Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/42

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LOCAL GROUPS

OUR TRANSMIGRATION.

Previous chapters explained only how the emigration scheme might be carried out without creating any economic disturbance. But so great a movement cannot take place without inevitably rousing many deep and powerful feelings. Old customs, old memories attach us to our homes. We have cradles, we have graves, and we alone know how Jewish hearts cling to the graves. Our cradles we shall carry with us—they hold our future, rosy and smiling. Our beloved graves we must, alas! abandon—and I think this abandonment will cost us covetous people more than any other sacrifice. But it must be so.

Economic distress, political pressure, and social obloquy have already driven us from our homes and from our graves. We Jews are even now perpetually shifting from place to place, a strong current actually carrying us westward over the sea to the United States, where our presence is not desired. And where will our presence be desired, so long as we are a homeless nation?


But we shall give a home to our people. And we shall give it, not by dragging them ruthlessly out of their sustaining soil, but rather by transplanting them carefully to a better ground. Though we are creating new political and economic relations, we shall preserve as sacred all that is dear to our people's hearts.

Here a few suggestions must suffice, as this part of my scheme will most probably be condemned as visionary. Yet even this is possible and real, though it now appears to be something vague and aimless. Organization will make of it something rational.

EMIGRATION IN GROUPS.

Our people may emigrate in groups of families and friends. But no man will be forced to join the particular group belonging to his former place of residence. Each will be able to journey in his chosen fashion as soon as he has settled his affairs. Seeing that each man will pay his own expenses by rail and boat, he will naturally travel by whatever class suits him best. Possibly there will even be no subdivision of classes on board train and boat, so as to avoid making the poor, who form the great majority