Cast & Crew
Golde Goldstein is dressed to go to a masquerade ball, but her boyfriend, David Herschberg, a lover of poetry, prefers to stay home. Golde's father Abraham, upon learning about the ball, suggests that they instead go with him to a Zionist meeting. David says that while growing up, he had no time for "cheder," Jewish schooling, because of public school and music lessons and calls the meeting a waste of time. Abraham then proceeds to tell them a story and promises that at the end, depending on David's response, either he, Abraham, will go with them to the ball, or David will go with him to the meeting. Abraham describes the creation of the earth and the Garden of Eden, later known as Palestine, a land flowing with milk and honey, which, he says, God gave to the people of Israel. Scenes are shown of Hebron, the town where Adam and Eve made their home, where Noah's children went following the flood, and which Joshua entered with the children of Israel from the wilderness. Hebron is shown in ruins, as is Jerusalem, now that the Jews have been driven out and it is inhabited by nomadic Bedouins. Abraham relates the holy oath that Jews took upon themselves when they were driven out: "If I should forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten." Abraham says that in the two thousand years since the Jews were driven out, they lived in many lands in which they were not allowed to even mention Palestine. A Jewish mother, seen with her crying child, asks the eternal question: "Why do they persecute us?" She then prays for guidance for their children and for the end of their troubles. As Abraham describes to Golde scenes of rioting in which Jews are shot by soldiers, these scenes are shown. Golde asks, "How can a people suffer so much?" Abraham replies that their children gave them courage. After scenes are shown of Arabs in Jerusalem and at the wailing wall, Abraham tells about the worldwide Jewish movement to get back the land and rebuild it, and thus keep the holy oath. He relates that fifty years earlier, Theodor Herzl first called on Jews to return to Palestine. The following scenes are shown of a new Palestine and Jerusalem: a new library with four million books; Hebrew University; the Nathan Straus Health Center; the National Fund Building, where land is bought for Jewish people; a Jewish shepherd; Jewish farmers working; Jewish daughters working the land, preparing wine at a vineyard, and breaking rocks for the building of roads; oranges being packed; factories; railroads; the Jordan river; a forest planted in honor of Lord Arthur James Balfour, who, as the British foreign secretary in November 1917, devised the Balfour Declaration, which lent British support to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine; the blooming colonies of Richon L'Zion, Nes Tziyono, Gdera and Eckron; a Jewish festival; streets in Tel Aviv; and the shores of Kinereth. Abraham states that the Jewish people will overcome hardships and win, and as the Jewish anthem "Hatikvah" is played, Jews march and the Jewish flag flies.
The Yiddish title of this film is Di Heylige Shvue. No reviews were located for the film. While Ray Film Co. is listed as the manufacturer in NYSA records and as presenter in the onscreen credits, the credits open with a Star of David insignia, in which the word "Zion" is written in Yiddish. It is possible that "Zion" was the name of the production company. NYSA records list S & L Film Co. as the local exchange. Henry Lynn, who is credited as the writer of the film on an existing script, and Jack Stillman, credited onscreen as musical director, were co-producers of S & L's previous production, the 1935 Yiddish film Bar-Mitzvah. The running time listed above was calculated from footage given in NYSA records. Although the screen credits state that the film was copyrighted in 1937, the film is not listed in the copyright register. The film contains footage of street fighting between soldiers and Jews from newsreels or other films. A modern source speculates that some dramatic footage in the film May have come from earlier Yiddish films. The film was re-released by Cinema Service Corp. An existing print is 42 minutes in length.