305 B.C.E.: Ptolemy, a Macedonian general who had fought by the side of Alexander the Great, became King of Egypt. Alexander’s empire broke into three parts after his death. Jerusalem and Judea came under the sway of the Ptolemy’s who left the Jews to practice their religion in comparative freedom. Things would change when the Ptolemy’s would lose control of Judea to the Seleucids setting the stage for what we know as the story of Chanukah.
1180(4941): Maimonides completed the Mishneh Torah.
1532(29th Cheshvan, 5293): Solomon Molcho, Marrano Kabbalist and mystic, was burned at the stake. Solomon Molcho’s life is too fascinating for this small snippet. Born Diogo Pires in 1500 to Portuguese Marranos, Molcho fell under the spell of a mysterious Jewish visitor name David Reuveni. Molcho circumcised himself and adopted his Jewish name. He traveled back and forth across the lands surrounding the Mediterranean. In the end he saw himself as a Messiah, a role that did sit with Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. He was having enough problems with the Lutherans and finally had Molocho put to death for trying to convert people to Judaism.
1573: Solomon Luria, known as the Maharshal, passed away. A famed Talmudic scholar, he believed in a plain, lucid approach to study. Two of his commentaries were Yam Shel Shlomo (The Sea of Solomon) and Chokmat Shel Shomo (The Wisdom of Solomon). He was the son-in-law of Kalonymus Haberkasten, having married the Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter Lipka
1611(1st of Kislev,): Joseph Siegel Ish Lito, published Givat ha-Moreh, the first critical discussion of the philosophy of Maimonides written in Lithuania
1687(2nd of Kislev): Philosopher and poet Isaac (Balthazar) Orobio de Castro past away.
1707(12th of Cheshvan): Rabbi Israel ben Aaron Jaffe of Shklov, leading kabbalist and author of Or Yisrael, passed away today.
1719: It was reported today a marriage is planned between Isaac Franks, the son of Abraham Franks and Simcha (Frances) Hart the daughter Moses Hart.
1736(3rd of Kislev): Rabbi Joseph David of Salonika, author of Bet David, passed away today.
1745: In London Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha gave birth to Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn the patron of Jacob Philadelphia, the magician, physicist, mechanic, juggler, astrologer, alchemist, and Kabbalist whose name was Jacob Meyer before he converted.
1765: David Franks, a prominent Philadelphia merchant and Jewish leader signed the Non-Importation Resolution. This was the Colonial response to the Stamp Act and was one of the acts of defiance that eventually led to the American Revolution. In one of those strange twists of fate, when war came, Franks became a Loyalist, the party that supported Great Britain and opposed the move for the colonies to gain their independence.
1832: Birthdate of Jacob Gottstein, the native of Lissa, Austria, who graduated as an MD from the University of Breslau in 1856 and returned to as a faculty member in 1872.
1839: Birthdate of Hermann Levin the son of a German rabbi who as music director at Saarbrücken and chief conductor of the German opera in Rotterdam
1846: In Moravia, Katharina Schreiber and Siegmund Brüll gave birth to their eldest son pianist and composer Ignaz Brüll.
1847: In Hungary, the session of the Diet that opened today refused to take favorable action on the emancipation of the Jews.
1848: Zachary Taylor was elected President of the United States. While President, Taylor appointed Joseph Jonas as Postmaster of Quincy, Illinois in 1849. According to some, Jonas was the first Jew to settle in the area west of the Allegheny Mountains. Taylor died in 1850 and was followed in office by his Vice President, Millard Fillmore. Fillmore is the President who opposed a treaty with Switzerland that would have allowed the Swiss to discriminate against American citizens who were Jewish.
1849: August Belmont married Caroline Slidell Perry, niece of John Slidell, a Senator from Louisiana who would gain fame as a minor representative of the Confederate Government during the Civil War. The marriage would produce three sons prominent in the affairs of 19th century America but they were lost to the Jewish community. This would not be the last Jewish connection for Slidell. His daughter would marry a French Jewish banker while he was serving the Confederacy in Paris.
1853: Dr. Raphall, Rabbi of the Greene-street Synagogue, tonight delivered the first of a series of lectures on the “Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews.
1857: The New York Times published a letter today that was highly critical of Judge Osborne for declaring “Now, you’ll hearing some hard swearing” when the case of Henry Myers was called followed by the statement “They’re a parcel of Jews.” The writer wonders if the term “hard swearers” refer to the invalidty of the oaths i.e. they would lie on the stand. The letter continues “Doubtless many of your readers will agree with me that, taking as examples the respectable classof our Jewish residents, we have none more pleaceable and respected and law-obeying citizens in our metropolis – men…whose friendship once gained is esteemed without prejudice to their religious opinon. Does Judge Osborn foreget that not many years since ‘a Jew’ faithfully performored, upon the bench of the Court of Sessions, similar duties to those now devoling upon himself and at who whose decease thousands of the citizens of New York marked their respect by attendance at his funeral? Does he know that even now in our Senate and our House of Representatives as well as many publice offices of this City, we have several able members of thse same religion, whose ‘hard swearing’ has never yet been calle in questions. If not, it it is well the should inform himself…” the letter ends with a reminder that the citizens elect people based on their ability to act with dignity as well as their ability.
1860(22nd of Cheshvan, 5621): Jacob Joseph Ottinger, the native of Glogau who was appointed acting rabbi at Berlin in 1825 following the death of Meyer Simon Weyl passed away today.
1864(8th of Cheshvan, 5625): Seventy-two year old David Sassoon passed away. Born in October 1792, he was the treasurer of Baghdad between 1817 and 1829. He became the leader of the Jewish community in Bombay (now Mumbai) after Baghdadi Jews emigrated there. Most important of all, he was the founding Patriarch of the Sassoon clan.
1864: During the American Civil War, Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr., completed his service as Chief of Ordinance for the Department of the Army of Ohio.
1864: Alfred Mordecai, Jr. a Major serving in the Union Army was appoint Senior and Supervising Ordinance of the Army of the Cumberland under the command of Major General George Thomas. Mordecai was a second generation Army officer. Both he and his father distinguished themselves in the field of ordinance which essentially the artillery arm of the army.
1868: Birthdate of Royal S. Copeland, a Republican U.S. Senator from New York, who “crossed the aisles to support Senator Joe T. Robinson, the Democratic Majority Leader, in his remarks condemning the attacks by the new Nazi government on its Jewish citizens in 1933.
1869: Theobald Epstein and Auguste Seligmann gave birth to Cäcilie Epstein, the older sister of mathematician Paul Epstein and Tilly Epstein who was born in 1873.
