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Sir I. Spielmann's Presidential Address and its Sequel

<plain_text><page sequence="1">SIR I. SPIELMANN'S PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS AND ITS SEQUEL. On February 9, 1903, Sir (then Mr.) Isidore Spielmann, C.M.G., F.S.A., delivered the following address as President of the Jewish Historical Society of England :? Ladies and Gentlemen,?I must first express, however im? perfectly, my great appreciation of the honour you have done me in electing me President of this Society. When my friend, Mr. Lucien Wolf, first suggested the possibility of this distinction to me, I replied that I was ill-fitted for it, as my knowledge of the subject was inadequate, and that in Jewish history I was but a student. " We are all students," was the prompt reply, and eventually I yielded, particularly, I must confess, through vanity, for I regard it as no slight honour to be President of this Society; partly on account of the pleasure and advantage I hope to gain by my renewed association with many old friends. But I would ask you to recollect that if in this study we are all students, I wish to claim membership merely of the preparatory school. And I feel my inferiority the more when I consider who our former Presidents have been: Mr. Lucien Wolf, the Chief Babbi, Mr. Joseph Jacobs, Mr. Claude Montefiore, and Mr. Frederic Mocatta?all men of learning who have made valuable contributions to this Society. Their addresses, too, were scholarly proofs of their suitability, as historians, to occupy this chair. I should like to say at once that it is not my intention in this respect to endeavour to follow7 their lead, bub rather to confine my remarks to a few suggestions which I hope may find favour with you, to adopt, or, at least, to consider. 43</page><page sequence="2">44 SIR I. SPIELMANN'S PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. And if I may say one more word with reference to myself it would be in the nature of an explanation, which is indeed due to you. My being placed in the prominent position I now occupy here, may cause you to wonder why I have hitherto been so silent a member of the Society. It arose from the fears I first entertained with others, when the Society was first founded, that the history of the Jews of this country?the early history at least?might prove to be but a history of money-lending; I had no idea that so much valuable and interesting material was to be found. The work of our many friends shows that such fears were groundless. The Society and its Work. The Society has now entered upon the tenth year of its exist? ence. It is in a highly flourishing and healthy condition, and there is every prospect of its remaining so. The number of its members is now 250, and we are desirous of still further increas? ing our membership and extending the field of the Society's work. It should be made known that it is not essential to be either a Hebraist or a Talmudist in order to become a member of the Jewish Historical Society. The Society has already published three volumes of Trans? actions containing a vast amount of interesting 'and, for the most part, original matter, and a fourth volume will, I believe, appear in April next. It has, in addition, published Mr. Lucien Wolf's " Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Cromwell"; Mr. Rigg's " Jewish Plea Rolls," in conjunction with the Seiden Society; and with the American Publication Society, Miss Nina Davis' "Songs of Exile," and "The Ethics of Judaism," by Mr. Lazarus. In the press is Mr. Israel Abrahams' and Mr. Yellin's " Maimonides," that perfect sage in the most beautiful and venerable sense of the word. In contemplation we have Dubnow's " Essay on the Philosophy of Jewish History," and Mr. Cardozo de Bethencourt's " Documents of the Inquisition," from which most interesting and important results are hoped for, " A Popular History of the Jews of England," and " The Jewish Reader." These publications, and the interesting papers contributed during the session, form an exceedingly good record for so young a Society, and the Honorary Officers and</page><page sequence="3">SIR I. SPIELMANN's PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 45 Committee have earned your warm thanks for the ability and enter? prise they have shown, which have reaped so fruitful a harvest. The Growth of Intebest in Anglo-Jewish History. If it be true that our co-religionists, in this country at least, are but little acquainted with the history of their people, and have hitherto taken but small interest in the subject, it must certainly be admitted that we are making up for lost time. The firm root taken by this Society, and the promotion of other serious societies, such as the Jewish Literary Societies and the Jewish Study Society, are evidence of this. The study of Jewish history is well worth any amount of time that can be expended upon it, and the lessons to be learnt from it are lessons well worth the acquisition. There is no reason why the research work of the Jewish Historical Society should not become as fascinating in its way as exploration in Greece, Rome, or Palestine. The Jewish people and Judaism are so marvellously entangled with the civilisation of the world that any effort to unravel any section of it discloses something of interest. What we were as a nation, what we have passed through, how we have influenced the whole world, and our present position in it, are all subjects for reflection and study. As Graetz so graphically puts it, "The continuance of the Jewish race until the present day is a marvel not to be overlooked, even by those who deny the existence of miracles and who only see in the most astound? ing events the logical results of cause and effect. Here we observe a phenomenon which has developed and asserted itself in spite of all laws of nature, and we hold a culture which, notwithstanding unspeakable hostilities against its exponents, has nevertheless pro? foundly modified the organism of nations." As you are aware, this Society is practically the outcome of the Anglo - Jewish Historical Exhibition, in the promotion of which it was my privilege to participate. The object of that Exhibition was to revive an interest in the history of our race in England, the study of which was in