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The Battle for the Sabbath at Geneva

Chief Rabbi J. H. Hertz

<plain_text><page sequence="1">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 189 The Battle for the Sabbath at Geneva By the Very Rev. Dr. J. H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi. Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England. December 16, 1931. I. The title of my paper is " The Battle for the Sabbath at Geneva." I ought to add the dates, " 1924-1931," to indicate that it was not one battle, but a series of battles ; that it was, in fact, a conflict extending over seven years. The scene of conflict, or the preparation for it, shifted from Geneva to Paris, Washington, Frankfort, London; return? ing for its culminating stage to Geneva. Nearly every Jewish com? munity in the world eventually participated in what they deemed to be a Holy War, and millions watched its outcome with the gravest anxiety. But its bearings went far beyond the Jewish camp. Nothing less than the question of the spiritual and human rights of all religious minorities was at stake. Such a conflict is of more than ephemeral interest. And as a coming generation may have to meet a similar and perhaps stronger assault on the Sabbath Day, it is the plain duty of those who fought this fight to record the story, on the one hand, of the far flung activities of the powerful forces in favour of a radical alteration of the Calendar ; and, on the other hand, of the efforts made by world Jewry to ward off the threatened catastrophe to Jewish religious life. It was in 1923 that an autonomous section of the League of Nations ?the one dealing with Communications and Transit?called into existence a Special Committee of Enquiry into the Reform of the Calendar. WThy the Assembly of the League should have given its assent to such an undertaking remains a mystery even to some of the o</page><page sequence="2">190 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. statesmen who are the architects of the League, like Viscount Cecil and General Smuts. Certainly, the time could not have been more ill-chosen. The Great War had been over only four years. In some lands it was followed by massacre, famine and plague ; in others, economic founda? tions were sinking and there was real danger of social disintegration, such as had overwhelmed Russia. And on the morrow of all this woe and disillusion, and on the brink of such threatened upheaval, the League of Nations could still think it worth while to embark on a quixotic enterprise like calendar tinkering. Furthermore, the Gregorian Calendar had, in the course of the twentieth century, become universal. China had adopted it in 1912, Turkey followed in 1917, Russia in 1918, and, finally, Greece in 1923. In that very year, then, when the whole civilised world had at long last acknowledged allegiance to one calendar, the League decided to start a new era of confusion for humanity. More important still, the demand for changing the Calendar, or any demonstration of its alleged need, did not come from the Universities ?from Oxford, Jena, the Sorbonne, Padua, or Johns Hopkins. Neither did it come from great learned societies like the Royal Society in London, or the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The impetus to the whole venture was due solely to American commercial and finan? cial interests ; and, as we shall have abundant evidence, the League Calendar Committee remained under the dominance of these interests to the very end.1 As originally constituted in November, 1923, that Calendar Com? mittee consisted of six members : there was a Dutch professor, a French astronomer, and the President of the International Chamber of Commerce, an American?all advocates of Calendar Reform ; and, in addition, qua si-representatives of the Vatican, the Greek Catholic Church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury respectively.2 You will note that the Church as vitally affected as any by a change of the Calendar?the Jewish Church?was allotted no official member on the Committee. The late Lucien Wolf reminded the parent body of the Calendar Committee of Enquiry that he had received definite pledges from the League that the Jewish community would be given repre? sentation on the same level as the other great churches.3 The American, however, was adamant in his stand against admitting a Jewish repre? sentative ; and his word had soon become law to the Committee.</page><page sequence="3">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 191 The promise was never honoured during all the years that the Calendar was under consideration.4 In the meantime the Calendar Committee had begun its labours. It addressed the Governments and the principal Religious Authorities of the world and asked them, among other things, to state whether they were in favour of a " fixed " calendar?i.e., whether they agreed that the last day of the year should be trimmed off and deemed an extra day, or " blank day," in an eight-day week, so as to permit the remain? ing 364 days to be divided either into four equal quarters of 91 days, or?an even more startling proposal?into 13 equal months of 28 days. That the " blank day " or extra day of the eight-day week would alter the true days of the week was studiously glossed over; and nothing was said of the all-important circumstance that the immemorial sequence of seven-day weeks would thereby be interrupted ; that our whole system of time reckoning, with the sacred traditions and spiritual landmarks built on it, upset; and that the religious, as distinct from the secular. Sabbath would move to a different week-day each year. The League, however, assured the Governments and the Religious Authorities of its instruction to the Calendar Committee " that the changes in existing conditions involved by any reform are only justified if definitely demanded by public opinion." 5 A similar letter duly reached my office. I soon realised the disastrous results which would follow in our religious life in the wake of a movable Sabbath, and I also realised that the economic difficulties of Sabbath observance for the majority of loyal Jews would become overwhelming. In my reply I made it clear that in regard to Calendar Reform the only concern?the vital concern?to Jews and Judaism was :? (1) That in no circumstances shall the present length of the week be interfered with ; and (2) That the regular sequence of seven-day weeks shall at no time and in no way be interrupted by the introduction of a " blank day." On the publication of my reply, the Conference of American Liberal Rabbis 6 and, later, the Rabbinical Authorities of the Conservative and Orthodox groups in America requested me to add their protests to the one I had forwarded. I was thus in a position to inform the League</page><page sequence="4">192 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. that the Jews in America, Orthodox and Liberals alike, were in absolute agreement with their European brethren on this question. This information was not unnecessary. The first evidence heard by the Calendar Committee was that of Mr. M. B. Cotsworth, the determined apostle of a thirteen-month year with a closing week of eight days. His plan had won the enthusiastic support of the late Mr. Eastman, the American millionaire of Kodak fame, who supplied the very ample funds required for world-wide propaganda. Mr. Cotsworth maintained that the benefits which mankind would reap from his Calendar would be endless; and that the Christian, Moslem, Hindoo and Buddhist peoples were all pining for its early adoption. He did not for? get the Jews, and what he called " the old class, Orthodox Ecclesiastics," who opposed his scheme ; but, he said, " The Jews form less than 1 per cent, of humanity. Our sympathies are extended to those harassed Jewish Ecclesiastics who have during recent years had to minister to their scattering brethren." 7 The Committee seems to have been immensely impressed by him ; and it may even be said that he became a member of the Calendar Secretariat. One instance will show that this is no over-statement. When it became known that the League was looking for a new Calendar, no fewer than 183 schemes of Calendar Reform poured into Geneva from all over the world. These had to be evaluated, and their advantages and disadvantages appraised. Now, though Mr. Cotsworth was himself one of the competitors, and his Calendar was one of those to be appraised, he was made the adviser in such evaluation, and was unblushingly thanked by the Secretariat for his services ! 8 The hearing of the Jewish religious leaders was long in coming. It was not until January 31, 1925, that Grand Rabbin Israel Levi; Rabbi Fuerst, of the Agudas Yisroel, Vienna ; Dr. Lewenstein, of Zurich, and myself, were asked to attend the session on February 16, 1925. Thus, not much more than twelve days' notice was given us to a meeting of such great importance to our Cause. Our reception by the Committee, however, was quite cordial. We had co-ordinated our pleas, and each emphasised one special aspect of the danger to Jewry contained in the eight-day week proposal. Mr. Lucien Wolf, who had joined our delegation at Geneva, was the concluding speaker. " In view of the present chaotic conditions in Eastern Europe," he said, " no</page><page sequence="5"></page><page sequence="6">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 193 thinking man can contemplate without anxiety a measure which is calculated at once to undermine the moral anchorages of a large and stable element of the population and to aggravate the economic difficulties of those who wish to remain true to the teachings of a sound policy."9 In the course of the same year, the replies of the Governments to the questions submitted to them in 1923 were published. Great Britain, India, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Finland objected to any interference with the con? tinuity of the week; and, while they were not averse to the idea of a fixed Easter, saw otherwise no necessity for departing from the status quo. Thus, not only small religious bodies, like the Jews or Seventh-Day Adventists, objected to the eight-day week, but Governments, whose combined populations constituted from one-quarter to one-third of the human race, were distinctly averse to Calendar Reform. The whole question seemed definitely closed.</page><page sequence="7">194 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. II. American millionaires, however, never take No for an answer; and, ever since America has refused to join the League, League of Nations Committees are most respectful to Americans. In the same Eeport, in which the Calendar Committee published the opposition of Govern? ments to its main proposal, it urged all organisations in favour of Reform to undertake systematic and co-ordinated propaganda for the " education " of public opinion in that direction. It was counsel after Mr. Eastman's own heart. However, in view of the set-back which he and his friends had received at Geneva, they intended to make assurance doubly sure by starting a parallel offensive at Washington. They organised a newspaper campaign in their country, calling upon the President of the United States to take the initiative in convening a World Conference for the adoption of the thirteen-month " blank day " Calendar. A resolution to that effect, with a preamble that com? mitted the United States to such a Calendar, was actually introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Porter at the end of 1928 ; and it was referred for consideration to the Congressional Com? mittee on Foreign Affairs, of which Porter was chairman. But for the fact that Congressman Solomon Bloom, of New York, was a member of that Committee, the resolution would have slipped through unopposed. He insisted that public hearings be given to all those affected by the resolution. Dr. Moses Hyamson and other Orthodox Rabbis thus had an opportunity to stress the grave threat to religion contained in the resolution. Dr. Stephen Wise, an ultra-Liberal, authorised the state? ment, " Even if there were only 1,000 Jews left in the whole world to whom the Saturday Sabbath is sacred, I would go through fire and water to safeguard their religious liberty." The resolution came to nothing. It is due to the zeal and energy of men like Hyamson and Bloom that the United States Government at no time officially pro? nounced in favour of Calendar Reform.10 The scene of the conflict now changes, and we are back again in the Old World. Defeated in Washington, Mr. Eastman and his friends</page><page sequence="8">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 195 concentrated their efforts on Geneva. The Secretariat of the League Calendar Committee had in the meantime again circularised the Govern? ments of the world ; this time urging them to appoint National Com? mittees of Enquiry on this question, and get into touch, particularly with " the various economic and social interests which may be affected by the disadvantages of the present Calendar." 11 The Secretariat no longer made any attempt to conceal its bias in favour of the Re? formers ; it had become a partisan body, attempting to rush the repre? sentatives of the secular life in each country to commit themselves to the eight-day week Calendar before they realised the far-reaching con? sequences of their action. I stated this in so many words in the evidence I gave before the British Committee of Enquiry into the Reform of the Calendar in December, 1930.12 This evidence was republished in pamphlet form, under the title, Changing the Calendar?Consequent Dangers and Confusions, and was widely circulated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. It did something to counteract the not over? scrupulous propaganda of the professional Reformers, and for the first time brought the question to the attention of many Jews and non-Jews.13 What of Jewish preparedness for the coming conflict ? Those of us who had gone to Geneva in 1925 decided in June, 1929, to constitute ourselves into a standing vigilance committee, with Dr. Lewenstein as Secretary. We adopted his suggestion of a monster Petition to the League against the eight-day week, to be signed by every adult Jew and Jewess throughout the world. He put tremendous energy into the scheme, and achieved gratifying results in Holland and in one or two other countries. In most lands, however, the difficulties in the way of collecting a sufficient number of individual signatures proved insuperable. When, in December, 1930, we again met to review the situation, it was plain that the idea would have to be abandoned ; and that, instead, Resolutions of Protest from the com? munities would have to be arranged for. Moreover, the Grand Rabbin and I felt that, as the threatened attack on the Sabbath was a matter of deepest concern to the whole of Jewry, our Committee must be enlarged so as to include the World Organisation in Defence of the Sabbath, Berlin ; the Rabbinical Authorities of Central and Eastern Europe ; as well as the great Communal Organisations of Jewry. Owing to various unforeseen delays, it was not till May 14, 1931,</page><page sequence="9">196 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. that the enlarged Jewish Committee met at Frankfort-on-the-Main.14 At this meeting the Grand Eabbin explained that, on account of advancing years, he could consent to remain President only if I were willing to become the Chairman of the Executive and undertake to arrange and collect the Resolutions of Protest from Jewish communities of the world. I was forced to yield. To my great good fortune, I succeeded in enlisting the help as Secretary of Dr. Cecil Roth, who brought both enthusiasm and his wide knowledge of Jewry to the task, as well as optimism that, in the very few months available to us, he would get the communities of World Jewry to send in their Resolutions in time for the Conference in October.15 Three weeks later several members of our Executive appeared at Geneva. The Calendar Committee was meeting in extra session to appraise the replies of the various National Committees, tabulate the results, and draft final recommendations for the guidance of the Inter? national Conference that would decide upon the whole question in October. The membership of the Committee had been more than doubled since 1925 ; and, although place was found on it for the Vice President of Mr. Eastman's Society for the Simplification of the Calendar, it contained no Jewish representative. Our reception, on June 9, was distinctly not as cordial as in 1925. After the Grand Rabbin had briefly restated the Jewish position, I reminded the Com? mittee of the fact that when it was originally called into existence it was instructed not to consider any change in existing conditions unless such change was definitely demanded by public opinion. Where, I asked, was the world-wide demand for an eight-day week Calendar ? Dr. Hyamson had also come to Geneva, in the name of the Jews of America. He showed convincingly that it could not truthfully be said that in his country there was a general public demand for any Calendar Reform.16 Our arguments were re-echoed in new accents by Pastor Maxwell, the eloquent representative of the Seventh-Day Adventists. In the course of that session it became known that of the 60 nations requested by the League to form Committees of Enquiry, only 28 had done so. Of these, only 14 had taken the trouble to send in a reply ; six?among them Great Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands?rejected the " blank day " principle or saw no necessity for any reform ; two ?France and Sweden?were indeterminate ; and six favoured radical</page><page sequence="10">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 197 calendar change. And yet, on the strength of these replies, the Com? mittee issued a Report which could only be construed as advising the October meeting to proceed with the reform of the Calendar. The Report was silent on the disadvantages of radical change; it minimised the objections of Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists as " exaggerated," and tacitly endorsed the strange doctrine that the discomforts of a religious minority should not stand in the way of the economic advantages of a majority.17</page><page sequence="11">198 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. III. The outlook could not have been more disquieting. I despaired when I thought of what would happen at the October meeting, with its programme and terms of reference thus practically prescribed for it. And after October, a struggle of years opened before my eyes. This doc? trinaire proposal of a " fixed " Calendar would be sure to make a strong appeal to Germany and the Latin countries. Promises to support the Jewish case had been held out to the Agudas Yisroel by two Continental States with large Jewish populations, but these promises would, I feared, prove broken reeds ; seeing that the National Committees of these States were in favour of the new Calendar, one of them declaring that its excellence justifies both its immediate adoption " et le sacrifice des larges masses de population contraires ? la reforme." (I give these shameless words exactly as they appear in the original.) Our only hope, as far as I could see, lay in the holding up of the scheme by Italy and the Netherlands, and, most important of all, by the British Parliament. But even in the British Parliament the result was not beyond doubt; unless the more important Christian bodies joined the protest made by Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists, and unless the eyes of the leaders of British national life in and out of Parliament were opened to the meaning and menace of an eight-day week Calendar. In regard to the October meeting, there were still two things that had to be done. First, j ust because the maj ority against us might be so over? whelming, it was essential that at least the representative of Great Britain should make a decided stand for sanity, tolerance and religious liberty. Secondly, I felt that at Geneva our protests would be discounted on the alleged ground that they were those of ecclesiastics, and, therefore, out of place at a Conference dealing merely with the social and economic aspects of the problem. Some distinct intervention on the part of the lay leaders of Jewry must, therefore, be arranged. As the Grand Rabbin and Mr. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid agreed with me in this matter, I went to Basle and, in informal consultation with some of those attend? ing the Jewish Agency meeting, arranged that a petition to the League</page><page sequence="12">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 199 be prepared to be signed by leading lay personalities in contemporary Jewish life. Nothing could be done during August, and the end of that month found this country in the throes of an unparalleled political and economic convulsion. Thus, only the few free days in September, in the intervals between the Festivals, remained in which to prepare for the fateful meeting in the middle of October. On September 15 I wrote a letter to The Times calling attention to what the Calendar Secretariat would attempt to force through at the forthcoming Con? ference.18 I then saw my own Member of Parliament, Sir Rennell Rodd, man of letters, statesman, former ambassador. The whole matter was news to him, and he was intensely interested. The same day he gave notice of the following question in Parliament: " To ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether, in the absence of any generally expressed desire in this country for a change in the Calendar, which would introduce an eight-day week at the end of December with one blank day, making the appointed day of rest in certain religious communities nomadic instead of attached to a definite weekday, the Secretary of State will take precautions that this country should not be com? mitted to a prejudicial decision by the appointment to the con? ference for the reform of the calendar, which will meet at Geneva on the 12th October, of a representative who has already definitely pronounced himself as in favour of an eight-day week." The answer was " in the affirmative " ; and no doubt Sir RennelPs intervention secured the selection, as Britain's representative, of a man like Sir John Baldwin, of the Foreign Office, who was to exercise such a decisive influence at the Conference. I also consulted General Smuts and Professor Gilbert Murray in regard to the constitutional position, in case the International Con? ference passed the new Calendar. Was an appeal to the Council of the League, or its Assembly, possible ? They were most sympathetic and, in fact, did not seem quite happy that such a venture was ever set on foot under the aegis of the League. As to the Churches, some of the bishops had long held that " to interfere with the sequence of Sundays which has been continued</page><page sequence="13">200 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. uninterruptedly from about 4000 b.c., would be a disaster." 19 One leading ecclesiastic, in acknowledging my pamphlet, Changing the Calen? dar, expressed his detestation of the " pagan, revolutionary and absurd proposal." No large body of opinion, however, had expressed itself in our favour ; and for a long time all my efforts in that direction were in vain. It was only towards the end of September that, on the motion of the Vice-Chancellor of London University, Dr. J. Scott Lidgett, the Federal Council of the Evangelical Free Churches of England passed a unanimous resolution urging H.M.'s Government " that no alteration should be made in the Calendar without the consent of all the religious communities that would be affected by the change." Within a few days thereafter, the Lord's Day Observance Society, with a membership of hundreds of thousands in the Church of England, proclaimed its firm opposition to any interference with the week. All this was indeed heartening. Not only the Nonconformist conscience was now definitely enlisted on our side, but a considerable volume of Anglican opinion as well. So ominous was this change in the attitude of the religious bodies, that the Reformers were fairly stunned. An anti-Jewish note was henceforth struck in nearly every one of their hectic communications to the Press. The Gregorian Calendar was denominated by them the " Jewish " Calendar. The real Jewish Calendar had long been stigma? tised by them, in connection with the advocated stabilisation of Easter, as the cause of the animosities of sects ; it was now declared to be partly responsible for the financial crisis ! It was clear that the awakening of public men and public bodies was depriving these Reformers of all sense of proportion and responsibility. I began to feel more hopeful. As each of the Churches was entitled to send Observers to the Con? ference, Dr. Roth and I went to Geneva immediately after the Festivals on behalf of the Jewish communities of the countries affiliated with the League of Nations. Jewry in Soviet Russia unhappily remained inarticulate, as in the circumstances was inevitable ; and American Jewry was represented by Messrs. Elkan Adler, Philip Henry and A. LeVine. Dutch Jewry sent independent Observers, one for their Ashkenazim and another for their Sephardim?an unnecessary dis? tinction, bewildering to non-Jews, in a matter equally affecting all congregations alike. On the opening day of the Conference we learned with amazement</page><page sequence="14">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 201 that whereas Observers might, as a matter of courtesy, be given a chance of briefly addressing the Conference once, the spokesmen of the propagandist bodies for the new Calendar were placed on a par with members of a Government delegation, and would therefore have unhmited freedom of speech and debate. No matter how plausibly the Secretariat may explain this procedure, it is difficult to excuse such discrimination against those fighting for their religious rights.</page><page sequence="15">202 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. IV. One hundred and eleven delegates, representing forty-two nations, assembled in the League of Nations' Hall on Monday morning, Octo? ber 12, under the presidency of M. Vasconcellos, the head of the Portu? guese delegation. He proved to be a courteous, firm and impartial chairman. He decided that the Observers of the Churches be accorded the right to speak in the afternoon of that day, and I was among the first to be called upon. The Observers were allowed fifteen minutes each ; and this is all I had in which to make my own appeal to the Conference, acquaint the members with the Resolutions of the Communities as well as the Laymen's Petition, and formally present these documents on behalf of World Jewry. The tremendous importance of the impending decision to millions of Jews throughout the world, and the vast respon? sibility that was mine at that hour, are sufficient justification for giving you my address on that historic occasion in full. I said :? " The members of this Conference may be puzzled by the strenuous and unalterable opposition of Jewish and other religious bodies to the schemes of Calendar change now under consideration. But you will no longer be puzzled, if you learn the implications for the religious life of the crucial feature of these schemes? namely, the proposal to make the last week of each December an eight-day week. As the year consists of 52 weeks and one day over, it is proposed to trim the year of its odd 365th day by deeming it a blank day, or a supplementary day to the last week of the year. But, obviously, such an eight-day week would alter the true days of the week throughout the following year?Sunday, would really be Monday, Monday Tuesday, and so on. And then, with the end of each year, as you had another eight-day week, the true days would be further altered, and the religious, as distinct from the secular, Sabbath would move to a different week-day each year. It is needless to say what endless hardship this would bring to the conforming Jew and, I venture to state,</page><page sequence="16">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 203 to the millions in the other denominations who would remain loyal to their sacred and historic Day of Rest. " Twice before, Jewish religious leaders came to Geneva to voice the legitimate apprehensions of the Jewish people on this question. And to-day again, Jewish religious leaders of every shade of thought and of every land inhabited by Jews, implore you not to destroy the immemorial institution of the seven-day week. As no human authority can change the incidence of the Jewish Sabbath, Jews could concur in a Calendar with the eight-day week feature only at the expense of their conscience. A wandering Sabbath would undermine their religious life. " This attitude of the spiritual leaders of Jewry is paralleled by the action carried out by Jewish men and women of the com? munities throughout the world. Everywhere organised expression has been given to their indignation: and I have been de? puted to transmit World Jewry's Resolutions of Protest to this Conference. These Resolutions have been passed by unanimous votes of Jewish communities in nearly every country affiliated to the League of Nations wherein Jews are settled. Thousands upon thousands of congregations, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, have declared :? " ' This Congregation desires to record an emphatic pro? test against any Reform of the Calendar by the introduction of a blank day or days, thereby making the Sabbath a movable day, involving confusion for Jewish religious life, and entailing grave social and economic disabilities for the overwhelming majority of Jews throughout the world.' 20 " The millions of Jews in the United States of America have expressed their opposition through another channel; while those of Soviet Russia are unhappily, for the moment, inarticulate. Furthermore, Petitions against the proposed change have been signed by hundreds of thousands of individual Jews in twenty eight countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.21 It is profoundly moving to see these documents, with the signatures in many cases of the whole adult population of secluded townships in Poland and Algeria, voicing eloquently the agonised apprehension</page><page sequence="17">204 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. that has spread even to those remote parts. Nearer home, in a country like Holland, with a total Jewish population of 110,000, no fewer than 57,161 signed those Petitions. Let me now read to you the concluding sentence of the covering letter accompanying these Resolutions and addressed by Grand Rabbin Israel Levi and myself to this Conference :? " * We venture to hope that such considered expression of opinion of the whole House of Israel, as to the untold hardships and spiritual loss which must result from the introduction of a " blank day " Calendar, will duly weigh with you in your delibera? tions ; and that, by abandoning these proposals, you will earn the lasting gratitude of all friends of Religious Liberty.' " This opposition on the part of the Rabbis and on the part of the Jewish Communities is supplemented by a Protest of representative Jewish Laymen?bankers, financiers, industrialists, politicians, jurists, educationalists, scholars, and men of letters?whose opinion cannot be dismissed as that of ' reactionary Orthodox Rabbis.' Baron Edmond de Rothschild, of Paris, and Senator Van den Bergh, of the Hague ; Herbert Lehman, Lieut.-Governor of New York State, and Signor Felice Ravenna, of Rome ; Dr. Magnes, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Sylvain Levi of the Sorbonne ; Mr. Lionel de Rothschild, London, and Dr. Cyrus Adler, Philadelphia ; Mr. d'Avigdor Goldsmid, London; Felix Warburg, New York, and Oscar Wassermann, Berlin; together with Nahum Sokolow, President of the Zionist Organisa? tion, the famous poet Bialik, N. Sondheimer of Frankfort-on-the-Main, and H. Farbstein of Warsaw?all share the feelings of their brethren on this question, and petition this Conference to avert what threatens to be both a spiritual and economic calamity to Judaism and Jewry. They write :? " i Jewish public opinion has expressed itself in this matter with a unanimity rarely attained. Jewish opposition to the " blank day " innovation is by no means based merely on ecclesias? tical grounds, nor is it inspired solely by Rabbinical opinion. We must unequivocally repel the allegation made by some advocates of the " blank day," that the Jewish attitude is due to the intran sigeant stand taken by some reactionary Orthodox Rabbis. The</page><page sequence="18">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 205 Opposition is shared by the whole body of Jewry. The Sabbath is in every sense of the term a fundamental institution in Jewish life. Its regular incidence, at the close of the working week, has an immeasurable spiritual and symbolic influence. With a " float? ing " Sabbath, which in every year must change its position in the civil week, this would disappear. Even those persons who, by stress of circumstances, are not able to continue to observe the Sabbath in the traditional fashion would feel acutely the oblitera? tion of what has been for countless generations the salient factor in their religious background. " 1 But this religious question is at the same time a sociological one. The " blank day " scheme, if adopted, would inevitably spell material ruin to millions of conscientious Jews throughout the world. If this scheme is carried into execution, a majority of the Jewish race will be given the alternative of abandoning their ideals on the one hand, or material ruin on the other. This is indis? tinguishable from persecution in the worst medieval sense. It is to the League of Nations in its capacity as a bulwark against persecu? tion, as protector of the religious rights of minorities, and as guaran? tor of the Treaties in which those rights are safeguarded, that the Jewish People looks for protection from this crushing disaster. In their name, we humbly supplicate the abandonment or modifica? tion of the scheme at present under consideration.' " The reply which the advocates of the new Calendar have at hand to any plea, like the one just read, that the rights of religious minorities are inviolable, throws light on the mentality of the promoters of the eight-day week Calendar. I find their reply in a document just issued by the so-called National Committee on Calendar Simplification for the United States, and a copy has no doubt been circulated to every member of this Conference. It reads as follows : ' If any hardship is to accrue to a minority from the new Calendar, it would be self-imposed, because of continued refusal to conform to the determination of the majority. The disability resides in the religious convictions of the minority in question, and is entirely of its own making.' 