in the same year. His father, Moses Hezekiah Meldola, originally a banker, came from an extremely ancient Sephardi family originating in the thirteenth century from Toledo, and numbering many Rabbis and scholars in its successive genera? tions.4 Moses himself became a Haham and was even appointed a Professor of Oriental Langu? ages at the University of Paris. Moses Meldola's father was Haham at Pisa. Thus Raphael Meldola was born in 1754 into a family of both unusual learning and piety. His obituary (prepared by his son David) published in the Gentleman's Magazine5 informs us that at the age of 15 Raphael 'was admitted a member of the first rabbinical university at Livorno' (by this impressive phrase was apparently meant Livorno's Teshiba [Seminary] called Reshit Hochmah), 'where he had an opportunity of prosecuting his enquiries with assiduity. His successive ecclesiastical promotion gave proof of his early piety and learning and in . . . 1803 after he had received the degree of Rab, or High Rabbi, he was further honoured by the appointment of judge to try all cases among his own people'. That is to say, he took his semicha [rabbinical degree] in 1796, and be? came a Day an [judge] in 1803. In an auto? biographical note,6 Haham Meldola later 1</page><page sequence="2">2 Richard Barnett mentions that he received his semicha from the great Rabbi 'Hida' Azulay himself, to whom I referred at some length in a previous lecture.7 Meldola speaks of Rabbi 'Hida', his teacher, with devout admiration as 'the man who had the privilege to receive the Shechinah* (that is to say, the awareness of God), 'in his presence, and taught me much, and laid his hands on me and gave me the semicha and empowered me to be a Rab in Israel'. He had already published two works, one called Qorban Minhah ['The Offering of Minhah&gt;] (1791), on the duties of the High Priest, and another, more practical, called Huppat Hatanim ['The Bridegroom's Canopy'] (1797), being a manual of instruction to bride? grooms on marriage. He received his notice of appointment at the end of 1804, and in January 1805 wrote a letter of thanks to the Mohamad [Wardens] for his election, giving notice of his intention to leave Livorno to take up his duties in the spring. The Mohamad replied most deferentially, addressing him in the third person in a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish as Su Maala ['Your Excellency'] as follows: 'They are happy to note the pleasure with which he had received the news of the honour they had conferred on themselves by electing him as their rabbi, and, though they much desired the pleasure of his presence, they did not wish his health and person to suffer from undue hurry. Would he please inform them when he decided to leave, and if by land, when he would arrive.' They add that 'they are ignorant of the number of his family to whom they pre? sented their respects'. In fact, he had at that date already at least three out of his ultimate seven children (five sons and two daughters),8 having married Stella Bollaffi in Livorno before 1796. But the elaborate references to the need for not hurrying were most probably due to the fact that Europe was then in the grip of Napoleon, and the journey therefore involved, in fact, an immense detour. Of this journey and the circumstances of his arrival we have an account in an enormous Hebrew doggerel poem consisting of a mere 417 stanzas, pre? served among the manuscripts presented by Mrs. Belle de Sola. It was written in 1816 by Raphael David Meldola, of Amsterdam, the Hahanis cousin, who seems to have accom? panied him to London as interpreter and per? haps stayed there until 1816. For Haham Meldola does not seem to have been quite at ease in any vernacular but Spanish and even that is said to have been of doubtful purity. Accordingly, such efforts as he wrote or published in English from about 1820 appear to have been translations made for him by his son David when the latter had grown up sufficiently to master the language for his father's benefit. The newly appointed Haham journeyed first by way of Innsbruck to Hamburg, where he met his relatives of the Hamburg branch of the family. After some time he took ship, taking with him the author of the poem as interpreter, as he himself knew no English, and made his way through storms in the Channel by packet boat. He found the city gates of London closed because of war. Nevertheless, he was received with great honour, especially from the 'not? ables' (Elders) of the congregation, who had made all ready for his reception, with Sabbath candles already lit and a meal ready. It was Rosh Hashana [New Year] as he came finally to the synagogue, where Rabbi Solomon Herschel, the Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazim (who was his junior in age and himself a relative newcomer), was waiting to meet him, and sat on his left. After the service they led him home with songs, and everybody kissed his hand. The next day, after service, Rabbi Herschel again met him and invited him to his house to lunch, after which they went together to perform the ceremony of Tashlich, and the new Haham visited Duke's Place for Minhah service in the afternoon. Then, after the evening service, he was led home with torches. The next day he went to rabbinical study with Rabbi Herschel, and the two Heads of the Jew? ish community discussed why in fact their two congregations of Ashkenazim and Sephardim should disagree, and decided that they would compose all differences between them. It is worth while to emphasise this new spirit of collaboration between the two communities that was engendered from this moment by the courtesy of the established man and the broad mindedness of the newcomer. Immediately</page><page sequence="3">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 3 after his arrival there befell two sad occasions. The first was the death of Lord Nelson (21 October 1805) whose funeral the Haham attended in a coach accompanied by servants dressed in black, and after which he preached a sermon (in those days a rare and important event). The other occasion was the bitter news in April 1806 of the death of Rabbi 'Hida' Azulay, his beloved teacher, at which Meldola ordered all the Jewish shops to be closed during the time that he delivered a funeral oration on his teacher. Haham Meldola's regime had begun auspici? ously enough. In a manuscript draft of a letter written much later,9 he tells us that, in spite of the honour bestowed on him, 'I remained modest, and many a time I gave way and did not consider the Kabod [glory] to which I was entitled by the right of my Rabbanut [rabbinical status]. My great friend, the Gaon, Rabbi Solomon Herschel, was to me like a friend and brother, and from time to time we discussed in confidence every difficult problem that arose within the communities of all English towns, and attempted to probe the real problems honestly so that the Din [verdict of law] should emerge in full truth in love and brother? hood. . . It is thus not surprising that we find in Meldola's correspondence both letters from and matters dealing with Ashkenazi com? munities, as well as his own. Haham Meldola was an energetic man and he soon made it clear that he meant to take his duties seriously and not merely wait until his advice was solicited.10 He began in 1805 by persuading the Sephardi and Ashkenazi authorities to set up a joint Board of Shechita [ritual slaughtering], a co-operative achievement which remains his lasting memorial to this day. He continued by facing the threat which had then been created by the missionaries. On 6 January 1807 he appeared before the Mohamad to complain that Christians had opened a school in which they offered to teach children of the Jewish poor, and he asked permission next Shabbat to denounce anyone who allowed their children to frequent it under pain of the gravest penalties amount? ing to excommunication. Permission was granted and, at the same time, a leaflet warning all against the use of such schools was printed and issued both by Meldola and Herschel.11 The following July (2 July 1807) he obtained permission to publish a notice in Spanish in the synagogue denouncing Jewish shopkeepers who with their names over their shops opened them in profanation of the Sabbath; at the same time he laid down the only conditions under which it was permissible to do it, such as partnership with non-Jews. On 3 September 1807 he complained to the Mahamad of indecorum in synagogue when the Hazanim [readers] 'do not cover their heads with a Talet, as the Din required, particularly during certain prayers on New Year and Kippur'. In 1809 he again criticised to the Mahamad the bad conduct of the Hazanim in reading the prayers inattentively, thereby bringing the service into contempt, as might be seen from the publication of a certain apostate.12 Further, he censures the Hazanim for drinking forbidden wine in their homes and singing frivolous songs, though he admits this is probably only from the lack of religious instruction. Thirdly, he points out that the state of the Sepharim [Scrolls of the Law] in the Ark, which have not been examined for over 50 years, is lamentable, and that this should now be done to search for possible defects in legibility or other matters. Lastly, he finds that a member of the Kahal [congrega? tion] has been baptised with his children in a certain church.13 In 1809 he was again defending his flock from the missionaries, who had evidently challenged him to dispute. Haham Meldola's letter to the missionaries was published in the London Society's Third Report, Appendix IX {Letter to Joseph Fox Esq.), dated 19 June 1809.14 In it, the Haham declines to read some of their publications in favour of Christianity, and states that under the by-laws of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Nation he is forbidden to engage in any matter of religious disquisition or controversy without the express leave of the Elders. This was quoted by his opponents gleefully, but somewhat unfairly, as a sign of his consciousness of weakness in polemical talent. He, in fact, corresponded further with them on 28 June in a letter not found by me. The Secretary replied to this in Italian on</page><page sequence="4">4 Richard Barnett 5 July. This is also lost, but the Meldola papers contain the Haham's lengthy reply, a draft or copy also in Italian covering 10 pages of foolscap. It is a reasoned but rather excitable rebuttal of their views. On 24 August the Mohamad found it necessary to write to him begging him not to send any letter to the President or Secretary of the Missionary Society until the matter had been discussed. The Haham replied on 7 September from Sheer ness, where he had gone on holiday, with a lively letter rejecting their request and in effect telling them to mind their own business. He explains that if the Mohamad thought that he would spend his life merely sitting in his Medrash [Talmudic school], they were mis? taken. The letter he had sent to the missionaries was quite uncontroversial and conformed with the Regulations (Ascamot) of the congregation. He would continue to refute insults when they referred to all Jews alike, especially to his be? loved congregation. In May 1811 he reported that for two and a half years he had been press? ing for the appointment of a Purgador, or 'Porger9, to 'porge' meat according to the requirements of Kashruth. It may well be that in all such steps as these Haham Meldola took good care to be well within his rights, but these steps must have raised suspicions in the hitherto somewhat easygoing management of the London con? gregation that the new Haham?obviously a man of strong character and keen sense of duty?was disposed to force the pace too much and extend his authority too far. Doubtless the climate of Livorno, where the Jewish com? munity was very much a self-contained, largely autonomous body of suitable ortho? doxy and learning, was calculated to throw somewhat into relief the lower standards of Anglo-Jewish life, and to give the Haham a sense of painful contrast as to the position of such a man there and here. In the summer of 1811, however, he suffered a misfortune which rallied all the congregation's sympathy. His house in Bury Street, near the synagogue, was burnt with everything in it, including his books; the congregation promptly raised a private subscription of ?100 to help him re-equip himself; but he preferred to use ?30, presented by the Mahamad for the pur? chase of plate, to pay import costs of a fresh library of rabbinical books. A committee was formed to find him a new house and he was eventually settled at 47 Mansell Street, E.l, where a heavy insurance of ?800 with the Sun Fire Office covered such future eventu? alities. In June 1812, he bitterly attacked the decorum and behaviour in synagogue and ignorance of the charity school boys, and it may be assumed that his charges were not without foundation, for the synagogue schools were then admitted to be in great need of reform.15 Indeed, in many ways, the congrega? tion was then at a low ebb, and John King (otherwise Jacob Rey),16 the brother-in-law of Moses Lara (on whom more below), wrote to the Mahamad in January 1813 pointing out the falling away from former standards that had followed in the last 20 years from the with? drawal of many great and wise men who had been offended by the shortsighted management of many affairs by the Mahamad. His criticisms were but the echo of those voiced by others. In January 1813, there broke out a quarrel between the Haham and Mr. Moses Lara, a prominent member of the congregation, who wished to contract matrimony under religious circumstances of which the Haham could not possibly approve, and for which he refused to give permission, since the claims of a previous lady (nee Isabella Solomons), seemingly his wife, had apparently not been disposed of. This quarrel left a legacy of hostility lasting for many years but as the Haham was clearly in the right, Mr. Lara had eventually to give way. The Haham's embargo in fact was not lifted until February 1816, when the offenders satisfied him. Meanwhile the quarrel spread, involving an affair between two brothers, Judah and Jacob Bibas, nephews of Ribi Jehudah Levy, of Gibraltar. They submitted their dispute (the nature of which is not speci? fied) in 1813 to arbitration by the Haham. Unfortunately, the Haham lost his temper with Jacob Bibas, denouncing him as a 'ferocious savage* and 'Algerine dog, with whom he would have no intercourse', opinions and epithets for which, not unreasonably, Jacob Bibas requested an apology.17 But as Jacob</page><page sequence="5">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 5 himself had cursed the Haham in synagogue, he did not receive much sympathy from the Mohamad and was sentenced by them to pay a heavy fine of ?10 but went abroad. It is need? less to pursue the ramifications of this quarrel, which continued, involving the Parnas Presi dente [Presiding Warden], Mr. Jacob Atias, also from Livorno, in a further dispute with the Haham as to whether the Haham had the right to demand his appearance in the Hahamh court of law without the previous permission of the Mohamad. It had always been the custom in London that the Haham, except in matters of religion, should defer to the lay authority of the Mohamad, not vice versa, but it was sometimes difficult, if matters were pushed to an extreme, to decide where one sphere of authority ended and the other began. In November 1814 the Haham was raising into a matter of principle, affecting his personal position and authority, a fresh disagreement, this time over the rites of burial of an individual, one Isaac Nahon, of whose conduct he disapproved. But once again common sense won the day and a special sub? committee was appointed to confer with him and restore peace. In December 1816, however, he writes to the Mohamad asking rather obscurely for their protection, which they pro? mised him at all times, and next April they assure him that any accusations made against him to them will be disclosed to him so as to give him every opportunity to vindicate his honour and character. In July 1817 he is censured for writing indecorously to the Mohamad and for having gone to his summer holiday without permission, and in April 1818 he was somewhat severely criticised for failing to attend a meeting of the Board of Shechita [ritual slaughtering] and for having written somewhat too frankly giving his reasons for so doing. The Haham replied bluntly that, as he had pointed out nine years ago, he wished to avoid controversial debates and attendance at proceedings at which it was aimed to subvert laws uniformly carried out for over a century. On 29 July 1818 he demands, perhaps a little indiscreetly, that the candidates for the vacant post of Hazan should first pass an examination in reading the prayers before himself and the Beth Din, a suggestion which the Mahamad declined, but agreed to refer their decision to him afterwards for his opinion. The candidate chosen on this occasion was, in fact, the young Dutchman, David Aaron de Sola, of whom he could not fail to approve, and who within the year became his son-in-law. In June 1819 the quarrels with Mr. Lara blazed up again, on this occasion involving the Haham's two sons, and again the Haham's posi? tion was involved, as he declined to be answer? able to the Mahamad at a tribunal, stating correctly, but hardly diplomatically, when pressed, that, according to the Law, a tribunal to judge a Rab must consist of persons of equal status to himself. The episode was all about some personal outburst during a synagogue service, in which can probably be traced the effect of failing health on Meldola's part. In the event his sons were fined ?10 each, but given the option of apologising, neither of which they did, and the Haham, who persisted in refusing to appear, was judged to be dis? respectful and ungracious to the Mahamad and was so informed. Fortunately, in October Mr. Lara's lawyers extracted and accepted an apology from the Haham, though his sons were excluded from receiving honours in synagogue until they made their peace two and a half years later. This episode is well summarised by Hyamson.18 The Haham''s friendly association with Chief Rabbi Herschel unfortunately involved him in some of the latter's more tiresome disputes. Of these the most tragi-comic episode was the Battle of the Almanacks, which flared up in 1807 between Herschel and the quarrelsome pamph? leteer and printer, Levy Alexander (1754 1853), son of the first Anglo-Jewish printer, of Wentworth Street, and a member of Herschel's flock. Since 1782 the firm of Alexander had printed little cheap almanacks half in English, half in Yiddish, for the use of chapmen and travellers; they are described in an earlier number of our Transactions.19 The exact sequence of events in the battle is not clear; but in 1808 we find it in full swing with the publication by L. Alexander of a scurrilous pamphlet embellished with a satirical portrait of Herschel entitled * The Axe laid to the Root;</page><page sequence="6">6 Richard Barnett or ignorance and superstition evident in the character of the Rev. Solomon Herschel Major Rabbi commonly called the High Priest of the Jews in England, in moral letters addressed to him on occasion of his having ordered the trees to be felled that were per? mitted for many years to grow in the Burial Ground, Mile End9. A footnote on page 25 of this diatribe gives the game away: 'To explain this passage [i.e., in the text] it will be necessary to inform the reader that I have published a Hebrew Almanack for above 30 years past; but finding one coming out in opposition to mine, I withheld publication to see what sort of a THING it would be, when lo! "Hear O Israel!" and our Reverend Divine Sanctioned it, although more than 50 capital mistakes and omissions were the fruit of their labours, yet they have the impudence to obtrude it on the public as a Calendar of the "days and times to come!" ' The THING was in fact A new almanack for the 5568 A.M. published in 1807 by Moses Meldola, the Haham's eldest son, and authorised by the Haham. In spite of a state? ment of intent expressed in this publication, no further numbers were published, but it appears that Alexander's rival almanack was con? demned in the synagogue. It is discernible that the real conflict was not over the trifling issue of the almanacks, which must have meant little in terms of money, but over the threat to Mr. Alexander's virtual monopoly of publishing the Ashkenazi prayer book, of which the second edition had been published in 1788. Apparently in 1807 a rival prayer-book was issued by one E. Justin (a non-Jewish printer), and was initially blessed by the Chief Rabbi, but suffered suppression, because the publisher had had the unfortunate idea, as Cecil Roth says, to show his gratitude to the Chief Rabbi by adorning the publication with a portrait of his patron, a highly un? orthodox procedure in the case of