The Restoration of Israel
OBSERVATIONS OF LEADING JEWISH AND GENTILE WRITERS.
These wonderful promises will not be fulfilled in a twenty-four hour day, but during the Millennial day. They had a marked beginning with the year 1878, as the result of the Berlin Congress of Nations. The Jews now enjoy greater privileges in the land of their fathers than had been accorded them for centuries. They are no longer merely "dogs" to the insolent Turks.
It is not generally known, we think, that England has already assumed a protectorate of Palestine, and, indeed, of all of Turkey's Asiatic provinces, of which it is one. England has for a long time felt a necessity for protecting Turkey for three reasons: first, her rich classes are large holders of Turkish bonds; second, if Turkey should go to one of her neighboring nations, or were divided among them, England would get little or none of the spoil; and the other rival nations would thus be lifted more than England into prominence and power in the control of the affairs of Europe; third, and mainly, England realizes that with the Turkish government out of the way, Russian influence in southern Asia would be greatly increased, and would ere long absorb the Indian Empire, of which England's Queen is Empress, and from which England draws rich revenues in commerce, etc. Hence we find the Royal or Tory party in England strongly supporting the Turks; and when, in 1878, Russia was about to enter Constantinople, England interposed and sent a fleet of gunboats into the harbor. The result was the Berlin Conference of June 13, 1878, in which the chief figure was a Hebrew, Lord Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of England; and Turkey's affairs were then settled so as to secure her national existence for the present, yet so to arrange her provinces that in the event of final dismemberment the great powers would know which part each would be expected to seize. It was at this time that all the provinces of Turkey were granted greater religious freedom, and England by secret treaty with Turkey became protector of the Asiatic provinces. In the language of the historian, Justin McCarthy,
"The English government undertook to guarantee to Turkey her Asiatic possessions against all invasion, … formally pledged herself to defend and secure Turkey against all invasion and aggression, and occupied Cyprus in order to have a more effectual vantage-ground from which to carry on this project."
It will be seen, then, that Palestine, as one of those Asiatic provinces, is now under England's care; and this accounts for the greater laxity on the part of the Turkish government in the enforcement of its laws unfavorable to Jewish interests. This providential opening of Palestine to the Jews was followed by renewed persecutions in the "north country," Russia and Roumania, certain to induce emigration from this country to their own land. As a result of this combination of circumstances, Palestine, and especially Jerusalem, is rapidly increasing in Jewish population of the orthodox type. Now the Jews in Jerusalem outnumber all other nationalities combined, whereas for centuries they have been a small minority.
The New York Herald, commenting some time ago upon the acquirement by England of the island of Crete, her occupancy of Egypt and the condition of Turkey and her provinces generally, said:
"We live in a fast age, and even history is manufactured at a greater speed. Wars used to last decades of years; civilization advanced slowly; communications between nations and consequent mutual benefit proceeded correspondingly tardily. Now what is invented in one country is known forthwith thousands of miles away, and the whole world can profit simultaneously by the invention. Notably in politics is the spirit of haste evident. Statesmen's schemes once required generations for completion; now the boldest plans are carried out by the planners, and the map of a continent is changed in a week. How quickly events march and history is created is evident with special clearness in the magnetic Eastern question. … In the very midst of the scene of conflicting interests lies Palestine—dear to Jew, Christian and Mohammedan. The statesman says it is the key to the position; and looking to his countrymen's advantage he declares that in view of its wonderful fertility, which of old supported millions; in view of its grand possibilities for commerce, which in former days made its sea-ports scenes of activity and wealth, and which have rendered Tyre and Sidon proverbial to this day; in view of its being at the junction of Europe and Asia, and in location, therefore, most admirable, the possession of Palestine is to his patriotic heart most desirable. The historian says, The first international episode on record was the invasion of Palestine; from that day to this it has been a center of interest; therefore, he on his part is concerned for Palestine's future. The religionist cannot find words to express the interest which he from his point of view takes in what he calls the Holy Land: for him every stone is an epic, every tree a poem. The shrewd commercial man notes that when the Asian railway system is built up, as built up it will be as soon as stable government is established, the geographical position of Palestine will make it the State to which the great railway lines will converge to carry the productions of Asia to European and American markets and vice versa; for, as the commerce of three continents met in its borders in the days of Solomon, so will the future commerce of the same continents flow again to that favored spot. Nor will he abate his hopes in the least degree because their realization seems distant. Remembering the swift growth of a Chicago or a San Francisco, the rapid turning of wastes into populous States, he simply remarks, 'Events follow quickly nowadays,' and waits.
