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November 27, 1987 - Image 119

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ford the name of a flower or
a precious metal which, Rab-
bi Kaganoff said, derived
from the baroque influence of
the period, such as Golden-
stein or Rosenthal.
"The gaudier the name,
the longer and more compli-
cated the name was, the more
-steins, -thals, and -zweigs
that were added to it, the
more beautiful it was con-
sidered to be," said Rabbi
Kaganoff.
Joseph forbade the Jews to
use Biblical or Hebrew
names, but sometimes the
local officials could be fooled
by Jews who used
homonymous "cover" or
"screen" names, said Rabbi
Kaganoff. "Take the name
Mendelstara, for instance," he
said. "lb the official it sound-
ed like the German expres-
sion for 'root of the almond.
But the Jews knew they were
preserving the Hebrew name,
`Mendel.' The officials were
not linguists so they let
anything that sounded Ger-
man pass."
Sometimes, similarly, Jews
acronymized Hebrew names
to fool the German officials.
The name Katz, for instance,
said Rabbi Kaganoff, sig-
naled "Cohen Tzadek" to the
Jews. lb the German official,
it sounded like the word for
felines.
In part, Joseph's Juden Or-
dinanz showed real sensitivi-
ty to the Jews. In deference to
Jewish feeling, for instance,
Joseph, who permitted Jews
to enter the army, altered the
customary military oath
which ended with the words,
"So help me God and the Ho-
ly Gospels through our Lord
Jesus Christ." The oath for
Jewish soldiers was changed
to say, "So help me God to
eternal life, through the
promise of our true Messiah,
his laws, and the prophets
sent to our fathers."
He instructed his subjects
to "regard the Jews like any
other fellow beings. There
must," he said, "be an end to
the prejudice and contempt
which some subjects, par-
ticularly the unintelligent,
have shown toward the
Jewish nation and which
several times in the past have
led to deplorable behavior
and even criminal excesses."
It would probably be ac-
curate to say, though, that
Joseph's feelings toward the
Jews were "mixed," said Rab-
bi Kaganoff. That much is
obvious from Joseph's or-
dinance, where he also says
the Jews "must not allow the
benificence of His Majesty to
go to their heads and indulge
in wanton and licentious

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