a liturgical work. It would appear too that the portrait which forms the frontispiece in Alexander's pamphlet is a caricature of the other in Justin's book. From Solomon Bennett's letter (pub? lished here for the first time in an appendix by Mr. A. Schischa) we learn how Bennett was implicated in engraving after Barlin's picture the portrait for Justin's book, thereby infring ing Barlin's copyright, and for this (he says) he was unjustly imprisoned at Newgate. But if it was Bennett's engraving which caused the condemnation of Justin's prayer-book, it is difficult to believe Bennett's protestation of innocence and ignorance of what would happen. Though the Rabbis retaliated by con? demning Alexander's almanack, Alexander set about undeterred publishing his new edition. This he folded in wrappers printed with a sort of news-sheet in which he attacked Herschel ('The Rauf) and others in increasingly malici? ous and consistently mocking terms. A com? plete set of these impudent and unseemly but interesting publications (usually undated but clearly covering several years) survives in the Mocatta Library. They show at least how low the Rabbinate and Hahamate then stood com? pared with later times, and how fierce the then methods of controversy still were. In 1815 Alexander promised on his wrapper 6A Critique on the Hebrew Thanksgiving Prayers: which were said in the Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, and the Portuguese Synagogue in Bevis Marks on Thursday, the 7th of July instant, being the Day appointed by his Royal Highness the Prince Regent as a general Thanksgiving for the happy Restoration of Peace IN WHICH the stupidity of the Rev. Raphael Meldola the Portuguese Priest will be clearly shewn. . . .' These gibes are no evidence that the pamphlet was ever produced; it probably re? mained merely a threat, since no copy seems to be recorded. (See Plate I.) There is one matter on which the new manu? script material throws new light. This is the character and activities of Solomon (alias Yomtob) Bennett (Plate IV, 1), on whom our late Honorary Secretary, the Rev. Arthur Bar? nett, published, in Vol. XVII of our Transactions, a long, detailed, and interesting paper. A long letter dated 18 Adar 1817,20 written in Hebrew to young David Meldola,21 the Haham's son, who was then 20 years old, survives to show the malicious, quarrelsome, and vindictive charac? ter of its author, which the Rev. Arthur Barnett was inclined gravely to underestimate. Bennett (whom we know to have by now been deeply involved in a quarrel with Rabbi Solomon Herschel) writes to David Meldola that he understands the Haham is very much</page><page sequence="7">PLATE I Numb. 23. Vol. 5. OPEN TO ALL PARTIES, AND INFLUENCED BY NONE, In the Press, and speedily will be published^ Price Is. Addressed to that renowned Hebraist, the Rt. Rev. Father in God5 THE LORD BP. OF Sr. DAVID'S* on the HEBREW THANKSGIVING PRAYERS ; Which were said in the Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, and the Portuguese Synagogue in Bevis Marks, on Thursday, the 7th. of 3uh* instant being the Day appointed by His Roya! Highness the PRINCE REGENT as a General Thanksgiving for the happy Restoration of Peace. in which The stupidity of the Rev. Raphael Mjeidoea the Portuguese Priest will be clearly shewn ;?it will also be fully proved, that the Congrega. tion of the Great Synagogue, Dukes-Place, have addressed the Deity under the Doctrine of Trinity ; with an anecdote on the humorous Sermon delivered by the Rev. Solomon Hirschel their High Priest, on the occasion* By L. ALEXANDER, (ak Israelite*) Typ. Lond. Printed by and for the Author, 40, Whitecbapel Road, End to be had of ail Booksellers and News Carriersin Town afcd Country. Announcement by L. Alexander of pamphlet attacking Haham Meldola [See p. 5f.</page><page sequence="8">PLATE II Haham Raphael Meldola (by F. B. Barlin, about 1806) [See pp. 1-38</page><page sequence="9">PLATE III Hazan D. A. de Sola (by N. Raphael) [See pp. 1-38</page><page sequence="10">PLATE IV ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^</page><page sequence="11">PLATE V Marriage certificate of D. A. de Sola and Rebecca Meldola, 2 Sivan 5579 [See p. 20fT.</page><page sequence="12">PLATE VI 2. Toy coach of D. A. de Sola, c. 1800. (By permission of Raphael de Sola, Esq.) [See pp. 1-38</page><page sequence="13">PLATE VII ipno hwm lanrr Take up-the stumblings block out of the way of my people.?Isaiah,-lvii. v. 14. Tr?nbl?ti?nofHhedhnextd Hebrew Letter from the most Reverend (celcbm t4d Grammarians) Presiding Rabbis? of the respectable and ancient1 Congregation of Spanish and 'Portuguese Jews-, in AMSTERDAM. To the Excellent Rabbt, most worthy of praises, from whose mouth our holy Law' proceeds,-strictly -adhering to"its h61y ankl refnlgent light/ like: Ihe gan,?happy as an original writer,?who has scarcely any equal in wisdom, arid yet humble as HileP(the ancient) which entitles him tor the highest commenda? tion and esteem?such is The Rev. Haham RAPHAEL MELDOLA, VO Whom may our most merciful supreme Father bless and prosper with all his respectable family for many many years, Amen. We write now to acknowledge that we have received a Letter; from you/'most Reverend Sir, and in which we lind with real concern and regret, that there are persons in your place who do not read correctly, who exalt that wliich ought to* be* depressed, atid depress that which ought to be exalted, both in the readings of our holy law and the other books of the sacred Bible, as also our forms of Prayers which we address to God Almighty; and to continue in their own erroneous reading, they also- assert that in the Portuguese Congregation-''named &lt; Talmud Tor'ah of Amsterdam, we read as they* do: 'and' in1 'the' conclusion of your letter we see a list of some words'vwhere iluw change the sound of some syllables, contrary to the received rules, wliichoought??not to be done. &gt;You therefore request';tof us to declare our sentiments on.2this subject, and a&gt; write"unto you the practice1 of Our Congregation, to close the mouth of-&gt;tho Adversary:that he1 may41 not adcuse us Tnore. We will' briefly, in answer to the kind letter, state in the first place, {thnt" w&amp;en they assert that our reading is like theirs, we beg leave and their excuse to sny*:that then* assertion is false; because our reading is founded according to the' rules of grammar, which we strictly apply both to the forms of our prayers and to the rending"' of* ourMioly Law and all the hooks of the sacred bible, adhering strictly to ~the right an I established 'way of pronouncing, and not only in those words inserted in the list in Which the" SheV?' is syliabic&amp;l, but a great many more whose Sheva is syllabitiat according to the rules *nhd constant practice of our sacred language, that after a long vowel-point, the following '* SheV? ' is'jisyllabfcat\ excepting those words whose Sheva must be silent, as ?VYTVJP:/ n^iT'&amp;OHD"^ 'and a lew more for the reasons that Win* ?Grbnim'arilm.s aks*Fga,'-a&lt;f"&lt;you '-.perfectly- well know. And the* antlior of the Hebrew Grammar eiti'tiied'ZbarAteha jwkUy T?nwks^that&amp;ter-'tiha longa ov.el points one of the letters ^H^w attracted by tlfem-, as&gt;*X"pressod by our Gnnumnttmans; nr\D2 U8 for instance, the J$dU\etz -king whose* sound is like (A) (as in Spanish or French) thtirefbro there i/? nn IA 'after" it, eithcx* 'expressed or understood: after the Kirik a Jod; Pamphlet on the pronunciation of the Sheva continued overleaf</page><page sequence="14">PLATE VIII after the Shurek, or Holem, a Vau.? Thus the sound of a long vowel point is double that of a short one; it is evident therefore that the Sheva following a long vowel point must be pronounced like the Sheva at the beginning of any word which is always syllabical; as an instance, in the word ^VD? the D is pointed with a Kametz, the long vowel point which must have its full length as a syllable distinct from the two following just as if it were written HD and ; and so of all the other Shev?s which come after one of the long vowel points. And those who call the word ?s3K&gt; mb? and nn^m hyhn act contrarily to our constant practice, and it is a mistake, because the word with a Dagesh in the 2 must always be read b^Jlbf?, and in the same manner must be read H?^ nm&gt; as R. d. Kimhi has written on the verse "pDD ^miD (Psalm mk In this term "^K is tflb? that is, the accent is on the last syllable; and so in D^U* ^rUK mK Deut/ch. i, v. 28. But H^N* or in the other places is ^p^D that is, the accent is on the preceding syllable; and, the word JO nHvVn which they say is &lt;7^*^-- *s also a mistake, and we do not read them so because ^3 H^^^IH only is b*$}bD and nn^VH always jti^d. Thus we are taught, and we have the happiness to decide, that in all the words which you have taken the trouble to collect, the Sheva must be syllabical, which agrees with your decision, and besides if it were not so, what difference would there have been between the long vowel point and the short one, which is well known to all competent judges, that there are long vowel points and short ones; and so it is our dutv to read them accordingly, in the application to our forms of prayers which we address to God Almighty, and to the reading of our holy law; and more especially the Kazan or public reader, must strictly attend to them as an indispensable duty, and we are bound to read every word according to the principles t&gt;f grammar, as communicated by word of montlf^ and received from our venerable masters of [I. M. And we must religiously attend to it with more zeal than any other authority ; and if the Kazan does not attend to such, he will occasion much confusion, and be instrumental to a great deal of mischief; but happy is the man who attends to the reading of his prayers, and to the reading of our holy law as he ought to do, as we have received from our reverend masters. All this we write in compliance with your desire, and to do away the calumnies which seem to have been raised against our practice, and to furnish you with an additional power against those who are obstinately refusing to comply with your wish, although you do not stand in need of it, as your decision, Ileverend Sir, is quite suOicient, and we consider it merely an act of humility of yours to reu lies t of us a declaration of our sentiments on this subject, and I may also add that Mr. David de Sola, public reader (your son-in-law) who was my pupil in my Medrash, knows very well the constant practice of our Congregation, who read our holy law and repeat our prayers according to the principles and rules of Grammar with the utmost exactness. We beg to conclude humbly praying that Almighty God be pleased to restore your health for many happy years in company with your very respectable family. These are our words, who are always ready for the cultivation of our holy Law, the PRESIDING RABBIS of the Spanish and Portuguksk .Conurbation in AMSTERDAM, this day 7th lyar, 5587 of the Creation. JACOB oi- ELlEZElt KE?AKBS, SOLOMON of ABRAHAM CO I II-N. continued from overleaf [See p. 8</page><page sequence="15">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 7 annoyed because he (Bennett) has attacked Herschel in his book, now in the press (en? titled Tene Bikkurim ['A Basket of Criticism']). Haham Meldola is angered and dissatisfied (he says) with Bennett's book, to which Rintel had replied, because of the disrespect that he (Bennett) had shown for Rabbi Herschel's age, if nothing else, and for his rabbinical position. Bennett then launches into a vicious tirade about his early life in Berlin (whence Herschel came), where no one had ever heard of Herschel as being a person of any rabbinical attainment. But Bennett now, for the first time, reveals that his hostility to Herschel goes back to his own residence in Berlin, when he had a quarrel with two individuals, in which Rabbi Herschel's father was involved and gave judgment against Bennett. It was in this con? nection, he says, 'that I first saw Rabbi Solomon in his father's house. I never ex? changed words with him but it is obvious that from then on he nourished the deepest hate against me'. It would appear that, if so, Bennett cordially reciprocated it, and he gives a long account of how and why, in his opinion, Herschel otherwise incomprehensibly became appointed to London, how unfriendly he was to Bennett, and how Bennett came to engrave Barlin's portrait of Herschel in folio size and in small size to include in the prayer-book of Justin (described above), in the latter case in? fringing the copyright of the artist, Mr. Barlin. The printers were (apparently) brought to court by Bennett but effected a settlement with Barlin, while Bennett was summoned to pay the costs of both sides, but, being unable to do so, was sent to Newgate Prison, where he stayed until some English people helped him, paid his debt, and had him freed. It is not surprising that in the file we find letters from Bennett to David Meldola, the Haham's son, complaining constantly that David Meldola (who no doubt was much embarrassed) will not see him or give him what he wants. A religious scandal took place in 1825 when Bennett celebrated a forbidden marriage, for which he was denounced by Rabbi Herschel and Haham Meldola together. A letter entered in the Mahamad'$ Minutes22 dated Roshhodesh Elul 5585 [New Moon Elul 1825], in English from Rabbi Solomon Herschel, describes how Solomon Bennett, an engraver, and his coadjutor, R.Jacob Michalki, have celebrated a marriage and submitted a document defending it, which both the writer (Rabbi Herschel) and Haham Meldola declare to be based on misapprehension and perversion of the law as laid down by Rambam [Maimo nides], the aim of which is to prevent the propagation of sin contracted by a Cohen marrying contrary to the regulations of purity. Such unauthorised procedure in the future by such unordained and unlettered persons should be denounced in every synagogue. The letter adds that the marriage of Aron bar Baruh Cohen and Rachel bat Jacob, a giyoret [con? vert], was not permitted by either of the two Kehiloth [congregations] and the Cohen was de? barred from any misva [congregational honour] until he had done penance. For the last seven years of his life from 1821 the Haham was a sick man. We are not in? formed of the nature of his malady, but he is said to have suffered great bodily infirmities. Throughout all this time, however, he regu? larly and punctiliously discharged his duties, writing to the Mohamad when consulted on matters of religious law such as doubtful cases of marriage or burial rites. But relations were no longer what they had once been, as the Haham from time to time ignored discretion in his pursuit of the path of independence. He was all too much inclined to publish his opinions, which were no doubt correct, but without obtaining the permission of the Mohamad. Thus, in 1822, a group of Gibral tarians celebrated one of the Festivals by hold? ing a service, attended by Minyan (or religious quorum of ten adult males) in the house of Mr. Judah Aloof. Unfortunately the original Rule No. 1 of the congregation23 forbade any other religious service to be held within a radius of six miles of Bevis Marks. Aloof's act was treated by the Mohamad as an attempt to set up an independent centre of worship. A passing visitor, a shaliah24, from the Holy Land, Haham Mordecai Ascio, rushed in, unasked, to offer his opinion that this rule did not apply to strangers and non-residents. Rabbi Ascio made matters worse by behaving in a disorderly B</page><page sequence="16">8 Richard Barnett fashion in the synagogue and was sternly re? buked. The offenders were all punished, but Haham Meldola committed the tactical error of making a proclamation on the subject of Rule No. 1 in the synagogue on Kippur [Day of Atonement] Eve, without permission, a step which greatly annoyed the gentlemen of the Mahamad. Once again, the difficulty was com? posed. In 1823 and again in 1827 there broke out the controversy of the correct pronunciation of the sheva (or half-vowel) in Hebrew according to Sephardi custom, on which the Haham published a manifesto. Hazan de Sola had been taken to task for mispronouncing this vowel in 1819. Now the offender was the other Hazan, Isaac Almosnino. This episode is again well described by Hyamson:25 'Meldola's relations with Hazan Almosnino seem to have been especially bad and the Mahamad had to deal with charges by the Hazan to the effect that the Haham was circulat? ing libellous and abusive circulars regarding him. One of these documents was in Hebrew, a language with which the members of the Mahamad were not fully conversant. Without suggesting that Meldola was in any way responsible for the document, they sent it to him with a request for a translation into Spanisli?Meldola's knowledge of English was still slight. They received more than one letter in reply but neither the original document nor a translation. They had in the end to write over the signature of Moses Montefiore, then Gabay, very peremptorily demanding forthwith the return of the document with a translation. Finally, they recorded their disapproval of the publication and continued, "that the Rev. Haham be requested hereafter not to print or publish for circulation, or cause any written document to be distributed among the con? gregation in any manner or way without such publication or document being previously sub? mitted to the Mahamad and its approval first obtained in writing." However, the offending document continued to be circulated by Meldola's son David, and Isaac Almosnino complained that it was offensive to him and appealed to the Mahamad for "protection against the most persevering persecution which malignity can devise and if it is not in your power to afford me that protection then I beg that I may be at liberty to take such steps as I may consider necessary for my own redress." The retort of the Haham was to charge Almos nino with various trivial offences?in effect with not having carried out his order. . . The Mohamad ended the matter by strongly censuring David Meldola for thrusting the banned paper in synagogue at a visiting Christian cleric. But they were careful, as Hyamson says, not to mention the Haham in their remarks. The missing Hebrew document in question would appear to be a leaflet in Hebrew and English signed by Rabbi Jacob Ferares and Rabbi Solomon Cohen, of Amsterdam, and preserved among the papers of Mrs. Belle de Sola (no other copy is known to exist). (Plates VI I-VI 11.) It is not particularly vitriolic or personal, but merely in itself trans? gressed the principle, long insisted on in London for very good reasons during the long years of insecurity, that publications in any way connected with religion, before appearing in print, should receive the permission of the Mohamad, not merely that of the Haham. Haham Meldola cannot have been wholly disagreeable, for he numbered Christians as well as Jews among his friends, though we must suppose that his difficulty over English must have limited his powers of conversing freely with them. According to Mr. Finestein,26 Meldola conducted an extensive correspond? ence with Christian scholars and divines, in? cluding the Archbishop of Canterbury, who introduced him to George III. This was most probably in connection with the death of Princess Charlotte, on which occasion he delivered a funeral sermon and sent a copy to the Palace, through the Duke of Sussex. He was a scholar by temperament. According to Picciotto, he left 10 manuscript works un? published at his death, including a complete exposition of Jewish doctrine, rites, and belief, in the form of Hebrew dialogues with an English translation. James Picciotto (1830-1897), who doubtless spoke with those who knew Haham Meldola, describes him as 'humble in manner and un? pretending in deportment. Some infirmity of</page><page sequence="17">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 9 temper however brought him into occasional collisions with the synagogue authorities or officials to the detriment of the dignity of his office. He was a kind-hearted man, ever ready to lend a willing ear to tales of distress and to do his utmost to procure assistance for those who really deserved it.'27 But it is only fair to men? tion the indignant reply to this verdict, pub? lished in the Jewish Chronicle for September 1874 (Picciotto's Sketches first appeared in that journal in serial form) by the Haham's now ageing son Samuel, who described Picciotto's views as 'disrespectful and uncharitable'.28 He adds: 'I fear that he [the author] has received his inspiration from sources especially hostile to the Haham. The reverend gentleman was not quick in giving or in taking offence, nor did he come in collision with the synagogue authorities otherwise than in being in conspiracy in the interests of justice and religion and firm in the vindication of his authority. He was frequently opposed by some of his official subordinates but he