Friday, October 14, 2016

This Day, October 15, In Jewish History by Mitchell A. Levin



OCTOBER 15

586 BCE (16th of Cheshvan, 3176): King Zedekiah was blinded and taken into captivity. He was the last king of Judea. Zedekiah’s ("Tzidkiyahu") original name was Matanya. He was torn between the two great powers of Egypt and Babylon. Unfortunately, Egypt under Hopra was no match for Nebuchadnezzar who pushed out the Egyptians and laid siege to Jerusalem. Zedekiah tried to flee from Jerusalem but was captured along with his sons in Jericho. He ended his life in a Babylonian prison.

412: Theophilius passed away clearing the way for Cyril an anti-Semite who had incited a Greek mob to kill Jew to become Patriarch of Alexandria.

912: Abdullah ibn Muhammad, Emir of Córdoba passed away. Abdullah passed away just when Cordoba was on the brink of becoming a major center of Jewish culture and learning.  Menahem ben Sharuk, the great grammarian was two years old when the Emir passed away and Hasdai Ibn Shaprut would not be born until three years after his birth.  The rise of Cordoba as a Jewish center coincided with its reemergence as a power on the Iberian Peninsula.

1218: Birthdate of Hulagu Khan, the Mongol rule who conquered Palestine in 1260 who showed toleration to all three major religions – Jews, Christians and Moslems.

1485: At Soncino, Italy, Joshua Solomon Soncino printed “The Former Prophets” with a commentary by Kimhi.  [Kimihi probably refers to David Kimihi, the 13th century rabbi known as RaDak.  But it cannot be said with certitude that it does not refer to his father Rabbi Joserph Kimhi and his brother Rabbi Moses Kimhi.] The Soncinos were a family of Sephardic Jews who had begun operating printing presses in the town of Soncino, Italy in 1483.  Yes the town was the inspiration for the last name.

1582: Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15. The change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar helps to explain the challenge in matching dates on the Hebrew calendar with the dates on the civil calendar.

1585: Birthdate of Louis Cappel, the French Huguenot Scholar “accepted the chair of Hebrew at Samur” at the age of 28 who “made a special study of the history of the Hebrew text, which led him to the conclusion that the vowel points and accents are not an original part of the Hebrew language, but had been inserted by the Massorete Jews of Tiberias, no earlier than the 5th century.”

1655(Tishrei, 5416): The Jews of Lublin, Poland were massacred

1733: Birthdate of Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carregal the native of Hebron who is reported to have been the first rabbi to visit the colonies that would become the United States of America.

1737: After a slave denounced them to the Holy Office, Portuguese dramatist António José da Silva and his wife “were both imprisoned on the charge of ‘judaizing’”

1739(13th of Tishrei, 5500): António José da Silva “was garroted and burnt at a Lisbon auto-da-fe.” Born in 1705, he “was a Portuguese-Brazilian dramatist, known as "the Jew" (O Judeu)”

1742: Lea Eleonora Oppenheimer, the wife of Wolf Wertheimer ben Simon passed away today in Vienna.

1764: Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. In his classic history of the Roman Empire, Gibbon had the following to say about the Jewish people. (Editor’s Note: This long entry has been included to help decided if Gibbon was an anti-Semite in the sense that we understand that term.  Also, by reading Gibbon you will may gain a greater understanding of the variety of views held by English men women when it comes to the Jewish people.  After all, this is designed as a learning experience, not just a collection of dates.

In Chapter XVI, Gibbon wrote:

“Rebellious Spirit of the Jews: Without repeating what has been already mentioned of the reverence of the Roman princes and governors for the temple of Jerusalem, we shall only observe that the destruction of the temple and city was accompanied and followed by every circumstance that could exasperate the minds of the conquerors, and authorize religious persecutions by the most specious arguments of political justice and the public safety. From the reign of Nero to that of Antonius Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives;(1) and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master, and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favorites of heaven with the empire of the earth. It was by announcing himself as their long-expected deliverer, and by calling on all the descendants of Abraham to assert the hope of Israel, that the famous Barchochebas collected a formidable army, with which he resisted during two years the power of the emperor Hadrian

Toleration of the Jewish Religion: Notwithstanding these repeated provocations, the resentment of the Roman princes expired after the victory, nor were their apprehensions continued beyond the period of war and danger. By the general indulgence of Polytheism, and by the mild temper of Antonius Pius, the Jews were restored to their ancient privileges, and once more obtained the permission of circumcising their children, with the easy restraint that they should never confer on any foreign proselyte that distinguishing mark of the Hebrew race.(4) The numerous remains of that people, though they were still excluded from the precincts of Jerusalem, were permitted to form and to maintain considerable establishments both in Italy and in the provinces, to acquire the freedom of Rome, to enjoy municipal honors, and to obtain at the same time an exemption from the burdensome and expensive offices of society. The moderation or the contempt of the Romans gave a legal sanction to the form of ecclesiastical policy which was instituted by the vanquished sect. The patriarch, who had fixed his residence at Tiberias, was empowered to appoint his subordinate ministers and apostles, to exercise a domestic jurisdiction, and to receive from his dispersed brethren an annual contribution. New synagogues were frequently erected in the principal cities of the empire; and the Sabbaths, the fasts, and the festivals, which were either commanded by the Mosaic law or enjoined by the traditions of the Rabbis, were celebrated in the most solemn and public manner. Such gentle treatment insensibly assuaged the stern temper of the Jews. Awakened from their dream of prophecy and conquest, they assumed the behavior of peaceable and industrious subjects. Their irreconcilable hatred of mankind, instead of flaming out in acts of blood and violence, evaporated in less dangerous gratifications. They embraced every opportunity of over-reaching the idolaters in trade, and they pronounced secret and ambiguous imprecations against the haughty kingdom of Edom.

The Jews Were A People Which Followed The Christians, a Sect Which Deserted the Religion of Their Fathers: Since the Jews, who rejected with abhorrence the deities adored by their sovereign and by their fellow-subjects, enjoyed, however, the free exercise of their unsocial religion, there must have existed some other cause which exposed the disciples of Christ to those severities from which the posterity of Abraham was exempt. The difference between them is simple and obvious, but, according to the sentiments of antiquity, it was of the highest importance. The Jews were a nation, the Christians were a sect: and if it was natural for every community to respect the sacred institutions of their neighbors, it was incumbent on them to persevere in those of their ancestors. The voice of oracles, the precepts of philosophers, and the authority of the laws, unanimously enforced this national obligation. By their lofty claim of superior sanctity the Jews might provoke the Polytheists to consider them as an odious and impure race. By disdaining the intercourse of other nations they might deserve their contempt. The laws of Moses might be for the most part frivolous or absurd yet, since they had been received during many ages by a large society, his followers were justified by the example of mankind, and it was universally acknowledged that they had a right to practice what it would have been criminal in them to neglect. But this principle, which protected the Jewish synagogue, afforded not any favor or security to the primitive church. By embracing the faith of the Gospel the Christians incurred the supposed guilt of an unnatural and unpardonable offence. They dissolved the sacred ties of custom and education, violated the religious institutions of their country, and presumptuously despised whatever their fathers had believed as true or had reverenced as sacred. Nor was this apostasy (if we may use the expression) merely of a partial or local kind; since the pious deserter who withdrew himself from the temples of Egypt or Syria would equally disdain to seek an asylum in those of Athens or Carthage. Every Christian rejected with contempt the superstitions of his family, his city, and his province. The whole body of Christians unanimously refused to hold any communion with the gods of Rome, of the empire, and of mankind. It was in vain that the oppressed believer asserted the inalienable rights of conscience and private judgment. Though his situation might excite the pity, his arguments could never reach the understanding, either of the philosophic or of the believing part of the Pagan world. To their apprehensions it was no less a matter of surprise that any individuals should entertain scruples against complying with the established mode of worship than if they had conceived a sudden abhorrence to the manners, the dress, or the language of their native country.