"While, however, the great Christian Powers stand with mail-clad hands to grasp the coveted and tempting bit when the moribund Turk lets go his hold, a historic figure steps forward and declares, 'The land is mine!' And when the powers turn to look at the speaker, they recognize the Jew, the child of the patriarch who lived in Palestine when it was first invaded, and who would himself fain be present to receive it as his own when its possession is disputed thirty-six [thirty-nine] centuries after!
"What a wonderful coincidence! 'Not so,' says the Jew; 'it is not a coincidence, it is my destiny.' Let us now briefly glance at the position of the Jew in this question of the future of Palestine. Nations are born from ideas. From the idea of German unity grew the German empire into actual fact, proclaimed to the world from Versailles, with French cannon to answer amen to German prayer for its welfare. From the cry of 'Italia irridenta' was born the new Italy of today, whose thunder will again wake the Mediterranean shores. From the tradition of ancient Greece the modern Greece was created. So Christians understand how the long cherished aspirations of the Jew may yet be realized; and while they fully concede that to the Jew, above all, belongs Palestine, while he above all is specially qualified to develop the future of that teeming country, while his possession of it would solve the fears of the jealous Powers, the establishment of the Jew in it would be an act of justice, and a worthy atonement for the fearful wrongs perpetrated upon him, the martyr of history.
"As for the Jews themselves, to say how they long for restoration is hardly necessary. On the 9th of their month Ab, they fast for the destruction of their temples and the national calamities attending those events. There is not a morning or an evening but what they pray, 'Gather us together from the four corners of earth'; 'Restore our peoples as of old'; 'Dwell thou in the midst of Jerusalem'; and these words are uttered in every city where the Jew is found—that means throughout the world. Such constancy is almost beyond all bounds, and to this day the Spanish Jews in all lands (even in this distant country) put some of the dust of Palestine or 'tierra santa,' as they call it, on the eyes of their dead, a poetic and pathetic evidence of their love for the sacred soil.
" 'When the railway reaches Jerusalem, Messiah comes,' alludes to Isaiah 66:20, where the prophet in his vision sees the exiles returning by all manner of conveyances, among them what he calls kirkaroth.' The English version translates it 'swift beasts,' which is, of course, too indefinite, or 'dromedaries,' which is certainly incorrect. Philologists are not wanting who derive the word from kar, 'a furnace,' and karkar 'to sway'—asserting that the prophet sought thus to coin a word for what was shown him in his vision, a train in rapid motion. 'When Nicholas reigns redemption comes,' is an allusion to Isaiah 63:4, from which verse Hebraists evolve, by what they term 'Rashe Teboth,' the sentence, 'All Judah shall hear and behold the fall of Nicholas, Emperor of Muscovy, on account of the oppression of the children of Judah, and after happening our fall, will happen our real redemption, and near at hand for the children of Judah will be the good tidings of the Tishbite prophet [Elijah].' These, and such as these, are important, as they indicate Jewish thought."
We are forcibly reminded of how near worldly men sometimes unknowingly come to the truth, by the above expression that the patriarch Abraham "would himself fain be present to receive" the land of promise as his own and that of his posterity, thirty-six [thirty-nine] centuries after his death. This, which some might think a flight of poesy, the Scriptures declare shall be an actual fact. For, as we have already seen [Vol. 1, Chapter 14], Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with Daniel and all the holy prophets, will be "made perfect," awakened from death to perfect manhood, after the Gospel Church has been glorified (Heb. 11:40); and they will constitute the "princes in all the earth" (Psa. 45:16), the earthly and visible representatives of the Christ, the spiritual, invisible ruler. To Abraham as well as to his seed the land of promise was given for an everlasting possession; and he must receive it in the future, for as yet he has never possessed a foot of it—Acts 7:5.
