It would be an affront to our intelligent elements to point out everything that they have to do. Every man who attaches himself to the National Idea will know how to spread it, and how to make it real within his sphere of influence. We shall first of all ask for the cooperation of our Rabbis.
Every group will have its Rabbi, travelling with his congregation. Local groups will afterwards form voluntarily about their Rabbi, and each locality will have its spiritual leader. Our Rabbis, on whom we especially call, will devote their energies to the service of our idea, and will inspire their congregations by preaching it from the pulpit. They will not need to address special meetings for the purpose; an appeal such as this may be uttered in the synagogue. And thus it must be done. For we feel our historic affinity only through the faith of our fathers as we have long ago absorbed the languages of different nations to an ineradicable degree.
The Rabbis will receive communications regularly from both Society and Company, and will announce and explain these to their congregations. Israel will pray for us and for itself.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LOCAL GROUPS
The local groups will appoint small committees of representative men under the Rabbi's presidency, for discussion and settlement of local affairs.
Philanthropic institutions will be transferred by their local groups, each institution remaining "over there" the property of the same set of people for whom it was originally founded. I think the old buildings should not be sold, but rather devoted to the assistance of indigent Christians in the forsaken towns. The local groups will receive compensation by obtaining free building sites and every facility for reconstruction in the new country.
This transfer of philanthropic institutions will give another of those opportunities, which occur at different points of my scheme, for making an experiment in the service of humanity. Our present unsystematic private philanthropy does little good in proportion to the great expenditure it involves. But these institutions can and must form part of a system by which they will eventually supplement one another. In a new society these organizations can be evolved out of our modern consciousness, and may be based on all previous social experiments. This matter is of great importance to us, on account of our large number of paupers. The weaker characters among us, discouraged by external pressure, spoilt by the soft-hearted charity of our rich men, easily sink until they take to begging.
The Society, supported by the local groups, will give greatest attention to popular education with regard to this particular. It will create a fruitful soil for many powers which now wither uselessly away. Whoever shows a genuine desire to work will be suitably employed. Beggars will not be endured. Whoever refuses to do anything as a free man will be sent to the workhouse.
On the other hand, we shall not relegate the old to an almshouse. An almshouse is one of the cruelest charities which our stupid good nature ever invented. There our old people die out of pure shame and mortification. There they are already buried. But we will leave even to those who stand on the lowest grade of intelligence the consoling illusion of their utility in the world. We will provide easy tasks for those who are incapable of physical labor; for we must allow for diminished vitality in the poor of an already enfeebled generation. But future generations shall be dealt with otherwise; they shall be brought up in liberty for a life of liberty.
We will seek to bestow the moral salvation of work on men of every age and of every class; and thus our people will find their strength again in the land of the seven-hour day.
Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor
This edition published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council
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