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Cincinnati Israelite (Newspaper) - April 25, 1862, Cincinnati, Ohio
Number 43.the israelite. 341 it scarcely need be remarked that Mendelssohn did not translate the psalms in their regular order one after Hie other As they follow in the Bool. Ile always selected one which pleased him Best in his state of mind or feeling and attracted either by or it difficulties. Ile bore this chapter so Long in mind while attending to various other duties until be could believe he was As intimately acquainted with the spirit of Tho author As he was Able to be then Hie writing part was an easy talk. Afterwards at Leisure hours he took these sketches in hand and prepared them for publication. About 1774 he already had the idea of publishing a new German version of the psalms. Somebody undertook to write the hebrew commentary to Bis version and proposed to publish with the German translation in Lebrew types on opposite pages,.and the commentary below. A i allowed this a Mendelssohn wrote,41 and think he will make it right. Hut i can not Lay hand on it As my limited time and insignificant abilities Are too much engaged otherwise. Should he Bere or there fail to discover m3�?T opinion no tiling is lost by it. I Hope with the Aid of the lord to be enabled sometimes to attend to this work whenever Christian critics will have gained courage enough to defend their usual commentaries against in the year 17�2 when the edition of his Pentateuch was nearly finished he took Steps for the publication of his psalm. A calculating More on Christian than on jewish readers having written his psalms mostly for the firmer he had them printed in German types and inscribed to his old Friend or. Rainier. To Fay his productions in manuscript before that critic and poet lie had not the courage As he says knowing that be would have done Bim the favor of correcting los manuscript which he Uever refused to a stranger. We can Only rejoice Over this me Knees of Mendelsohn As Bis version would certainly have lost much of its elegance and originality by the hand of Rainier. Mendelssohn a version of the psalms appeared in april Itsu and earned him the applause not Only of his co religionists but also of Ninny nor tile first time received a Correct impression of David 5 and the while hebrew poetry an impression they could As Little obtain from Martin Luther Saa the English Reader can from King James version. Whoever could not read Thia poetry in the original hebrew Felt themselves attracted to this German version with an almost irresistible Force by the grand and living a pictures of nature the p lateral and / Idillie scenes in the one hand me s a it cd a Gaic tie solemn and Sublime tone then which enlivens the psalms exercised a deep Nilu Erice on the minds. A what will they say to Mendelsohn a exposition of the psalms a Lessing crore Quot which we christians till now considered a prophecy concerning Jesus we can not possibly admit him to our heaven however much i would i lie his Only a manlike Moses Mendelssohn with his thorough knowledge of the hebrew literature and his masterly Dower Over the German with his philosophical spirit and poetical sensibility Only a Deroui like his created for Harmony and Euphony could produce such a translation of the ancient and venerable Monument of hebrew Genius. It is almost incredible How much exertion thought Diligence and labor he bestowed on that version. He reflected compared criticized and judged with the utmost care every expression each phrase obliged c to forget first and entirely wha the Learned of tran8lators, and Para is lasers to walk Bis own path. He did not depart entirely from hts predecessors in this labor he used them very much As far As possible in German be Clung More to Luther a than any other translation. A he says in his introduction a a a a a whenever Luther translated right he also found Good German words and i did not oppose even his. He braising which he naturalized in the German though they. May not Beroud German. I believe i am Able to account for All my new Transl it ions wherever i parted from the original the fault must Besought in a judgment and Notin my will. A in order not to bribe the. i first publish the psalms As they Are with out critical arms or shield without polemic translators without noteor.com-. A Centary a for i wish my production. A read once at least without any regard to criticism. Probably i shall give hereafter j my aesthetic Al and critical motives in anon ther ,. He never wrote this volume and translated Only Quot the song of Solomon a . ? death ended his career. In English we have positively no version a a of Tho. Psalms which re a produces the poetical Beauty Brevity Force \ and Sublimity Tho original the poetical translations look funny