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MODERN JEWISH SABBATHS AND PRAYERS.
Sir,—I am happy to observe one on the other, and yet it belongs of your correspondents bas re- to neither. cently called the attention of your • As for the Sabbath-day, for readers to the prophecies relating instance, which is so strictly obto the Jews, and I have waited served by the Jews in our country, with some anxiety to see whether how very different did I find things any of the well-wishers to the here. The Jews abroad, not satisdespised and neglected race of fied with what is said about the Israel would kindly take up the keeping of the Sabbath in the Law subject, and endeavour to clear of Moses, do also observe the adaway the doubts to which your ditional duties enjoined upon them correspondent refers. Meanwhile, by the Rabbis regarding that day. I would wish to call your atten- As early as Friday afternoon, tion to a volume recently pub- about two or three o'clock, and in lished by Mr. Alfred Moretz winter earlier, all work must be Myers, a converted Jew, entitled put aside among the mechanics to BOTH ONE IN CHRIST.' This
prepare for the Sabbath-indeed volume contains an interesting nar- some begin as early as Thursday to rative of the writer's own conver- make preparations for the Sabbathsion; proofs of the doctrines of the day; the victuals are prepared on Trinity in Unity, both from the the Friday: in short, as all manoracles of the Old Testament, and ner of work is excluded as soon as from the ancient Rabbinical writ- the sun sets on Friday, and not ings, with a variety of other in- resumed until the setting of the sun structive and important matter; but the next day, all necessary prewhat I especially wish to bring parations are made before the going before
you at present is, some par- down of the sun on Friday, so that ticulars relating to the customs nothing is left to be done on the and worship of the Jews, which Sabbath. The candles must be though not entirely new to me, are lighted by the mistress of the yet, I apprehend, by no means family before the sun sets, for generally understood. The follow- nothing of the kind must be done ing is Mr. Myers' account of the on the Sabbath, as no fire must be Jewish observance of the Sabbath. touched; this is done before she
• It was on the 30th of June, goes to the Synagogue to the Sab1830,. I landed in the metropolis bath eve service.
When the Sabof this country, where I remained bath commences, the Jews genebut a short time, but long enough rally go into the bath before they to see the great contrast which ex- go that evening to the Synagogue, ists between the Jews in this coun- which is done in honour to the try and the Jews abroad ; much Sabbath. Very strict Jews would to my surprise and grief did I find not talk the whole of the Sabbath how the law of Moses and the of anything but of the Talmud, Rabbis was neglected. Indeed, and in no other language but Hemy brethren in this country are but brew; some of their observances a poor specimen of what Jews in on that day are, however, very general are; even at the present absurd. As the touching of fire is time they may be compared to the forbidden, so is the handling of blank leaf between the New and anything which is connected thereOld Testaments : sometimes it rests with, as candles or even candleon the one side, and, at times, sticks, and, therefore, they engage
a Gentile servant for the purpose visible in the sky, no candles are of doing such work on the Sab- lighted, and no manner of work bath-day as they or their Jewish is done. servants cannot do, as making a • But how different did I find fire in the winter, (strict Jews will things in London-how different even do without fire on that day, did I find things among the Jews though thc cold there is extreme) in general who are scattered over snuffing the candles, breaking the England ! Not a few amongst seals of letters which may come them, I found since, who were not on the Sabbath-day, &c.
ashamed openly to deny the au• The following instance will give thenticity of the Bible--and why? my readers an idea to what extent Because the Bible speaks of a my brethren go with their super- Saviour whom they will not restitions on the day which the Lord ceive-the Bible speaks of Jesus commanded to be kept holy;
be kept holy; of Nazareth as the Messiah, whom though we must confess, that as they hate; and, for fear that if regards the abstinence from work, they admit the one they must bewhich they so strictly observe, lieve in the other, they deny both. they may be set up as a pattern to This is a faint but true picture of the christian world-yet how the Jews in England, with very plainly does it explain the words few exceptions. of our Saviour—" They pervert
* On my going the first time to the word of God with their tra. a London Synagogue the contrast dition."
