Cincinnati Enquirer, "Smoking, Likewise Pushing the Baby, Cause Charges to be Preferred Against a Well-Known Rabbi," article from 9/24/1894
September 24 1894
Likewise Pushing the Baby,
Cause Charges To Be Preferred Against a Well-Known Rabbi.
For nearly two months a peculiar bit of gossi[p has been in circulation among the members of the “K’hila Kodosch Adas Israel” (Holy Congregation of Israel), which worships in the Y.M.H.A Hall, at the northwest corner of Seventh and Cutter streets. The rumor was that the rabbi, Rev. Samuel Bandet, had been caught smoking cigars on Saturday – the Hebrew Sabbath. In addition to this it was also whispered that he was seen pushing a baby carriage on Saturday. Both of these acts are considered by the orthodox Hebrews as a grave sin for even a layman, and for a rabbi to be guilty of doing them they regard as shockingly scandalous. The more liberal members laughed at the charge as trifling and ridiculous. The gossip spread among the Hebrews in the Russian colony on West Sixth street, near John, and in that vicinity, and created no little excitement. Finally, charges were preferred against the rabbi to the President of the congregation, who called a meeting of the members to consider the matter. After a lively discussion, the charges were referred to the President with instructions to investigate them. He did so and called another meeting of the congregation yesterday afternoon, at which he reported that the charges were entirely groundless.
This was a surprise to some members, who had expected that the rabbi would be suspended or deposed.
After the President’s report the members began to discuss the question of how the rumor was started, however, and acquitted Rabbi Bandet of all guilt in the matter. Two theories were advanced. One was that it was begun by a man who had resided in the same house with Bandet at 132 Kenyon Avenue, and who, it is said, had to move for fussing with the rabbi on account of their children. It is supposed that he circulated the report in order to get even with the rabbi. The other theory involves the name of Nathan Feld, the tinware merchant. Up to last April Feld had acted as rabbi of the congregation and it is understood that he regarded the privilege as a high honor. In April, however, he retired, and it was whispered that the members of the congregation were not satisfied with his voice. Rabbi Bandet, who had formerly been in charge of the Court street congregation, was elected to succeed Mr. Feld, and the members were well pleased with his manner of conducting the services, as well as with his splendid voice. It was thought that Feld felt hurt when he was supplanted by Rabbi Bandet, and that he was jealous of him, and therefore, that he either started the rumor or was active in circulating it. Mr. Feld denies this and claims that Rabbi Bandet has not a better friend than he.