Page 126 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
1 1 4
service alone. “Yes, the curse of the poor has been removed,”
David Littwak remarked to his visitors; “they no longer earn
less as producers and pay more as consumers than the rich. Here
the bread of the poor is as cheap as the bread of the rich. There
are no speculators in the necessity of life.”49
Herzl insisted that every form of speculation was to be ex-
eluded in the New Society. Having frequently exposed in his
plays the travesty of marital arrangements by fortune-hunting
marriage seekers—the bargaining preliminaries, the conceal-
ments, the deceptions, misrepresentations, and the like—he was
acutely conscious of the pernicious influence of such “alliances”
on the new generation. But he was realist enough not to eliminate
completely the old custom of arranged marriages. “I must pursue
marriage politics,” he noted in his
But this effort was
not to encourage the type of “speculative partnership” men-
tioned in
Seine H oh e it,
not to make the rich richer, but to
accelerate the upbuilding of a vigorous generation of young
Jews. He noted in his
D iaries
: “To the big bankers who will
admire me I will say, ‘I should very much like you to give your
daughters to strong, progressive young men.’ ” There would be
no begging, no bargaining, no quid pro quo, no sale. But if
there are to be arranged marriages, they must embrace ideals
of love, fidelity, mutual understanding, and the like. Here, as
in other instances, the Littwak family in
A ltneu land ,
him with an appropriate setting. “Would Miriam be capable of
making a marriage like Ernestine’s?,” Dr. Loewenberg asked
himself when comparing the two in his thoughts. “No,” was
his answer; “this girl is a different sort.”51 It would take us too
far afield to describe how Miriam’s marriage was ultimately
consummated, but suffice it to say that it was based on love,
understanding and respect of two people for each other.
There was to be no place in the New Society not only for
“marriage speculations” adverted to above, but also for the old
Rheinberger type speculator in
Das Neue Ghetto
and for the
old-time stock exchange broker like Wasserstein. Stock exchange
business and dealers would be admitted, but their activities
would be under adequate public control and would have to con-
form to the highest possible standards. Bankers and financiers
would also be required to operate under these standards. The
policy of “only interest and interest on interest,”52 as practiced
by some of the shady characters in Herzl’s plays, would be pro-
hibited, since it would be detrimental to the public. Sound bank-
ing principles would become the backbone of the future Jewish
State. “Credit for borrower and lender is not only moral, but
p. 86.
I, p. 63; also for the following quotation.
Old-Newland ,
p. 84.
52 “Rede im Makkabaerklub,”
op. cit . ,
p. 308.