danger of becoming extinct. This would probably have been so, but for the arduous labours of that pioneer of Anglo Jewish history, Mr. My er Davis. The thread of his work was</page><page sequence="4">46 SIR I. SPIELMANN'S PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. taken up in a popular form by the Exhibition Committee, who also explored many other fields of research, and succeeded in bring? ing to light, and arranging systematically, a vast number of MSS., and a quantity of material which was hitherto unknown, A collec? tion of articles of Jewish ecclesiastical art, forming one of the main attractions of the Exhibition, added an artistic charm to the historical side. As complete a narrative as possible was made of our past history, and history can only be properly understood when it not only records events, but fully describes them and their growth, and more particulary the consequences of that growth. The contents of those rooms at the Albert Hall should never be forgotten by the Anglo-Jewish community, for they illustrated, in a way which no description can equal, the growth and the vicissi? tudes of our race for a period extending over 3000 years. Beginning with Temple times, the thread of our history was there, unbroken, till the present day. In the department devoted to antiquities, the Palestine Exploration Fund brought the land of our fathers vividly before us, and the great model of the Temple exemplified at once Israel's glory and desolation. The collection of ancient Jewish coins, the largest and the most important ever brought together, illustrated perhaps the most interesting period of Jewish art, and the collections of M. Straus of Paris, and of Mr. Sassoon of London, contained the most beautiful objects known in Jewish ecclesiastical art. The collection of M. Straus has since been pur? chased by Baron Gustave de Rothschild of Paris and presented to the Musee Cluny, where it now is. The Shetaroth, doubtless the earliest of their kind in existence, reminded us very forcibly of the occupation to which our co-religionists for the most part resorted for their livelihood prior to their expulsion in 1290. The portrait gallery made us more familiar with the leaders of the community in this country in times gone by, and of those who struggled for our emancipation, A grand display of art there was not, for the Israelites neither sculptured nor painted. The Greeks, on the other hand, did excel in both sculpture and painting, and their literature elevated art. The literature of the Jews, however, elevated religion and morality, which has influenced the whole world. The good account to which that Exhibition was turned</page><page sequence="5">SIR i. SPIELMANN's PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 47 was extraordinary. Adults and school children learned many lessons in those rooms; papers were read and books were published. These books, including the catalogue and bibliography of Anglo Jewish history by Mr. Joseph Jacobs and Mr. Lucien Wolf, the collection of Shetaroth by Mr. Myer Davis, and a volume containing the papers that were read, as well as an illustrated catalogue, to which Mr. Haes contributed such valuable service, are the worthy records of it that remain, while we have the testimony of the " Jewish Encyclopedia " that " A distinct revival of interest in the history of the Jews in England can be traced to the Exhibition." It certainly has restored, as the very existence of this Society shows, a continuity in the study of our history at a time when there appeared an unexplained gap. But it did more than this. It showed to the outside world, which appeared to regard Jewish wor? ship and all things Jewish as a kind of close freemasonry or secret society, what Judaism really is and what the people really are. To have opened the cloors and let the outside world see in what our worship consists, what are our usages and ceremonials, and what they are not, did something, in my opinion, towards the education of our non-Jewish friends for the formation of a more correct estimate of us and our religion. They saw clearly that there is nothing we would hide. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of exhibition to encourage and support; an exhibition that clearly tells its own tale. All whose privilege it was to see it cannot have failed to be influenced by it, and Jews must have felt an increased sympathy with their sublime and tragical history. A Plea for a Permanent Museum. I would ask you to excuse me if I have referred at so great a length to this exhibition, to this landmark which we drove into the road on our onward march; but I wish to remind all our friends, especially Mr. Frederic Mocatta, and those who worked or helped us financially, that this work of theirs has neither been lost nor forgotten, but is now bearing its fruit. I mention it also because it leads me to a subject to which I invite your serious consideration?namely, the establishment of a permanent museum</page><page sequence="6">48 SIR I. SPIELMANN's PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. in connection with this Society. There is nothing new in the idea; it is part of our original programme. In the objects of this Society in Section D we read: " The formation of a Library and Museum for the preservation of archives of Anglo-Jewish congregations and institutions, and of documents, books, prints, and relics relating to Anglo-Jewish history." During my year of office I want to see this museum established?established, if possible, in close proximity to a library. I have great faith in the educational possibilities of exhibitions and museums, and consider that, to many persons, the knowledge derived from them is more easily, more usefully and more rapidly obtained than by book-learning, for the obvious reason that it is usually possible to offer it in a more attractive, striking, and inviting form. In our permanent museum would be assembled MSS. and objects that would help to illustrate the study of Jewish history generally, and of Anglo-Jewish history in particular. Many objects would certainly be contributed to it by friendly collectors and interested scholars, some would be deposited on loan, and some, exceptionally desirable, might be purchased from time to time by the Society. The museum should, as I said, be