maintained his supremacy with a determination that was commended by the most influential and right thinking in his con? gregation and only met condemnation from the opponents against whom he successfully struggled.' A quaint obituary of R. David Meldola in the Hebrew Observer, 11 March 1853 (possibly by D. A. de Sola), mentions of Haham Meldola ?. . . It was with this pious Rabbi, like [sic\~\ it is with the most valuable objects whose excellencies [sic} we appreciate more after the loss, than during our possession of them. His versatility of learning induced Christians as well as Jews to seek and cultivate his acquaint? ance. Among the former, we may mention Dr. Stanier Clark, Canon of Windsor, the eminent astronomer Herschel, etc' The late Mr. Hyamson sums up the position fairly when he says that the authorities of the synagogue almost invariably treated the Haham with all the respect due to his office, but that Meldola does not always seem to have been a master of tact or to have possessed the flexibility that public office requires. In addition, as we have seen, he was for many years, indeed the last seven years, a very ill man. His portrait by F. B. Barlin (Plate II), painted in about 180629and engraved in that year (the engraving was republished by J. Lopez on his death in 1828), is preserved at Bevis Marks Synagogue; it shows him as probably short in stature, wearing a powdered wig and the then still customary three-cornered hat, but to have been of some? what stern and forbidding expression. While his letters always conclude with polite expressions of respect to the Mahamad and affection for the congregation, no doubt sincere enough, one cannot help feeling that his career in London was one of disappointment, impatience, and frustration. In June 1828 Haham Meldola died at the age of 74 and was buried, according to his wish, next to Haham David Nieto, his fellow scholar from Livorno (who had died exactly a century before), in the old Burial Ground, or Bethahaim Velho, which had been closed for a century, it being reopened for his benefit. He had already, with characteristic thoroughness, inspected the site three years before and indignantly caused the Mahamad to give orders to remove a dust-bin which dishonoured the grave of Nieto. His burial next to Nieto was intended by Meldola as a mark of respect to his distinguished predecessor, but the contrast is a little painful, since, though both were un? doubtedly men of learning and eminence, Haham Nieto was in comparison far more of a man of the world and certainly a happier holder of that office. A description of Haham Meldola's funeral was recorded in great detail in the Sunday Herald of 8 June and is quoted in full in Dr. Gaster's History,30 the most remark? able event in it being that, as the procession passed Aldgate Church, its bell was tolled, a compliment to which no parallel is recorded in England except in the case of Antonio Carvajal, the founder of the congregation in 1659?'So great was the respect to this gentleman [Haham Meldola] that the tradesmen's shops adjacent to the synagogue were all closed during the ceremony.' As an Italian, Meldola had been fond of music and had been the first person to introduce a choir into the London Synagogue. This choir, consisting of orphans belonging to the Synagogue Orphanage, sang his ode (Kol Rinah) when the synagogue was rededicated</page><page sequence="18">10 Richard Barnett in 1824. The same choir was now mustered to sing in the orphanage on 18 June 1829 a dirge (Kinah) composed in his memory by his son Rabbi David Meldola,31 who was appointed thereafter to the lesser post of Ab Bet Din. Thirty-eight years were to elapse before the post of Haham of London was filled again, in 1866, by Benjamin Artom. HAZAN DE SOLA (Plate III) It need not be thought that the choice of David Aaron de Sola as Hazan was entirely due to the influence of Haham Meldola, since such matters were decided by a majority vote of the Tehidim,32 passed after an audition in the synagogue of the competitors. An interest? ing series of family letters survives describing the exciting period of his election, his marriage, and the immediately following years (see below). But in any case David de Sola was a man after Meldola's heart. Born in 1796 in Amsterdam, he was practically the same age as Meldola's youngest and favourite son, David, and, like the Meldolas, he came from an ancient and honoured Sephardic family which traced its ancestry, well sprinkled with Rabbis, back to the eighth century c.E., likewise in Toledo.33 Though one branch of the de Sola family had settled in London in the early eighteenth century and produced a Hazan? Abraham de Sola?in London, David Aaron de Sola was descended from a branch of the family which managed to remain in Portugal practising secret Judaism, escaping discovery by the Inquisition amid increasing dangers, until in 1749 Aaron de Sola, David Aaron's great-grandfather, fled in a British ship to London, and passed on to Holland, after his two brothers had been done to death in an auto-da-fe. David Aaron's grandfather David (1727-1797) married Sarah de Oliveira; though born in Lisbon, he was highly Orthodox, being a Talmudic scholar, and, like his wife, possessed a considerable knowledge of the Hebrew language. Of their son Aaron little is known; he married Sara Namias Torres. David Aaron was their only son, whom they educated very thoroughly in religious matters even before he reached his Barmitzvah. He must have had happy memories of his childhood, for a toy coach and horses with which he used to play are still preserved with his circumcision dress (Plate VI). When he was 11, his uncle, Dr. Ben? jamin de Sola, a distinguished physician in Am? sterdam (Plate IV, 2), offered to take him into his profession, but the boy showed no interest in this prospect and returned to Hebrew studies at the Beth ha-Midrash (or Theological College), where he attended from the age of 11 till he reached that of 19 in 1815. By the time he left he was able to receive a certificate from Haham d'Azevedo, of Amsterdam, 'that he is to the fullest extent competent to discharge rabbinical functions, to examine Shochatim [slaughterers] in their duties, both theoretically and practically, and assume the ministerial office in every city and in every stage'. But his education in other fields was not neglected, and he showed him? self to possess a ready gift of languages, speak? ing English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and reading and writing French and German. In addition, he was skilled at drawing and calli? graphy, and possessed a real talent for music, of which he was passionately fond. A further group of family papers has recently come to light and was put at my disposal by the kindness of Mr. Raphael de Sola, Mrs. de Pass, and Lady Ellerman from the collection of the late Mrs. Belle de Sola. The most in? teresting are letters covering the years 1818 and 1820 which passed between D. A. de Sola and his family, just covering the time of his migra? tion to London. As the post was then expensive and infrequent, many persons would share in the same family letter, or more than one might be included in the same envelope. They are written mostly in Dutch, with many Hebrew and Spanish or Portuguese or even French words, occasionally in awkward English. In view of the scarcity of Anglo-Jewish letters, and the light these now discovered throw on the life of a young but impecunious Anglo-Dutch Jewish pastor, they are presented here trans? lated in full in an appendix. Often they are hastily and clumsily, even ungrammatically, written, often repetitious and trivial; but they show us a raw, if keen-eyed and energetic young man, a devoted son winning his appoint? ment by merit and skilful diplomacy, cautiously</page><page sequence="19">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 11 negotiating his own marriage, teasing, gossip? ing, joking, studying, anxiously striving to please all and sundry, pinching and scraping to make both ends meet, and shocked and fascinated by the wickedness of the seditious printer and free-thinker, Carlile,34 in Regency London. Of him he gives a vivid account. Mostly the letters are addressed to and from his elderly recently widowed father, who lived in part of one of the large old draughty houses of Amsterdam beside the river, with his sister (Aunt Sem) and little daughter Sara or Sarot and a nephew, E. Namias Torres. But father, alas, is hard to please! He comes over to England for the wedding of his son (one feels that the situation was awkward and relations were strained). (Plate V.) Then he returns and to his son's alarm falls silent. Eventually came the explanation. By April 1821, he learnt that his father was gravely ill and hastened to Holland to see him.35 From a sad final letter (not included) from J. Bassan, dated 22 June 1822, with a touching postscript by little Sarot, stained with tears, we learn that the old father is dead, and we are given a list of his few belongings. On 12 August 1818 de Sola was appointed, as we have described, to the office of Hazan, or Reader, in London. Haham de Azevedo's testimonial, as we have said, spoke of him in the highest terms, which he certainly deserved, and it was quite clear that he was in intellectual calibre vastly superior to any previous holder of his office in London. A Hazan in those days could not perform any official act without permission of the presiding Parnas [Warden] and any neglect of his duty could be punished with a fine, often very heavy, or by temporary suspension. It was not at all his duty to preach or to take part in supervising the school teach? ing (for that was the province of the Haham) and his modest salary depended on a share of the voluntary offerings which might be made by the more generous members of the syna? gogue. But in a surprisingly short time de Sola, having already thoroughly mastered the English language, showed his true colours. In 1829 he published his first book on the Blessings, called Seder Berachoth, with an introductory essay in English on the nature and duty of thanksgiving. In this publication he mentions his debt to Moses Montefiore, afterwards Sir Moses, who had encouraged his studies and publications as a mark of friendship and continued to do so during the rest of his life. This book was printed with an interlinear translation, being obviously intended as a step in the new direction, then gathering increasing momentum, of dis? seminating knowledge and of substituting English for Spanish as the vernacular of the synagogue, which had abandoned it for all official records from 1820. In 1830 the Elders recorded a resolution that sermons should from time to time be delivered in English and invited any person who felt himself competent to submit his name. The congregation observed that de Sola had given three lectures in English to the 'Society for the Cultivation of the Hebrew Language and Literature5 on the subject of'Sacred Biography as connected with Hebrew Literature' and were thereby sufficiently impressed, when he put his name forward, to invite him in 1831 to deliver what was in fact the first sermon in English to be preached in their synagogue, all other addresses having hitherto been in Spanish or Portuguese, languages no longer understood by the majority of the congrega? tion. This invitation was no ordinary compli? ment, for sermons in those days were but rarely given and previously had normally fallen within the province of the Haham, though now that office was vacant. De Sola's epoch-making discourse was delivered on Shabbat Hagadol, 26 March 1831, and was subsequently printed. A further sermon was delivered on Shabbat Mahamu in 1833, and also published, with such success that the Mahamad decided to invite him during 1834-1835 to deliver discourses at monthly intervals at a fee of ?2 a sermon.36 Not content with this, the energetic Hazan now put forward proposals for a new edition and translation of the Portuguese Jews' prayers,37 for which he received again the encouragement and financial support of Moses Montefiore. Two English versions of the liturgy had been available to Sephardim till then, that of A. Alexander (1773) and that of the learned amateur David Levi (1789-1793), both of which left much to be desired. De Sola's work,</page><page sequence="20">12 Richard Barnett published in two editions, 1836 and 1852, was a remarkable feat of scholarship and a great improvement on his predecessors'; it held its own to the end of the century till replaced by Dr. Gaster's edition; yet it is still widely used. As Dr. Gaster points out, de Sola's linguistic expertise made it possible for him to consult and compare foreign versions.38 It need not surprise us if his English renderings of the prayers today appear often unduly ornate and a little pompous. Such was the taste of the day. The translations are, however, always honest, words that he inserted in the English to supple? ment or explain the meaning of the often terser Hebrew being put in italics?a practice abandoned by Gaster. But, in addition to an improved Hebrew text, a fresh type was cut to print it by Messrs. Alexander Wilson, of Glasgow, from Athias's type. For in addition to his other contributions as popular expositor and educationalist, de Sola was really bringing to London at last the high standards of Amsterdam Hebrew book production.39 The Prayer Book was de Sola's greatest contribution to the Anglo-Jewish community, by which he is still remembered, though his remarkably tuneful musical compositions, such as his ver? sion of Adon 'Olam, published in Ancient Melodies of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in an appendix, have also become a permanent feature of the liturgy and are still regularly sung. Such was the esteem in which his musical compositions were held that in 1871,40 after his death, as a particular mark of honour, a choral concert by the Chapel Royal and St. George's Chapel choirs at Windsor included some of his musical compositions. The intellectual and religious ferment of Anglo-Jewry and the gathering storm of con? troversy (which ultimately led to the schism of 1841 and the separation of the Reformers) caused the plans for his next work to be laid in 1838. He tells us that during the discussions at the synagogue on revision of the liturgy and improvement of services, he was invited by a meeting of the members of the congregation to prepare a translation of the Mishnah, parts of which he finished in collaboration with the Rev. M. J. Raphall, Secretary of the Chief Rabbi Herschel. In these discussions 'the opponents of alteration took shelter under the authority of the Mishna, and thus led the advocates of improvement to express their long entertained doubts as to the divinity of the Oral Law. These gentlemen, on being taunted with using arguments derived from partial extracts furnished by Christian writers, urged the necessity of being supplied with an English translation from persons of their own faith. In consequence of this application, the meeting passed a resolution authorising [him] to trans? late the Mishna?*1 This remarkable pioneer work was far from complete. Some treatises and passages were left untranslated in some cases where the original Hebrew is very blunt, for reasons of delicacy; others from lack of time. Those completed were 'those sections such as more immediately relate to Israel in their present dispersion'. But somehow this work was appropriated by the dissident group at the Burton Street Synagogue, who were then agitating for reform and whose activities led to a breach in the Orthodox community and the founding of the West London Synagogue of British Jews. De Sola and Raphall's translation was thus published or 'pirated' in an incom? plete form by Benjamin Elkin, a member of Burton Street Synagogue, without (as de Sola claimed) permission from the authors, and in a notice in The Times, 29 December 1842, de Sola felt it necessary, again in collaboration with Dr. Raphall, publicly to repudiate responsibility for its appearance. This perhaps explains why this important and substantial pioneer work of 354 pages of small type is so little known. At the same time, he was planning a new edition of the Bible in Hebrew with English translation, which created, in the words of his biographer, 'a profound sensation in Christian literary circles, it being the first work of the kind ever issued in England by a learned Jew'.42 Un? fortunately, this ambitious project got no further than the first volume, containing the Book of Genesis, which was published in 1844. In the same period in 1840 we again find Hazan de Sola and Dr. Raphall designated as first joint editors of the Voice of Jacob. Dr. Raphall was the editor of the defunct Hebrew Review and the only person in England with a first-hand experience of successful Jewish</page><page sequence="21">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 13 journalism.43 But on Dr. Raphall's appoint? ment as Minister at Birmingham the combined editorial direction collapsed, and Jacob Franklin, founder of the paper, had to edit the first numbers himself when it began to appear in September 1841, some weeks before the first number of its rival, the Jewish Chronicle. Not surprisingly, it proved impossible for de Sola to carry all his ambitious plans to fruition. It is in fact difficult to understand how he found time for all his extreme activity, and we learn it involved working days and nights. We hear of him copying out by hand in 1839 the volume of Hebrew Sonnets entitled Ele bene ha-ne'urim,44' by the gifted Anglo-Italian physician Ephraim Luzzatto, from a rare copy belonging to Dr. Van Oven, out of admiration of their elegance; we find him preparing a second edition of the Sephardi prayers in 1849; and occupied in the publication of the Ancient Melodies of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, which he edited jointly with Emanuel Aguilar in 1857; delivering various sermons and popular writings, and preparing miscellaneous learned articles.45 He approached everything with an inquiring and analytic mind. Thus, his Ancient Melodies is the first work of its kind to make any attempt to date in many cases the very ancient melodies. He was an assidious reader, and we are told that his literary labours took him much to the libraries of the British Museum. His last achievement was to edit the Prayer Book of the Ashkenazim (1860). His extensive correspondence with foreign scholars, unfor? tunately now mostly lost, is described by Picciotto.47 Among all this literary productivity, in some cases abortive, but in others highly successful, he carried out his complex official duties, being Hazan of Hebra (or Burial Society) as well as ordinary Hazan. In addition to these and to being teacher at the boys' school of Shaare Tikvah, he had the cares of a very large family of six sons and nine daughters, and devoted considerable time to the interests of the poor. But he does not seem to have been of a retiring or anti-social character nor remote from his own family. His son, the Rev. Abraham de Sola,48 Hazan at Montreal, in his biography of his father (a very rare booklet printed for private circulation),49 says that 'to promote the happiness and welfare of his children were the great study and main effort of his life'. 'He was', he says, 'most indulgent to all short? comings, most patient in his teachings and was known to reprove not with severity but with some wise and witty saying or some humorous etching of his ever ready pencil.' David Aaron de Sola, scholar, journalist, and synagogue official, 'the learned Hazan\ as he was called, was something of a phenomenon. The early Victorian period was not one of great Anglo-Jewish learning but in an age of minor Anglo-Jews he was certainly outstand? ing, indeed the most remarkable and versatile Hazan that Anglo-Jewish life has ever produced. As the centenary of this remarkable and attractive man's death falls in this, my second, presidential year, it is fitting to commemorate it and point out how, though the two men were so different in character?Meldola bellicose, de Sola the peace-lover?yet de Sola by his career carried on in the broadest way the scholarly tradition of his father-in-law. But while Meldola was a scholar of the old school, whose career was orientated mainly to the principles and practices of the past, de Sola, by his principles of popular teaching and exposition, belonged to the new age and left a lasting mark on the subsequent religious life of the Anglo-Jewish community that it is very appropriate to remember. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF HAHAM RAPHAEL MELDOLA 1791 Korban Minhah, incorporated in Moses Hayy Milul, Sefer 'Abodath Miqdash9 (Musaf for Kipur), printed by D. N. V. Meldola, Leghorn [Hebrew]. 1797 Huppat Hatanim, Leghorn [Hebrew]. 