5 7 8 D O C . 3 7 9 T R A V E L D I A R Y [223]The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Kisch records in his diary that he accompanied Einstein on a tour of the Old City on the morning of 7 February. On the walk, he explained to Einstein “the political situation and some of the intricacies of the Arab question.” For his part, “Einstein spoke of Ussishkin’s attempt to persuade him to settle in Jerusalem. He has no intention of doing so, not because it would sever him from his work and friends, but because in Europe he is free and here he would always be a prisoner. He is not prepared to be merely an ornament in Jerusalem” (see Kisch 1938, p. 30). [224]The lecture was held in the auditorium of the British Mandate’s police school at Gray Hill House on Mount Scopus. The hall was decorated with blue and white stripes and the Union Jack, sym- bols of the twelve tribes of Israel, the slogan “Light and Learning” (“ora ve-tora”), and portraits of Theodor Herzl and Herbert Samuel. The lecture was organized by the Zionist Executive. Invitees included the senior officials of the mandate, Arab dignitaries, the heads of the Christian and Muslim communities, Jewish dignitaries and the heads of the Zionist institutions in Jerusalem, foreign con- suls, members of the scientific community from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, writers, teachers, and jour- nalists. However, the Arab dignitaries did not attend. The talk was described by the press as “the first scientific lecture held in the temporary halls of the university” (“ha-hartza’a ha-madait ha-rishona she-nissa ba-ulamot ha-provizori’im shel ha-universita”). The local press described the event in glow- ing terms: Ha’aretz termed the occasion a “national festival and a scientific festival.” Doar Hayom declared that the “Hebrew college” (“ha-michlala ha-ivrit”) had been opened. Furthermore, the vision of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the catalyst for the revival of the Hebrew language, was being realized, as Ein- stein commenced his lecture in Hebrew. Prominent attendees were Sir Herbert Samuel, Sir Ronald Storrs, Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Ahad Ha’am, Tel Aviv’s mayor Meir Dizengoff, and Ben- Zion Mossinson. Menachem Ussishkin greeted Einstein and called on him to “mount the platform which has been waiting for you for two thousand years!” (“ale al ha-bama ha-mechaka lecha alpayim shana!”). At the beginning of his lecture, Einstein stated that he was “happy to be reading a lecture in a coun- try which sent out light to the world, and from a house which would send out light to the nations.” He regretted he was unable to give his lecture in the language of his nation. In order for his audience to understand his lecture, it was delivered in French and lasted one and a half hours. In his talk, Einstein gave an outline of the theory of relativity, explaining its implications for the understanding of time, space, and gravity. Following the talk, Herbert Samuel expressed his gratitude to Einstein and com- mented on the significance of his visit to Palestine (see Doar Hayom and Palestine Weekly , 9 February 1923 Ha’aretz, 11 February 1923). [225]The dinner was hosted at Government House by Herbert Samuel and was attended by Thomas Haycraft, Chief Justice of Palestine, and Lady Haycraft Harry Luke, Assistant Governor of Jerusalem, and Mrs. Luke Humphrey Bowman, head of the mandate’s Department of Education, and Mrs. Bowman Edward Keith-Roach, first assistant secretary, and Philippa Keith-Roach Raghib al-Nashashibi, the mayor of Jerusalem, and his wife W. J. Phythian-Adams of the Palestine Explora- tion Fund William F. Allbright, American archeologist, and his wife, Ruth Norton and Hilda Ridler, head of female education in Palestine (see Ha’aretz, 8 February 1923, and Palestine Weekly, 9 February 1923). [226]The Einsteins departed Jerusalem from Government House. They arrived in Tel Aviv accom- panied by Ben Zion Mossinson and Solomon Ginzberg (see Ha’aretz, 8 February 1923, and Palestine Weekly, 9 February 1923). The reception was held at the Herzliya Gymnasium, which had been constructed in 1909 as the first Hebrew high school in Palestine in Ahuzat Bayit, the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Mossinson introduced Einstein to Ahad Ha’am, the school’s board, and its faculty. In his brief speech, Einstein told his audience that he had never seen such a large gathering of Jews. He also expressed his deep admiration for the country’s achievements. The guests inspected the building and various classrooms and the students performed gymnastic exercises (see Ha’aretz, 9 February 1923 Doar Hayom, 9 and 12 February 1923 Palestine Weekly , 16 February 1923). [227]The streets leading to City Hall in Tel Aviv “were lined with throngs of people.” Upon his arrival, Einstein was greeted with applause and by students displaying their schools’ flags. The Gym- nasium’s orchestra played for the guests. Mayor Meir Dizengoff and the municipal council members
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