to us the free daughter of. her , dress cd in the roman Toga and mounted of the grecian Pegasus. It is a Bastard. Worse than that Are the Church psalms in which the authors by their Peculiar dogmas and doctrines forgot altogether that they were to translate psalms. The prose translations Are dead Bones without the holy fire the heavenly life of Harmony and Sublimity and in a thousand cases convey other ideas than the original. There Are so Many Little connecting or explanatory terms Between the principal ideas that the Are lost in the a Terr mass of Little words. The Maestro to Render the psalms in English is yet to come and we my have them not Only to give them to the world by talus to introduce them into the synagogue. Of. From Mijc jewish jewish pm Leif. Cocci tided from no. -12. The sermons yet extant in the Spanish and portuguese language surpass belief for their Large number. Of r. Lomb Roto there exist 30 sermons of in Joshua Dasilva who died a in i Oto As Chae hair of the portuguese synagogue of London an equal number. The Industry of Mena Seh Den Israel in this respect is astounding. He began his office of a preacher it Amsterdam when lie was Only fifteen years of age and in 1047, after 25 3�?Te irs of the exercise of his vocation he had ready for press nearly 500 sermons in the portuguese language r. Lase Aboab teacher of in Joshua a Silva wrote no less 4 than so sermons of which a be w Only have found their Way into print. The jews located in benefited in a certain degree by the illusion of the new idea which the i Dill Century had engendered and though freed from the sanguinary persecution which disgraced the Middle Ages still remained the objects of ancient hatred and prejudice and the victims of Many galling enactments. The persecution by priest and apostate the scornful and contemptuous treatment and the exclusion from social Intercourse were nut any More vigorous than Iii past Ages but they became More insupportable because they were More trivial More constant and More systematic. Measures for the amelioration of the social condition of the jews were never proposed nor even thought of. Nothing was offered them but the privilege of baptism and the baptized Only became the object of humane consideration. Every thing that was written discussed a or enacted respecting Judaism or jew breathed the most bitter enmity so that the persecuted sons of Israel were led to look upon every new announcement whether of legislation or literature As an Judi tonal misfortune. Excluded from All social Intercourse from All Access to office or even to scientific and in a dust rial Pursuit and confined to their own resources and to the exclusive s3 mpa Iby of their own race they imbibed a positive aversion for tile very letters of the German alphabet anti they refused to learn or to let their children learn to read or write them. Europe a science became to them an alien and Europe a christianity an abomination especially As they had nut inherited from the Middle Ages an3�?T classical literature or any idea capable of Awakening their love or exciting their emulation. Of if the great literate classic germans of to Day if jewish Germany in whose land is now placed More than half of the whole diurnal Hebdo Madal and periodical literature of the land could conjure up to the imagination what jewish Germany was a Hundred years ago before Mendelssohn appeared with Bis enchanters Wand what jew would be found in whose heart a Temple would not be raised to the memory of his renowned teacher and Benefactor knowledge manners and speech assumed amongst them stereotype forms and it is indeed a powerful testimony to the originally High character of the jewish race and to the purity of the mosaic Law that in spite of the persecutions of Tho Ages virtue and humanity still dwelt among them and intellectual activity yet lingered in their literary society. Is there any other people on the face of the Globe that could through such an ordeal a a. Without degenerating in to the state of the modern gypsies and without having bad crushed out of them every particle of virtue and humanity a More than half of Tho eighteenth Century had. Passed away and the. Darkness of the 14th still rested on the jews of Poland and Germany. Their schools had fallen into decay and their Liturgy , with usages and abuses engendered by Long Ages of persecution the pulpit was Well nigh mute. After Long intervals Large congregations managed to Avail themselves of a discourse pronounced by the a a Harahan a id or n Dio As he was Sty led which appellation described an itinerant and his Harangue made up i to Young boys it was to tally unintelligible and As to girls it was almost heresy in those Days to talk of instructing. Females in religion beyond the lighting pa.3 lamp and Taekee Pintof a