1871: “Chatham Street” published today described the variety of experiences that would greet visitors to this New York thoroughfare including an encounter with a Jewish clothes vendor who would try and sell them “a nice pair of pants dirt cheap for seven dollars” or “a jolly Jewess whose black-eyed daughters…have beguiled many a young Gentile into purchasing paper collars and ten cent butterflies.”
1876: U.S. Presidential were held today which pitted Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden. Until 2000, it was the only Presidential election that was not settled at the ballot box. Hayes would eventually be declared the winner thanks to a grand compromise. Hayes “was the first president to designate a Jewish ambassador for the stated purpose of fighting anti-Semitism. In 1870, he named Benjamin Peixotto Consul-General to Rumania. Hayes also was the first president to assure a civil service employee her right to work for the Federal government and yet observe the Sabbath.”
1876: At the Tombs Police Court in New York City, Judge Duffy heard a case concerning alleged vote buying. A Jew named Morris Isaacs testified that a co-religionist named Mark Cohn gave him a dollar if he would vote the Republican ticket. Cohn denied the charge claiming that the dollar was partial payment for the $1.50 he owed Isaacs. Although he denied giving Isaacs a Republican ticket and Isaacs could not produce a copy of the Republican ticket, the judge still remanded the accused.
1878: Birthdate of physicist Lise Meitner.
1879: It was reported today that the citizens of Elmira plan on erecting a monument to Adam, of biblical fame. According to the report, if they are able to raise the funds a personage fluent in Hebrew will remind them that Adam means red and that according to tradition the first man was made from red clay. This means that the proposed granite monument will have to be made from red granite.
1879: Birthdate of Lev Davidovich Bronstein known to history of Leon Trotsky, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and due to his work with the Red Army, savior of the Communist cause.
1879: Birthdate Mordechai Nurock. Born Markus Nurock in the days when Latvia was part of the Russian Empire, he was both an ordained Rabbi and Doctor of Philosophy who served as member of the Lativian Parliament and the Knesset.
1880: It was reported today that the rulers of Persia continue to follow the practice of appointing foreigners to positions of influence that can be traced back to the Middle Ages when, for example Shah Arghim appointed his Jewish physician Matthias to the position of Minister of Finance.
1880: “Married Jewess Cutting Their Hair” published today traces this customs which “is universally followed in Poland, southern Spain and Northern Africa” as well as modern day London. “The act of removal of the hair is regarded as an important ceremony and takes place on the evening of the day previous to the wedding…in the presence of…relatives of both families.”1880: Birthdate of Joseph Otto Mandel, the native of Vienna who gained fame as director and producer Joe May.
1880: Birthdate of multitalented author and director Peretz Hirschbein, the Grodno native who moved to the United States during WW I where he remained until his death in 1948.
1881: “Palestine Exploration” published today provided a detailed review of East of the Jordan: A Record of Travel and Observations by Selah Merrill an archaeologist with the American Palestine Exploration Society.
1882: In an example of how important the “Jewish vote” has become, it was reported today that in an attempt to get that vote, the opponents of Emmons Clark, the reform candidate of for Sheriff, have issued claims that Clark has kept Jews from serving in his New York militia regiment and Clark has issued a strong denial of the claim.
1882: “Useful Opposition In Politics” published cited the claim that Edward Salomon “was unfriendly to followers of the Hebrew faith” as evidence of the appeals to religious prejudice that permeated the campaign in New York City.1883: Sir Henry Irving played the role of Shylock and Ellen Terry played the role of his daughter Portia in tonight’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Star Theatre of New York
1885: In Rostov-on don Naphtul Arkadjevitch Spielrein, a merchant, and, Emilia (Eva) Marcovna Lujublinskaja, a dentist gave birth to “Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer active in the early stages of the birth of psychoanalysis who made significant contributions to the field, was the first person to propose the thesis about instinctual life, which Freud later adapted.” (As reported by Karen Hall)
1886: “Gold Thread Embroidery” published refutes the claim that the Jewish use gold embroidery as described in Exodus 39 was an art form learned from the Eypgtians. “No stuff wove with gold have been found in Egyptian tombs.”1886: It was reported today that the German term “Suso-Oppenheimer” does not mean “a wine the reverse of dry” but refers to “a shrewd Jew of Heidelberg who in 1733 became financial agent of Duke Karl Alexander of Wurtemberg.
1886: In a review published today of Arnold White’s The Problems of a Great City quotes the author as writing “dispassionately of the London Jews and…their own religious leaders” of early marriages among the poorer classes” which “is declared to a source of unmitigated evil.” Russian and Polish Jews come to England and New York “where the parents are not more than 20 and they have three children. In order ‘to sterilize the unfit’ Mr. White believes that the legal age of marriage should be raised” so “that reckless marriages should be prevented.”
1886: Birthdate of Aron Nimzowitch, the Riga, Latvia and world class chess master known for his innovative strategies who passed away in Denmark in 1935.
1886: Birthdate of Reinhold Schünzel, the native St. Pauli, Hamburg who began his film career in 1915 who spent WW II making movies in the United States before returning to Germany where passed away in 1954.
1892: The day before the Presidential elections a letter from President Grover Cleveland addressed to Jews living in New York is published which said in part, “It has always been a matter of pride and pleasure to me to feel that I have always enjoyed the good will of the Hebrews of this our common country.”
1893: “Hebrews For Law and Justice” published today provides Rabbi Kaufman Kohler’s reluctant endorsement of the Republican candidate for Court of Appeals, Bartlett, over his Democratic opponent, Maynard, the latter having been endorsed by “Jewish journals represent the less liberabl element of New York Judaism.”
1895: Birthdate of Jacob Kaplan who served as the Chief Rabbi of Paris from 1950 until 1955 when he began serving as Chief Rabbi of Paris.
1897: In New York City, Franz Mankiewicz and Johanna Blumenau gave birth to screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewizc whose film credits include a variety of works among which are Citizen Kane, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Pride of the Yankees. He won an Oscar for Citizen Kane. He died in 1953.
1897: “The New York Hebrew Mutual Benefit Association held its twenty-fifth annual banquet and ball” tonight at “Terrace Garden on Lexington Avenue and 58th Street.”
1897: At Temple Emanu-El on 5th Avenue and 43rd Street a service was held to honor the memory of Lewis May, the congregation’s late president who passed away last July.
1898(22nd of Cheshvan, 5659): Sixty-two year old Isaiah Luzzatto passed away in his native Padua, Italy. The son of S.D. Luzzatto he trained as a lawyer and served as a notary. He wrote a variety books including one “on the battle of Legnano.”
1898(22nd of Cheshvan, 5659): Medal of Honor winnerJacob Trautman, the native of Hamburg who served as a First Sergeant with the 7th U.S. Calvary passed away today in Philadelphia.
