Thursday, November 27, 2014

This Day, November 28, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin

November 28

1095: On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appointed bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land. The call for the Crusade is based, in part, on false reports of atrocities committed by Muslims against Christian pilgrims.  The Crusades, which will begin in the following year, mark a dark chapter in Jewish history as those marching under the Sign of the Cross sack Jewish settlements in Europe and later slaughter Jews living in Eretz Israel.

1598: “In the archives of the city of Amsterdam, probably the oldest date dealing with Portuguese Jews is today, when there was entered in the "Puyboek," v. 22b, the announcement of the intended marriage of Manuel Lopez Homé and the above-mentioned Maria Nuñez”

1660: At Gresham College, 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what is later known as the Royal Society. A British physician named Isaac de Sequeira Samuda or Isaac de Sequeyra Samuda was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1727, making him the first Jew to be so honored.

1744: Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked. A few weeks later (December 18 and January 7) Empress Maria Theresa banished all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due to the protests of the Jews and the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.

1757: Birthdate of William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker. Controversy surrounds Blake’s grasp of Jewish mysticism. It seems pretty clear that Blake’s art and writing invoke Kabbalah, but scholars debate how Blake accessed the Jewish mystical concepts he quoted. Some argue that the dozen or so Hebrew inscriptions in Blake’s etchings and watercolors show that Blake was fluent in Hebrew. But close analysis of the works, some of which are on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, reveals that Blake had not even mastered the letter alef. Reading Kabbalah in Hebrew without knowing the first letter of the alef-bet would be as implausible as tackling “Finnegans Wake” with barely a grasp of the English alphabet. Arguments that Blake knew Hebrew date back to Frederick Tatham, who cared for Catherine after Blake’s death in 1827. In a letter to bookseller Frances Harvey, Tatham said that Blake’s library included “well thumbed” books in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian, as well as works by Swedenborg and Christian mystic Jacob Boehme. “His knowledge was immense, his industry beyond parallel,” Tatham wrote. Modern scholars echo Tatham’s claim. Writing in the journal Modern Philology in 1951, David V. Erdman ascribed “some Hebrew” to Blake, particularly the knowledge that beth-lehem means “house of bread.” “We know that Blake knew a little Hebrew,” Anthony Blunt agreed, writing in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes in 1943, “for he wrote to his brother in 1803 that he was learning the Hebrew alphabet, and his etching of the Laocoön [a copy of the sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons”] bears a few words in Hebrew script.” In his book “The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake (The Davies Group, Publishers, 2000), Thomas J. J. Altizer suggests not only that Blake knew Hebrew, but also that he was self-taught. But the work that Blunt cites as proof of Blake’s proficiency in Hebrew, “Laocoön” — a circa 1820 print depicting snakes strangling the famous Trojan priest and his two sons — is one of the best pieces of evidence that Blake did not know Hebrew. Writing “malakh Jehovah,” which he translated as “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” Blake inadvertently rotated the alef 90 degrees on its y-axis. He spelled “Lilit” (Lilith) correctly, but he miswrote “Jeshua” (Jesus) with another rotated letter, this time an ayin (the 16th letter). “Laocoön” does not appear in the Morgan show, but an etching from Blake’s Job series does. In an etching from Blake’s Job series, the artist again wrote “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” but this time he wrote the Hebrew “melekh Jehovah,” which means King Jehovah, rather than malakh (with an alef), the Angel of Jehovah. In “William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job,” S. Foster Damon says that Blake intentionally removed the alef to show that Job was worshipping a false God — mistaking an angel for the king. But could Blake really have known enough Hebrew to distinguish between “melekh” and “malakh,” when he revealed in “Laocoön” that he didn’t even know how to form the letter properly?  “Job’s Evil Dreams,” features a bearded figure with hooves encircled by a snake. The figure hovers above a reclining man and points with its right index finger to the Ten Commandments. Though Blake wrote out only two of the commandments in full, the inscriptions contain more than a dozen mistakes. One line contains a properly and an improperly formed alef, a further inconsistency suggesting that Blake was copying a language he did not understand. “Blake did study Hebrew with his one-time patron, William Hayley, but scholars are not agreed about his proficiency in the language,” explained Leslie Tannenbaum, associate professor of English at Ohio State University and author of “Biblical Tradition in William Blake’s Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art” (Princeton University Press, 1982). According to Tannenbaum, the late Gerald Bentley, a Blake scholar who taught at Princeton University, implied in a biography that Blake was “fairly fluent” in Hebrew. But Tannenbaum also notes that Sheila A. Spector, whom he describes as “an extremely meticulous scholar and expert on Blake and the Kabbalah,” writes that Blake did not know the biblical language.In Blake’s preface to the chapter “To the Jews,” from the poem “Jerusalem,” Tannenbaum sees references to the kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon (the primordial man). Blake learned Kabbalah from Swedenborg’s writings on Boehme, who seems to have been influenced by Balthasar Walther, Tannenbaum adds, and Blake also identified with the Avignon Society, which sought science and reason “in such unlikely places as alchemical lore, cabbalistic numerology, mesmerist séances, Swedenborgian spiritualism, and (perhaps most surprising of all) the Scriptures.” In “Wonders Divine: The Development of Blake’s Kabbalistic Myth” (Bucknell University Press, 2001) Spector, an adjunct associate professor at New York University, agrees that Blake’s kabbalistic sources were Christian rather than Jewish, and English rather than Hebrew. Further, Blake was “unfortunately” influenced by his contemporary Anglo-Israelites, who thought that English derived from Hebrew “and that the language of the Jews was a spurious version in which the rabbis obscured the ‘true Christian’ message to be found in the Bible,” Spector said.“Under the circumstances, the question of whether or not Blake was fluent in Hebrew misses the point,” she added. “He rejected normative Hebrew in favor of the linguistic gymnastics that re-interpreted words to conform with some eccentric – to be charitable – interpretations that coordinated Hebrew and English, as well as Greek, etymologies to proffer a new interpretation of Scripture.” (As reported by Menachem Wecker)

1816(8th of Kislev, 5577): Eighty-six year old Benjamin D’Israeli, the Italian born Anglo-Jewish merchant who was the grandfather of the British Prime Minister of the same name passed away today.

1825: In Münster (Westphalia), Elias Marks and Alexander Grove Village founded The Marks Grove Village Foundation which funded programs to help train Jewish children and integrate them into German society.

1827 (9th of Kislev, 5588): On the secular calendar Dov Baer Schneersohn passed away.  Dov Ber succeeded his father Shneur Zalman of Lyady as the second Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Shneur Zalman was the found of Chabad, Dov Baer was known as the “Middle Rabbi” because he came between Shneur Zalman and the third Rebbe Menachem Mendel known as the Zemen Zedek.   Among other things, Dov Baer was responsible for starting a Chabad settlement in Hebron in 1823. In 1826, Dov Baer was imprisoned by the Czar on trumped up charges of sending money to support the Sultan of Turkey.  He was released on the tenth of Kislev which has been a day of celebration among Lubavitchers ever since.  “The only way of converting darkness into light is by giving to the poor.”  “Every act of kindness that God performs for man should make him feel not proud, but more humble and unworthy.”  

1829: Birthdate of composer Anton Rubinstein. Rubinstein was quite a widely performed composer in his lifetime, but following his death, his works were largely ignored. Some have suggested that this was due to the anti-Semitism prevalent at that time in Germany, the musical hub of Europe.

1831: Birthdate of John William Mackay, the Irish born American industrialist and one of the four Silver Kings of the Comstock Lode who was greatly upset when in 1890 he was erroneously accused of “despising Jews.”

1839: According to a report issued today by the Ministry of the Interior, Joseph Friedlander was the only Jew living in Saxon outside of Dresden or Leipzig.

1842(25th of Kislev, 5603): Chanukah

1862: During the Civil War, after volunteering for duty, Theodore Minis Etting “received the appointment of acting Midshipman” today in the United States Navy.

1863: Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.  While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it has it origins in the Bible.  The Pilgrims were students of what they called The Old Testament.  When they had enjoyed their first successful harvest at Plymouth, they looked to scripture for a way to express their joy.  They found the answer in the holiday of Sukkoth – a celebration of in-gathering; a celebration of thanks that took place after the harvest was completed.  There are reports that the first Thanksgiving was a week-long affair but I would avoid making any claim that this was intended to mirror the seven days of Sukkoth. 

1864: During the Civil War, Major Alfred Mordechai, Jr. was named Chief of Ordinance for the Union Army’s Department of the Cumberland.

1873: Birthdate of Louis Ginzberg, the native of Kovno, Lithuania who became a noted Talmudist, as a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, a leader of the Conservative Movement in the United States for half a century.

1873: Birthdate of Lehmann (Leo) Katzenberger, the owner of several shoe shops in Nuremberg who guillotined by the Nazis for allegedly having an affair with an Aryan woman.
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007908

 
1873: An article published today that traced the history of laundering clothes from ancient to modern times reported that “the ancient Jews had great regard for cleanliness.  They never sat down to a meal or said a prayer without first washing their hands, and it is only fair to presume that a people who would be so particular in keeping their goodies clean would not be behind in keeping their garments equally spotless and free from taint, the more particularly as among these ancients white garments were the emblems of purity and holiness.

1874: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted a musical and literary entertainment  this evening at Number 112, West 21st Street in Manhattan.

1874: Rabbi Schneerson, an American citizen in Palestine, was attacked by a group of Jews at Tiberias. After robbing him, he was imprisoned, stoned, stripped naked and ridden through the streets, barely escaping with his life.

1878: A theatrical review published today shows the changing view of the Jew, at least in the theatrical community.  Unlike his famous predecessors, the great tragedian Edwin Booth portrays Shylock as man “of well and keen perception.”  “A certain class of critics” now seek Shylock “as a species of hero and martyr who is more worthy of our sympathy and pit than our contempt.”

1880(25th of Kislev, 5641): First Day of Chanukah

1880: It was reported today that meetings instigated by the anti-Semitic party are being held in Leipzig.

1880: It was reported today that the police have torn down placards in south-eastern Berlin “directly inciting the inhabitants to persecute the Jews.”

1881: New York Congressman Samuel S. Cox returned from his visit to Palestine today on board of the SS Republic. (Four years later Cox resigned his seat in Congress to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, replace Lew Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, the novel with the Jewish prince as its protagonist.)

1881: The articles of incorporation for the Hebrew Society for the Improvement of the Sanitary Condition of the Poor were filed in the County Clerk’s office today.

1881: “Aid For Hebrew Immigrants” published today described efforts to meet the rising and growing tide of Jewish immigrants Russia.  Leading Jewish citizens in New York have agreed to organize the Hebrew Emigrant Aid Society which will be incorporated under the laws of New York State.  Jacob Schiff publicly expressed his opposition to the formation of the group, but most of his co-religionists including Charles L. Bernheim, Jacob Seligman and Frederick Nathan overcame his objections. Baron Maurice de Hirsch has pledged a million pounds to support the efforts of the society to assist in the establishment of agricultural “colonies” which will provide homes and a livelihood for the immigrants.


