Zionist Commission to
We have all just returned from a weekend trip to
The trip up was negotiated partly by machine and part by train. The train ride is thru most picturesque country – the hills surrounding
We met Dr. Rubinow and a number of his doctors and nurses. We located ourselves at the Commission house where the Z.C. representative, Rev. Segal and his son live. In the afternoon and next few days we wandered about, at least I did, saturating ourselves in the atmosphere of the Bible. We saw the old city with its narrow dirty streets, its unsanitary open market places, its clumsy old buildings, its massive archways; we saw the site of the old Temple and the magnificent Mosque of Omar inlaid with different colored stone; we saw the cave where Peter the Great (or someone else) delivered some famous or infamous speeches and several places where Jacob was buried – all equally authentic -; we climbed the Mt. of Olives where the OETA (occupied enemy territory administrator) is located and on one side saw Jerusalem on one side – free from all the sordid dirtiness of closer inspection – and on the other side the Jordan valley and in the distance the Dead Sea. On the hillside graze flocks of sheep and several cows. Closer an Arab is manipulating an ancient wooden plough drawn by an ox and a little donkey. There a few trees on the landscape – it is rocky and the top soil has been entirely washed away. Here and there stands a stumpy olive or fig tree and in the distance are a few stately cypress. The temperature is such that at noon for several hours it is as warm as our warmest days – it is customary for that reason to take two hours for lunch – while in the evening an overcoat is a decided comfort.
I brought your regards to Miss Seeligsburg, Mother, and she is duly grateful.
There is one very nice young fellow in the AZMU (Amer. Zionist Med. Unit). By trade he is a dentist, and a very efficient one – treating in a most satisfactory manner between fifty and sixty patients daily. At the hotel there was a piano – so that between us we stirred up quite a bit of excitement for Jer. The nurses joined in and we had a dance.
The following day I took a walk with one of the members of the Azmu, Moses Barroway – older brother of one of my classmates at JHU. We visited some of the little Jewish settlements on the outskirts of town. We got into one of the little schools. There seemed to be about one book to every few pupils. They were reading the weekly portion of the Bible. All were chanting in unison – yelling at the top of their lungs – interrupted occasionally by their ancient teacher. The rooms were small and the noise quite deafening. Of course when we entered the various classrooms the uproar increased; the louder they sing apparently the better they knew their lessons. How they learn anything is an inexplicable mystery.
I returned by auto Monday eve. It was moonlight and the trip was pleasant. The others returned by train.
For the last two days the work of the Z. C. has begun in earnest. At a formal meeting the reorganization with Dr. F. as the acting chairman was effected. It consists of Drs. Weitzman,
Lots of love,