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Article Clipped from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

I SNUFF AND SNEEZES IN WAR ON RABBI Irritant Distributed in Congrega- tion During Rabbi Gel- ler's Sermon. RESIGNED OR DISCHARGED? Trouble in Borough Park Synagogue Accentuated by Opening of Ark of the Covenant. Members of the Shromrel Emunab Synagogue, In Borough Park, said today that Rabbi Abraham Geller, whose as sociation with the church as its pastor was suddenly severed last week, did not resign, but wag discharged. The former pastor admitted, today, at his home, where he frankly discussed his troubles, that he understood his discharge was voted for, but that he beat his opponents to It by sending In his resignation The rabbi showed by sis manner that he felt very keenly over the entire Hon-trouble which began, he says, when tho older members of the congregation took the stand that he was too unorthodox, and culminated In a wild scene In the church when he opened the ark of the covenant, took out one or the sacred scrolls and asked God to deal with his enemies. He denied that he had Invoked a curse upon them on that occasoion but that he prayed: "Oh. God, pay all those who have shed the blood!" "I don't want you to understand that there was any bloodshed," the rabbi ex- plained, "but an act which puts your maQ to shttme Is considered equiv- alent to shedding blood, so I prayed In that manner. I obliged on that Sab- bath. November 9, to leave the church, weeping, without having delivered my sermon. They would not let me." The rabbi says that his health has been ruined by the bickerings and dissensions in the church, and he declared that he (tared that If he became worked up in his talk with The Eagle reporter ha would be attacked by a sudden stroke of apoplexy or heart trouble. Then he told of an Incident in the church when someone distributed snuff among the older members for the purpose of malting tha congregation sneeze during the sermon. "I had ascended to the pulpit to preach my usual sermon In Hebrew," he said, "when 'the sexton went around with a box of snuff tobacco to 'treat' the older members. As soon as I noticed him approaching the president of the congregation, Mr. Shapiro, I drifted from my subject and commented on that disorderly conduct. I protested that no snuff tobacco should be distributed during services. I cannot say how many sneezed. "After I had finished my sermon, Mr. Nadler protested against the disturbance, and said to the president and others: 'I am sorry to say that this place deserves to be called A factional fight ensued and some took one side and some the other." Rabbi Geller said that on another occasion he was so "Insulted by a certain man" that he fainted. He would not say what was said or done, on the ground that it would "disgrace" the one responsible. Describing the scene which took nlace on the day when he withdrew the sacred scroll irom the ark of the covenant an acti he explained, which is performed olllly in tne of emergency he said "One of the congregation rushed toward the pulpit with great Impetus. Mr. Nadler appealed to him not to disturb the meeting, but the man shoved him aside with the exclamation! 'To with Women became hysterical, children cried, and there was a babel of voices, some saying I should be per-mlted to preach and some saying I should not. I was unable to go preach, for one of the congregation leaned on the pulpit the curtain of the ark and took out tho scroll which I placed upon my hand to pacify them. Then I invok-d the aul of Almighty God. "I am a university man and I feel like crying as I talk to you. My health has been shattered by the experiences I have passed through." Rabbi Geller said that seven members of the congregation still rested under charges of disorderly conduct and that tney were to be tried by the church. He 5fc.1?r?d that the ehurch a house asaiusi useii at present.