INVITATION IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN
You are invited to attend and participate in a meeting at my home 663 Fillmore Street, Denver, Colorado, on the Sunday of the next Passover 5689, C.E. April 28, 1929, at 6 p.m., which meeting is hereby called for the purpose of discussing and deliberating upon the organization of a Jewish Society for the promotion of the Divine Mission of Israel. In furtherance of that purpose, this society will in due time select a representative who shall proceed to Jerusalem to confer with our brethren there, who will thereupon issue a Call from Jerusalem to all Israel throughout the Nations of the world, for the assembly of the Great Sanhedrin at the Holy City of Jerusalem, to review the jurisdiction judgments and decrees of the Sanhedrin acting at Jerusalem during the Power and Domination of Rome, and especially to consider and review the life and trial of Jesus of Nazareth.
And the Great Sanhedrin, after the impartial reception of all evidence appertaining thereto, and after the consideration of the historical circumstances surrounding these events, and after hearing every argument by all competent Christian as well as Jewish scholars, learned upon the subject, the Great Sanhedrin shall, after due and careful deliberation render a true decision, and righteous judgment therein.
The Great Sanhedrin, furthermore, shall review the decisions and judgments of our Rabbis, issued in the centuries following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman power, which decisions and judgments interpreting divine law, have vitally preserved the spiritual life of the Jewish people in all generations living the past twenty centuries, but which decisions and judgments of our Rabbis may now need revision in order better to provide for the future spiritual welfare of our people.
All of which acts, decisions and judgments, the Great Sanhedrin shall carefully review and CONSIDER IN THE LIGHT OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES and in the light of the recent tremendous events arising from the World War, which have profoundly affected the life of all nations, and which have deeply altered the vital currents of world history. And after due and careful deliberation upon all these matters, the Great Sanhedrin shall fearlessly render true decisions and righteous judgments therein and thereby promote the spiritual welfare of all Israel throughout the world.
May the Lord our God guide and bless all acts and deliberations serving to promote these matters to a good and righteous conclusion.
(Signed) SOLOMON SHWAYDER
Chairman Organization Committee.
Issued at Denver, Colorado U. S. A., Purim, 5689 (C.E. March 26, 1929).
. . . . .
An explanatory letter was sent with the invitation, as given above, which reads, in part, as follows:
A letter of explanation is appropriate at this time. You are solemnly assured that this enterprise is a purely Jewish movement. Loyal Jews who are earnestly devoted to the ideals of Judaism, have conceived and originated it and only Jewish people, who are firmly loyal to the principles and ideals of Judaism, will be permitted to become identified and associated with us.
The World War brought about such tremendous consequences, that many years will be required to fully liquidate them. One of the really great events that arose from the World War, was this conquest of Jerusalem by Great Britain. This momentous event has radically altered the status and has vitally affected the religious outlook of the Children of Israel. The Christian world cannot yet fully appreciate what has happened and what is now moving the Jewish Soul. For the first time in over two thousand years the Holy City of Jerusalem has now again, under the Providence of God, become a free city, where Jewish people may dwell in freedom and security, and where our Great Sanhedrin may again assemble and render true and righteous judgments in the name of God, and without fear of men.
This was not possible at any time in any generation, either during or since the power and domination of Rome over Jerusalem, until Great Britain was inspired to make the Holy Land free and secure to the Jewish people in this present generation. This freedom and security accorded to the Jewish people of this present generation involves an obligation to give a Jewish answer to the blood accusations hurled at the Jewish people. Since the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Power, and in every generation thereafter, and for nearly two thousand years since the forcible dispersion of the Jewish people among the Gentile nations, violent blood accusations have been hurled against the Jewish people, holding them all responsible and guilty, our ancestors and their descendants alike, of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
And for nearly two thousand years, the Children of Israel, in all generations have been compelled to stand mute and silent to all these violent accusations, because the little band of Jews, scattered broadcast throughout the Christian world, dared not to speak and give their answer and defend themselves in the presence of the vast numbers of hostile Gentile peoples that surround them.
And now, for the first time since the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the present generation of Jews has been granted the right, privilege and opportunity to give and organize an authoritative answer to the violent accusations that have been continuously hurled at us for these two thousand years. The Jewish people now have the liberty, freedom and security to give the World their solemn answer at the Holy City of Jerusalem, where the tremendous events took place, and which is the only proper place in all the world, where the Jews could give their true and proper answer.
Let us therefore now take the initial steps to organize and establish a Court of Review, and assemble the Great Sanhedrin at the Holy City of Jerusalem, to review the life and trial of Jesus of Nazareth. Let Christian scholars of every denomination be also invited to appear and present evidence and argument. Let us diligently and honestly search for the facts, and earnestly seek to discover the evidence, and thereupon boldly announce the truth. And if our ancestors were guilty of any crime in this matter, or violated any law or commandment of God, let the Great Sanhedrin fearlessly acknowledge our guilt, and crave Divine pardon. Let a true and righteous judgment be rendered, regardless of the consequences.