22 " I assure you, this is no polemic caricature on my part, nor is it a controversial fiction I am indulging in, but the verba ijpsissima of the p</page><page sequence="19">206 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. apostles of the new Calendar. It is the argument used by all tyrants in the past to justify their bloodiest religious persecutions. This grim doctrine that the sufferings of the victims of bigotry are not due to the ferocity of the persecutor, but to the convictions of the persecuted con? flicting with the laws of the persecutor, sounds most strange when coming from the lips of countrymen of Roger Williams 23 and Woodrow Wilson?both of them revered names in Geneva. Abraham Lincoln, the greatest and wisest of Americans, has once for all disposed of this argument which confronted him also in his fight against slavery. He said : ' It is as if a highwayman pointed a loaded pistol at my head, with the words : " Stand and deliver, or I shoot, and then, you will be the murderer." ' " In conclusion : If there were a world-wide demand for radical Calendar revision, and there is not; if such radical revision would bring with it all the benefits in accountancy and book-keeping that its advocates claim for it, and this is strenuously denied by competent authorities whose disinterestedness cannot be questioned; it would still be the duty of this Conference to ask itself whether those alleged advantages were worth the cost?the destruction of religious and cultural values?which the adoption of that Calendar would entail, and whether mankind was not wider than the book-keeper and accountant and his Big Business Employer. " I leave the answer to this question to you, members of this Conference. I confidently trust that, by your decision, you will definitely end this unfortunate agitation, and ring down the curtain upon the miserable comedy of the eight-day week Calendar movement."</page><page sequence="20">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 207 V. Nothing seemed less likely than that the Conference would ring down the curtain. The President had in his Opening Address adopted the programme laid down by the Calendar Committee at the June meeting, and his words were a fair reflection of the atmosphere of the Conference. After me, Mr. Elkan Adler, in a genial address, asked the Conference to postpone the changing of the Calendar to the Greek Kalends ; and Mr. A. LeVine spoke against the scheme as a Jewish business man. Then followed the Adventist Observers, who pas? sionately pleaded for Religious Liberty and non-interference with the Seventh-Day Sabbath. But the feeling of the Conference remained unchanged. It was soon evident that few of the delegates knew much of the question. Mass suggestion seemed to be at work, and most of the speakers merely repeated the phrases and arguments gleaned from the propaganda literature on the subject.24 The propagandist Re? formers?there were five of them, including the delegate for the United States?took up half the time of the Conference, and read statements of maddening length and monotony. In their main contention?the need for Calendar Reform?they were supported, among others, by the delegates of Argentine, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Yugoslavia and, the most violent of all, the delegate of Switzerland. The first voice in opposition was that of the representative of Colombia, South America (Dr. A. J. Restrepo). He maintained that the addresses of the Observers on the opening day had proved how strong religious convictions were still in the world. He quoted Chateaubriand?that during the French Revolution, when a ten-day week was introduced, even the cattle stopped to rest at the end of every six days as of old. " Any change in the present Calendar would be dangerous," was his concluding warning. The Netherlands representatives, likewise, gave an early indication and reasoned exposition of their rejection of the new Calendar. It was not only the Jews of the Netherlands, they said, but the vast Moslem population of the Dutch Indies, and various Protestant sects as well, whose opposition to the eight-day week proposal was unyielding.</page><page sequence="21">208 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. The outstanding personality among the Opposition?indeed of the whole Conference?was Sir John Baldwin, the representative of both Great Britain and India. He protested ab initio against the very phrase "Calendar Reform." It begged the question. Reform implied an improvement, and he could not agree that any change in the Calendar would improve it. It was true our present Calendar contained irregu? larities, but so did human nature. The changes advocated were because of alleged benefits to business and statistics.25 " His Majesty's Govern? ment had an entirely open mind on the question ; and when the time came it would carefully weigh the claims, on the one hand, of statistics and, on the other hand, of religious scruples." Sir John was correctly interpreting British opinion. That very day, October 13, The Times had an editorial, " Reform of the Calendar," in which it wrote :? " The Chief Rabbi has made it clear in these columns that any scheme for a supplementary day in the year will be unacceptable to conforming Jews. Their religious scruples on a matter so fundamental to them deserve respect, and there will be a large number of Christians sharing those scruples. The question really resolves itself into balancing of simplified book-keeping against religious scruples and liking for variety, and in such a balancing human interests are bound to weigh the more heavily. In the circumstances, most people will probably prefer to keep the present Calendar lest a worse befall." In general the delegates, though they were quick to give expression to their resentment when one of the independent Jewish Observers, with extraordinary lack of discretion, impugned their justice and good faith, were not unfriendly towards those who opposed Calendar Reform. Thus the Czecho-Slovak delegate had remarked that the Jews of his country did not share the general Jewish opposition to the proposed new Calendar, and had registered no protest against it. At these words all eyes turned towards me, as strong doubt had been cast on the bona fide nature of my claims in regard to the pan-Jewish scope of the com? munal protests. I remained silent, for the time being. An ordinary denial, I felt, no matter how emphatic, would carry no weight, either with him or the Conference. Besides, I thought it would be best if</page><page sequence="22">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 209 the confutation came out of his own mouth. At noon, I placed in his hands 126 official Resolutions from the Jewish communities in Slovakia. He himself thereupon publicly corrected his statement at the afternoon session. This one incident fully justified all the exertions in connection with the Communal Resolutions. Again, on Wednesday afternoon, after some severe criticism had been levelled against the Sabbatarian attitude, one of the Seventh-Day Adventists, a French physician of Swiss birth, was permitted to address the Conference in reply. He disposed of various facetious and fallacious arguments that had been adduced in favour of the eight-day week.26 Then he told how in his youth his mother had been continually fined by the Swiss authorities for her refusal to send him to school on Saturdays ; and how he had to leave his native land in search of religious liberty. He begged the Conference to remember that there was such a thing as conscience ; and that the molestation of conscience was incompatible with the ideals of the League of Nations. All the speeches by Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists hitherto had been in English, and reached the many delegates from the Latin countries only in translation. This masterly French address went straight to their hearts. The next day, Thursday, the French delegate, M. Andre Bertaut, who before had favoured Reform, arose and said : " I am neither a Rabbi nor a Seventh-Day Adventist; but we must consider moral, as well as economic, forces. Let us leave academic discussion, and let every speaker henceforth clearly indicate whether he is giving his own private view or that of his Government." The German delegate seconded the suggestion. From that moment the danger of the majority of the Conference recording their own conviction that Calendar Reform was desirable disappeared ; and the whole eight-day week bubble burst. One after the other the delegations had to admit that their Governments had not expressed any desire for change. A Baltic delegate (M. August Schmidt, of Esthonia) pleaded that they should not give the enemies of the League any further occasion for unholy mirth. The League had numberless unratified conventions in its archives. Why add to the number ? Finally, Sir John Baldwin, sup? ported by the Italian delegate, gave the coup de grace to the scheme. They moved that action by the League should be suspended until a greater measure of agreement had been reached not only on Calendar</page><page sequence="23">210 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. Reform, but on the method of applying it. The last phrase is an ironic reference to an amusing feature of the Conference?the constant bickering between the Reformers themselves, between those who advocated a year of thirteen months and those who stood for the retention of the twelve-month year. The Conference, having now sat four days, gladly adopted Sir John's motion, and adjourned till Monday, when the Report to the Governments would be decided upon. When the Conference reassembled on the Monday for its final session, the artificial nature of the whole agitation became ludicrously patent. On an important point involving the whole raison d'etre of the Conference, more than half the delegates present abstained from voting ! No one cared. And yet towards the very end, when the Swiss delegate (M. Emile Marchand) had forced a vote by roll-call, on his proposal that the scruples of any minority in regard to the Calendar should not prevail against the opinion of the majority ; and, further, that the Conference should embody in its Report that the religious objections to the eight-day week Calendar on the part of Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists were " greatly exaggerated," he was over? whelmingly defeated, and only three delegates out of that assembly of forty-two nations supported his contention. Here was a real, live principle, and the delegates did care; and, incidentally, in rejecting the Swiss proposal, they in effect censured the Calendar Secretariat which had endorsed that infamous doctrine of the rightlessness of religious minorities. And thus, after a discussion lasting five hours, the Con? ference was almost unanimous in its decision to inform Governments that: " The present is not a favourable time, taking into account the state of opinion, for proceeding with a modification of the Gregorian Calendar. The introduction of supplementary days bearing no week-day name roused the opposition of various religious communities and certain social organisations, whose representatives were heard by the Conference. Some delegations expressed the same view. The Conference did not think fit to express an opinion on the principle of calendar reform. The League Committee on Communications and Transit will continue its task, which has always consisted, not in any particular propaganda, but in the impartial enlightenment of public opinion." 27</page><page sequence="24">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 211 Despite the whitewash of the last sentence, the League Calendar Committee and the League itself do not issue creditably from the whole agitation. That agitation has shown how easily the League can be entangled in partisan, faddist propaganda ; and it also shows that a considerable portion of its Secretariat has forgotten that the League's most sacred charge is the protection of minorities. The agitators themselves have suffered a shattering, let us hope, an annihilating, defeat. It is doubtful whether in the lifetime of any of them the ques? tion will ever be raised again. Three months before, nothing seemed more certain than that the Conference would pass an eight-day week Calendar ; and now the House of Israel had been vouchsafed a great victory in a fight for liberty second in importance to no other in many a century. The stars in their courses fought for us, even as they did in the days when Deborah sang her Song of Victory unto the Lord. In humble gratitude to Providence, we recall its culminating words :? " So let all thine enemies perish, 0 Lord : But let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in might." The sacred chronicler who embodies this magnificent Ode of Triumph in the narrative of the Book of Judges, concludes with the comment, " And the land had rest forty years." So may it be also in our own days ! 28</page><page sequence="25">212 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. NOTES 1 The Calendar Committee claimed for itself, on the one hand, that it was the fulfilment of the demand made by various International Congresses between 1900 and 1921 ; and, on the other, that its work was based on a scheme prepared by the International Astronomical Union at its 1922 meeting in Rome. There is very little foundation for the former claim, and even less for the latter. This is evident from the following communication of Pro? fessor Eotheringham, of the University Observatory, Oxford, to The Times of November 15,1926:? 1' Readers of the report of the Committee on the League of Nations on the Reform of the Calendar will note that that Committee was in? structed by the League to take ' as a starting-point the scheme prepared by the International Astronomical Union at the meeting in Rome in May 1922.' The different Governments, religious authorities, and inter? national associations received circulars informing them of proposals purporting to have been prepared or recommended by the International Astronomical Union, and it is clear from their replies that they widely believed that the proposals in question had the authority of that Union behind them. " The facts, as may be learned from the Transactions of the Inter? national Astronomical Union, are that a Committee on the Reform of the Calendar was appointed by the constitutive assembly of that Union, which met at Brussels in 1919. This Committee presented to the Inter? national Astronomical Union at Rome in 1922 a report which contained a statement of the problems, but made no recommendation. The Union resolved not to continue the Committee. Three members of the Com? mittee, however, continued to sit after the close of the Rome Congress, when their powers had expired, and arrived ' by a majority of the members present ' at a series of conclusions. Their proceedings were published by way of courtesy in the Transactions of the Union, with a prefatory note stating that their conclusions had not been approved by the Union, and that Sir Frank Dyson, who had attended the first meeting of the Union's Committee, had expressed his disapproval of them. " I hope this letter will make it clear that the proposed reforms derive no authority from the International Astronomical Union, but merely represent the private opinions of the two eminent French astro? nomers, MM. Bigourdan and Deslandres, who voted for them."