1898: At the auction of Reverend William Makellar of Edinburgh’ library which included a wide selection of Biblical literature in several languages the following were sold: The Gutenberg Bible (£2,950); Tyndale’s Pentateuch (£270 and £60) and “The Bokes of Solomon: printed by Edwarde Whytchurh (£20).
1899: Herzl writes to Nouri Bey, General Secretary of the Turkish Foreign Office, seeking to arrange a meeting with the Sultan.
1899(5th of Kislev, 5660): Julia Elkus, the widow of Isaac Elkhus, who was a Director of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, passed away today.
1900: Birthdate of Efrem the native of St Petersburg Russia, who was one of many world renowned conductors of Russian Jewish origins. At one point after World War II he was the conductor of the Houston (Texas) Symphony Orchestra. He passed away in 1995.
1901: In St. Louis, 100 people met at the Columbian Club and formed the Jewish Charitable and Educational Union with Moses Fraley serving as the first president.
1903: In Vienna, Dr. Lucian Mayer Langbank and Ernestine Langbank gave birth to Alexander Langbank.
1903: “Synagogue for Camden Hebrews” published today described plans by Camden, New Jersey Jews led by Abe Fuhrman, J.G. Blank, E.J. Weinstein, William Fox and Harry Pinksky for the erection of Adath Israel Synagogue and a Jewish school on the corner of Fifth and Spruce Streets at cost of $10,000
1905: It was reported today that “a telephone message from Moscow says the Jews are terror stricken with fear of a massacre there” and that “many of them have abandoned their lodgings and are sleeping in the houses of friends”
1905: “Killing of Jews Continues” published today described a three day attack on the Jews of Bachmut, Bessarabia that had begun on November 2nd in which “Jewish students were beaten, the Jewish stores were sacked” and their homes were pillaged “before the eyes of the soldiers and police” who would do nothing to stop the attacks but did keep the Jews from fighting the fires when “the torch was applied to stores and houses.”
1905: It was reported today that “in view of the devastation of almost all the Jewish mills, shops and factories, the trade of Odessa is threatened with ruin and wholesale bankruptcies feared” which will put the international credit of Russia at risk. (Ant-Semitism is not good for business)
1905: “The Rioting In Russia” published today were directed against the Jews shows how deeply rooted is the spirit of persecution under autocratic rule” and warns that if the attacks do not end “revolution will seek to finish the work which the Czar’s proclamation has failed to accomplish.
1905: This afternoon at New York’s Temple Emanu-El Jacob H. Schiff chaired a meeting of Jews from all section of the where plans were devised to put an end “to the massacre of Jews in Russia and to raise funds to aid the survivors.” Those chosen to lead the effort which in one afternoon has raised $56,800 were Oscar S. Straus, Chairman; Cyrus Sulzberger, Secretary; Jacob H. Schiff.
1905: Abraham Kahn described “ a plan of the Hebrew Defenders…to send 7,000 delegates to march to the White House for the purpose of appealing to the President to bring the Russian government to its senses” and end the violence aimed at the Jews.
1905: The Bucharest correspondent of the Daily Mail reports today that “Famine reigns throughout Bessarabia and the Jews are taking refuge in the cellars where they are dying wholesale. A mob of a thousand rioters engaged in a massacre of Jews in Ismaili.”
1906: Birthdate of Viola Spolin, the Chicago native who “is considered the godmother of improvisation for her development of Theater Games, a series of techniques to stimulate creativity in children that became popular with comedy, theater and film artists and were later developed for people of all ages and walks of life.” (As reported by Jewish Women’s Archives)
1909: Birthdate of Norman Krasna “an American screenwriter, playwright, and film director” who won the Oscar for screening in 1943 for “Princess O’Rourke.”
1909: In Leipzig, Gertrud Jakoby and Ephraim Carlebach, a rabbi and founder of Höhere Israelitische Schule , gave birth to Esriel Gotthelf Carlebach who as Ezreiel Carlebach “was the first editor of Israel's two largest newspapers, beginning with Yediot Ahronot which he left to found Ma’ariv.
1910: Oscar Hammerstein’s “Naughty Marietta” opened on Broadway at the New York Theatre where it lasted for 136 performances.
1912: M. Benveniste who was the president of the Alliance school in Ionia wrote on the conditions in his locale. Everything "becomes more and more serious and has taken a disquieting turn. We are absolutely isolated…Greece is about to blockade the only road which remains open….Everything has quadrupled and even quintupled in price. Flour is lacking…."
1912: A Tel-Aviv magazine reported that an association had been founded to establish a new neighborhood in Jerusalem called Talipot. Talipot was to be located on tract of land near the German Colony and the railroad tracks. Construction on the newly purchased land was slated to begin in the spring of 1913.
1913(7th of Cheshvan, 5674): Ninety-one year old Austrian banker and businessman Max von Gomprez who had been awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Franz Joseph, passed away today in Vienna.
1913: Birthdate of French Philosopher Albert Camus. According to Adam Krisch “Albert Camus, who worked on the resistance newspaper Combat, is the most famous example of the few French writers who actively worked against the German occupation” For more about Camus and the Jews seehttp://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/82555/camus-the-jew
1913: Eleven Jewish students “gathered at New York University to found the first official chapter of Alpha Epislon Pi (AEPi).” (As reported by Rachel Cohen)
1914: The first issue of The New Republic Magazine was published. Walter Lippmann, an assimilated Jew, was one of the cofounders. The current owner and editor-in-chief is Martin Peretz, a man who is aggressively proud of his Jewish background. Leon Wieseltier, the author of the book Kaddish is a longtime literary editor.
1915: Supreme Court Justice Irving Lehman presided over “the eighth semi-annual assembly of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis” which opened at Temple Emanu-El in New York City tonight and where the attendees heard addresses by Rabbi Maurice H. Harris, the President of the Council and Professor Morris Jastrow of the University of Pennsylvania.
1915: Jacob Grossman, 27 years old, a shoemaker by trade, disappeared from Richmond, Virginia leaving his wife Annie and their small baby. Mr. Grossman took everything his wife owned and left her without a penny. He was born in Russia and came to America eight years ago.
1915: Birthdate of New York native Leo “Moose” Disend the Albright College lineman whose two years with the Brooklyn Dodgers included playing professional football’s first televised game and were followed by one final season in 1940 with the Green Bay Packers.
1915: Among those reported today to have signed a circular calling for the organization of a federation of Jewish charities in New York were Max Adler, Louis Auerbach, Nathan Bijur Jefferson Seligman, Elias Spingarn and Jacob Wetheim.
1916: Birthdate of jazz musician Joe Bushkin.
