JUNE 9 In Jewish History
68: The Emperor Nero died in Rome. Nero had appointed four governors of Judea each of whom was crueler and greedier than his predecessor. The Jewish Revolt in 66 was caused, in part, by this succession of disastrous appointments by Nero. Nero had ordered Vespasian to invade the Galilee and suppress the revolt of the Jews. The political unrest that followed Nero's death as various parties vied for the throne slowed down the final defeat of the Jews. In the end, Vespasian was made Emperor thanks to the support of his legions and he sent his son Titus to conquer Jerusalem.
721: At the Battle of Toulouse, Odo of Aquitaine defeated the Moors led by Al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, the governor of Al-Andalus. Al-Andalus refers to that part of the Iberian Peninsula which was under the control of the Moslems. While the defeat at Toulouse (in modern day France) helped to confine the forces of Islam to territory south of the Pyrenees mountains, it served to reinforce the fact that Spain would not be ruled by Christians. For a limited period of time, this created what some called a Golden Age for the Jews of Spain. The reality is a little more complicated. It would more than seven centuries for the Christians to dislodge the Moslems from the Iberian Peninsula. Depending on the whims and needs of various rulers (both Christian and Moslem), Jewish fortunes waxed and waned. It would all end with the expulsion of 1492.
1171(4th of Tammuz): A few days after decreeing that the 20th of Sivan should henceforth be a day of fasting and mourning in honor of the 51 Jews burned at the stake Blois, Rabbi Tam passed away.
1595: Birthdate of King Wladislaus IV who was King of Poland at the outbreak of The Khmelnitsky Uprising and failed to check it at its inception. This failure contributed to the worst massacre of Jews until the 20th century and the Holocaust.
1672: Birthdate Tsar Peter I of Russia, known as Peter the Great. He may have been “great” to the worst of the world but not so great as far as the Jews were concerned since he banned Jews from his domain even as he sought to modernize it.
1693(5th of Sivan): Rabbi Gershom Ashkenazi author of Avodat ha-Gershuni passed away.
1732: James Oglethorpe was granted a charter to establish the colony of Georgia. The colony was settled in June of 1733. In July of 1733, “forty Sephardic Jews arrived in Savannah” marking the beginning of the Jewish community in Georgia.
1753(7th of Sivan, 5513): Second Day of Shavuot
1787: Birthdate of Sarah (nee Dias Fernandes) Aguilar the wife of Emanuel Aguilar and the mother of author Grace Aguilar.
1790(27th of Sivan, 5550): Purim of Florence is celebrated by Florentine Jews because on the 27th of Sivan, 1790 they were saved from a mob by the efforts of the bishop. The festival is preceded by a fast on the 26th of Sivan. The details of the occurrence are related in full by Daniel Terni in a Hebrew pamphlet entitled "Ketab ha-DaṬ," published in Florence in 1791.
1815: The Congress of Vienna came to an end. Europe enters into a period of political reaction following the defeat of Napoleon. “After Napoleon's defeat and the Congress of Vienna, the Germans took their revenge on the French and the Jews. The Congress of Vienna had provided for full civil and political rights "to differing parties of the Christian religion," but the "civil betterment" of the Jews was put off for further study. The Congress stated that Jews could retain such rights as they already had, but nearly everywhere in Germany the rights that the Jews had won were disavowed and rescinded. (Prussia was an exception: only some Jewish rights were abolished; most were retained.) A period of reaction set in, in which anti-Semitism was a major component.” Surprisingly enough, Prince Metternich, the reactionary Austrian Foreign Minister played a positive role for Jews living in the German cities of Frankfurt, Lubeck and Bremen while the Congress was in session. When the ruling bodies of those cities attempted to take away rights previously granted to the Jewish communities, the Jews appealed to Metternich for help. Metternich interceded on behalf of the Jews because depriving them of their rights would have been a violation of the guarantees made by the Congress of Vienna. Metternich was not a philo-Semite. Rather he was aware of the economic power of these Jewish leaders and he knew that they would be a force for stability. Also, Metternich based Austria’s foreign policy on the decisions of the Congress and he was opposed to anything that would undermine the agreements reached there.
1854: The New York Times reports that “It is said that there is not a single Jew in the United States engaged in agriculture.”
1856: Birthdate of Aaron David (A.D.) Gordon, the founder of Hapoel Hatzair.
1863: During the Civil War, Jacob Ezekiel Hyneman, a native of Richmond, VA serving with the Union Army was wounded at the Battle of Brandy Station, the most important clash of cavalry in the east which help to set the stage for the Battle of Gettysburg.
