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One Religion. One World. One Big Headache

Yep. "We are the World" starts now. A Reform synagogue as been built in Vienna. These are the early days of the Jewish Reform Movement. (They are NOT like the modern day Reform Jews.) The city laws that once restricted Jews have been repealed and the Jewish community is grateful. Thus, when the City Temple (or synagogue) is opened, the rabbi allows a choir to sing just like the Christians do. The Reform Movement re-forms traditional Jewish Law into something better suited for modern social requirements. They move the Jewish services to Sunday and add an organ for music, but stay within a Jewish context (more-or-less). Enlightenment ideals are forcing society to tolerate differing groups by pressuring them to become more alike. In this context, religions must abandon certain aspects of their worship in order to build one religion, one nation, one people, one world. Unfortunately, this is causing a lot of push back and not only from Orthodox Jews. Christians are not liking the changes much either. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
At the time it was believed that religious intolerance could be overcome if we would let go of our old traditions, and create new ones. Idealism ran high, but by the 1840s the world returned to an "us verses them" approach. That was when the Jews started migrating to America. They came to the ports of Charleston, South Carolina and Galveston, Texas at first. They knew very little about farming, so they became salesmen, peddlers and tailors. They also became a pain in the neck to General Grant during the Civil War. He didn't like so many peddlers outside his camps. He believed they were engaging in black market activities. Just about everyone was. Even Grant's quartermasters were. The North had textile factories, but no cotton. The South had cotton but no textile factories. You do the math. Ideals are fine until you have to pay the bills. Then only the richest can afford them... ideals, that is. [6] [7] [8]

FYI, it is wise to use the word "synagogue" rather than "temple" when referring to a Jewish place of worship OTHER than the Temple in Jerusalem. If you are not a Jew and call your place of worship a temple, that is fine. This is a controversy between Jews. Secondly, in the 1820s there was no such thing as an Orthodox Jew, but the Reform Jews labelled anyone who disagreed with them as "Orthodox" and the name stuck.

The 50th Independence Day

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Even though we celebrate on July 4th when the document was ratified, there has always been controversy over which day to celebrate. Contrary to the famous picture depicting the Founding Fathers lining up to sign this founding document, not all the signers were present on the same day. Many of them signed on August 2nd. The Liberty Bell was rung on July 8th, but the actual vote for Independence was on July 2nd. John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail... [9]

The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Sorry John. It was July 4th, but a great tragedy occurred on that July 4th, 1826. John Adams passed away at his home in Braintree, Massachusetts... now named "Quincy." He was 90 years old. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives!" He could not know that Jefferson had died earlier that day at his home in Monticello. The two men had been good friends and then bitter rivals, but after retirement, their mutual friend, Benjamin Rush, conspired to bring them together again, at least in letter writing. They didn't always agree, but their correspondence gave them an opportunity to explain themselves to each other. They also knew that we would be reading their letters years later, so it gave them an opportunity to send a message to us as well. [10]

An Early Texas Independence Day

There have been more than 6 flags over Texas and this is one of them. The Fredonian Rebellion begins in Nacadoches (NAK-eh-DOH-chiss) led by Haden Edwards who has claimed land there as a LEGAL immigrant and now wants to rebel against Mexico. Edwards had won a contract to settle 800 new residents in the region, but a misunderstanding (perhaps intentional on Edwards' part) caused Edwards to disrupt the local residents already living there. He had no authority but he removed several local government officials and declared independence... all within a couple of months so you know he really thought it through. Right? The Republic of Freedonia will last for about a month until Stephen F. Austin (Yes. THAT Austin) rolls in with his troops and deposes Edwards. This incident forces the Mexican government to increase its troop presence in Tejas and to limit immigration. This has the added benefit of reducing Indian raids. Some historians point to the Fredonian Rebellion as the beginning of the Texas Revolution. [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Maybe Mexico should make the United States pay for a border fence. Eh? Illegal immigration into Tejas was a major problem at the time. Stephen F. Austin's father had gained permission from Mexico to allow a few US citizens to immigrate to Tejas. (Edwards was one of them.) Thus, Austin and his band were LEGAL immigrants. Immigration permission was granted because Mexico could not talk its citizens into moving north to Tejas. (It was probably because of the Indian raids.) Austin promised that he would bring only Catholic US citizens to populate the region so Mexico approved. They also granted permission to these immigrants to bring their slaves. (Mexico had already outlawed slavery.) The legal immigrants prospered, which attracted ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS and that caused problems. (Illegal immigrant being defined as an unauthorized US citizen.) Austin tried to fix it with the Mexican government but they didn't buy it. Austin was imprisoned and after he was let go, well... that is another story. [12] [13]

