Vol. X. No. 2
Iyar 5612 May 1852
Philadelphia.—We learn that at the late election, during Passover, Mr. Samuel Adler was elected President of the German Congregation Rodef Sholem, Mr. Joseph Einstein was chosen Vice-President, <<104>> and Mr. Benjamin Grünewald, Treasurer. The Synagogue of this congregation was filled to overflowing on the late holydays, and the attendance showed certainly evidences of a material increase, in great contrast with the state existing not ten years ago.
New York.—We find an advertisement in the Asmonean, from which it appears that Dr. Simeon Abrahams, in connexion with Dr. M. Michaelis, Dr. M. Danziger, and Dr. S. Hirsch, aided by Mr. A. S. Van Praag, surgeon-dentist, and Mr. M. L. M. Peixotto as chemist and apothecary, will open a dispensary, for the gratuitous medical and surgical treatment of sick and destitute Israelites, in the month of May, at No. 31 Bleecker Street. Indigent married females, properly recommended, will be provided with physicians to attend them at their own residences. The dispensary will be open for relief on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons, from two till four o'clock. We are pleased to lay this act of charity before our readers, and we are sure that they will agree with us in thinking that the benevolent gentlemen who have started the project could not be engaged in a more laudable undertaking, which, if properly carried out, will go a great way toward rendering a general hospital almost superfluous. We shall be happy to publish, from time to time, the statistics of the Dispensary, if the above gentlemen will communicate them to us; since such “charity exalteth our nation.”
“Consecration of the Jewish Synagogue, March 26th.—The new Synagogue on Warren Street was consecrated yesterday afternoon, with appropriate exercises, in accordance with the custom of the Jewish Church. The Synagogue is a modest edifice, and will seat from three to four hundred people. The altar contains the tent which holds the sacred scrolls of the law, a desk fronting the congregation, and one <<105>> fronting the tent. The folds of the tent are of beautiful crimson silk damask, tastefully fringed. The desks are covered with velvet. On either side were placed six candlesticks, with candles, each of which was brilliantly lighted.
“The body of the Synagogue was
occupied by the male portion of the audience, who
remained covered during the services. The galleries
were filled with the fair daughters of
“About half-past three the services commenced, as follows: Rev. Dr. M. J. Raphall, Moses Ehrlich, Alexander S. Saroni, L. Oudkerk, Charles Heineman, B. Fox, A. Prince, and J. Börnstein, Trustees, appeared in the vestibule of the Synagogue. They exclaimed:
“ ‘Open unto us the Gates of Righteousness, we will enter them and praise the Lord!’
“The door was then opened, and the bearers of the sacred scrolls entered, saying :
“ ‘How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! thy tabernacles, O Israel!’ ” O Lord! I have ever loved the habitation of thine house, and the dwelling-place of thy glory!
“ ‘We will come into thy tabernacles, and worship at thy foot-stool.’ ” The reader in the altar, as the bearers of the sacred scrolls approached, said :
“ ‘Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise. Come, let us worship and bow down; let us bend the knee before the Lord our Maker. Worship the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with exulting song.’
“The procession then proceeded and the choristers chanted:
“ ‘Blessed be he who cometh in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord.’
“The bearers of the scrolls then proceeded to pass around the Synagogue seven times, during which ceremony, the readers from the desk, the choristers, and the congregation, chanted the XCIst, XXXth, XXIVth, LXXXIVth, CXXIId, CXXXIId, and Cth Psalms. The chanting of the above was most harmonious and beautiful. After the seventh circuit the XXIXth Psalm was chanted, during which the sacred scrolls were placed in the ark.
“Rev. Dr. M. J. Raphall next preached the sermon of consecration in English;—all the previous ceremonies were in Hebrew. The first part of the discourse was devoted to the building of the Synagogue and its <<106>> uses, and the remainder to the duties of the Children of Israel. The eloquent speaker urged upon his hearers the importance of prayer and keeping their daily works in accordance with their religion, which was embodied in three short sentences—to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly before God.