1881:  Birthdate of Austrian Stefan Zweig.  Although barely known today, in his time he was a noted poet, essayist and dramatist.  Although he was an assimilated Jew, he could see that Austria was no place for Jews and he fled the country in 1934.  Sadly, he and his wife committed suicide in Brazil in 1942.  They had come to the conclusion that the life was no longer worth living in a world that was spinning a downward spiral.

1883(28th of Cheshvan, 5644): “Russian Hebraist and author Mordecai Plugian” who was “a descendant of Mordecai Jaffe” passed away today.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0016_0_15875.html

1883: It was reported today that “Sir Moses Montefiore is the first Jews that was ever elected to be Sherriff of London.  He was chosen a few days after the succession of Queen Victoria and received the honor of Knighthood at the hands of her Majesty when she visited the city on the following Lord Mayors’ Day.”

1884: “Hittite Inscriptions” published today provided a detailed review of The Empire of the Hittites by William Wright who contends that these ancient people were contemporaries of the ancient Israelites and were involved in the story of their enslavement in Egypt.

1884: It was reported today that Reverend Charles H. Eaton has told his congregation that “the sentiment of the Hebrew song sung at the Feasts of Tabernacles” has now come “naturally to our lips upon our Thanksgiving Day.” (Editor’s note – Nice to see that a 19th century Christian source acknowledge the Jewish origins of our most popular secular holiday)

1885: It was reported today that much to the surprise of her family, Mamie Curran, a Catholic girl, has secretly married a Jewish suitor, John Cohen.  Her father, Edward Curran, is so distraught over the news that he has gone to his room which is  over a local saloon and his refused to leave it.

1886(1st of Kislev, 5647): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1887: It was reported today that German-Jewish author and historian Jacob Auerbach has passed away.

1887: It was reported today that Daniel Greenleaf Thompson has dedicated his latest book, The Religious Sentiments of the Mind, to “my friend and partner, Oscar S. Straus…”  Straus was a leading figure in the American Jewish community who served as U.S Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

1888(24th of Kislev, 5649): In the evening, kindle the first light of Chanukah on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  This will not happen again until 2013.

1888: Baron Hirsch has made a donation of $5,000,000 for schools for Jews in Galicia and Bukovina

1888: In New York, police began looking for Yetta Reiner, and 18 year old girl who has been in this country for two weeks and has been reported as missing.

1888: Mrs. Julia Lind challenged the will of her late mother Jettie Lissauer, a Jewess who passed away in December of 1887.

1889: Two hundred and fifty-eight children who attend the Industrial and Sunday Schools sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities will be eating Thanksgiving dinner today at St. Mark’s Place in New York City.

1889: The Conference of the Civic, Commercial, Industrial and Educational Bodies will present a silk banner to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society as its annual Thanksgiving festival today at 3 p.m.

1889: Samuel D. Levy celebrated his birthday today by sending a box of candy to each of the children who attend the schools sponsored by the United Hebrew Charities.

1889: The Washington Centennial Committee presented a banner to the youngsters at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in recognition of their “excellent marching in the civic parade” that had been held last Spring. Charles Freund accepted the banner on behalf of his schoolmates.  General William T. Sherman spoke to the boys complimenting them on their drilling.

1889: The cornerstone of the new Temple that will be used by Congregation Zichron Ephraim was laid this afternoon on 67th Street between Lexington and Third avenues.

1890: Herman Kertscher is under arrest following the accident at yesterday’s annual parade of the boys at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.  While driving his wagon, his horse crashed into the parade seriously injuring two boys.  Kertscher “made no effort to stop his horse either before or after the accident.

1890: A day following the national holiday, Temple Israel of Harlem will host a Thanksgiving Service where the topic of the sermon will be “The Ethics of Gratitude.”

1891: Today’s review of “Pauline Blanchard” which opened at the Standard Theatre in New York described the theme of the play as “well-worn” and “familiar” but praises the performance of Sarah Bernhardt in the title role saying that her “genius elevates this role” and that “her acting was incomparably fine and eloquent…played with all of her energy.”

1892: Engineer George Franjieh presented his plans for a tramway in Jaffa.  The plan, like his one for a new water supply system to Jerusalem, we rejected.

1892: Baron Hirsch was wounded in the hands and forearm by the explosion of his gun while hunting at Acheres in France.

1892: The French government was confronted by a demand that the coffin of Baron Reinach be exhumed amid rumors that his death was a sham and that the coffin does not contain his body.

1893: The Berlin Verein Zur Abwehr Des Anti-Semitismus, a Society to Combat Anti-Semitism, held its first general meeting today under the leadership of Rudolf Geniest, Heinrich Rickert and Theodor Barth at which it was reported that it had 13,33i members in 963 localities

1893: “New Bill At The Theatres” published a review of the “Merchant of Venice” which found Henry Irving’s portrayal of Shylock to be “fine, subtle, thoughtful” but not his greatest work since “he reached the zenith of his powers some time ago.”  (Irving was one of those who had made a career playing the Jewish banker, providing at one time, a powerful interpretation.)  As in so many earlier productions, Ellen Terry played Portia to Irving’s Shylock.

1894: “Russian Jews Forgive Russia” published today described a strange ceremony where 400 Jews having attended a memorial service for the late Czar in Paris swore allegiance to his successor, Nicholas II “in the presence of the Russian Consul and the secretary of the Russian Embassy.”

1894: General Mercier, the French Minister of War “declared in an interview with Le Figaro that Dreyfus’ guilt was ‘absolutely certain.’”

1895: Three hundred and fifty young ladies attended the Thanksgiving Day Dinner hosted by the Girl’s Industrial School of the United Hebrew Charities at St. Marks Place.

1895: Registrar Ferdinand Levy delivered a speech at the Thanksgiving Service held at the synagogue at 115 East 86th Street entitled “The Jews as a Citizen and Patriot.”

1895: Rabbi Silverman delivered a sermon at the Temple Emanu-El Thanksgiving Service entitled “The Ethics of American Patriotism.”

1895: Rabbis Mendes and Harris will speak at the West End Synagogue Thanksgiving Service to which The Young Men’s Hebrew Association and members of Temple Israel of Harlem have been invited.

1895: Half a dozen Jews including Rabbi Isaac Blankfort “rushed into the Madison Street (Police) State” tonight “and said that two loafers had assaulted them and pulled their beards on East Broadway.”  The police went out and arrested the two after they saw them “striking at every Jew they passed.”

1896: According to reports published today, the Tenth Ward of New York, in spite of its being the most densely crowded area of its size in the world” has “a remarkably low rate” because “its population consisted largely of Hebrews, who were the first race in the world that learned the secret of the ‘length of days’ and have known what not to eat ever since the adoption of the Levitical codes, three or four thousand years ago.

1897: In Paris, “Le Figaro published a letter informing the public about the belief that Esterhazay was the doorway to France and its army.”  (By doorway, they meant that Esterhazy and not Drefyfus was the spy selling French military secrets to the Germans)

1898: In Chicago, opening of a charity fair bazaar sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association the proceeds of which will split evening between Michael Reese Hospital and United Hebrew Charities.

1898: “Jewish Agrarian Colony In Bessarabia Russia” published today descried a law that “has just been promulgated in St. Petersburg for the establishment of a Hebrew agrarian colony on the estate of Baron Horace Guenzburg…which covers about 1,350 acres.”

1902: In Berlin, Gertrude Sternberg and Dr. Oscar Jolles gave birth to Heinz-Frederic Jolles who gained fame as pianist and composer Henry Jolles.

1903(9th of Kislev, 5664): Sixty-five year old Jules Levy, “the most celebrated cornetist of the 19th century, passed away today.

1905: Sinn Fein founded today based on the vision of Arthur Griffith whose disciples included Michael Noyk the Lithuanian born Irish-Jewish lawyer who joined shortly after the “Easter Rising.”

1905: In a letter from U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco to the Algeciras Conference, he stated, "Concurrent testimony positively affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Musselmans….Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions."

1907:  In Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opened his first movie theater.  From these humble beginnings would come the famed studio MGM.

1908:  Birthdate of Claude Levi-Strauss. Born in Belgium, Claude Levi-Strauss was the son of an artist, and a member of an intellectual French Jewish family.  He was a popular French anthropologist most well-known for his development of structural anthropology.

1910: In Brooklyn, Alter Abelson, a rabbi and poet, and of Anna Schwartz Abelson, a writer of short stories gave birth to Lionel Abel who won an Obie for his tragedy “Absalom.
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/25/arts/lionel-abel-90-playwright-and-essayist.html

1912: Birthdate of Morris Louis.  Born Morris Louis Bernstein, Louis became one of America’s leading abstract expressionist painters before his untimely death at the age of 49.

1914: It was reported today that Lemberg, a major city in Galicia which the Russian have captured from the Austrians has a population of 30,000 Jews, 50,000 Roman Catholics and 15,000 Greek Orthodox.

1914: “Palestine for the Jews” published today includes Israel Zangwill’s response to the following inquiry addressed to him by H.G. Wells: “And now what is to prevent the Jews having Palestine and restoring a real Judea?”

1914: William Jessup Hand, an attorney, writes from Scranton, PA that “it is plan that Leo Frank was denied…the highest and most vitally essential right of every person: a fair and impartial trial.

1914: “It was learned today that when counsel for Leo M. Frank asks leave of the Supreme Court of the United States on November 30 to file a petition for a writ of error a brief will be presented at the same time” due to the rules of procedure governing appeals of this sort.

1916: Screenwriter Samuel Ornitz and his wife gave birth to cinematographer Arthur J. Ornitz who directed “Wanted – A Master” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1936 for Best Short Subject (One-Reel).

1917(13th of Kislev, 5678): Sixty-two year old German lexicographer Emil Levy whose son Frederich would dies in a concentration camp, passed away today.

1917: Sigmund Romberg’s revue "Over the Top," premiered in New York City.

1918: The Jewish Guardian reported that on the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) declared, “Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East.”

1919: Birthdate of Faye Schulman, the Lenin born photographer who was one of only 26 people spared by the Nazis when they slaughtered the Jews of town including her parents, sisters and younger brother. They did not kill her because they wanted her to develop their pictures of the massacre
http://www.jewishpartisans.org/t_switch.php?pageName=mini+bio+short+bio+2&fromSomeone=&parnum=56

 1922: “The Russian delegation arrived in Lusanne” where negotiations had already begun on settling the outstanding questions regarding the replacement of the Ottoman Empire, which had included Palestine, with what would become the modern nation of Turkey.

1922: In the Bronx, Sadie "Sonia" Birkenfeld and Harry Eidus, a Latvian born Jewish violinist gave birth to Arnold Eidus, “the first American violinist to win the Jacques Thidbaud Award
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/business/arnold-eidus-90-adman-with-stradivarius-dies.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1417065744-4e8cTch/2QhzJZfmmxE+kA

1924: French premiere of “Le Miracle des Loups” (The Miracle of the Wolves) the historical melodrama directed by Raymond Bernard.