A letter published in a Chicago journal bears remarkable testimony to the gradual progress of restitution in Palestine, and the preparations for God's promised future blessing upon it and its people, as follows:
Jerusalem, Nov. 23, 1887.
"I am very glad to tell you of the glorious things that we have been witnesses of during the six years we have lived here. When we arrived here, six years ago, we numbered fourteen adults and five children. As we drove up from Jaffa we were deeply impressed with the desolation of the land. Not a spear of green could be seen anywhere; the olive trees and vines were so covered with the gray dust of a hot, dry summer, that you never could imagine there could be any green underneath; and the whole earth seemed dried to its foundations. But we have never seen it look like that since that time. Every year it looks greener, and now many of those barren hill-sides are covered with vineyards and olive yards, quite changing their appearance.
"You will ask, What is the cause of this great change? God has promised that, like as he brought all this evil upon this land, so he will bring great blessings unto it, and these have evidently begun by the sending of more rain than for many centuries past. He sends beautiful showers and heavy dews, where there used not to be any; and he sends clouds in summer, which were never known even twenty years ago. This tempers the heat, so that it does not dry up the ground so. Five years ago he sent, in July and August (months in which it never used to rain), three hours of rain in Jaffa, and sixteen hours in Damascus, and much all around, so that the American papers remarked upon it as a proof that the climate of Palestine is changing. Also when we came here, there were very few Jews coming back to this land, but the persecutions in Russia and Germany and other places began to drive them out; and, in spite of the edicts of the Sultan, they began returning to this land, buying land, planting and building, and getting possession of the trade of the city; and so today there are many thousands more than when we came.
"Jerusalem is in reality now in the hands of the Jews, so far as trade is concerned; and the Jew is no longer under the heel of the Mohammedan as he once was. They are also rapidly building up a new city, exactly on the line of the description in Jer. 31:38-40; 32:43-44, so that even the Turks, who are in power, are taking notice of it, and are saying one to the other, 'It is God; and what can we do?' And what can we say to all this, but that God is rapidly fulfilling in our day his Word and the covenant he made with Abraham? We are witnesses of these things."
Notwithstanding the oppression and tyranny that have ground them down in the very dust, we find many of them of late years rising to wealth and distinction far beyond their Gentile neighbors. And with such means and distinction, in many instances, rises the benevolent ambition to use it for the elevation of the Jewish race; and wise and well directed efforts are accomplishing much in this direction. The attention of thinking men among Jews and Gentiles is being drawn to this turn in Jewish affairs.
It is evident from the expressions of leading Jewish journals, and from the various movements now in progress for the colonization of Palestine, and for the assistance and advancement of those already settled there, that thousands are now turning with eager eyes to the land of promise. This turn in Jewish affairs has been since 1878; and the shaping of events since that date has caused and is causing a remarkable awakening on this subject, which in itself is a significant sign of the times. From the Jewish World (Aug. 20, 1886) we quote, for example, the following:
"There are rifts in the clouds which have hitherto cast so dismal a shadow over the Holy Land. The future of that unhappy country, so long wrapped in impenetrable darkness, is beginning faintly to brighten; and the glimmerings of a happier state of things are almost within measurable distance of our forecasts. … Two institutions are destined to play a conspicuous part in the amelioration of the condition of the Jews of Palestine, the Agricultural School at Jaffa, and the Lionel De Rothschild institution in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. We might add a third in the shape of the Montefiore Testimonial Fund, which, by its promotion of building societies and its erection of cheap dwellings, has done much to foster thrift and to reduce the miseries and hardships of domestic life in the Holy City… What we are concerned at this moment in noting is, that the prospects of the Jews in Palestine are no longer gloomy. There are, on the one hand, forces at work for the improvement of the condition of our brethren, which have been wisely devised and ingeniously organized, and which are now being assiduously applied; on the other hand, the people are getting tired of their misery and inactivity, and are showing an increasing tendency to take advantage of the efforts made for their rehabilitation. This is a state of things which is fraught with happy consequences, and no Jew will fail to contemplate it with pleasure."
In a later number of the same paper a leading article on "The Future of Palestine" closed with these words:
"With the late influx of an agricultural element in colonies planted by the Montefiore, Hirsch, and Rothschild funds, willing hands should be found to labor at the transformation scene, when 'the desert shall blossom as the rose'; willing hands and willing hearts that shall reclaim the Holy Land from its long night of death, and restore to life and light the national home of the Jews."