In Other News

  • The internal combustion engine is patented in the USA. The engine has unique features for the time such as a carburetor and values. [14]
  • The galvanometer is invented. That is the needle on your audio meter that jumps back and forth as you are talking into the microphone. [15]
  • One-third of West Point cadets are involved in the Eggnog Riot. A few enterprising cadets sneak whiskey into the eggnog on Christmas day with predictable results. One of the participants is a young Jefferson Davis who will become President of the Confederate States. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1826, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Historical Timeline of Vienna (PDF). Expat Center Vienna. 2014 [last update] (TIMELINE) Quote: "1826 Glamorous opening of the Jewish City Temple in Seitenstetten Street."
  2. Michael Jackson- We Are The World (with lyrics). YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “We Are The World by Michael Jackson”
  3. "Austrian Jews have yet to regain numbers", San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, 2008. Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “Seventy years after the Nazis destroyed Jewish schools, businesses and synagogues during the infamous Kristallnacht, or 'Night of Broken Glass,' on Nov. 9-10, 1938, there are signs of vibrancy in the Jewish communities of Austria and Germany. But Jewish leaders warn that immigration restrictions in both countries threaten to choke off their communities' rebirth within a generation.” 
  4. Isaac Noah Mannheimer - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “In 1821 Mannheimer went to Vienna, where there was then no congregation, the community being divided into two opposing parties. Mannheimer, who was welcomed by both factions, soon succeeded in organizing a congregation, drafting a program and ritual on the traditional basis and harmonizing the views of the two parties. He returned to Copenhagen in December of the same year. Failing in his attempt to secure a new synagogue for Reform services, he accepted a call to the pulpit left vacant by Zunz in Berlin.”
  5. Blau, Joseph Leon. Modern Varieties of Judaism: Lectures on the History of Religions. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231028679. “To understand the historical necessity for this reshaping of the nationalist element in Jewish thought, we must remember that the emancipated status that Enlightenment held out to the Jews of Western Europe never really materialized and that the Jews of Eastern Europe never shared the promise. By the time that enlightened emancipation had progressed far enough for the patterns of Jewish interpretation that I have discussed to have developed, the Western European world had already retreated from Reason and Enlightenment to a new irrationalism, a new authoritarianism, in some respects a new medievalism.” 
  6. Stadttempel - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 July 2016. “The Stadttempel was the only synagogue in the city to survive World War II, as the Nazis destroyed all of the other 93 synagogues and Jewish prayer-houses in Vienna.”
  7. General Grant's Infamy. Jewish Virtual Library (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department [the 'Department of the Tennessee,' an administrative district of the Union Army of occupation composed of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.”
  8. General Order No. 11 (1862) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “The order was issued as part of a Union campaign against a black market in Southern cotton, which Grant thought was being run 'mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders.'”
  9. United States Declaration of Independence - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 April 2016. “The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The next day, July 3rd, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: 'The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.'”
  10. Thomas Jefferson - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “In the first decades of their political careers, Jefferson and John Adams had been good friends, serving together in the Continental Congress in the 1770s and in Europe in the 1780s. The Federalist/Republican split of the 1790s divided them, however, and Adams felt betrayed by Jefferson's sponsorship of partisan attacks, such as those of James Callender. Jefferson, on the other hand, was angered at Adams for his appointment of 'midnight judges'.”
  11. Fredonian Rebellion - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “Despite his abrasiveness, Edwards was granted a colonization contract on April 14[5] allowing him to settle 800 families in East Texas. The contract contained standard language requiring Edwards to recognize all pre-existing Spanish and Mexican land titles in his grant area, to raise a militia to protect the settlers in the area, and to allow the state land commissioner to certify all deeds awarded.[”
  12. Hardin, Stephen L.. Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292731028. 
  13. Alex Shrugged notes: My memory of Texas history comes from reading the Texian Iliad by Stephen L. Hardin. If I get it wrong it is because I didn't remember it right, and frankly, history from that time in Texas is a little fuzzy already.
  14. The Unsolved Mystery of Samuel Morey. physics.wisc.edu (2011). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “Morey demonstrated his engine in New York and Philadelphia and there are eyewitness reports for both.[73] In Philadelphia, he demonstrated it powering a boat and a wagon. Unfortunately, when he decided to demonstrate the car on the street, he fell off after starting the engine and the vehicle powered across Market Street into a ditch.”
  15. Galvanometer - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “A galvanometer is an electromechanical instrument for detecting and measuring electric current. The most common use of galvanometers was as analog measuring instruments, called ammeters, used to measure the direct current (flow of electric charge) through an electric circuit.”
  16. Eggnog Riot - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 13 July 2016. “The Eggnog Riot, sometimes known as the Grog Mutiny, was a riot that took place at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, on 24–25 December 1826. It was caused by a drunken Christmas Day party in the North Barracks of the academy. Two days prior to the incident, a large quantity of whiskey was smuggled into the academy to make eggnog for the party, giving the riot its name. The riot eventually involved more than one-third of the cadets by the time it ceased on Christmas morning.”

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