The Talmudeh Torah

An Article Originally Printed in the New York City Based
Ladino Newspaper La Epoca December 1919

Any one of our Sephardic colony, whether an old resident or a recent one having a little knowledge of our tribal life, knows that we are too much behind the times. That certain things of capital importance are being neglected, things which he himself is not ignorant of. We mean the Talmud Torah. To our shame it has been neglected to this day.

To tell you what we felt when we visited the Talmudeh Torah is beyond our power.

The human touch, the racial feeling that overpowers you is enough to bring you back to a Jewish life again and say with us that Judaism is yet living.

Do you know how the Talmudeh Torah are being kept in existence? Do you know who frequent them and in what squalid quarters the pupils are? Do you know the valiant teachers devoting their time to the end that Judaism might live? Do you realize the wonderful progress our little boys and girls made in our national language?

We know all this and more and we will speak of each at the proper time.

Mr. Aroeste, a factory man, spending his time to collect money for the upkeep of on of the Talmudeh Torah, with tears in his eyes told us: "I am Am Aaretz (ignorant) but it is cruel and shame to see our promising boys and girls lost to Judaism if we neglect them".

We bowed our head and said to ourselves. Were everybody such an Am Aaretz. Judaism would be triumphant.


Excerpts from the Old Ladino Press was developed by S. Alfassa & R. Alfassa-Murrell. Note: The grammar, spelling and syntax of the article is reproduced here as it was in the original article.