Another journal, The Jewish Messenger, says:
"While men are absorbed in their little cares, alternately moved by hopes and fears, the grand and stately march of human events progresses onward and irresistibly to completion, in the fulfillment of an inevitable law which controls all human action. Men here and there raise their puny voices as if to stay this tide of advancement, and arrest this fiat of the eternal. As well might they attempt to stay the law which governs the universe. Races have as fixed a course to run as have the stars that dazzle in the blue vault above us, and the race of Israel is the bright fixed star amongst them. In all its wanderings it has been true to its course. Its mission has been foreseen and foretold, and its final restoration to the Holy Land prophesied. That this prophecy is being fulfilled, the signs of the times indicate. It is being accomplished so quietly, and so gradually, that only those who have given the subject attention realize the importance of the work done.
"Palestine is a political necessity to the Jewish race. The founding of a nation in the Holy Land once more means the exaltation of all Israel. It places her as a nation amongst the nations of the earth. It gives to the Jew that political power and sovereign right which mean protection. It makes him a citizen of his country, and gives him a passport amongst the nations of the earth… This may look impracticable to the man in the counting-room absorbed in his books, to the man in his store absorbed in figuring up his profits and losses, to the man steeped in the bliss of social pleasures, but it is as clear as the noonday's sun to him who studies the political horoscope.
"The political autonomy realized, the Jews scattered throughout the world will not flock to Palestine in a body. There are 300,000 Jews in Asia, 400,000 in Africa, and 5,000,000 live in Europe. It is from these that Palestine will draw its life of restoration. The American-born Jew will undoubtedly remain an American; and if he should ever visit the Holy Land it would be for pleasure and travel, and to see the land, the chief birthplace of his race.
"It may be said that, geographically speaking, Palestine is too small to exert much influence as a political, intellectual or moral power among the nations of the earth. We reply that in ancient times Greece was a power, and that in modern times the little island of Britain is a power. Geographically speaking, what are they? It is intellect, moral force and pride of nationality that make nations great, and not the extent of territory. It is intellect and moral power that will make Israel renowned among nations."
The Jewish Chronicle says:
"The movement is irresistible. We cannot suffer ourselves to stand by with folded hands when this new exodus is taking place. We Jews have held, for nearly two thousand years, that the consummation of the ages of suffering we have passed through will be reached only when we again possess the land of our fathers. Is that trust to die away just at the moment when it appears about to be fulfilled? Or, is it to be expected that the return will be brought about by means so mysterious as to be beyond the co-operation of human beings? God works his will through the wills of men; and if the prophecies are to be fulfilled, it will be by human wills and energies. These may seem to be high topics to drag into connection with a practical plan for placing a few Jewish colonies in Palestine. But it is from small beginnings, such as these, that great events often arise; and the return of a small body of Jews to the Holy Land can never fail to bring to mind the possibility and the practicability of the larger return to which all Jewish history and aspirations have pointed."
Others, beside Jews, men of prominence in the world, see and comment on the rising prominence of Israel, E.g., note the following from the Central Presbyterian:
"Instead of dying out, the Jewish body shows increasing vitality. They cannot be stamped out or swallowed up. They pass from country to country to become practically masters wherever they go. They get the land in Germany and Hungary, and grow rich in Russia; they are the great bankers in London and Paris and the centers of European commerce. In ten (recent) years the Rothschilds furnished £100,000,000 in loans to England, Austria, Prussia, France, Russia and Brazil."
Lord Shaftesbury of England said recently:
"There is a great jealousy of that wonderful people who are now coming to the front. And what a sign of the times it is, that, wherever the Jews are, they are either the most prominent people to be persecuted, or the most prominent people to take a lead in all the various professions! A prominent citizen of Berlin was asked, 'What is the history of this strong anti-Jewish feeling which you have in Berlin and throughout Germany?' He replied, 'I will tell you: These Jews, if they go into commerce, become the first merchants: if they go into the banking line, they become the first bankers; if they go into law, they become the first lawyers; or if they go into literature, they beat us all. Whatever career they undertake, they drive out the Gentiles; and I tell you, sir, we won't stand it.'