in close proximity to a library, for each would be capable of promoting the usefulness of the other. The library informs and the museum illustrates. The library would send students for actual proof to the museum; the museum would stimulate a desire for the knowledge of a subject which it portrays, and send the spectator to the library to satisfy that desire. The influence of the one upon the other would be great and could only be beneficial. To my own knowledge many persons, who possess documents and other objects of communal interest, would be disposed to present or lend them to a suitable and permanent home. But the usefulness of a museum depends, not so much upon the number of its treasures as upon its proper classification and arrangement, and in such a way its usefulness is unquestionably very great. More especially would this be the case if the frequenters of the museum could have free access to books, so that the inspirations afforded could be developed on the moment. I need hardly say that our museum must be near Jews' College. There the Library already exists, and adjacent to it we could, all things being agreeable, establish</page><page sequence="7">sir i. spielmann's presidential address. 49 our museum. The administrative ability necessary to establish it already exists, both there and in this Society. The cost of its maintenance would be but slight. All that would be required?in the beginning, at least?would be a room containing a wall case, a museum case, and a counter case, and these might be multiplied as the museum increased and prospered by gifts, bequests, or purchases of fresh objects of interest. At the last meeting of the British Association, Professor Haddon drew a comparison between the museums of England and those of Berlin and the United States, unfavourable to England. In the course of his remarks Professor Haddon said: " School children in the United States, in hundreds and thousands, took an intelligent interest in museums, visited them with notebook and pencil, and then wrote essays for school purposes on the questions they had studied therein. It was not so in England ; there, there was little attempt to educate the people by museums." In my opinion, there is much truth in this statement, and I would suggest that inasmuch as our community makes some claim to what are called up-to-date methods of educa? tion, the proposal to found a permanent Jewish Historical Museum should, for educational purposes, receive cordial, all-round support. The incentive to the study of Jewish history given by the Anglo Jewish Historical Exhibition in 1887 might with advantage be repeated by this Society in the promotion of the museum. It requires but encouragement of this kind, and a little courage on our part, to render the subject still more popular than it is, and still more fruitful. The "Jewish Encyclopedia." I would next say a word or two upon another stone which is being raised to the glory of Israel, but it is being set by non Jewish hands. I refer to the " Jewish Encyclopedia." This great work is being produced by the non-Jewish firm of Funk &amp; Wagnall's Company, of America, by whose enterprise and ability the most vast and important work upon the subject that has been known since the days of the Talmud is now appearing. It is indeed a monument for which all must feel deeply grateful?a work which vol. v. d</page><page sequence="8">50 sir i. spielmann's presidential address. thrills us with a glow of pride; a work which should be encouraged and promoted in every possible way, not only to make it a com? plete success as a publication, but that its usefulness may be made known and fully appreciated. Anticipating your wishes, I hope correctly, I have, as President of this Society, accepted the position of Chairman of a Special Committee which has been formed, with the object of bringing this great enterprise more effectually before the notice of our co-religionists. What Mr. Israel Abrahams has so well said of the work I would like to repeat on the chance that his words may fall on ears that have not yet heard them. He said: " The Jewish public should rally to this great enterprise. To buy the Encyclopedia is a duty, as to possess it is a privilege. Many able men have worked at it, giving of their best. The pub? lishers have spared nothing. And what is asked in return? That every one who has a spark of interest in the history of his com? munity, who has a tender spot for the pathos of the Jewish story, or an atom of pride in a great and glorious record?every one who would know his past or understand himself?that every one (and what Jew but belongs to one or other of these categories?) should consent to subscribe for a work, every single instalment of which is worth in itself the whole sum that is asked for the complete series of volumes. And over and beyond this, the subscriber is rendering homage to the greatest Jewish literary undertaking since the death of Maimonides." It is to be hoped that every member of this Society will do his utmost to help on this great work. Already three volumes have appeared, the fourth is now in the press, and the work on the remaining eight volumes is, I am informed, well forward in many respects. I feel sure that when the Jewish public realise what this noble treasure really means to them they will not fail to give it still further support. It means practically a recasting of the world's opinion of the Jew and his history. It means that it will help to sweep away intolerance and persecution, because it will remove those prejudices which cannot exist in the presence of knowledge. In reality, it must place the Jewish race before the world in an honest and honourable light.</page><page sequence="9">sir i. spielmann's presidential address. 