1780: Birthdate of Eva Meijer, the sister of Abraham David Meijer and Jonas Daniel Meijer, the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands and a leader in the fight to gain full rights for all Dutch Jews.

1786(23rd of Tishrei, 5547): Simchat Torah

1787: In the Netherlands, the Jews of Amersfort including Benjamin Cohen celebrated today as a holiday because the Orange forces liberated the town.

1794(21st of Tishrei, 5555):Hoshanah Rabah

1809: In Mecklenburg, Jacob H. Marcus and his wife Judy Levi gave birth German lawyer and political leader Lewis Jacob Marcus.

1809: Birthdate of Friedrich A. Philippi, the son of a wealth Jewish banker who converted to Christianity following a pattern similar to that of the Mendelssohn family with which he was friends.

1818(15th of Tishrei, 5579): Sukkoth

1821: Birthdate of German poet Moritz Hartmann.  Hartmann was as well known for his political activities as for his poetry.  He was a liberal and took part in the revolutions that rocked Europe in the 1840’s.  “Hartmann's poems are often lacking in genuine poetical feeling, but the love of liberty which inspired them, and the fervor, ease and clearness of their style compensated for these shortcomings and gained for him a wide circle of admirers.”

1824(23rd of Tishrei, 5585): Simchat Torah

1829(18th of Tishrei, 5590): Chol HaMoed Sukkoth

1829(18th of Tishrei, 5590): Twenty year old Hindel Henriette Warburg passed away today.

1835(22nd of Tishrei, 5596): Shemini Atzeret

1843(21st of Tishrei, 5604): Hoshana Raba

1844: Birthdate of Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher. According to some Nietzsche was an anti-Semite.  In reality, his big complaint against Judaism was that it gave rise to Christianity.  Nietzsche’s sister and brother-in-law were anti-Semites.  Nietzsche did not approve of them or their politics.  However, the Nazis misrepresented his beliefs.  After Nietzsche’s death, his sister became the keeper of his literary estate and she was only too glad to bend it to fit Hitler’s will.

1854(23rd of Tishrei, 5615): Simchat Torah

1855:  The New York Times reported that Mlle. Rachel has returned from performing in Boston and is scheduled at the Academy of Music on nights when the opera is not being performed. Mademoiselle Rachel is Elizabeth-Rachel Félix, the daughter of Alsatian Jews who was prominent actress as well as the mistress to prominent Europeans including at least one member of Napoleon I’s family.

1859: Birthdate of “Austrian physician, medical author and dramatist” Alois Pick.

1861: At their regular meeting which was held today, the Board of Councilmen (of New York City) examined a report from the Board Alderman that favored donating thirty thousand dollars to the Hebrew Benevolent Association “, for the erection of a building for the poor and orphans of that persuasion.” It was opposed by Mr. Lent who contended that the city had already done its share by donating the land on which the building was to be erected. The donation was supported by Mr. Barney, who proposed that the money should be paid in installments based on the progress of construction without more than 25 per cent to be paid at any one time. Following further discussion, the whole subject was referred to the Finance Committee.

1861: Philadelphian Samuel Goodman began serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company P of the 28th Regiment.

1862(21st of Tishrei, 5623): Hoshana Rabah

1863: The Board of Alderman met today and adopted the Report of Committee on Donations and Charities that appropriate steps be taken to ensure that a lot adjacent to the Orphan Asylum of the Hebrew Benevolent Society would become the property of the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

1864(15th of Tishrei, 5625): Sukkoth

1866: In Merkine (Meretz), Hinde Bernstein and Isaac Margolis gave birth to Max Leopold Margolis the Lithuanian-born American philologist whose accomplishments included serving as “editor-in-chief of the Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Bible into English, the finished product being published in 1917.”

1869: Birthdate of American painter Ernest Peixotto. The son of Raphael Peixotto, “he studied at the Académie Julien in Paris for five years under Benjamin Constant and Jules Lefèbvre. His work has been exhibited in the Paris Salon. He exhibited also at the Columbian Exposition held in 1893.

1871(30th of Tishrei, 5632) Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1871: An article published today entitled “English Jews” reported that the Jews of the United Kingdom are “divided into two sects- orthodox and reformers.” The Orthodox are led by Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom who delivered a sermon declaring “that the oral law and written law are equally Divine.  The Reform or Liberal Jews are led by Professor David Woolf Marx.  A smaller group, they use a synagogue in Upper Berkeley Street, Portman Square.  Their numbers are described as “very small” and “the services lifeless.”  According to four speeches given by Professor Marx, the Reform believe in the “sufficiency of the law of Moses as the guide of Israel.”  The article goes on to describe, in some detail, the Jewish dietary laws and Sabbath, which it finds a joyful in event. In the end, among English Jews, their ritual is “little better than an empty shell.” For example Jews pray for next year in Jerusalem but would not move if given a chance to down and Jews pray for blessings on the Royal Family while ignoring the Parliament yet most Jews are Liberals.

1871: Following yesterday’s Shabbat sermon in which Rabbi J.J. Lyons made an appeal for financial aid for those who have suffered during the Great Chicago Fire, a committee is scheduled to meet today at the West Nineteenth Street Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue to discuss how to disperse the expected large number of contributions.

1873: At today’s meeting of the Free Religious Association, Jewish author and editor Moritz Ellinger said that it was “eminently proper that the Jewish religion” should be a part of the association since “it was found upon reason, had not priests, but only teachers.  It had no creed, but simply belief in a creator, and did not point men to a future rewsard, but to a reward on earth.  He argued…that the Jewish religion was not based on miracles.”  Finally like other members of the association, “Jews did not look toward the past for their Savior, but kept their face toward the future.” [The Free Religious Association was formed two years after the Civil War.  Its leaders sought to “emancipate religion from dogmatic traditions” and supernaturalism.  Non-Orthodox Jews were drawn to the organization which included Quakers, Unitarians agnostics and theists.]

1874: Birthdate of Galicia native Selma Kurz, the Austrian soprano who debuted at a concert at Vienna in 1895.

1875(16th of Tishrei, 5636): Second Day of Sukkoth

1875: School Board member Fritz A. Meyer introduced a resolution at tonight’s meeting of the Board of Education in Union Hill, NJ, to abolish the mandatory reading of the Bible at the start of each school day.  Besides raising constitutional issues, the resolution points out the fact that the Bible being used is not the text of the Catholics or the Jews and this makes the activity a matter of sectarian religious practice.

1877: “Fine Arts In America,”  published today comments on the works of several 19th century artists including Washington Allston’s “Jeremiah” which is owned by Yale University.  The work has many fine points, but the artist has failed “to express the exaltation of an inspired prophet.” You may judge for yourself at

1878: In New York City, Sarah Weiler or Wheeler, the widow of a rabbi, was tried on charges that she had abducted a 16 year old girl named Mary O’Connor for immoral purposes and had compelled her “to commit an act of self-abasement.”  She was sentenced to two years in the state prison after having been found guilty of one of the two counts of the indictment.

1880: “Whipped With Cat-O’-Nine-Tails” published today described the decision rendered by Justice Kilbreth in the case of Mrs. Lizzie Wenke who was accused of horse-whipping Isaac Stern a fellow Jew living in the tenement at 192 Broome Street.

