The Jewish Zeal for Righteousness: Lord Moynihan at Annual Dinner of Jewish Hospital
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The Jewish Zeal for Righteousness: Lord Moynihan at Annual Dinner of Jewish Hospital

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I owe no little of my past success to the fact that when I was a young doctor in Leeds, I was able to rescue from the jaws of death the oldest Cohen in the Jewish Community of Leeds. Prayers were offered for me for a long time in the synagogue, Lord Moynihan of Leeds, the President of the Royal College of Surgeons and Consulting Surgeon to the London Jewish Hospital, said when he addressed the members of the London Jewish Hospital Medical Association to-night at their annual dinner at which he was the guest of honour.

I have had the opportunity of knowing the Jews in this country better than any man in this country, both inside and out, Lord Moynihan went on, alluding to the many operations he has performed on Jews. He paid a generous tribute to his many helpers, including the President of the Society, Mr. Maurice Sorsby, one of his pupils, who, in the course of his speech during the evening said how much he owed to the encouragement and help which Lord Moynihan had given him when he was a student in Leeds.

The chief thing in the Jew is not his zest for knowledge, Lord Moynihan claimed, but his zeal for righteousness, and it is this zeal carried by some of the Jews who are in the first rank in medicine which gives them their flawless integrity.

It is a great pride, he said, to me to have known Ehrlich, the greatest member of our profession since Lister. He was characteristic of that zeal for righteousness. He has spread the gospel of truth among all medical men, and if I may regard you Jewish doctors as his apostles, it is a great pride for me to be here with you.


I have two qualifications for being present here, Viscount Erleigh said. One is that the London Jewish Hospital is a London hospital and I am a Londoner and the second is that it is a Jewish hospital and I am proud to be a Jew.

The Jews are one of the few people in the world who have a reverence for knowledge, Lord Erleigh went on. The Jews are also great individualists, he said. Whatever virtues and whatever vices we Jews possess as a people he continued, there is this – that there is no peace in us. There is in us a searching, questing, reaming spirit that is never satisfied with the immediate horizon, but which seeks beyond and above the horizon and seeks beyond each successive horizon. The physical nomadism bequeathed to us by our ancestors has been transmuted into this spiritual nomadism. We are the pilgrims, and we must always look a little further. The Jewish people are impelled by this questing spirit.

The Jewish Hospital does not treat only Jews, Lord Erleigh pointed out, but admits also Gentile patients, which is as it should be, but in the main it is a hospital established by the Jewish Community for members of the Jewish Community and served by doctors of the Jewish Community.

Mr. Soutar, Dr. Goodman Levy, Dr. Burnford, Professor Levy and Mr. Horowitz also spoke, and Mr. Sorsby said that during his year of office as President he hoped to establish a lectureship at the Hospital for the purpose of advancing research.

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