Sermon after President McKinley's Assassination of Rabbi Gluck, Yom Kippur, September 1901


When the sad, shocking news reached us, that the hand of the base assassin has raised against the person and life of our beloved President, we were horror struck, --- our heart strings quivered with pain and sorrow --- we felt as though, the bullet that was aimed at and struck him had struck our own heart ---we felt that America was bleeding from millions of wounds --- for was not our President the object of love and reverence of every true American house and of every American heart --- and the words of lament of Israel's ancient King took shape on our lips? (? Hebrew) Should our brave beloved chief die as the wicked and worthless dieth? Should he, (? Hebrew) whose hands were not bound, whose feet were not fettered, whose youth, whose noble manhood whose life was consecrated to his country --- whose talents whose genius whose best efforts and energies were dedicated to the interests of his people should he fall a victim to the base ruthless hand of accursed anarchy and lawlessness? And as we in our agony turned our hearts to Him who spins the thread of life and the web of eternity, and who holds in His hand the healing balm for all our ailments (? Hebrew) and as our prayers ascended to his throne of mercy - for his recovery we felt as though an eighty million fold America was responded to it -- and we hoped, we hoped with all the ardency of our heart that his precious life would be spared to us.

But "Gods thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are so much unlike His ways" and He in His incomprehensible will and wisdom has willed and deemed it otherwise---

On the day, when all Israel appears before the Lord Universal, on the day, when as sacred tradition has it -- nations and individuals pass in review before His all-scrutinizing and all penetrating eyes, and His decree goeth forth: unto life, or unto death, unto joy or unto sorrow, unto tears or unto smiles, unto storms or unto sunshine, unto war or unto peace -- unto famine or unto plenty --- the comanding [sic] mandate resounded tremblingly from above --- (? Hebrew) Be silent, all flesh before the Lord! As the genius of America stood suddenly still, because the great and noble heart of America's greatest citizen ceased the beat(?).

Fair Columbia drooped her head, and impearled(?) with a mothers warm tears the fair brow of her most noble and most cherished son -- and her piercing cry of war resounded throughout the nation of every civilized nation on the globe --- Alas! Alas! McKinley is nor more!

Mess. McKinley our beloved President, the high priest of our nation who bore the Urim(?) and Thumim(?) America's political creed "Liberty and Union" in his heart is no more. All that was mortal of him was home(?) to the touch(?) and laid to eternal rest and undisturbed peace that memorable day which shall live in the memory of Columbia's children as long as our fair flag. The symbol of the most noble ideal and aspirations of true Americanism -- the emblem of Gods divinest gifts to man "Liberty and Union" shall move and float in the fair breezes of heaven and command the love and reverence of every faithful and law abiding citizen of our blessed and glorious Republic.

Like Aaron the high priest of yore of whom sacred legend tells that his bier floated in the air surrounded by a cloud of glory so that all Israel could see that he was dead and mourn his loss (? Hebrew) so our tearful gaze is rivetted [sic] on the casket that holds the mortal frame of our beloved President enshrouded in the cloud of incense of love, prayer and devotion that rose from our national altar -- In our ears still linger the sobs and sighs that heaved millions of breasts -- we still feel the damp atmosphere ministered by the tears that flowed from countless eyes of a grateful people and a devoted nation -- and our lament of war is --- (? Hebrew)

But Friends! Is true that Mc-Kinley is no more? Is it true that the vile hand of an assassin could deprive us with our stroke of the object of our love of our reverence of our pride -- Is it true that the tomb at Canton hold everything of Mc-Kinley in its cold damp embrace? No! Impossible! If at any other time we could yield to such thoughts -- To day [sic] -- and especially at this hour we cannot -- In the name of God before Whom we stand to-day [sic] -- in the name of immortality which we cherish in our breasts -- in the name of everything that is sacred and dear to humanity our better our true self cries and in revolt No! and a thousand times No!

This day, which, in its blissful sanctity is itself a messenger from heaven calling our souls away from everything that is earthly and perishable and directing us the source of life and immortality -- and especially at this hour, when we ? in our hearts the cherished memory of the never forgotten objects of our affections, when our mortal gaze sweeps the past and the dear souls loom up before us - and the atmosphere about us is full of their throbbing presence and breathing love -- and we find this carressing touch and we hear this silent benedictions --- the fair pure and simple spirit of our beloved Pres. looms up before us laurelled by the undying love of his people -- diademed by Columbia's tiara crystallized into as many precious pearls and forming a halo about his brow that outshines all jewelled diadems of all earthly Kings and monarchs. Mess. friends! If in our sorrow we see his bier floating the air like that of Aaron and we are reminded that he is no more --- In our calmer reflections we are strengthened in our faith that a character like McKinleys is beyond the grasp of death and destruction - and like the grave of Moses is reknown [sic] so his shall never be a grave of oblivion --- his living soul like a bright star of first magnitude will shine through the windows of heaven a beacon in all eyes ---

His voice though hushed into tongueless silence will be a never-silent and ever audible oracle to all true Americans---

In the humble cottage where the flower wedded love shines brightly and the matrimonial tins(?) are maintained sacred -- the pure chaste(?) spirit of a [sic] an affectionate and devoted husband -- will smile -- on the battle field where lofty patriotism urges us to honorable victory his spirit will honor -- In the hall of diplomacy -- where prudence, statesmanship and foresight His will be a commanding spirit for the benefit of and wellfare [sic] of humanity and for the peace of the world -- And now ye heavens ye (? Hebrew) who have enriched yourselves at our expense - ye who have gained by our loss -- Among your most brilliant stars give place to that constellation of rarest prisms of the loftiest virtues --- ---

And ye clouds that linger gorgeously around the sun, may ye never obscure the brilliancy of him who shows so brightly on the horizon of wedded and domestic life and brought healing balm to a weak and invalid wife -- that the country cheer her in her sorrow. And thorough cold earth we charge thru to take good care of the sacred charge entrusted by thy keeping -- gather thy embers and keep thy lap warm and comfortable that has dreamless sleep be sweet and undisturbed

And to the Canton we send our greetings of love and cheer in the words of the Jewish hand -- who sang on the Mount Aboria(?) who has immortalized in song the Mount ? -- the supposed eternal resting place of Moses dust and ashes --

(? Hebrew) Happy art thou Canton that holdest the choicest of tombs, to tomb of the Godly man of superior virtues of rare nobility a true image of God His maker ---