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Referring to the future of Palestine and the hopes of the Hebrews centered therein, the N. York Herald says:
“While the great Christian Powers stand with mail-clad hands to grasp the coveted and tempting bit (Palestine) 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 centuries after!
What a wonderful coincidence! “Not so,” says the Jew, “it is not coincidence, it is my destiny.” Let us now briefly glance at the position of the Jew in this question of the future Palestine. Nations are born from ideas. From the idea of German unity grew the German Empire into actual fact, proclaimed to the world in 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 to-day, whose thunder will again wake 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 while 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.
THE PROPHECY OF RESTORATION
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 temple and the national calamities attending those events. There is not a morning or evening but what they pray, “Gather us together from the four parts of the 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 belief. Their patriotism is beyond all bounds, and to this day the Spanish Jew 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 pathetic evidence of their love for the sacred soil.
“When the railway reaches Jerusalem,
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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 kar-kar “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 in 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 Gishbite prophet.” These and such as these are important inasmuch as they indicate Jewish thought.
— April And May, 1884 —