51 Memorial to fallen Jewish Soldiers. There is another memorial to which I would draw your atten? tion as being worthy of the support and encouragement of this Historical Society. I allude to a memorial which should be raised here in England to the 114 British Jewish soldiers who have fallen in the South African War. It may be said that this Society does not exist for the purpose of raising memorials. I am aware of that fact. Nevertheless the suggestion should go forth from this Society, for others to promote if you please; but we are at least interested from the historical point of view in seeing that the Anglo-Jewish community should do what other communities have done and are doing, and record in an imperishable way the fact that the Jews of the British Empire contributed fully 2000 men to the forces serving in South Africa, of whom 114 laid down their lives for their Sovereign and their country. The community owes it to the honoured memory of every one of those brave men to perpetuate their names here, the centre of the Empire. " It is a decided defect," wrote Graetz, "on the part of the Israelites that they left neither colossal buildings nor architectural memorials." I cannot understand why, in making this assertion, Graetz omitted refer? ence to the Temple, the walls of which are] still a colossal memorial of the past. Otherwise, no one will dispute the statement. It is true that the memory of the heart, and more especially what is termed the public memory, is but short-lived, and no one can tell how soon that memory may require awakening. Is it sufficient to trust to the " memory of the heart" ? You recollect Bolingbroke's lines:? " That these may never from the soul depart, We trust them to the memory of the heart. There is no dimming, no effacement there ; Each new pulsation keeps the record clear; Warm golden letters all the tablet fill, Nor lose their lustre till the heart stands still." Yes, the event is a thing of the past; the memorial of it is still with us. It is almost impossible to conceive that the poisonous wave of anti-Semitism could ever soil the shores of this fair land;</page><page sequence="10">52 sir i. spielmann's presidential address. in all human probability it never will. Nevertheless, it is a duty which we owe to future generations to set up a monument even as Graetz would have us do, telling how the Jews of Great and Greater Britain fought and died in the defence of our Empire. It is a landmark that is well worth the setting, for it would stand as a concrete and an eternal protest against an unworthy charge, and it would " carry gentle peace to silence envious tongues," and speak with a silent eloquence and a noble reproach to those who still re-echo Gold win Smith's ill-considered doubt: " Can Jews be patriots ? " Memorial to Asher I. Myers. In speaking of those who have fallen, I must not forget to mention that it is intended by the Executive Committee of this Society to perpetuate in a fitting manner the memory of our lamented friend and co-worker, Asher Myers. By his premature death this Society has lost one of its most valued members. He was one of its originators, one of its keenest supporters, one of its hardest workers. He rendered invaluable service in every section of the Society's work, on the Executive Committee, on the Pub? lication Committee, and on the Finance Committee. It is pro? posed that the Asher I. Myers Memorial shall take the form of an historical research scholarship open to all members of the Anglo Jewish community. By this scheme it will be possible every year to reward the contributor of a piece of good research work with an honorarium. The fund now stands at ?53, and members are invited to obtain further contributions without loss of time, so as to complete the amount. Some Effects of Emigration. I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that a new President in his inaugural address usually offers you some new theory, or presents some freshly unearthed MSS. It is with regret that I have, in this respect, come to you empty-handed. I have no surprises of this nature in store, but if I am not abusing your patience I would like to submit for your consideration and for discussion on some</page><page sequence="11">sir i. spielmann's presidential address. 53 future occasion, the question, from the historian's and the anthro? pologist's standpoint, of the influences and changes that result by the transfer of vast bodies of our people every few generations from one country to another, in order that from the experience of the past we may obtain some guidance at the present juncture. The chief events in which our people are concerned, and which are now being slowly evolved as events which the future historian will find it difficult to co-ordinate with this country's civilisation, we cannot but regard with anxiety and alarm. The intermittent recrudescence of anti-Semitism, and the events more or less tragic which result, are still being chronicled in various countries. Active persecution in Roumania and Russia, and passive persecution or intolerance in various shapes in Austria and Germany, cannot fail to shake the scales of liberty all the world over. That France, of all countries, in celebrating the dawn of the twentieth century, should have coupled the greatest industrial exhibition ever held with one of the greatest outbursts of injustice, corruption, and villainy upon record, came as a still greater shock to liberty, and history will add the honoured name of Dreyfus to the long list of Jewish martyrs. But the voice of justice has once more been heard in the protest of the United States Government against the persecution of the Jews in Roumania, and history will record this protest in letters of gold. The active persecution to which I have referred is the direct cause of the emigration or the transfer of large numbers of our people from one country to another, as well as the consequent hardships and misery, the strained efforts made to meet that misery, the upsetting of labour markets, and the social and economic problems which it creates. History teems with instances of the persecution of our people in various countries, and if they are not actually exter? minated they are thrown back for centuries. It is this persecution which keeps two-thirds of our people on the verge of pauperism. Such upheavals cannot take place without exercising a radical and baneful influence on the persecuted, as well as on those already emancipated, and the historian will judge us harshly indeed if we, free-born Jews, are not moved to act with tact as well as with energy and humanity. It must be conceded that the public mind</page><page sequence="12">54 sir i. spielmann's presidential address. in this country and in America is somewhat agitated at the present time by the flow of immigrants of the Jewish race into these countries. It is earnestly to