1926: Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a report to the Endowment on his observations in Egypt, Palestine and Greece, made public today, declares that the movement to colonize Palestine with Jews is "unfortunate and visionary," and will in the long run "bring more bitterness and more unhappiness both for the Jew and for the Arab."  According to Dr. Pritchett, “Zionist plans for a national Jewish home in Plaestine…have nothing to commend them and are bound to fail.”  He also wrote despairingly of any attempt to improve the economic conditions in Palestine; attempts which he said were doomed to failure. Nicholas Murray Butler, who is President of the Carnegie Endowment, was responsible for the report being published today.  As President of Columbia, Butler has advocated limiting the enrollment of Jews at Columbia where he has supported a strong quota system.

1928: Birthdate of Shulamit Aloni. Born in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel, Aloni served in the Palmach in the War of Independence and gained fame as an attorney, teacher, journalist and the winner of numerous awards including Honorary PhD in Humanities from Hebrew Union College (1994), Honorary PhD of Law from Kon-Kuk University in Seoul (1994),Honorary PhD of Philosophy, Weitzman Institute of Science (1999), Decoration of Honor from the International Academy for Humanism (1996), Honorary PhD from the Free Univeristy in Brussels (1997) and Israel Prize Honoree for special lifetime contribution to Israeli society (2000).

1932: Groucho Marx performed on radio for the first time

1933(10 of Kislev 5694): Sixty-seven year old Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein died in Jerusalem

1937(24th of Kislev, 5698): This evening Jews kindled the first Chanukah Candle.

1939: The Nazi governor-general of Poland established the Judenrat. The Jews were ordered to set up Jewish Councils in every Jewish community in the General Government of Germany. Heydrich ordered that the deportation of 80,000 Jews and Poles should be carried out by December 17.

1939: In what was tantamount to a death sentence, “The authorities of Kaunas, Lithuania arrested” Polish refugee “ Maurycy Orzech, a correspondent for the Jewish Daily Forward and ordered him to return to the German-occupied territory of Poland.”

1939: During today’s meeting of the Good Neighbor Committee on the Émigré and the Community “Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the administration committee of the Joint Distribution Committee tod of the tremendous burned placed on the Jewish community in this country and abroad by the refugee problem and warned that anti-Semitism was spreading in Europe.

1939: In Bucharest, Premiere George Tatarescu delivered a speech today in which he announced a new plan that “would facilitate the emigration of Jews who are not Rumanian.” 

1939: It was reported today that “70,000 Jews from Germany have been absorbed in Palestine since 1936” and that there are plans for “the immediate settlement of 25,000 Jewish refugees in Palestine.”


1939: As the case against Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the German American Bund who is charged with grand larceny came to a climax, Assistant District Attorney Herman J. McCarthy presented his summation to the jury he challenged Kuhn’s contention that he was the victim of plot carried out by Daniel Kirchman, the young Jewish lawyer whom Kuhn says was a thief and the young Jewish accountant Irving Hest who is on the staff of District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey.

1940: The anti-Jewish film Der Ewige Jude, “The Eternal Jew,” was released

1941: The first transport of Laupheim (Germany) Jews left for Stuttgart, before being shipped to Riga.

1941: Hitler entertains Hajj Amin al-Husseini. The grand mufti of Jerusalem pledges to cooperate in the extermination of the Jews and offers to enlist Arabs to fight for Germany.

1943:  Birthdate of singer Randy Newman known for a variety of off-beat ditties including Short People, I Love LA, and Raindrops.

1943: A testimonial is scheduled to be held tonight to celebrate the 70th birthday of Dr. Louis Ginzberg, the Polish born Talmudist and Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) who has been living in the United States for the last 44 years.  Dr. Louis Finnkelstein, President of the JTS is chairing the committee hosting the event; a committee that includes several notables such Dr. Butler, President of Columbia, Dr. Woodburn, Chancellor of New York University and Dr. Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire.

1944: As he tried to negotiate the rescue of Hungarian Jews Rudolf Kasztner followed the instructions of the Germans and left for the Swiss border.

1944: In Budapest, Hungarian Fascist gangs attacked a hospital of Jews, killing 28.

1946: Three Jewish refugee ships were reported off Haifa tonight, trying to run the Navy-Air Force blockade in a new challenge to British immigration policy.

1947: In Haifa, the British admit 1,450 Jews from Cyprus, ahead of immigration quota.

1948 (26th of Cheshvan): Moses Kleinman editor of Ha-Olam, passed away

1948: Lt. Col. Moshe Dayan and his Arab counterpart met at Government House in Jerusalem. Under UN supervision, the two military commanders worked out the terms of cease fire for the divided holy city.  Once the cease fire was announced soldiers of the Arab Legion danced with joy and Arab refugees returned to the Old City.  All attempts by Jews to pray at the Wall were rebuffed.  As the cease fire took effect Chaim Weitzman returned to the city for the first time in a year.  The first President of Israel comforted the people over the fact that Jerusalem was divided.  “All will come to pass in peace.”

1948: Birthdate of self-promoting political lobbyist Dick Morris.

1948: Birthdate of author Bruce Vilanch.

1948: The Polaroid Land Camera first went on sale, at a Boston department store. The 40 series, model 95 roll film camera went on sale for $89.75. This first model was sold through 1953, and was the first commercially successful self-redeveloping camera system. A sepia-colored photograph took about one minute to produce. Jewish inventor Edwin H. Land had previously demonstrated his invention of instant photography at a meeting of the Optical Society of America on 2 Feb 1947. His first commercial success came in 1939 with his invention of Polaroid filters for lenses in products such as ski goggles, sunglasses and slip-on sunglasses for optical glasses.

1949: U.S. premiere of “Port of New York” produced by Aubrey Schenk with music by Sol Kaplan.

1949: Birthdate of bandleader and David Letterman straight man Paul Shaffer.

1950: The New York Council of the Pioneer Women is scheduled to have its Chanukah meeting at the home of Mrs. David H. Panitz.

1950: Oscar Karlweis and Mrs. Irving M. Engel are scheduled to address today’s meeting of the Brooklyn Section of the National Council of Jewish Women being held at Temple Beth Elohim.

1950: Dr. Henry shoskes is scheduled to address todays meeting of the Abraham Herman Chapter of HIAS.

1950: The Passaic, NJ Section of Hadassah is scheduled to meet this evening at the Y.M.H.A.

1951: In France, re-release of “Le Miracle des Loups” the classic film directed by Raymond Bernard first shown in 1924.

1953: Birthdate of Homeland Security “Czar” Michael Chertoff

1954: For the first time ABC aired “What’s Going On?” a game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

1954: Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist and Nobel Prize laureate passed away.  Fermi was not Jewish, but his wife was.  He left Europe in 1938 because he was afraid of the fate that awaited her and her family.

1961: One hundred five Moroccan Jews sailed from Casablanca for Nice on board the French steamship Lyautey.  This marked the beginning of a major exodus of Morrocco's ancient Jewish community.

1957(5th of Kislev): Dr. Pinchas Churgin, the first president of Bar-Ilan University passed away.

1962(1st of Kislev, 5723): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1962: Birthdate of Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz who gained fame as Jon Stewart host of the fake news program The Daily Show. Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, the popularity of this late-night show has earned Stewart notoriety as “the most trusted name in fake news,” a sardonic reflection of his stature as the Walter Cronkite for a younger generation. He has also gained attention as an outspoken critic of established news media sources.

1963(12th of Kislev, 5724): Actress Karyn "Cookie" Kupcinet, daughter of columnist Irv Kupcinet is murdered.  The crime remains unsolved.

1963: Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz delivered a sermon at the interfaith Thanksgiving Day service attended by President Lyndon Johnson who was making one of his first such appearances since the assassination of President John Kennedy.

1963: This evening, in a nationally televised address, President Johnson paraphrased the words Rabbi Rabinowitz had used early in the day, “speaking of how blessings can come from evil situations.”

1963(12th of Kislev, 5724): Seventy year old Abba Hillel Silver, who served as Rabbi of The Temple in Cleveland, Ohio and was an ardent Zionist passed away today.

1964(23rd of Kislev, 5725): Fifty-six year old Hans von Halban, the French physicist who worked on the Heavy Water project related to the development of the Atomic Bomb passed away today.

1966: Birthdate of actor, writer and media commentator Sam Seder

1966(15th of Kislev, 5727): Seventy year old Russian born physicist who worked with Albert Einstein, and Nathan Rosen, the father of Joe Rosen, passed away today.

1968: In today’s Village Voice, Alfred Leslie, revealed that “Pull My Daisy” directed by Robert Frank was not “an improvisational masterpiece” but “actually carefully planned, rehearsed,” before being shot “on a professionally lit studio set.’ (Frank was Jewish, Leslie was not)

1970: Birthdate of Ran Ben Shimon, the Israeli football (soccer) player who became the manager for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

1980(20th of Kislev, 5741): Nachum Gutman passed away. Born in 1898, he was a Russian-born Israeli painter, sculptor and author.

1993(14th of Kislev, 5754): Marvin H. Bernstein, a businessman and philanthropist in New York for many years, died today at the Miami Heart Institute. He was 66 and lived in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was the founder and for 34 years the president of the Variety Knit Corporation of Manhattan, which makes women's clothing and T-shirts. He also founded the Marvin Bernstein Oil Company, a petroleum exploration company with headquarters in Miami.n Mr. Bernstein was a fund-raiser for and a contributor to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the Simon Weisenthal Center, Israel Bonds, the Weitzman Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University and other medical and religious groups.

1993(14th of Kislev, 5754): Monroe Abbey passed away. Born in 1904, he was a Canadian lawyer specializing in mining law and a Jewish civic leader in Montreal. He was president of Canadian Jewish Congress from 1968 to 1971.He was married to Minnie Cummings. His daughter, Sheila Finestone, was a Member of Parliament and Senator. In 1978, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in recongition for being "devoted community worker who has held office in every important Jewish organization in Montreal".

1994(25th of Kislev, 5755): First Day of Chanukah; in the evening kindle the second light

1994(25th of Kislev, 5755): Jerry Rubin, the 1960s war protester, died in Los Angeles at 56, two weeks after he was hit by a car.

1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including  A Life on the Stage: A Memoir by Jacob Adler, translated and edited by Lulla Rosenfeld, Carl Sagan: A Life by Keay Davidson and Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos by William Poundstone.

2000(1st of Kislev, 5761): Rosh Chodesh Kislev)

2000: Workers cut away at the ice that has encased David Blaine since he began the Frozen in Time stunt 63 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds ago which was a world’s record.

2001(13th of Kislev, 5762): Kal Mann passed away.  Born Kalman Cohen, the Philadelphia native gained fame for writing lyrics to such rock and roll hits as Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear," Bobby Rydell's "Wild One", and Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again."

2002(23rd of Kislev, 5763): Three suicide bombers detonated an SUV in the lobby of the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killing 13 people and injuring 80. Among the dead were three Israeli tourists who presumably were the targets of the attack, and 10 Kenyans, mostly members of a dance troupe. About 20 minutes earlier, two surface-to-air missiles were fired at an Arkia Boeing 757 airliner carrying 271 people, narrowly missing the aircraft, which was taking off from nearby Moi International Airport. The plane was able to land safely in Tel Aviv.

