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בס"ד

Vol. X No. 6
Elul 5612 September 1852

To the Jewish Public

קול מבשר

TAKING a candid survey of the manner in which the affairs of the Jewish communities are conducted, and the situation of our religious interests in North America, I have found, to my great regret, that our religion enjoys here much less consideration than in Europe. The Sabbath is habitually violated by many from an inordinate desire for gain, and many ceremonial observances are trodden under foot. Besides this, I have observed that our youth are unfortunately far behind <<309>> those elsewhere, in the study of our excellent religious works, in Talmud, Possekim, and the Grammar of the Hebrew language. As I have been blessed by the Almighty, that my children have a remunerative business which affords me a respectable living, and I am desirous to devote the remainder of my days on earth, to a real service in the cause of God: I know of no better manner to accomplish this, than to strive to diffuse a knowledge of the divine law; as our Talmudists have taught us, ותלמוד תורה כנגד כלם, “that the teaching of the law is the “Great is study, for it superinduces pious acts.” I have come, therefore, to the following resolution, which I herewith lay before the public for their earnest consideration.

Parents who have the fear of God in their heart, and have sons of good talent, over twelve years old, who have a desire for the acquisition of the branches belonging to a proper knowledge of Jewish theology and science, can send them hither, and I will give them daily from three to four hours instruction in Talmud, Possekim, and Hebrew Grammar. Parents need only to pay for the board and lodging of the children, and provide them with the necessary books; but for the instruction, which I will impart fully and conscientiously, I desire no recompense whatever. Should there be young men without means to procure the above, I trust that they will be supplied with daily board (as it was so generally done in Europe, in places where there are Jewish colleges) by the benevolent of the Israelites residing here, of whom there are about 120 families.

Youths attending the proposed institution, can also obtain a good knowledge of the English and popular sciences in the college of this city, which will soon go into operation. I have but one condition to make; that the students should be able to speak German, as I have myself no acquaintance with the English language. I trust that this proposal may meet with public approbation, and that its public utility may speedily become apparent, and that hence this free school may soon be called into existence, to flourish as a tree of life, blossom and produce sweet fruit in a short time.

JOSEPH LEVY.
CLEVELAND
, Ohio,
Menachen, 5612.

NOTE.—In the above, Mr. Levy proposes to undertake, on his own account, an institution which is so greatly needed, in which persons having the talent, will be able to acquire that peculiar knowledge, without some of which, no person should engage in the Jewish ministry.

<<310>> It is perhaps premature to commence at once a Jewish faculty of the­logy in all its ramifications; yet there is no question but that every one who has the least pretension to occupy a standing in the religious world, would do himself but ample justice to study the Talmud, Possekim, and Hebrew literature, for at least two to four years, under so able a guide as Mr. Levy appears to be. We know not, indeed, how his pious intentions can be best carried into effect; but we trust that those who have it in their power to influence the public mind, will for once throw aside their professional indifference, and act as though there was some­thing to be done besides their usual duties. At least it could nowise injure them to discuss the question, and to aid Mr. L. to propagate that knowledge with which God has favoured him. Mr. L. is willing to commence early in the ensuing autumn, though he has not stated how many scholars he requires to make a commencement with. We recommend to those interested, to correspond with Mr. L. direct at Cleveland.