tzo House. Since the Middle of the 17th centum scarcely a Sermon Worth the time its deliver3 occupied was preached in Poland or Germany. The pulpit was substituted by an interminable Litany of Piu tim in which poetical taste Plain sense and devotional sentiment were often sacrificed to antiquated conceits and to the Jingle of rhyme. Rut at last the spirit of modern civilization breathed upon these petrified forms of spiritual and social life and aroused a latent Power of tile jewish mind. The inheritance of ancient Wisdom Lay vet inca it the the example of jewish writers and thinkers in Holland had animated but few because the chafed spirit lacked the strength to fan into a flame the divine spark which Lay concealed in tile hearts of the people but when the hour struck for Germany to shake off the dust of barbarism and of pro claim that a More immune epoch had arrived. I Rad aroused himself from his lethargy and his National civilization never quite extinct quickly revived under the general influence of the age. All the Phenomena of that wondrous period concentrated in one Many one of the messengers sent into the world i.3 almighty Providence when the time is come �?~4to Divide Light from a a Mendelssohn drank deeply from the Fountain of jewish Antiquity and imbibed Wisdom from ii is excellent jewish. Teachers whilst the civilization of Europe bestowed upon him her Foremost disciple Ber Prince of critic a Leming Lur a Loving and Divot of Friend. Thus instructed and thus befriended he worked out his Noble Mission and shone not Only in the sight of his jewish Brethren but also of philosophical Europe and he completed the glorious to k never accomplished before of in King the jew and Christian in the common Bonds of humanity. It was in vain that some silly Rabbins culminated against his writings Anil placed him in 3n it was in vain that flecked chief rabbi of Prague made a Bonfire in the court Yard of the synagogue of All the copies he could got together of Mendez Sohns a magnificent version of the Bible in classical a German. It was in vain that the same Rabbin insulted the dead body of the illustrious in Mendelssohn by such wild outpourings As Quot i Pryn Nova Dpi a ? ? in nor name be jutted out from the Book of life on account of his Fleckel and other ecclesiastical piggies of the same school have Long sunk into oblivion but Moses Mendelssohn lives still and Ever will live in the deep recesses of the jewish heart. Tile a a is now Maje great strides in Germany. Mediaeval predilections and mediaeval systems vanished away and new worlds were soon created lathe realms of civilization. A new life began for the jews of Germany. The Brazen Wall which the prejudices of a thousand years had Bush up Between them and their Christian countrymen was levelled. The hand of Fellowship was held Forth to the hitherto abandoned jews and trades sciences philology and get neral literature found unexpected cultivators in i a Tael s sons. Well regulated schools and jewish colleges in every Way worthy of that name came into requisition and their effect has been a Brilliant arra3�?T of jewish preachers recalling the Days the palmy Days of Arab Spanish civilization. These Are the ornaments of Mendelssohn a epoch a which happily is not yet closed and again the word of divine truth resounds rom the pulpit of the synagogue. Within the last Quarter of a Century scarcely a synagogue in Germany has been without its weekly Sabbath preacher and the names of Salomon Mann Eisner Geiger Kley Sachs Lezner Philipson hold Elm Stein Auh and a Host of others prove that jewish Puipui oratory May without forfeiting its distinctive character be adorned with All the beauties which Are so much admired in the productions of a Tillotson a Massillon and a Jerusalem. As soon As i turn my views homeward my audience will have the satisfaction to know that their patience to night is to be taxed no longer and that my lecture is drawing to for Here in England if it would a a a be no violation of propriety to employ a figure of chivalry when speaking of the pulpit a a we have our spurs yet to. Win. Compared with our German Brethren we can hardly is said to have accomplished As yet any appreciable results from our Verna Cular pulpit. I do not however despair. I gather Hope inasmuch As All beneficial changes in this country Are worked out by the Middle classes that Young men of Tho Sussex literary club a whom i have addressed to night will treasure up in their recollection the facts which i have re a a 1 produced for my claim to original matter is almost nil and that they by Means of a wholesome agitation in their respective congregations to the end that proper Means May to take to place Effie pulpit of the English synagogue on a footing of Equality with that of our Brethren of continent