2002(23rd of Kislevn 5763):Noy and Dvir Anter, aged 12 and 14, of Ariel, and Albert (Avraham) de Havila, 60, of Ra'anana were killed along with 10 Kenyans when a car bomb exploded in the lobby of the Israeli-owned beachfront Paradise Hotel, frequented almost exclusively by Israeli tourists, near Mombasa in Kenya; 21 Israelis were among the 80 wounded. Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as for the simultaneous attempt to down an Arkia plane.

2002(23rd of Kislev, 5763): Haim Amar, 56; Ehud (Yehuda) Avitan, 54; Mordechai Avraham, 44; Ya'acov Lary, 35; and David Peretz, 48 - all of Beit She'an; and Shaul Zilberstein, 36, of Upper Nazareth, were killed and about 40 wounded when two terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at the Likud polling station in Beit She'an, near the central bus station, where party members were casting their votes in the Likud primary. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

2004: Juilliard instructor Samuel Zyman praised Jay “Bluejay” Greenberg's talent during a CBS News 60 Minutes broadcast this evening.

2004: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or on topics of special interest to Jewish readers including including High Noon In the Cold War: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Max Frankel and Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire by Ann Norton.

2005: The Jerusalem Post reported from Budapest that the Israeli ambassador to Hungary, David Admon had recognized the efforts of 13 Hungarians and their families to assist Jews during the Holocaust by presenting them with the title of "the Righteous among the Nations." Ten of the 13 honored were awarded the distinction posthumously. The ceremony in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was attended by the president of the National Assembly, Katalin Szili, and the primate of the Catholic Church in Hungary, Cardinal Peter Erdo. Yad Vashem has so far awarded the "Righteous among the Nations title to over 20,000 people worldwide, including 650 in Hungary. Nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during World War II.


2006: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Schechter Institute Campus in Jerusalem.

2006(7th of Kislev,5767): Seventy-nine year old “Elliot Welles, a Holocaust survivor who spent the years after World War II as a tireless hunter of Nazis, starting with the man who murdered his mother passed away today at the age of 79. [Information supplied by Margalit Fox, one of the great obituary writers for the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/nyregion/03welles.html

2006: In a move that would earn him the appellation of “Bigot” from New York Mayor Ed Koch, Dennis Prager “wrote that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, should not be allowed to take his Congressional oath using a Koran because ‘the act undermines American civilization.’” (Apparently Mr. Prager’s Jewish education did not include a study of the problems that Jews in England had in taking their seats in Parliament after being elected.)

2007: “Yiddish Theatre: A Love Story” is shown for the last time at the Two Boots Pioneer theater in Manhattan. This new documentary film is about Zypora Spaisman the amazing woman who has kept the oldest running Yiddish Theater in America alive. Zypora Spaisman is a Holocaust survivor who conquers all hearts in her passion for art, life and Yiddish.

2007: “The Land Was Theirs” is shown at the Highstown Memorial Library in Highstown, NJ. “An absorbing documentary about Farmingdale, New Jersey, one of many Jewish farming communities in the United States established with the help of the Jewish Agricultural Society. Spanning more than fifty years, the history of Farmingdale provides a perspective on the pressures, problems, and satisfactions of rural Jewish life as experienced in one community.”

2007: Social scientist Riane Eisler, Czech born Jewish American author of the influential The Chalice and the Blade, discusses her new book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C

2008(1st of Kislev, 5769): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2008: Daniel “Barenboim made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for the House's 450th performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.”

2008: Former government minister and civil rights activist Shulamit Aloni celebrates her 80th birthday.

2008: The centenary of the legendary French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss is celebrated in Paris. As a centenary celebration of a legend, however, it is rather unusual, as the birthday boy is very much alive and well at this time. (He passed away on October 30, 2009.)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-me-claude-levi-strauss4-2009nov04,0,890035.story

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/nov/03/claude-levi-strauss-obituary

2008: Indian commandos were dropped by helicopter on the roof of the besieged Chabad headquarters in Mumbai as Indian snipers at the site opened fire early this morning. Sharpshooters in buildings opposite the headquarters of Chabad began shooting early today as a helicopter circled overhead. Meanwhile, there were at least three blasts in the building  as militants were believed to be holed up inside - possibly with hostages - but the situation still remained murky. Approximately 5.000 Jews live in Mumbai. This does not include the large number of Jewish visitors to the city, including a large number of Israelis on their way to visit other tourist sites on the subcontinent. Where there are Jews, there is Chabad.  In this case the Chabad House is run by Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, from Brooklyn and his Israeli born wife.  In response to requests from Chabad, Jews around the world recite Psalm 20 as they wait for further word on the fate of their co-religionists facing this nightmare.

2009: In Cedar Rapids, IA, Noah Thalblum is called to the Torah as Bar Mitzvah at Shabbat Morning Services.

2010: Today Germany's main Jewish group elected its first leader born after the Holocaust, Dieter Grauman a 60-year-old businessman born in Israel who promised to focus the organization more on contemporary Jewish life.

2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Dealings: A Political and Financial Life by Felix Rohatyn and I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron.

2010: The Los Angeles Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes by Stephen Sondheim

2010: Party Like A Jew is scheduled to come to an end in Brussels, Belgium.

2010: Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza resumed rocket fire on the Western Negev this morning, striking near Sderot. As usual when no one is injured and there is no serious damage, Israel media did not report the Kassam attack. The short-range rocket exploded in mid-air as thousands of children and college students returned to schools and the local Sapir College.

2010(21st of Kislev, 5771): Eighty-nine year old “Samuel T. Cohen, the physicist who invented the small tactical nuclear weapon known as the neutron bomb, a controversial device designed to kill enemy troops with subatomic particles but leave battlefields and cities relatively intact, died today at his home in Los Angeles”  (As reported by Robert D. McFadden
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/us/02cohen.html?pagewanted=all

2011: The 92nd St Y is scheduled to host “Finding A Lost Tribe of Israel: The Bnei Menashe of India,” a program in which “the Bnei Menashe community, along with Shavei Israel founder Michael Freund, tell the remarkable story of how this lost tribe is finally coming home.”

2011: President Shimon Peres, under the instructions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left for Amman today to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II, to discuss stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

2011: The IDF returned fire on the source of at least three rockets fired into northern Israel from Lebanon tonight, Three rockets fired from Lebanon landed in the Western Galilee, with police searching for a possible fourth rocket.

2012: The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington is scheduled to present its legislative agency at tonight’s “Northern Virginia Legislators’ Reception at the JCCNVa

2012(14th of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-six year old New York real estate and newspaper tycoon Jerry Finkelstein passed away today. (As reported by Robert D. McFadden
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/jerry-finkelstein-new-york-power-broker-dies-at-96.html?hpw&pagewanted=print

2012: The French Institute American Alliance Française is scheduled to host a reception prior to the opening of “Haim Shelley Part One & Two” which “presents works by Brigitte NaHoN from 1999 to the present, a period when the artist lived in New York and immigrated to Tel Aviv.”

2012: The convulsions of the Arab Spring may be driving the American public’s support for Israel to new highs, according to a poll released today by the Washington-based group The Israel Project.

2012: Today Germany announced its opposition to the Palestinian bid to upgrade its status at the United Nations to a nonmember state, but did not indicate whether it would vote against or merely abstain.

2013(25th of Kislev, 5774): First Day of Chanukah

2013(25th of Kislev, 5774): Eighty-eighty year old Joseph Bihari one of three brothers who “the founders of Modern Records in Los Angeles and its subsidiaries such as Meteor Records based in Memphis” passed away in Los Angeles. (As reported by William Yardley)


2013: Thanksgiving – for the first time since 1888, the first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving coincide.  In 1888 it happened on November 2


2013: A Jordan-based scientific research center that counts as its members Iran and other Middle Eastern countries has named an Israeli physicist from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Eliezer Rabinovici, as vice president, AFP reported.

2013: A two-year-old baby was seriously injured today when Muslim terrorists hurled rocks at the car she was in, at the entrance to the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.

2014: In Melbourne, “Orange People” is scheduled to be shown this afternoon at the Jewish International Film Festival.

2014: In Atlanta, GA, the Berman Museum’s store is scheduled to hold a “Black Friday Sale” offering “BIG SAVINGS.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Day, November 27, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin


November 27

176: Emperor Marcus Aurelius grant his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and makes him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions. To the world at large Marcus Aurelius was “the philosopher-king” or “philosophical but impractical” ruler, but to the Jews he was just Roman emperor who held them in contempt describing them as “’Stinking and tumultuous!’” to his companions as he traveled through Judea. The dissolute nature of Commodus has become well known to all through the film “Gladiator.” Commodus showed his ineptitude in his failed attempt to defeat the Parthians, Rome’s eastern enemy whose empire reached to the borders of Palestine.  Unable to defeat an armed enemy in the field, Commodus began fresh persecutions of the Jews living there denying them, among other things, the right to use their courts of justice.

1095: First Crusade proclaimed by the Council of Clermont. By now everybody should be aware of the fact that the Crusades ushered in a period of death and destruction for the Jews of Europe and Eretz Israel.

1198(Kislev, 4959): Rabbeinu Abraham ben David known by the abberviation RABaD (for Rabbeinu Abraham ben David) passed away.  Born in Provence, France in 1125, he was a Provençal rabbi, a great commentator on the Talmud, Sefer Halachot of Rabbi Yitzhak Alfasi and Mishne Torah of Maimonides, and is regarded as a father of Kabbalah and one of the key and important links in the chain of Jewish mystics

1614: In Frankfurt, Vincenz Fettmilch, the ringleader of the Fettmilch Rising during which the Judengasse was attacked looted, was arrested along with 38 of his followers and “charged for their persecution of the Jews.”  (They would eventually be executed.  The authorities really were not upset about his attack on the Jews.  What got him into trouble was when he was perceived as a threat to the Emperor and the ruling order.

1688 (4th of Kislev): Rabbi Elijah Kovo of Salonika, author of Aderet Eliyahu, passed away

1755: An English merchant named Joseph Salvador bought 10,000 acres near Fort Ninety-Six, in the southern part of the Carolina Colony. In 1773, Joseph Salvador would send his nephew Francis Salvador to South Carolina to develop the land as an indigo plantation.  At the outbreak of the American Revolution the wealthy young aristocrat joined the fight for independence.  He died of wounds in August of 1776 while fighting the Cherokee allies of the British.  The following words were etched on his tombstone: Born an aristocrat he became a democrat, An Englishman he cast his lot with America; True to his ancient faith, he gave his life for new hopes of liberty and human understanding.”