1916: Woodrow Wilson was re-elected President of the United States. From a Jewish perspective, Wilson is best known for his appointment of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Wilson enjoyed the support of many of Jewish leaders and Jews played an active role in the peace negotiations at Versailles that marked the conclusion of World War I
1916: It was reported today that newly formed Kingdom of Poland which has been created by the joint-action of the German and Austro-Hungarian Emperors whose armies have conquered the land in the fight with Russia will benefit the Jews of Eastern Europe because the new country will grant “equal rights to the Jews” according to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.
1917: In Russia, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky ousted Kerensky and took over the government. The Kerensky forces were the ones who had actually made the revolution against the Czars. The Mensheviks (Kerensky’s party) and the Bolsheviks (aka the Communists) had Jews in top leadership positions. The victorious Communists would turn on the Jews and subject them to treatment that was little better or even worse than what they had experience under the Czars.
1917: In a letter sent to Samuel Untermyer today, Dr. Samuel Schulman, the Rabbi of Temple Beth-El, “reiterated his charge that Mr. Untermyer in a campaign speech had injected a Jewish religious issue into the municipal campaign in an unjustifiable manner” asserting “that his pre-election prophecy that ‘Jews as Jews’ will not be responsible for the result had been borne out and urged that never again should the names of Jews, as such be dragged into any political fight.”
1917: During World War I, the British captured Gaza from Turkey. The Jewish Legion was part of the British Army that was making its way across Palestine, heading for Jerusalem and beyond.
1917: As Allenby’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force fought its way toward Jerusalem units of the British Army completed their victory at Hareira and Sheira.
1918: Birthdate of Reverend Billy Graham was caught on tape discussing “the total Jewish domination of the media” after he had previously denied making such comments when visiting the Nixon White House. These and other similar remarks came as a shock to some Jews since the American Jewish Committee had honored Graham in 1977 for his role in improving Protestant-Jewish relations
1918: “In Munich, Kurt Eisner, a Prussian Jew and follower of Lenin, who in his professional life was the theatre critic of the Munchener Post, declared the establishment of a Bavarian Soviet Republic.
1920: Joseph Ransohoff of Cincinnati, Ohio, received “an honorary degree of LL.D. from the Medical College of the University of Cincinnati” today.
1920: Birthdate of Max Kampelmacher who gained fame as diplomat and foreign negotiator Max Kampelman.
1922: Birthdate of Louis Stettner, the Brooklyn native who turned photographs of ordinary street scenes into art.
1922: Socialist Meyer London was defeated in his bid to be re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 12th Congressional District.
1922: Australian philanthropist Merlyn Myer and Sydney Myer who created “Myer” the leading Australian department store chain gave birth to their second child Neilma, the future wife of Vallejo Gantner by whom she had two children – Carrillo and Vallejo.
1924: Birthdate of British multi-dimensional writer Cyril Wolf Mankowitz.
1927: According to Stalinist historians, today, on the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, “Trotsky, Kameneneff, Zinovieff and other committed a flagrant act of illegality in attempting a public appeal to the masses in the streets” that “was a complete fiasco” as well as “counter-revolutionary agitation” that eventually led to their exile, imprisonment and/or execution” which “was universally approved of. (This version justifies the murderous excesses of the Stalinist regime that would include several waves of good old fashioned Russian anti-Semitism.)
1930: Birthdate of Senator Rudy Boschwitz. In his day Boschwitz was a double anomaly. He was a Jew elected to the Senate from Minnesota, hardly a place with a big Jewish base. And he was a Republican at a time when most Jewish voters were Democrats. In 1990, he was involved in one of the strangest (from a Jewish perspective) Senatorial elections. The Jewish Boschwitz ran against the Jewish Democrat, Paul Wellstone. In other words, in America’s heartland, the winner was going to be a Jew no matter what.
1931: “The Mad Genius” a horror film directed by Michael Curtiz and featuring Carmel Meyers was released in the United States by Warner Brothers.
1932: In Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932) decided today the United States Supreme Court reversed the convictions of nine young "ignorant and illiterate" black men for allegedly raping two white women on a freight train near Scottsboro, Alabama in what is known as the Scottsboro Boys case. Samuel Leibowitz worked for 4 years with no reimbursement and great personal danger to save them from a judicial system stacked against and/or the real threat of a lynching.
1933(18th of Cheshvan): Zionist leader Leo Motzkin passed away.
1934: Italian nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo, the son of Jewish textile manufacturer “was listed as co-author of a landmark paper on slow neutrons that reported that hydrogen slowed neutrons more than heavy elements, and that slow neutrons were more easily absorbed.”
1936(29th of Cheshvan, 5697): Parashat Toldot
1936: Sophomore Harry Shorten and the rest of his NYU teammates lost their third game of the football season.
1936: “The flower of the Red Army(the largest regular force under arms in Europe and the organized proletariat celebrated today in the Red Square of Moscow the nineteenth anniversary of the Bolshevist Revolution” which “was also a tribute to Stalin, the Red leader whose authority and influence are greater than those of any Czar.”
1936: In Wilkes-Barre, PA, seventy-seven year old the Very Reverend Monseigneur John J. Curran , the militant Catholic who was a great supporter of the working man and who uniquely for this time in history, “was reputed to have as many friends among Protestants and Jews as among Catholics.”
1937: The Palestine Post reported that two unarmed British soldiers of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) were shot at and killed at the entrance to the Animal Hospital, at the foot of Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Their murderers escaped to the Silwan village. A police van was fired at on the Jerusalem-Hebron road.
1938: One thousand mourners filled Forward Hall the site of the funeral for Abraham Liessin which drew an additional 5,000 mourners who stood outside in the rain. (As reported by JTA)
1938: A distraught young Jew named Herschel Grynszpan, whose family has just been deported to Zbaszyn, enters the German Embassy in Paris and mortally wounds Third Secretary of Legation Ernst vom Rath. The Nazis will exploit this event by instigating a long-planned terror campaign against all Jews in Germany and Austria.
1939: The Germans began expelling Jews from Western Poland. Jews in Sierpc were ordered to wear a yellow patch on which is written "JUDE".
1941: George Mandel whom Winston Churchill referred to as “the first resister” was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Vichy regime as part of it plan to curry favor with its Nazi allies.
1941: The Nazis murder 2,580 Jews at Nemyriv, Ukraine.
1941: Twelve thousand Jews are transported from Minsk, Belorussia, to burial pits in the nearby Tuchinka Forest and murdered.
1941: In Bobruisk, Belorussia, 20,000 Jews are executed.
1941: In Minsk, the Nazis shot 13,000 Jews.