be hoped that no fixed barrier will be erected in either country to the free entry of the desirable immigrant, be he Jew or Gentile. But it behoves us to watch and chronicle the results, not only from the economic, but also from the historical point of view. '4 It is not conceivable," I once heard from a member of this Society, i 1 that the land whose boast it used to be that it afforded an asylum impartially to kings flee? ing from their fickle subjects, and to subjects fleeing from their tyrannical kings, will shut its gates to those who are drawn hither by the same law of nature which bids a plant seek light and air." We are all alike descended from alien immigrants into England, and we feel a natural sympathy with those victims of oppression in other countries who are following in the footsteps of our forefathers. But in offering our outstretched hands to brothers in distress, we must not lose sight of the actual con? ditions, the very changed conditions as they exist to-day. Papers without number might be written on the economic questions result? ing from the immigration of thousands upon thousands of our persecuted co-religionists. The immigration into the United States of Russian and Roumanian Jews compelled that country to raise its voice, not only in the name of humanity, recollect, but also in the interests of the Americans themselves. Moreover, action is being taken there accordingly. The plight in which some of these emigrants are placed is hardly to be equalled in our long history of suffering. Instances are known of Jews of genuine Russian nationality, who, being expelled from their villages, have sought refuge in Salonica. After a short stay in Salonica they are dis? covered and are again expelled. They then go to the United States, only to be refused admission, and eventually come here to be returned once more to Russia. This game of " battledore and shuttlecock" with human beings is to my mind so shocking and revolting, that a special body might well be formed to study its consequences and to endeavour to soften its cruel effects. It should be our business to endeavour to show, as past history has proved, that the correct solution of persecution lies in constitutional agita</page><page sequence="13">sir i. spielmann's presidential address. 55 tion within the countries where persecution exists, and not by the transfer of a whole population to a foreign country. Not that we should turn a deaf ear to the cry of our race; on the contrary, every freeborn Jew should hold it as an article of faith, that he holds a brief for every persecuted brother. It is perfectly true that foreigners, more especially foreigners of the Jewish religion, may become " English" within two generations; but during that process the dangers to the overcrowded cities into which they pour are great?to the public health, to the livelihood of all concerned, and to the public goodwill. The Loss of Anglicised Jews. But is not the influx of 1 i observing Jews" indispensable from time to time to fill the gaps caused by the drifting away of so many so-called Anglicised Jews? We must not forget that in times gone by the Hellenising of Judaism brought the nation upon the verge of destruction. The Russian, Polish, or Roumanian Jew is at least loyal to his Judaism and his people. Will not the historian note the fact that many a successful and emancipated Jew in England who has developed an intense loyalty for his country soon outgrows his Judaism. How many such men?brilliant men?have been lost to us, men in politics and literature who have been our greatest ornaments, who have made use of our platforms to ventilate their ambitions, and then kicked away the ladders by which they rose. Is it nobody's business to endeavour to retain them? Now and again we hear immense efforts made to recover the possession of a kidnapped Jewish child from a non Jewish institution. But the adult, what is done to recover him? What will the historian say of thisl The Value of Jewish History. If these men, some of the most brilliant we produce, had studied the history of their race, of its numberless martyrs who willingly yielded up their lives rather than be faithless to Israel, would they thoughtlessly, disloyally, cruelly leave the fold in which they have been born, nurtured, and brought to fame whilst the</page><page sequence="14">56 sir i. spielmann's presidential address. world looks wonderingly on ? Is it not because they know so little of their glorious past that they leave us so easily? What greater justification of this Society and of the study of our history can be required? Along with this question comes another, To what end is this study to lead? For what purpose are we studying our history? Is it not that we may learn from it lessons from which we may profit? "History is philosophy teaching by examples." It teaches development and progress, and we have developed and progressed marvellously. We have moved onward, often in spite of ourselves, individually and collectively. " Having," as Graetz says, " entered the arena of history more than 3000 years ago, we show no desire to depart therefrom. During all epochs we have been dragged along in the fierce whirl of passing events." Separately or collectively, the Jews appear all through the world's history, until at the last their development shows a better state and a higher civilisation. Will this improved condition con? tinue, or will the present brilliant flame of liberty flicker again? once more grow dim? Only the future can determine. In "The History of Civilisation," Buckle contends that all historical move? ments are regulated by fixed physical laws as certain as those which rule the motion of the waves and the changes of the weather. So the future of our people will depend upon their own body politic and upon their loyalty to themselves; moving with the times, while staunch and true to their noble mission. And the human interest/ that fills the story of our past brings to us our consolation and our pride. The pathos and the beauty of that splendid drama which has unfolded itself down the ages will not suffer us to disappear into the nothingness of a society comedy. That grand and lurid past has won the respect of the world that can still think and feel?has convinced them of the brilliant destiny of the little band that still upholds its banner against all the forces of oppression. That banner is the History of Israel? the pillar of flame in the night that is past?and of the future, the glory and the guide.