Page 6, 10th October 1941

10th October 1941
Page 6
Page 6, 10th October 1941 — CHINESE JEWS

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Locations: Kaifeng


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—one is now a Student for the Priesthood

INTEREST is focussed once more on the Chinese Jewish colony at Kaifeng, China.

The young man is Louis Shih-Kailing, whose father was baptised in 1924.

According to " Benedictine Orient," the missionary magazine of the Benedictine Order in America, a little colony of wealthy Jens, whose home was probably in Persia. settled in Kaifeng, then the capital of China, during the Sung dynasty—A.D. 960-1127.

" The Jews accommodated themselves in language and dress to the Chinese, but through several centuries they' retained the Hebrew tongue in their liturgical functions. They had copies of the Sacred Scriptures in that language. Stone tablets still extant in Kaileng record sonic of these. engrased in beautiful Chinese. The first cords run thus: • Adam was the first man; Abraham was the founder of our religion ; then came Moses and gave us the Len and the Holy Scriptures.' . . .

" Much of the information we possess about the group is due to the Jesuit missionaries of the seventeenth century. Fr. Matteo Ricci met a young Jew in Peking in 1609 and nos much interested in his story. He sent another 'Father to Kaifeng to investigate. To him we one the description of the synagogue. It was built in the style of a mosque. The Chinese name for the house of worship nits ' Temple of Purity and Truth.' Both the mosque style of building and the name suggest Mohammedan influence.

" The eulone has been progressively absorbed by the Chinese. Some years ago the synagogue leas destroyed by fire. The copies of the Sacred Scriptures were sold to collectors, since the sureieors evere no longer able to read them. The Canadian Church Mission acquired the deeds to the property and the synagogue."

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