1941: More than 17,000 Jews are forced from Rovno, Ukraine, and murdered at burial pits in the Sosenki Forest, outside of town.
1941: Close to 5000 Jews are killed in Pogulanka, outside Dvinsk, Latvia
1942: Birthdate of American economist Donald Lewis Kohn
1942: Between now and the end of November, more than 50,000 Jews in Poland and the Ukraine are deported to death camps at Belzec, Treblinka, and Majdanek.
1944 (21st of Cheshvan, 5705): Chana (or Hannah) Senesh (Szenes) was executed in Budapest, by the Nazis. Born in Hungary in 1921, Senesh was the daughter of intellectual, middle class, non-observant Jews. Although the Senesh family was assimilated, anti-Semitic sentiment in Budapest led her to involvement in Zionist activities. Hannah Senesh left Hungary for the Land of Israel in 1939 where she lived on Kibbutz Sdot Yam. In 1943 Senesh joined the British Army and volunteered to be parachuted into Europe. The purpose of this operation was to help the Allied efforts in Europe and establish contact with partisan resistance fighters in an attempt to aid beleaguered Jewish communities. Senesh was parachuted in March, 1944 into Yugoslavia, and spent three months with Tito's partisans. At this time, she wrote a poem called "Blessed is the Match" that memorializes her idealism and commitment to her cause. Senesh then crossed the border into Hungary where she was caught almost immediately by the Hungarian police. Although tortured repeatedly and cruelly over the next several months, Senesh refused to reveal information. She did not cooperate even when the police threatened to harm her mother. When she was executed by a firing squad on November 7, she chose to stare at her executors rather than be blindfolded. In 1950, Senesh's remains were brought to Israel and re-interred in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl. Her diary and literary works were later published, and many of her more popular poems, including "Towards Caesarea," "Eli, Eli," and "Blessed is the Match," have been set to music. She was a brave young woman who captured the imagination because of her valor and because of the ardor which she expressed in her poetry.
“Walk to Caesarea” by Hannah Sensh
Eli, Eli, she loh yigamer leolam
Rishroosh shel hamayim
My Lord, my Lord let it never end
The sand and the sea,
The water’s whisper
The sky’s glitter
Blessed Is the Match
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart's secret places.
Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor's sake
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
A Poem Written While in Prison
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.
Words Written While Waiting to Die
“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.”
1944: The Birkenau gas chambers ceased being operational. Jews who arrived there were all now given tattoo numbers, a practice usually reserved for those who were not selected for immediate death.
1944: Albert Montefiore Hyamson, Basil Henriques, Sir Brunel Cohen, Joseph Leftwich, Louis Gluckstein, and Rabbi Israel Mattuck were among the leaders who founded The Jewish Fellowship today as a way “to campaign against (political) Zionism from a Jewish perspective.
1945: Today, a defecting Soviet espionage told FBI investigators “that in late 1942 or early 1943” from two Soviet spies, one of whom was Nathan Silvermaster, “that one source of the government documents they were photographing and passing on to her and NKVD spymaster Jacob Golos was Harry Dexter White.”
1945: After having been elected New York City Comptroller, the New York Times today “praised Lazarus Joseph “stating that ‘In the eleven years that he served as a member of the State Senate, Lazarus Joseph earned a reputation as an expert in budgetary and financial matters and as an authority on real estate law and finance.’"
1945: The unnamed infant child of Sylvan and Elizabeth Friedman, the parent of Sam Friedman passed away today and is buried next to his parent in at the Jewish Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA.
1947: Birthdate of Israeli actor and comedian Sefi Rivlin.
1948: Egyptian forces retreat from Majdal and take refuge in Gaza, leaving IDF forces in control of this portion of the Mediterranean coast.
1950(11th of Cheshvan, 5753): Twenty-six year old violinist Josef Hassid passed away.
1950: Republican Nathaniel Lawrence Goldstein won re-election as New York State Attorney General.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported a group of immigrants that had been demonstrating for a long time against the Jewish Agency¹s absorption activities and asked to be returned to their native India, and was finally allowed to do so last April, had now pleaded to be allowed to return from India to Israel again.
1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Arab Legion opened fire on children playing near no-man¹s-land in the Musrara quarter of Jerusalem. One boy was hit and slightly wounded. The Arab Legion was the name of the Jordanian Army.
1956: During the Sinai Campaign, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion responded to Eisenhower’s demand for an immediate end to the fighting and the immediate withdrawal of the IDF from the Sinai Peninsula. Israel was prepared to stop fighting immediately, abide by the UN Cease Fire Resolution and advance no further. But Israel would only withdraw from the Sinai with appropriate assurances. The Israelis wanted an end to terror raids from Gaza, the opening of the Straits of Tiran and end to Egyptian restrictions on the use of the Suez Canal by ships stopping at Israel’s ports.
1961: Republican Louis J. Lefkowitz was defeated in today’s New York City Mayoral election.
1961: Republican Stanley M. Isaacs was elected to the New York City Council.
1961: “Ex-Magistrate on City Board” published today described the appointment of Morris Ploscowe, the vice president of the American Jewish Committee by NYC Mayor Wagner to the New York City Commission on Intergroup Relations – a position for which the former city magistrate will received no pay.
1962: Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of FDR, passed away. She was mourned by many Jews because she was a champion of number of social and political causes they supported and because of the high regard in which her husband was held. More to the point, Mrs. Roosevelt championed the cause of Jewish refugees during World War II. Unfortunately, FDR lagged behind his wife on this and it cost the Jews of Europe dearly.
1965: “A Fatah cell that infiltrated from Jordan blew up a house in Moshav Givat Yeshayahu, south of Beit Shemesh.”
1966: “Cul-de-sac” a comedy directed by Roman Polanski who co-authored the script and co-starring Lionel Stander was released today in the United States.
1967: ITV broadcast the last episode of “At Last the 1948 Show” a show known for its satire that co-starred Marty Feldman who helped to create the program.
1972: “The Divine Miss M” “the debut studio album by American singer and actress Bette Midler” was released today.
1973: “Executive Action” a movie about the Kennedy assassination with a script co-authored by Dalton Trumbo and Donald Freed with music by Randy Edelman was released in the United States today.
1974: Eighty-five year old Helene Thimig, the Austrian actress who was the widow of Max Reinhardt who had died in the United States where the two sought refuge during the Nazi era passed away today in her native Vienna.
1975: “Hey, I’m Alive” a made for television movie co-starring Edward Asner and Milton Seltzer was broadcast for the first time today on ABC.
1975: Birthdate of French singer and actor Raphaël Haroche “known under his mononym Raphaël.”
1977: The Israeli government reluctantly sent aircraft on a retaliatory mission against the PLO bases from which rockets had been launched against northern Israel. While the Sinai had been quiet, citizens in the north could be blasted at a moment’s notice. This was unacceptable.