</page><page sequence="15">SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. 57 Of the schemes proposed by Sir I. Spielmann, all have been brought to fruition. The Asher I. Myers Memorial was the first to be successfully achieved. The President next turned his attention to the War Memorial. A considerable fund was collected, and a tablet (of which a facsimile is here given) was erected at the Central Synagogue, and unveiled by Lord Roberts on Sunday, March 19, 1905. The following report of the unveiling is reprinted from the Jeiuish Chronicle of March 24th of that year :? SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. Unveiling at the Central Synagogue. A thoroughly impressive service was held on Sunday afternoon at the Central Synagogue, on the occasion of the unveiling, by Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, of the tablet erected on the outer wall of that synagogue in memory of the Jews who died in the South African campaign. The service was well attended, the congregation including several survivors of the war, and relatives of those who fell. Some regulars in uniform, wearing the South African medal, from the Coldstream and Scots Guards, Royal Field Artillery, Rifle Brigade, Army Service Corps, and other regiments, formed part of the assembly. Among others present were:? Major-General H. Mackinnon, the Chief Rabbi, the Revs. Dayanim Feldman and Hyamson, the Revs. Harris Cohen, A. H. Eisenberg, D. I. Freedman (Perth, W.A.), G. Isaacs, S. Levy, S. M?nz, I. Samuel, and S. Singer, Sir Samuel Montagu, Captain F. D. Samuel, Dr. J. Snowman, Messrs. C. Abrahams, Israel Abrahams, E. N. Adler, Herbert M. Adler, J. M. Ansell, D. Barnard, B. Birnbaum, N. L. Cohen, John Elkan, B. J. Friend, Frank Haes, B. B. Haiford, F. B. Haiford, H. S. Q. Henriques, Albert H. Jessel, J. Jonas, Josephus B. Joseph, B. Kisch, B. Koppel, Algernon Lesser, Paul Levy, H. R. Lewis, Claude G. Lousada, Henry Lucas, Frank I. Lyons, Gerald Montagu, Cecil Sebag Montefiore, Alfred Mosely, C.M.G., S. J. Phillips, R. H. Raphael, A. B. Salmen, L. J. Salomons, Nelson Samuel, S. Sasserath, L. Seligman, Isidore Spielmann, M. H. Spielmann, Meyer A. Spielmann, Arthur Stiebel, J. Trenner, S. Trenner, Adolph Tuck, G. Tuck, H. Tuck, R. Tuck, A. H. Valentine, B. B. Weil, and M. Weil. Lord Roberts and Mr. I. Spielmann were seated in the Wardens' box, which was also occupied by the Honorary Officers, Messrs. Edward P. Davis, Morris J. Jonas, and Asher Isaacs. The curtain in front of the Ark and the cover of the Reading Desk were of white materials, and the pulpit was draped with the Union Jack.</page><page sequence="16">58 SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. Prior to the commencement of the service Mr. Algernon Lindo played voluntaries on the harmonium. The service proper opened with the chanting of Psalm xvi. by the Rev. E. Spero to music specially written by him, the last few verses being sung by the choir, under Mr. Hollander, to Lewandowski's music. The Rev. Michael Adler then recited in English Psalm xlvi. The unveiling of the memorial followed. Owing to the limited space between the railings and the lower portion of the wall in which the memorial has been fixed, only a few persons were privileged to witness the ceremony. These were, in addition to Earl Roberts, the Chief Rabbi, the Revs. M. Adler, and F. L. Cohen, Major-General Mackinnon, the three Honorary Officers of the Synagogue, Mr. Henry Lucas, and Mr. A. H. Jessel, Vice-Presidents of the United Synagogue, and Mr. Isidore Spielmann, Chairman, Mr. Cecil Sebag Montefiore, Treasurer, and Mr. Algernon Lesser, Hon. Secretary, of the Memorial Committee. Mr. Isidore Spielmann, Chairman of the War Memorial Committee, addressing Lord Roberts, said : My Lord, this memorial, which we are about to invite your lordship to unveil, has been erected to 114 soldiers and volunteers of the Jewish faith, who lost their lives in the South African campaign. The death-roll?which will shortly be recited?includes a promising and popular young officer of the South Lancashire Regiment who fell at Spion Kop, and a number of non? commissioned officers and men representing very many branches of the services ; all Jews of Great and Greater Britain who died in the defence of the Empire. But, my lord, this memorial does more than record the loss of 114 soldiers of our faith; it does more than record the fact that over 2000 British Jews fought for their Sovereign and their country ; it does more than record noble and patriotic service; it does more than record their glorious death. This memorial stands here in eloquent testimony to the fact that British Jews are inspired by a love of King and country no less enthusiastic and no less devoted than that which animates their fellow subjects. It testifies that in vindicating their claim to the same liberties and rights, they share an equal privilege of defending and of dying for the country which confers them. The erection of this memorial originated with the Jewish Historical Society of England, and has been carried into effect by the Maccabgean Society, for the subscribers. Apart from its cost of erection, the Committee have been able to hand the sum of ?500 to the Union Jack Club, with which to complete and furnish a room in memory of our co-religionists. I thank you, my lord, most sincerely in the name of our committee for the honour you have done us and our community in coming here to-day ; but we thank you chiefly for the honour you do our fallen co-religionists by unveiling these tablets to their glorious memory. I now have to invite your lordship to unveil the memorial. Earl Roberts said, in reply : I am deeply sensible of the compliment</page><page sequence="17">TABLETS OUTSIDE THE CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE, LONDON.</page><page sequence="18">SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. 