1809 Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the protection afforded to King George the Third during a long and arduous reign held on a Jubilee; being the day on which His Majesty began his happy reign. On Wed? nesday the 25th October 1809. Pp. 4,8vo. 1809 'Letter to Joseph Fox. Esq.' London Missionary Society's III report, Appen? dix IX.</page><page sequence="22">14 Richard Barnett 1813 Boker Tizrah. Blessing for the Revolution of the Sun, printed by A. Alexander, London. 1813 A Form of Praises and Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the abundant harvest lately granted. On Saturday October 23rd 5574 [1813]. S.Sh. Large 4to. 1814 Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God; to be used in the Portuguese Synagogue on Thursday the 7th day of July 1814, being the day appointed by Proclama? tion for a General Thanksgiving for having put an end to the warfare and blessed us with Peace. Pp. 12, 8vo. 1815 Form of Service in commemoration of the dedication of the Portuguese Jews' Synagogue, in Bevis Marks. Friday Evening September 29, 5575. Pp. 10, 8vo. London. 1817 Funeral Sermon delivered at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on the day of burial of H.R.H. Princess Charlotte Augusta, daughter of the Prince Regent &amp;c. Pp. ii. 14. 4to. 1820 Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the Recovery of his present Majesty's Health, on Saturday 26th February 1820 [Hebrew and English: single sheet only survives: pp. 17-18 of a printed sermon by Dr. R. M., otherwise lost.] 1820 Sermon funebre y moral que en las exequias que se celebraron a S M Jorge III 5580. Funeral and moral sermon . . . at the Spanish and Portuguese . . . Synagogue . . . on the day of the burial of. . . George the Third . . . 1820 [With prayer and thanks? giving for the recovery of His present Majesty's health &amp;c], Pp. 23, 8vo. London, 1820. 1823 The following decision by the Rev. Dr. Raphael Meldola [on the pronunciation of Hebrew]. Pp. 8, 4to. London. English and Hebrew. (See Plates VII, VIII.) 1826 Kol Rinah?Form of Devotional Service Thanksgiving and Singing for renewal of the dedication of the Synagogue of the Portu? guese Jews' Congregation of Bevis Marks, 27 Elul 5585, composed by Rev. Dr. R. Meldola and translated by H. V. Bolaffey. Pp. 14, Sm. 8vo. London, 1825. [1827] Letter of David Abarbanel Lindo . . . on the State of Jewish Education. Pp. 8,4,8vo. London. [1827] A translation of the Hebrew Credential Letter sent by the Hahamim of Morocco to the Congregation in London and its vicinity, invoking their assistance, etc. [Appeal conveyed by H. Abraham Azulay and H. Abraham Adahan on behalf of the Yesiba of Morocco. Pp. 4, 8vo. J. Wertheimer, Printer.] 1848 (posthumous) Derech Emunah. The Way of Faith ... translated from the Hebrew by the Rev. D. Meldola. Sec. i, Part I; Pp. xi, 18, 8. Only fragment printed. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF D. A. DE SOLA 1829 Seder Berachoth?The Blessings, or expres? sions of praise and thanksgiving, Pp. xvi and 94, 8vo. London. 1831 Sermon on the excellence of the Holy Law, delivered at the Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, 26 March 1831. Pp. vii and 25, 8vo. London. 1833 Consolation of Jerusalem, a sermon de? livered at the Synagogue, Bevis Marks, on 27 July 1833. Pp. 20. 8vo. London. 1836 Appendix IV to 'The Sect of the Caraites' (letter), Hebrew Review, 8 July 1836, No. 76, p. 381. 1836-1838 Forms of prayer according to the custom of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, with an English translation by the Rev. D. A. de Sola . . . are added tables forming a complete Hebrew almanac. 5 vols., 8vo. London. Dedicated to Sir Moses Montefiore and Lady Judith (2nd edition, 1852). 1837 The Proper names in Scripture.* 1840 'Nachrichten ueber Efraimo Luzzatto', mitgetheilt von Franz Delitzsch, in Der Orient'. Literaturblatt 1, pp. 7-10. January 1840, Leipzig. 1841 The Cheap Jewish Library, edited and revised for Charlotte Montefiore (with Dr. Raphall and I. L. Lindenthal). 2 vols. London.</page><page sequence="23">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 15 1842 (with Rev. M.J. Raphall) Eighteen Treat? ises of the Mishnah (2nd edition, 1845). 1843 The Sacred Scriptures, translated from the original Hebrew . . . (Genesis only published). 8vo. London, 5603. 1847 Sermon delivered at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on Wednesday, 7 Nisan (24 March) 5607?a general fast day and humiliation on account of the dearth now unhappily prevailing. Pp. 17, 8vo. London. 1847 Address on the death of Abigail Lindo. Anglo-Jewish Magazine, October 1847. London. 1848 'Grace Aguilar.' Tijdschrift der Maat schappij tot Nut der Israeliten, The Hague.* 1854 Sermon on the opening of the Spanish and Portuguese Branch Synagogue on Sabbath Yithro.JC24 Feb. 1854, p. 184. 1856 Sabbath Evenings at Home, or familiar conversations on the Jewish religion, its spirit and observances. By Miriam Belisario, revised by the Rev. D. A. de Sola. 2 parts. London. 1857 The Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, harmonised by Emanuel Aguilar, with 'An Histori? cal Essay on the poets, poetry and melodies of the Sephardic liturgy'. 1857 Gezangen bij het Leggen van der eersten Steen en de Inwijding van de Synagogue te Birmingham [Hebrew Ode on laying of foundation stone of Birmingham New Synagogue, 12 April 1855], printed with metrical translation in Dutch by Mr. Belinfante, in Nederlands Israelitische Jaarboekje, pp. 47-54, The Hague, 1857. 1858 Jets over Isaac Reggio: in Leven Hoogler aar in de Humaniora an het K.K. Gymnasium te G?rtz en Rabbijn Aldaar.* 1859 'Isaac Samuel Reggio', in The Occident, xvi, 1, pp. 58-61; xvi, 2, pp. 108-112; xvi, 5, pp. 251-254; xvi, 8, pp. 389-393. Philadelphia, 1859 (translated from the preceding by J. J. Peres). 1860 Mahzor le-mongadei Adonai; Festival Prayers according to the Custom of the German and Polish Jews with a new English translation. 5 vols., 8vo. London. * No further bibliographical details available. APPENDIX I Translation50 of Hebrew letter from Solomon Bennett to David Meldola 18 Adar 5577 (6 March 1817) My Chosen Friend, David Meldola, Your letter of the above date, which covers the whole extent of the sheet, front and reverse, has reached me. From the length of what you have to say, I gather that your father, the wise and dis? tinguished Rabbi, has deep complaints against me for having raised my hand against King Solomon, that is, the Rav of the Ashkenazi Community, by my intended publication of ' Tene BikurirrC in the near future. Although the concept of the book is correct, would be acceptable to men of learning, and conforms with the teachings of Torat Tisrael, nevertheless, your father takes me to task for publicly denigrating Rabbi Solomon unjustly. 'If wisdom is not present, age is,' and you should respect that, in particular, as he wears the crown and occupies the seat of rabbinate. This is the essence of the matter. But if only your esteemed father and you, my friend David, only knew details of the character of this man [Rabbi Solomon], he would not have said such strange things. You will see only some of the things and how his soul acts, for to go into details is impossible within the bounds of a letter. Let me give you only an outline and you will be able to draw the obvious conclusions. Know therefore! While I was at Berlin in connection with my work at the academy, I nevertheless mixed with the Polaks, learned in Torah, and took an interest in their affairs. During all that time I did not hear one word that the Rav of Berlin, Rabbi Zwi, had a son by the name of R. Solomon, capable of hold? ing a rabbinic position or a scholar. It happened that I had some dispute with R. Yitzchak Satanov51 and R. Moses Slotover which com? pelled me to appear before the Rav, R. Zwi, the local spiritual head. But, because this family, when they speak, do so in a haughty manner, the Rav, R. Zwi, frightened me and spoke harshly about me, contrary to the facts. However, as my name was known and noted</page><page sequence="24">16 Richard Barnett in Berlin among both the Jews and the Princes and the distinguished in the land, and I had the advantage in this matter, I kept away from the Rav. There arose also some discord and controversy between us and this caused the rupture of our relations. At that time I saw R. Solomon at his father's home for the first time, although I did not exchange any word with that man. Apparently, from this stage there was hatred kept in his heart against me. (There is much to tell.) A year or two has now elapsed since we parted, each going his own way, as happens. The circumstances of time moved me to come here, to London, to give effect to the work which I took upon myself. It was an unfortunate circumstance that at that time the congregation of Duke's Place was like a flock without a reliable shepherd, without a rabbi and teacher of righteousness. Although there were among them some rabbis and Torah scholars, some of whom have since then passed away, and others who are still among us (may the L-lengthen their days), yet, for some stupid reason, they made up their minds to bring their bread?the bread of Torah?from afar. This course, to bring a foundling into the house, the house of Israel?that is, R. Solomon, to set him upon the seat of the rabbinate here in London, without Semicha [Rabbinical degree] from any of the known gaonim or heads of Teshiva, as is customary, and only on the recommendations of his father, R. Zwi, of the Berlin Community, and of some merchants and wealthy people in Berlin who do business in London, who have approved and testified to his great attainments (although they them? selves are not very observant), my dears! see, who are the important persons who testify to the ability of the man. As the deliverance drew near, and the Gaon appeared within the walls of London, the great men of our land, like R. Abraham and R. Benjamin Goldsmid and R. Eliezer Keyser and their followers, placed their hands upon R. Solomon and all the people followed them with bowing and worship and raised the cry 'Long live King Solomon, etc.', and when they crowned him with honour, greater than his due, he donned choice garments and a spirit of jealousy and haughtiness to rule solely accord? ing to his desires, without pressure or opposi? tion to his immeasurable greatness. In the course of time, as King Solomon sat on his royal throne at Duke's Place, he asked some of his courtiers, 'I understand that there is here a man known as Mr. Bennett?' and they answered him that this was so. He then opened wide his mouth saying, T am surprised that he has not been to my house to visit me, among all the visitors. What sort of person is he? What does he do?' and they answered him according to the facts, that Mr. Bennett is of little significance here. He is occupied in work for his daily sustenance and has no connection at all with Duke's Place. Then, said he again, 'I know that he is a quarrelsome and conten? tious man and that he quarrelled with my father, the Gaon in Berlin, etc' (and they under? stood him), and although, after that, I occa? sionally went to his house to visit him, he never received me with welcome or friendliness, as is known, therefore my feet avoided the threshold of his house to rejoice in his imaginary glory. It came to pass, as the days that R. Solomon sat on his royal throne drew out, and his name was exalted in the land, Mr. Barlin printed a drawing of the Rav, a portrait of him in folio, to show 'the people and the princes his splen? dour', etc, as is known. In the course of time, when Mr. Josephs and Mr. Barnett printed the Machzorim, it occurred to their foul minds [to place] on the frontispiece of the Machzorim a portrait of their Rabbi and Gaon (may his merit protect them), then those aforemen? tioned printers came to me with the large portrait to copy therefrom a small drawing for the Machzorim. Now, for the past ten years that I have been a sojourner in the land, and not knowing the laws of the land in matters of their statutes and the regulations of the country in regard to Acts of Parliament, it did not occur to me to ask the printer whether they had obtained per? mission from Mr. Barlin to make a copy of the large portrait, although it is no concern of mine, being only a craftsman in search of a livelihood, and I made a definite bargain with them for my work, twenty pounds sterling.</page><page sequence="25">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 17 And now I will deal briefly with matters that are well known, that is: After preoccupation with the work for some two months, the above mentioned portrait, although well executed (as is apparent), the printers would not accept it from me and put me off with the strength of their hand and empty talk, with fraudulent pleas. As my mind was worried from a feeling of wrongdoing, I made various inquiries, and the truth of the matter was revealed to me; that Mr. Barlin had frightened them and made them uneasy for copying the portrait without his permission and that they were liable to severe penalties according to the well-known Act of Parliament, and as they wanted to deprive me of my work and withhold my payment, they devised words without proof in such a way as to free themselves from payment. My beloved ones! imagine for yourself my heartache and quaking spirit at the time. A stranger in a foreign land without helper or supporter, lacking a livelihood, and that little, the above-mentioned portrait, after two months' work in its execution, they robbed me of the full reward for which I laboured with the sweat of my brow. In addition, they despised and publicly disgraced me so that I should not find any favour in the eyes of the public. I then thought I will go to the great ones and speak to them, that is, the Rav, R. Solomon, and I was confident in the up? rightness and the skill of his heart, so that he would find a place for my request. I wrote him a letter depicting my sickness of heart and asked him to summon the printers to appear before him so that he might achieve a benefit either by judgment and laws of Israel for better or worse or by compromise and do whatever appeared right to him. (R. Jacob Biala bore the letter to the Rav.) Let Jews hear! Did not the Rav, R. Solomon, the perfectly righteous one, raise his hand against the law of Moses and show contempt for the word of the Lord, by putting to shame in the eyes of the public the laws and judges of Israel! For, not only did he refuse to execute correct judgment between man and his brother of the people of Israel, but strengthened the hands of sinners by supporting the printers to go to Gentile courts to be judged in judgments, 'they do not know them,' that are not worthy to enter the congregation of the Law, because the greatly revered Rav, R. Solomon, knew that in the courts they would beat me, according to their wicked intention, for that was their object. And I was stupid and ignorant of the rules of the court and my purse empty, without the wherewithal to satisfy the need either of bribery or with speech, and I had not a true friend from whom I could seek advice and stand by me. Alas! In this my strength failed me, and I fell among cruel ones, men of blood and deceit. They made my position heavy. For they weighed the scales of justice against me and compelled me to pay in addition the costs of the case for both sides and I was burdened with the sum of about one hundred pounds, to pay the lawyers and others, and as I was unable to pay the costs of the lawyers of my opponents, for that they also put me in prison (Newgate), as is known. However, by the mercy of the Lord, some friendly English gentlemen who had seen the hardheartedness and the feeling of wrongdoing of R. Solomon and close associates, that is, the publishers Mr. Josephs and Mr. Barnett, came to my aid and redeemed my soul in peace and from their own pockets paid the sum that was required of me and drew me forth from my prison to give me a remainder in the land. From that time R. Solomon was invested with the spirit of favouritism and all who cover themselves with his shadow and the shadow of his roof continue to treat me with contempt and shame in the eyes of the multitude of Duke's Place. They have locked and barred doors so that I should not come under the shadow of their roofs, expel me from the borders of Israel and from being attached to the inheritance of Israel. Alas! as if I were a good-for-nothing, con? temptible and lowest of the low. Every day they dig pits to cast me down and to cast me away in their pit. Even now their hand has not dropped. They will find hidden means to avenge themselves on me, as you, my friend, know their doings more than I can say. This</page><page sequence="26">18 Richard Barnett is the gist of the matter. Although they are only outlines, there is yet sufficient to form a judgment to assess truly whether Mr. Bennett is a quarrelsome and contentious man, devoid of truth and peace, or not. Read, I beg you, with your own mouth and understand these words and explain to your father, the wise one, the reason for these words. From your true friend, S. T. Bennett. APPENDIX II Letters from and to D. A. de Sola, from April 1818 to September 1820, translated from the Dutch by Miss S. Ricardo. London 2 April 1818 Very worthy Father, Hoping that this may find you in good health, your pleasant letter of the 23rd reached me only yesterday, through failure of the post. Mr. Brandon arrived last Saturday, but, as at first he couldn't find me, I didn't receive the books till Tuesday evening. I am very surprised that, although I always think of Mr. Mesquita52 first on every occasion, I was the first whom he deceived. Ribi Ferares53 would certainly never have done this, with a work that cost me as much money as a Piza beli nekudot [= Pisa without points];54 in the second book, Sefer Shemot [Exodus], a page of three 'amudim [columns] is missing. If I have to have it bound in five volumes (although I thought that two were already bound and the five would cost much more, but I would not take about that) you can understand how nice it is that if they cost me so much money, to get them so haser [defective]. Had I had the chance, I would have returned them, but perhaps he himself doesn't know it or he has forgotten to add the pages; in any case, I hadn't expected it of him. The Haham had intended before Pesach [Passover] to send him a cheque for the account for his books to Mendes de Leon but wishes now to wait until he has seen his books, because no one wants to pay and receive so haser [defective]. The book of mo'adim [= festivals] of Silva Mendes55 is complete, but be so good as to inspect the other volumes. If he finds the pages let him show them, then I will wait with the binding, and let him tell me the prices of these books for another of Mendes (in paper) for Hazan Almosnino.56 As to the out? door cap, I have changed my mind about this, as it will be too heavy in the summer; a white cloth or camelhair cap, as they sell them often in the whole alley or in the High-street, would have been better: such as Hazan Silva57 or cousin N. Torres wear of (Stqffagie); one or two pairs of steel buckles (I've lost my silver ones); a good small cheese of 1 or 3 lb. as a present for the Haham, and a bottle of good old Dutch Geneva for Hazan Almosnino, as these are trifles?and then I will give it you [back] after your arrival. As to the marriage, the Haham objects to cutting new cloth in the Omer,58 therefore think that the wedding should not be before the Wednesday before Shevuot [Pente? cost]. I am writing you this so that you will not be in too much haste to come over. Ask if you may bring a bottle of Geneva, otherwise do not, as I know that bringing in Dutch Geneva wholesale is forbidden, but I'm not sure if a single bottle can be brought. I have nothing more to write except that I hope you will celebrate happily the coming Passover in the company of my dear sister and other relations. With a large number of others, I heard with pleasure from Aunt Sim that she is now better; please give my greetings to her and Mrs. Fano and her whole family, particularly Bram; further, my greetings to relations and good friends. I remain, your loving son, David de Sola. As the post has failed three times because of changing weather, and I still want to write you a lot before you come over, be so good as not to miss one postal day. 2. Worthy father, I add my wishes to the above and greet my dear sister-in-law. Ribca Meldola 3. Worthy [cousin] Namias Torres, [I received] with pleasure your last pleasant letter and learned that you are slightly re? covered. I hope that you complete [your]</page><page sequence="27">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 19 recovery. As to my travel-journal, this I did mostly out of boredom on board ship. It is very far-ranging, and as I now read it, it looks to me ? too much. The remainder, I can extract the tamsit [essence]. I shall send it to you bit by bit, as I am honoured by, and sensible of, your love which you have shown to me in small particulars?though it can't be called a journey, from Amsterdam then to Delft, then to Rotterdam, and then aboard the Royal Sovereign to Briel, then to Gravesend and London; the little particulars I will write to you as above, only because of the above reasons. Do me a favour and talk to Mesquita about the two pages which are haser [defective] in Pisa's Humash [Pentateuch] that he do his best to find them. There remains nothing for me but to wish that you may celebrate Pesah [Passover], followed by many more, in company of your whole family, in health and pleasure. Your sincere cousin, David de Sola Rieke's59 writing on the address was only a joke which I thought would be of no conse? quence, because she wanted to write in Dutch and I had shown her how to do it. Addressed: To: Mr. Aron van David de Sola, in the Kerkstraat, by the Amstel, No. 10, Amsterdam. 