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בס"ד

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Reverend G. Poznanski.

Charleston, 2d July, 1844.

Rev. I. Leeser,

Dear Sir,—Mr. Isaac S. Cohen, of this city, furnished you with the proceedings of “a meeting of the members of the congregation K. K. B. E. in reference to the letter of the Rev. Mr. Isaacs to the Rev. Mr. Poznanski.”—As that meeting was held by the friends and followers of Mr. Poznanski only, and not by the congregation, you will please insert in the Occident the true state of said proceedings, and oblige your obedient servant,

S. Valentine.

Rev. Isaac Leeser,

The July number of the Occident contains the proceedings of a portion of the congregation K. K. B. E., which have been given to the world as the action of the members of said congregation. It is due to truth and justice to state facts in relation to those resolutions, so that our co-religionists may not be deceived by the careful wording and hidden meaning therein made. The meeting of the congregation for the consideration of the letter of the Reverend Mr. Isaacs, consisted only of the partisans of Mr. Poznanski, and they alone were summoned to attend the meeting; this will account to your readers for the unanimity of the proceedings and the high character and adulation of the resolutions. The first resolution is calculated to awake in our minds the terrible era of the Inquisition, and one unacquainted with the circumstances would think, that Mr. Poznanski’s co-religionists had placed him literally on the rack. Such, however, has not been the case, although we have no doubt that the reverend gentleman would have preferred even that horrid engine to the letter of the Reverend Mr. Isaacs. We live in an age and country where persecution of every character, but more particularly religious persecution, is not tolerated; and if the friends of Mr. Poznanski deem it persecution to state facts in relation to his inconsistent course, which he has not replied to, and they cannot controvert, we can only pity his “forgiving spirit,” which was the sole resource left him, in order “to avert the painful situation in which he would have been placed.” His friends, however, who bear with his “forgiving spirit,” and approve his silent action, strangely contradict themselves, for they should have imitated the worthy example of their “much esteemed pastor.” They, however, are not willing either to practise what he or they themselves preach, and despite their approval of his conduct, hurl their poisoned weapons while the reverend gentleman lies concealed in the background. It appears from their view, that the reverend gentleman resigned his office, with a “sole view to the restoration of harmony and the purest and best motives.” We would gladly coincide in this view, but subsequent circumstances prove the contrary. Mr. Poznanski’s resignation was not a high and noble resolve, it was not a voluntary action: it was forced upon him by surrounding circumstances, and was the advice of the counsel of his party. It was a ruse, call it by any other name you please; for at the end of four months, and while the difficulties which induced his resignation were still unchanged, we find him, at the call of his party, again officiating in his ministerial functions, upon condition that his services should be gratuitously received; which would make it appear that pecuniary considerations only were involved in the controversy. Does it not appear strange, not to say inconsistent, that the very party who so highly approved the course he had pursued “in peacefully removing himself from an angry and exciting contest, in which he was so deeply and personally concerned,” should have changed their views so suddenly, and in a very short space of time, placed him in the same position he occupied before, while all the circumstances which caused his resignation were still existing? What a self-sacrificing spirit! that could prompt the reverend gentleman to withhold his sacred labours at the Hasell Street Synagogue for four months “to bring about peace and harmony”—and what a manifestation of his sound judgment and consistency, to resume his ministerial functions at the urgent solicitation of his party, peace and harmony not then being brought about.

The unusual proceedings of his partisans, their eulogistic and high encomiums, passed at the residence of Mr. Ottolengui, (where the letter of resignation was submitted,) instead of the tabernacle of the congregation, where all the members should and would have been summoned, but for the desire of passing unanimous resolutions, must have been highly flattering to the reverend gentleman, and were sufficient to induce him to cast aside all worldly considerations and become a party minister. His friends stated that the reverend gentleman “has done much to advance the cause of true piety and devotion.” Does true piety consist in the desecration of the Sabbath day? In the violation of all those usages which are endeared to us and make us a peculiar people? If this be true piety, then a large portion of Mr. Poznanski's followers ARE pious. Again, they say, he has done so much to “enlighten the congregation in the pure principles of Judaism.” Among the established principles of Judaism is unity of faith and unity of action, both of which Mr. Poznanski has undermined, and has expounded the pure principles of Judaism so ably that he has disorganized and divided a once happy and united congregation into broken fragments, and has introduced those German neologistic doctrines of faith, which are not even original with him, and are only calculated to produce a generation of deists. God defend us from the expounder of such principles of Judaism!

The foregoing statement of facts must necessarily induce us to differ with the friends of the Reverend Mr. Poznanski, who hold him up as an example for the youth of the congregation, worthy of their imitation, as expressed in their resolutions.

In conclusion, we would remark, that if the reverend gentleman had remained in “the retirement” in which he was once placed, he would have carried with him not only the wishes of his friends, but also of those opposed to his religious innovations, “for that calmness of mind, that peace and tranquillity,” which we do not think he can possibly possess under existing circumstances.

Many Orthodox Jews.

Charleston, July 21, 1844.

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