1881: The London Telegraph reported that the Turkish governor of Jerusalem has received orders from the Sultan to resume work on the restoration of the Temple of Solomon which had stopped five years ago after having been begun by Sultan Abdul Aziz.

1881: “Work of the Young Hebrews” published today provided a summary the annual report issued by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.  The Association has about a thousand members, sponsored 8 lectures and has accumulated a library of 2,016 volumes.  The executive committee called for a fair to raise funds for a new building and “grand Chanukah ball” to be held at the Academy of Music.

1881: It was reported today that in New York, “an assignment for the benefit of creditors, by Hirsch Levy to Isidore Hirsch, with $600 preferences” has been filed in the County Clerk’s office.

1882: “Plays and Actors” published today included a dispute over the portrayal of the Jewish characters in Edward Harrigan’s new play, “Mordecai Lyons.”  A Jewish correspondent disparaged it as “another Jew play” which is coarse at best while others contend that “the Jewish part of this drama” is thought to be “serious and valuable.”

1882: “Varied Old World Topics” published today described conditions in Germany. Surprise was expressed that the “anti-Semitic agitation is gaining ground.”  Some of the support may be coming indirectly from Chancellor Bismarck would be using to it intimidate the Jews “who have been opposing his program on financial matters.”

1882: “Religious Ideas” published today described the anomaly that “Christianity was founded by Jews, preached by Jews and died for by Jews, yet Jews are the only people living directly and always within its influence upon whom, in 1,800 years, that creed has made no impression at all.”

1882: “A Riot Among the Russian Jews” describe events surrounding an outbreak of violence among the 400 Jewish immigrants temporarily housed on Ward’s Island.  The violence broke out during mealtime when Jacob Rabota, a native of Warsaw protested the way they were being fled.  The attack was in reaction to ill-will between the Jews and the staff brought on by mistreatment sanction by the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent. Rebbec Bochtel told those investigating the matter “a pitiful story of maltreatment” that “was corroborated by other women.”

1882:”Suit About A Play” published today described litigation surrounding “Siberia,” a drama about “the persecution of the Jews of Russia” written by Barley Campbell.  Plaintiffs Imrl and Bolossi Kiralfy claim they provide Campbell with the idea for the play and he agreed to write it so that they could perform it.

1884: It was reported today that Smyrna, which is second only to Constantinople “as an eastern centre of commerce” has population of 250,000, 30,000 of whom are Jews.

1886: In Lithuania, Isaac Margolis and Hinde Bernstein gave birth to Max Leopold Margolis who served as Professor of Biblical Philology at Dropsie Colliege from 1909 until his death in 1932.

1887: It was reported today that another 100 Jewish families have been expelled from Kiev.

1888: Democrat Martin Foran’s victory in the election for the 21st Congressional District from Ohio was reportedly due in part to his Republican opponent having lost the support of Jewish voters in the district.

1889: In Great Britain the press has reported that Baron Hirsch is negotiating with Lord Cholmondeley for the purchase of Houghton Hall estate.  The purchase will probably cost the Baron 300,000 English pounds.  Baron Hirsch's desire to purchase the estate in England may have been stimulated by "the snub he recently received from the French Jockey Club."

1890: Ferdinand Forzinetti was named commandant of military prisons in Paris, a position he held when Captain Dreyfus was imprisoned.  Later Dreyfus would credit him as one of the people who dissuaded him from taking his own life and "who knew how to combine the strict duty of a soldier with the highest feelings of humanity."

1890: Birthdate of Leib Kvitko, the Ukrainian born Yiddish poet who was a member of the Jewish Ant-Fascist Committee, an organization Stalin supported as a vehicle to gain foreign support for the Soviets during WW II.  Stalin repaid him for his efforts by making him one of the victims of the “Night of the Murdered Poets.”

1890: In Teleneşti, Bessarabia Governorate, then a part of the Russian Empire, Simcha Alter and Rivka Gutman gave birth to their fourth child Israeli painter, sculptor, and author Nachum Gutman who moved to Palestine in 1903, attended the Herzilya Gymnasium in 1908 and began studying at the Bezalel School in 1912.

1892: The Sisters of Israel Benevolent Society which meets on the last Sunday of the month was founded today in Portland, OR.

1892: Kinloch Cooke is named editor of the Pall Mall Gazette following its purchase by the Lowenfield syndicate, which according to unsubstantiated rumors is backed by Baron Hirsch.  Furthermore, other rumors include reports of a desire of members of the Jewish community to gain control of this or some other major English publication.

1893: The Jubilee Celebration of B’nai B’rith is scheduled to end this evening with services at Temple Beth-El followed by a business meeting.

1893: Colonel J.E. Bloom, the manager of the Baron de Hirsch Trade School defended his decision to “turn out” five students from their boarding house without warning because they had refused to follow the school’s rules and the school felt no obligation to support young men undermining the school.

1893: A review of “The Woollen Stocking published today described the addition of a “the Jewish politician who ‘pulls together’ with the Irish” as the newest character added to this comedy.

1894(15th of Tishrei, 5655): Sukkoth

1894: “Literary Notes” published today described the publication by A.C. Armstrong & Son of The Historical Geography of the Holy Land  by George Adams which provides an outline of Palestine that includes six maps prepared by John George Bartholomew.

1894: Col. Alfred Dreyfus was first arrested.  This marked the start of what would become known as the Dreyfus Affair.

1894: Birthdate of Moshe Sharett, second Prime Minister of Israel. Born Moshe Shertok in the Ukraine, Moshe Sharett emigrated to Palestine in 1908 where  his family was one of the founders of Tel Aviv  Sharett was the first Foreign Minister of Israel.  He was a key figure in establishing the Armistice Agreements that ended with a Jewish victory in the War for Independence.  When Ben Gurion resigned as Israel’s fist Prime Minister in 1953, Sharett was the logical choice to succeed him.  He was ousted by Ben Gurion in 1956 and he returned to the Foreign Ministry.  He passed away in 1965.

1894: Justice McMahon dismissed that assault case brought by Nathan Hirsch in Yorkville.

1894: John Shevlin who had been arrested by Officer Grier after he saw him lead a crowd chasing and beating two old Jews was released from custody when the victims could not be found to appear at the Jefferson Market Police Court.

1894: Louis Rothschild was elected treasurer of the newly formed Cloak and Suit Manufacturers Association whose 85 members met tonight and voted not to “entertain any communications from any of the trade unions.”

1895(27th of Tishrei, 5656): Nineteen year old William Nelken, the son of Sam and Sarah Nelken passed away today.

1895: At a meeting held at Tammany Hall this afternoon, it was agreed that Jacob A. Cantor would be the Democratic Party’s nominee in the Twentieth Senate District.  Before entering politics, Cantor, the son of two Jews from London, was a newspaper man and lawyer.  He would go on to a successful political career that would include serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

1897: Herzl publishes his article "Mauschel" in Die Welt. Die Welt was the name of a weekly publication founded in 1897 by Theodor Herzl in Vienna as organ of the Zionist movement. In the article entitled “Mauschel” Herzl did not deny that the anti-Semitic stereotype of the Jew had a basis in reality.  Rather he identified the stereotype with the Jewish opponents of Zionism and used it against them.

1898: Birthdate of Boris Aronson, the native of Kiev who became a Tony Award winning scenic designer.

1898: Theodor Herzl was invited to a private audience with Kaiser Wilhelm today when the Kaiser stopped in Constantinople for a State visit. The Kaiser asked Herzl what he wished him to ask of the Sultan:’ “A Chartered Company – under German protection,” was Herzl’s request.