1977. In a speech marking the opening of the Egyptian Parliament, Anwar Sadat expressed his desire and his willingness to address the Knesset. Despite doubts among some Israeli leaders, Prime Minister Begin responded by sending an invitation to Sadat that very evening using American diplomats to carry the message.
1977: The Jerusalem Post reported that Hilarion Capucci, the Greek Orthodox archbishop who had served three years out of his 12-year sentence for smuggling arms for terrorists from Lebanon to Israel, was released and flown to Rome, in a goodwill gesture towards the pope and the Vatican. Assurances were given that he would no longer engage in any anti-Israeli activities. (This promise was never kept properly).
1979: In Budapest, 95 year old orientalist Gyula Germanus who converted from Judaism to Islam passed away today.
1982: Birthdate of outfield Brian Jeffery Horowitz whose nickname was “The Rabbi.”
1984: Madeleine Kunin was elected as the first Jewish and first female governor of Vermont. Born in Switzerland, she was brought to the United States as a child in 1940 as her mother sought to escape the growing Nazi threat. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts and Columbia University, Kunin moved to Vermont to work for the Burlington Free Press. After marriage and four children, Kunin devoted herself both to her domestic responsibilities and involvement as a community organizer, educating neighbors and community leaders on current health care legislation and a number of communal safety concerns. Elected to the state legislature in 1972, Kunin sought to mobilize support for the ERA, the environment, education, and the welfare of families and children. Kunin was elected the lieutenant governor of Vermont in 1978 and governor in 1984. She is, to date, the only woman elected to three terms as governor in any state. As governor, Kunin focused on education, environmental concerns, the development of a family court, and the implementation of new land use planning laws. She provided a strong feminist voice in state government. Kunin left the governor’s office in 1991 and became the U.S. deputy secretary of education in 1993. In 1996 she was appointed the US ambassador to her native country of Switzerland. Kunin currently leads the Institute for Sustainable Communities and teaches political science at two Vermont colleges
1987: Birthdate of Larry Cohen, a South African footballer, who is the son of Martin Cohen, one of South Africa's prominent footballers in the 1970s
1987: In Tunisia, President Habib Bourgiba is overthrown ending two decades of power. When Tunisia gained its independence from France in 1956, Bourgiba promised his 90,000 Jewish citizens full civil and political rights in the new republic. Jews occupied prominent positions in government and journalism. After six years of increasing economic instability, a third of the Jews had left the country. By 1965, the Jewish population had dwindled to 8,000. After 13 years of rule by Bourgiba’s successors, the once proud Jewish population had dwindled to a few hundred.
1987: CBS broadcast the final episode of “Everything’s Relative” starring Jason Alexander
1988: Bob Hope was a “surprise” guest at the, “Broadway Tribute to Lee Guber” at the Minskoff Theatre. He joined such stars as Robert Merrill, Eli Wallach, Theodore Bikel, Charles Strouse and Henny Youngman, in acclaiming Broadway producer Guber “a man of the theater with the mind of a philosopher and the heart of a social scientist” who had died in March of that year. The evening’s proceeds were to benefit the YM-YWHA’s Emanu-El Midtown Y and its [then] newly renamed Lee Guber Jewish Repertory Theater.
1988: Nita M. Lowey was re-elected to the House of Representatives from New York.
1989: Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg asked President Ronald Reagan to withdraw his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing the clamor that arose over Ginsburg's admission that he had smoked marijuana. As chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Ginsburg upheld the decision of Secretary of State Powell designating Meir Kahan’s Kahane Chai as a terrorist organization.
1992(11 Cheshvan, 5753): Just twelve days before his 86th birthday, violinist Henri Temianka passed away.
1992: Solomon Wachtler the Republican politician who was serving as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals was arrested “on charges including extortion, racketeering, and blackmail.”
1993(30th of Cheshvan, 5754): Efraim Ayubi of Kfar Darom, Rabbi Chaim Druckman's personal driver, was shot to death by terrorists near Hebron. HAMAS publicly claimed responsibility for the murder.
1995: Israel’s Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres “said he would not call elections quickly, a step that would have taken advantage of the wave of sympathy aroused by the assassination of…Yitzhak Rabin” (As reported by Serge Schemann)
1997: Haaretz published, on its front page, a letter from Sir Isaiah Berlin to his close friend Professor Avishai Margalit expressing his final thoughts the "Israeli Palestinian Situation.”
1997: ABC broadcast “Before Women Had Wings,” starring Ellen Barkin in her Emmy award winning portrayal of “Glory Marie Jackson” for the first time this evening.
1999: President Rand Harris declared today “a special day in the history of Adat Ari El” during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the David Familian Chapel which has been designated “as a Point of Historical Interest by the California Assembly.”
1999: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or about topics of Jewish interest including A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939 by David Vital and Women: Photographs by Annie Leibovitz, including an introductory essay by Susan Sontag.
1999: Judith Anne Shulevitz and Nicholas Lemann, writers in New York, were married today by Rabbi Marion R. Shulevitz, the bride's mother, at the University Club in New York. The bride, 36, is the New York editor and cultural columnist for Slate, the online magazine. The bridegroom, 45, is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine.
1999: Governor Gray Davis proclaimed today “David Familian Chapel Day” two months after The David Familian Chapel had been made a California State Landmark
2000: Judge Roy Moore, of Ten Commandments Memorial Fame who does not understand the concept of separation of church and state and believes that the government should promote Christianity is elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
2000: When President Clinton called Pacifica’s WBAI today on Election Day morning to shore up the vote for Vice President Al Gore and his running mate Joe Lieberman as well as First Lady Hillary Clinton, he did not expect to spend 30 minutes defending his administration’s record on the death penalty, the Middle East and racial profiling, among other issues. But that is exactly what happened when he encountered Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and Gonzalo Aburto, host of WBAI’s La Nueva Alternativa.
2003: Eretz Nehederet (ארץ נהדרת, lit. A Wonderful Land) “a satirical Israeli television show, made its debut today.
2003: “Elf, a Christmas comedy” co-starring James Caan and Ed Asner and directed by Jon Favreau who followed in the faith of his mother by attending Hebrew School and having a Bar Mitzvah was released in the United States today.
2004: In “Mein Kampf': The Italian Edition,” published today Lila Azam Zanganeh explores the relationship between Hitler and Mussolini especially as it regarded issues of nationalism and racial purity; issues that have special bearing on the road to the Shoah.