28 July 1818(?) Worthy son, I received your very worthy letters of the 21st on time, and I note with distress that you have a slight cold. I hope that you will soon be better and that it won't be troubling you during your Prova [exam] and that you will pass with honour. Also it has given me great pleasure that you are being encouraged and that you are being given patronage and also that the Haham and the Hazan are very helpful to you. You must remain friendly with these people, as they can be of benefit to you. Regarding Canho,60 I wrote to you in my last letter of the 21st that you must not be frightened or lose courage, because Canho, with all his letters of recommendation, has no idea of the opinions here that you almost certainly will be Hazan. For the rest, one doesn't know anything here? only rumours from mean people who don't know anything and whom you can't take for granted. I am, however, of the same opinion as you that Canho might return with quite a lot of money. But what does that matter if you succeed and get the honour? Regarding the reference which the Haham got from Samuel Farro,61 this was about your character, health, and family. Farro wrote him a very favourable answer to your advantage, which I read and posted myself, as I wrote in my last letter. About the money from Barzilay,62 I cannot tell you anything yet, as I wrote only yesterday and would not have an answer as yet, so I will inform you next time. In the meantime you have done well not to give him any more than you have arranged, as you know Moos Barzilay very well. All I can now advise is that you will not miss a single post day to write to me, because I expect the next letter on Friday to tell how Canho got on, and the following Monday how you got on the whole week, and then you will write to me with the post of 4 August how you fared on Friday night and Shabbat, and this you must write in detail, not a short one such as I have received up to now. You will not have to worry about the charges, since I shall be delighted to pay double, so mind you write me everything exactly. If you can, please write also a few words to the Haham and the Hazanim, even if it is only by a passenger or an envelope or in my letter. This is all very important, particu? larly if you are not chosen, as then you will find these people on your return still your friends. Don't forget Benjamin Salzedo, the parnas, who likes you very much and who asks daily after you. I spoke to Marco Vitta and gave him your request but he cannot help, because he will not involve himself with the Haham for reasons which he already told you before you left. I have greeted all your good friends and they all return your greetings. Another time you must be careful to mention [Aunt] Sem and not merely me and Sarot. You know that I like that and it won't cost you much trouble. For the rest, I have nothing to impress on you again to write in detail what</page><page sequence="28">20 Richard Barnett happens to you and not to miss a post day. I remain, meanwhile, your dear father who gives you his blessing: from the God-fearing Aaron van David de Sola. Aunt Sem, Sarot, and the whole family send you greetings. (2) Friend David, I agree with the above, and am longing for a letter in which you write to me how Mr. Samuel Bendelak has received you and if you have given him my letter. Please give him my greetings and those of my mother, wife, and children, and I wish you the very best and I don't doubt that you will succeed. [Portu? guese], then, bechabod [with honour] I recom? mend you: from your cousin may everything with you go straight. E. JV. Torres. Sara van Aron de Sola. London 28 July 18 Worthy and beloved father and sister and cousin de Torres, Hoping that this finds you in good health in company with the whole family, Your pleasant letter of the last post day reached me on Saturday morning. My Prova has already begun and Canho finished on Saba [Sabbath] after? noon, without having achieved much honour because they did not much like his voice, his pronunciation, or his singing of the Friday night service. As far as I could gather from the nation regarding my Prova, the singing on Sabbath evening was not so good, rather bad in fact, the reasons being that the synagogue was very full. I was extremely nervous because it was the first time I was on the Tebah [read? ing desk]. I also had bad bronchitis?and of course that will not help with everyday read? ings for the rest of the week! Nevertheless, I found enough friends to help me to excuse myself. Sunday morning and afternoon it went better, and Monday morning and afternoon better than the previous morning. As long as I finish the Friday evening and Sabbath service well enough, since this is lying very heavily on my stomach, then you do not need to worry about me. God will help and it will certainly be as good as Canho as long as my bronchitis gets better. And now the reason why I am writing: A certain Mr. Jalfon, one of the Velhos da Nagao (Elders of the 'Nation', i.e., community) has made a certain proposition to me (and my given word will not be valid at all without your consent) that in the event of my becoming Hazan I should marry the daughter of Haham Meldola. I myself think this is a great advantage because not only can he help me a great deal to get my post, but there are many thousands of advantages that I could get from such a marriage. First of all: the prestige I would get as son-in-law of the Haham, so that I certainly would not come into an empty house, which here in London means quite a lot?that he can help me in the Medrash [school] etc. The girl herself is 19 years old, and is (as far as I can tell and see) of good moral character and taste and domesticated. She does not dis? please me. These are not all the advantages but at the moment I cannot write you all of them. This letter is going under cover so I will write you more in my next letter. This is certain? that I will miss all these things with the sister of the Hazan.63 But before I give my word one way or the other I would like to know your thoughts about it and have your consent. Without this, I would not give my word. I hope that you will reply immediately and will not wait for the next post day. I have, through the Haham, a lot of advantage and also indirectly (because he is now Parnas) through Mr. Lindo, who has got me a lot of votes from a large number of the 'nation', because they are an important family here,64 just as are the Teixeira family in Amsterdam. Thank Sampi Farro65 for all the kind things he wrote in his letter, although you must not tell him that I have read this. I do not need to tell you that the above is all highly confidential and this must remain the greatest of secrets because for the time being it is not quite certain whether I will be Hazan, as the Prova has not finished yet, and secondly this is a decision that rests with the Tehidim, and although the Haham can do a lot he cannot decide on everything. Also if Monne Farro or Eby Salom get to know about it, then the Hazan66 would get to know about it in no</page><page sequence="29">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 21 time. And (though he has not said anything to me yet), the Almosninos had thought of me for one of their sisters and therefore in the meantime work very hard to collect votes from the Tehidim. Thus if he gets to hear about this, there is no doubt that this would harm me. So make sure that this remains a secret between you, Cousin Torres, and myself. Regarding what I wrote to you in my last letter about Barzilay, I would be grateful if you would do something about this and let me know about it in your next letter. The other thing is, please ask Mr. Eby Salom to write on your behalf a letter in English to thank his sister and brother-in-law67 for all the kindness I have received from them, because whatever the outcome I will gladly pay for the postage. I shall never forget their goodness and the warmth with which they have received me and I still enjoy from both. The brother-in-law also teaches me daily either in his house or in the synagogue (which he is not supposed to do). I wish you could have seen this, with what love and affection as if I were their own son. When I was unwell, they helped me to rest on that Saturday evening. They are both the kindest people I have ever met in my life. For what is happening at the Haham you can well imagine. Otherwise I cannot remember what else to write to you except to send you greetings from the Haham, and my greetings without any exception to everyone. Next Friday I hope to receive your letter and I will write more to you. Pray to God for me for Friday night. (But when you receive this one perhaps it will be too late.) Greetings to all my friends and my sister?from whom I should like to hear what she is doing and whether she is a good girl. Greetings to Aunt Sem and Cousin de Torres and family. I remain your son who loves you, David de Aaron de Sola P.S.?Cousin de Torres, your English books were stolen out of my pocket during the elec? tion of Burdett68?(no doubt you have read in the papers about this)?probably by an Englishman who wanted to learn Dutch. Greetings from me to your mother and your family. I do not need to tell you that all that I have written needs to be kept secret. Cousin D. de Sola. Would you be kind enough to send your next letter to the address of the Haham. For the Revd. R. Meldola, Chief Rabbi 47 Mansell Street, Goodman's Field. For David de Sola, London. Do not forget to send greetings to everyone, as I do not want to forget anyone. Addressed: To: Mr. Aaron de David de Sola, Kirkstraat by the Amstel (to be read by Mr. E. de Torres), to Amsterdam under cover of Mr. Samuel a Cohen Farro. 4 August 1818 Worthy son, As the post arrived very early on Friday morning I went in time to the Post Office, but alas! there was no letter from you to me. I was extremely worried and even very dissatisfied, with you, as in all my letters I had told you you should not miss a post day. And now as there was no letter, I waited all day and at last half an hour before Shabbat your letter was handed to me by Samuel Faro. It was enclosed in his letter which he had received in the afternoon from Texeira de Andrade. I could therefore carry out your instructions immediately. Be? cause of Shabbat I couldn't reply until today to both your letters. As to what you write about being unwell on ascending the Tebah [reading desk] the first time, this doesn't surprise me at all. Doing something in public the first time, even the strongest of minds can always become nervous and unsettled. But I was pleased to hear that on Sunday and the following days, it improved (I don't doubt that)?encouraged by generous treatment of the Haham and Hazan, to whom I send my thanks and greetings. Your second letter I received on time. Although you don't write much, I understand that you weren't nervous, as rumour had it here. I am looking forward very much to your today's letter to know how Friday night and Shabbat went and if the 'nation' [community] was satisfied, and if you surpassed Canho?which would indeed be a great advantage to you. I would also like to</page><page sequence="30">22 Richard Barnett know how the Haham decided about Canho's letters, although as far as we can see you need not worry about any of this, because you have the Haham and the Hazan on your side?as we are assured and you know yourself. And if Canho is made posel [deficient] then they will simply vote 'yes' or 'no', just as Seetge Silva was elected Hazan. A further candidate would certainly not be called, because the Mahamad would not send one. You both have been selected out of the five candidates submitted. It would be a humiliation to the Mahamad as well as to your Haham, so on that side there is no problem. Should Canho not be disqualified by the Haham, then there remain those of the 'nation' [community] who did not like his spelling mistakes and then your party will choose, turn it as you like. Keep your chin up, and all will go well! At least, that is what every? one here thinks?either neither of you or you! But most of them see you already as Hazan. In the event of your becoming Hazan, I have nothing against your marriage with the Haham's daughter. But I cannot give you my consent just like that. That the girl is young, chaste, good, homely, that you like her, is all very well, but one has to look further into the future. You can't take a girl just like that without knowing any conditions, whether her father will give her a good dowry and any trousseau and whether for some time expecting to live in, as well the money of the nedabah [offering]. You have also to remember that you have to get clothes, furniture, and other items, and all these conditions, if you marry, must be written down and signed. You are old and wise enough to work them out to your own advantage. Thus, before I know all these condi? tions, I cannot give my consent, because as a father it is my duty to provide for the future. I will not say that you will have to pull the string too tight, but it will have to be suitable to your advantage, and therefore you will have to decide and know what you would like to do, because it is the same to me which of the two girls you are going to take, the daughter of the Haham or the sister of the Hazan. I don't know either of them. But provided she is good and you find her an advantage to you, I will only give you my fatherly advice. So I expect a detailed letter in which you specify everything clearly, without keeping the truth from me? ?and that I don't expect you will do. Should you, however (which we don't hope), fail to become Hazan, I shall not give you my consent, unless there are some great advantages for you, and you could find as good a post as you have already here?and, what may also be expected, my office and in addition, the medras [school], in which you can become great. And I must warn you that, in any case, you must come back as soon as possible so that we can discuss it personally. Should you become Hazan, you must get permission from the Parnasim [wardens] to come here and take leave of your father, your family, your good friends, and the whole medras, as well as to come and thank the whole Mahamad [wardens], something which not one will refuse you. As to Barzilay, I received your letter. I had already written twice to him, but had no reply. I will see that I get the money, but in future don't let yourself in with this Barzilay, because he is, as you well know, a rough client and it is no honour to you to be on speaking terms with him. There is nothing further to inform you. No doubt you will have received my letter of Tuesday, but perhaps too late to send me any reply as yet. Aunt Sem and your sister are well, thank God, and send you their greetings, as well as the whole family and friends. I hope that you won't forget to reply about all the things on which I have just written to you. I enclose a letter from myself to the Hazan. Please send him my compliments. Samuel Faro asks if you would tell the Haham on his behalf that he will not write to him for the present before your Prova [test] is finished. I hope that this will find you in good health and that all will end as we all wish it. I remain your loving father, who sends you his blessing. Aron van David de Sola P.S. Give my compliments to the Haham and thank him for his assistance. Worthy cousin David, My mother, wife, and children send you these greetings and good wishes. You must also write us why you and Canho last Wednes</page><page sequence="31">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 23 day night were summoned by the Mohamad, because this was the rumour we had here. For the rest I entirely agree with what your father has written, and were you my son, I would not have treated the matter any differently. I remain your affectionate Cousin E. N. Torres. P.S. Don't show the Hazards letter to the Haham. He might not like it that your father has written to him. Addressed: For the Rev. R. Meldola, Chief Rabbi, 47 Mansell Street, Goodman's field, for Mr. David de Sola, London. London 7 August 1818 Worthy Father, I am hoping that this may find you in good health and in the company of the whole family and friends. On Tuesday I was very worried, as the post to which I had been looking forward so much came without any letters for me, as I know well that you would not neglect a matter of importance such as that I wrote about in my last letter. But now I know the reason I am much more at ease. As far as my Prova [test] is concerned, the chill I mentioned in my last letter was because of the daily reading in the Snoga [synagogue] here, where one must read along from Tishtabah to Mitahat en 'od word for word, as also the continuous reading and singing in order to learn from the Hazan (the chill became steadily worse); so Friday night and Saba \Shabbat] I couldn't do it all, as I would have liked. But nevertheless the Tehidim were so well satisfied that -?20 to ?1 was put on me, so that (however much it 'pulls in my eye') I must have been as good as Canho. Now con? cerning Canho's exam; this was (between our? selves) a trick of the Haham which he couldn't put off without harming me, as he had to satisfy the Tehidim [subscribers], although he could have found 1,000 reasons to be posel [dis? qualifying]. Without partiality either here or there, as soon as the exam, was finished, a few Tehidim?of whom Sam Bendelak was the head, and who from of old have been irritated by the Haham, knowing that I was the protege of the Haham?this was now enough to create an opposition party. By good fortune, it G turned out to be a small party, because the cream of the 'Nation9 is on my side and the Haham, the Hazan, the President, all work on the quiet (?), which was difficult for me, as also do Messrs. Jalfon, Ximenes, etc., all Velhos da Nagao [Elders of the Nation]; so my party at the moment is very large, but one must not underestimate one's enemy. They also work very hard, but they haven't got the sources of help which we have, so that at present it doesn't look so bad for me. But nevertheless there is still a long week before the election (because that will be next Wednes? day) and I can't know the changes that can arise. I hope that everything will turn out according to our wishes. As for the matter of the Haham's daughter, for the moment we can? not discuss terms before the matter has been decided, and then we can for the time being stipulate the most advantageous terms; but at the moment it is still too early. By the follow? ing post next Friday I hope to write you good tidings and then one can see what one has to do. I shall write you his proposals and then you can always answer, as I now know that you have nothing against it. But at the moment I can't break my head about it with conditions, because I don't know how things will end. This is certain: that everything is being tried that is in the least helpful. The paper of Haham Azevedo is being printed with an English letter at the Haham9% expense, to be sent to the Tehidim in order to dispose of anything that can impede; and if I do not become Hazan, then I am not staying a moment longer than is absolutely necessary, although I can earn twice as much, because I am longing for Holland. Neverthe? less, if I am to be Hazan, I have already been told by the Mahamad that in the first two or three years I cannot think of returning. Do me a favour and write to me if you have received the money from Barzilay. Regarding what you wrote to me on Tuesday, as yet I haven't received a letter. Greetings from the Haham, his wife, and the Hazan, who thanks you for the kind letter, and greetings to the whole family and friends; I remain your Son, David van An de Sola. You must excuse my bad writing, since it is about to be Sabbath, having walked myself</page><page sequence="32">24 Richard Barnett lame the whole week and today through this great city, where the Jews live so spread out, as well as miles in the country; and I can't find either a good pen or ink either at the Haham's or the Hazards. Addressed: To Mr. Aron van David de Sola in the Kerkstraat by the Amstel, No. 10. 