"The persecution of the Jews in Russia and Poland does not depend upon religion or nationality. These have nothing whatever to do with it. The Russians would persecute any people in the same position as the Jews. Bear this in mind, that the Jews hold in mortgage a very considerable part of the landed property of Russia; that they hold in their debt a very large proportion of the peasantry, and very many of the shopkeepers in different parts of the empire. Every single opportunity which now presents itself to the Russian people for plunder and spoliation of the Jews is almost sure to be seized. In the destruction of the Jews, and of their papers, Russians get rid of documents by which they are bound, and which might be brought as evidence against them; and so long as there is property to be laid hold of, so long will you find the Russian people rising against the Jews,"
The following is an extract from a letter in an English paper by Mr. Charles Reade, the novelist, whose conversion to Christ and the Bible occurred a few years ago:
"The Jewish nation, though under a cloud, will eventually resume their ancient territory, which is so evidently kept waiting for them. The prophecies are clear as day on two points: That the Jews are to repossess Palestine, and, indeed, to rule from Lebanon to Euphrates; and that this event is to be the first of a great series of changes leading to a vast improvement in the condition of poor, suffering mankind, and of creation in general. Now, we have here in prospect a glorious event, as sure as the sun will rise to-morrow. The only difference is, that the sun will rise at a certain hour, and the Jews will occupy Syria and resume their national glory at an uncertain day. No doubt it is the foible of mankind to assume that an uncertain date must be a distant one. But that is unreasonable. Surely it is the duty of wise and sober men to watch precursory signs and lend their humble co-operation, should so great a privilege be accorded to us.
"This sudden persecution of the Jews in the very nation where they are most numerous—may it not be a precursory sign, and a reminder from Providence that their abiding city is not European Tartary? Palestine can be colonized effectually from Russia alone, where there are three millions of Jews trembling for life and property; and the rest would follow. History is a looking-glass at our backs. Whatever Jews have done, Jews may do. They are people of genius; and genius is not confined by nature, but by will, by habit, or by accident. What have these people tried and failed in? Warriors, writers, builders, merchants, lawgivers, husbandmen; and supreme in all! In this, history repeats itself.
"They shall be great in the arts of peace and war, and their enemies melt away before them like snow off a dyke. Should they seem to require help from any other nation at starting, blessed will be the nation that proffers it; and the nation that persecutes them will be made an example of in some way or other. Therefore, if by any chance recent outrages should decide the Jewish leaders to colonize Palestine from Russia, let us freely offer ships, seamen, money—whatever we are asked for. It will be a better national investment that Egyptian, Brazilian or Peruvian bonds."
A Jewish proverb of recent years declares: "When the railway reaches Jerusalem, Messiah comes." This is in harmony with the symbolic representation of the railway by the prophets Nahum (2:3-5) and Isaiah (66:20). And, sure enough, the proverb has not much missed the mark; for the railroad will reach Jerusalem "in the day of his preparation"—in the time of the presence of Messiah. The following, which we clip from the daily press, has an interesting bearing upon this subject:
"Galileo was right: the world does move. A railroad is to be built from Jerusalem to Jaffa on the Mediterranean, 31 miles distance, the ancient port of the Jewish capital, and the landing place of the cedars with which the temple was constructed. A Jerusalem Jew, Joseph Nabon by name, who is an Ottoman subject, has obtained from the Sultan a charter for this purpose. The charter holds good for 71 years. The estimated cost of construction is $250,000. So, then, hereafter civilization is to be domesticated in Palestine. The 19th century will arrive in those parts when the first locomotive puffs into Jerusalem."
The following letter, from a correspondent of the Pittsburg Dispatch, which recently appeared in that journal, is confirmatory of present progress in Palestine and Jerusalem:
Jerusalem, July 12, 1889.