1898: “The new home of the Hebrew Infant Asylum of the city of New York” is scheduled to “be fully furnished and ready for occupancy” today.

1900: Birthdate of Fritz Feilchenfeld, the native of Berlin who gained film as actor Fritz Feld whose career began in Germany and ended in Hollywood.

1900: In San Francisco, Edna (née Armer) and Harry LeRoy gave birth to director and producer Mervyn LeRoy whose career began in 1923 with a silent film version of “The Ten Commandments” and including directing one of the best films ever made “Mr. Roberts.”

1903: Alabama born, New York lawyer and judge, Joseph M. Proskauer married Alice Naumberg today after which they had three children – Frances, Ruth and Richard.

1906; Major Alfred Dreyfus took command of the artillery unit at St. Denis, a northern suburb of Paris.

1906: The Anglican Bishop of Shangai, a convert from Judaism named Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky passed away today.

1906: Bruno Alfred Döblin, a German-Jewish author and doctor best known for his novel Berlin Alexanderplatz took up a position at the Berlin psychiatric clinic in Buch where he worked as an assistant doctor for nearly two years.

1906: The Executive Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis held its second meeting “since the closing of the Indianapolis Convention.”

1907: Birthdate of Varian Fry, known as the American Schindler for his gallant rescue of those fleeing Hitler and the Nazis. . Some of those he saved were Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt and Alma Mahler. In 1995 Varian Fry became the first United States citizen to be listed in the Righteous Among the Nations at Israel's national Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem (in 2006, fellow Americans Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp were added to the list). He was awarded the additional honor of "Commemorative Citizenship of the State of Israel" on 1 January 1998. The film Varian’s War provides a cinematic treatment of Fry’s wartime activities

1907(7th of Cheshvan, 5668): Seventy-four year old award winning French astronomer Maurice (Mortiz) Loewy passed away today.

1909(30th of Tishrei, 5670): Mrs. Hinde First passed away today.

1909: Birthdate of American astronomer Jesse Leonard Greenstein.

1909: Birthdate of German-born British-Australian mathematician Bernhard Hermann Neumann,

1911(23rd of Tishrei, 5672): Simchat Torah

1911: At the request of David Levontin, Director of the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Jews assemble to pray for the welfare of the Sultan and for victory of the Turkish Army. 

1912(3rd of Cheshvan, 5673): Mrs. Elke Jakobsohn passed away.

1915: Birthdate of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir.

1915: It was announced today that “the Jewish conference called for by the American Jewish Committee to consider…what American Jews may do when the war ends to” ensure the rights of their co-religionists in Europe which was to be held in Washington later this month has been canceled.

1915: “It was announced today that thirty or more ministers” including several rabbis “will visit Public School 45 to examine experimental work under the Gary plan.

1915: In New York, “the New Synagogue” the newest “of the liberal congregations” found in the city is scheduled to hold its first services tonight, erev Shabbat, led by Rabbi Ephraim Frisch.

1915: In Portsmouth, VA, Reb Yisroel Gifter and his wife gave birth to Mordechai Gifter, the future rosh yeshiva of the Telz Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio.

1915: Louis D. Brandies of Boston is identified as the attorney leading the opposition to the increase in freight rate charges that the railroads are presenting to the Interstate Commerce Commission.

1916: As of today, “The Joint Distribution Committee of which Felix M. Warburg is Chairman…has to date received more than $5,942,000.

1916: In Boston, “resolutions advocating the establishment of a permanent American Jewish Congress at Washing and demanding that Jewish rights be guaranteed in the peace parliament at the close of the European War were adopted at today’s session of the annual convention of Poalei Zion Association of America.”

1916: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis was re-elected today President of the Zion Association of Greater Boston” following which the organization pledged a $10,000 fund “for the relief of Jews in Palestine and the maintenance of Jewish institutions in that country.

1916: “The Women’s Proclamation Committee, the national women’s organization for Jewish Relief” which is chaired by Mrs. Samuel Elkes” reported today “that there have been many responses” several of which have been “generous” “to the appeal recently issued throughout the United States.”

1916: “Recent efforts by political supporters of President Wilson to line up the Jewish vote for his re-election” by calling for the creation of a Ten Thousand Club to which each Jew would contribute a dollar for the Wilson campaign have resulted in 26 prominent Jewish leaders, some of whom support Wilson to issue, today, “a protest against such mixing of religion or race and politics.”

1917: Kaiser Wilhelm whose earlier trips to the Middle East had led to Herzl’s hopes of having him back his Zionist project made his third and final trip to Constantinople.

1917: Rabbi Samuel Schulman, argued against the calling of an American Jewish Congress that would be seeking to protect the rights of Jews at a peace conference ending the World War saying that “America’s victory in the war…will mean a great and friendly help for procuring the rights of Jews all over the world and I consider it the duty of every American who loves his country to follow the counsel of those who intimate that it would be best if the congress were postponed.”

1922(23rd of Tishrei, 5683): Simchat Torah

1923: Birthdate of Walter Zacharius, the Brooklyn native, “who rode the passion-swollen wave of romance fiction in the early 1980s to build the Kensington Publishing Corporation into a leading purveyor of bodice-rippers and other romance genres…” (As reported by William Grimes)

1925: In Atlanta, GA, Leon Leo Solomon Hexter, the son of Max and Sarah Hexter and his wife Rachel Schwartz gave birth to Robert Maurice Hexter.

1926: Birthdate of French philosopher Michel Foucault who would eventually quit the French Communist Party for “its prejudices against Jews and homosexuals.”

1927: Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen was mortally wounded while standing on a street corner during a turf war with Jacob Shapiro and Louis “Lepke” Buchalter.

1930(23rd of Tishrei, 5691): Simchat Torah

1930(23rd of Tishrei, 5691): Seventy-eight year old Sir Hermann Gollancz, the German born “British rabbi and Hebrew Scholar’ who “was the first Jew to earn a doctor of literature degree from London University” and “the first British rabbi granted a knighthood” passed away today.

1930: Dr. Drummond Shiels, Under-Secretary for the Colonies left Palestine today with “a long memorial” from the Society of Young Christians “in which they protested against Moslem demands for the abolition of the British mandate in Palestine. 

1930: Birthdate of Heiko Augstinus Oberman author of Luther: Man Between God and the Devil who noted that Rabbi Josel of Rosheim’s attempt to get relief from John Frederick’s anti-Jewish decree “as being significant in Luther's attitude toward the Jews: "Even today this refusal is often judged to be the decisive turning point in Luther's career from friendliness to hostility toward the Jews;"yet, Oberman contends that Luther would have denied any such "turning point." Rather he felt that Jews were to be treated in a "friendly way" in order to avoid placing unnecessary obstacles in their path to Christian conversion, a genuine concern of Luther.”

1930: The High Commissioner put an end to the proceedings against six Jews who had been arrested at Tel Aviv for protesting against Dr. Drummond Shiels when he arrived in Palestine last week.  The prisoners were released to a joyful crowd who had been angered by reports that Shiels supported creation of Parliament in Palestine that would guarantee Moslem rule and put an end to the creation of a Jewish homeland as promised by the Balfour Declaration.

1931:In the Bronx, NY, Alfred Epstein, a pharmacist from Poland and Eva Epstein, a former modern dancer from Russia, gave birth to Edmund Lloyd Epstein, “a literary scholar who, as a book editor in the late 1950s, was so taken by a well-reviewed but not especially popular first novel by a largely unknown British writer that he decided to reprint it in paperback, thus enabling the extravagant American success of “Lord of the Flies” and its author, the future Nobel Prize winner William Golding…” (As reported by Bruce Weber)

1935: Former U. of Michigan star football player Harry Newman, “announced today that he had changed his mind and signed a new contract so he could continue playing for the New York Giants.”