1757: Birthdate of William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker. Controversy surrounds Blake’s grasp of Jewish mysticism. It seems pretty clear that Blake’s art and writing invoke Kabbalah, but scholars debate how Blake accessed the Jewish mystical concepts he quoted. Some argue that the dozen or so Hebrew inscriptions in Blake’s etchings and watercolors show that Blake was fluent in Hebrew. But close analysis of the works, some of which are on exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum, reveals that Blake had not even mastered the letter alef. Reading Kabbalah in Hebrew without knowing the first letter of the alef-bet would be as implausible as tackling “Finnegans Wake” with barely a grasp of the English alphabet. Arguments that Blake knew Hebrew date back to Frederick Tatham, who cared for Catherine after Blake’s death in 1827. In a letter to bookseller Frances Harvey, Tatham said that Blake’s library included “well thumbed” books in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian, as well as works by Swedenborg and Christian mystic Jacob Boehme. “His knowledge was immense, his industry beyond parallel,” Tatham wrote. Modern scholars echo Tatham’s claim. Writing in the journal Modern Philology in 1951, David V. Erdman ascribed “some Hebrew” to Blake, particularly the knowledge that beth-lehem means “house of bread.” “We know that Blake knew a little Hebrew,” Anthony Blunt agreed, writing in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes in 1943, “for he wrote to his brother in 1803 that he was learning the Hebrew alphabet, and his etching of the Laocoön [a copy of the sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons”] bears a few words in Hebrew script.” In his book “The New Apocalypse: The Radical Christian Vision of William Blake (The Davies Group, Publishers, 2000), Thomas J. J. Altizer suggests not only that Blake knew Hebrew, but also that he was self-taught.But the work that Blunt cites as proof of Blake’s proficiency in Hebrew, “Laocoön” — a circa 1820 print depicting snakes strangling the famous Trojan priest and his two sons — is one of the best pieces of evidence that Blake did not know Hebrew. Writing “malakh Jehovah,” which he translated as “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” Blake inadvertently rotated the alef 90 degrees on its y-axis. He spelled “Lilit” (Lilith) correctly, but he miswrote “Jeshua” (Jesus) with another rotated letter, this time an ayin (the 16th letter). “Laocoön” does not appear in the Morgan show, but an etching from Blake’s Job series does. In an etching from Blake’s Job series, the artist again wrote “The Angel of the Divine Presence,” but this time he wrote the Hebrew “melekh Jehovah,” which means King Jehovah, rather than malakh (with an alef), the Angel of Jehovah. In “William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job,” S. Foster Damon says that Blake intentionally removed the alef to show that Job was worshipping a false God — mistaking an angel for the king. But could Blake really have known enough Hebrew to distinguish between “melekh” and “malakh,” when he revealed in “Laocoön” that he didn’t even know how to form the letter properly?  “Job’s Evil Dreams,” features a bearded figure with hooves encircled by a snake. The figure hovers above a reclining man and points with its right index finger to the Ten Commandments. Though Blake wrote out only two of the commandments in full, the inscriptions contain more than a dozen mistakes. One line contains a properly and an improperly formed alef, a further inconsistency suggesting that Blake was copying a language he did not understand. “Blake did study Hebrew with his one-time patron, William Hayley, but scholars are not agreed about his proficiency in the language,” explained Leslie Tannenbaum, associate professor of English at Ohio State University and author of “Biblical Tradition in William Blake’s Early Prophecies: The Great Code of Art” (Princeton University Press, 1982). According to Tannenbaum, the late Gerald Bentley, a Blake scholar who taught at Princeton University, implied in a biography that Blake was “fairly fluent” in Hebrew. But Tannenbaum also notes that Sheila A. Spector, whom he describes as “an extremely meticulous scholar and expert on Blake and the Kabbalah,” writes that Blake did not know the biblical language.In Blake’s preface to the chapter “To the Jews,” from the poem “Jerusalem,” Tannenbaum sees references to the kabbalistic concept of Adam Kadmon (the primordial man). Blake learned Kabbalah from Swedenborg’s writings on Boehme, who seems to have been influenced by Balthasar Walther, Tannenbaum adds, and Blake also identified with the Avignon Society, which sought science and reason “in such unlikely places as alchemical lore, cabbalistic numerology, mesmerist séances, Swedenborgian spiritualism, and (perhaps most surprising of all) the Scriptures.” In “Wonders Divine: The Development of Blake’s Kabbalistic Myth” (Bucknell University Press, 2001) Spector, an adjunct associate professor at New York University, agrees that Blake’s kabbalistic sources were Christian rather than Jewish, and English rather than Hebrew. Further, Blake was “unfortunately” influenced by his contemporary Anglo-Israelites, who thought that English derived from Hebrew “and that the language of the Jews was a spurious version in which the rabbis obscured the ‘true Christian’ message to be found in the Bible,” Spector said.“Under the circumstances, the question of whether or not Blake was fluent in Hebrew misses the point,” she added. “He rejected normative Hebrew in favor of the linguistic gymnastics that re-interpreted words to conform with some eccentric – to be charitable – interpretations that coordinated Hebrew and English, as well as Greek, etymologies to proffer a new interpretation of Scripture.” (As reported by Menachem Wecker)

1785(25th of Kislev, 5546): Channukah

1798 (19th of Kislev, 5559): Rabbi Shneur Zalman founder of Chabad Lubavitch was released from a St Petersburg jail. He had been arrested on charges of high treason for allegedly sending money to the Czar’s enemy, the Sultan of Turkey. In reality he was sending money to Jews living in Eretz Israel which was part of Turkey at the time.  Shneur Zalman is the author of two works Tanya and Likkute Torah which describe the philosophy of the Chabad movement.  Chabad is an acronym for the Hebrew words Chokhmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Da’at (Wisdom).  Lubavitch is the name of the town in which the Descendants of Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezhirech, Shneur Zalman’s “teacher” settled.  In 1798, November 27 corresponded to the 19th day of Kislev.  Ever since then Chabad Lubavitchers mark YUD-TET KISLEV (19th of Kislev) as day of joy and celebration.

1804:Birthdate of Sir Julius Benedict, the German born highly successful English composer and conductor who was knighted in 1871

1815: Birthdate of Simon Hock, the Prague born businessman who created a history of the Jews of Bohemia.
http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Hock_Simon

1819: Leopold Zuns and Eduard Gans founded the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism). It delved into Jewish history, culture and literature using scientific methods of criticism and assessment. The Society lasted less than five years. Gans and many others converted to Christianity.

1830: Joseph Mérilhou, the French official who successfully got the Deputies to adopt legislation treating Judaism on equal footing with Christianity when it came to public financial support for synagogues and rabbis completed his term as Minister of Public Education.

1834: Birthdate of Michael Bernays, the Hamburg born lawyer who displayed an expertise in matters pertaining to Shakespeare and Beethoven and who unlike his brother Jakob, converted to Christianity.

1837: Birthdate of Ludwig Loewe, who began as manufacturer of sewing machines and then became major arms maker whose employees included Georg Luger, the inventor of the famous “Luger” pistol.

1839: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi Poznanski officiated at the marriage of Jacob Suares and Isabella Nathans.

1846: A wagon train owned and commanded by Albert Speyer, a Prussian born Jew, arrived  at San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, in time for the pre-Christmas fair where he sold his merchandize, “reloaded the wagons with Mexican goods – mainly silver curios and sugar – and returned to Chihuahua” Mexico.

1853: An editorial entitled “The Arrest of Rabbi Asche” published today questioned the methods used by the authorities when they arrested Rabbi Asche and two other Jews on charges of selling lottery tickets.  The editorial supported the concept of law and order but thought the police could have used better judgment in exercising their authority.

1856: Proof of the role of Jews played in settling the American Frontier can be found in the letters Thomas Gladstone sent to the London Times excerpts of which were published today.  In describing those traveling up the Missouri River Gladstone reports that his fellow passengers included “Border Ruffians, Abolitionists…Jews” and others who “completely” represent “the various classes of the population in Kansas.”

1858: It was reported today that two New York Rabbis have been arrested on charges of selling lottery tickets based on the charges brought by one of their co-religionists.

1860: In Paris, there are reports of a serious rift between Achille Fould, the Jewish financier who is a close advisor to Emperor Napoleon, and the Empress.

1861: Seventy-seven year old Jeanette Wohl the confidant of Ludwig Borne, the German Jewish writer who like so many of his contemporaries became a Lutheran but was not above characterizing his rival Heine as “a yeshiva student” whom he accused of “the Jewish trait of employing witticisms for their own sake,”

1863: At the Wooster-street Synagogue, Thanksgiving Day services were held at 3 o'clock, embracing the usual afternoon prayers, conducted by Rabbi S.M. Isaacs the Prayer for the Government and appropriate hymns, after which an address was delivered by Meyer S. Isaacs, the Rabbi’s son He commenced with a reference to the peculiar significance of the present day of thanksgiving, observed as it was by all Americans, wherever resident, in response to the recommendation of the Executive. It was a grand spectacle, an entire nation united in offering up incense on an altar of a religion all alike profess -- thanksgiving and praise to the Supreme Being. Divesting themselves of social, political and religious distinctions, superior to the division of sentiment engendered by sectional ideas and antagonistic theories, they assembled in their respective places of worship, to pour forth praises to Him enthroned on hish. Actuated by these considerations, his audience had gathered together in their house of God, that they too might join in the grand anthem swelling upward to celestial heights. Israelite and Christian grasped each other's hand in cordial confidence, working together, fighting together the battles of the Union, pouring their blood on the battle-field in friendly rivalry for country's sake. There was no trace of religious intolerance or sectional feeling in the proclamation of the day; we were called upon to observe it as Americans, acknowledging special obligations to Heaven for the providences so graciously displayed in the progress of our struggle for national existence, and not unmindful of His divine favor in the daily blessings unintermittingly showered upon us, whose value we often fail to diiscern until we are deprived of them. He then took his text from Psalm c., verses 4 and 5, discussing it from its various points of view, and earnestly directing attention to the necessity of sincerity in this observance of National Thanksgiving. The stake was too mighty a one to permit even the semblance of insincerity in the history we were making, in our protestations of patriotism. It is understood now, that our love of country is not purely romantic, but that we were in earnest in our expressions of determination to reestablish the national supremacy, to permit no armed assemblage, however formidable, however desperate, to maintain an eternal antagonism to the constituted authorities.  Were we equally sincere in our observance of Thanksgiving, in our expressions of dependence upon God, of our own unworthiness and His eternal goodness and truth? This was to be the lesson of the day. He then illustrated his text by a reference to the peculiar benefits the Israelites of America enjoy in this land of thorough civil and religious liberty. We should enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, "for here there was no distinction recognized between Jew and Gentile in the guaranty by the Constitution of protection in the enjoyment of the sacred rights of man.  Returning to the broader view of the subject, as Americans, we should signalize the sincerity of this observance by an amendment in those respects where we acknowledge national faults. Although we have demonstrated a stauncher patriotism than we ourselves believed to be inherent in American character, there may be more sacrifices to make, more selfish considerations to combat, more errors of administration to deplore and divest of their apparent danger to the State by a confirmed determination to strengthen the hand of those we have chosen to preside over our national destinies. In conclusion, he spoke of the favorable prospect before us, as contrasted with the gloom, astonishment and despondency at the culmination of the preparation for the war upon our flag. The ship of state, madly tossed upon an unknown sea, exposed to the dangers of the warring elements, her pilots surrendered to the guilt of the hour or sadly inexperienced, was now sailing majestically into a safe harbor, a clear head and a steady hand at the helm; but God be thanked for this great salvation -- no human wisdom or power hath accomplished this.  He closed with a fervent prayer for the continuance of Divine favor to the land, and its speedy restoration to peace and prosperity.