"Thirty thousand out of the forty thousand people in Jerusalem are Jews. The Turkish government, which has for ages prohibited them from living longer than three weeks at a time in the Holy Land, is, under the influence of foreign governments, relaxing its restrictions; and at present the Jews are coming here by the hundred. They are engaging in business, and they now control a great part of the trade of Jerusalem. Some of them feel that the day when the prophecy of the Bible that they shall again inhabit their land shall be fulfilled is at hand; and one curious tribe from southern Arabia claims to have received a revelation that they must leave their desert country and come back to Palestine. These Jews have lived in Yemen Arabia for the past 2,500 years. They are of the tribe of Gad, and they left Palestine 700 years before Christ was born. They are bringing with them many valuable documents which prove their origin, and are engaging in agriculture near Jerusalem. The persecution of the Jews in Russia and Austria is driving many of them here, and there are also large numbers of Polish and Spanish Jews in Jerusalem. The time of Jews remaining in Palestine has been extended, and the restrictions upon their residence in Jerusalem have been practically removed. A half century ago there were only 32 Jewish families in all Jerusalem, and the number in all Palestine was only 3,000. Now there are nearly 50,000 in the Holy Land, and three-fourths of the population of Jerusalem is made up of them.
"A curious people they are! Like no other Jews on the face of the earth. They are nearer the type that existed here in the past. The numbers who have been forced here by persecution are supported almost entirely by the different Jewish churches over the world.
"One of the great sights of Jerusalem is the Jews' wailing place, where every Friday certain sects meet on the outside of the walls of the Mosque of Omar, which occupies the site of Solomon's temple, and with their heads bent against the stones, sorrow over the loss of Jerusalem, and pray God to give the land back to his chosen people. This custom has been observed since the days of the middle ages, and it is one of the saddest sights. I visited it last week. In a narrow alley surrounded by miserable houses, on stone flags which have been worn with the bare feet of thousands of Jews, against a wall of great blocks of marble, which reached for fifty or more feet above them, a long line of men in long gowns and of women with shawls over their heads bowed, praying and weeping. Many of the men had white beards, and long curly locks of silver. Others were just in their prime; and I could not but wonder when I saw the forms of these at times almost convulsed with emotion. Each had a well-thumbed Hebrew Bible in his hand, and from time to time the party broke out into a kind of chant, an old gray-haired man acting as leader, and the rest coming in on the refrain, … as follows:
Leader—For the palace that lies desolate—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.—
Leader—For the walls that are destroyed—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.—
Leader—For our Majesty that is departed—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.—
Leader—For our great men who lie dead—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.—
Leader—For our priests who have stumbled—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.—
Leader—For our kings who have despised him—
Response—We sit in solitude and mourn.
"The effect of this chant cannot be appreciated without hearing it. The old men and weeping women, who kiss the stones of the wall that separates them from what was once the site of Solomon's temple, and which is even now the holiest part of the earth to the Jew; the genuine feeling expressed by all; and the faith they show in thus coming here, week after week, and year after year, are wonderfully impressive. It is indeed one of the strange sights.
"There are eight agricultural colonies in different parts of Palestine. One of these schools near Jaffa has more than seven hundred pupils, and a farm of twenty-eight thousand acres. It is situated on the plains of Sharon, where the Philistines lived, and it has tens of thousands of vines and olive trees. The Turks are very much averse to selling land to the Jews, but the latter show themselves to be as good farmers as they are business men; and the terraced condition of the hills about Jerusalem shows that the Holy land was far better cultivated under them than it has been under their conquerors. A large amount of land just outside of the city of Jerusalem is now in the hands either of the Jews or of their charitable institutions. Mr. Behar, the head of the Rothschild schools, tells me they have just bought the Jerusalem Hotel, and will add it to their school. Sir Moses de Montefiore, who managed the fund left by a rich New Orleans Israelite, built many good houses for Jews on the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and there are a number of Jewish hospitals.
"Among the people who confidently believe that the Jews will soon again own Palestine is a colony of fifteen persons who live in a fine house built on the very walls of Jerusalem, and who are known as 'the Americans.' These people are not Jews. They are Christians who have come here from different parts of the United States, and more especially from Chicago, to await the fulfilment of the prophecy that God will regenerate the world, beginning at Jerusalem. [They do not see that the selection of the Gospel Church must first be accomplished.]
