Our Little Jewish Cousin
In whatever direction you may travel,—north, south, east, or west,—you will doubtless meet some of your little black-eyed Jewish cousins. They live among us here in America. They also dwell in the countries far away across the wide ocean. Why are they so scattered, you may ask. Is there no country which is really theirs, and which is ruled over by some one they have chosen? Is there not some place where they can gather together happily whenever they please? The answer is always no. They cannot say of this land or of that, "It is ours," for they are homeless. Palestine, which was once theirs, is now in the hands of the Turks. Jerusalem, the city they love best in the whole world, is in the power of those who look with scorn upon the Jewish people. For many centuries they have been scattered far and wide. Their children learn to speak the language of the country where they happen to be born. They play the games and dress in the fashion of that country. What is it that keeps them Jews? It is their religion, and their religion alone. It binds them as closely together now as it did in the days when they worshipped in the great temple at Jerusalem, two thousand years ago. These Jewish cousins would say to us, "Our people have suffered greatly. Yet they do not lose courage. Our parents tell us stories of the glorious past, over and over again. They will not let us forget it, and they teach us to hope for the time when Jerusalem will again be ours, and a new temple, in which we shall be free to worship, will stand upon the spot where the old one was destroyed."
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