</page><page sequence="26">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 213 Less misleading is the statement that the Calendar Committee took as a starting-point for its work the recommendations made by the International Chamber of Commerce at its Congress in London in June 1921. At that Congress, it seems, the American members of its Executive rushed through a series of resolutions on this subject. That these resolutions were but formal and, therefore, of no significance, is seen from the fact that when eventually, in 1930 and 1931, the Chambers of Commerce of Great Britain were asked to give serious consideration to the concrete proposals of Calendar Beform, only 13 out of 104 British Chambers of Commerce took the trouble to reply to the questionnaire sent them ! 2 Jonkheer W. J. M. van Eysinga, Professor at the University of Leyden, Chairman ; M. C. Bigourdan, former Chairman of the International Astrono? mical Union's Committee on the Calendar; Mr. Willis H. Booth, President of the International Chamber of Commerce (these three members were selected by the League Committee on Communications and Transit); the Rev. Father Gianfranceschi, President of the Academy dei nuovi Lincei, for the Vatican ; Professor D. Eginitis, Director of the Observatory of Athens, for the (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ; the Rev. T. E. R. Phillips, Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Secretaries : M. Robert Haas and M. Romein ; and, later, Miss E. Key-Rasmussen. That the representatives of the Roman, Greek and Anglican Churches were only nominal, is seen from their distinct declarations, as reported in the Minutes of the First Session of the Committee of Enquiry into the Reform of the Calendar, May 19,1924. " The Rev. Father Gianfranceschi said he wished to make it clear that he did not in any way represent the Holy See. At their first meeting he had pointed out that he was attending the Committee of Enquiry in a private capacity. Since then the position had changed, for the Holy See had referred the question of the reform of the Calendar to the next (Ecumenical Council and was no longer investigating the matter directly. " Professor Eginitis similarly stated that he did not represent the CEcumenical Patriarchate. The position of the latter body was similar to that of the Holy See, since the Patriarch, as head of the Orthodox Church, could take no final decision on the question. His duty on the Committee of Enquiry was accordingly to act in an advisory capacity and to serve as a link between the Committee and the Orthodox authorities. " The Rev. T. E. R. Phillips also stated that the position of the English Church was similar to that of the two Churches already mentioned</page><page sequence="27">214 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. and that His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury had entrusted the in? vestigation of the reform to a Committee consisting of bishops and various members of the clergy. " The Chairman said that he strongly hoped the three last speakers would continue to give their valuable assistance to the work undertaken by the League of Nations. The Committee of Enquiry fully grasped the position of these members as Intermediaries and assured them that in no case would the Committee interpret their private views as binding the authorities which they represented." 3 From letters of Mr. Lucien Wolf to me :? June 15, 1924 :? " I suppose you know that I have already a promise from the League that a Jewish representative will be admitted to the Committee on the same consultative footing as the representatives of the Pope, the Greek Patriarch, and the Archbishop of Canterbury." September 23, 1924 :? " The Joint Foreign Committee has received definite pledges on this point from the Secretary-General of the League of Nations." February 19,1925 :? " Before leaving Geneva I called on M. Haas and also M. Romein, the Secretary of the Calendar Reform Commission. I gathered the impression that our case is proceeding very satisfactorily. M. Romein told me that our Delegation made a very favourable impression on the Commission, and in the informal consultations which took place after our departure it was provisionally admitted that the Commission could not take any action which would run counter to strongly held religious convictions. I raised the question once more of our representa? tion on the Commission itself. M. Romein said that the great difficulty was that so many Protestant Churches were also asking to be represented on the ground that they did not recognise the authority of the Anglican Church. I admitted the difficulty but I denied the parallel, inasmuch as might be seen from our delegation, all sections of the Jewish Church were united on the Calendar question. It was possible that the question no longer had any practical importance, but it had great importance as a question of principle and right. We Jews objected to be treated as a second-class Church; and, moreover, we have Sir Eric Drummond's pledge which, if broken on the present occasion, may be broken on all future occasions. M. Romein promised me that what I had said should be communicated to the Commission."</page><page sequence="28">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 215 4 See Minutes of Second Session (February 16, 1925) of the Special Committee of Enquiry into the Reform of the Calendar (C. 235, M. 88, 1925, viii.), p. 7. 5 Report on the Reform of the Calendar (League of Nations Publications, A. 33, 1926, viii.), pp. 7 and 82. 6 Washington, D.C., September 6, 1924:? " My dear Dr. Hertz,?Because of the official attitude of detach? ment of our country, an American is greatly embarrassed in discussing questions that are part of the material and procedure of the League of Nations. However, the Central Conference of American Rabbis is seriously concerned with the proposed Reform of the Calendar and desires to join its protest with such as are made by Jewish organisations which have legitimate contacts with the League of Nations. " Your letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the Advisory Committee on Reform of the Calendar of the League of Nations embodies the heart of the objections which our Conference has raised. In view of the non-membership of the United States, will you be gracious enough to add our protest as Jews in America to the ones which you have already forwarded, and select such method of presentation of our statement as you deem best under the circumstances ? " Sincerely yours, " Abram Simon, " President, Central Conference American Rabbis." 7 Minutes of First Session, May 19, 1924, p. 9. 8 Mr. Eastman mentions this fact with pride in his Report of the National Committee on Calendar Simplification for the United States to the U.S. Secretary of State, p. 46. 9 The pleas are given in full in the League Report on the Calendar (A. 33, 1926, viii.), pp. 95-99. They were also reprinted in the Circular Letter which Dr. Lewenstein sent to the Jewish Communities, in English, French, German or Hebrew. 10 Congressman Bloom gave a devastating survey of Calendar Reform in his speech in the House of Representatives, Washington, on June 11, 1929. It was subsequently republished in pamphlet form from the Congressional Record, Seventy-first Congress, First Session. Dr. Moses Hyamson is the</page><page sequence="29">216 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. author of the Memorandum to the League of Nations, submitted by the American League for Safeguarding the Fixity of the Sabbath, of which he is President. 11 The League of Nations and the Reform of the Calendar, Information Section, Secretariat of the League of Nations, 1928, p. 17. The impartiality of this document can be gauged by the fact that Mr. Eastman's organisation, " The International Fixed Calendar League," used it as propaganda for its purposes. 12 The Secretariat advised against the appointment of representatives of the Religious Life on these National Committees, and endeavoured to pre? vent these representatives from even being given a hearing. Thus, when the British Committee of Enquiry, under the Chairmanship of Lord Burnham, had invited me to give them the Jewish view on Calendar Reform, pressure was exercised from Geneva that the invitation be cancelled. The Report of the Proceedings of the meeting on December 10, 1930, page 5, distinctly states that M. Robert Haas had written to the Committee objecting to the hearing of the Jewish representative. But evidently the British Committee was not afraid of the truth. Emboldened by the open co-operation of the Calendar Secretariat, the professional Reformers vigorously continued their work of discrediting Jewish opposition to the new Calendar. Some time before, they had issued Moses, the Greatest of Calendar Reformers, by Dr. C. F. Marvin, of the U.S. Weather Bureau, and M. B. Cotsworth. It maintains that the eight-day week Calendar is Biblical?a fact that has remained unknown to the Jewish people for the last 3,400 years, but which the authors claim to have re-discovered in a mythical " double Sabbath," alleged to be prescribed in the Pentateuch. Evidence of a " double Sabbath " is seen in the fact that Jews observed two days of Pentecost! (p. 15). These sages are not even aware of the fact that Passover, New Year and Tabernacles have likewise " second days." This idea of a " double " Sabbath was also raised on the opening day of the Conference, October 12, 1931, by Mr. Stebbing, the Chairman of one of the two English Parliamentary Committees for Calendar Reform. I curtly replied to it in a written statement to the Conference ; see Records and Texts relating to the Fourth General Conference on Communications and Tran? sit, vol. i., Calendar Reform, p. 13. Cotsworth was immensely pleased with his and Marvin's production, and, on its appearance in 1928, he even approached Mr. Lucien Wolf with the suggestion that the Joint Foreign Committee of the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association translate it into Hebrew and circulate it to the Jewries of the world. He also sent me 100 copies for distribution among</page><page sequence="30">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 217 my clergy and leaders of Jewish opinion. He was later to launch a virulent tirade against me for refusing to act as his postman. Dr. Hyamson published a valuable reply to Marvin and Cotsworth's pamphlet; see Appendix B, p. 59. A far more questionable form of discrediting the Jewish case by the Reformers is disclosed in the following letter which I had occasion to address to Lord Burnham :? " When I had the honour of giving my evidence before your Com? mittee of Enquiry on December 10th last, you showed me a letter signed, ' L. Prins, Secretary of the International Fixed Calendar League,' which stated that at the Jewish International Congress for Safeguarding the Sabbath in Berlin at the end of August last, one of the advocates of Sabbath-safeguarding declared : " ' If Calendar Reform is indeed to benefit the whole of mankind and bring improvement in the international economic conditions, then we Jews will have to accept it.' " I was not in a position to state on December 10th whether that allegation was actually made or not, and had to content myself with the remark that, if it was made, the opinion of one individual in the course of discussion at a Congress in no way binds that Congress. " I have now had occasion to communicate direct with the Head Bureau of the World Sabbath Observance League at Berlin as to the truth or otherwise of the allegation contained in the letter from the International Fixed Calendar League. The President of the Congress, Dr. Samuel Gr?nberg, writes : ' The sentence you quote in your letter has never been uttered.' " I shall be grateful if you will bring this to the notice of the Committee of Enquiry." 13 See Appendix A, p. 51. It was widely republished in the Jewish Press ; translated into Hebrew (m^H ppTl) by Dr. B. Lewin, Jerusalem ; and called forth a violent reply by M. B. Cotsworth, entitled Opposition of the Rabbis to Changing the Calendar, Reply by the International " Fixed Calendar " League (Moses B. Cotsworth, Director) to the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire (Dr. J. H. Hertz). This characteristic production of Mr. Cotsworth purports to be a reply to my presentation of the Jewish case ; but in reality is an unbridled attack on me and the Faith I represent, such as one is not accustomed to see in English. A few of its milder sentences w?l suffice to indicate its nature. He writes :? " The crude opposition of the Rabbis is unhappily bringing world-wide</page><page sequence="31">218 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. Religion into contempt, when dignity and serenity would have upheld real. worship." " The extreme views of Chief Rabbi Hertz are not unanimously shared by his coreligionists as he with Orthodox Rabbis try to make the public believe.'1 44 We submit, for public consideration, the fact that, in seeking by sectarian prejudice to frustrate this world-wide movement for a 4 Fixed Calendar,' the Orthodox Rabbis demand the same special economic privileges for their members, that they have been trying to establish under the present calendar, namely that the more than 99 per cent, of humanity, who are not Jews, should adjust the world's Calendar, economic life and weekly arrangements to enable J ews to rest on their peculiar Sabbath, without economic penalty?by withholding from 99 per cent, of humanity, the important benefits of Calendar Reform." 44 The Chief Rabbi knows that the Calendar's defects were proved by the League of Nations' Committee, half of whom represented the highest authorities of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Religions. Because that Committee of Enquiry later unanimously reported that those defects were 4 a cause of confusion and uncertainty,' the Chief Rabbi does not seem respectful to those highest authorities of Christian Religions (whose members number about 40 times the total number of Jews) by describing the simple remedies they indicated, as if they would bring the4 Consequent Dangers and Confusions ' printed as the sub-title of his pamphlet. That seems the less excusable, because those highest religious authorities know by sad experience throughout their religious history, that the Jewish Calendar is the worst cause of world-wide calendar confusion and religious animosities." 44 It was the moon-wandering of the Jewish Calendar and Passover, which split the Jewish Christians from their brethren in the year A.D. 325, when the 4 Decree of Nicaea ' proclaimed its moon-method for dating future Easter Sundays, so as to avoid concurrence with the Jews and other heretics. When Pope Gregory reformed the Calendar in the year 1582, the Christian Church was split asunder by the confusion caused by the moon-wandering of the Jewish Passover, which caused the Orthodox Eastern Churches to refuse to accept the Gregorian method of dating Easter." But enough of Mr. Cotsworth. In Note 2 it is shown how slender is the foundation for the statement that the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Churches were officially represented on the Committee. As to the charge that the Jewish Calendar is the cause of calendar confusion and religious animosities, a charge repeated over and over again by Cotsworth in various newspapers, that was ably dealt with by Dr. Cecil Roth in his replies to these partisan communications. Thus, in the Morning Advertiser of September 10, 1931, he wrote :? 44 It is not the case that since Christianity began, the Jewish Calendar</page><page sequence="32">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 219 has been ' the worst cause of business and social upset in Christian countries.' The ineffable absurdity of this is too patent to need demonstration. In any case, the Jewish system of reckoning as the older, could not be held responsible for the consequences of deliberate deviation from its standards. "Mr.Cotsworth conveys the impression that the opposition to his scheme is confined to the Jews, representing less than 1 per cent, of the world's population. That is not the case. The Jewish opposition must be shared by all Christians who desire to continue to observe their Sabbath on the seventh day, and who hold that the Decalogue cannot be abrogated by Act of Parliament. Once the Church-going public in this country is aroused to the nature of the issue at stake, this scheme will be doomed. It is to be hoped that the awakening will not be delayed until it is too late." See further Notes 16 and 18. Several sympathetic notices of my pamphlet appeared in the Religious Press. The Church Times of May 8, 1931, wrote :? " In Changing the Calendar, the Chief Rabbi, Dr. J. H. Hertz, enters a strong protest, on behalf of Jewish people, against the proposal, put before the League of Nations by American Big Business. . . . Dr. Hertz believes that if the Christian Churches realised the effect of the proposal, they also would strongly condemn it, as a representative of Great Britain already has done. Certainly it appears an unwarrantable interference with religious observance for commercial ends." The pamphlet was sent to the leading ecclesiastics of the United Kingdom. On reading it, various Bishops (of Chichester, Ely, and others) expressed their full agreement with the main contention. Dr. J. Scott Lidgett (Vice-Chan? cellor of London University and leader of the Federal Council of Evangelical Churches) wrote : "I am deeply impressed by your statements and in com? plete agreement with your arguments and your conclusion." 