1870: Author Charles Dickens passed away. Dickens was considered an anti-Semite by some because of his character Fagin in Oliver Twist. Dickens defended himself against what he considered a false claim. In a later work, Our Mutual Friend, Dickens created the sympathetic Jewish character Mr. Riah who is the victim of a Christian moneylender. "The Jewish people are a people for whom I have a real regard and to whom I would not willingly have given an offense...for any worldly consideration."
1871: It was reported today that French Banker Jules Mires has passed away.
1871: The three-day long Rabbinical Conference, a meeting of leaders of the Reform Movement, came to an end in Cincinnati, Ohio. Twenty-three congregations were represented at the meeting. The Conference agreed to provide “a modern prayerbook” which would not contain any references to a return of the Jews to Jerusalem, the offering of sacrifices or a personal messiah. It was also agreed that services would be conducted primarily in English instead of Hebrew. In the field of education, the Conference approved the establishment of seminary to train rabbis and the development of a uniform course of study for congregational Sabbath Schools.
1875: In New York, a large number of Jews met at Adath Israel to memorialize the passing of the James Gordon Bennett., the founder editor and publisher of the New York Herald. Those in attendance adopted a series of memorial resolutions that were to be sent to his widow and son which described Bennett as “an honest supporter and true friend” of the Jewish people who “always gave firm and true support to our creed.”
1876: President U.S. Grant and Thomas Ferry, the President Pro Tempore of the United State attended the consecration services of Adas Israel, the new orthodox synagogue in Washington, DC. The service was bilingual with prayers in Hebrew and an address by Rabbi George Jacobs of Philadelphia in English. Adas Israel has moved twice since this event but still remains located in the District of Columbia; its members under the leadership of Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz, having made the courageous decision not to move to the suburbs. It is one of the leading Conservative Congregations in the United States.
1880: In New York City, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association is scheduled to host a strawberry festival and concert at Lyric Hall tonight to raise funds for its library.
1880(30th of Sivan, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1881: It was reported today that the government is conducting a census among the Jews living in Kiev with the goal of expelling those from the city who do not have a right to live their under the restrictive residency laws applied to them.
1882: “Death After Fasting Seven Month” published today described the death of a Polish Jew named Adolph Schomger who stopped eating after having been sentenced to the penitentiary in Nebraska after having been convicted of stealing. Schmoger was transferred to “an insane asylum” but his starvation tactics continued causing his weight to fall from 150 to 80 pounds to his death.
1886(6th of Sivan, 5646): Shavuot
1886: Final exams are scheduled to be given at Central High School in Philadelphia, PA despite the face that it is Shavuot. The principal has refused to make any accommodation for the Jewish students despite pleas from the city’s Rabbis.
1887: Dr. Sabato Morais, the rabbi at Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia, became the first Jew recognized by the University of Pennsylvania with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
1887: In New York, Adolph Reich was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to death. Court officials said that it was rare for Jews to be charged with murder since they were “as a rule orderly, law-abiding citizen” and they could not remember one ever being executed.
1891(3rd of Sivan, 5651): Samuel Adler “a leading German-American Reform rabbi, Talmudist, and author” passed away. He was also the father of Felix Adler, the well-known founder of the Society for Ethical Culture.”
1893: Birthdate of Samuel Nathaniel Behrman, the Worcester, Massachusetts native, who gained success writing scripts of stage and screen as well as doing profiles for the New Yorker. Among his subjects were Chaim Weizman, George Gershwin, Max Beernbohm, Joseph Duveen and Eddie Cantor.The Worcester Account is an account of his childhood from 1893 to shortly after he moved to New York City in 1917.
1899(1st of Tammuz, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Tammuz
1899: The French cruiser Sfax arrived at Devil’s Island. The ship’s mission was to bring Dreyfus home after four years and three months of being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
1902: Herzl's father dies in Vienna. Herzl goes back to Vienna for the funeral.
1905: Pogrom began in Lodz, Poland
1911: The Jewish community of St. Thomas, Danish West Indies, publishes a protest against the appeal of the Anglican Church to raise funds designed to “gather Jews into the fold” i.e. create proselytes
1916: Birthdate of Louis Werfel who gained fame as “The Flying Rabbi” when he served as a chaplain during World War II. Werfel was one of only six Jewish chaplains who died during WW II. He died while returning from conducting Chanukah services at Casablanca in 1943.