(Signed) SOLOMON SHWAYDER,
Chairman Organization Committee
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LETTER TO JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT
Denver, Colorado, April 30, 1929.
HON. JOHN. CAMPBELL, Judge of the Supreme Court, State Capitol Building Denver, Colorado.
I enclose for your information a copy of a document, which will interest you. You were one of the judges who admitted me to the Bar in the Class of 1899. In recent years I have been more active in commercial pursuits, but now again I intend to place in practice the fruits of my legal education, and to devote these talents in the service of the organization of the Great Sanhedrin to be called and assembled in due time at the Holy City of Jerusalem...
But the conquest of Jerusalem by Great Britain is the inspiration of this movement. After ten years of constant conferences with representative Jewish laymen throughout our Country, I proceeded to Jerusalem last year to have further conferences with our brethren there, and the enterprise is now launched. It will now go forward, not depending on the actions or the life or death of any man or men.
I pray I may live long enough so I may have the opportunity of appearing as one of counsel before this Great Sanhedrin.
Your grateful friend
(Signed) SOLOMON SHWAYDER
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LETTER TO PROFESSOR JEAN
While this matter (of the Great Sanhedrin) has been quietly discussed among large number of Jewish laymen since General Allenby electrified the world with his conquest of Jerusalem, and there is no doubt that a Great Sanhedrin will, in due time, be assembled, at Jerusalem, it is nevertheless true that details are yet in embryo, and await the ripening influence of time for any of us to know just how matters will develop. I think it is very desirable that such should be the situation, in a matter so pregnant with weighty conclusions.
None of us know yet who any of the personnel of the Great Sanhedrin will be. The Organization Committee feels that no less than three years shall be taken for the personnel to be selected. We feel also that the Sanhedrin ought not be dominated by men of ecclesiastical training and thereby incur the danger of having it unduly influenced by tradition, dogma and doctrine. So we have tentatively decided that the Sanhedrin shall be made up of twenty-three Rabbis of great learning and piety; twenty-four scientists and scholars of outstanding attainments; and twenty-four practical, hard headed business men, possessed of keen analytical minds. All of these men are of course to be Jews of outstanding honor, integrity and righteousness, so that when their names are announced to the world, every class of people, throughout the world, will concede that no finer, fairer, more intellectual and righteous body of men of like number has ever been assembled together for deliberation.
Of course, no man can predict what the Great Sanhedrin will do after they are organized and proceed with their work...
The present intentions of the sponsors of the movement are to confine the investigations only to the question of the life and trial of Jesus of Nazareth. What other angles will develop from this investigation and what other allied and pertinent questions will be discussed, no living man can predict. Many Jews will oppose this movement in fear, perhaps, that their cherished traditions, dogmas and doctrines will be shattered, and will fear, perhaps, that the Great Sanhedrin will declare that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah. On the other hand, many Christians will also feel that some of their cherished ecclesiastical doctrines will not be approved, and many will fear, perhaps, that the Great Sanhedrin will not approve any denominational Christianity, a Christianity about Jesus rather than a Christianity of Jesus.
It is also agreed that before the Great Sanhedrin shall be permitted to function, each and every member thereof shall be separately sworn members, composing the leading Rabbis, Jewish scholars, and laymen of the world, should in due time, be assembled at Jerusalem to review the jurisdiction, judgments and decrees of the Sanhedrin acting at Jerusalem during the power and domination of ancient Rome and which was the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus.
While the trial and crucifixion of Jesus occurred nearly two thousand years ago, the matter has always remained to every generation thereafter, a burning issue for all Jews, down to this very day. Two thousand years is a very long time in the sight of man, but no statute of limitations is applicable, where men are accused of violating the laws of God, especially when a thousand years in the sight of God is but a day.
We should therefore cheerfully and manfully face the issue raised by the blood accusations hurled at the heads of ancestors and ourselves and carefully review and consider and give a solemn Jewish answer to the life, trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, that marvelous Jewish son who sprang from the loins of Israel and who is the most esteemed and venerated of all men in the sight of hundreds of millions of Christian People throughout the nations of the world. Let us also be reminded of the fact that in the very midst of the bitterest Christian persecutions of the Jews, that many of our greatest Rabbis and scholars have praised the personality of Jesus, and have certified that the propagation of Christianity was ordained through the Providence of God, as a means of bringing our Holy Scriptures and the knowledge of God to the Gentile nations of the world.
Let the present generation of Jews now grasp this glorious opportunity to redeem our good name of our ancestors and of ourselves, and for the sake of our children, and of the good name of the generations of Jews who are to follow us.
Let us therefore now take the initial steps to organize and establish a Court of Review, and assemble the Great Sanhedrin at the Holy City of Jerusalem, to review the life and trial of Jesus of Nazareth. Let Christian scholars of every denomination be also invited to appear and present evidence and argument. Let us diligently and honestly search for the facts, and earnestly seek to discover the evidence, and thereupon boldly announce the truth. And if our ancestors were guilty of any crime in the matter, or violated any law or commandment of God, let the great Sanhedrin fearlessly acknowledge our guilt, and crave Divine pardon. Let a true and righteous judgment be rendered, regardless of the consequences.