2005: According to published reports, Israel will give the Holy See possession of the Coenaculum, or the Room of the Last Supper (also known as the Upper Room or the Cenacle), on Mount Zion. In exchange, Israel is to gain control of a 12th-century synagogue in Toledo, Spain, which is currently the Santa Maria la Blanca Church, says the Times of London. The synagogue became a church during the 15th-century expulsion of Jews from Spain.
2006: As America gathers to vote in the Congressional elections, there seems to be one thing seems to be certain. Vermont will elect its first Jewish Socialist to the United States Senate, Bernie Sanders. The 65 year old Sanders was born in Brooklyn and raised by Jewish immigrants from Poland who had lost a large part of their family in the Holocaust. Sanders is currently serving as Vermont’s only member of the House of Representatives.
2006: Elliot Spitzer was elected Governor of New York with 69% of the vote.
2006: Ed Rendell wins a second term as Governor of Pennsylvania by defeating football hero Lynn Swann.
2006: In an apparent reversal of the decision to discontinue the manufacture of the Merkava tank, Haaretz reported that the IDF General Staff had decided to defer a decision on the fate of the battle tank based on an assessment “if properly deployed” the Merkava Mark IV “can provide its crew with better protection than in the past.”
2007: The Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra under Doron Salomon presents an evening of Balkan Music at Beit Shean, a kibbutz in the shadow of Mt. Gilboa famed for its olive production and the fact that Michael Levin of Lubbock, Texas, spent his junior year in high school living, working and studying at this monument to Zionist idealism.
2007: At the Center for Jewish History the American Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Women's Archive cosponsor a panel discussion entitled “You Never Call! You Never Write! An Exploration of the Contemporary Jewish Mother.” Through personal reflection and stories, an illustrious panel of mothers and daughters provide an intimate, heartfelt, affectionate and---of course--- critical look at the contemporary Jewish Mother based on Joyce Antler's recent book: You Never Call! You Never Write!
2007: At the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington 38th annual Book Festival, Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Friedman discusses his best-selling work The World Is Flat.
2007: Interpol issued six warrants five Iranian and one Lebanese terror suspects connected with bombing Jewish buildings in Argentina.
2007(26th of Cheshvan, 5768): Eighty-seven year old American producer George W. George, the son of cartoonist Rube Goldberg passed away today. (As reported by Allison J. Peterson)
2007: At the Jerusalem Theatre, The Emet Prize for Arts and Science were awarded to Prof. Micha Sharir - Exact Sciences, Prof. Shmuel Agmon - Exact Sciences, , , Prof. Shlomo Giora Shoham - Social Sciences, Prof. Eliora Ron - Life Sciences, Prof. Yosef Yarden - Life Sciences, Prof. Myriam Yardeni – Humanities, Prof. Avishai Margalit – Humanities, David Grossman - Culture & Arts, and Sami Michael - Culture & Arts. Grossman, whose son was kiled during fighting in the Second Lebanon War refused to shake the hand of the Pime Minister or the Supremem Court Presdient as a means of protests.
"Architecture Is Made For People: A Holistic-Phenomenological Approach to Architecture"
2008: In Chicago, premier showing of “The boy in the Striped Pajamas.” The “able adaption” of the 2006 young adult noble by John Boyne “shows the Holocaust through a child’s eyes.”
2008: On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht Duke Helfand writes the following article entitled “L.A. Jews celebrate Yanov Torah's survival,” in which he describes how “Los Angeles Jews celebrate the story of a Torah that was pieced together from scattered texts smuggled into a Nazi labor camp.”
During World War II, Jewish inmates of the Yanov labor camp in occupied Poland defied their Nazi guards, secretly conducting religious services inside their darkened barracks. To observe their ritual, the Jews had cut religious scrolls into sections, bound the parchment pieces around their bodies and walked them through Yanov's front gate. They hid the fragments wherever they could: beneath the floorboards of their barracks, inside hollow bedposts, even in a camp cemetery. After the camp's liberation in 1945, one survivor collected the scattered pieces. He assembled them into a single ragged scroll, the Yanov Torah. Three decades later, the Torah -- its parchment warped and water-stained, its patchwork sheets held together by fraying threads -- found its way to Los Angeles and into the hands of a leader of the city's Reform Jewish community, Rabbi Erwin Herman, who devoted the final years of his life to telling its remarkable story. On Thursday, Herman's dying wish was fulfilled when a new generation of Jews celebrated the rebirth of the Yanov Torah. Carrying the fragile scroll beneath a chuppah, or wedding canopy, Herman's widow and grandson presented it to the rabbis and rabbinic students at the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion near USC. The students, in turn, will carry the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, to their internships at synagogues throughout California. "The Yanov Torah is a true child of the Holocaust," Agnes Herman, 86, told a gathering at the seminary campus Thursday. "A survivor." The hand-over came as Jews this month commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when Germans rampaged against their Jewish neighbors, destroying synagogues, businesses and homes, killing dozens and rounding up thousands for deportation to concentration camps. Though worldwide audiences are marking the occasion in solemn tones, those who gathered Thursday at the seminary struck a joyous chord. "This Torah is living evidence of people who fought the Nazis in the best way they knew how, which was through faith," Rabbi Richard N. Levy, director of the School of Rabbinic Studies at the seminary's Los Angeles campus, said in an interview. "Every time I read the story, and now talk about it, my eyes well up." The Yanov Torah might have been lost to history if not for a survivor of the camp, known only as Joseph. After the war, he remained in the nearby city of Lvov. In 1975, as he was dying, Joseph gave the Torah to a young Jewish doctor, Naum Rit, and his wife, Emma, just weeks before the couple left for the United States. The meeting had been arranged by Naum Rit's grandfather, who was a longtime friend of Joseph's. As the years passed, two versions of the story emerged. One is told by Rit's widow. Emma Rit-Uskali says she and her husband visited Joseph's threadbare room and listened as the survivor recounted the Torah's tale. Joseph, she said, told how the Jews of Lvov had braced for their harsh life in the nearby camp by smuggling in sections of the holy text, hiding the pieces in Yanov's cemetery. Joseph said he collected the Torah sections after the camp was liberated, reassembled them and hid the piecemeal Torah under his wooden floorboards. "He asked us to bring this Torah to the free world," recalled Rit-Uskali, 61, who now lives in Las Vegas. (Naum Rit died in Los Angeles in 1993.) The Rits, nonobservant Jews who had never seen a Torah, agreed to take the 17-pound scroll from Joseph. When the couple arrived in Los Angeles in 1976, they spoke little English and desperately needed money to feed their two children. So Naum Rit decided to sell the only thing of value he had. It's unclear how Rit found Herman, the Reform rabbi. But one day, Rit appeared at the rabbi's North Hollywood office. "You buy my Torah," Rit said in broken English. He related its story with the help of Herman's secretary, who spoke Yiddish.The rabbi and his wife, Agnes, recalled the exchange in a book they later wrote based on the conversation with Rit. That account, called "The Yanov Torah," offers