“The reverend gentleman, after the sermon, offered prayers for the President and all those in authority. The services were then closed by the chorus ‘Hallelujah.’
“The Synagogue, we understand, has been built by subscription, and some of our merchants have subscribed towards this object. Among the names on the list were those of Wilkinson, Stetson & Co., Newton, Eaton & Co., J. W. Blodget & Co., Henry Codman, and many other Christian gentlemen. We noticed among the audience, clergymen of many different denominations—Dr. Frothingham, Dr. Putnam, Dr. Gannett, Rev. Theo. Parker, Rev. H. M. Dexter, Rev. Mr. Skinner, also his Honour the Mayor and several of the aldermen—Dr. Z. B. Adams, Dr. Cummings, Solomon Wildes, and G. W. Lewis, Esqs., and many others well known for their devotion to all Christian and other churches. To-day being the Jewish Sabbath, there will be services in the Synagogue this morning at ten o’clock.”
A more particular description of the building is thus given, in the Daily Journal of the same date :
“Before speaking of the
services, a word or two descriptive of the building
itself may not be uninteresting to our readers. Its
location, as we before remarked, is on
And the same paper speaks thus of Dr. Raphall’s sermon:
“Rev. Dr. Raphall then took the
desk in front of the
“The duty of the Israelite in the Sanctuary was to reflect, meditate, and pray, to banish every unworthy thought from the heart, and to give it up entirely to the worship of God. His duty before coming into the Synagogue and after leaving it should be in conformity with his actions while there. He should ‘do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God;’ and should ‘have God continually before his eyes.’ He closed by imploring the Divine blessing upon the building, the congregation, and all assembled there, and also upon our country and its rulers.”
We likewise insert, as requested, the subjoined proceedings, which were sent us by the secretary, without a word of comment; they, however, speak for themselves:
“At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Congregation ‘Ohabei Shalom,’ held at their room, on the 31st March, 1852, on motion of Mr. J. Bornstein, seconded by Mr. L. Oudkerk, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“Resolved, That the grateful thanks of the Congregation are due, and are hereby tendered to the Trustees of the Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of New York, for their kindness, in allowing their clergy leave of absence to attend to the consecration of our new Synagogue, and thus depriving themselves, on the Sabbath, of their valuable services.
“Resolved, That we feel ourselves under great obligation to the Trustees of the Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of New York, for the loan of a Sepher Torah kindly sent to us for the same occasion.
“Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, signed by the President and Secretary of this Board, be forwarded to the Trustees of the Con<<108>>gregation ‘B’nai Jeshurun,’ and published in the Asmonean and Occident.
“M. Ehrlich, Pres. O. S.
Woodville, and Clinton, Mississippi, have all
organized congregations; but we were not able to
stop at any one of them, and have not succeeded in
obtaining any reliable information of Jewish affairs
in these places. Will not our friends in
New Orleans.—We arrived at this city before daylight, on the 10th of January. Jewish affairs have progressed somewhat since our first visit, two years ago. We attended, on Sabbath Vayechee, at Mr. Nathan’s Synagogue, and he took the opportunity of the weekly section's speaking of the death of the patriarch Jacob, of whom it is said, “he was gathered to his people,” to descant on the immortality of the soul, as departure from earthly life is termed “a being gathered to his people,” as it were the returning home after a long separation, to those who had been dear; and this term would surely not be employed by the sacred writers, if death were a final extinction of the vital spark. We found that both the Portuguese and German congregations had established Hebrew schools, for gratuitous instruction of all classes, under the general superintendence of the Rev. Messrs. Nathan and Gutheim. We think that instruction is imparted three times a week, at least in Mr. N.’s institution, on Sunday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Mr. Nathan’s assistants are Rev. Dr. Kohlmeyer, Miss Hart and Mr. Jones, who we understand receive a salary. We did not learn the names of Mr. Gutheim's associates. We had the time but once of visiting Mr. N.’s school, (on the 18th