1921: Birthdate of Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, leading Jewish author, philosopher and fighter for civil rights of all. He passed away in 2006.
1922: Silent film star Beatrice Carpenter and Herman Axelrod gave birth to George Axelrod. Axelrod’s father was a Russian Jew while his mother was not Jewish. His breakout work was “The Seven Year Itch” which was a successful play and film.
1924(7th of Sivan, 5684): Second Day of Shavuot
1926: Congressman Meyer London’s funeral was held in New York City with tens of thousands filling the streets in his honor.
1928: Delegates representing 400 organizations are expected to attend today’s’ convention The Hebrew Religious Protective Association at the Broadway Central Hotel
1930: Birthdate newscaster, author and educator, Marvin Kalb. Kalb first gained fame as a correspondent with CBS Television News. Kalb has an equally famous brother, Bernard, with whom he sometimes shares the lecture circuit much to the delight and enlightenment of the attendees.
1931: Birthdate of comedian Jackie Mason.
1935(8th of Sivan): Dr. Shermaryahu Levine passed away
1935: Anti-Jewish riots occur in Grodno, Poland.
1936: John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States left Jerusalem for Lebanon and Syria.
1936: Arabs attempted to attack Kfar Yeheskiel, a Jewish workmen’s settlement in the Jezreel Valley. Jospeh Tavory, a Jewish truck driver was wounded during the unsuccessful attack.
1937: The Palestine Post reported that according to French press reports the British government was expected to propose, at the June 18 session of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations in Geneva, the establishment of a Jewish republic and a joint Arab Palestinian-Jordanian state under Emir Abdullah.
1937: Chaim Weizmann gave an account of his dinner of the previous night where he had dined with Winston Churchill and other Zionist supporters in Parliament to a number of leading Zionists then visiting London including David Ben-Gurion
1938: The Main Synagogue in Munich was burned down. Two thousand Jews throughout Germany were arrested and were sent to concentration camps to do hard labor.
1939: Birthdate of Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who has become one of the most well-known figures in both the Jewish and secular feminist movements.
1941: Abraham Pais obtained his doctoral degree in theoretical physics today, just five days before the deadline. His was the last Ph.D. issued to a Dutch Jew until after the war. Abraham Pais
1942: Lord Wedgwood opened the debate in the British House of Lords by urging that the mandate over Palestine be transferred to the United States, since Britain had reneged on its commitments. He stated with bitterness: "I hope yet to live to see those who sent the Struma cargo back to the Nazis hung as high as Haman cheek by jowl with their prototype and Führer, Adolf Hitler
1942(23rd of Sivan, 5702): When a Jewish mother at Pabianice, Poland, fights fiercely for her baby during a deportation, the baby is taken from her and thrown out a window.
1942: A gassing van is sent to Riga, Latvia, for the execution of Jews.
1942: German criminal police in the Lodz Ghetto reported that 95 Jews ‘have been hung publicly here.
1943(6th of Sivan, 5703): First Day of Shavuot
1944: Jewish-Hungarian poet and Jewish-Palestinian paratrooper Hannah Szenes is arrested in Hungary after completing her mission for the British in Yugoslavia. She was attempting to help the Hungarian Jews who were being transported to Auschwitz. Born in Hungary in 1921, Szenes witnessed the rise of anti-Semitism in pre-World War II Hungary. She became a Zionist and moved to Palestine in 1938. By 1941 she had joined a kibbutz and the Haganah. She was one of many European born Jews living in Palestine who joined the British Army and agreed to be dropped behind enemy lines. There purpose was two-fold - to add anti-Nazi partisan forces and to help the Jews facing extermination. Just before her death at the hands of her Hungarian captors Szenes wrote the following poem: “One-two-three... eight feet long, Two strides across, the rest is dark... Life hangs over me like a question mark. One-two-three... maybe another week, Or next month may still find me here, But death, I feel, is very near. I could have been twenty-three next July; I gambled on what mattered most; The dice were cast. I lost." Most Israelis can recite the following lines, "Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart." Her most famous work is one that is often sung in Hebrew and English.
"Lord, my God,
I pray that these things never end:
The sand and the sea,
The rush of the waters,
The crash of the heavens,
The human prayer
1945: Prime Minister Winston Churchill rejects a written request by Chaim Weizmann for an end to all restrictions on Jewish entry into Palestine now that the war with Germany is over saying “”There can I fear be no possibility of the question being effectively considered until the victorious Allies are definitely seated at the Peace table.” This statement effectively ended Weizmann’s leadership role. Many Zionists viewed this as a betrayal by the British in general and by the supposedly pro-Zionist Churchill in particular.
