M'gilath S'darim‎ > ‎Chapters‎ > ‎

Chapter 33

It only remains to relate how I interceded on behalf of our community on one more occasion. When in Turkey, I contracted an intimate friendship with Baron de Bredau, who is now promoted to the rank of Colonel and is in command of the Fort at Olomouc. During the four years we stayed in Turkey I had obliged him in many ways, including frequent advances of money. He was a personal friend of the District Commissioner of Olomouc. When in our neighbourhood, the District Commissioner had once honoured me with a visit, bringing greetings from his friend, Baron de Agilari. He expressed his willingness to entertain any request I chose to make of him; so I entreated him to shield our community against the attacks and tyrranies of the priest of the town. (And as we wished to repainr the second House of Worship, built 8 years before from rotten timber, the priest would in all likelihood raise an outcry against us about that, and we particularly wanted protection.)

So he promised to stand by us in case of need.

Then I asked him to amend a sentence on the Royal Decree. For it said there that we were allowed to perform marriage ceremonies, provided we place the chupah in the bridegroom’s house, instead of in the House of Worship. This must clearly have been a clerical mistake, for most Úsov houses are too small for either a chupah or the ten persons required for the ceremony. I therefore craved permission to arrange marriage ceremonies outside the bridegroom’s house. I also asked permission to sell the seats in the House of Worship.

To this he replied that he had not the power either to make the alteration or grant the request, but we could rely on his assistance. And he advised us to petition the Royal Council. This would be sent on to the Tribunal and thence to him, and he would do his utmost to persuade the authorities to grant our request.

The congregation were exceeding glad at the words of the District Commissioner, and had two petitions prepared, one for HM the Queen and one for Duke Lichtenstein to put forward on our behalf. My brother-in-law had at this time a personal friend in the Duke’s palace; he wrote to him and asked him to enlist the Duke on our side, to intercede with HM the Queen on our behalf.

Not many months afterwards we received the Queen’s permission in the matter of rebuilding the second House of Worship, and in the arranging of marriage ceremonies. But as regards our third request, the selling of seats was forbidden. But we were allowed instead to hire them out every year according to any value we put upon them. And members could retain their rights to the seats for their lifetime, or the lifetime of their wives, after which the seat would revert to the community.

The Duke forwarded to us the second Charter in the year 5522 (1761), nine years after we had obtained the first Charter.

So by the mercy of God we erected the second House of Worship, which excelled in all respects the first one we had built nine years ago. And there was joy and gladness in the town of Úsov.


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