14 Those present, apart from the Grand Rabbin and myself, included :? Oberrabbiher F?rst, Dr. S. Pinchas Kohn, and Leo Deutschl?nder (Vienna); Drs. J. Freimann, S. Gr?nberg, M. Hildesheimer, and Legationsrat Dr. Sobernheim (Berlin) ; Rabbiner Dr. J. Horovitz, Herr Jakob Rosenheim, and Dr. Blau, President of the Jewish Community (Frankfort); Dr. Lewen stein (Zurich); Herr Alexander Levy (Hamburg); Rabbi M. Liber (Paris); Dr. Pf?lzer (Weinheim); Oberrabbiner Senator Rubinstein (Vilna), and Rabbiner Dr. L. Rosenthal (Cologne). Dr. Adolf Jacobus, now of Haifa, was present by invitation. The membership of the Executive Committee was increased from four to eight. The new members were Senator Rubinstein, Dr. S. Gr?nberg, Dr. Jakob Horovitz, and Rabbi Aaron Lewin, Rzeszow, Poland. It was also arranged that Herr Jakob Rosenheim was to be the permanent deputy for Oberrabbiner F?rst.</page><page sequence="33">220 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 15 The Conference contemplated the calling into existence of a Council of the Jewish Communities of the World to whom the Executive would render account, and that this pan-Jewish Council would supply the not inconsiderable funds required. As this Council was never summoned, the task of financing the secretariat and other expenses was left to me. A letter was addressed by me to the leading British congregations, at Home and Overseas, inviting their monetary assistance in this sacred work. In London, the United Synagogue and the Congregation of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews were the first to respond ; the Federation of Synagogues was the most generous in its support. A small contribution was also received from the Adath Yisroel Congregation. The other communities co-operating were :? Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Cape Town (Great, and New Synagogue), Coventry, Edinburgh, Grimsby, Harrogate, Hull (Old Synagogue), Newcastle-on-Tyne (Jesmond), Johannesburg (United Congrega? tion), Leeds (United Congregation), Leicester, Liverpool (Great, Central, and Shaw Street), Manchester (Great, South, Crumpsall, Warsaw, Higher Broughton, and Shaare Zedek), Montreal, Nottingham, Perth (West Australia), Reading, Southport, Sunderland, and West Hartlepool. Assistance was also received from the Geneva community, and the Preussischer Landesverband j?discher Gemeinden. 16 Besides those enumerated, there also spoke Drs. S. Gr?nberg, J. Horovitz, P. Kohn, and T. Lewenstein. It may be mentioned that soon after the members and visitors had entered the hall for the opening session, Cotsworth's pamphlet, Opposition of the Rabbis, was handed to them. One wonders whether the Secretariat of the League would have permitted, or refrained from protesting against, the distri? bution of such a pamphlet, if the attack had been directed against, say, the Catholic Faith and a Catholic religious dignitary. 17 Paragraphs 44 and 45 of the Report read :? " The Opposition to the introducing of 4 supplementary ' days was particularly marked in the case of two religious confessions, whose repre? sentatives were heard by the Preparatory Committee?viz., the Jews and the Seventh-Day Adventists. These communities consider that this reform would result in serious drawbacks from the economic and social points of view. The Jewish religious authorities, for example, although keeping for religious purposes a separate calendar of their own and believing that the Sabbath should always be celebrated on the seventh day of each week in uninterrupted succession, [maintain that] the disturbance made in the regular cycle of weeks by the introduction of one or two 4 supplementary ' days would have the result that the Sabbath would no</page><page sequence="34">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 221 longer always coincide with the Saturday of the civil calendar, as is the case at present, but would have to be celebrated in turn on different days of the week. It would be the same for the Seventh-Day Adventists. The representatives of Jewish circles declare that this situation would render the observance of the Sabbath difficult to reconcile with social require? ments such as school attendance for children, and economic necessities such as the exercise of professions, etc. " The advocates of the institution of a perpetual calendar, on the other hand, urge that the drawbacks from the economic and social points of view, which would be suffered by a minority as a result of the reform, should not prevail against the advantages which such a reform might have for a large majority. They also pointed out that, in their opinion, the fears expressed above were perhaps exaggerated ; that, for example, in the case of the Jews, the obligation of school attendance on Saturdays, which at present exists in a certain number of countries, has not given rise to any protest on the part of the Jews in these countries and that, as regards the exercise of professions, if the Sabbath did not necessarily coincide with Saturday, the situation would not be materially different for Jews from that which existed a few years ago when business activities were pursued on Saturdays in the same way as on other days." Records and Texts relating to the Fourth General Conference on Com? munications and Transit held at Geneva, October 12-24, 1931, vol. i., Calendar Reform, p. 59. 18 CHANGES IN THE CALENDAR?EIGHT-DAY WEEK IN DECEMBER ? Objections to League Proposal To the Editor of " The Times " Sir,?In the midst of the stress of the present financial and political crisis, an attempt will be made next month at Geneva by a League of Nations Committee to decide upon a radical change of the Calendar. A grave threat to religious life is contained in the schemes most favoured by the Committee. It is the proposal to make the last week of each Decem? ber an " eight-day week." Such an eight-day week would obviously alter the true days of the week, and make the religious, as distinct from the secular, Sabbath move to a different week-day each year. It is needless to say what endless hardship this would bring to the conforming Jew and, I venture to state, to millions in the other denominations who would remain loyal to their sacred and historic Day of Rest. Nothing short of a world-wide, public demand for a new Calendar would justify the League in giving serious consideration to a revolutionary measure Q</page><page sequence="35">222 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. of this nature. Such world-wide demand or desire does not exist. In 1928, after various Governments had officially stated their objection to any inter? ference with the seven-day week, the League officials urged the appointment of national committees of inquiry in each country in order further to gauge public opinion on the question. Only 28 nations appointed such committees, and of these no more than 14 took sufficient interest to issue a report?Great Britain, Italy, and Holland, among others, voicing their opposition. In spite of this, the League Conference will probably pursue its own way and pass a scheme for an eight-day week at the October meeting. An attempt will then no doubt be made to prove that this country is in some way com? mitted to the new Calendar, before the nation has had an opportunity to realise the social and religious confusion that would inevitably follow its adoption. Friends of the League still hope against hope that the Conference will not altogether forget two things : first, the policy laid down eight years ago, 44 not to consider any changes in the existing conditions unless such changes were definitely demanded by public opinion " ; and, secondly, that the League's most sacred charge is the protection of religious minorities. Faithfully yours, J. H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi. Office of the Chief Rabbi, 4 St. James's Place, Aldgate, E.C. 3, Sept. 14. P.S.?For obvious reasons, this letter in no way presumes to bear on the fixation of Easter, which besides is a matter quite distinct from the danger of an eight-day week. I forwarded to the Secretariat reprints of this letter to The Times and requested that it be furnished to the members of the forthcoming Conference. This was refused by the Secretariat, on the ground that it " cannot undertake to distribute to the Conference any matter of a polemic character." To this I replied, on October 5, as follows :? " Unless the forthcoming Conference is merely intended mechanically to pass the Report submitted to it by the Preparatory Committee, I cannot see how a succinct resume of the case against the eight-day week can be refused circulation to the members of the Conference, and be dis? missed as 4 polemic' 44 Furthermore, you no doubt recollect that just prior to the opening of the session of the Preparatory Committee on June 9th, a pamphlet, Opposition of the Rabbis?offensively libellous to Judaism?was dis? tributed to all present by persons who appeared to be officials or employees of the League. In view of this tolerance extended to Mr. Cotsworth's scurrilous attack, I am, frankly speaking, more than puzzled by the attitude indicated in your letter."</page><page sequence="36">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 223 19 The Bishop of Gloucester in The Times, November 1, 1926. The characterisation of the new Calendar is by the Dean of Ely. 20 Resolutions similar in effect to the above were passed by the Jewish communities of the following countries : number Australia .......... 7 Austria . . . . . . . ? . .11 Belgium .......... 8 Bulgaria (Consistoire Centrale, in the name of Bulgarian Jewry) Canada .......... 4 Czecho-Slovakia ........ 126 Denmark (Community of Copenhagen) Egypt (Community of Alexandria) ..... Esthonia .......... 6 France and Algeria ........ 178 Germany .......... 609 Great Britain. .174 Hungary .......... 106 Irish Free State ........ 3 Italy.40 Yugoslavia ......... 114 Lithuania ......... 101 Netherlands (De Centrale Commissie tot de Algemeene Zaken van het Nederlandsch Israel Kerkgenootschap, in the name of Dutch Jewry) New Zealand.2 Palestine .......... 4 Poland.314 Rumania ......... 207 Switzerland ......... 28 Union of South Africa ....... 25 The following Resolutions were received too late for presentation :? Germany (additional) . . . . . . .141 Rumania ? ....... 28 Poland ? .27 Austria ? ....... 7 Greece .......... 12 Turkey.1 Morocco . ......... 3 Union of South Africa (additional) ..... 2</page><page sequence="37">224 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 21 The following are the exact numbers of those who signed the Petitions against the proposed Blank Day Calendar in the various countries :? NUMBER Poland. 224,911 Holland. 57,161 Hungary. 52,240 Lithuania. 33,100 Rumania ......... 25,198 Greece. . . 24,056 Latvia. 23,429 Austria. 21,070 Czechoslovakia. 20,790 Germany. 17,282 France and Algeria ....... 16,210 Tunis. 4,256 Morocco. 1,986 Irak. 1,716 Esthonia and Finland. 1,300 Denmark. 1,260 India (Bombay) ........ 485 Syria (Damascus) ....... 375 Norway. 170 22 Religious Aspects of Calendar Reform, pp. 5 and 10. 23 Roger Williams (1604-1684). Friend of Cromwell and Milton, and pioneer of religious liberty in America; founder of the colony of Rhode Island upon a basis of complete religious toleration. His statue forms part of the Reformation Monument at Geneva. 24 To counteract this and correct the mischievous partisan statements of the Reformers, the Sabbatarian observers decided to issue a brief resume of the true facts of the case. It was published and circulated on the first day of the Conference. See Appendix C, p. 66. 25 One of the Americans waxed eloquent over the vital part that statistics played in modern economic life ; pointed to the pages devoted to weekly statistics in a paper like the New York Times; and added, with reference to the present economic depression, that " only statistics could answer the question whether matters were becoming better or worse." To this Sir John drily retorted that, " judging by the events of the last years, those pages of statistics were of little value in foretelling the present financial crisis."</page><page sequence="38">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 225 26 Among them, the joke concerning the two Jews who started from Geneva in opposite directions to travel round the world and, on completing their journey, found that one had lost a day, and that the other had gained a day. " Why then," asked the Spanish delegate, " do Sabbatarians make all this ado about one eight-day week in the year ? " The answer, of course, is that the word " day " is here used in two different senses. " Day " means one complete rotation of the earth round its axis in any one place where we happen to be. In the story of the two wandering Jews, however, the word " day " means the time it takes for the earth to rotate round its axis in any place, plus the difference in hours occasioned by our journey on the earth, if we travel eastward against the sun ; or minus the difference in hours, if we travel westward with the sun ! 27 See Appendix D, p. 69. The vote in favour was 27 delegations ; one delegation voted against, and four delegations abstained. The result was almost everywhere hailed with satisfaction. A typical comment is that in The Christian of October 19 :? " Calendar Reform " The League of Nations'Conference on Communications and Transit has concluded its discussion on Calendar Reform ; and beyond adopting a declaration in favour of a fixed Easter, it makes no recommendation for other changes in the Gregorian Calendar. On many accounts this result is to be welcomed with thankfulness. Whereas a short time ago it seemed certain that an Eight-Day Week would be established, now, at length, in the words of Dr. Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, ' the delegates of forty nations have rung down the curtain on the Calendar Reform movement, and the curtain will remain down for at least a generation.' " The movement itself was an artificial product of American propaganda, pushed with great energy ; and seeing that the Sabbath law and other sacred institutions were involved, the Jews organised resistance on an extended scale. For a time their claims were treated with contempt, but at length it became evident to those who had accepted the new proposal, that merely economic considerations could not carry the day with success and to real advantage, in face of century-old habits rooted in the religious life and experience of influential communities." Congratulations reached me from all over the world. The following are fairly representative of informed Jewish opinion on the matter.</page><page sequence="39">226 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. Mr. Paul Goodman, Secretary of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, London, wrote on November 4, 1931 :? " I have been directed to convey to you the very warm congratulations of the Mahamad at the success which has attended your unremitting efforts to avert the incalculable consequences to Jewish religious life which the proposed changes in the Calendar would have entailed, and to assure you that the Executive of this Congregation deeply appreciate the foremost part which you have taken at Geneva in defending the interests of Judaism generally." The President of the Budapest Community wrote on December 11,1931 : " Hochw?rdiger Herr Grossrabbiner ! *' Der Vorstand der Pester Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde begr?sst Ew. Hochw?rden mit aufrichtiger Ehrfurcht aus dem Anlasse, dass es gelang die Kalenderreform bei dem V?lkerbunde zu verhindern. " Das heiligste Symbol unserer Religion ist uns nun wieder voll? kommen gegeben. Den Kampf f?hrten Ew. Hochw?rden mit uner? sch?tterlicher Energie erfolgreich zu Ende, und nur dieser ist es zu verdanken, dass der Sieg uns begl?ckte. Fest is der Sabbath verankert an seinem traditionell bestimmten Tage, und wenn in j?dischen H?usern die Sabbath-Kerzen aufleuchten werden, dann werden begl?ckte Herzen dankbar Ew. Hochw?rden gedenken. " Unter den Vielen wollen auch wir uns befinden, emfangen daher Ew. Hochw?rden auch unseren ehrfurchtsvollsten Dank." The Jewish Chronicle of December 20, 1931, in reporting the meeting at which the present paper was read, writes :? " Tributes to the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire for the potent part which he took in defeating the Calendar Reform Proposal, were paid at the Annual General Meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of England. "Mr. Gustave Tuck, the President, presided over a large and distinguished audience. "Mr. Tuck referred to the address which the Chief Rabbi was about to deliver on the story of the struggle for the Calendar at Geneva. The great work which Dr. Hertz carried on for many months in order to avert what might have been a catastrophe to Judaism and Jewish observance had the Calendar alterations triumphed at Geneva, said Mr. Tuck, was work which would remain a permanent testimony to his zeal for his faith and the honour of his high office. " Mr. Nahum Sokolow, the President of the Zionist Organisation, in proposing a vote of thanks to Dr. Hertz, after the reading of the</page><page sequence="40">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 227 paper, said that the work which he had done at Geneva was a great accomplishment both for the cause of their religion and their people, as well as for that of liberty and the rights of minorities. " Mr. 0. E. d'Avigdor Goldsmid, the President of the Jewish Board of Deputies, said he had very close personal knowledge of what had been accomplished at Geneva by the Chief Rabbi, who had throughout been the mainspring and the driving power which had organised World Jewry in the matter." A few days after the meeting of the Jewish Historical Society, I received from Rabbi Alessandro da Fano, of Milan, the following resume of the audience he had of the Pope on November 28,1931, in the matter of the Reform of the Calendar, together with full permission to publish the same:? " I congratulated His Holiness regarding the attitude taken up by the Catholic Church in the matter of the proposed Reform of the Calendar. I pointed out to him the grave disturbance which this would have brought to the century-old cycle of weeks, removing what is now the universal disposition of the days of the week in such a manner that not only the Jewish Sabbath, but also the Christian Sunday, would have lost their fixed traditional stability as the seventh day of repose, ordained by the Bible. 