1935: Wilhelm Frick, Minister of the Interior called for codifying laws that would impose legal restrictions on Jews taking part in trade and industry.  The Nazi rise to power and the early days of the final solution were all couched in terms of the German legal code.  The Nazis hid their evil behind a façade of laws.

1936: “Great indignation has been aroused” in Bucharest “by the ordinance issued by the anti-Semitic, pro-Fascist Vice Premier Ion Inculetz forbidding any instruction in the Jewish faith in the Rumanian schools.”

1936: As demand for his work dwindled and the Nazis rose to power Hungarian photographer André Kertész arrived in New York today with his wife Elizabeth having decided to accept an offer to work at the Keystone Agency.

1936: Today, “at a luncheon at the St. Moritz Hotel, Israel Silverman, the national chairman of the United Synagogue’s newly organized Committee to Combat Religious Indifference in America” presented “a plan to reawaken religious interest through a national adult and educational program” which will attract more people “will be attacked to the synagogues of America.”

1936: “Armistice in Palestine” published today described a truce that had been reached in Palestine ending “the general strike of Arabs against the British authorities intended to force the discontinuance of Jewish immigration” thanks to the efforts of the “Arab Kings of Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Trans-Jordan.”

1937: In Portland, Maine, “opera singer” Lucille (née Potter) Lavin and “businessman” David J. Lavin gave birth to comedic actress Linda Lavin who played the wisecracking waitress on the television hit “Alice.”

1937: “Double Wedding” a comedy produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with a screenplay by Jo Swerling was released in the United States today by MGM.

1937: David Feuerwerker, French born rabbi and resistance leader began his service in the French Army which would earn him the Croix de Guerre with a bronze star.

1937: “Fit for a King” a comedy produced by David L. Loew was released in the United States today by RKO.

1937: The Palestine Post reported on the end of the temporary cease-fire, and an intense revival of the Arab anti-Jewish and anti-British terror activities throughout the country. Bullets and bombs hit Jewish transport, buses in particular. The Iraqi Petroleum Company pipeline was damaged and the oil flowing from Iraq set on fire near Beit She’an. A passenger train from Haifa and a goods train were derailed. The settlements of Ginegar, Afula, Rosh Pina, and Migdal Tzedek were exposed to persistent firing and 12 Jews were injured. Telephone lines were cut. The authorities closed the Syrian border and imposed a curfew in Jerusalem.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that Jewish students in Warsaw went on strike to protest against the

Introduction of the so-called "ghetto benches" on the left side of the lecture halls at Polish universities.

1940: The Great Dictator, a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin, was released. The film was a satiric attack on Hitler, Mussolini and fascism.  Chaplin felt so strongly about the need to expose the threat posed by the Nazis and their allies, that he was willing to break his film silence.  The Great Dictator was his first “talkie.”

1940: A memorial dedicated today by Henrietta Szold established a clinic at the Children’s Village in hone of Allice Lillie Seligsberg who had passed away in August of 1940.

1941: The Nazis began the first mass deportation of German Jews to Eastern European ghettos.

1941: As of today, “the Nazis had murdered up to 30,000 of the approximately 60,000 Jews that had not been able to flee Latvia before the German occupation.”

1941: According to a proclamation, Jews caught outside the Polish Ghetto walls could be put to death.  I am not sure what this entry really means considering the plight of the Jews of Poland at this time.

1942: An SS Aktion is undertaken against Jews of Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland that would last until October 21.  During this time untold numbers of Jews are shot in their homes and 22,000 are deported to the Treblinka death camp.

1942: The Nazis murdered 2,000 Jews living in the second ghetto at Bar in the Ukraine.

1942: The Nazis murder 25,000 Jews from Brest-Litovsk, Belorussia. Jewish resistance, led by Hana Ginsberg, attempts to fight back.

1943: Birthdate of Stanley “Stan” Fischer, the native of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia who became a leading economist and vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

1944: Birthdate of Haim Saban, the native of Alexandria, Egypt whose family moved to Israel in 1956 who became a successful businessman there and the United States.

1944: Joseph Bau, who had been at Gross Rossen, was sent to Brunnitz where he went to work in the Schindler factory which made him one of those on “Schindler’s List.”

1944: Truce talks between the Hungarians and the Allies collapsed.  The Arrow Cross, a Hungarian fascist organization regained power through a coup. A Hungarian Nazi, Ferenc Szálasi, is installed as regent. There are 170,000 Jews still alive in Hungary out of a half million that had been alive at the beginning of the year.  After a three month period without deportations to the death camps, this remnant was once again vulnerable as potential fodder for the Nazi killing machine.

1944: The Germans emptied Plaszow Camp at Cracow.  Included in the evacuation were 700 of the Jews protected by Oscar Schindler. They were sent to the concentration camp at Gross Rosen. Schindler managed to retrieve these Jews, claiming the essential nature of their contribution to his factory and the war effort. Schindler also fought for release of 300 other of "his" Jews who were sent to Auschwitz.

1945:  Execution of Pierre Laval former premier of Vichy France.  Laval was one of history’s more vile characters.  At the same time, he was the fall guy for Vichy.  Marshall Petain, the famous French Marshall who was the head of the Nazi puppet state was spared.  The French could not bring themselves to punish the hero from World War I.

1945: The Alsos Mission, part of the Manhattan Project, of which Samuel Goudsmit served as the scientific leader came to an end today.

1945: In a press conference at Tel Aviv, David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared that “Judah will arise anew as an independent state and the Jews will return freely to their own land.” In a statement that was construed to mean that the Yishuv was developing a shadow government that would assume official authority when the British left Palestine, Ben-Gurion said “Palestine’s Jews will have ‘to constitute a kind of state before the final and orderly state machinery comes into being.’”

1945: As part of the movement to bring Jewish refugees to Palestine, despite the British blockade, two ships capable of carrying more than 13,000, were in the Black Sea preparing to load Jews from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

1946: Hermann Goering Nazi Reich marshal who had been found guilty at Nuremberg beat his scheduled date with the hangman.  He poisoned himself.

1946: “Child of Divorce,” the first film directed by Richard Fleisher was released in the United States today by RKO.

1946: The Paris Peace Conference came to an end during which the Allies – U.S., U.K., U.S.S.R. and France – “negotiated peace treaties with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland” but not Germany.

1947(1st of Cheshvan, 5708): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1947(1st of Cheshvan, 5708): Eighty year old Abram I Elkus, a distinguished New York attorney and former ambassador to Turkey passed away tonight. 

1948: Following numerous violations of the UN Truce by Egypt, the Israel Army and Air force took the offensive and launched Operation 'Yoav. Since the UN would not act the Israelis felt compelled.  In addition to the immediate tactical considerations, the strategic goal of Operation 'Yoav' was to open a corridor to the Negev, cut the Egyptian lines of communications along the coast and on the Beersheba-Hebron-Jerusalem road, isolate and defeat the Egyptian forces, and ultimately to drive them out of the country.

1948: Yigal “Alon led a flight of three S-199s from Herzliya (four had been planned but one went unserviceable) over the Mediterranean, where they met up with two C-46 bombers and two C-47 bombers (three were planned, but only two had been armed in time). The fighters took up station ahead of and below the bombers as the formation continued out to sea until the shore disappeared from sight. The planes turned south, then back east to approach the the target, Gaza, from out of the sun. The attack run was co-ordinated with two other groups: 103 Squadron's two Beaufighters and an escort of three 101 Squadron Spitfires attacked the Egyptian airfield at Al Arish and 69 Squadron's three B-17s bombed Majdal.”

