19th Century Hebrew Newspaper

Translation Copyright 2001 by Morris Rosenthal

Translations from Hebrew

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Copyright 2002 by Morris Rosenthal

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Letter to HaYom, 1886

by Sarah Faiga Foner

Letter to HaYom, 1886

The principal of the school "Gymnasium Alexander" issued an order to all of the Jewish students in all departments that they must learn to understand Hebrew. When they stand for their examinations they will be examined in their Hebrew subjects in as in all other subjects. If they are knowledgeable in all subjects, and only in Hebrew are they lacking, they will not pass on to the next form, but remain in their places from the year before. Like sharp arrows these words have pierced the hearts of the young men, the majority of whom barely understand Hebrew at all, and Tanach - of what interest is that! Now every student in the school will want to know the name of the angel who taught Joseph seventy languages in one night, in order to invoke his name and energetically beseech him that they be delivered from captivity and be able to pass their tests. But because this is a secret blocked from them and the name of the angel they will never know, they are compelled to come into the midst of beings of flesh and blood and seek help from Jewish men to be educated. This sorrow has come to the students of Riga and who knows if the decree won't spread to other cities. Therefore, I find myself obligated to write to expose this matter publicly, in order that this "evil" be promoted, and that they should always have before their eyes the saying of wise one, "To despise a thing is injurious to one."

Sarah Faiga Foner

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