Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
Arm in arm Jew and Christian approached Jerusalem the Holy City by the white light of the moon.
Jerusalem by daylight was less alluring-shouting, odors, a flurry of dirty colors, crowds of ragged people in narrow, musty lanes, beggars, sick. people, hungry children, screeching women, shouting tradesmen.. The once royal city of Jerusalem could have sunk no lower.
The travelers viewed all the famous sites, buildings, and ruins. They walked down the noisome little lane that leads to the Wailing Wall, and were revolted by the appearance of the praying beggars there.
"You see, Mr. Kingscourt," said Friedrich, "we have really died dead. There's nothing left of the Jewish kingdom but this fragment of the Temple wall. And though I fathom my soul to its depths, I find nothing in common with these traffickers in the national misfortune."
He had spoken loudly, without realizing that he might be overheard. Besides the praying beggars and the guides, there was present a gentleman in European clothing who turned and spoke to them. His German accent was foreign but cultured.
"You seem to be a Jew, sir, or of Jewish descent."
"Yes," replied Friedrich, somewhat taken by surprise.
"If that is so, perhaps you will allow me to correct your error," continued the stranger. "More remains of the Jews than the stones of this ancient bit of masonry and these poor wretches here who, I grant you, ply no wholesome trade. The Jewish people nowadays should be judged neither by its beggars nor by its millionaires."
"I am not rich," declared Friedrich.
"I see what you are-a stranger to your people. If you ever come to us in Russia, you will realize that a Jewish nation still exists. We have a living tradition, a love of the past, and faith in the future. The best and most cultured men among us have remained true to Judaism as a nation. We desire to belong to no other. We are what our fathers were."
"Excellent!" cried Kingscourt.
Friedrich shrugged slightly, but exchanged a few civil remarks with the stranger, and then went on. When they turned to .look back from the end of the lane, they saw the Russian Jew sunk in silent prayer beside the Wall.
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