1871: “A Tolerant City” published today quotes the Jewish Chronicle as saying that “Ireland is the only country where Jews were never persecuted.”  As proof of Irish tolerance, the Chronicle cites the case of a young Jewess named Miss Samuel, who, when she was on her death bed was the object of prayers of recovery offered both in Jewish synagogues and Christian Chapels.  Her funeral included thirty carriages that were filled with citizens of both faiths.

1873: The Charity Committee of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum has asked that an appeal be made during today’s Thanksgiving Day services for contributions of money, clothing and other items that can be used to aid Jews who are economically distressed due to the current depressed economy.

1874:  Birthdate of Zionist leader and Israel’s first President Chaim Weizmann. He first gained fame as the Russian-British chemist who used bacteria for the synthesis of organic chemicals. During WW I, a recent immigrant into Great Britain, he discovered a way to use a bacterium to synthesize acetone during the fermentation of grain. Acetone was important in the manufacture of cordite for explosives. Postwar, he modified the fermentation to produce butyl alcohol, suitable for uses such as lacquers. This was the forerunner of the deliberate use of microorganisms for a wide variety of syntheses. A generation later, penicillin and vitamin B12 were produced in this way.

1879: Dr. Henry W. Bellows, a prominent Unitarian Minister, delivered the Thanksgiving Day Sermon at Temple Emanu-El, the New York Jewish house of worship led by Rabbi Gustav Gottheil

1880(24th of Kislev, 5641): In the evening kindle the first light of Chanukah.

1880: The New York Times reported today that “the celebration of the Jewish feast of ‘Chanuka’ will be commenced this evening by the Children of Israel throughout the world.” The Times goes on to provide an accurate description of the origins of the holiday and its modern observance including the fact that the events celebrated began “on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.” (This was written 15 years before the Ochs family acquired the paper)

1880: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association hosted its “fourth entertainment” of the season tonight at Lyric Hall.

1881: At Rostov-on –Don Isaiah and Feodosia Chatzman to their daughter Vera, the future wife of Chaim Wiezmann, who was a leading Zionist in her own right. (As reported by Esther Carmel-Hakim)

1881: A meeting was held this morning at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to discuss additional measures to be taken to meet the growing influx of Jewish immigrants from Russia which is overwhelming the resources of the United Hebrew Charities.  One solution is to establish “farming colonies” which will provide a livelihood for the impoverished new arrivals and avoid population congestion in a few east coast cities.

1882: A review of Natural Religion by Sir John Robert Seeley, the author of Ecce Homo, cites the author’s contention that “the Hebrew Scriptures express in poetic form and in language suited another age the spirit of modern science.  Notably the Book of Job contrasts the conventional and, as it were, orthodox view of the universe with the view which those obtain who are prepared to face it awfulness directly.” (Editor’s note – this comes at a time when there was a clash between science and religion so it is intriguing that an English author would find a harmony between the two in the Jewish section of his Bible.)

 
1883: “Hen” Rice, who had been a Deputy Sherriff is New York is being held on charges that he won $2,700 from Robert Solomon, an Anglo-Jewish diamond dealer, by cheating at card games they played while crossing from England to the United States aboard the SS Servia.

1883: “Russian-Hebrew Colony Broken Up” published today provided a brief history of an agricultural colony that had been established for Jewish immigrants from Russia in Middlesex County, Va.  Despite the contribution of several thousands of dollars from the Jewish community in Baltimore, MD, the experiment failed.  One family has asked to be sent back to Russia while the remaining men have been provide with jobs and several of the women are being taught to use sewing machines.  The Torah used by the colonists will be returned to the Hebrew Hospital Association which had lent it the newcomers.

1883: It was reported today that Herr Haumann one of the lawyers who represented the Jews unfairly charged with the ritual murder of Christian girl in Hungary, fought a duel with Herr Vay, the Police Commissioner.  The sword fight, during which Vay was “severely wounded in the chest,” resulted from the attorney’s accusation that the Police Commissioner had tortured the Jewish prisoners.

1885: “Judaism of the Future” published today provided a summary of Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler’s view of the principles adopted by Reform rabbis at their meeting in Pittsburgh.  He described it as a “Jewish Declaration of Independence” which no longer looks to the memories of ancient Israel, rejects tradition “but recognizes in Christianity and Islamism valuable helpers and co-workers in the direction of the fruition of the kingdom of virtue and truth.”  (Editor’s note – one cannot help but wonder what Rabbi Kohler would have to say about the Reform movement in the 21st century)

1888: Today marks the second day of the fair sponsored by the Hebrew Orphan Asylum which is an annual fundraiser for this Jewish organization.

1888: It was reported today that a new congregation “Zichron Osher” has been established on the west side of New York. Joseph Arthur Levy was the founder of the synagogue whose services will include congregational singing and the use of English for some of the prayers.  Rabbi H. Veld will lead the new congregation assisted by Rabbi J.I. De Young.

1889: It was reported today the United Hebrew Charities will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner this week

1890: At 3 p.m. the boys of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum held their annual parade” today, marching through the streets of Harlem.

1891: In New York, Sarah Bernhardt appeared in the opening performance of “Pauline Blanchard” at the Standard Theatre.

1892: The Maccabeans, An Aggressive Club” published today described the formation of this club by London’s Jews in the wake of the Russian persecution of their co-religionists. “The meetings of the Maccabeans afford something quite novel to English Judaism – an arena in which all the social, ethical and theological questions which are bubbling so vehemently in the Jewish mind can be thrashed out freely and without prejudice.”

1892: The members of Shaary Zedek voted not to remove the bodies from the congregation’s old cemetery on 88th Street between Park and Madison and reinter them in the new Bay Side Cemetery on Long Island

1892:  It was reported today that Herman Ahlwardt, who is in jail because he was convicted of libeling a Jewish gun-making firm and is such “a shameless rogue” that he has been publicly disowned by “the anti-Semitic Party won a seat in the Reichstag by-election running three thousand votes ahead of his nearest opponent with campaign cry of “Down with the Jews.!”

1893: Seventy-eight year old Sebastian Brunner, the Austrian Catholic writer who was part of a group 19th authors whose “anti-Jewish propaganda had no equal…either for quantity or virulence and who was part of the infamous libel charges brought against Ignaz Kuranda and Heinrich Graetz passed away today.

1894: In Paris, the Grand Rabbi preached a lengthy sermon at a well-attended service during which he “lauded Alexander III’s peace and exhorted all to pray for his soul as well as for his successor Czar Nicholas, his wife and all their relatives.”

1894: The bequests of the late Adolph Bernheimer published today included “$10,000 in 3 per cent bonds” to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum and Mount Sinai Hosptial.

1895: In a change of policy it was reported today that “a recent Ministerial order in Russia, Jews living in the interior who have been members of a first-class guild for five years are permitted to retain a permanent domicile in the place of their present habitation and this privilege will extend to their children.”

1895: Alfred Nobel established Nobel Prize.At least 167 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2004, and constituting 37% of all US recipients during the same period.  In the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, and Physics, the corresponding world and U.S. percentages are 26% and 39%, respectively.  (Jews currently make up approximately 0.25% of the world's population and 2% of the US population.)
 


·        Chemistry (28 prize winners, 19% of world total, 28% of US total)

·        Economics (21 prize winners, 38% of world total, 53% of US total)

·        Literature (12 prize winners, 12% of world total, 27% of US total)

·        Physiology or Medicine (52 prize winners, 29% of world total, 42% of US total)

·        Peace (9 prize winners, 10% of world total, 11% of US total)

·        Physics (45 prize winners, 26% of world total, 38% of US total)

1898: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi B.A. Elzas officiated at the marriage of Louis Flanders and Jeannette Wetherhorn.

1897: The Young Folks’ League of the Hebrew Infant Asylum will host a dance tonight at Terrace Garden.

1897: Following an anonymous tip, a Commissaire of Police “made of thorough search” at 3 Rue Yvon-Villareau in Paris where he was told to look for “interesting documents concerning the Dreyfus case. The apartments were occupied by Lt. Col. Picquart and what he found was not revealed to the public.

1897: Authorities searched for Madame de Boulancy, the cousin and former mistress of Ferdinand Esterhazy who may have evidence related to the Dreyfus affair.

1898: In Chicago, $10,230 was raised during the auction of the boxes for the charity ball being held by the Young Men’s Hebrew Charity Association.

1898: “The Week At The Theatres” published today provided a detailed review “The Merchant of Venice” at Daly’s Theatre  starring  Sidney Herbert as Shylock and Ada Rehan as Portia which is described as being filled with “a few keen disappointments.”


1899(25th of Kislev, 5660): First day of Chanukah

1899: “Dr. Silverman On The Jew” published today provided the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman on the survival of his co-religionist over the many centuries of mistreatment only to emerge triumphant in the 19th century where he “always feels himself a citizen of the in which he lives” but where “his religion is cosmopolitan.”

1907: Sixty-four year old Cyril Flower, 1st Baron Battersea, the husband of Constance, the daughter of Sir Anthony de Rothschild passed away today.

1710: Birthdate of Robert Lowth, the Bishop of the Church of England who 1754 was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity by Oxford University, for his treatise on Hebrew poetry entitled Praelectiones Academicae de Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum (On the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews) which derives from a series of lectures that were published by George Gregory in 1787 as "Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews".

1912:  Birthdate of David Merrick. Born David Lee Margulois in St. Louis, Missouri, he graduated from Washington University then studied law. In 1940 he left his legal career behind in St. Louis to produce theatre.  In a career that included a mixture of “brilliant successes and embarrassing flops,” Meririck is best remembered as the producer of “Hello Dolly.” He passed away in 2000.

1912: Leopold Godowsky’s piano recital at Carnegie Hall included a half dozen of Listz’s most difficult etudes.

1914: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was established by combining several separate organizations. Its original name was the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers and was chaired by Felix M. Warburg. It campaigned and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe. It is popularly known as the "Joint" or "JDC." During the First World War they spent almost 15,000,000 on relief efforts.

1914(9th of Kislev, 5675): Lt Frank Alexander de Pass of 34 Poona Horse, part of the Indian Expeditionary Force which arrived in France soon after the war began” and who first Jew to be awarded the Victoria Cross (posthumously) was killed today.

1914: In Brooklyn, Rabbi Alexander Lyons preached a sermon entitled “Prejudice in American Life” at Friday night services “in which he referred to the prejudice again Leo M. Frank that existed in Atlanta during the trial of Frank which resulted in a verdict convicting him of the murder of Mary Phagan.

1914: If the Supreme Court of the United States denies the application of Leo Frank for a writ of error, Georgia Governor John M Slaton told reporters at the Waldorf today that he will review all of the evidence and if Frank “is not guilty then he ought to be saved from the (death) penalty and shall not a victim of injustice because he is a Jew.”  As to his feelings towards Jews, the governor pointed out that Mr. Philips, his law partner for nineteen years is a Jew and that Jews have been an integral part of Georgia since the days of the Crown when the Minis family settled in the colony.

1914: “Following the secon reverse at the hands of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States” Leo Franks has issued a public statement “calling attention to several phases” of his case including the fact that the members of their jury feared for their lives because of “the dangerous…crowd which surrounded the jail” and that the “Supreme Court has never reviewed the question of his guilt or innocence” but has only responded to questions of procedural technicalities related to his appeal.