"There is no doubt, whatever, that Jerusalem is improving. The most of its streets are now well paved and the sanitary condition of the city has been greatly improved. The Jerusalem outside the walls is now almost as large as the city within, and I am told that land has risen in value to such an extent that the holy city may be said to have a real estate boom. I learn that along the Jaffa road, just outside of the gate, property has gone up within a year or so several hundred per cent. One piece which belongs to a charitable institution was bought a short time ago for $500. It is now worth $8,000, and cannot be bought for that amount. A telegraph line now runs from here to the sea coast, and a railroad company has been organized to build a line from Jaffa to Jerusalem. For the first time in its history, Jerusalem has a police force."
The following, clipped from The Hebrew Christian of July, '89, is another interesting account of an American Jew's visit to the wailing place at Jerusalem. He says:
"Having spent several hours visiting Jews, my aged friend, a Rabbi from Kovno, Russia, asked me if I would go with him to the wailing place to mourn over the desolation of Jerusalem and pray for Israel's restoration to her former glory. 'I will go with you,' I replied, 'and pray very earnestly that God may hasten the day when Judah will return to the Lord.' Being Friday afternoon, the time when many Jews assemble for prayer at the wall of the ancient temple, I joined their company. It was, indeed, a most memorable sight. Here were Jews from among all nations, in their peculiar Oriental costumes, and some dressed in their Talith (praying garments). As loud as they possibly could they read the 22nd Psalm. Women with great earnestness cried aloud, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.' The men also were weeping and rehearsing psalms, litanies and prayers. Most of these earnestly pressed their lips against the stones and kissed them. As I listened to their pathetic prayers I remembered what the rabbins have said in the Talmud—that 'Since the destruction of the Temple, the gates of prayer have been closed, and only the gates of tears are open.' The rabbi in sad tones repeated:
"'For the palace that lies desolate,' etc.
"The most touching wailing over Jerusalem is also to be witnessed in the homes of the pious Jews. At midnight they wrap themselves in their prayer garments, put ashes on their heads, and prostrate themselves on the ground. Then in melancholy tones they rehearse:
"'A voice of woe from Ramah's hoary tower,
A voice of wail from Zion's sainted hill;
Alas! my diadem and queenly dower,
The youthful honors I remember still.
Dark is to me the solitary bower
Who did of old a throne of splendor fill.
"'I was surnamed Jehovah's fairest bride;
But now am forced, forlorn, disconsolate,
His heavy wrath and vengeance to abide;
My joys are flown, my heart is desolate.
Come, weep, ye daughters, at my faltering side,
For none draws near my sorrows to abate.
"'Degraded from a peerless eminence,
Victim of pride and wanton vanity,
My beating heart in trembling violence
Strikes at her cage of hopeless misery.
Judah laments in tearful penitence,
A widow mourning in captivity.
"'I was in Solyma a radiant queen,
A golden cloud was I, the mount of God:
But now by infidels despoiled, I ween,
No poorer pilgrim o'er the desert trod.
Wrenched from the bosom all my babes have been,
The elders murdered, steeped the soil in blood.
"'Doth no one lay my wretchedness to heart?
And no one check the swiftly rolling tear?
And no one soothe the soul-empiercing smart?
And no one say, 'The heathen shall not dare
Call him my husband?' Oh, the poisoned dart.
The cruel mockings I am bound to bear!
"'Father of mercies, come, return with grace
To Zion's dwelling beautified again.
Let Israel's eye behold Thy dwelling place
Restored; then list the hallelujah's strain,
The hymning voices of a ransomed race,
Greeting the rising wall of that eternal fane.
"After this several psalms are read and prayers offered. When rising from the ground, they say, 'Shake thyself from the dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem. Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.'
"A remarkable prayer offered on these occasions, and having reference no doubt to Isaiah 7:14, is:
"'In mercy, Lord, Thy people's prayer attend:
Grant his desire to mourning Israel.
O shield of Abraham, our Redeemer send,
And call His glorious name Immanuel.'"
Not until further persecutions shall have driven more of the poorer Jews to Palestine, and modern civilization shall be still further advanced there, will the wealthier classes of Jews be attracted thither; and then it will be in great measure from selfish motives—when the general and great time of trouble shall render property less secure in other lands than it is now. Then Palestine, far away from socialism and anarchism, will appear to be a haven of safety to the wealthy Jews. But at the present rate of progress, in these various directions, the coming fifteen years will witness much in Palestine.
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