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Literary Announcement


Our learned correspondent, the Rabbi Isidor Kalisch, of Cleveland, requests us to call public attention to a work which cannot fail to be interesting, which he has prepared for the press. The little encourage­ment held out hitherto to Jewish literary labours, has precluded their being published by regular booksellers, as they would uniformly result in a pecuniary loss, a contingency which the trade do not like to incur voluntarily. At the same time, it would be doing a wrong to themselves, were the writers, even if they had ample means, to become publishers, without previously ascertaining whether the works would meet with a ready demand. The only method, therefore, is to invite the public to subscribe, and to insure in this manner at least a portion of the outlay to the authors, so that they need not fear of losing largely in a pecuniary sense, in addition to spending their time in unremunerated toil, a reflection not the most agreeable even to persons more than commonly disinterested. We hope, therefore, that the friends of Jewish literature will, by their prompt subscribing, enable Rabbi Kalisch to put his contemplated work to press. We shall be pleased to forward him any names and funds sent to our care. The circular is in the following words:

Invitation to Subscribers.

Among our various departments of science upon earth, none ought justly to call forth greater sympathy and occupy us more sincerely than those con<<163>>cerning Religion and the State, for both being destined to realize the reign of God upon earth, or the idea of a perfect state, progress in the proper understanding of both, implies also progress in civilization, education, perfection in intellectual and material prosperity, which latter may be regarded as the mirror in which the mind of man is reflected. Our disciplines in religion and state are at present so much related to each other, and a common spirit is so deeply infused in both, that retrogression or error in one department would immediately have an injurious influence upon the other. It is therefore not to be wondered at, when we see, at the present day, a continual struggle going on concerning principles affecting the spirit of Christianity and Judaism; for this struggle does not merely concern the learned, but it agitates every rank of society with the same energy.

Actuated by a sincere love of truth, in order to put an end to this important dispute, and, if possible, to bring about an agreement among all parties, the success of which, it is hoped, will prove highly salutary in solving so many other questions agitated at the present time, I have made it my earnest task to publish a work under the title,

“Materials For Rational Investigations in the Scriptures
What Does Primitive Christianity Teach,
What the Religion of Moses?”

It will be my endeavour, in this work, to set forth, in a popular way, the scope and value of the religious systems both of Moses and Christ, and their reciprocal influence upon each other. I shall investigate the side of the redemption of the world, or the appearance of a Messiah upon earth, contemplated as the founder of true freedom and righteousness. For the proper consideration of this part, the oldest writings and the original works are made use of. The idea, handed down from one generation to the other, with the force of an incontrovertible tradition, since the rise of Christianity, that in the latter were to be seen the perfection and consummation of the religion of Moses, and that the followers of Moses, or his religious institution, had fulfilled their mission in this world long ago, I shall oppose with arguments that cannot be disproved; but, at the same time, my critical researches shall tend by their spirit of impartiality, and the calmness and dignity I have endeavoured to impart to so earnest a work, to spread the truths of the Bible, and to defend them against wilful ignorance and fanaticism. Lastly, my labours shall particularly be brought to the point to show that a rational, republican form of society is offered in the Bible as the best possible society, and that its laws and teachings point toward the happy realization of such a plan.

I cherish a hope that this work, addressed to the highest and most important interest of man, may not be found unworthy of an extensive and <<164>>liberal support, and that a generous public may testify, by numerous subscriptions, their interest in s publication of which I have just now traced the plan and spirit.

The price is fixed at the low rate of six shillings, and subscribers are re quested to pay half on signing their names, and the other half at the delivery of the work.

Isidor Kalisch,
Rabbi and Preacher of the Tifereth Israel Congregation.

Cleveland, April, 1851.