1917: Turkish forces began four days of attacks against Allenby’s troops in futile attempt to keep the British forces from Jerusalem.

1917: Birthdate of Yhyah Qafih, the native of Sana’a Yemin who was the son of Rabbi David Qafiḥ and the grandson of Rabbi Yiḥyah Qafiḥ, making him the third generation of leaders of the Yemenite Jewish community, first in Yemen and then in Israel.

1918: Birthdate of Victor Elmaleh, the native of Mogador, who imported the first Volkswagens to the United States and “developed $7 billion worth of real estate.” (As reported by Douglas Martin)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/nyregion/victor-elmaleh-builder-and-entrepreneur-dies-at-95.html?rref=obituaries&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Obituaries&pgtype=article&_r=0

 
1924: In the New York City the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.  Macey’s was not founded by Jews, but it was two Jews, Isidor and Nathan Straus, who took control of the store in 1896 who turned into what was then “biggest department store in the world.”

1925:  Birthdate of English comedian Ernie Wise (OBE). Born Ernest Wiseman, he changed his named to further his career as an actor and singer in English music halls.  He was best known as one half of the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, which became an institution on British television, especially for their Christmas specials.  He passed away in 1999.  Just as in American, English entertainers changed their names to get ahead and like Irving Berlin helped add luster to the Christian’s Christmas.

1925: Birthdate of Claude Lanzemann, the French filmmaker who became “chief editor of the journal Les Temps Modernes, which was founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. A native of Paris, he joined the Resistance at the age of 18 and fought the Nazis. ” Lanzmann's most renowned work is the nine-and-a-half hour documentary film Shoah (1985), which is an oral history of the Holocaust, and is broadly considered to be the foremost film on the subject.”

1933: Birthdate of William G. Dever, the native of Louisville, KY who became “an archaeologist specializing  in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times” whose works included What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?

http://www.centuries.co.uk/dever-review.pdf

1933: As Hitler moves to consolidate his control over German society Kraft durch Freude (KdF; Strength through Joy) is established to tie leisure activities of the German Volk (people) to the aims of the Nazi Party.

1933: A transfer company was established today in Tel Aviv to facilitate the immigration of German Jews along with whatever property they are able to bring with them. (Jewish Virtual Library)

1936: Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels declares that film criticism is henceforth banned, freeing the Nazi-controlled German film industry to pursue its own agenda, which includes blatantly anti-Semitic films.

1936: During the same period in the United States, Hollywood is self-censored in that it fears dealing with Jewish issues because of the high level of anti-Semitism existing at the time in the United States.

1937: Opening performance of "Pins & Needles" a pro-labor musical revue produced by ILGWU

1939: In New York, at the Hotel Astor, Dr. Kurt Blumenfeld, president  of the German-Jewish Settlers Association in Palestine, Dr. Georg Landauer, head of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine, Louis Lipsky, chairman of the Palestine Foundation Fund, Charles Ress and Dr. Ludwig Lewisohn addressed tonight’s meeting of the Palestine Foundation, the fiscal arm of the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

1939: It was reported today that the rise in the price of stocks in Berlin is due “partly to the continued sales of stocks formerly owned by Jews for the Reich’s accounts” which “were taken in payment from former holders at prices considerably below their present values” and partly in anticipation of the next payment of 200,000,000 marks which the Jews must make in December.

1941: Friedrich Jeckeln met with the leaders of Protective Police, “a branch of the German Order Police” who would be participating in the upcoming massacre of the Jews in Riga.

1941: The first of 19 trains leaves Germany to resettle thousands of Jews in Riga and Kovno. Yet, 1000 newly resettled German Jews were taken and killed at the same time.

1941: “The Palestine Symphony Orchestra has just announced the results of a competition open to composers in Palestine and the neighboring countries.”  Because of the volume and quality of the entries, four “winners” instead of just one were announced including, a Divertimento for Orchestra by Joseph Huttel, director of European Music at the Egyptian State Broadcasting, Cairo, Overture to a cantata by A. Daus of Tel Aviv, a Symphony of Variations for Soloists and Orchestra by Peter Gradenwitz of Tel Aviv and Fatum, a symphonic poem by J. Wohl of Haifa.

1942: From this date through August 1943 more than 110,000 Poles are expelled from their homes in the fertile Zamosc province so that the area can be resettled by ethnic Germans, SS troops, and Ukrainians. More than 300 villages are affected. Thousands of Polish children are deported from the area to Belzec and other death camps.

1942: Birthdate of poet Marilyn Hacker

1943: U.S. premiere of “Old Acquaintance” a comedy-drama directed by Vincent Sherman with music by Franz Waxman.

1944: In the weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board, it reported that the United States embassy had received from the Spanish Foreign Office: "Official confirmation that appropriate instructions have been sent to the Spanish Legation in Bern to seek the collaboration of the Swiss government in the efforts of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin to obtain the release and transfer to Swiss territory of the group of 155 Sephardic Jews at Camp Bergen Belson."

1944: "The Trial and Punishment of European War Criminals," a report by U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Secretary of State Cordell Hull, is submitted to President Franklin Roosevelt. 

1944(11th of Kislev, 5705): Leonid Isaakovich Mandelshtam, Russian physicist, passed away.

1945: The American League for a Free Palestine, chaired by former Iowa Senator Guy Gillette, sent a telegram to President Harry Truman protesting recent beatings of Jewish displaced persons housed at the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British military police.  According to the League, an unnamed German had told the British that the Jews planned to protest Ernest Bevin’s recent hostile comments about Palestine. British forces arrested the leader of the Jewish “prisoners’ and reportedly beat several of the women.

1945: In London, former U.S. Senator Guy Gillette, head of the American League for a Free Palestine, held a press conference after meeting with Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin in which he declared “that the United States was ‘thoroughly worked up’ over Palestine” and regarded the situational there as a testing ground for all the principles of Atlantic Charter.

1945: The American League for a Free Palestine submitted a memorandum to the British government calling for action by the Big Five Powers to deal with any violence that the British claim will occur if 100,000 Jews are allowed to immigrate to Palestine.

1947: In Prague, Czechoslovakia  Franci and Kurt Epstein gave birth to American author Helen Epstein
http://www.helenepstein.com/

1950: A rummage sale sponsored by the Jordan Metropolis Chapter of the B’nai B’rith is scheduled to begin today in New York City.

1950: Mrs. Jack Kesselman is scheduled to address today’s meeting of the Jersey City, NJ chapter of Hadassah at the Jersey City Jewish Community Center.

1950:  Films of Europe and Israel are scheduled to be shown at tonight’s meeting of the Kinnereth Business and Professional Group of Hadassah meeting at the Henry Hudson Hotel.

1956: Senator John F. Kennedy addresses the Annual Banquet of Histadrut Zionist Organization, Baltimore, Maryland.

1956: In Amsterdam, Queen Juliana attended the opening performance of Goodrich and Hackett's “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

1956(18th of Kislev, 5654): Seventy-seven year old muralist Hugo Ballin whose works included a mural at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple that “encircles the main Sanctuary” that tell the story of the Jewish people from Bereshit until the time of its commissioning in 1929.

1956: The Jerusalem Post reported that Jews arriving by plane in Paris 'confirmed that expulsion orders were being issued to Jews in Egypt by the thousands.'

1956: Golda Meir, the Israeli Foreign Minister, "wrote the first of two letters to the UN Secretary General, protesting the 'action taken by the Egyptian Government against the Jewish Community in Egypt.'"

1958: Polish born conductor Artur Rodziński passed away. Rodzinski was not Jewish but under the law of unintended consequences, he had major impact on the career of a Jew who was one of the musical icons of the 20th century, Leonard Bernstein.  “Rodzinski said that God told him to hire 24 year old Leonard Bernstein, to be his assistant conductor. In the fall of 1943 Rodzinski decided to take a vacation, spend a little time with his goats, and called in Bruno Walter to conduct seven concerts in ten days. Only hours before one of those concerts (in the program, works by Schumann, Rosza, Strauss and Wagner) Walter fell ill. Rodzinski was only four hours away, in his farm. But he declined to come back to Carnegie Hall: "Call Bernstein. That's why we hired him." The concert was broadcast over radio and a review appeared on page 1 of The New York Times the next day: "Young Aide Leads Philharmonic; Steps in When Bruno Walter is Ill’" And the rest, as they say, is history.

1962(30th of Cheshvan, 5723): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

1962(30th of Cheshvan 5723): Fifty-one year old photographer Florence Meyer Homolka, the daughter of Eugene Meyer and actor Oskar Homolka, passed away today.

1963: Birthdate of three-time Ophir Award winner Ronit Elkabetz.

1964: In Montreal, Dr. Gina Shochat-Rakoff and Dr. Vivian Rakooff gave birth to “prize-winning humorist” David Benjamin Rakoff (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1967: At news conference today President Charles de Gaulle called Jews “elite people, sure of itself and domineering.”

1972: Release of Free to Be You and Me, the album of non-sexist stories and songs that helped shape the self-understanding and worldview of a generation of children. Letty Cottin Pogrebin was the editorial project consultant for the album as well as the book and television special associated with the project, all of which were created by feminist and actress Marlo Thomas. Free to Be You and Me, which features such songs as “Parents are People” and “It's All Right to Cry,” is still enjoyed by children today. In addition to her work on Free to Be You and Me, Pogrebin was a founding editor of Ms. Magazine. She was a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, as well as the Ms. Foundation for Women and the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. She wrote the best-selling parenting guide to raising non-sexist children, Growing Up Free: Raising Your Children in the 80s (1980), as well as Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America (1991), Family Politics: Love and Power on an Intimate Frontier (1983), and Getting Over Getting Older: An Intimate Journey (1996). Pogrebin recently published her first novel, Three Daughters (2003).
1973: Neil Simon's "Good Doctor," premieres in New York City.
1976: Release date for “Network” the Paddy Chayefsky written classic directed by Sidney Lumet. Lumet was nominated for an Oscar and Chayefsky won one for his screenplay.

1978(27th of Cheshvan, 5739):  In San Francisco, California, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White. Milk was Jewish.  Moscone was succeeded by Jewish the head of the Board of Supervisors, Diane Feinstein. Feinstein would go on to be elected to the U.S. Senate where she and fellow Californian Barbara Boxer would become the first Jewish female duo to represent a state in the nation’s Upper Chamber.
1991: The New York Times published a review of Benevolence and Betrayal Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism by Alexander Stille.

1993(13th of Kislev, 5754): Marvin H. Bernstein, a businessman and philanthropist in New York for many years passed away today at the Miami Heart Institute. He was 66 and lived in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was the founder and for 34 years the president of the Variety Knit Corporation of Manhattan, which makes women's clothing and T-shirts. He also founded the Marvin Bernstein Oil Company, a petroleum exploration company with headquarters in Miami. Mr. Bernstein was a fund-raiser for and a contributor to the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, the Simon Weisenthal Center, Israel Bonds, the Weitzman Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University and other medical and religious groups.

1995: Salah Tarif begins serving as the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs

1995: Uri Or began serving as the Deputy Minister of Defense.