a Germany. A now i take leave a to observe that this desired object will never be attained until every Anglo jewish congregation is addressed from the pulpit by an englishman. Lamp not insensible to the advantages which we have derived from several erudite germans who have come to Settle amongst us. I most willingly bar my Bumble tribute to the fact that therease Many jewish germans and some of them especially catch my Eye whilst i am now speaking who Are capable of addressing an English congregation with a fluency and with an effect which perhaps no living englishman could attain in the German language and before a congregation of germans but although there May be a distinguished exception Here Aud there i stand up for a general principle. In a country like eng. Land where popular oratory is regarded As a National characteristic and is indeed held to be one of the Genii of Tho charter of our liberties a much severe Standard of criticism is brought to Bear upon the speaker and far less indulgence is Shewn for his Short Cora Ings whether in style or in manner than foreigners Are Apt to imagine of the Mission of the pulpit is lobe worked out for the British jews in a manner worthy of their1 present High position i would suggest that three things Are required. First that Tho men of wealth amongst us should afford a generous support to every Earnest Effort that is made for the revival opt be study of biblical and rabbinical literature secondly that a thoroughly sound theological College identified with a London University should be established for the training of Young englishmen for the ministry. As far As such a College applies to the cultivation of hebrew the talmud and general theology it might be exclusively jewish in All its arrangements but inasmuch As its aim should be to afford its students the equal advantages of a Superior classical education in can Only effect the latter object by identifying itself with some existing collegiate establishment possessing a professorial staff which no denominational College unless most richly endowed can afford to support. Beside which it is no unimportant part of the education of Young men who Are to indu a a a ence others that they should be lifted out of their own individuality and be brought in Contact with persons of different views and habits of thought. By this discipline prejudices Are rubbed Down mental conceptions Are enlarged and peculiarities of style and pronunciation As Well As mannerisms in other respects which invariably attach to those who exclusively move and1 mix within a Circle harrowed by particular theological views and by social repossessions Are avoided. Lastly that every inducement should be held out and every encouragement afforded to Young men of note and in. Tell actual Promise to devote their talents to a vocation which in the estimation of that Doble Inin ded jewess Hannah was the High est and the holiest to which her son Samuel could hebrew scriptures. In one of the synagogues at a pet i found a scribe engaged in making a copy of the Law. A More elegant hebrew manuscript or More perfect specimen of the calligraphic Art i never saw than that executed by tills jewish amanuensis. No printed Page could surpass it in Beauty symmetry and distinctness with which the characters were drawn. One peculiarity that struck me at once As r cast my Eye Over the Parchment was the Hor like appearance attached to som of the letters. I had Peen the same Mark before this in hebrew manuscripts but never was it so prominent As Here. The sign in question As connected with the hebrew letter lamed in particular had almost the a appearance of unintentional imitation of a ram s head. It was to that appendage of the hebrew letters that the Savior referred when he said a not one or Little Horn As."th9 greek term signifies which our version renders a Tittle a a shall pass from the Law till All be Matt. 5 is. It was on one of the mounts of Galilee that Tho Savior uttered these words and it was exceedingly interesting to meet with such a proof in the same country that copies of Tho old testament Are still made there so minutely similar to those used in Tho synagogues when Christ himself preached in. the labor expended by Tho jews in copy ing the scriptures a exemplified in the preceding Case has always distinguished them As far As we have the Means of know a ing what their habits in this respect have been. In one sense at least they appear to have been their Trust a to whom a were am matted the ,�?� romans 3 2 they did not alter or mutilate the sacred text. Our Savior charged Tho jews a a a of his time with having committed Ein but he a a a a b Quot i m did not accuse the their fathers of baying corrupted the records of. Their religions Aith
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