1949(12th of Sivan, 5709): Eighty-six year old Dr. Moses Hyamon, the native of Russia and distinguished scholar who served as Chief Rabbi of the British Empire before World War I and who had been Rabbi of New York’s Orach Chaim passed away
1949: Mira (Miriam) Shefer left Cyprus on the SS Sha’ar Yishuv. After having survived the Holocaust, she traveled from Poalnd, crossed the Alps into Austria before arriving in Italy where she boarded the SS Kadima. Although the ship was equipped for 400 passengers, this desperate voyage took 800 Jews through the British blockade to Haifa. Unfortunately for Mira and the rest of the passengers, the British sent them all to Cyprus where she endured life in an internment camp until the creation of the Jewish state.
1950: Jefferson Caffery, the United States Ambassador to Egypt, said that “last month’s declaration by the United States, Britain and France on the Middle East was not intended to picture the present frontiers between Israel and her Arab neighbors as permanent borders.”
1950: Israel responded to charges of mistreatment of infiltrators from Jordan by telling the Arabs to “keep on your own side of the border.” The Israelis claim that there only responsibility is to “escort the infiltrators to a point near the border and send them on their way.” According to the agreement signed at Rhodes in 1949 that ended hostilities between Israel and Jordan, “neither troops nor civilians could pass into each other’s territory.”
1951: The last group of Nazis convicted of war crimes during World War II is hanged in Nuremberg.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that banknotes issued in 1948 by the Anglo-Palestine bank as Israel’s legal tender had to be exchanged for new notes, in different colors, issued by Bank Leumi L’Israel. A 10 percent compulsory deduction for a 15-year loan, at 4%, was to accompany each exchange of the old notes for the new, and a similar deduction was to be carried out automatically on all bank deposits. The loan was expected to bring IL 25 million for the Treasury. Three hundred new immigrants marched in Tel Aviv demanding better housing.
1952: Birthdate of Uzi Hitman, Israeli singer, songwriter, composer and television personality who died of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 52
1961: Birthdate of Aaron Sorkin producer and writer for television hit, “The West Wing
1962(7th of Sivan, 5722): Second Day of Shavuot
1962(7th of Sivan, 5722): Madame and bordello owner, Polly Adler, passed away.
1963: Barbra Streisand appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
1963: Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz of Adas Israel attended the at the ground breaking ceremonies for the Abraham S. Kay Spiritual Life Center, the American University in Washington, D.C.,
1967: In a change of mind and policy, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told Chief of Staff Yitzchak Rabin that the IDF would take the Golan Heights after all. Rabin began moving forces from the Central Command to the North. The fighting was tough as the IDF advanced against the well-fortified Syrian positions. By nightfall, the IDF seemed to be taking control of the battlefield and there was already talk about advancing on the Syrian capital of Damascus. The Israelis were concerned about the fate of the 15,000 Jews living in Syria. For years the Syrian government had held them under virtual arrest, denying any of them the right to leave the country.
1968: In an article entitled “This Piece of Earth,” Chaim Potok reviewed “Light on Israel” by Maurice Samuel, “The Road to Jerusalem: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1967” by Walter Laqueur, “Under Fire: Israel’s 20 Year Struggle for Survival”, edited by Donald Robinson, “The Resurrection of Israel” by Ann Latour; translated by Maragaret S. Summers and “The Hand of Mordechai” by Margaret Larkin.
1975: Malcolm Toon is appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that, according to US Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton, it would be "perfectly reasonable" for Israel to seek compensation from the Arab states for the property left behind by Jewish refugees who came to Israel after 1948. The Prime Minister designate, Menachem Begin, assured the press that his election wouldn't affect Israeli relations with Germany
1981: Birthdate of actress Natalie Portman. Born Natalie Hershberg, in Jerusalem, Portman took her grandmother’s maiden name for her stage name. A 2003 graduate of Harvard she has Queen Amidala in “Star Wars” and appeared in other major productions including “Cold Mountain” and “Garden State.”
