Edinburgh (May. 4)
Scotland was the only country in Europe that had never shed Jewish blood, and had never erected Ghetto walls, Rabbi Dr. Salis Daiches, said in an address which he delivered yesterday at the laying of the foundation stone of a new synagogue by Lord Bearsted. Lord Provost Whitson and the magistrates were present at the ceremony, wearing their official robes and accompanied by the mace-bearer.
They as a community in the Capital of Scotland were only very young, Rabbi Daiches said, but their history was older than that of any other religious organisation in Europe. They wanted to assure those around them that while they were ready and willing to render honoured service to their country and their city, while they were proud to be able to show their loyalty to the King that ruled them and to the Constitution by which the country was being governed, while they were proud to be able to be useful citizens and to display a lofty conception of the responsibility that devolved upon them as citizens, while they appreciated gladly and gratefully the friendliness and good feeling that prevailed to-day between Jew and Gentile in that great country, they were determined at the same time to be true to themselves, because it was only by being true to themselves that they could make sure they would not be false to any man or any nation.
Lord Provost Whitson, said that he wished the Jewish Community every success in their endeavour to have a suitable synagogue, and he hoped for many generations they would enjoy their worship there.
Viscount Bearsted said he could wish nothing better than that the fount of Hebrew learning and of religious learning, which is the heritage of our people, should find a centre in the building which had been started that day; that it might mean more to them than a mere place of ceremonial occasions; and that it might be a real inspiration and a sign that our faith did not die.
Mr. William Graham, M.P., President of the Board of Trade, said that the work of their community had been closely connected for very many years with the central parts of Edinburgh. He trusted that they would have in the new synagogue many years of progress and prosperity, and that they would regard it as one of the great centres of their faith.
The synagogue now being erected is the first to be built in Edinburgh. The existing Synagogue was not built as a Jewish house of worship, but was converted some 33 years ago from a chapel which had been occupied by a Nonconformist Christian congregation.