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בס"ד

Hebra Terumath Hackodesh, N. Y.

New York, Feb. 23, 5607.

Dear Sir,

I have just received a letter from Hirsch Lehren, Esq., Amsterdam, from which I extract the following:

“We observe by yours, an arrival in your city of a person by name R. Jechiel Cohen, and according to his letters, he is a messenger from Hebron. This person is unknown to us, nor have we been apprised from Hebron of the sending any messenger; we, therefore, cannot attest his mission, and respecting his assertion, that Hebron receives nothing from the bounty of America, such is an  absolute falsehood­—the remittances, for the Holy Land that we receive from you, are among all other remittances we receive from every German congregation, in one general account, and are divided among all the congregations in the Holy Land, according to a firm established and assigned distribution, to which Hebron has its share.

“You gentlemen are very correct, in not contributing for Hebron only, and appoint your contributions for the whole of the Holy Land, who are suffering so much from hunger, for which we established an extra contribution since Iyar (אייר) last, as by enclosed circular dated 2d Nissan last, by which we collected, as an extra contribution, $11,000, among which was £20 from your side of the Atlantic, from Mr. S. Simson. The whole of the above amount has been expedited and distributed. We hope you will soon collect for the whole of the Holy Land and send it.”

I have deemed the above important, and therefore communicate it. 

I remain your friend,

I. B. Kursheedt.

Note.—We received the above after our March number was ready, and give it now the insertion asked for by our friend. Again we must state, however, that, without throwing any doubt upon the pious labours of the great philanthropist, Rabbi H. Lehren, who, with his brother and associates, devotes much time and money to the relief of the poor of Palestine, there have been exhibited many marks of disapprobation regarding the distribution of the relief fund; of course, we have not the means to designate with certainty where the error lies; but even admitting that all is as it should be, there is still so much distress prevailing there, that the missionary hospital at Jerusalem relieved upwards of fifty sick in one month, though an interdict has been pronounced against it by Rabbi Gain, the friend and associate in the relief business of Mr. Lehren; consequently, there must be much suffering which cannot be reached in the usual way; and we, therefore, think, and cannot divest our mind of the belief, that the poor of Hebron had a right to call upon distant Israelites for voluntary aid, and we do not see any good policy in preventing their receiving it. At best, not a great deal will be collected; and we are sure that few will give any sum which will be felt by them. Perhaps it may be said, that the calls are very numerous upon all our friends. We are not disposed to deny this; but still, whilst so much sympathy is expressed for the poor of other lands and persuasion, we should like to know why Palestine and its poor should be overlooked, when their sufferings have been aggravated by famine and civil war. Or else, does any one in his senses believe, that fifty individuals would resort monthly to an asylum founded by the enemies of Judaism, presided over, in part, by apostates, when it is evident that both these and their employers use the hospital as a means merely to produce conversions? For we are candid enough to say, that they do not care a straw for the mere relief of the poor, were it not for ulterior objects.—We do not say this upon the authority of Rabbi Jechiel Cohen, but from what we learn from the conversion society organ in London, the well-known Jewish Intelligence.—We regret to differ from our venerable friend, Mr. Kursheedt; but we do so with all due deference to his learning and high experience, as an honest man may freely differ from another. We would, at the same time, like to know whether the collections in behalf of the relief fund were considerable, above and beyond the contribution of the honoured lady and her daughters, so well known for their aid in all public calls, as mentioned in our last. But there is room enough and scope enough for an exercise of charity, both in aiding the local wants of Hebron and keeping in funds the general treasury of the Holy Land under the administration of Mr. Lehren. Let it be tried, and it will succeed.