1982: Units of the Golani Brigade and the Barak Armored Brigade began their attack on Doha and Kafr Sil, two villages on the outskirts of Beirut
1987: The trial of Klaus Barbie took a new turn today as historians, led by the niece of Charles de Gaulle, began testifying over the objections of Mr. Barbie's attorney. Genevieve de Gaulle, 66 years old, a survivor of the Nazi Ravensbruck camp, told how gypsy girls were sterilized by X-ray and Polish girls were mutilated in experiments. A historian, Leon Poliakov, 76, said the killing of Jews, gypsies and mentally ill Germans was the cornerstone of Hitler's drive to conquer the world. Countering claims that SS officers such as Mr. Barbie were unaware of the fate awaiting Jews in the camps, Mr. Poliakov quoted Heinrich Himmler, the SS leader, as telling officers in 1943: ''The Jews will be exterminated. It is clear. It is part of our program.'' (As reported by Reuters)
1992: On the 25 anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War, an article, entitled “Voices of Israel: To Many, the Fruits of the '67 War Taste Bitter,” The New York Times reported on how some Israelis view the road their country has traveled since that June.
On the 25th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War, Israelis are talking about The war, from June 5 to June 10, was the most significant event for Israel since its war of independence in 1948, a dazzling victory over neighboring Arab countries that left the Israelis with far more territory and breathing room but also with many more domestic divisions and international disputes. The evocations stand in sharp contrast to the almost total silence about the 10th anniversary of Israel's invasion of Lebanon, which began in exactly the same period in 1982 and created a quagmire the Israelis would rather forget. As Israelis observed the anniversary, Clyde Haberman and Joel Greenberg spoke with people of different backgrounds and political views. Here are their thoughts about the past and the present: Shabtai Teveth A historian; 66 years old; author of several books, including two accounts of the 1967 war and "The Cursed Blessing," on the occupation of the West Bank and its aftermath. The blessing of 1967 was that Israel proved again that it was viable and not, as the Arabs imagined, something that could be wiped off the map without much effort. It was a return to the land of the Bible. Suddenly, Israel became the Land of Israel. The Zionist dream and the Biblical return were fused into one reality. Then there was a change, whose agent was the success of Moshe Dayan's policy in the territories in the first 20 years after 1967. There was a feeling that the territories were neither a political nor a security burden, and that we can go on holding them. We were lulled by our success, and Israelis began thinking they could reap political fruits from military victory and create conditions for annexation. This trend was joined by the rise to power of Likud, which always believed in obtaining Zionist political aims by force of arms. The 1982 Lebanon war testified to this new approach. That war split Israeli opinion, and later the intifada deepened the split. Over the last 25 years, Israel has lost its consensus on acts of war. We lost one of the most important things needed for our existence, for our progress and for our future relations with the Arabs: That is the national consensus. The curse of the blessing of 1967 is that we are now a house divided against itself. Zeev Chafets A Government press officer under Prime Minister Menachem Begin; a writer, now 44 years old; born in Michigan; emigrated to Israel two months after the 1967 war. Israel in 1967 was still very much dominated by Labor Zionist orthodoxy. It was dominated by the sabra elite and by an Eastern European parent generation. The parents were symbolized by Golda Meir and Levi Eshkol. Ben-Gurion was still alive. There was a correct answer to every issue, from when peace would come, to the right way to be an Israeli. People put up with that very high-handed, very paternalistic, very exclusionary elite Government because of the incredible prestige that it enjoyed. That prestige hit its highest point with the 1967 war. And it was very difficult for anyone who was outside this "in" crowd -- Oriental Jews, new immigrants, Orthodox Jews or urban bourgeois types -- to quarrel with the incredible success that those people had had. No matter what you thought of them, you had to admit that at least they knew best. All that broke down after the 1973 war. The prestige of the founders and of the sabra sons' generation was shattered. We almost lost that war. After 1973 it became clear that they didn't know what they were doing, or at least that they didn't know better than anyone else. And that opened the way for all sorts of change. People think about Israel and they think about the Palestinian question. But what gets missed is that in the last large numbers of years, the Palestinian problem hasn't changed very much. All the change has taken place in the unobserved areas of Israeli life, in things that don't interest people too much but make up the fabric of the society. Israel today is much more democratic than it was in 1967. It's much more pluralistic and culturally interesting. It's more realistic, less utopian, less naive. It's a much more tolerant country than it was. The notion that this was a little Eden in 1967 and has since degenerated into this terrible repressive society is utter nonsense. Leah Shakdiel A religious feminist; 41 years old; running for Parliament as a leader of Hatikva, or The Hope, a small party urging greater economic and social equality. I was a high-school student during the Six-Day War, and I remember the incredible excitement in my family when we heard about the liberation of