44 The Pope very cordially pointed out to me that this could not take place according to the rules which regulate the Church, because the displacing of the Sabbath brought with it also that of Sunday, whereas the traditions established by the canons of the Church are opposed to the change. ... 44 Hence it appears to me possible to deduce that the Church will never be favourable to such changes." An anticipation of this attitude of Pope Pius XI is the denial by H.E. Cardinal Bourne, in September 1931, that the Vatican had ever declared that there was no religious objection to the eight-day week Calendar. 28 The American Associated Press of September 16, in bringing the news of the Eastman gift referred to in the Prefatory Note, states that the Geneva Conference of 1931 resolved to defer " conclusive action on the question of Calendar Reform to a future Conference scheduled for 1935." This statement is typical of the methods to which the American Calendar Reformers seem to be wedded. Anyone who will turn to the Resolution of the Geneva Conference, on pages 69-71, will see that " the Conference did not think fit to express any opinion on the principle of Calendar Reform," and that there is in it no mention whatsoever of any future Conference.</page><page sequence="41">228 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. APPENDIX A Changing the Calendar?Consequent Dangers and Confusions By the Chief Rabbi (Dr. J. H. Hertz). Prefatory Note The following pages are substantially the Statement made by me to the League of Nations Calendar Reform Committee of Enquiry (British) on December 10, 1930. The proposed change of the Calendar discussed in this Statement, viz. the introduction of a so-called " blank day " is a serious danger to Religious Freedom, and would prove a source of confusion to mankind. My primary concern is, of course, its effect upon the religious and economic life of the Jewish people ; but the considerations adduced by me bring out, I trust, its evil results to Humanity at large. " If the proposal in question "?it may be asked?" is both as mischievous and inane as it is represented in these pages, surely it cannot receive sufficient support to be adopted at Geneva." This is, however, to underrate the power of American propaganda in favour of the new Calendar?propaganda which is world-wide, reckless of expense, and not over-scrupulous. Eternal vigilance is the price of religious liberty. J. H. H. London, February 12, 1931. I. Jews are not on principle opposed to every change in the Calendar. Pro? posals in connection with a Fixed Easter, the equalisation of the months, the date of the beginning of the year?whether it should be December 22 or remain as it is?do not in any way affect the Jewish Church. What Jews are absolutely opposed to is? (1) That the present length of the week be in any circumstances inter? fered with ; and (2) That the regular sequence of seven-day weeks shall at any time and in any way be interrupted by the introduction of a " blank day" " zero day," or " nameless day"</page><page sequence="42">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 229 On this point there is no division of opinion in Jewry; and all sections view the proposed new Calendar with the utmost concern. . . . The results of a nomadic Sabbath (and the Christian Lord's Day and Moslem Weekly Sacred Day would similarly be constantly moving backward) would be extremely serious. (a) In Judaism, it would tend to destroy the whole Sabbath idea among the masses of our people, and thus undermine their moral and religious anchorage. Englishmen who understand the immeasurable spiritual influence of Sunday observance in the upbuilding of the English character will realise the seriousness of such a result. (b) It would penalise that section of the Jewish people which is most loyal to its religious conviction. With the Sabbath occurring on a different day of the week each year, and the legal compulsion of observing also the civil Day of Rest according to the new Calendar, Jews would in fact be called upon to observe two days of rest in one week. The economic difficulties of Sabbath observance for the majority of Jews would thus be overwhelming. (c) If any new Calendar with a " blank day " is adopted by the League of Nations, and becomes law in the various States of Europe, it would give rise to religious disabilities, nay, to religious persecution, not only of Jews but of all religious minorities. One example will suffice. Most civilised States make school attendance of children under a certain age compulsory. With a wandering Sabbath, the child would be expected to attend on what the con? scientious Jewish or Christian or Moslem parent would deem to be his true day of rest. Central European countries enforce school attendance under heavy penalties, such as imprisonment for resistance. In the present state of European politics, many Governments may be trusted to carry out these penalties rigorously against religious minorities, and especially so against Jews. The introduction of this proposed Calendar would thus inevitably bring with it attacks on the civic, economic, and religious rights of religious minorities. II. This last consideration shows that the " blank day " Calendar touches disadvantageously others besides Jews, and that it is not only Jews who object, or will object, when once they realise what is meant by, and involved in, the astounding proposal of a " blank day " Calendar. I am not at all sure that the great mass of the people in Western countries are ready to throw their time-honoured institutions to the wind, merely to facilitate book? keeping and the collection of thirteen monthly rents a year instead of twelve, Officially, I can speak only for my own Church. I should, however, be sur? prised if the Scottish people, e.g., would meekly, peacefully, and unanimously assent to an exchange of their olden Sabbath for a floating Lord's Day. Neither is there, as far as I am aware, justification for the assumption made</page><page sequence="43">230 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. in the propaganda literature for the new Calendar, that the Catholic Church has no objection whatsoever to a wandering Sunday. As for the Orthodox Church of Rumania, the Chief Metropolitan officially declared to the League of Nations Committee : "A break in the continuity of the week would be regarded as inadmissible by the Rumanian Orthodox Church." The protests from the religious world would undoubtedly have been far more numerous, if the matter had ever been fully and fairly put before the Churches in all its bearings and implications. This has not been the case. It is to me disquieting that in neither the American nor the British Committee of Enquiry are there included representatives of the religious life. This seems to be part of a deliberate attempt to rush the representatives of commerce to commit themselves to a " blank day " Calendar, before they have had an opportunity of realising the far-reaching consequences of their action. What is even more serious, the questionnaires for gauging public opinion in the various countries, which have been sent out by the National Committees of Enquiry at the instance of the League of Nations Secretariat, largely prejudge the question. They have been sent only to those likely to favour a reform of the Calendar ; and none but " blank day " schemes are the alternatives placed before them, should they favour any departure from, the present Calendar. On a matter of such vital significance to the believing world as a change in the Calendar with the disastrous results that may flow from such change, I venture to suggest that a referendum be taken. Only in that way would the issue be thoroughly brought home to the people. At present, not one person in 50,000 has sufficient knowledge of the question to express an intel? ligent opinion on it. By means of a referendum, its larger bearings would be everywhere discussed and understood by the masses ; and then by a general vote of the people on this single point of the " blank day," and only by such a general vote, could an equitable decision be arrived at. There is not the shadow of a doubt that in that case the proposal would be lost by an over? whelming majority. But even if the " blank day " Calendar be adopted in any one country, a considerable minority would in every religious community indignantly reject such a revolutionary change in their religious life ; and they would continue to observe the old Sacred Day, no matter on what day of the week according to the proposed Calendar it would fall. The new Calendar would thus defeat that very uniformity of time-reckoning that is put forward as a main argument for Calendar Reform. III. Advocates of the projected Calendar claim that in reference to the " blank day'' proposal, Business is in favour and Religion against. This is not a correct summary of the position, even as regards America.</page><page sequence="44">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 231 In America, where a powerful propaganda, dispensing vast sums of money on behalf of the " blank day " Calendar, has been going on for years, a strong minority opposed any change in the Calendar, when a Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States had this matter under considera? tion, and declared :? " Generally speaking, the civilised world does now possess a calendar enjoying substantial uniformity. The infliction of a new Calendar, having radical departures from the present, or attempting to improve it, would mean annoyance to millions of people, would bring discomfiture to great sects which view the present Calendar with religious loyalty, and would offer nothing of a substantial value to any single business. . . . The proposal has no popular backing worth mentioning." And in the same way as Business is not all in favour of the 44 blank day " Calendar, not all the opposition is confined to Religion. Governments are not very enthusiastic. Typical instances are India and Germany. In its reply to the League of Nations the Government of India writes :? 4' It is in the last degree improbable that the communities in India will ever adopt such drastic changes, involving the giving up of a lunar solar Calendar based on the ancient systems of astronomy and indis solubly tied up with the Hindu religion. The fixation of week-days and yearly 4 blank days ' will equally fail to appeal to popular sentiment in India, even supposing these changes are adopted in Europe at some distant day. The Indian week is the only division of time common to the Indian and European modes of reckoning of time ; and as the Indian Calendar cannot change its week-days unless it suffers total annihilation, there will be hopeless confusion if the day which is to be called Sunday in English continues to be called, as now, Monday in the Indian language." Here you have not only a small group like the Jews, or the Seventh-Day Baptists, objecting to this proposed Calendar, but India, a land of hundreds of millions. Just as outspoken is the refusal of Germany. 44 The German Government cannot agree that the general public would experience any essential benefits if the dates fell on the same day of the week every year [which is held forth as perhaps the greatest benefit from the 4 blank day ' Calendar]. The strict correspondence of the days of the week with the dates of the month would in certain circumstances seem to involve disadvantages from the legal and economic points of view, and also for history, since it would make it impossible to deduce the unknown year of an event from the date of the month and the day of the week on which it was known to have occurred."</page><page sequence="45">232 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. The German Government rightly points to the needlessness of the pro? jected Calendar, as well as to some of its dangers. Consider for one moment the endless litigation in connection with leases that would follow in the wake of the change from a twelve-month year to one of thirteen months, aggravated by the backward wanderings of the true days of the week because of the yearly '' blank day.'' And almost as serious would be the complications in the matter of historical dates and anniversaries. Cumbersome Adjustment Tables would be required in connection with such historical dates and anniversaries, to unravel with which day of the new Calendar they correspond. (Birthdays would be hopelessly upset; while, as the year is to be divided into 13 months of 28 days each, all those born on the 29th, 30th, or 31st of months would be compelled to forgo theirs altogether.) The Netherlands Government likewise objects to the " blank day " feature in any revision of the Calendar. [As for Italy, the Committee of Enquiry appointed by the Italian Government has on all grounds?scientific, political, economic, and religious?unanimously reported against any change in the Calendar.]* The Government of France in its reply puts forward the opinion of its leading astronomers, among them M. Emile Picard, Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Science, France, who writes :? " One essential point is the continuity of the week. The majority of the members of the Office of Longitude considered that the reform of the Calendar should not be based on the breaking of this continuity. They considered that it would be highly undesirable to interrupt a con? tinuity which has existed for so many centuries." He might have said " millennia " instead of " centuries," as the week goes back to the dawn of human civilisation ; and, in the words of Laplace, " is the most ancient and most incontestable monument of human intelligence." IV. On all previous occasions when the Calendar was changed, the week remained intact. From the time of the Venerable Bede, who first called attention to the defects of the Julian Calendar in that it went behind one day in every 128 years, revision of the Calendar was for seven centuries earnestly discussed by the learned men of Europe. But in all these centuries no one ever suggested a * This was reported in The Times of January 19 last, and is here included for the sake of completeness, though it occurred after the reading of this State? ment before the British Committee of Enquiry.