1 August 1818 Amsterdam. [English] London 14 August 1818 Dear Sir, I recd thro' the hands of your worthy son your letter of the 4th inst., conveying to me your thanks for the services you conceive I have rendered him in the little assistance I have given that deserving individual. I have taken pleasure, because it has bestowed on one, whose goodness will at all times command attention and esteem, and it is no more than I expected from the high recommendations given me of him by my brother, Mr. Salom, which would of truth have merited from me, every mark of kindness. He conveys to you by this post the account of his election and I have now to tender you my sincerest congratulations on the event, assuring you that he will always find in me a friend, who will cheerfully assist and advise him in what will promote his welfare. May he long live to enjoy the situation and receive the reward of his services (the most acceptable to a grateful heart) in the unanimous approbation of the community at large?That you may always see pleasure of those dear to you, is the sincere wish of, Dr. Sir, Your very obdt. servt. S. Almosnino69 Please inform my Brother Mr. Salom that I intended writing to him this day, but am prevented and will do it p. next post, please God. Addressed: Mr. Aron van David de Sola, (in Dutch) Mr. Aron de D? de Solla, Kerkstraat between Amstel and 2nd Wesper Street No. 10 Amsterdam. London 19 August 1818 Sir, Since the chance of getting the post of Hazan has been more favourable to your beloved son than for me, in spite of all, I cannot forbear to write to your worship, as also to your family, to congratulate them from my heart, hoping that almighty Providence may keep him many years and that you and your family may taste the pleasure of it, as you yourselves wish them. I am convinced that if the opposite had been the outcome, he would have had the same feelings for me. I would like to ask you to give thousands of greetings to my beloved brother and family, and to [say] that to save letter charges I am not writing to them, but that I will inform him of my departure hence as soon as the same has been decided. Your worshipful son asks you to congratulate from him the son of the former Hazan Salom on the birth of his son. Meanwhile I remain, Sir, with respect, your respectful servant, Salomon del Canho. Amsterdam 18 August 1818 Worthy son, This moment, it being half past six, I received the pleasant news that you were chosen as Hazan. God give you his blessing on this, as your father wishes it you. I lack the opportunity to answer you further, as the post is about to leave. I have had no time to read your letter: the next post I will write more fully: with best wishes from all your good friends, from your father, who wishes all blessings: Aron van David de Sola. (2) Worthy Friend David, I heartily wish you good luck with your new post. The following post I will write more. In haste, Your cousin, Torres. Addressed: Mr. David de Sola, 47 Mansell Street, Goodmansfields, LONDON. London (Date omitted) [Oct. 1818] Very worthy Father, Hoping that this may find you in good health and in the company of all the family, your</page><page sequence="33">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 25 agreeable [letter] of the [date not filled in], which reached me the second morning of Rosasana [= New Year] with the letter of the Haham, which was very well planned. He is very satisfied about the letter but he showed his surprise that you didn't write a word about the marriage of myself and his daughter, something which I also admired, but I gave him the excuse that we did not wish to make it public and that you were not accustomed to write Portuguese, which you didn't wish others to know (although I know that cousin Torres has written to them). Regarding the Sepher, would you like to leave it until you come here ? It will be just as well then; perhaps my wedding will be at a time when a sea journey is not very pleasant, even people who are used to travel avoid it. I am more for it being between Hanuca and Purim but this is not quite certain. On Rosasana [= New Year] I read the first day musaf [= additional ser? vice], the second evening, and the whole of the Second day as well as Shabat Teshuba [= Sab? bath before the Day of Atonement], as well as the Fast of Guedalia; although I have never done this before and now had to read as well, this all went very well and to the general approval of the whole Kahal [= congregation], so that I hope that Kipur will follow similarly, for I shall then have to read the whole day except for the musaf. I hope that you will have them and the other festas in the company of the whole family and you may spend them in health and pleasure for many years. I am sending a draft on Couder de Brants for ?6. I am sorry that I can't send you any more, but the offerings were very bad, the reason being the weather was so good that most people remained in the country and also because of Picos [quarrels (?)] with the Presi? dent, the Mohamad, &amp;c. Thank God, not be? cause of me. I have had to take it from my salary, although I am without any at the moment, but I didn't want to put you to any embarrassment; you can direct it through Uncle Isaac or Sampie or yourself as you wish. See that you help yourself a little with this; as soon as it is possible I will send you more. I can't for the moment send you more. I don't wish the Haham to know, and if Kipur isn't better and if in the meantime nothing turns up (because the offerings of Rosasana and Kipur are not received till Rosasana the next year and another part comes before Pesach, besides what is never paid at all), I don't know how I can survive here three months without anything. Nevertheless, if I can, I will send you more when I can. Write to me if you receive the money from Barzilay and also a little news from Amsterdam. When you write to Josef Barzilay, or when you see him, tell him that I asked his cousin on several journeys to take a letter for him, but that he left without my knowing about it, and that I shall never forget the hospitality I enjoyed in his home and that without exception I would like to be of any service to him. Otherwise I only pray to God to inscribe you in the Book of Life and that for many years you may be preserved to the whole family. Further I must give you the compliments of Haham Meldola, and those of his family and his, and your future, daughter Ribca Meldola. My compliments to the whole family and friends, particularly to Mr. Hoheb, to whom I also have to send the personal greetings of the Haham. I remain, your son who loves you, David van Ar on de Sola. The Saliah [emissary]70 Delmar arrived here the week before last. He comes here at a bad time because two have just gone and a third is just here, particularly because he has no letters of recommendation. But as he will be here at some festivities, I shall try to help him as much as I can. (2) Worthy cousin El. Nahmias Torres, I hope that you also will spend the coming festivals in the company of your whole family and your mother; &amp; may God inscribe you in the book of long life. Addressed: Mr. Aron van David de Sola in the Kerkestraat by the Amstel and Weese Kerkstraat No. 10, Amsterdam. (in hand of E. N. Torres) Amsterdam 30 October 1818 Worthy son, I received your pleasant [letter] only on</page><page sequence="34">26 Richard Barnett Tuesday because the post was not delivered earlier and therefore I have been unable to answer you till today. I note with pleasure that you and your bride are, thank God, in good health, as also the Haham and his family, to whom I beg you to send greetings from all of us here. We also are all very well, and hope that it remains so with you as with us. Regard? ing your marriage, no doubt you will write me more fully. I am entirely satisfied about the way you wish to arrange it, because I have no doubt that you will decide in the best possible way to make it as easy as possible for us; and God grant that it be at a good hour and be lucky for you. As to the way you write to me about Costa, I beg you not to be unkind or impolite to him, because he is at present a Parnas and thus could be sometimes in my office ?and particularly as he is justifiably cross with you because you have written him only half a page together with Canho: Instead you should, as he said, have written to him, because he would have been prepared to pay the postage. You have also fallen into disapproval with the Mahamad for not writing to them, so you must try to correct this in a very polite manner, because David Texeira de Andrade is at the moment President and he has been very good to you. You will wish to know of my private affairs. Fortunately they are, thank God, all right but only just so, as one says. Just as you have fore? told, only the one room and the cellar are still empty. This is all that I have to tell you about my private affairs. I have seen Raffi Mendes, who told me that it is superfluous to recom? mend you as you are already a Hazan, but he nevertheless would discuss it with his colleagues and report to me. I am surprised that you haven't written to us how the reading and singing at Cabanas [Succoth = Tabernacles] went. I expected to know this in the first letter and also how it went at Ros Asana [= New Year] and the following festival days and if they are satisfied with you. News from here is that Abm Serano is dead, Daniel da Costa as Parnas [warden] has been made Hatan Tora [= Bride? groom of the Law] in place of Sequeira, who paid 600 guilders fine,71 while the other Hatan, Isaac de Abraham Mendes, pretended to be ill and hasn't appeared at all. So a different parnas, sobre faltos [above reproach], has been called on, something which has never happened in Amsterdam before. This is all the news that I can tell you: I think that it is quite remark? able. Auntie Sem, Sarot, and the whole family send greetings to you. Next time be more careful how you write. You wrote your last line about your kindred uncle, who accident? ally passed by when I was reading your letter and is very cross with you. But your cousin P1 Torres says you were wrong to write 'kindred', you should have written 'damned Kindred'! Barzilay is out of prison; Sampie Ximenes has been condemned for five years and sent to a house of correction but has appealed against it, but they doubt if this will help. I will tell David Leon what you have written to me and also to Zarqui, who is imprisoned for debt. I don't know what else to write. Sarot [= little Sara] laughed a great deal about what you wrote to her. You must give greetings from me, and particularly from Sarot to Miss R. Meldola, your bride, and thank her for the kindness she showed in writing a few words to us. She writes very well. You may give her a few extra kisses for that. We are longing to pay our own compliments to her. I have to ask you something else? namely, that you musn't put too much on the stove, because the damp of the coals is bad for your chest; and also you must wear your vests, and make sure you don't go to bed bareheaded, as you are used to do. Further, as I have no more news, I remain your sincere Father, who wishes you every good, Aaron van David de Sola. (2) Worthy brother, I saw from your last letter that you think that a letter from you will not [illegible]. But that's not my view. I beg you in your next letters to Father to write me a few words as a reminder of yourself. I have nothing more to tell you than I have sent you. Greetings from me to your bride, Your loving Sister, Sara van Aron de Sola. (3) (In hand of Torres) The compliments of Ribi Natan Sarfatij. Fua</page><page sequence="35">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 27 requests you will be so kind as to send his greetings to your brother-in-law and also to the very Rev. the Haham and to tell him, regarding the inscription on the grave of R. Meldola, that he will do his best. He died on 11 Adar 5561 but he has not yet got the inscription. As soon as he has it, he will inform you. (4) Worthy cousin and friend David, I was particularly pleased to get your good tidings, for which I send you my good wishes. My family is, thank God, well. Regarding your wish to know from me if people were still talking of you here, that still happens on occasion and well to your advantage, because they admire you, how as a young Hazan you have had the opportunity to read at the Festi? vals?a difficult task, particularly in a strange place, where no doubt the manner of reading and singing will be different from those in Amsterdam. So one sees how what sometimes seems impossible can be achieved; as they say in Latin, nil volentibus arduum?nothing is too hard if the will is present. I hope that the result of your staying with the community will be good, as you have been of such great help to them. U-masata hen be'ene Adonai u-b'ene ha'am ['and thou foundest grace in the eyes of God and the people']. I have no more news to tell you, apart from what I have written in your father's letter. I therefore finish here and send my compliments to you, the Haham (his family and all good friends and in particular to your bride, who possibly cannot remember me but whom I remember as a young child). For the rest, I expect news from you, whether you find it easy to speak English and what you have promised me ... I remain your cousin and friend, E. jV*. Torres. You must not write letters to your father in such lofty language, because I have difficulty in making him understand. Because if he or Moos Solas reads them, he misunderstands every? thing, as happened in your last letter in the matter of David Leon, that you would rather have been in The Hague than in London and similar misunderstandings; well, I suppose that I will have melechet [= work] all the time. So remember from now on, kitchen language, and remember that you speak this with him. Vale. [9 lines Hebrew?humorous] E. N. Torres. Addressed: Mr. David de Sola at Mr. Isaac Almosnino, Heneage Lane, Bevis Marks, Leadenhall Street, No. 2, London. London, November 1818. Very worthy and beloved father, Hoping that this may find you in good health and the whole family, this is to announce to you that next Sunday in the Aginta de Velhos [= meeting of Elders] my marriage will be made public, and that you may then announce it in Amsterdam to those you know well. The time of the marriage I don't know yet, but the Haham would like it immediately after Hanuca [= Feast of Lights] or between Hanuca and Purim. But I would prefer to await the better time of year, so that it will be a pleasure to see you present at my wedding. There is nothing settled yet, but we shall see what we can do. The Haham is buying a few things already according to the contract [I made] with him, but I have to take it easy because my purse isn't very full these days! I also have to buy some things which he does not need to give, and which are really necessary, such as the furnishing of the other rooms and the kitchen and the other necessities, which in a country like this cost an enormous amount of money. This is why I would like to know from you what the following articles would cost in Amsterdam and then you could buy them at your leisure and send them across or bring them with you. These are things which either I cannot get at all here or are too expensive, as for instance, a Sabbath Lamp or a Hanu quilla [= a Hanuca lamp]. Also a pair of tablecloths and napkins, tea towels, six bed sheets, your vests, as linen here is expensive and worse quality than in Holland; nota bene, they must all be washed once and therefore buy them in a sale, because I don't want you to have any jokes with the Customs at Graves end. Then an order for Parasha [Pentateuchal readings] books of Pisa without punctos [points],72 then one with punctos from whomever</page><page sequence="36">28 Richard Barnett you wish to buy them. The latter I am not in great need of; and also if I have enough money, a necklace of real blood corals for Rica, which are very expensive here, almost like gold; and also what Hebrew books are really necessary, the Reza book [= Prayer book] of Hazan Mendes;73 the Parasha books, the Reza book and the Sabbath Lamp?these are things I absolutely need, the others I would do without for the time being. Tell me in your next letter what all this will cost and I will send you this very quickly. Hazan Almosnino paid two years ago for an order of Reza-hooks of Mendes,73 they were beautifully bound, over ?5 (55 Dutch guilders), and now you can't get them for ?50, because there is no demand for these, but he who has to have them has got to pay (if you can get them)! I have received a letter from Salzedo with a bill of exchange from a Tudesco [= German; Ashkenazi Jew] here for -?6; if it were not for cousin de Torres, I would have returned the letter, because I couldn't worry myself to pro? test it and then to spend a lot of money to take him to court. Then if by chance he pays me after a time, I would have to spend a lot of time and bother my friends to find a bill of exchange on Amsterdam, nor do I know any? thing about bills of exchange nor about accounts of bills of exchange. My stamp duty was 8 guilders, which I deducted because I didn't want to lose anything on it. Next time I won't do this sort of business. I had expected you to write to me how much Dutch money you received for the bill of exchange I sent you. I expect you to tell me this in your next letter and I beg you again to write to me every week, because you leave me without news so often. I do thank you a thousand times for the trouble you took to write me yourself about Bassan. This letter I shall always keep as a memory. I thank you also for your fatherly care, which hasn't left me even across the sea. My manner of living here is exactly as it used to be in Amsterdam and I (thank God!) don't wear any vests, nor do I sleep with a cap, because I can't bear it. I can't lay a stove because you can't get them here. The damp of the coals doesn't worry me, and you've got the wrong idea about my head; I have all my hair still on my head, though the cut is slightly closer, as is the custom here, and, as usual here, on top of this [I wear] a natural wig; in which you can't see the difference from my own hair. This is now the best description I can give you of the present state of my head; that I became hoarse because of the sea was a lie which gave me much amusement. I should like to know who told you this. On Simhat Torah [= Re? joicing of the Law] I didn't read through Quipur [sic] [= Day of Atonement] you know? but I did read the first two days of Cabana [= Tabernacles] the whole Hoi ha-mo'ed [= mid-festival weekdays], Saba mediano [= mid festival Sabbath] and Saba Beresit. Hazan Al? mosnino became hoarse because he read Quipur evening, although he had never read Quipur evening; but I dare to say to the great satisfac? tion of the whole Kahal and particularly Saba Beresit I read better than I ever dared hope. But the offertas [= offerings] were very bad because, the Hatanim not having accepted, it fell to the Haham and the Bet Din and from bobies you can't expect much. For me it was worse, because, apart from my ordinary expenses, I have to buy things for the housekeeping. I also have to think of the bill I shall get in the New Year from the tailor and the wig-maker, which could be ?10 to ?12. I have also received a letter from Canho for ?2 10s. Od. which I owe him. I wish you would write me if you have received the money from Joseph Barzilay; if you write to him, tell him that I haven't for? gotten his hospitality, also greetings to Mr van Dalen and his wife. I would like, if I could, to do something for them. Write to me and tell me if you still meet Fano and how he is. Further, I would like to know how Bram Serano died and if it is true about Koo Mesquita; and I beg you to answer and send me all the news from Amsterdam. I thank my dear sister for her kind letter but she must not mind my correct? ing her spelling, which is very important for a lady (she ought to see how my bride reads and writes English, her native tongue, and Italian, writes in French and Spanish and reads hebraico). Her letter will follow this, so that she can write after me the way she wishes, not to make fun of her, but so that she herself can correct her mistakes.