Jerusalem. It had profound national meaning, the liberation of our ancestral land. In the early 1970's I was very impressed by the idealism, spiritual values and sacrifices made by the [ religious nationalist ] Gush Emunim movement. In the mid-70's I started having doubts. It seemed to me that the people of Israel were being neglected for the sake of hallowed ground, and spiritual energy was being spent on the "liberated territories." It was clear as daylight that a revision was necessary in our traditional positions that identified nationalism with ignoring the Arabs: We were immersed in our own drama, and they were statistics somewhere, to be disregarded. Today this is impossible. The talk of "liberated territories" now looks absurd. Territories aren't liberated, people are. The Jewish people, while claiming to have liberated territories, is unable see it is enslaving people in the process. There's a dual morality. After 1967 people started treating the occupation as a force of nature that can't be changed. We are in a paradox. On the one hand we have genuine security concerns, but we can't deal with them as long as we rule another population. An artificial doubling of territory gives people a false sense of security and prevents them from seeing problems in their correct proportions: We're terribly big and strong, but on the other hand we're terribly weak and threatened. We rule the Arabs, and at the same time we're scared to death of them. Azmi Bishara Describes himself as a Palestinian citizen of Israel; from the Israeli Arab town of Nazareth and now living in East Jerusalem; 35 years old; teaches Palestinians at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank and works at an Israeli research institute; proposes granting cultural autonomy to Israeli Arabs. In 1967 we renewed contact with Palestinians in the territories, and with our cultural, religious and national continuity. It was a rediscovery of the Palestinian self after an isolation of 20 years. At the same time you discovered what distinguishes the Palestinian minority in Israel from the Palestinians under occupation: the status of being a citizen. There were two parallel processes: Palestinization and Israelization. The Arabs in Israel became Israelis only after 1967. Before that they were a minority who had been defeated. They wanted to show loyalty, they were afraid, and so their Israelization was not real. It was not an internal process. After 1967, two processes began: solidarity with the part of the Palestinian people under occupation, and at the same time discovering the distinctions. This is the real Israelization: You are a citizen and they are not, and this status brings with it some benefits, like freedom of speech and movement, and economic benefits. There is a contradiction here, and I am living the conflict all the time. When soldiers came and started breaking chairs on the heads of my Bir Zeit students, I was not ashamed of "our soldiers," as my Israeli leftist friends were. I saw the soldiers as the enemy. It's not my state. I'm a Palestinian, and the state declares itself the state of the Jews, so I don't have the privilege of being ashamed of it. Neither the flag nor national anthem are mine. But there are Israeli intellectuals who are my friends, people I love and care for, like the Palestinians I care for. It is really my society, but it is not Israeli society, it is a subculture. The most hostile phenomena to me are Israeli phenomena, but some of the closest people to me are Israelis. I'm very much a stranger here, and at the same time I belong here too much. Yisrael Harel A former newspaper editor; 51 years old; moved to the West Bank settlement of Ofra in 1976; heads the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. We are full of memories, but maybe we neglect important conclusions from our past. Everything was written on the wall before the Holocaust, and people didn't believe it. People went on the trains. They didn't want to believe they were being taken to concentration camps. It looks to me that in certain ways we continue it in Israel. Of course we are not facing a Holocaust. But we refuse to see the signs on the wall. The biggest is the denial of what we can expect from those who live around us if we do not behave as a people who are in a state of constant war and an object of constant hatred. Who knows when it's going to stop, when you have against you people who are able to do all these impossible atrocities to their own people? The elites in this county -- cultural, political, academic -- will tell you that if we were greater peace lovers, then we wouldn't need these defense budgets, that it's only because the Government doesn't want real peace. When they go on sabbatical or to a conference, they meet people from a different world and they are asked hard questions: What are you people doing to Palestinian boys? Then they start to apologize. We Jews in general, and Israelis in particular, are very concerned about what people think of us: Do we look nice? But makeup cannot help. We are dealing with basic questions. Those people who have guilt feelings and don't see the danger, and are willing to accept Palestinians back from exile, are like a body that's lost its immunities. They are more concerned about how they look to others, and it overwhelms their instincts about what has to be done. When it comes to your existence, the hell with what that professor or diplomat or journalist thinks of you. Arie Eliav A 70-year-old Labor member of Parliament who chose not to run this month; directs an educational project in the Negev. The Six-Day War was a heroic and tragic watershed. Looking back over 25 years, it's become another Israel. And you balance everything out, it is a worse place, no doubt about it. The war was a fortune that became