[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does indicate approval.–Editor.]
That Pope Pius IX has given the support of his authority to the Catholic society “Friends of Jerusalem,” an organization formed to combat anti-Semitism, is reported in a despatch from Rome to the “Jewish Morning Journal.”
“It is against the principles of the Catholic religion to persecute the Jews, because the Jews are a divine people, although their upper intellectual circles are too rational. I and some of the Cardinals are friends of the Jews and we support the effort to combat anti-Semitism,” the Pope is reported to have declared at a reception of the founder of the Society. The Pope also declared that he finds anti-Semitism has become a danger in some Catholic countries.
Commenting on this statement, the “Jewish Morning Journal” declares:
“We are pleased to hear of such a statement by a representative of the Catholic Church. We are tired of hearing that anti-Semitism is a danger to the Jews. It is time that the danger to the other party be recognized more clearly. We have always known that the country where anti-Semitism reigns is politically sick, and that the general population suffers from it just as much, and in some respects perhaps more, than the Jewish population,” the paper remarks. “The present Pope speaks with authority of a Catholic country where anti-Semitism is more harmful than in any other country–Poland.
“Piux IX spent several years in Poland as the representative of the Vatican. He studied the general situation there and also the relations with the Jews. In a city like Warsaw, there the greatest Jewish community in Europe exists, it is impossible for a keen observer not to familiarize himself with the Jewish question. When one is acquainted with the facts, one must come to the conclusion that it would have been much better for Poland if it had a better attitude towards the Jews than it has had until now.
“The warning is also applicable to other Catholic countries, or where Catholics have the majority and the power. Hungary, Czechoslovakia and perhaps also Lithuania, may profit by the advice of the Pope. Also in reasonable Protestant circles the wise and consistent policy of the Roman Church is respected, as is the influence of the Church on important minorities in various countries.
“The ideal that the world should love us, is far off. The best that is possible under the present circumstances is that a conviction, which is prevalent in the countries which have reached the highest degree of development, be spread, that anti-Semitism does not pay, that the peoples who want to make progress have much more important work to do than to conduct an anti-Semitic policy. The Pope has their welfare in mind when he offers them this advice. Nevertheless, recognition is due to the Pope for proclaiming the truth which many seek to suppress.”
THE PASSING OF TISHAH B’AV
Timely observations and reflections on the changes occurring in the life of American Jews are made by “The Reform Advocate” of Chicago on the occasion of the Nine Days culminating in Tishah B’av, on which day the destruction of The Temple is mourned.
“The Nine Days are upon us,” the paper writes. “That means very little to American readers and housewives. But there were days in Jewry when the coming of the nine days revolutionized the practice of the kitchen, entered all the domestic arrangements, prevented marriages, although they did not prevent betrothals even on the ninth of these days, for the very human and naive reason that if the betrothal did not take place the young man was taking a chance that some other young man might grasp an opportunity. Now, of course, diets are not arranged in conformity with religious or ritual dictation; they are dominated by consideration of aesthetics and that consideration begins before and continues after the nine days. How far these days have drifted out of the ordinary calendar of the Jew–or better out of the calendar of the ordinary Jew–is evident from the calmness with which men and women discuss the varying attitudes towards the climax of these nine days the ninth day itself. At one time American Jewry was bitterly aroused in angry controversy over the interpretation that was to be put on it. Today it is difficult to arouse any one in any quarrel about it even though there might be some argument.”
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Engle-wood, N. J. Synagogue and the completion of the addition to the building were celebrated last Sunday. Mr. J. Levinsohn, president of the congregation, delivered the principal address.