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APPENDIX D.- ■
-ME. COHEN ON JEWS IN BAGDAD. 93

to show the advantages of this Institution, and by way of contrast the inefficiency of the other Schools. In the Alliance School five languages are taught, viz., Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, French, and English; further, Grammar, Geography, History, Arithmetic, and the Elements of Science. A gymnasium has lately been added.
In the small private Schools nothing but Hebrew is taught, and the teachers, ignorant of everything but Hebrew, are unable and unfitted to enlighten and improve the minds of their pupils. The study of Gemara, Zohar, 6c., is the aim of every pupil, and this branch of literature is studied by many in a parrot-like way. The practical result of these studies is simply nothing, unless we take into account the curious and very often erroneous ideas which are a prominent feature in Bagdadian knowledge. I was informed a few days ago by a student of the " Zohar" that the sea is salt because the sky touches it and burns it. On my remarking that the sky never touched the sea, and that even if it did it could not burn it, I was credited with a vast amount of strange knowledge.
Another student of that literature assured me that the world will only exist 360 years more, and I found that this idea, which rests on the authority of some obscure work, obtained general credence. Such vague notions must continue so long as they are not corrected by proper " Education."
I will now offer a few remarks about the younger generation. Soon after a child is born its head is covered with numerous integuments, which are rendered imposing by the addition of a turban. The child is not washed for several months. On the top of the head-gear a number of beads and bits of stone or glass are strung, and this appendage is believed to be a preservative against evil influences. It is supposed that now and then children are carried off by cats, and whenever a child dies, strange circumstances are always remembered to have occurred previously. The little boys, only three years old, and continuing to be totally indifferent to cleanliness, are sent to small private Schools, " Medrash," where they learn Hebrew until they are fit for manual employment. The private Schools are attended by 40 to GO pupils. Some Schools even contain from 60 to 120 pupils. Their ages vary from 3 to 15 years, and their payments are from 6d. to 2s. per month, according to their circumstances. On entering the Schools one is struck by the unfitness of these " Educational Establishments," and by the general confusion. The children squat on the ground,
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