a misfortune. Nobody will deny that from 1948 to 1967, Israel, with all its deficiencies, was a democracy by every yardstick. But in the 25 years of our rule over the two million Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, it's become a nondemocracy. It's a country under military rule. What we are doing is against the teachings of the prophets -- this conquest, this rule over minorities, this treatment of the stranger in our midst. Eventually, continuation of the conquest will make Israel less and less tolerant. It's inbred. You can't be a tolerant conqueror. Settlements are not only a hindrance, they are a catalyst for losing our goals, the Jewish, Zionist, Israeli values. It started with the Labor Government, but it continued more and more with this Government. What Sharon is doing is sending a curse on Israel. It's messianic craziness. The settlements are a burden on the army. Most of the Israeli top generals, past and present, will tell you that they don't need them for security reasons. They need some observation posts. The army is our guarantee, and many of the settlements are just a burden for it. Herman Branover An acclaimed physicist at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba; 60 years old; a dissident who emigrated to Israel from Latvia in 1972. There is a great difference in the motivation of those who came 20 years ago and those coming from Russia now. Twenty years ago, people had a certain kind of Jewish motivation. Most could definitely find fulfillment and happiness here, although not everybody completely agreed with how things were going. In Russia, Jews were very successful in industry, in culture and arts. There was a stereotype that anything in Jewish hands is somehow perfect, relatively at least. So here, they expected management to be perfect, and it upset many of them that it was far from that. But still many came with a feeling of belonging. Nowadays, it's just a desire to find a better place. Many new immigrants feel very much like strangers because they lack any knowledge of the culture, of language, of the religion. The No. 1 question is employment, and given the incredible task for a small nation to absorb 10 percent of its population in two years, Israel has failed to provide everybody a relevant job. Most were in high positions in Russia, and they are forced to do simple labor like sweeping streets and washing dishes in hotels. It is difficult for me to imagine how it would be if I were not religious or not a Zionist. If they do not become involved in Jewish education, culture and heritage, it will be very hard for them, and I do not know if they will stay or not. Bella Freund The focus of an emotional debate last month when she prevented a mob attack on a Palestinian who had stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli boy in downtown Jerusalem; a rigorously Orthodox Jew; 40 years old; won both praise and abuse from other Israelis, reflecting the inherent tensions and the flashes of hope that are part of the last 25 years. Yes, the Arabs have stabbed children. But still, we as Jews, the chosen people, have to take a very deep breath before taking the law into our own hands. People shouted at me after the stabbing, "An eye for an eye!" But these are crucial matters of life and death that in our history were decided in a court of scholars. We have to set limits, because violence is so much in the air. That is a big change that has occurred in recent years. Relations in general between people in our society have deteriorated, and the Arabs are also bearing this burden. The loss of respect for human life is there in the careless driving and serious accidents on the roads, in beatings, drugs and child abuse. It's a process that has taken years. People are not at peace. There are tensions, and they extend in every direction. I protected someone because he was a human being, and found that I had to explain myself. Our people are so divided, so confused, so politicized. The public is very tired.
1994(30th of Sivan, 5754): Rosh Chodesh Tamuz
1999: Haaretz reported that Israel and the U.S. are both demanding the immediate release of 13 Jews arrested in Iran on charges of espionage, saying the charges are trumped-up and may be motivated by anti-Semitism. The 13 Jews, from Shiran and Isfahan in southern Iran, were arrested on the eve of Passover and accused of spying for the "Zionist regime" and "world arrogance" - references to Israel and the United States respectively. However, the arrests only became public knowledge on Monday. Those arrested include a rabbi, a ritual slaughterer and teachers.
2000(6th of Sivan, 5760): First Day of Shavuot
2002: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including “Back Then” by Anne Bernays and Justin Kaplan and “Nuremberg: The Real Trial of the Century” by William F. Buckley Jr.
2005: Yisrael Meir Lau reinstalled as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv
2007: In Cedar Rapids, Jonathan Chadick becomes a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Judah.
2007: In an effort to encourage people to get out of their cars and start riding bikes instead, municipal authority packed Tel Aviv's Rabin Square with bicycles for riders who wish to spend part of their day on an urban bicycle trek. A total of 600 street bicycles and 100 bikesfor children above age 6, are offered free of charge to those who want to get to know Tel Aviv on two wheels and use this opportunity to learn about bike-riding as an alternate means of transportation. Dr. Moshe Tiomkin, head of the Tel Aviv Authority for Traffic, Transportation and Parking, explained that the municipality plans to create a web of paths connecting the entire city, so residents may ride bicycles from one point to another, "to work and class, and to run errands on bicycles."