</page><page sequence="46">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 233 scheine of revision that involved breaking the continuity of the week. When at last Pope Gregory XIII. took the matter in hand, the old Calendar was eleven days behind; and, therefore, he decreed that Thursday, October 4, 1582, was to be followed by Friday, October 15, 1582. There was thus no tampering with the week. England adopted Pope Gregory's Calendar in 1752. The old Calendar was then twelve days behind ; therefore Wednesday, September 2, 1752, was followed by Thursday, September 14, 1752 : likewise without any interference with the continuity of the week. The same thing held good when in our own times the Gregorian Calendar was successively adopted by Turkey (1917), Russia (1918), and Greece (1923): in no single instance was the succession of the days of the week interrupted. In fact, the week has never before been interfered with, except on two occasions, and both of these in the service of social upheaval and militant atheism : at the time of the French Revolution, when a ten-day week was introduced with the avowed aim of destroying Christianity ; and recently in Soviet Russia, where a five-day week has been ordained because it would be an invaluable aid in uprooting religion. A few individual voices of protest addressed at various times to the League of Nations Committee may in conclusion be heard. One is that of the late Lucien Wolf. When, on February 16, 1925, he accompanied the Jewish Deputation to the League of Nations against the " blank day " proposal, he declared :? " In view of the present chaotic condition in Eastern Europe, no thinking man can contemplate a measure which is calculated at once to undermine the moral anchorage of a large and stable element of the population and to aggravate the economic difficulties of those who wish to remain true to the teachings of a sound policy." The other two were raised four years later, in March 1929, at the meeting of the League of Nations Committee in charge of the Enquiry into the Reform of the Calendar. Mr. J. G. Baldwin [now Sir John Baldwin], the representative of Great Britain, then said that the value of a fixed Calendar from the statistical point of view had been greatly exaggerated. It was perfectly pointless to declare that one day in the year would have no name. People would continue to be born and to die on that day, business would proceed just as usual, and account would have to be taken of this in statistics. There were in fact 365 * 25 days in the year, and that fact could not be ignored. At that same meeting, His Excellency M. Duzmans, Latvia's Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations, uttered a solemn warning against the whole idea of the " blank day " Calendar. He maintained that nothing less than culture and the foundations of civilisation were at stake in connection with this contemplated change. He protested against the suggestion of</page><page sequence="47">234 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. sacrificing matters of real importance on the altar of accountancy and statis? tics. Having destroyed a number of exceedingly important traditions and religious landmarks, they would find that the statistical benefits were ridicu? lously small by comparison. The results of this pseudo-reform would be disastrous, and in this matter the laugh might be with those past-masters whose destructive work was seen in the Third International. He was really upset by this readiness to change certain bases of the traditions of civilisation and, if he might use the unfortunate neologism, to " Americanise " and mechanise life. V. I believe I have said enough to show that the proposed Calendar with the " blank day " feature would be anything but an unmixed blessing. . . . There are other schemes of Calendar Reform that do not involve any " blank day " device.* . . . But if we must have a year of exactly 364 days, the last day of the ordinary years and the last two days of the leap-years could accumulate, and every six years form a full leap-week. Or, let them accumulate until they form a full month, which would be the case every twenty-three years. If an instructed public opinion, after full, free, and open discussion, really demanded reform of the Calendar, such reform could then be had? without causing perturbation of conscience, economic loss, and religious persecution to religious minorities in this or any other country. * See F. A. Black, The Calendar and its Reform, 1932, and C. C. Wylie, Calendar Improvement Without Legislation; published by the University Association for the Study of Calendar Beform, University of Iowa, 1931.</page><page sequence="48">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 235 APPENDIX B Reply to Marvin and Cotsworth's Pamphlet (" Moses the Greatest of Calendar Reformers ") By Rev. Dr. M. Hyamson. For several years past, the International Fixed Calendar League has been engaged in a persistent propaganda for a simplification of the calendar in current use. The proposal favoured is to substitute for the present twelve months of varying lengths, a year of thirteen months?each month to be exactly four weeks or twenty-eight days, and always beginning on Sunday. To secure this result, it will be necessary to drop one day every year and two days every fourth year. Under this plan, the Jewish Sabbath, the Christian Lord's Day, and the Moslem Friday would lose their fixity and be pushed back one day each year and two days after every fourth (leap) year. Such a plan, universally imposed, might be of financial advantage to big business, but it would shock the conscience of those who regard the fixed weekly Sabbath as a sacred institution, divinely appointed, and would entail severe hardships on those who wished to keep their Sabbath on the right day. To quiet the conscience of such pious folk, Dr. Charles F. Marvin and Mr. Moses B. Cotsworth compiled a pamphlet called " Moses the Greatest of Calendar Reformers." The joint authors claim that the greatest of Israel's prophets, the leader and law-giver of the Hebrew people, was the originator of a blank day every year?thus justifying a similar device advocated by the proponents of the new calendar. . . . The authors make no secret of their aim and purpose. Their thesis is set forth on the title-page in the following terms :? " The Mosaic Calendar was made perpetual by extending the seventh Sabbath after Passover to include the fiftieth day as the extra yearly Sabbath feast of Pentecost. The effect which the extra Sabbath inserted at Pentecost had on the Mosaic Calendar was to cause each work day, Sabbath and Festival to recur annually on the same calendar day in all subsequent years. By the same method, it is now proposed that the day ending each calendar year (herein called Year-Day) be inserted as an extra Sabbath in the present necessarily changing calendar. . . ." They assume that not only Passover but every festival mentioned in the Pentateuch took place and had to take place on the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. They further assume that six days of labour had to precede not</page><page sequence="49">236 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. only the weekly Sabbath but every feast too. They consequently also assume that the second day of Passover, on which the wave-offering of barley was to be brought, always had to fall on the first day of the week. With that day commenced the counting of seven complete weeks. The forty-ninth day, according to their reckoning, would thus fall on the seventh-day Sabbath. The next day, the first day of the week, would be the feast of Weeks or Pente? cost (fiftieth day). But as, according to these gentlemen's theory, every feast had necessarily to fall on the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, the feast of Pentecost, which, according to their hypothesis, actually fell on the first day of the week, had to be regarded as falling on the Sabbath. Hence the con? clusion of these writers, that Moses appointed an extra Sabbath every year at the feast of Weeks. . . . The question that will occur to every impartial and unprejudiced mind is, what warranty have they for their assumptions (1) that a feast had necessarily to fall on the Sabbath ; (2) that every feast, like every Sabbath, had necessarily to be preceded by six working days ; (3) that the fiftieth day from the second day of Passover had to fall on the first day of the week, and that this day, the feast of Pentecost, always falling, according to them, on the first day of the week, was counted as an extra seventh-day Sabbath ? What are the foundations on which they build their theories ? There is a text (Lev. xxiii. 15-16) which they render as follows :? " Ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering ; seven Sabbaths shall there be complete. Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days, and ye shall offer a new meal offering unto the Lord." From this rendering they draw the conclusion : " The forty-ninth day was the seventh Sabbath after the feast of Unleavened Bread which began on the day following the Passover. The fiftieth day was Pentecost, the yearly extra Sabbath inserted as the eighth week-day that fixed 52 weeks to perpetual yearly dates " (title-page). To this rendering of the text (Lev. xxiii. 15-16), and the reasoning there? from, we would enter a caveat. We would point out that the Hebrew noun for Sabbath, and the Hebrew word from which it is derived, do not solely and exclusively refer to the seventh day of the week. As in all languages, Hebrew words have primary and secondary meanings. Both the noun and the verb have many other significations which are set forth in any recognised Hebrew lexicon or Biblical concordance. The noun is applied to an entire year?the Sabbatical Year : " Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard and gather in the produce thereof. But, the seventh</page><page sequence="50">THE BATTLE FOB, THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 237 year shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath unto the Lord . . . " (Lev. xxv. 3-4). Again, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the year, does not always fall on the seventh day of the week. According to Marvin and Cotsworth's theories, it cannot fall on the weekly day of rest. Yet the Bible styles the Day of Atonement, " A Sabbath of solemn rest " (Lev. xxiii. 32), just as the weekly Sabbath is called " a Sabbath of solemn rest " (Lev. xxiii. 3). As the Hebrew word for Sabbath is not and cannot be restricted to the seventh day of the week, the text (Lev. xxiii. 15) on which these authors rely need not be rendered, " Ye shall count from the morrow of the Sabbath." It may be rendered, and in fact is rendered by many translators and com? mentators, " Ye shall count from the morrow of the feast." The first day of the feast of Passover need not have fallen on the seventh day of the week, in the year of the Exodus, just as it has not always fallen on the seventh day of the week every year since that time. " Ye shall count from the morrow of the feast " is the traditional Jewish rendering of the text. True, the Sadducees took the text to mean, " Ye shall count from the morrow of the Sabbath," but this interpretation of those sectaries does not help Marvin and Cotsworth's hypothesis. For the Sadducees did not assume that the barley wave-offering was always necessarily brought on the second day of Passover, or that the first day of Passover had always to fall on the seventh day of the week. They held that the feast of Passover might begin on any day of the week, and that, as the feast lasted seven days and necessarily contained a Sabbath day, the offering was to be brought on the day following that Sabbath, irrespective of whichever day of the Passover week that weekly Sabbath day might be. Neither the Sadducees nor the Pharisees held the view advanced by Cotsworth and Marvin, that the first day of Passover must always coincide with the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. The next sentence in Lev. xxiii. 15 is rendered in the pamphlet, " Seven Sabbaths shall there be complete." This rendering is awkward. When is a Sabbath incomplete ? A correct and satisfactory translation is, " Seven complete weeks shall they be " ; that is, not six weeks and part of the seventh week, but fully seven weeks. Compare the parallel passage in the book of Deuteronomy: "Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: from the time the sickle is first put to the standing corn shalt thou begin to number seven weeks. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord ..." (Deut. xvi. 9-10). That the feast of Weeks always fell on the first day of the week which was called an extra seventh-day Sabbath, has no warranty in the Scriptures. No commentator, ancient or modern, advances this view. It is a figment of the imagination conceived by a certain Samuel Walker Gamble, from whom Marvin and Cotsworth have taken it without question or critical examination. R</page><page sequence="51">238 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. The writers assert that Moses, " learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians " (Acts vii. 22), adopted the Egyptian Solar Calendar, divided the year into twelve months, each of thirty days ; added three days to the sixth month and two days to the twelfth month to make up the 365 days of the year ; and to make up the extra quarter day of the solar year, added a week in the middle of every cycle of 28 years. The chief change he made in the Egyptian calendar was to begin the Hebrew year in the Spring Equinox, while the Egyptian year began with the Autumn Equinox (p. 6 of pamphlet). All these are assumptions to bolster the theory that the first day of the first month (Exod. xii. 2) must fall on the seventh-day weekly Sabbath and that the first day of Passover and every other feast must fall on the weekly Sabbath?assumptions to serve as a foundation for the further assumption that the feast of Pentecost necessarily fell on the first day of the week and was nevertheless regarded as an extra Sabbath, an assumption that would give religious sanction to the falsification of the days of the week by the fiction of the blank day. Let us deal with the first of these assumptions. " Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians " (Acts vii. 22). It does not, however, therefore follow that he borrowed his calendar from the Egyptians. The religion of the Hebrews was opposed to the Egyptian cult in many respects. It was opposed to the Egyptian caste system, to the Egyptians' worship of animals, to their elaborate and pompous burial cere? monies, to their preservation of human bodies in the form of mummies. So, too, the calendar of the Hebrews was not, like the Egyptian, an exclusively solar, but a lunar-solar calendar. The length of the month was, as the name hodesh indicates, the interval of time between the appearance of one new moon and of the next new moon. Regard was also, however, paid to the seasons. The first of the months is called in the Pentateuch Hodesh Ha-abib (Exod. xiii. 4 ; Deut. xvi. 1, where the phrase occurs twice)?the month of the budding shoots. The first month had always to be in the spring. Marvin and Cotsworth contend that Passover and all the feasts had necessarily to fall on the seventh day of the week. There is no warranty in Scripture for this statement. The first day of Passover is called Mikra Kodesh,'' Holy Convocation '' (Lev. xxiii. 7). The seventh day is also so called (ibid. v. 8). The writers insist that there must be an interval of six working days between one weekly Sabbath day and the next; and that a feast could fall only on a Sabbath. There are not six, but only five days between the first day of Passover and its seventh day. Yet the Bible tells us " on the first day is holy convocation, and on the seventh day is holy convocation " (Exod. xii. 16). Both have the same designation. There is no distinction between the first day and the seventh day of Passover?and yet, if the first day of Passover fell on the Sabbath, the seventh could not possibly fall on the Sabbath.</page><page sequence="52">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 239 Furthermore, the Pentateuch draws a distinction between the weekly Sabbath on the one hand, and festivals when they do not fall on the Sabbath on the other. On the Sabbath and on the Day of Atonement no manner of work may be done (Exod. xx. 10, Lev. xxiii. 3 ; xxiii. 28, 30, 31). But, on the feasts, only servile work is forbidden (Lev. xxiii. 7, 8 ; xxiii. 21, xxiii. 25; xxiii. 35, 36). If these feasts all necessarily fall on the weekly Sabbath, when all manner of work was prohibited, what point is there in the distinction between all manner of work prohibited on the weekly Sabbath and servile work, which alone is forbidden on the feasts ? Preparation of food by fire, i.e. boiling and baking, are expressly forbidden on the weekly Sabbath. Even before the Revelation of the Ten Command? ments at Mount Sinai, Moses exhorted the people on the sixth day of the week ?" To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath unto the Lord. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remaineth over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning " (Exod. xvi. 23). Cooking on the Sabbath was thus prohibited. Furthermore, it is said in the introductory paragraph to the account of the construction of the Tabernacle, " Ye shall not kindle fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day " (Exod. xxxv. 3). On the other hand, we read special exemptions for the feasts. In reference to the Passover it is said, " And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation ; no manner of work shall be done in them save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you " (Exod. xii. 16). According to the accepted tradition, the difference between Sabbath and Festival is that cooking, boiling, and baking are forbidden on the weekly Sabbath, but expressly permitted on festival days, when they do not fall on the Sabbath. What will Marvin and Cotsworth make of the texts just quoted with the distinction between all manner of work forbidden on the Sabbath under penalty of death, on the one hand, and on the other, servile work alone for? bidden on festivals ; between cooking forbidden on the Sabbath and expressly permitted on the first and seventh day of Passover and, by implication, on all the other feasts (except the Day of Atonement, which is called Sabbath of Sabbaths) ? There would be no point in these distinctions expressly made in Scripture if the feasts could fall only on the Sabbath, when preparation of food was specifically forbidden (Exod. xvi. 23). We have already briefly referred to Marvin and Cotsworth's claim that the Mosaic Calendar was purely solar like the Egyptian, and their assertion that it was displaced by the lunar-solar calendar only after the Babylonian captivity. They admit (p. 7) that the lunar-solar calendar was more primi? tive than the solar calendar. Why could not this lunar-solar calendar?in use among the Hebrews before they emigrated to Egypt and while they were there?have been retained by them after they left Egypt ? This lunar-solar</page><page sequence="53">240 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. calendar has been admittedly preserved by the Jews for thousands of years since the Babylonian exile. What proof is there that it was not retained by them after they left Egypt ? If it is Babylonian in origin, did not the first of the three patriarchs come from Ur of the Chaldees in the country of the Babylonians ? Marvin and Cotsworth admit that "we do not find in the Pentateuch any reference to a leap-day method of adjustment which every solar year requires " (p. 8). Their explanation is that, like the Egyptian priests, Moses kept that knowledge from the people. This is a gratuitous assumption of which no proof is offered. There is no warranty for the statement. All the evidence of Scripture is against it. The law of Moses was not given to a class or a tribe, but to all the people. The covenant of the Lord was made with the whole nation. " The Law which Moses commanded us is a heritage of the congregation of Jacob " (Deut. xxxiii. 4). If the priests of Egypt kept the knowledge of their calendar a secret, it was consistent with their caste system. But there was no such caste system in Israel. The authors of the pamphlet are confident that the calendar they impute to Moses and the Code of Laws were both written in the Book of Laws deposited in the Ark of the Covenant (p. 8). The Code is extant in the Pentateuch. But as to the calendar which they attribute to the Lawgiver, there is no evidence that it was written down in the five books of Moses. They assert that it was lost, and they claim that they have rediscovered it. Their elaborate reconstruction is sheer hypothesis. They state that " although the Egyptian year began at the autumnal equinox, Moses made the year begin at the vernal equinox " (p. 8). This is only partly correct. The month of Israel's redemption was indeed appointed the first of the months (Exod. xii. 2) ; but the seventh month is also called " the end of the year " or " the turn of the year " (Exod. xxiii. 16 ; xxxiv. 22). All the rest of their statements?that Moses adopted the Egyptian Calendar, that he divided the solar year into twelve equal parts of thirty days each, that he added three days at the end of the sixth, and two days at the end of the twelfth month, are pure assumptions unsupported by proof. . . . There is no justification for using the authority of the Hebrew lawgiver as a sanction for the fiction of a " blank day " at the end of every year, and an extra blank day every fourth year, which would destroy the fixity of the Sabbath.</page><page sequence="54">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 241 APPENDIX C Facts about Calendar Reform. Issued by the International Religious Liberty Association (Founded 1888) The International Religious Liberty Association views with amazement the arguments employed by some of those who have been agitating for a " fixed " Calendar with an " eight-day week " at the end of each year. It considers itself in duty bound to call attention to some of the misstatements which are being circulated. (I) It is misleading to state that a change of the Calendar is demanded by public opinion in a majority of countries. (2) It is misleading to state that in those countries which reported in favour of the thirteen-month plan, opinion is virtually unanimous. (3) It is misleading to state that public opinion in the United States is virtually unanimous in favour of changing the Calendar. (1) The fact is that, out of 60 countries approached by the League of Nations upon this question, only 28 are officially recorded as having set up Committees of Enquiry. Of these, no more than 14 made a formal report. Eight only of the 14 ?i.e. 13 per cent, of the total?were unconditionally in favour of change. (2) The fact is that in Portugal, for example, out of 299 bodies con? sulted, only 33 favoured the thirteen month Calendar with the " eight day week." Just as striking is the absence of unanimity in the few other coun? tries favouring radical Calendar change. (3) The fact is that as the result of a questionnaire submitted to 2,777 leading business organisations of America by the United States Chamber of Commerce, 43 per cent., or 1,197 of these organisations, voted against the revision of the calendar known as the Cotsworth plan.</page><page sequence="55">242 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. (4) It is misleading to state that the so-called National Committee on Calendar Simplification for the United States?which advocates the thirteen month " eight-day week " Calendar? represents the opinion of the United States Government. (5) It is misleading to state that India would welcome the introduction of the " eight-day week " Calendar to displace the numerous calendars now used there. (6) It is misleading to state that religious opposition to the plan is con? fined to the Jews, Seventh-Day Adven tists and Seventh-Day Baptists. (7) It is misleading to state that the Universal Christian Council for Life and Work is in favour of the " eight-day week " Calendar. (4) The fact is that, according to the United States Acting Secretary of State, " the National Committee on Calendar Simplification has no official, or semi-official, relationship to the United States Government. The Committee was organised as a result of private initiative. ..." (5) The fact is that the Govern? ment of India, in its official com? munication to the League of Nations, writes: " It is in the last degree improbable that the communities in India will ever adopt such drastic changes." (6) The fact is that resolutions expressing their opposition have been passed by the National Free Church Council and the Federal Council of Evangelical Free Churches, representing the Nonconformist re? ligious bodies of Great Britain. In addition, the Lord's Day Observance Society, with a wide following in both the Church of England and the Nonconformist bodies, has publicly voiced its opposition to this revo? lutionary proposal. Furthermore, the Disciples of Christ, with a world membership of three and a half million communi? cants, have voted against any Calendar with the " eight-day week." (7) The fact is that on Sep? tember 19, 1931, the Council of this body officially dissociated itself from the Fixed Calendar League which advocates the " eight-day week " Calendar.</page><page sequence="56">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 243 (8) It is misleading to state that an annual double Sabbath, to absorb the last " odd " day of the Solar year, is sanctioned in the Bible. (9) It is misleading to say that the Vatican has declared officially that there is no objection to the " eight-day week " plan from the religious point of view. (10) It is that the Greek wholly in favour of the week " plan. (8) The fact is that this idea is dismissed by Bible scholars and the Jewish religious authorities as base? less and fantastic. . . . (9) The fact is that His Emin? ence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, has authorised the statement that there is no authority whatsoever for such an assertion. (10) The fact is that the Ru? manian Government has forwarded to the League of Nations the official opinion of the Chief Metropolitan of Rumania, who declares : "A break in the continuity of the cycle of weeks would be regarded as inad? missible by the Rumanian Orthodox Church." C. S. LONGACRE, General Secretary International Religious Liberty Association, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. misleading to state Orthodox Church is " eight-day</page><page sequence="57">244 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. APPENDIX D Resolution of the International Conference on the Reform of the Calendar, Adopted October 19, 1931 " The Conference decides to transmit to Governments invited to the Conference the following survey of the economic and social aspects of the simplifica? tion of the Gregorian Calendar : 44 The Conference has taken cognisance of the report of the Preparatory Committee on the question of the economic and social aspects of the simpli? fication of the Gregorian Calendar and has heard the statements of the repre? sentatives of the various Governments as well as the additional information supplied by some of these with regard to the desiderata of the various National Committees. The Conference was almost unanimous in coming to the con? clusion that the present is not a favourable time, taking into account the state of opinion, for proceeding with a modification of the Gregorian Calendar. 44 Certain delegations declared that their Governments were not in a position at the present time to form a definite opinion on questions relating to the expediency, from an economic and social point of view, of a simplification of the Gregorian Calendar. 44 Most of the delegations to the Conference have clearly recognised that the present Calendar has certain disadvantages, as explained in the report of the Preparatory Committee, and have expressed an opinion that it would certainly be desirable, in principle, to secure a simpler measure of time more accurately appropriate to the needs of modern economic and social life. A great many delegations, moreover, thought that, as any reform of the Calendar, however moderate, would involve a rather awkward change in century-old habits, it would be preferable not to consider any reform which would not remedy the most serious defects of the present Calendar. Of thirty-five delegations, eleven were of opinion that, for instance, a mere equalisation of quarters would not be accompanied by advantages sufficient to counterbalance the difficulties which must necessarily be encountered in connection with any modification of traditions or any period of transition. Four delegations were of a contrary opinion. It was also pointed out that such a small change from the present Calendar would not confer any noticeable benefits on future generations. Finally, a great number of delegations expressed the opinion that any reform of the Calendar could only be put into practice if it came into force simultaneously throughout the world, or at least in a very great majority of States, and it was for this reason that the study of this question had been placed under the auspices of the League of Nations.</page><page sequence="58">THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. 245 " The Conference examined the respective merits of the perpetual calendars of twelve and thirteen months as set out in the report of the Preparatory Committee. In the course of the discussions of the Conference, it was pointed out that the thirteen-month calendar was theoretically more perfect, particu? larly if appropriate measures could be devised for the purpose of safeguarding existing contracts during the transitional period, but that the perpetual calendar of twelve months possessed the advantage of disturbing acquired habits to a much smaller extent. " The introduction of supplementary days bearing no week-day name, a necessary adjunct in practice to all perpetual calendars, roused the opposition of various religious communities and certain social organisations whose representatives were heard by the Conference. Some delegations expressed the same view. Most delegations were agreed that, failing a strong trend of opinion in favour of a perpetual calendar, the opposition would, at least in certain countries, make it very difficult, if not impossible, to introduce the perpetual calendar. It was suggested to the Conference in this connection that, if this situation continued, it would be possible to make appreciable improvements in the present calendar without introducing a perpetual calendar, by adopting a non-perpetual calendar of thirteen months without the introduction of supplementary days. That calendar would not permit, as accurately as a perpetual calendar, an exact comparison of corresponding periods in different years, but would, nevertheless, in the opinion of its ad? vocates, have the advantage of dividing up the year rationally, and of allowing of an exact comparison to be made between periods within the same year. It would also do away with the drawback of having weeks irregularly divided between two successive months in the same year. " In the same connection, the Conference's attention was drawn, in par? ticular, to the use, which is becoming more and more extensive among large commercial and industrial undertakings in certain countries, of an auxiliary calendar, usually based on the division of the year into thirteen months. It was suggested that the experience gained in this matter should be properly co-ordinated. If the use of these auxiliary calendars became sufficiently general among commercial and industrial organisations and among statistical institutions, and, particularly, if they were employed by public authorities, it would gradually be possible for public opinion to perceive more clearly the consequences of a simplification of the Calendar. It was also suggested that it was even possible that, if this were done, certain States in whose territories these calendars came into general use might think fit in due course to confer upon them an official character as auxiliary calendars recognised in certain official or private economic activities concurrently, at all events for a certain time, with the use of the ordinary Calendar. " The Conference considered that the efforts of the Advisory and Technical</page><page sequence="59">246 THE BATTLE FOR THE SABBATH AT GENEVA. Committee for Communications and Transit, through its Special Committee for the Reform of the Calendar, through the National Committees set up at its request, in consequence of a resolution of the League Assembly, and through the Preparatory Committee for the Conference, had not been in vain. For the first time, public opinion as a whole has begun to be in a position seriously to discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the simplification of the Gregorian Calendar. For the first time it has begun to perceive clearly that it rested with it alone to take whatever decision it considered advisable with regard to this simplification. It is also for the first time that Governments in general have been brought to regard the simplification of the Calendar as a definite question capable of discussion between them in the course of official deliberations. The preparatory work mentioned above, and also the dis? cussions in the Conference, to which Governments will doubtless devote attention, will provide the competent Government departments with the material necessary for a considered decision. " In view of the situation set forth above, the Conference did not think fit to express any opinion on the principle of Calendar reform, but the Advisory and Technical Committee for Communications and Transit will follow the efforts which will doubtless continue to be made for the purpose of enlightening opinion as to the advantages or disadvantages of a reform. It will also keep the Governments regularly informed on the matter. It will thus continue its task, which has always consisted, not in any particular propaganda, but in the impartial enlightenment of public opinion on an economic and social problem which, as experience has shown, and whatever the arguments ad? vanced for or against the reform of the Calendar, arouses a lively interest in a large number of countries throughout the world."</page></plain_text>

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