appeared to me very striking in• The Gentile servant, who is deed ; my brethren abroad have a engaged for the above mentioned “ zeal of God, though not accordpurposes, is generally employed by ing to knowledge;" but here they several families who live in the have neither a true nor a false zeal. neighbourhood, and she does their As for me, I was no more that work by turns, constantly going bigoted Jew which I was once; from one house to another; this is neither did I any more continue my done with a view to economy, as
midnight prayers, nor did I fast she would not find work sufficient twice a week - the Talmud was no if she were only to attend to one more my study, though I did not family. So one Sabbath evening, dare to deny its truth; but still, to whilst our family was at supper,
do things which I saw practised the snuff of the candles, which here among the Jews—as to eat stood on the table, and which had things forbidden, or to violate the not been snuffed for some time, Sabbath, or, some do, eat through the absence of the Gentile swine's flesh, or even to neglect servant, fell upon the table-cloth, my morning and evening prayers, which soon was in flames; every or not to put on the Phylacteries, one of us started from our seats in to neglect these duties I should great confusion, calling out for the have thought that I should die that Gentile to come and quench the
instant. fire; but, before she could come
• When I mentioned my feelings (having gone into a neighbour's to some of my countrymen in Lonhouse to snuff the candles there) don, they would answer me: “The the cloth was consumed, besides Jews here cannot observe these many other things which lay on things ; they cannot be so strict; the table at the time.
but, instead of it, they send certain • To tear a bit of paper, or to
sums every year to the Rabbis in break a straw, or walk a mile out Poland and Germany to pray for of town, would be a breach of the them." Sabbath, and, until the stars are I remember, whilst in London,
a countryman of mine wished me nor of all created beings; and that to write a letter for him to his He alone has made, does make, father in Prussia, to whom he was
and ever will make, every prosending a present of some money. duction. • Be sure and tell him,' said he, III believe, with a perfect • to pray for me, and tell him to faith, that the Creator (blessed be go to my grandfather's grave and his name) is one God, and that mention my name, for I have very there is no Unity whatever like little time to pray or to study the unto His; and that He alone is Talmud.''
our God, who was, is, and will Mr. M. gives the following quo
be eternally. tations from the daily prayers used • III. I believe, with a perfect among the Jews in the Hebrew faith, that the Creator (blessed be language :
his name) is incorporeal. That Commencement of the morning He is not subject to any of those prayer— The living God shall be changes that are incident to matexalted and praised. He exists, ter, and that He has not any and His existence is not bounded similitude whatever.
He is one, and there is • IV. I believe, with a perfect no Unity like unto his. He is in. faith, that the Creator (blessed be visible, and there is no end to His his name) is both the first and the unity. He has no corporeal form, last of all things. neither has He any form.
His • V. I believe that to the Creator holiness is incomprehensible. He (blessed be his name) yea to Him existed prior to every created only, is it proper to address our thing. He is the first, before prayers, and that it is not proper whom nothing existed. Behold ! to pray to any other being. He is Lord of the universe, and all •VÍ. I believe, with a perfect creation evinces His mighty power faith, that all the words of the and dominion : the inspiration of prophets are true. His prophecy did he impart to His VII. I believe, with a perfect beloved and peculiar men. There faith, that the prophecy of Moses, never arose a prophet in Israel like our instructor (may his soul rest in unto Moses, who beheld the rays peace) was true, and that he exof His glory. A law of truth has celled all the sages that preceeded God given to His people, by the him, or they who may succeed hand of His prophet, the faithful him. of. His house. God will never
. VIII. I believe, with a perfect alter or change His law for any faith, that the law, which we have other. He upholdeth and know- now in our possession, is the same eth our secrets, for he vieweth the law which was given to Moses, end of a thing at its commence- our instructor. ment. He rewardeth the righteous IX. I believe, with a perfect according to his work; punishing faith, that this law will never be the wicked for his evil doings. changed, and that the Creator He will send us the Redeemer at (blessed be his name) will never that time, which is only known to give us any other law. Him, to redeem those that wait for • X. I believe, with a perfect His salvation. God in great mercy faith, that the Creator (blessed be will receive the dead. Praised be his name) knoweth all the actions his name for evermore!'
and thoughts of mankind, as it is THE CREED.
said, He fashioned all their hearts, I. I believe, with a perfect and is fully acquainted with all faith, that God (blessed be his their works. name) is the Creator and Gover- XI. I believe, with a perfect
faith, that the Creator (blessed be acceptable in thy presence, that his name) rewards those who ob- the diminution of my fat and blood,
his commandments, and which hath been diminished this punishes those who who transgress
day, may be accounted as fat them.
offered and placed on the altar, .XII. I believe, with a perfect and thus be accepted of me! faith, that the Messiah will come,
• Guardian of Israel, preserve and although his coming be de- the remnant of Israel, and suffer layed, I will still patiently await not Israel to be destroyed, who his speedy appearance.