2007(23rd of Sivan, 5767): Centenarian plus two Rudolf Arnheim, a refugee from Nazi German whose knowledge of psychology, philosophy and critical skills were the mark of what used to be called an “educated man” and also made him an outstanding professor of the psychology of art at Harvard, passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)
2008: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates nominated General Norton Schwartz a Jewish 35-year-old veteran with a background in Air Force special operations, as the new Air Force chief of staff. Schwartz, a pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours, served as Commander of the Special Operations Command-Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, and the 11th Air Force. Prior to assuming his current position, Schwartz was Director, the Joint Staff, in Washington, DC. He attended the Air Force Academy and the National War College, and he participated as a crew member in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon. In 1991, he served as chief of staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. When the Jewish Community Centers Armed Forces and Veteran's Committee presented its Military Leadership Award to Schwartz in 2004, he said he was "Proud to be identified as Jewish as well as an American military leader."
2009: The Foundation for Jewish Studies Northern Virginia Lunch & Learn presents Paul Forbes, teaching “Traditional Biblical Stories: Fact or Fiction?” (The archeological evidence available about the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark and Sodom & Gomorrah) at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
2009: U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell assured Israel today that Washington would remain its close ally despite differences over West Bank settlements and peacemaking with the Palestinians. Mitchell said the U.S. commitment to Israeli security is unshakable, adding, "We come here to talk not as adversaries and in disagreement, but as friends in discussion." The envoy made the comments with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side before a meeting with the premier Tuesday evening.
2009: Jody Wagner won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in Virginia.
2010: The Uri Gurvich Quartet is scheduled to perform at the Washington Jewish Music Festival.
2010: Gilad Hekselman Quartet is scheduled to perform at the Jazz Standard in New York City.
2011(7th of Sivan, 5771): Second Day of Shavuot
2011: The Ivri Lider Electronic Trio, featuring Ivri Lider – “one of Israel’s biggest selling artists of all time” – is scheduled to perform at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.
2011: Carolyn Fine, the valedictorian at a northern California high school is planning to deliver her graduation address via a pre-recorded audio message in order to observe Shavuot. Carolyn Fine worked out the arrangement with Vacaville High School officials, according to The Reporter, Vacaville’s local newspaper. "They really took good care of me,” Fine told the paper, regarding her school's administrators. “They've been very understanding." She decided to have her address recorded so as not to have to use a microphone. Fine intends to walk to the ceremony on the Second Day of Shavuot to avoid riding on the holiday. Fine, who says she has gradually become more religiously observant, plans to attend Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women in New York in the fall and study math. This summer she plans to study at Machon Alte, a Chabad-run women’s seminary in Safed, Israel. (JTA)
2011: Today was the 135th anniversary of the dedication of the the oldest synagogue in the national capital city. On June 9, 1876, less than the month before the nation's centennial, Adas Israel Congregation dedicated its first synagogue. Flowers and "festoons of evergreens" decorated the sanctuary and American flags "drooped gracefully" over the Ark. The room was filled to capacity and several latecomers were turned away. President Ulysses S. Grant, the first U.S. president to attend synagogue services, sat at the front of the sanctuary on a sofa rented especially for the occasion. He donated $10 to the synagogue's building fund, the equivalent of $200 today.Grant's attendance reflects the unique relationship between the Washington, D.C, Jewish community and national leaders. His presence also held special meaning because, as a Union Army general during the Civil War, Grant issued General Orders No. 11, expelling Jews "as a class" from the areas under his command. Grant dodged charges of anti-Semitism throughout his political career and perhaps attending this dedication was an overture to the Jewish community.The three-hour dedication ceremony was covered in several local and national newspapers, including The National Republican, The Jewish Messenger, and the Washington Chronicle. In fine detail, the articles described the decorations, prayers, and sermon given by visiting Rabbi George Jacobs of Philadephia's Congregation Beth El Emeth. [As reported by The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington]
2012: Ufruf of Jacob Kline and Alice Baker is scheduled to take place at Aguas Achim in Iowa City, IA.
2012: Ambassador Princeton N. Lyman is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “Sudan Twenty Seven Years after Operation Moses” which will begin with a reminder of the “evacuation of 9,000 Jewish Ethiopian refugees from Sudan in 1984.”
Copyright; June, 2012; Mitchell A. Levin email@example.com