Mrs. Randolph Guggenheimer, Editor
A few weeks ago a puppet show was given for the children who were patients in the City Hospital on Welfare Island. These children were not just politely enthusiastic. They actually lived through the play that was presented. Their enthusiasm was one of unrestrained delight.
Such children are not merely unspoiled. They are so unused to entertainments that would only casually amuse a more fortunate child that they get a much greater thrill out of them. They are not able to live extensively, but life compensates them for this loss by allowing them to live intensively.
This is true, also, of the Jewish race. We have been called an emotional people. In the past we have been able to get more joy out of simple things than a freer people has gotten from the wealth or position it enjoyed. The Jews were never allowed to live extensively. They were shackled by prejudice, persecution and the Ghetto. Consequently home life brought them more joy, home ties were stronger and simple home relationships were as thrilling as the more adventurous incidents that filled the lives of the people outside. They have been known in the past for the strength and devotion in their family lives. The very forces that should have robbed them of all joy gave them a much greater power for joy and a keener enjoyment of simpler pleasures.
SHACKLES HAVE BEEN BROKEN HERE
We live today in a free country. The chains have been shattered and certainly no one today can say that the Jew does not lead an extensive life. But is the other part gone? Have we ceased to enjoy life as keenly? Have we become bored and dissatisfied with pleasures that once would have seemed exciting ? It is hard to live both extensively and intensively, yet really to enjoy life to its fullest extent is just what we must do. If we have gained a broader scope for our energies but have lost the things that made freedom seem worth while we have actually gained nothing at all.
No matter how full our time is, the important part that family life has always assumed in our racial life must not be lessened. And no matter how diversified our interests become, the ability to feel and enjoy to the fullest the things in life that really matter is something we should try never to lose.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.