Jerusalem Consul Wallace and Chief Rabbi Salant Solicit American Funds for the City’s Yeshiva 'Etz Hachaim' and 'Bikur Holim' Hospital

Document Signed
8 pages
SMC 836
Appealing to “Our saviors in America!” the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, endorsed by the American Consul to the Holy Land, Edwin S. Wallace, asks the brethren in “the spirit of our tradition: ‘Give, yea give’ meaning ‘give and give again’” to “summon the strength needed to continue your efforts on our behalf, in order to strengthen and preserve and save our institutions from financial ruin and liquidation.” The situation of two of Jerusalem’s loftiest institutions, the Talmud Torah House and the General Hospital, are in dire straights, Rabbi Salant and Consul Wallace attest: this, the unhappy result of the “terrible loss of employment and income of our brothers in Russia who have heretofore been great supporters” - though “even in America, financial vicissitudes have turned former donors from those who give to those in need.” But however terrible it is to see benefactors suffer, still charitable deeds may be effected, and to this end, the “brothers in America, who live in the United States but whose souls are bound to our Holy Land” are encouraged to assist in every possible manner, the Talmud Torah House and General Hospital of Jerusalem, described at some length, thusly…

The Talmud Torah House provides spiritual nourishment for four hundred children, the dear children of Zion, orphans and children of the needy, and raises them, within its walls, to [a life of] Torah and awe of God, morality and respectfulness. Thirty-five educators teach them the ways of God, from the alphabet through the Talmud and its commentaries. Two special scholars teach them writing, language and arithmetic. The most destitute among them also receive shoes and clothing. As for those children who show no signs of blessing in their studies, the House fund assists them in learning trades that can support their masters. And in addition to the children who are sheltered in this House, they [the benefactors] provide aid for the tuition fees of many youths who, due to weaknesses in recruitment or the distance of their homes, are unable to be cared for in the House.

And the general hospital! ... stands high on the foundations of Mount Zion! Its rooms are spacious, its windows clear [and open to] a place of fresh air; it looks out upon the Jordan. It offers fifty beds to welcome our people's sick with compassion and heartfelt mercy. Two expert and famed physicians supervise the work, to swiftly bring these patients salvation and cure, with the help of God. All the servants scurry to sustain them in their sickbeds, with salutary foods, milk, meat, perfumed wines, and all the balms of Gilead and fragrances of Sheba. There is no stinting concerning provisions for the sick; whatever the physicians prescribe is supplied. Four times a week, the hospital's physicians sit in the consultation room, to cure any sick person ambulating with a cane outside, who may come and ask for their advice. These patients receive counsel completely gratis, and the healing potions are almost free of charge. Similarly, help and support is brought to the sick in their homes, when all fifty beds are insufficient to take them in, and [assistance is given] to the miserable who must travel to great physicians abroad and to medicinal spas.

Talmud Torah Schools were created in the Jewish world, as a form of public primary school for boys of modest backgrounds, there to be given an elementary education in Hebrew, the Scriptures, and the Talmud – that they might continue on to study at a Yeshiva. The first appeared in Jerusalem during the time of Ezra (c. 460 BCE). When the first hospital was established in Jerusalem is not a fact at hand, but in 1895, the City boasted seventeen. 

That Consul Wallace would be actively promoting both the Talmud Torah School, and the free Jerusalem hospital is typical of his affinity for the Jewish people in Palestine. In his book, Jerusalem the Holy, he wrote of his belief that the time was not distant when Palestine would be in “the hands of a people who will restore it to its former condition of productiveness.” The Jews, he was sure, were that people, and their hour was nigh. “The subject of Israel’s restoration,” he wrote, “is not a popular one now; but the unpopular of today is the universally accepted of tomorrow.”
Document Signed, highly decorative, in Hebrew and in English, 8 pages, quarto, Jerusalem, co-signed by Rabbi Shmuel Salant. Being a “prospectus” to raise funds in America for the Talmud Torah House and General Hospital in Jerusalem. Bearing various official stamps.

Note: the page numbered 7 is missing from original document.
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