(Signed) SOLOMON SHWAYDER,
Chairman Organization Committee.
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LETTER TO THE LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., July 1, 1929. THE LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE, No. 2 Finsbury Square, London, E.C. 2, England.
An editorial by Mentor in your issue of June 14th, has been called to my attention. Your publication enjoys a world-wide reputation for high character and reliability, and for that reason it has surprised me to note the unfair personal criticism you indulge in, concerning an individual you do not know, and to attack a movement of which you cannot yet have any adequate knowledge of the facts. When you will have learned what we are trying to do, I am sure you will eagerly and most heartily approve the high aims and objects we have in mind. We are trying to preserve Judaism for our children, and to equip them with the necessary weapons to defend their spiritual lives against the assaults of what you call the Perversionists, and surely you must be in most hearty accord and sympathy with any such most worthy Jewish movement.
You write about the Jewish position regarding Jesus of Nazareth. What Is That Position? I will repeat the question, so as to emphasize it in your deepest conscience. What Is the Jewish Position Regarding Jesus of Nazareth? That happens to be exactly the very precise question to which the sponsors of our movement are earnestly seeking to secure an authoritative Jewish answer, from a duly organized and representative body of Jewish Rabbis, Jewish Scholars, and Jewish leaders, and when we have secured that authoritative Jewish answer, we shall promptly arm and equip our children with that Jewish weapon, and thereby enable them to preserve their integrity and Jewish identity, and maintain and promote their Jewish spiritual life.
I am not a theologian nor a scholar, but only an ordinary Jewish layman, actively engaged in commercial pursuits; but I have found the time to discuss the question with thousands of Jewish business men in America during the past ten years, since General Allenby reclaimed Palestine for Britain and Israel. I have also interviewed Rabbis, and have read the writings of many more, and have read some Jewish books upon the subject, written by eminent scholars, and it is impossible to find any consistent, harmonious Jewish answer or positive position upon the subject.
At best, these Rabbis and scholars express only their own personal opinions upon the matter, which are altogether variant and absolutely discordant, and wholly useless as a means of giving a united Jewish expression which could be used by the Jewish laity, in giving their Christian friends a Jewish answer as to what Jesus of Nazareth means to the Jewish people. It is a shame to have to admit it, but it is a fact, that notwithstanding nineteen centuries of time in which the Jewish people have been in close contact with Christianity our Jewish leaders have not yet formulated an organized and authoritative Jewish answer to this burning question.
Twenty centuries have come since the trial and condemnation of Jesus of Nazareth. When our Jewish ancestors lived in Ghettos, separate and apart from the Christian peoples, Jesus of Nazareth might very well have been ignored, and our Jewish Rabbis could quite consistently answer the Jewish people of the Ghetto, either, that Jesus was a myth, or a black magician or what not, and could get away with that opportunism.
The Rabbis could even refuse to give any answer at all, and sharply rebuke the inquiring laity for having the presumptuous temerity to ask such blasphemous questions, and the Rabbis could get away with that also. But these Rabbinical answers of the Ghetto can no longer avail the Jewish people living in these modern times. The ostrich may hide her head in the sand, but that action does not remove the peril that threatens her. As compared with these variant answers of the Rabbis of the Ghetto we find that many Rabbis of modern synagogues and temples, particularly of the so-called Reformed Jewish temples, have certified that Jesus of Nazareth must be accepted as a great prophet in Israel, and some have even urged that the New Testament Scriptures be studied in our Jewish religious schools. The result of all these divergent and discordant opinions among our Jewish leaders has been to plunge the Jewish people into mental turmoil and spiritual misery, and some organized constructive action must speedily be taken, if disaster is to be avoided. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the Jewish people do not live in locked up ghettos any longer. We live among Christian people as friendly neighbors. We meet these neighbors eye to eye, and speak to them face to face. The radio in our Jewish homes transmit continuously the messages of the Christian gospels, and our Jewish children are asking us very embarrassing questions about Jesus of Nazareth. Shall the Jewish laity be abandoned by their leaders, and left helpless, and continue to remain neglected and unequipped to meet the Christian world on even terms? The Jewish people, with hunger in their hearts, are appealing to their Rabbis, to their scholars and intellectual leaders, to get together and organize and formulate an authoritative Jewish answer to this ever burning question of what the life and trial of Jesus of Nazareth means to the Jews. If our Jewish leaders will ignore the matter, and continue to neglect to act, and will refuse to give the world an authoritative Jewish answer to this question, the Jewish people, in despair, will find that they are raising up their children only for them to abandon Judaism altogether, or to consign them to the ranks of infidelity and atheism.
http://ariel.org/dlc/dlc-tb-21.htm ; Accessed: 10/22/13.