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48
SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT.
of the towns, from some being wholly excluded, and in these quarters they were locked up on high festivals and certain public occasions. In most countries they had to pay a poll-tax ; in some they had to wear a distinctive badge, they were restricted as to the number of their marriages, and were forced to submit to humiliations from which the rest of the population were free, such as paying a special toll on crossing bridges, walking in the roadway instead of on the foot-paths, and being excluded from the public parks and gaidens.
After this, to some degree, necessary introduction, I will now proceed to the real subject of our lecture, " The Jews at the present time in their various habitations, and will begin
at the cradle of our race. . , .
The Holy Land.—After many generations of suffering and vicissitudes, the various small congregations which had probably at all times maintained their existence m Palestine, saw their numbers greatly increased in the early part of the present century, by a gradual but progressive influx of Jews from other parts of the Turkish dominions, and also from Poland, Russia, and Central Europe. _ Jerusalem itself, which seventy or eighty years ago counted its Jewish population by hundreds, now contains about 20,000 Jews, and the rest of Palestine fully 30,000 more. The natural longing to inhabit a country hallowed by so many memories, is intensified under oppression; and no doubt if the unfortunate Jews of Russia ware free to follow their own impulses hundreds of thousands would be flocking to the land of their ancestors, probably to live in the intensest misery and to die of starvation. The Turkish Government shows an entire toleration, but is not now favourable to an immigration into Palestine, fearing thereby the inroad of European influence.
The state of the Jews in the Holy Land is not a happy and there is but little outlet for their energies * ^
number give themselves entirely up to Hebrew studies, while the bulk of them eke out a miserable livelihood by such small industries as they can pursue to some advantage, apparently aided, but in reality intensified in pauperism, by the pernicious system of " Halukah," or distribution of alms sent from various countries, which are doled out among the Jewish population in small sums per head. It is to be hoped that the excellent schools and technical classes called after the late Baron Lionel de Rothschild, and admirably presided over by M Nissim Behar, the proposed girls' school, the Orphanage, under the care of Dr. Herzberg, the Horticultural College at Jaffa, founded by the late devoted M. Charles Netter, and
A large
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