</page><page sequence="37">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 29 My worthy sister, I have seen from your last letter that you have given in to my wish to write to me. I thank you very much and I thought that you would like to have a letter from me to show to the girls the way I try to write. I will carry out your wish to have a few words from me in the next letters to Father as a memento from me. I don't know what else to tell you other than that I hope you are well, and [send] greetings to the girls, and remain your brother who loves you. D.S. [three and a half lines erased] I beg of you if there is room in the letter you will leave this to Koortje Bassan. His letters have given me much pleasure. My greetings to the whole family and friends, widow Silva, widow Robie Arias, Abraham Manie and Uncle Raphael. Tell me how they are; I remain with particular greetings and re? membrance to Mr. Hoheb, Mr. &amp; Mrs. Cohen Farro, Eby Salom, the Medras, the Hazanim and Samas [beadle] Mesquita. Your son who loves you, David van Aron de Sola Worthy Cousin El. Namias Torres, I have great pleasure to inform you par? ticularly of my forthcoming marriage and hope that you yourself will be able to inform me the same about your children. Regarding what you write to me about my style of writing, I don't know that this was so highfalutin but in future I will, if you think that this was Heerengracht [= wealthy street in Amsterdam] language, I will use the language of the Kerkstraat. I thought, however, that it was you who always read my letters and I dared therefore to use the Gracht words. However, though en avant Kerkstraat language! Be so kind as to give my compliments and communications on my behalf to your mother and family and to R. C. Salzedo and to Dr. Meza, Hazanim and Samas Mesquita. That I have had a heavy task you can believe; and in a foreign country to learn foreign manners and foreign ways of singing parasas and festivals without pausing! It was difficult enough in Amsterdam, where I knew the melody, but here they have their own. On top of that, from the evening of Quipur except the musaf] H. Almosnino has not been able to read right up to Hosana Raba. Now, thank God, I have got over all that and with honour I remain, your cousin who sends you every good wish. D.S. On outside: 'communicate with R. Hoheb; written at the Post Office.' Addressed: 'To Mr. Aron van David de Sola, in the Kerkstraat by the Amstel No. 10. To Amsterdam.' Postmark: 18/11/1818. London 13 July 1819 Very worthy Father, Your pleasant letter of the 29th reached me only on Wednesday, so I could not reply before Friday. I was prevented from doing so by some work which I had to postpone until now. I note with pleasure that you arrived, thank God, after a very short and pleasant crossing at Rotterdam on Tuesday evening, although I was sorry that I had to note the ship's arrival through a Lloyd's list. I had expected a letter from you the Friday after your arrival, as you had promised me. Your shoes and the straw? berries and the letter of A. Cohen I shall send you at the first opportunity. The day after you left a Tudesco [= Ashkenazi] came to us, who asked me for 3/-d. which he said he had lent you in the Whitechapel Road, and I also paid your account to the butcher, but I refused to pay the Tudesco, as it appears very strange to me that you never told me anything about it, so I rather see it as a trick. But please write to me and tell me if it is true. David Pinedo arrived here last week with an Italian from France. He came to see me to find out about Mos. Barzilay; after that I saw him no more. David Lobo is here; I think you know him; he is very pathetic. Otherwise there is no further special news. Delgado is here; all our news? papers have advertised the fact, and I hope that he has profited less thereby.74 Please write and confirm whether it is true that his brother-in law Is. Cardozo has gone to gaol. Be so good as to assure all those I had on my list that I have been unable to write to them, but that I will do so at the first opportunity; and to re? mind Mesquita to send the Haham's books to Mr. David Texeira d'Andrade and to ask him</page><page sequence="38">30 Richard Barnett in his [the Haham?$ ?] name to deliver them with one of his cargoes. Or if there is no opportunity, by one of the passenger boats: and the Haham asks you please to be sure on payment that the books may be delivered in good order. Greet? ings to all my uncles and aunts and other relatives, Aunt Sem and Sarot, and all my good friends. I hope shortly to receive a letter from you. Your loving son, David de Sola. Addressed Mr. Aaron van David de Sola Kerkstraat by the Amstel, No. 10. (2) Worthy cousin E. Torres, I hope that this finds you and your family in good health. I delivered Salzedo's letter to his house and the maid promised to send it to her master in the country. Otherwise I don't know anything more. I can't get the pickled salmon any longer from the Jews because it's not worth their while any more to have Somerim [inspectors] in Newcastle, although you would nevertheless like them from the 'green [sic] shops' of the goy it is nevertheless my duty as a Judeo [Jew] to tell you that the rabbanim [rabbis] matrif [declare unfit] it for two reasons, namely, for bishule nokhrim [being cooked by a non-Jew] and for the hashashah [risk] that they may pickle them with shrimp sauce. On the other hand, good Jews eat them. However, for the [Hahamim] it is trepha [forbidden]; in any case I hope I can do something different for you. I beg you in a next letter to write in more detail (and frankly). Your cousin as ever, D. de Sola. 7 September 1819 Very worthy Father, I hope that this will find you in good health and in the presence of the whole family. I am naturally very surprised that I haven't re? ceived a letter from you in twelve post days or through anybody who has arrived here. Is it lack of time ? Or your health ? Or it must be some other reason. As to the first, I can't understand that you wouldn't have time as you had before; as to the second, I have been assured by several people arriving here that you are well?so I can only conclude that you don't like the expressions in my last letter but I cannot remember writing anything that would have upset you and my double-meaning? ful expressions (which I find necessary to explain a little clearer). Nevertheless, if I have upset you, I will never write about this again. I would only like to mention that I haven't deserved to be treated without a word from you (or that it wasn't true that I haven't written to you) but I can assure you that I will not speak about it again unless you make it necessary. I only ask you for one thing?to write to me every so many weeks, and if this is too much for you, perhaps once a fortnight, even if it is only to say that you are well. Furthermore, do me a favour to write to me or to the Haham about his books. He asks me daily about them. He paid for them so long ago, and I can't give him any information about them as I don't get an answer from you. Be so kind and tell Mesquita that there is no reason to keep the books any longer and that the Haham needs them; find a merchantman captain, for which the Haham will pay; and if there is no immediate opportunity, then to send them by a private individual, and not postpone it any longer. I'm asking you to do something about this, as you have had the money for it some time ago. The books which he should supply are, Ph?dori75 in Hebrew, Sha'ar hammelech,76 Seder ha-ddrdt,11 Leshon limmudim78 Imrah serufah,19 Sohar ha tebah.80 The prices are Sha* ar hammelech fl. 10 Seder ha-dorot 11 Leshon limmudim 1 Imrah serufah 1:4 Sofyar ha-tebah 1: Ph?don 5 fl. 29.14 [sic] making seven books?if the Ph?don is in Hebrew in two volumes, as they are in the German [Ashkenazi] Dutch edition. Further, do me the favour to write to me if it is true what Saqui and the others, recently arrived from Holland, told me, namely, that something must have happened between Hazan Cardozo and the wife of David Cohen de Lara, the</page><page sequence="39">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 31 goldsmith?and whether Aron Ricardo is no longer the scribe of the Synagogue?and whether da Costa Bueno, of Oude Schans, has been drowned. I would like details about all this from Cousin de Torres because I don't believe it. Then I would like to know if you have delivered the letter, which I gave you particularly, to Texeira and the Haham and whether they have told you anything about this. I have several more letters ready here, but I cannot send them till I know that you have delivered the previous ones. Last week I paid your account for the offertas [= offerings in synagogue] here amount? ing to 10/-d. or 15/-d. I cannot remember exactly as I haven't the bill before me. I will pay them for you and send you the receipt in due course. Furthermore I ask you to do something to get Mesquita to send the books and to make sure that they are complete; and finally I beg you not to leave me without an answer, but write to me as soon as you receive this letter. I don't know if you have received my letter through a [certain] Melhado, as I hear he has been arrested. My compliments to Aunt Sem, family, and good friends. I have several letters ready for you which I will send as soon as I have an answer from you. I remain Your loving son, D. de Sola. P.S. Be so kind as to show Mr. Moses Azevedo, who recently arrived, the note on the back from his father. (2) Worthy cousin N* Torres, Time doesn't allow me to write to you in detail. I have a very long letter ready for you which I will send with Jackson. I am asking you the following: I hope you will be good enough to tell me what is the truth about the many stories one hears about the debit account of Cardozo and Ricardo. Corticos heard this from Sarqui and others. You will do a great favour to inform Your cousin and servant. D. S. [continued in English] You should favour me very much if you should be so kind add in English the Reason that Induces my father to act in that manner of leaving me so long without any letter. If you know something about the matter, then you should do me great favour to write to me what he had said to you about it, in order that I may justify myself, that I can do with great ease. My compliments to your mother, family and my good friends and answer me in English, because I do not like to have any more quarrel about it in case my father should read it; and of course everybody that has not witnessed the occurrences that has passed here, shall put him in the right and me in the wrong. But my conscience convinces me of better. If my father persists in not writing to me (that I will not hope) then I beg of you not to leave me with? out letter for next Friday while the clock just is gone eleven and I am obliged to leave this letter till Friday. If you find any difficulty to write to me in English (that I do not think) the letter shall not be read; you may do it as well in Dutch or French. The only reason is that I will very natural [sic] avoid any dis? agreement with my father. And God bless you all. Ve-shalom. [English] Dear Son, Through the kindness of Hazan Sola, I just communicate to you that I hope you are happy and in health and that Absence Encreases the Affection I bear you. Your Mother joins in the same wish. Remain your loving Father Benj* Cohen d'Azevedo. I beg leave to join the same wishes to the above and to beg you to give my compt* to the Revd Haham your Relation. Yr servt. D. de Sola, Addressed: Mr. Aron van David de Sola, 10 Kerkstraat by the Amstel, Amsterdam. 2nd November 1819. Very worthy Father, I received your agreeable letter of the 19th inst. safely, though a little late. I note with</page><page sequence="40">32 Richard Barnett pleasure that, thank God, you are well and hope that you will pass this winter better than last. Thank God both of us are well. About Sarot [= little Sara] I feel that you are doing very well. In my next letter I will write you about this and about Fano in more detail. Pinedo is in London,81 but I can get no money out of him. I have had two letters from Holland which I beg you to answer for me. The first is to tell Joost Leon that I have received his father's letter (through the Italiaanders) and that I am sorry I cannot inform him of any? thing else and that it is impossible to get his sister into the Bet holim82 while necessity de? mands the yearly ?20 and I don't know where to find it for her. The best advice I can give him is that he should write himself to all the friends he has here; and to Mesquita83 [say] that I received a letter from him which cost me 32 pence. Ask him not to write by post and particularly not to enclose separate papers, however small, as this will cost double; par? ticularly as to the books about which I wrote to him, I am not quite sure if I can sell them, as I don't wish for certain expenses in return for uncertain profit. Moreover, the excessively high prices leave me very little to hope for. I now beg of your attention for something about which I want to write to you. About the ?4 which I lent you:?I have never written to you because I never intended to, but now I am forced to, because if you consider what exces? sive expenses I now have for the layette, linen and also for the delivery, within a few months, during which you can imagine I am not a little embarrassed to ask you to meet me with only ?2, as I have to try all ways to collect money. The rest you can send me at your convenience. Be assured, however, that I am asking you this against my will, as I don't know what else to do. Be so kind, when the time comes, to let me know at your convenience if I can have it only in a month's time. The Haham has asked me in his name to ask you to ask a Captain coming here if he will be kind enough to take it with him, as he prefers to pay freight rather than wait much longer for his books which he needs. We thank you both for your attention about the berits [= circumcisions] but I fear that we cannot make use of your kindness, since I do not know how we can get it over here. Mean? while we both thank you and I will do my best to find someone here and I ask you to do the same, if there is an occasion, because there are still three months left. My regards to the family and good friends. Tell me if it is true that Moses Morpurgo has become Hazan of Surinam, and send me more news from you. In expectation of your speedy reply, Your loving son, D. de Sola. P.S. I shall inform myself about the Tutor Penha and either visit her or write. P.S. My compliments to my friend Jacob Bassan and let me know when the Dutch new lottery draw begins. (2) Worthy cousin, El. Ns. Torres, After paying you my compliments and con? dolences and asking you to pass these on to your beloved lady, I hasten to fulfil my debt to you. There you have given me credit long enough, I mean over the prosecution of the infamous Garlile,84 the printer of Fleet Street, it was primarily for selling pamphlets against the government and that in worst degree than all his other aims. You know in London this is nothing special, so that through this he couldn't earn much more than the others, so he started in a bigger way, i.e., 5 or 6 months he began to sell publicly the infamous work The Age of Reason (which is banned here) and the political or better, revolutionary works of Thomas Paine, Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionnaire [sic], Lord Bolingbroke, Hume and other Deistical writings?though this was nothing, as also his association with Hunt,85 Thistlewood,86 Watson87 and his attending and orations at the public meetings in Manchester, etc. It began only to strike one when one saw the way in which he passed the poison into the com? munity. His shop in Fleet Street is, as you know, in one of the most busy streets in London, in which two or three hundred people were jostling to get in to buy all these (so-called) wonderful 'Revolutionary and Deistical pam? phlets' at twopence a piece. You see that it was just to make the people first deists, then atheists, and consequently Jacobins. This shop was decorated for the occasion, and, as you</page><page sequence="41">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 33 have perhaps never seen a deistical bookshop, I will describe it to you. In front of the house was a notice in big golden letters ''The Temple of Reason, Repository for all publications against Religions and Politick9. The windows displayed with all the above-mentioned works, particu? larly with one called The Deist, a weekly at 2d. a number, and all the tumeah [= Heb: con* tamination] of the above work, the content of which I will describe as a vignette to you in another letter ([in margin] since it characterises the views of this publisher better than I can describe). Before each glass [window ? vitrine ?] was a plaster bust and pictures of Paine and Voltaire, also the revolutionary writings. In the shop was a sort of sarcophagus of Paine, on it a statue, I believe, which represented Speech, weeping, with attributes, [and] inscription that I will not copy. Further, Paine's statue life size, and his crooked nose multiplied fifty times in busts of all sizes. The worst of it all was that this was all sold for so small a price and in quantity. You know that Paine and Voltaire are held in awe by the young and inexperienced and not by those who have some knowledge of the Bible. So the Society for Suppression of Vice brought an indictment against him. Lack of space prevents me writing you more. In my next letter, I will further include and hoping to hear from you soon, remain your cousin D. de Sola. Addressed: Mr. Aron van David de Sola, Kerkstraat near the Amstel No. 10, Amsterdam. London 28 February 1820 Very worthy and beloved father, I have just received your pleasant letter of the 25th and note that you are all well. Rica is well and was delivered of a daughter last Friday night: if it can make up for a son, then I shall add that it is a very fine child: but what is more important than a son or a daughter is that my wife has had a very easy delivery and during her pregnancy she did various things in the house without any pain. When I came home from synagogue, she told me something from which I could make out that her waters had broken but as she didn't have any pain we didn't think it would come so soon. However, towards eleven or twelve o'clock she started complaining of pain for the very first time in her pregnancy: from a little pain which came and went and towards one o'clock they became worse. At a quarter past one came the mid master (because here one doesn't use a mid? wife) and at half past one it was over, without exception. She wasn't even tired, and the child is well and sucks well. She isn't able to take in all the milk she can get, otherwise both are as well as can be expected. You can imagine that Friday night I didn't get any rest at all, but thank goodness everything went well. I have already spent a great deal of money?we first began as if it was to be a Berit [circumcision] and it would have been worth my while to spend a lot. As to the Z?m?