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Chapter 28

These are the nine points of distinction between a Synagogue and a house of worship. And not having been able to consult with anyone about it, I was anxious lest, on the one hand, the differences seemed to the authorities insufficient to justify permitting us to build a House of Worship; and, on the other, these nine points would be too many in the eyes of the community: the latter might be dissatisfied at the many restrictions on the shape of the building imposed by my definitions.

But the reasons that prompted me in my definitions will be apparent to all who reflect upon the matter. For we have been subject to innumerable complaints by the priest of Úsov about our mode of worship, which resembles that in a synagogue, with an Ark, raised platform etc. Further, the Tribunal have already refused to accept the distinctions put to them on a previous occasion, for fear of being taken to task by HM the Queen, who sided with the Holy Consistory. For these reasons, I, the head and spokesman of our community, had to so contrive the descriptions as to satisfy the bitterest of our enemies and the most reluctant of our friends. For it would have been nothing short of a miracle to get the consent of so many courts unless a house of worship were shown to be very different from a synagogue; and the priest would certainly have complained once more had we ventured to build anything similar to a synagogue, and all our efforts would then have been wasted.

I therefore wrote out the above definitions with due regard to the points which matter most in our practising our prescribed rites and customs. And when I handed the definitions to the Secretary, he was pleased, and assured me that the District Commissioner would endorse our petitions and advise the Tribunal in our favour.


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