1999:  The left-wing Labour Party takes control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark becoming the first elected female Prime Minister in New Zealand's history. In 2005, she opposed a visit by Israeli President Moshe Ktsav because of a dispute surrounding alleged Mossad agents and the issuing of fraudulent passports.
2000: Illusionist Dave Blaine began a stunt called “Frozen In Time” at New York’s Times Squa
2001(12th of Kislev, 5762): Etty Fahima, 45, of Netzer Hazani was killed three others were injured when a Palestinian terrorist threw grenades and opened fire at a convoy on the road between the Kissufim crossing and Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

2001(12th of Kislev,  5762): Noam Gozovsky, 23, of Moshav Ramat Zvi, and Michal Mor, 25, of Afula were killed when two Palestinian terrorists from the Jenin area opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles on a crowd of people near the central bus station in Afula. Police officers and a reserve soldier confronted them, killing the terrorists in the ensuing firefight. Another 50 people were injured, 10 of them moderately to seriously. Fatah and the Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility.

 2005:  In the topsy-turvy world of Israeli politics, Shimon Peres is seriously considering leaving the Labor Party and joining Ariel Sharon’s new Kadima Party.  This would mean the old lion of labor and the old lion of Likud could end their careers under a common political banner.  In yet an even stranger twist of fate, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak injected himself into the upcoming electoral campaign by declaring that Ariel Sharon was the only Israeli leader capable of making peace with the Palestinians. 

2005: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine by Harold Bloom and The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam.

2006: The Times of London reported Alexander Litvinenko, the poisoned former KGB agent had just returned from a trip to Israel. A dossier drawn up by Alexander Litvinenko on the Kremlin’s takeover of Yukos, the world’s richest energy giant was turned over to Scotland Yard as police investigate the former KGB spy’s secret dealings with some of Russia’s richest men. It emerged yesterday that Mr. Litvinenko traveled to Israel just weeks before he died to hand over evidence to a Russian billionaire of how agents working for President Putin dealt with his enemies running the Yukos oil company. He passed this information to Leonid Nevzlin, the former second-in-command of Yukos, who fled to Tel Aviv in fear for his life after the Kremlin seized and then sold off the $40 billion (£21 billion) company. Mr. Nevzlin told The Times that it was his “duty” to pass on the file. “Alexander had information on crimes committed with the Russian Government’s direct participation,” he said. There has been more than a whiff of anti-Semitism in Putin’s drive to gain control of Russia.

2006: In New Zealand, John Key became the parliamentary leader of the National Party

2007: Batsheva Dance choreographer Ohad Naharin premiers his latest work, “Kamuyot” in Stockholm.  The premier will be followed by 100 performances before 20,000 students all over Sweden.  “Kamuyot” can be translated as “numbers of” or “characteristics.”

2007: The scheduled U.S. sponsored meeting of Israelis and Arabs at Annapolis, MD, comes to an end.

2007: YIVO Institute presents The Klezmatics: Up Close in downtown Manhattan.  The Klezmatics perform music drawn from their 2007 Grammy award-winning CD Wonder Wheel – Lyrics by Woody Guthrie, YIVO’s Max and Frieda Weinstein Sound Archives and their vast repertoire.

2007: "Operation: Last Chance” will be formally launched at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's "Operation: Last Chance" is targeted to find and bring to justice at least some of the thousands of Nazis still hiding in South America 62 years after the end of World War II.

2007: At the end of the Annapolis Conference, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke of the relevance to any future Israeli-Palestinian agreement of the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries after 1948.

2008: As the Thanksgiving weekend begins, Secrets directed by Avi Nesher premiers theatrically in commercial movie theatres.

2008: During the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks, Indian army reported that it had secured the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House and liberated 60 people in the building.

2008:  Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar are calling for a mass prayer rally today in the hope that heavenly intervention will stem the global financial crisis.

2008: Final showing at the Jacob Burns Film Center of “One Day You’ll Understand” a film that portrays the reaction of French businessman’s reaction to the televised trial of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie in 1987.

2008: Israeli sculptor Gideon Gechtman, a native of Alexandria, whose family made Aliyah in 1945, passed away today.

http://www.imj.org.il/imagine/collections/results.asp?searchType=simple&words=Gechtman%2C+Gideon&ArtistE=on&Submit2=Search

http://www.imj.org.il/artcenter/default.asp?artist=272639

2008: Idina Menzel performed "I Stand" on the M&M Candies float as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

2009: A man accused of murdering Dutch civilians as a member of a Waffen SS hit squad said at his trial today that he was proud about being chosen to fight for the Nazis. Heinrich Boere, 88, made his first comments to the Aachen state court since his trial opened at the end of October. As part of that SS unit, he is charged with killing a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and another civilian.

2009: A Palestinian terrorist was killed this morning when the IAF struck a Gaza terror cell preparing to fire rockets into Israel, according to the IDF. In a statement, the army said that the terrorist belonged to the Jaljalatt terror organization, a Salafist movement operating in the Gaza Strip and influenced by al-Qaida. The statement added that some 770 Kassam rockets, mortar shells and Grad missiles had been fired at Israel since the beginning of 2009.

2009: The Israeli Black Panthers host a special tour of the Musara neighbored in Jerusalem.  The Israeli Black Panthers “is a popular movement of Arab Jews “first established during the 1970’s.  The historic ‘Seam Line’ neighborhood was right on the Israeli-Jordanian border” until the war in June, 1967 resulted in the reunification of the city. The purpose of the tour is to acquaint visitors with “the place, its peoples and the relevance of its history and struggle in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

2009: Performance of “Lost in Yonkers” at the DC JCC.

2009: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa Noah Thalblum helps to lead Friday Night services as part of his Bar Mitzvah weekend.

2009: Abe Pollin’s funeral service is held at Washington Hebrew Congregation.

2010(20th of Kislev, 5771) Irvin Kershner - who directed the Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back, the James Bond film Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2 – passed away at the age of 87

2010(20th of Kislev, 5752): Vilém Flusser a Czech-born Brazilian Jewish philosopher, writer and journalist passed away.

2010: In Michigan, the Young Adult Division of Jewish Federation is scheduled to sponsor the sixth annual Latke Vodka donor thank you event.

2010: A rock was thrown through the back window of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center, which is located on the  University of Indianan campus, today. Earlier in the week, a rock was thrown through the back window of the Chabad Jewish student center located just outside the campus. Bloomington city police and campus police are investigating whether the attacks are related. Glass from the broken window of the Chabad house did damage to the building’s worship center, the group’s president, Alex Groysman, told the Indiana Daily Student newspaper. “We believe it was an act of anti-Semitism because the window shattered was less than a yard away from a sign that says Jewish Student Center,” Groysman told the paper. “After everything the center does to build understanding and friendly relations in the community, there are people out there that just want to destroy. By throwing that stone, that person was sending a message that they do not want us here, and that is something that is not OK.”Chabad plans to display a 12-foot menorah for Chanukah, according to the report.
 
2011(1st of Kislev, 5772): Rosh Chodesh Kislev

2011: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Something Urgent I Have to Say to You: The Life and Works of William Carlos Williams” by Herbert Leibowitz

2011: Ministerial Committee on Legislation decided on today not to back a bill that would limit public access to High Court petitions, sponsored by MKs Danny Danon and Yariv Levin from the Likud. All of the ministers voted against the bill. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier today that he would defend Israel's courts but that there were certain distortions that need to be fixed.
 
2011: Prominent Israeli singer Margalit Tzan'ani pleaded guilty today to extorting her manager, and is expected to be sentenced to several months of community service.

2011: The New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2011 includes the following books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers: “The Free World” in which David Bezmozgis overturns clichéd expectations of immigrant idealism in his first novel, which follows a Soviet Jewish family awaiting visas in Rome in 1978; “The Grief of Others” by Leah Hager Cohen;  “Say Her Name” by Francisco Goldman, “Scenes From Village Life” by Amos Oz; “The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World” by Haifa-born physicist David Deutsch; “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India” by Joseph Lelyveld; “In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family Hitler’s Berlin,” Erik Larson’s account of the experiences of William Dodd, F.D.R.’s first ambassador in Nazi Germany; “Jerusalem: The Biography” by Simon Sebag  Montefiore; “The Memory Chalet” by Tony Judt; “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War” by Tony Horwitz; “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark” by Brian Kellow; “The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World” by Jewish Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin; “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” by Stephen Greenblatt; “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Israeli born Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman; “A Train Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France” by Caroline Moorehead
 
2012: In Rmallah, the tomb of Yasser Arafat is schedule to be opened as the first step in process intended to determine if he was poisoned.

2012: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present a program that will examine ”the Rothschild Baba Kama, an ornate and richly decorated manuscript written in 1721-22 by Anshel Moses Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty.”

2012: The JCC of Northern Virginia is scheduled to present a program that will “explore how the image of a typical Israeli has been depicted in Israeli films from the 1960’s until today.

2012: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, members of the Jewish community are scheduled to meet to discuss ways to further the cause of Israel in the Hawkeye State.
 
2012: “The National Library of Israel signed contract with Pri-Or to preserve its archive of more than one million images

2012(13th of Kislev, 5773): Fifty-eight year old French journalist Érik Izraelewicz “who was the director and editorial executive of Le Monde” passed away today.

2012(13th of Kislev, 5773): Ninety-five year old “Marvin Miller, an economist and labor leader who became one of the most important figures in baseball history by building the major league players union into a force that revolutionized the game, died on Tuesday at his home in Manhattan.” (As reported by Richard Goldstein)


2012: The Taub Center released its annual State of the Nation Report for 2011-2012 this morning, which according to the organization, paints “a troubling picture of the way Israeli governments have thus far dealt with Israel’s primary socioeconomic problems.”

2013: In the evening, kindle the first Chanukah candle

2013: Chabad of Talbiya is scheduled to host its third annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting Festival at the entrance to the Mamilla Mall.

2013: The City of  Tel Aviv-Jaffa in collaboration with Heritage Fund for Israel in Tel Aviv are scheduled to host two candle lighting ceremonies – at Culture Square and Rabin Square.

2013: Former State Department official and ambassador Elliott Abrams argued in his Council for Foreign Relations blog today that the language used by the White House to discuss the Iran interim deal was largely “aspirational,” suggesting that much of the touted P5+1 deal with Iran had yet to be hammered out, a contention that appeared to be born out the statements of State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.(As reported by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil)

2013: Five teenagers from the Arab neighborhood of Issawiya in East Jerusalem were brought before the Jerusalem District Court today and charged with throwing Molotov cocktails at an IDF base in the capital.  (As reported by Stuart Winer)

2013: The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Netivei Israel Company “invited the public to visit the excavation site Eshtaol” which “includes a six-millennia-old cultic temple and a 10,000 year old house” today

 
2013: In Israel, "A Push to Screen for Cancer Gene Leaves Many Conflicted

2014: In England, the chaplains (rabbis) of the Oxford University Jewish Society are scheduled to host “a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner” at their home for which there is a minimal £3 charge.

2014: In Melbourne, “Night Will Fall” and “Above and Beyond” are scheduled to be shown at the Jewish International Festival

2014(5th of Kislev):  Yarhrzeit of Rabbi Shmuel Edels (Maharsah) the native of Cracow who became “a renowned Talmudic commentator.”