-article87a I naturally have no use for it but you never can tell. In my next letter I hope to write you a few more particulars so that you can show the letter only to those you think fit. Needless to say I shall call the child Sara. Now I ask you to give my compliments to the whole family and all good friends without exception and tell them I can't write to all of them, as it would cost too much. So I depend on you. Don't forget Master Hoheb, I. Pereira, Texeira de Mattos, Texeira d'Andrade, I. Capadose, and B. Salzedo. I can't give you the names of every family. Include everyone because I am on bad terms with none. In anticipation of a speedy reply, and after wishing you that you may [see] your grandchildren's children in health in good old age, we remain your loving children. David and Rebecca de Sola. P.S. 29th Rica suddenly had a lot of pain: the doctor came and let blood twice. Fortunately the man was on time, otherwise she would have had an inflammation, but thank God she is now much better. Worthy Cousin Nahmias Torres, I have the honour to inform you and your family of the birth of my daughter; as I don't wish to repeat everything I point to my father's letter, in case you want any particulars; I thank you for the notice of the murder of the Due de Berry.88 Your remarks were very right and I</page><page sequence="42">34 Richard Barnett believe we are safer than the King. You will no doubt know through the newspapers of the planned murder of all the Ministers by the reformer Thistlewood.89 Fortunately it was discovered and many of the murderers and their chief have been taken into custody, not without their murdering a constable, and several other constables and soldiers were wounded. They are all now in prison and naturally they have to follow Haman (that is today Hnyan hayyom9 [punishment of the day].) I can't tell you nothing more of Franco,90 save that he has been very rich, nevertheless he lives in the West End as a nobleman and has as many debts as a nobleman. As there is little room to write further I beg you to give my compliments to your family and the H[aham\ B. Salzedo and I. Salzedo. I remain Your sincere cousin and friend. D.S. (Purim 5680) London 6 July 1820 Very worthy and beloved father, I send you herewith A LOCK OF SARA'S HAIR91 I received your pleasant letter of the 30th with great pleasure and note that, thank God, all is as well with you as with us, thanks to God's goodness. I have also not been as ill as you imagined?I am sorry that I upset you so much about it; I will make sure never to write anything like that again to worry you so much. I only stayed at home for a few days and for two mornings I did not go to Synagogue; though I had a fever for eight days every evening, I did not read agomil,92 as I went out during the day and I have been reading as usual. As to the present for the child, though I thank you a thousand times and love you for it, I think it would be pointless to ask you to buy anything which can be of use as yet, and of little use to the child, since she has all she needs. I am sorry that I also now have to provide for another one, as well, because my wife is pregnant again, and if that goes on I hope God will help me provide, for with my limited income, I hope that, as God gives children, he will also provide and therefore I trust in him. I am very pleased with what the Gentlemen of the Mahamad have provided: I would not have expected any influence on my part and I am very grateful to them. I shall do my best to send you the remaining 16 guilders and take my receipt back. The words which he spoke to you in public in the synagogue went right through my heart and upset me very much and would have not happened before, if I had been able to prevent it. I would have preferred to have written to them, but I thought better of it. Last night I received with great difficulty what you sent me?a cheese, a piece of boiled meat, a wursht, and a Portuguese book. I had also previously received the book of Uncle Isaac and your two letters of 14th March and one of the 7th April from del Canho?Thus after four and three months! Please give my compliments to del Canho; I have letters ready for him, Capadose, my uncle, etc. My neighbour should have taken them but went aboard without them; you will probably meet him at various occa? sions, but the chances of writing to Amsterdam without paying dues are very few?that's why I don't write to all those people, but I will certainly do so when opportunity permits. If I have the chance not to let you pay, I would not let you, and to save myself 16 stivers for each letter to Capadose, I will do my best to write somehow or other. I owe it doubly to him, and if I can, I will write to Canho and also to my uncles. The reason why I haven't answered your many questions in my last letter and that my wife hasn't signed the last two or three, is that I wrote them in the coffee house that I visit daily, and didn't have yours with me. My brother-in-law has no intention of coming over and the H[aham] H[ashalem~\ has not written to you, because he has had no occasion. You were right not to give any money to Mesquita without the books. Don't imagine he could expect anything else. Do me a favour and buy me something that I need very badly?a good silk Taleti it need not necessarily be a new one. But the one I took with me is completely worn and I can't wear it any more and the new one I wear during the week, and on Sabbath the one you know I wear is very thin and will soon be worn out if I wear it all the time. Also a Reza-bodk [Prayer book]</page><page sequence="43">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 35 of Mendes or rather Silva Mendes.93 But please send me the Talet as soon as possible, because I need it badly, and I can't get it here at the moment, and I need it very badly. But don't pay a lot: I can wait a few months but not longer. I can wait longer for the book. The baby is growing very fast, as well as she can and I am only sorry that she has to be weaned so soon. Don't forget to give my special compliments. I shall do my duty to him on the first occasion. My greetings to the whole family and good friends. Your loving son, David de Sola. (Wife's signature) R. de Sola. P.S. Be so good as to tell R. Mesquita and Samas Mesquita that Rubi Azevedo would like an account of what the whole lot is worth. Then he will write to you. His address is:? Mr. B. Azevedo, Heneage Lane, Bevis Marks. (2) Worthy Cousin Namias Torres, In my last letter I had no opportunity to write to you. I only wrote to reassure my father [damage] who was very worried. I write to you with pleasure, though I don't know any? thing important to tell you. I thank you for the intelligent way you have appointed Mr. Pereira. I congratulate him: while it is a good job for an old man, I am sorry for Aelyon particularly, as they say here that his wife was the cause of all this. You will do me a favour if you will write the whole story and the actual facts of all this. To amuse you I will copy an epistle of Ribi Shelomo A-catan94 which he has written to Barz:[ilay]. The letters of Voiture95 and Mme. de Sevigne96 are nothing in com? parison. I can assure you I have added not one word or letter: they are true copies. It shows you exactly what he is like.97 'To my friend A. Barzilay and others, by hand; friend A. Barzilay: I send you these few lines with this iriend to say that I have written the paper but it has not been published yet, but possibly [will be] in the coming weeks. I think with sorrow from day to day of Uncle Mone or Rabbi Shelomo and he would like to come to London. If he comes before November, then perhaps he can become Lord Mayor or hang himself, because he knows this is the month when one or two things happen in London; Mazal and Beracha [Good luck and blessing] to the whole of your family. Haham RS. A Cattan.' This is really true, and I haven't added another word. I believe that [illegible]. The original is in my hands. My compliments to your mama and worthy wife, Your sincere cousin D. Sola. 20 September 1820 Very worthy [Father], I received your very pleasant [letter] of the 5th with great pleasure and I noted that you are well and I hope you will spend the Festival days of Rosasana [New Year] and Kipur [Day of Atonement] as also Cabanas [Tabernacles] among the whole family for many years to come. I request that you give my boas festos [= happy festivals] to the whole family and also inform me of the cheapest price for which I could buy a suit, because I have an occasion here on which I could earn perhaps something. Write me if I shall send you the money and if the opportunity offers to send me a place and if possible I should like a Reza [= Prayer] book, partly used, because I can't get one here;?a new Talit I can get from Paris for 25 francs, which is not quite 12 guilders, or I could buy one here at a pawnbrokers for perhaps less, so that I am sorry that I had to trouble you about this but I have only just discovered this. Barzilay is not here, but somewhere in the country, and I have told his cousin. You don't write to me whether you've received the child's hair and it's the second time that I've sent it: I have received again a packet of letters which a Tedesco [German] promised to post in Rotterdam and when he went to Zeeland he forgot them and so he brought them back to me. Apart from the post, I have no means of send? ing them, as there is no office here, and I presume the relation who corresponds with Amsterdam, S. de Leon (and I have met this one only once), they never mix with Jews. I hope you will forgive my bad writing and pray to God that he will keep you for many years and that you will spend the holidays in</page><page sequence="44">36 Richard Barnett pleasure among your whole family. With esteem and love from your son who loves you, David de Sola and Rebecca de Sola. We are all in good health and also the little one, who is growing up. After giving Cousin de Torres and his worthy family boasfestos [happy festivals]?I mean munchos anos [many years]? I beg of him that I don't write to him any more as it is now half-past ten [evening] and the post shuts at eleven o'clock and I did not want to bypass another post day, otherwise the letter would reach you after the festos. Indulg? ence to the next, as the Attorney General says. NOTES 1 Delivered as Presidential Address to the Society on 11 November 1959. In this paper the Sephardi usual spelling of the titles Hacham and Hazzan {Haham; Hazan) is used. 2 Mrs. Belle de Sola, nee Goldsmith, of Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., widow of the late Clarence de Sola (1855-1920), died 18 October 1965. 3 On Haham Nieto, see Israel Solomons, 'David Nieto and some of his Contemporaries', Trans., XII. 4 For the history and pedigree of the Meldola family see article, Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v. Meldola by C(larence) I. de S(ola), Vol. VII, p. 451. 5 Gentleman's Magazine, October 1828, pp. 377 378. Lucien Wolf, Essays in Jewish History, p. 223, claims that the eminent physicians Amatus Lusitanus and Elias Montalto belonged to the Meldola family. 6 In his printed pesak on the Sheva (see his bibliography, above, 1823, page 14). 7 On 'Hida', see 'Isaac Leonini Azulay', Trans., XIX (1955-1959). See also M. Benayahu, Hida: Toledoth Hayyav: Mehqarim u'-Meqorot (Hebrew), Jerusalem, 1959. 8 His children were: (1) Moses; (2) David; (3) Rebecca and Lea [Luna], twins; (5) Abraham; (6) Eleazar; (7) Samuel. The Jewish Encyclopedia (loc. cit.) gives him eight children erroneously. Moses went into business in Gibraltar and Lisbon, then lost his money and went to live in Amsterdam. Isaac went to Surinam. Another child (Abraham ?) died of'the plague' [cholera?]. 9 See MS. copy of draft letter about Gibraltar Minyan, 5581 (1721). 10 In the following account, small episodes reported in the Minutes of the Mahamad indicating more or less routine activities of the Haham are not described. 11 Herschel's leaflet is illustrated by S. Levin, 'The Origins of the Jews' Free School', Trans., XIX, pp. 106-107. 12 Probably he refers to the Rev. Joseph C. F. Frey, a missionary to the Jews, whose Narrative was published in 1809. 13 Possibly one Gabriel da Costa, but he was of little importance. Perhaps Raphael Franco (bap? tised 1805) is meant. On him, see below, note 90. 14 Published by John Allen, Modem Judaism (London, 1816), p. 23. I owe this quotation to Mr. W. Schwab. 15 See A. M. Hyamson, Sephardim of England (London, 1951), pp. 270-271. The schools in question were the Gates of Hope (Shaare Tikvah) for boys and Villareal for girls. 16 On him, see A. M. Hyamson, op. cit., pp. 209 211, 270, and Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, pp. 294-295. Jacob Rey was originally educated in the orphanage of the Congregation. 17 On Judah Bibas, see M. Benayahu, 'Yedi'ot Hadashot *al ribi Yehuda Bibas', in Tesoro de Los Judios Sefardies, III, ed. I. Molho (Jerusalem, 1960). Bibas afterwards became Rabbi in Corfu, then a British possession. On 21 June 1840 he was invited to give a sermon at Bevis Marks on the day of Thanksgiving for preservation of the life of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; it was afterwards printed. 18 Hyamson, op. cit., p. 235. 19 Maurice Myers, 'Calendars of the Coaching Days', Trans., V, p. 219. 20 See Appendix I for the translation of the letter, for which I am greatly obliged to Mr. A. Schischa. 21 R. David Meldola (1797-1853), eldest son of the Haham, received his rabbinical degree in Leghorn. He was appointed 'Ab Beth Din' (acting Haham) 1828-1853. Go-editor of the Jewish Chronicle on its founding in 1841. 22 Mohamad Minutes, 14 August 1825. 23 On the history of this Rule, see I. Epstein, 'Ascama No. 1', in Studies in Honour of A. Neuman (Leyden, 1965), pp. 170-214. 24 For the Shiluhhim (emissaries sent to raise money for the support of the Jewish communities in the Holy Land at Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron, and Tiberias), see Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. VI, article ''Halukkah?. 25 Hyamson, op. cit., p. 230. 26 Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, ed. Israel Finestein (London, 1956), p. 476. But there is reason to think that this may be a confusion of Dr. Raphael Meldola's correspondence with that of his son David. 27 Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (1875), Ch. XLI. 28 I owe this reference to Mr. John Shaftesley's kindness. 29 The portrait forming the original of the engraving is in the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, London. For the engraving after the</page><page sequence="45">Haham Meldola and Hazan de Sola 37 portrait see A. Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Portraits (1935), p. 70, No. 180 (See Plate II). 30 History of Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (1901), pp. 162-164. The funeral sermon was preached by Rabbi David Meldola, lately returned from Livorno. {Funeral Sermon delivered at the Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in England, in memory of R. Meldola, 9th June 1828, pp. 12, 8vo.) 31 R. David Meldola also printed an obituary poem on the anniversary of the Haham's death in 1829. 32 Ordinary subscribers to the congregation. 33 The full de Sola pedigree with historical notes is to be found, also compiled by G(larence) I. de S(ola), in Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, pp. 31-32. 34 On Carlile, printer and publisher, deist and pioneer, social reformer (and the persecutions suffered by him), see G. D. H. Cole, Carlile (1943), and article 'Carlile' inDictionary ofNational Biography. 35 Details of this visit are given in Abraham de Sola's biography of D. A. de Sola (see n. 41 below). 36 Several of the sermons delivered in that and the next two years survive in manuscript somewhat erratically numbered in the collection presented by Mrs. Belle de Sola. The first is on 'The Duty and Advantages of Self Control', delivered on 1 June 1833; No. 2 'On True Liberty' (7 February 1835 [sic]); No. 3 'A Discourse on the Shirat HayymC (25 January 1834); No. 4 on 'The Evil Consequence of Idleness' (8 February 1834); on 24 May 1834, 'On the Happiness of Mankind'; No. 5 on 'Charity' (14 April 1835); No. 6 on 'The Duty of Resignation to God's Will' (25 April); No. 7 on 'Moderation' (16 May); No. 8 on 'The Law is Friendly to the Diffusion of Knowledge'; No. 9 on 'Envy, Sensu? ality and Pride' (27 June); No. 10 on 'Consolation' (8 August) {Shabbat Nahamu). No doubt allusions may be found in these to the rising tension in the Kahal. Another MS. sermon of his, on 'The Pro? vidence of God with Israel', delivered 8 March 1841 in the Bevis Marks synagogue, is in the Library of Jews' College (H. Hirschfeld, Catalogue of the Mon tefiore Library, Nos. 565-6. Dedicatory letters to Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore are attached. 37 Form of Prayer according to the customs of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, with an English transla? tion (5596?1836, J. Wertheimer). 38 Gaster, op. cit., p. 167. 39 In his edition of the Prayer Book, de Sola included in the form of tables, the Almanacks and Calendars that had formed the subject of the former bitter battles, thus settling the question. To print such matter at the end of the prayer book was an old Amsterdam custom. 40 Jewish Chronicle, 20 January 1871. 41 Quoted from the preface to Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna (1845). See bibliography, here p. 15. 42 Reviewed in the Jewish Chronicle, 21 January 1842, p. 62. 43 [C. Roth] The Jewish Chronicle, A Century of Newspaper History. 44 On Luzzatto, see Nina Salaman, 'Ephraim Luzzatto 1729-1792', and my article 'Correspond? ence of the Mahamad . . .', pp. 8-9, Trans., XX. 45 For reference to some of these articles, see bibliography (above, pp. 14-15) and article on D. A. de Sola in Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, p. 432. 46 The Festival Prayers according to the custom of the German and Polish Jews, with a new English transla? tion. 5 vols. London (1860). 47 Picciotto, Sketches . . ., p. 361. 48 On the Rev. Abraham de Sola (1825-1882), minister of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Montreal, lecturer and Professor in Hebrew and Oriental Literature, McGill University, from 1848, see Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, p. 432. 49 Biography of David Aaron de Sola. Late Senior Minister of the Portuguese Jewish Community in London, by his son the Rev. Dr. Abraham de Sola, of Montreal (Philadelphia, Wm. H. Jones &amp; Son, 5624, pp. 61, 4?), with a bibliography of D. A. de Sola. 50 I am deeply grateful for this translation to Mr. A. Schischa, assisted by Mr. D. Guttentag. 51 On him see Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. XI, col. 11-2. 52 Evidently the same as the shamash (beadle) of that name mentioned in letters of November 1818 and November 1819 (see pp. 28, 29, 30, 32), who supplied the writer with books. 53 See above, p. 8, on him. 54Judah Pizah, Sefer Hamishah Humshe Tor ah. 5 vols. Amsterdam, 1769. 55 Samuel Rodrigues Mendes and Samuel da Silva Mendes, Seder Tefiloth de Minhag K. K. Sefardim. 8vo. London, 1810. 56 Hazan Isaac Almosnino, of London. 57 Hazan Menasse de David da Silva, apptd. 1806 in Amsterdam. 58 The interval of seven weeks between the Passover and Pentecost. 59 See above, p. 18, para (2). 'Rieke' is Ribca Meldola, his intended bride. 60 Solomon del Canho was his unsuccessful competitor for the vacant post. (See below, letters of 28 July, 4, 7, 19 August 1818 and 6 and 28 July 1820.) 61 See next letter on him. 62 'Moos' Barzilay, a ne'er-do-well debtor, is apparently in hiding in England somewhere; he is several times mentioned in these letters. 63 Hazan Almosnino. 64 The Lindos were a founder family of the London congregation. Probably David Abarbanel Lindo is meant, member of the Mahamad for 5578. But that of 5579 included David de Isaac Lindo and Moses da Costa Lindo. 65 Samuel a Cohen Farro (see letters of 4 August and November 1818). 66 I. Almosnino, the senior Hazan, brother of</page><page sequence="46">38 Richard Barnett S. Almosnino, Assistant Secretary, was married to Hannah Salom, sister of 'Eby\ 67 Hazan Almosnino. 68 Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844), politician and reformer, M.P. for Westminster. He had a stormy career, being for some time imprisoned in the Tower of London. 69 Solomon Almosnino (1792-1878) was Assistant Secretary of the Congregation; appointed Secretary in 1821. 70 An emissary from the Jewish settlements in Palestine, see above, note 24. 71 It was customary still for persons to be selected by the Synagogue for an office or honour and to excuse themselves by payment of a fine if they refused the honour. 72 See above, note 54. 73 See above, note 55. 74 Search in principal contemporary newspapers has so far failed to reveal references to this person. 75 Moses Mendelssohn's famous essay on im? mortality of the soul, first published in German in 1776. 76 Perhaps Isaac Nunez Belmonte (3 vols., Brunn, 1801-1803). 77 Probably Yehiel ben Solomon Heilprin, Seder Hadordt (Zolkiew, 1808), on historical com? pilation. 78 Probably Moses Haim Luzzatto, Leshon Limmudim (Lemberg, 1810). 79 Probably Moses ben Treitel Lemans, Imrah Serufah (Amsterdam, 1808). 80 Probably Solomon ben Yehudah of Hanau Sohar ha-tebah (Grodno, 1805). 81 On David Pinedo: see letter of 13 July, above. 82 Lying-in hospital of the Congregation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, London. 83 Probably the Shamash Mesquita, see above, p. 18 (letter of 2 April 1818) and note 52. 84 See note 34. 85 Henry Hunt (1773-1835), politician and agitator for reform. Joined with Thistlewood, Watson, and others in the Spa Fields meetings in Islington 1816. 86 On Thistlewood, see above, note 85, and below, note 89. 87James Watson (1766P-1838), Spencean agitator. 87a xhis evidently refers to the baby garment (Plate VI, 1) worn by D. A. de Sola at his own circumcision and kept for use for his own son's ceremony when that should be. 88 Charles-Ferdinand, Due de Berry (1778? 1820), second son of the Comte d'Artois (later Charles X), was murdered in Paris on 13 February. 89 Arthur Thistlewood (1770-1820) was one of the Cato Street conspirators who repeatedly attempted to seize the government by revolutionary means. The conspirators were arrested on 23 February and Thistlewood was hanged on 1 May 1820. 90 Ralph Franco, son of Abraham Franco and Esther Lopez, was the nephew and ultimately the heir of Sir Manasseh Masseh Lopez (1755-1831) (converted 1805), from whom he inherited his baronetcy and fortune, changing his name to Lopes. 91 Written across the page in block letters. 92 The thanksgiving for recovery from sickness. 93 See above, note 55. 94 Possibly the Rabbi Solomon de Abraham Cohen, above, p. 8. 95 Vincent Voiture, French diplomat and poet, 1594-1648. 96 French letter-writer, 1626-1696. 97 The copy of the original in Dutch is full of gross and childish errors in spelling, etc. *** Since the writing of the paper above, our attention has been drawn to another keen interest of the Rev. David A. de Sola, Freemasonry. He became a member of the Lodge of Joppa (then No. 223, now No. 188, on the register of the Grand Lodge of England) in 1846, and was elected Chap? lain of the Lodge by 1848 (see The Story of Joppa, by Sidney F. Rich, London, 1963, page 7). Hold? ing that office until 1860, he was a frequent visitor to other lodges, especially the Lodge of Israel No. 205 (see Lodge of Israel No. 205, 1793-1968, by J. M. Shaftesley, London, 1968, page 144). R.D.B. andJ.M.S.</page></plain_text>

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