1948: Gaza, Majdal and Beith Hanun were bombed, and part of the Air Force at El-Arish was put out of action. This action kept most of the Egyptian frontline fighters out of the skies and gave the IDF air superiority for the first time.

1949(22nd of Tishrei, 5710): Shemini Atzeret

1950: David Ben Gurion resigned as Prime Minister of Israel forcing the formation of a new government.

1951(15th of Tishrei, 5712): Sukkoth

1951: During the 1951 general election, Herbert Samuel became the first British politician to deliver a party political broadcast on television when he appeared before the cameras today.

1952: Arthur Laurents’ “The Time of the Cuckoo” directed by Harold Cluman opened on Broadway at the Empire Thatres.

1954: “Sabrina” a chic comedy produced, directed and co-authored by Ernest Lehman Billy Wilder was released for general showing to theatres across the country.

1956: On the day in which Iraqi troops entered Jordan in what Israel saw as a menacing move, Ben Gurion ordered a partial mobilization of Israeli forces and told the Knesset that “Israel reserves to herself freedom of action.

1958(1st of Cheshvan, 5719): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1958(1st of Cheshvan, 5719): Samuel Bass, the husband of Rena Bass passed away today after which he is buried at the Ahavas Sholom Congregation Cemetery.

1960: Ninety-year old German movie star Henny Porten, who refused to divorce her Wilhelm von Kaufmann her Jewish husband when the Nazis came to power which all but put an end to her career and any chance they had of getting out of the country passed away today.

1962: Louis Katz, who would be known as “Mr. Katz” went to work for the Forward

1964: Sir Gerald David Nunes Nabarro completed his services as an MP for Kidderminster.

1965(19th of Tishrei, 5726): Fifth day of Sukkoth

1965(19th of Tishrei, 5726): Sixty-four year old Israeli mathematician Abraham Frankel, the first Dean of Mathematics at Hebrew University passed away today.

1965: The Dodgers and Sandy Koufax won the 7th game of the World Series.

1965: Stevie Wonder recorded “For Once in My Life” written by Ron Miller, a Jew who had the unlikely claim to fame of having gotten his big break writing songs for Motown.

1966: Broadway composer Moose Charlap and singer Sandy Stewart gave birth to jazz pianist William Morrison Charlap.

1968(23rd of Tishrei, 5729): Simchat Torah

1968: The most popular recording of Ron Miller’s “For Once in My Life” was released today.

1969: Birthdate of game show host Paige Davis.

1970(15th of Tishrei, 5731): Sukkoth

1970: Final day of publication for The American Examiner which traces its origins back to the American Hebrew, which first appeared in 1879.

1971: Premiere of “A Safe Place” directed and written by Henry Jaglom and produced by Bert Schnieider.

1973: During the Yom Kippur War, start of the Battle of the Chinese Farm which “was fought in the Sinai, north of the Great Bitter Lake and just east of the Suez Canal near an agricultural research station” which the Israeli soldiers incorrectly thought was the home to equipment from China.

1973:  During the Yom Kippur War, General Arik Sharon led an attack on the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal. Joined by Generals Adan and Magen, within a week the IDF cut off the main road from Cairo to Suez and surrounded Egypt’s 3rd Army. The hold on the West Bank greatly improved Israel's negotiating position with the Egyptians and the morale of the country.  Regardless of how one may feel about Sharon’s politics, he was a bold general.  His successful cross canal attack completely changed the military equation of the Suez War.

1973: Binyamin Livne and Rahamim Sofer were taken prisoner after their F-4E Phantom Jet was shot down by either a MiG or Egyptian anti-aircraft fire.  Tragically, Sofer would die while being held prisoner.

1973: For the valor he displayed in destroying an enemy position today in the Sinai, Sergeant Moshe Levi was awarded Israel’s Medal of Valor.

1977: Two people were injured in two bombings today in Jerusalem.

1980: It was reported today that “1,030 Soviet Jews had emigrated from the U.S.S.R during September of 1980.”

1980: Seventy-eight year old Alexander Mach the pro-Nazi Slovak leader “who was sentenced to thirty years for his collaboration” passed away today. (As reported by Sam Goldpaper)

1981: “The KGB and police conducted searches in the homes of Pavel Abramovich, Natalia Khasina, Yulii Kosharovskii, and Leonid Tesmenitskii, activists involved in teaching and spreading knowledge of the Hebrew language.”

1981: “Forty Moscow Jews appealed to President Leonid Brezhnev demanding the release of all those detained for attempting to pay their respects to Nazi victims at Babi Yar

1985(30th of Tishrei, 5764): Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

1985(30th of Tishrei, 5764): Fifty-nine year old basketball guard Max Zaslofsky who starred for St. John’s and the professional New York Knicks lost his battle with leukemia today.


1987: In Ottawa Canada, former Penn State tennis player Nathan Levine and his wife gave birth to Canadian-American professional tennis player Jesse Levine

1988: The Summer Olympics in which Hagai Zamir competed on the Volleyball Team, opened in Seoul, Korea today.

1989: Having finally been granted an exit visa by the Soviets, refusenik Ida Nudel arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport where she was met by “Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres as well as her sister, Elena Illana Fridman, and thousands of Israelis.”

1989: In Justice v Justice, Bernard Schwartz reviewed The Antagonists: Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter and Civil Liberties in Modern America.

1990: Michael Douglas Bell began serving as Canadian Ambassador to Israel.

1992: Title to Temple Israel in Leadville, CO passed from the William H. Copper Family Trust

1995(21st of Tishrei, 5756): Hoshana Rabah

1999: After premiering two days ago, Rob Reiner’s “The Story of Us” was released to the rest of the United States.

1999:  Marquette University Law School Dean Howard Eisenberg delivers a speech entitled “What's a Nice Jewish Boy Like Me Doing in a Place Like This? Some Thoughts on Spirituality, the Legal Profession and Religious Diversity” at a Law School retreat.

2000(16th of Tishrei); Second Day of Sukkoth; first day for blessing the Lulav & Etrog

2000: The New York Times featured reviews of Bellow: A Biography by James Atlas, Off Camera Private Thoughts Made Public by Ted Koppel and Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach by Martha C. Nussbaum

2000(16th of Tishrei, 5761): Second Day of Sukkoth

2000(16th of Tishrei, 5761): Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Konrad Emil Bloch passed away.  Born in Germany in 1912, Bloch fled Nazi Germany in 1934.  He arrived in where he furthered his education while serving on the faculties of Yale Medical School, Columbia, the University of Chicago and Harvard.  He shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1964 with Feodor Lynen for their discoveries related to the regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.

2003(19th of Tishrei, 5764): Chol Hamoed Sukkoth

2003(19th of Tishrei, 5764): Fifty-eight year old French Jewish philosopher Benny Lévy, the last personal secretary of Jean-Paul Sartre passed away today.

2003: Golda's Balcony, starring Tovah Feldshuh, opened at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre In this one-woman show, Feldshuh plays the role of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Golda's Balcony is set during 1973's Yom Kippur War. It splits between those events and reflections upon Meir's life, from her childhood in Milwaukee to her role in founding the Jewish state. Golda Meir is certainly not the only dramatic Jewish woman that Feldshuh has played during her illustrious Broadway career. Feldshuh has earned three Tony nominations for best actress, including the title role in Yentl (1975). She has also won four Drama Desk Awards, including one for Golda's Balcony. Her roles on television have included a Czech freedom fighter in Holocaust (1978), a role for which Feldshuh was nominated for an Emmy. She has appeared in a number of movies, including Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) and A Walk on the Moon (1999). Feldshuh is also a supporter of Seeds of Peace, a non-profit organization that helps teenagers from regions of conflict. She is a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitas Award, the Israel Peace Medal, and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Jewish Image Award.  

