Commentary Magazine


The Jews of Cork

To the Editor:

In her otherwise interesting account of the early days of the present Jewish community in Dublin (which appeared in your July issue), Mrs. Bloom introduces a fantastic story about the Jewish community in Cork, which, she writes, “might be of interest historically.”

The Jewish community in Cork, at that time, consisted of hardly more than a minyan of wretchedly poor peddlers; how the petty feuds of such a little handful of Jews could be described as having any historical significance is not easy to understand. . . .

Notwithstanding what Mrs. Bloom, as a child, was told by her mother, her story is a highly colored travesty of a very simple episode, and a painful reflection on the character of a man whose integrity, piety, and learning is still a cherished memory to many members of present-day Irish Jewry. What amazes many Jews here is that a woman of Jessie Bloom’s intelligence should so far lend credence to an absurd bubbeh-meise as to perpetuate in an American paper the maligning, a quarter of a century after his death, of a fine old gentleman, who, I can vouch from personal knowledge, was incapable of uttering any kind of malediction.

It is, perhaps, of greater interest to know that the grandchildren of the people concerned are happily united in marriage.

Laurence Elyan
Dublin, Ireland

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