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Jewish Renaissance in Portugal Follows End of Wave of Atheism

The Jews, as much as any other religious community have benefited by the subsiding of the wave of atheism in Portugal following the conclusion of a peace between Church and State, says an Associated Press dispatch. A spirit of tolerance that has resulted has created a renaissance of Judaism in the country.

Where the census of 1900 revealed that there were but 481 professing Jews in Portugal thousands who had concealed their religious beliefs because of the official attitude have now come forward as Jews. Synagogues have been reopened. Saturday is again a day of rest, kosher butcher shops are again in evidence in the large cities and talmud torahs have been reorganized.

Since the formal anathema pronounced on Spain and Portugal by a synod of rabbis because of the expulsion of the Jews has not been lifted Portugal has no chief rabbi and the Jews of the country are under the spiritual leadership of the Grand Rabbi of Morocco. Portuguese Jews sent a delegate to the recent Zurich Congress and when a number of Jewish refugees from Palestine arrived here they were openly received by the Jewish community who raised funds for them.

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