2003: Three Americans were killed and one wounded at the Beit Hanoun junction in the Gaza Strip when a massive bomb demolished an armor-plated jeep in a convoy carrying U.S. diplomats and CIA personnel. Both the militant Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements denied responsibility for the attack.

2004: Susan "Susie" Essman “performed at the Friars Club roast of Donald Trump, in which she lampooned the tycoon.”

2004: “Being Julia” directed by István Szabó was released in the United States today by Sony Pictures.

2005:  Haaretz reported that dozens of Jewish worshippers attacked the head of the Israel Defense Forces Manpower Branch Major General Elazar Stern at the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem on Friday night. Stern was in civilian dress when he came to pray at the Western Wall, accompanied by his family. Worshippers surrounded him, yelling insults, and attempted to prevent him from reaching the wall. Though police officers immediately surrounded him, the worshippers began throwing stones and other objects in his direction. Stern was not hurt, and a police officer lightly wounded in the head did not require medical treatment. The attackers were apparently motivated by Stern's role in Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, completed last month.

2006: Police said that complaints that five women had filed against Moshe Katsav “would not be pursued because the statute of limitations had run out.

2006: Ten years after his death Sam Ash, who 1924 founded what became Sam Ash Music Corp. “the larges family-owned chain of musical instrument stores in the United States” “was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame” today.

2006: The Los Angeles Times book section features a review of The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews by David Mamet.

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Through The Children’s Gate: A Home in New York by Adam Gopnik and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

2006: “Pelech,” a unique progressive Torah/Talmud based educational opportunity for women in Israel, marks its 40th anniversary.

2006: Professor Robert (Yisrael) Aumann, the Israeli-American scholar who won the Nobel Prize for economics last year, said this week that Israel may not be capable of continuing to exist in the long-term. "Too many Jews don't understand why they are here," said Aumann, who moved from the United States to Israel in the 1950s and helped found the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an interdisciplinary research body that focuses on game theory. "If we don't understand why we are here, and that we are not America or just a place in which to live, we will not survive," he said in a speech at the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel on Sunday. "The desire to live like all the nations will sustain us maybe another 50 years, if we are still here."

Aumann said one of the primary reasons for the recent war in Lebanon was national fatigue and quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as having said that Israel is tired of wars and sacrifices. "Fatigue, in the State of Israel's situation, will lead to death, as occurs with mountain climbing," said Aumann. "If a mountain climber is caught on the side of a mountain and it starts to snow, if he falls asleep, he will die. He must remain alert." Aumann, who lost his son Shlomo in the first Lebanon war, accused Israelis of being overly sensitive to casualties of war. "We are too sensitive to our losses, and also to the losses of the other side," he said. "In the Yom Kippur War, 3,000 soldiers were killed. It sounds terrible, but that's small change." In addition, said Aumann, last summer's disengagement from the Gaza Strip was a "tactical and ethical mistake" that gave the Palestinians the wrong message and was another factor leading to this summer's Lebanon war. "Looking at the other side is an important element of game theory," he said. "The Arabs' understanding in the wake of the expulsion was that they had succeeded, and that they have to continue on the same path. The expulsion, therefore, brought about the launching of Qassams on Israel and the abduction of the soldiers. The expulsion transmitted the message that we can be moved even from Tel Aviv, and not just from Gush Katif." "Last summer we set back peace and understanding with our neighbors by at least 10 years," said Aumann. "After the expulsion, no words will convince them that we intend to stay here forever."

2007: In Washington D.C., Nextbook Presents: Shalom Auslander, Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir, as part of the Hyman S. and Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival.

2007: The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to three Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and Roger B. Myerson, a professor at the University of Chicago.

2007: Time magazine reviewed Foreskin’s Lament by Sahlom Auslander.  “Behind the worst title of the year lurks one its best memoirs.…”

2008(16th of Tishrei, 5769): Second Day Sukkoth 

2008: An “article in today’s Washington Post analyzing the origins of the economic crisis claims that Alan Greenspan vehemently opposed any regulation of derivatives, and actively sought to undermine the office of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission when the Commission sought to initiate regulation of derivatives.

2008: In “Seeking Have on Earth” Mike Boehm previews the performance of The Disappearance by Ilan Stavans.

2008: Today, GMAC, of which Bernard Madoff’s buddy J. Ezra Merkin served as Non-Executive Chairman, “had $173 billion of debt against $140 billion of income-producing assets (loans and leases), some which are almost worthless, in addition to GMAC Bank’s $17 billion in deposits (a liability) which meant that even if GMAC liquidated the loans and leases, it couldn’t pay back all of its debt.”

2009(27th of Tishrei, 5770): Seventy-nine year old toy collector Donald Kaufman passed away.
(As reported by Dennis Hevesi

2009: The Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the National Security council issued a new, more sever warning today against traveling in India.  The warning comes a month before the anniversary of the November, 2008 Mumbai attacks which an attack on the Chabad House.

2009: The Library of Congress hosts a discussion of the illustrated volume "Herblock: The Life and Works of the Great Political Cartoonist," published to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of syndicated cartoonist Herbert Block, with its editors Haynes Johnson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and Harry Katz, curator of the Herb Block Foundation Collection and the editor of "Cartoon America: Comic Art at the Library of Congress. The retrospective, published in cooperation with the Library of Congress, coincides with the library's new exhibition, "Herblock!,"

2009: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s “The Diary of Anne Frank” is performed at Kimmel Theatre on the campus of Cornell College in Mt. Vernon Iowa. The production is based on Wendy Kesselman’s acclaimed new adaptation of the play that makes thoughtful use of recently recovered segments of Anne’s diary to deepen our understanding both of the cultural context of the events and to present a much more complex (and less sentimental) Anne.

2009: Israeli poet Efrat Mishor reads at The Mill in Iowa City, IA.

2010: Holocaust historian leads a noon time discussion at the University of Iowa Hillel in Iowa City.

2010: Mort Fertell is scheduled to speak at the Friday night dinner following the MesorahDC traditional Shabbat service at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

2010: A major Berlin museum is launching an exhibition that seeks to explore how Adolf Hitler won and held mass support among Germans for his destructive regime. "Hitler and the Germans — Nation and Crime," which opens today at the German Historical Museum, juxtaposes the Nazis' propaganda images and artifacts such as 1930s Hitler busts with footage and documentation on the regime's brutality and Germans' involvement in it.