· () Israel!' • XIII. I believe, with a per
Guardian of a singular nation, fect faith, that there will be a preserve the remnant of a singular resurrection from the dead.'
people, and suffer not a singular THE VIDDA,
nation to be destroyed who acOr confession for the dying, is as knowledge the unity of thy name, follows:
saying, “The Lord is our GodWe have trespassed, we have the Lord is our Unity!'' dealt treacherously,
have In the_thanksgivings of the stolen, we have spoken slander, Morning Prayer appears the folwe have committed iniquity, and lowing:have done wickedly: we have · Blessed art thou, O Lord our acted presumptuously, we have God, King of the Universe, who committed violence, we have fram- hast not made me woman;' ed falsehood, we have counselled whilst the women are directed to evil, we have uttered lies, we have
• Blessed art thou, O Lord scorned, we have rebelled, we have our God, King of the Universe, blasphemed, we have revolted, we who hath made me according to have acted perversely, we have his will!'' transgressed, we have oppressed,
THE LAW. we have been stiff-necked, we have The law of Moses is divided acted wickedly, we have corrupted, into as many portions as there are we have done abominably, we have weeks in the year; and a certain gone astray, and have caused others portion is read every Saturday or to err: we have turned aside from Sabbath. The reading-desk is Thy excellent precepts and insti- placed in the midst of the synatutions, and which have not pro- gogue, so that the readers stand fited us. But Thou art just con
with their faces towards the veil, cerning all that hath come upon which conceals the ark or chest, us, for Thou hast dealt most truly; where are deposited the scrolls of but we have done wickedly.' the law, written on parchment, by A PRAYER
a man sanctioned for it by the On the day when a free will fast is Rabbi, and then wrapped in rich offered
embroidered velvet, literally coverSovereign of the universe, it is ed with gold and silver, and preclearly known unto Thee, that, cious stones ; a crown of pure gold whilst the Holy Temple was esta- or silver is then placed on each blished, if a man sinned he brought roller attached to each end of the an offering, of which he only scroll. offered the fat and blood; yet « Previous to the veil being didst Thou in Thy abundant meroy withdrawn for the
of grant him pardon. Because of our taking out the law, a servant of iniquities the Holy Temple is de- the synagogue puts up (as the aucstroyed, and we have neither tioneer does in this country at pubSanctuary or Priest to atone for lic sales) the different offices con
0! may it, therefore, be nected with the using of the law -as withdrawing the veil, taking · Then a portion of the law is the law from the ark behind it, read and another blessing is recarrying it to the desk, reading a peated by him, and then the scroll verse from it aloud, holding the is shut up, and the next person is scroll
in like manner. Every gregation, returning it again to its person thus called up to the desk place, and gives it to the highest is asked by the singer which of bidder. I have often heard my the congregation he wishes to be father bidding as high as 200 dol- included in a blessing, which the lars for one of these offices, and former repeats as often as one is then complimenting a friend or re- called up to the desk; he then lative to perform its duties, who tells bim the names of those friends considers it a great merit.
he thinks proper, his wife and chil• As soon as these purchases are dren, and particularly him who made, another servant of the syna- complimented him with the pergogue calls round in the place to formance of this office; and the the different purchasers, who give singer repeats all their names with him the names of those persons for a loud voice, and blesses them.' whom they intended them; he then It is impossible to read these returns to the reading-desk, and prayers without a melancholy feel. tells the Chazon (the singer) who ing. What a painful contrast do calls them up, with a loud chant- they afford to those holy aspiraing voice, in rotation, by name, as tions with which the ancient betheir different offices are wanted. lievers, especially the sweet singer The first thus called upon must be of Israel, drew near unto God, from the priesthood ; every one Nothing affords a more alarming thus called upon touches that part ground of apprehension concerning in the law which is to be read be- the Jews, than their exceeding fore him by the reader with one ignorance and neglect of their own end of the veil which he wears, as Scriptures. O that they would a garment of fringes bordered with ponder well the divine direction, blue, and formed like a scarf; 1. To the law and to the testimony touching that part of the law with if they speak not according to this it, he kisses it, and repeats the fol- word, it is because there is no light lowing blessing :
in them.” Isa, viii. 20. • Blessed art thou, O Lord our I shall not trespass upon your God, King of the Universe, who
with further extracts, but hath chosen us from all nations, would remark in the close, that the and hath given us his law! Bless- case of Mr. Myers affords a striking ed art thou, O Lord, who hath instance of the beneficial effects regiven the law !'
sulting from the casual visits of . A portion of scripture is then missionaries to the Jews, from the read, and he kisses the part where distribution of Hebrew New Testhe Chazon left off reading, and taments, and the performing divine repeats the following :
service, and preaching in places of Blessed art thou, () Lord our worship set apart for the Jews, God, King of the Universe, who and designated by Hebrew inscriphath given us a true law, and hath tions on the external walls. planted amongst us everlasting life! Blessed art thou, () Lord,
S. T. E. who hath given the law !'