of January), and were truly gratified at the rapid progress the scholars had made in Hebrew reading and religious knowledge. We deeply regret that our stay at New Orleans was too short to convince ourself, by a personal examination, of the good effected by the school of Mr. Gutheim, which we doubt not fully equals the other, if we may judge at all from the known character of this gentleman, and his capacity to impart information. We spoke, by invitation of the minister and Parnass (Mr. G. Kursheedt), in the Synagogue Nefuzote Yehudah, on the 17th, Sabbath Shemoth; we gave the address to our readers in our last number; and it was the only one we had the least opportunity of preparing during our late journey. We received an invitation, after having accepted Mr. Nathan’s, to speak in Mr. Gutheim’s Synagogue; but want of time, as we were compelled to leave before another Sabbath, forced us to decline; but we hope some future day to make use of this kind offer of the pulpit of the Congregation Shangaray Chassed. We are truly gratified to announce, in this connexion, that Mr. Gutheim was duly re-elected, for a period of two years, at the expiration of his past term; without any solicitation on his part; and this is the proper manner of treating a faithful public servant, to honour him with the appointment <<110>> which is his just due, without demanding of him that he should ask it as a suppliant. We trust that the progress of enlightenment will at last teach all public bodies, that the best method of securing the best talent, is to treat those that possess it in a manner that they will feel their dignity as men, and have cause to be attached through mutual kindness and good-will to their congregations. On the 1st of November, the following officers were also elected: John Marks, President; M. Goldsmith, Vice-President; L. Goldsmith, Treasurer; I. Hart, Secretary; G. G. Levi, B. Cahn, and Joseph Dreyfous, Trustees. We had hoped long before this to receive detailed reports of affairs in this city, but they have not yet come to hand. We visited, on Friday evening, the 16th of January, the new Synagogue Shangaray Chassed, in Rampart Street, and were truly delighted at the beauty and general neatness of all its appointments, and felt an inward sensation of gratitude that two of the best buildings in that city should be devoted to the worship of the God of Israel; and all we have to hope for in this respect is, that the religious conduct of the people may correspond with the beauty of their places of worship, and the talents of the ministers who officiate therein.
congregation of this place, now a part of New
Orleans, has not increased as much as we hoped that
it would. They have, however, a new and better
location for a Synagogue, on the second floor of a
arrived at Mobile on Friday morning, the 23d of
January, and found that the congregation had
considerably increased during the past two years.
We were invited by the President to address the
people on the next day,
At a meeting of the
congregation Shangarai Shamaim, at
“Resolved, That the thanks of the congregation are due, and are hereby tendered to the Rev. Isaac Leeser, for hisinteresting and eloquent lecture, delivered before the congregation on Sabbath, Shebat, 3d, 5612.
" Resolved, That the Secretary be instructed to forward a copy of the above resolution to the editors of the ‘Asmonean’ and ‘Occident,’ for publication."
By order of the President.
exist here two charitable societies and one
congregation; but we regretted to find that they had
not yet elected a Hazan and Shochet, though there
was every prospect that they would seek to supply
themselves during this spring; and we entreat our
numerous readers in Montgomery, that they will not
rest till they have secured holiness of the
household, and a well-regulated stated public
worship. They will, to a surety, soon find
themselves amply compensated for any sacrifices they
may have to make in the premises. We think that a
competent individual; removing to the capital of
Alabama, would be kindly received, if no person has
yet been engaged.—The congregation at Claiborne,
organized some years ago, is yet in existence; but
we had no time to stop there. Many Israelites are
also scattered in other parts of the State, at
P. S. Since the above was
written, we have learned that the Rev. E. Marcuson
is now residing at
next place where we spent the Sabbath, was at
Atlanta; there is, as yet, no congregational union
in this place, although a few ladies and gentlemen
assembled at the house of Mr. Brady, for prayers. If
our advice would avail, we would recommend our