2010: It took seven years to write and just a few days to sew together, but today the first Torah scroll written entirely by a group of women was attached to its wooden poles and declared complete. The ceremony was held at Seattle’s Kadima Reconstructionist Community, which sponsored the project. “We had the idea 10 years ago, but when we looked around for women scribes, we realized there weren’t any,” said Kadima member Wendy Graff, one of the volunteers who shepherded the project from its inception. To remedy the dilemma, Kadima supported two women as they trained to be scribes. Four others trained on their own. Ultimately the six female scribes, or sofrot, worked on the scroll in four countries: two in Israel, two in the United States, and one each in Brazil and Canada. The panels were checked by experts in Jerusalem and New York, who made the minor tikkunim, or corrections, permitted by Jewish law. Major errors require a complete redo of the page.  Last week the panels were flown to Seattle, where another group of women sewed them together. The Torah mantle, including wooden poles, or atzei chayim, and other traditional accoutrements were created by seven local artists. The scribes were paid, but the others who worked on the project donated their time. According to Orthodox tradition, women are not permitted to be Torah scribes. Over the last decade, however, a handful of women have trained as scribes. It’s an exacting process. Torahs must be written by hand on parchment made from the skins of kosher animals, and scribes must state their intentions out loud each time they prepare to write God’s name. In September 2007, Jen Taylor Friedman of New York completed the first Torah scroll known to have been written by a woman, for the United Hebrew Congregation of St. Louis, Mo. Friedman advised the Women’s Torah Project and was one of the experts who checked for small errors. She is among a number of women at work on other Torah scrolls, including Julie Seltzer of San Francisco, one of the six scribes on the Seattle project. Seltzer wrote four of the Seattle Torah’s 62 panels in the summer of 2009, when she was living in New York. Since October 2009, she has been writing a Torah scroll at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco as part of the yearlong exhibition, “As it is Written: Project 304,805.” Seltzer began the year doing all her writing in public at the museum, so visitors could watch and ask questions. She soon realized, however, that she would never complete the scroll by her December 2010 deadline, so Seltzer writes mainly at home now and spends several days a week at the museum talking to the public. “Jewish learning and text was my entryway to Jewish practice and spirituality, and continues to be one of the primary ways I connect,” Seltzer told JTA, saying she feels honored to be able to write a Torah scroll. “To be this close to the text, on the elemental level of the letters, is extraordinary.” Seltzer says she doesn’t feel that her experience writing a Torah is any different from a male scribe. But the fact that her Torah, and the one completed by the Women’s Torah Project, were written by women means they will not be accepted for use in Orthodox congregations. On her website, Hasoferet.com, Friedman tells female scribes they need to be upfront about that when they are commissioned to work on a Torah. “Why is a soferet like a swordfish?” she writes. Swordfish, she says, is not considered kosher by most Orthodox Jews, although Conservative Jews will eat it. “If I repair a Torah and then let Orthodox congregations use it,” she wrote, it’s “an appalling desecration of trust. If we want respect, as Jews or as human beings, we have to give respect, and part of that is accepting that other Jews' rule systems are valid despite being different from ours.”

2010: Tomer Chelouche reviewed The Arab Jew From Algeria by Joanna Paraszczuk

2011(17th of Tishrei, 5772): Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkoth

2011(17th of Tishrei, 5772): Batsheva Esther Kanievsky, the wife of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, oldest daughter of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv and granddaughter of Rabbi Aryeh Levin, passed away today.

2011(17th of Tishrei, 5772): Seventy-nine year old super-agent Sue Mengers passed away today (As reported by Michael Cieply)

2011: The Season’s Opening Concert, featuring the “Four Seasons” 1s scheduled to take place at the Eden Tamir Music Center. What better way to celebrate the joys of Sukkoth than to listen to Vivaldi in Jerusalem!?

2011: Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov won a bronze medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Tokyo this morning, securing a place at the London Olympics in 2012.

2011: Hundreds of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Kiryat Shmona today, in solidarity with economic demonstrations being held around the world.

2011: The Justice Ministry this evening gave President Shimon Peres' office the list of Palestinian prisoners expected to be pardoned and released as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange deal, with the recommendation of Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.

2012: The ARZA Board and Leadership Council Annual Meeting is scheduled to come to an end.

2012: As Hadassah members gather to celebrate its 100th anniversary the Keepers of the Gate Reception is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem

2012: The YIVO institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to present  a lecture by Victoria Sake Woeste entitled  ” Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle against Hate Speech.”

2012: Alvin E. Roth was awakened at the three o’clock this morning by a phone call that told him he was a co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

2012: Defense Minister Ehud Barak said today that he is currently refraining from drafting into the IDF yeshiva students, who have until now been receiving military service deferrals, until after elections, despite the current lack of any legal framework for them to avoid national service following the expiration of the Tal Law in August.

2013: As part of the Hyman S & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, Judy Blume is scheduled to participate in a discussion of Tiger Eyes, the first of her books to be turned into a movie.

2013: A dynamic ensemble comprising strings, winds, harp and piano which is part of the Israeli Chamber Project is scheduled to perform at the Merkin Concert Hall

2013: Glenn Greenwald announced and The Guardian confirmed that he was leaving to pursue a "once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.”

2013: Members of the Netzah Yehuda, (Nahal Hareidi) Brigade captured Arab terrorists who had infiltrated the community of Eina.  Troops have been extra vigiliant since the shooting of 9 year old Noam Glick and and the murder of retired IDF Colonel Seraya Opher – events that have taken place within the last ten days.

2013: Bob Filner, the former Mayor of San Diego who was forced to resign because of his outrageous sexual antics pleaded guilty today “to a felony and two misdemeanors for unwanted physical contact with three women at public events.”

2014(21st of Tishrei, 5775): Hoshana Rabbah

2014: “Fury” a WW II epic co-starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal and Jason Isaacs was shown for the first time at the Newseum.

2014: The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is scheduled to present a lecture by Yvette Walczak, “a Polish child survivor who will speak about her experiences growing up in Poland, the Soviet invasion and later her escape with reference to her autobiography ‘Let Her Go!’,

2014: “The Kehilla Residential Programme will hold its fourth annual “Sukkahville” international design competition at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto today to draw attention to the issue of affordable housing in the Toronto area.”

2014: “Bitain’s official Jewish leadership condemned Sir Alan Duncan MP, a former vice chairman of the governing Conservative Party for recent comments in which it said he “likened those expressing any support for settlements to anti-Semites, sexists and homophobes.”

2014: “Thousands of Jews were undeterred by the early pre-dawn hour and cold today as they made their way through the Old City of Jerusalem to the Kotel (Western Wall), for vatikin prayers at dawn on the seventh and final day of Sukkot, Hoshana Raba.”

2015: In Alexandria, VA, Congregation Agudas Achim is scheduled to host a screening of “Above and Beyond” the story how a gusty group of American volunteers helped to found the IAF and provide the IDF with air-cover in the War for Independence.

2015: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to host a presentation by Former Treasury Secretary and Harvard University President Lawrence Summers on Academic Freedom and Anti-Semitism.

2015: Hundreds of Palestinians entered the Joseph's Tomb compound in the West Bank town of Nablus late today and set it on fire, severely damaging the Jewish holy site in what Israel called a "despicable" act.

2015: Historian Simon Michael Schama appeared on the British “debate program Question Time.”

2015: “Transforms, a five-part event on fashion, design and art is scheduled to open at the Jaffa Port.”

2015: The Jerusalem Music Center is scheduled to present a Tribute Concert honoring Marcel Goldmann.

2015: As part of B'nai B'rith UK's European Jewish Heritage Days, the Jewish Museum of London is scheduled to host a screening of “David/Daoud.”

2015: In New Orleans, a week-long screening of “Rosenwald” is scheduled to come to an end today.

2016(13th of Tishrei, 5777): Parashat Ha’azinu

2016: In Cedar Rapids, IA seventh grader Leah Dillon is scheduled to be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.

2016: In Jerusalem, the Eden Tamir Music Center is scheduled to host its “Season’s Opening Concert”

2016: As part of the “Bridge to Beethoven” program, pianist Shai Wosner, is scheduled to perform at Washington Irving High School.

2016: The West End Synagogue is scheduled to host “a musical celebration of Shabbat” for children featuring Cantor Ayelet Piatigorsky, Rabbi Nadia Gold and a revolving crew of Jewish educators and musicians

 

 

 

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