59 you have paid me by inviting me to unveil the tablet erected to the memory of the 114 officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of your faith, who laid down their lives for their Sovereign and their country during the war in South Africa. I consider it a great privilege to be here to-day, and to take part in this interesting ceremony. To a Commander-in-Chief all soldiers are the same, whatever may be their form of religion, and it is a great pleasure to me to be able to tell all of you present here to-day that no men fought better in South Africa than your co-religionists. I am pleased to learn of the grant you have handed to the Union Jack Club, which I take a great interest in myself, and is, I think, an institution greatly needed in London. The list of names on the tablet is remarkable as showing that the Jewish soldiers who fell during the campaign belonged to all branches of the service, and that they came from all parts of the British Empire. Some of them belonged to the Regular Army, or to the Militia, the Yeomanry, or the Volunteers; while others, the majority, indeed, served with the various irregular corps that were employed?indeed, a very splendid record. These 114 Jews died in the performance of their duty, and I am confident that every one of their brethren living under the protection of the British flag would willingly and cheerfully follow their example, should their country have need of their services. When the tablet had been unveiled, the Chief Rabbi said: I dedicate this memorial to the glory of God and to the memory of the Jewish soldiers who gave their lives to their Sovereign and this country during the late South African war. The memorial, of which a photograph is given on another page, bears the following inscription in Hebrew and English:? To the Glory of God and in loyal and patriotic memory of the Soldiers of the Jewish Race and Faith who lost their lives in the service of their country during the south african war 1899-1902 Here follow the names of 114 officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, with particulars of the various branches of the service?the Regular Army, the Militia, the Yeomanry, the Volunteers?to which they belonged.</page><page sequence="19">60 SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. Addressing Mr. Henry Lucas, Mr. Spielmann said : I have now formally to request the Honorary Officers of the United Synagogue to accept the memorial on behalf of their Council from our War Memorial Committee. I Mr. Henry Lucas, in reply, said: Mr. Spielmann, on behalf of the President and the Honorary Officers of the United Synagogue, we accept charge of this memorial which has been placed here and entrusted to us. We will do our best to preserve it so that it may be a constant reminder of those Jews who fought with their fellow-subjects of our Great Empire, sacrificing their lives in defence of it. During the unveiling, Mr. Spero read, in the synagogue, sentences from the Memorial Service for the dead, and beautifully sang the passages commencing d*1K hd 'h to music which had been composed by him for the Memorial Service held in the synagogue some years ago for the late Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. The accompaniment was played with great feel? ing by Mr. Lindo. On the return into the synagogue, the Rev. F. L. Cohen recited the Memorial Roll, after which Jewish and other buglers belonging to several Volunteer Corps sounded the " Last Post," with striking effect. The Chief Rabbi then delivered the following address :? ? npp mm* i)2 *?d^ mom "Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow."? 2 Sam. i. 18. Our illustrious Commander-in-Chief in the late campaign has unveiled the memorial which has been dedicated to the glory of God in loyal and patriotic memory of the soldiers of the Jewish race and faith who lost their lives in the service of their country during the South African War from the year 1899 to 1902. The names of those who gave their lives for their Sovereign and their country have been read out to you. Their number is 114; one moiety of them were killed in action, the other died of disease contracted during the campaign. They comprise every branch of the Imperial Forces. There were among them members of the Regular Army and of the Royal Navy. But the majority of them were volunteers?a splendid record, as an authoritative voice has just assured us. Brethren,?We still vividly remember the dark and dreary days of December 1899, when tidings reached us of grave reverses and distressing checks, when it was recognised that the strength of our adversary had been underrated, and that our army was too small in numbers for the giant task it had undertaken. The tidings appalled, but did not dismay us. Never, perhaps, in the history of this realm was the entire nation stirred to so grand a passion, a passion not of revenge, not of lust for conquest, but of whole-hearted patriotism and devoted loyalty, of absorbing determination to</page><page sequence="20">SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. 61 vindicate the honour of the Empire. Even as it was in Israel in the days of old, at a season of grave national peril, so it was then, " the nation willingly offered itself," the princes and the lowly horn, the indwellers of these isles and our fellow-subjects beyond the seas. They all offered themselves willingly T\)?h Dfc?D3 1Q"in they all " jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field." Hence it is that the roll of honour read out to you comprises members of the City Imperial Volunteers, the Imperial Yeomanry, the Militia, and members of the different Colonial Volunteer Corps, including representatives of the different South African contingents, men from Canada, men from the Australian Commonwealth, and from New Zealand. It is computed that altogether there were not less than 2000 Jews who, as Earl Roberts has now said, fought as valiantly as their comrades of other faiths who served at the front. Is it a matter of surprise that so goodly a number of our brethren offered themselves willingly among the people ? One of the masterpieces of eloquence bequeathed to us by classic antiquity is the funeral oration delivered by Pericles on those who had fallen in the Peloponnesian war. He dilates upon the sources of Athens' greatness. He pourtrays, in glow? ing colours, how justice is there equally meted out to all the citizens, from the highest to the lowest, how all are under the aegis of freedom, and all equally inspired by obedience to law. And he continues : " Such a country well deserves that her children should die for her." The members of the house of Israel have always faithfully served the country of their birth, or their adoption. But surely England deserves that we, her Jewish children, should gladly live and die for her, since here, as in no other country, the teachings of Holy Writ are venerated and obeyed. Here, as in no other empire in the whole world, there breathes a passionate love of freedom, a burning hatred of tyrant wrong. Here we are spared that most distressful sight, the revival of odious religious prejudices and of hateful racial antipathies. A gifted sister in faith has voiced this sentiment in her stirring poem, "The Jewish Soldier," penned during the late war. Let me read a few stanzas:? Thou hast given us home and freedom, Mother England! Thou hast let us live again, Free and fearless midst thy free and fearless children, Sharing with them, as one people, grief and gladness, Joy and pain. Now we Jews, we English Jews, O Mother England, Ask another boon of thee! Let us share with them the danger and the glory; When thy best and bravest lead, there let us follow O'er the sea!</page><page sequence="21">62 SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. For the Jew has heart and hand, our Mother England, And they both are thine to-day, Thine for life and thine for death, yea, thine for ever ! Wilt thou take them as we give them, freely, gladly, England, say!" A number of those that went forth to South Africa were slain upon the high places?verily, an honourable and glorious death. Their names are enshrined in the hearts of their sorrowing kinsfolk. They have been inscribed in the memorial roll that will henceforth abide in the court of the house of our God. Not to minister to an odious spirit of boasting, not to stir a love of war, not to pander to despicable Jingoism, not to rouse a martial spirit, but to impress upon our youths the imperative obligation of qualifying themselves for military service. Our text tells us that when David had honoured the memory of his faithful friend, ntPp iTtt?V ^3 l?hb "iDNu "he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow." Jonathan had been distinguished among the warriors of Israel as a mighty archer. By his bow and sling he had achieved his first great victory. He was famed for the valiant use of this weapon to the close of his life. David, therefore, did not content him? self with inditing his immortal elegy in memory of his heroic comrades. He poured forth his pathetic plaint, " How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished !" But he rightly judged, that he would most worthily perpetuate the memory of the princely archer, and serve his country right royally, if he were to teach his own tribe the skilful use of this weapon, so that they might all become brave and expert defenders of their country, even as they had been who had fallen in the battle, and who were slain in the high places. And this is the primary purpose which this memorial is to serve. A terrible struggle is raging in the Far East. Even at this moment there may be thundering the roar of artillery and the shock of strife. Happily our realm dwells in peace. For us, thank Heaven, there is now neither the dangerous flush of victory, nor the burning anguish of defeat. But one stern lesson has been taught us by the late war, that we must not rely exclusively upon our regular army. Conscription has, happily, not yet come within the pale of practical politics. But we need a host of thoroughly drilled volunteers, who have been duly trained in habits of discipline, of obedience, and manly exercise. We need a host of expert marksmen, who are skilled in the use of the rifle?the modern representative of the bow? not for offence, but defence, not for purposes of aggression and aggrandise? ment, not for war, but for peace, so that in the hour of stress and peril we may be enabled to stand before the world with the calm and fearless attitude of a strong man armed, trusting in the salvation of the Lord.</page><page sequence="22">SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL. 63 For it is not merely against outward enemies that we are called upon to fight. There are foes more deadly than any external aggressors or in? vaders?foes that lurk in the heart, luxury and greed, falsehood, impurity, and lawlessness. In this perpetual, silent struggle against besetting tempta? tions we are all enlisted as soldiers, and enrolled as volunteers. And if you will be strong and show yourselves men, then will your "bow abide in strength, and the arms of your hands will be made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel." Prayer. Almighty God, in whose hands are the souls of the living and the dead, we remember this day our brethren who gave their lives for their Sovereign and their country. Do Thou shelter their souls in the shadow of Thy wings, and grant them Thy recompense. Soothe the hearts of their kinsfolk with the blissful knowledge that, even as the souls of their loved and lost live in heaven, so the memory of their heroism will not perish from earth. May the remembrance of this devotion and patriotism stimulate us all to do our duty in every sphere of life, always mindful of the responsibilities cast upon us as citizens of this great empire, and as members of the house of Israel. Thou, O Lord, in whose hands are the destinies of nations ! We lament before Thee the sad evil which befalls the world when people rises against people, and Thy children suffer the horrors of war. May it please Thee to make wars cease unto the ends of the earth, and to cause the light of peace to shine again. And may we all unitedly strive for the advent of the time when nation shall no more lift up the sword against nation, when they will not hurt nor destroy, when they will work together for righteousness and justice, for mercy and truth. Amen. After the prayer, the Chief Rabbi offered up from the pulpit the Prayer for the King and Royal Family, Mr. I. Spielmann standing behind him with a Scroll of the Law. " Adon Olam " to the " Day of Atonement" melody was then sung by the choir, who, together with the congregation, next sang the first verse of the National Anthem as the concluding portion of the service, which lasted exactly one hour. A word of praise is