a variation of the story told by Rit's wife.According to the book, small groups of Jews from the Yanov work camp were allowed to return to Lvov for daylong leaves of absence granted by the Nazis for good behavior. Once in Lvov, they dug up Torahs that had been buried in the Jewish cemetery for safeguarding. The Jews cut the Torahs into pieces, binding the sections around their bodies and smuggling them into the camp. After the war, one survivor, a tailor, collected the pieces and stitched them into a single scroll. Meanwhile, the handful of survivors who remained in Lvov made a pact. The oldest would care for the Torah, handing it to the next in line before each man died. The decades passed, until only one was left. He gave the fragile scroll to Rit, who later offered it to Rabbi Herman. The rabbi at first declined to buy the Torah, protesting that it was priceless. But astounded by Rit's story and eager to help him, Herman gave Rit a check for $250, emptying his bank account, then located benefactors. A Jewish couple gave $750, but with a request that Herman tell the story of the scroll, rather than leave it in a museum. Herman spent the next 30 years taking the Torah to audiences around the world. Everywhere he went, he unrolled the sacred text and encouraged people to touch it. In February, Herman died after a prolonged battle with cancer. Agnes Herman asked officials at the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College to honor her husband's wish that rabbinic students pick up where he left off. "It was like another child, and I had to make arrangements before I die," said Herman, a freelance journalist and retired social worker. "I'm almost 87 years old. I don't know how much longer I'll be here. I want this to continue to live." During Thursday's ceremony at the college, Herman recounted the Torah's story one more time. Then, rabbinic students removed the scroll from a hand-sewn cover marked with a faded Star of David and unfurled it, displaying its script written by different hands. After 100 guests recited morning prayers and the Torah was placed back in its cover, a faculty member cradled it and joyously carried it around the room. One student, who will share the Torah with congregants at University Synagogue in Brentwood on Sunday, spoke of his own faith being strengthened by the sacrifices of the Yanov inmates. As the ceremony drew to a close, Herman rose quietly from her seat, approached the scroll, touched it and kissed her hand, marking the beginning of yet another step in its long journey.
2009: In Rockville, MD, the Magen David Sephardic Synagogue presents a screening of “Women from Sarajevo,” the story of how two families – one Jewish, one Muslim- save each other during slaughters in the Balkans.
2009: The New York City Opera presents a revival performance of Hugo Weisgall”s “Esther” in the recently renovated David H. Koch Theatre. “The opera, which originally premiered in 1993 to universal acclaim, was especially praised for addressing questions of Jewish identity and assimilation, as well as its refusal to exult over the massacre of an enemy.”
2009: When the World Series of Poker opens today in Las Vegas, four of the nine players will be Jewish – Jeff Shulman, Steven Begleiter, Eric Buchman and Kevin Schaffel.
2009: “Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza” a play panned by The Sunday Times, condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and described as “a blood libel” by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic was performed for the last time at Gustavus Adolphus College today
2010: Gomez Mill House is scheduled to present “Jewish Merchants in the New World, 1800-1900.”
2010: Hulin, which deals with the laws of slaughtering animals, the last Talmud tractate in the Steinsaltz series is scheduled to be completed. Ceremonies celebrating the event will be held around the world.
2010: The 2010 General Assembly (GA) and the International Lion of Judah Conference (ILOJC) of the Jewish Federations of North America are scheduled to begin in New Orleans, LA.
2010: Cathleen Schine is scheduled to discuss The Three Weissmanns of Westport at the opening session of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia Book Festival.
2010: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish authors including Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman and The Instructions by Adam Levin.
2010: German soldiers, including one wearing a skullcap with his uniform, filed silently through a leaf-covered cemetery in Frankfurt today to lay wreaths at a memorial for 467 Jewish soldiers killed fighting for the Kaiser during World War I. The memorial, the first public service at the site for as long as anyone can remember, was organized by the Association of Jewish Soldiers, a small but growing group in the German military whose existence testifies to the feeling by at least some Jews that it is possible for them to be patriots again in the nation that once tried to wipe them out. “More and more young Jews are placing their trust in the Bundeswehr,” Gideon Römer-Hillebrecht, a general staff officer in the German Defense Ministry and deputy chairman of the Jewish soldiers association, told representatives of several national armies and numerous dignitaries at the memorial ceremony. Michael Berger, chairman of the group and a German Army captain, said there was no exact count of the number of Jewish soldiers now in the Bundeswehr, as the force has been known since being reconstituted after World War II. But it is no more than about 200, he said. While all young German men are subject to conscription, they can easily opt to perform civilian public service instead. Mr. Hillebrecht said that in 2008 a few soldiers and a rabbi held a memorial at the site in Frankfurt, a semicircular stone marker erected in 1925. But there was no official event with wide participation before today. “For an increasing number of young Jewish men and women, the Bundeswehr is not only an attractive employer; they can also identify with its values and help shape them,” Christian Schmidt, an undersecretary in the German Defense Ministry, told the 100 or so people who attended. Abraham Ben, the son of a concentration camp survivor who has helped organize similar events in Munich, said that he saw no problem with Jews serving in the modern German army. “Ten years ago I would have given you a different answer,” he said. But, he said, “Jews in Germany are no longer sitting around with their bags packed. This is home.” Some 12,000 Jewish soldiers died fighting on the German side in World War I. Jews hoped that military service would promote their acceptance into German society, according to speakers at the memorial and a panel discussion afterward. Instead, after the war, Nazi “stab in the back” myths blamed Jewish treachery for Germany’s defeat. Salomon Korn, vice chairman of the Central Committee of Jews in Germany, read from the diary of a Jewish soldier in World War I who was recommended for the Iron Cross by one commander but had to listen to another refer to Jews as “cowardly dogs.” As part of the ceremony, unarmed soldiers in long gray wool coats walked two abreast in a light drizzle through the otherwise-deserted cemetery, which has effectively been closed to burials since the late 1920s and appears to be rarely visited. Gravestones are covered in moss and many are askew, while pathways are choked with leaves. After the soldiers laid wreaths at the memorial, a military bugler blew a mournful tune. An officer and a civilian read the names of 50 soldiers buried nearby, and a rabbi said a prayer. The memorial, with lettering in both Hebrew and German, was partially restored after large pieces were found two months ago embedded in the surrounding earth, said Majer Szanckower, the cemetery director. But the memorial is still missing large chunks, and Sunday also marked the beginning of an effort to fully restore it. Mr. Szanckower said it was not clear whether the memorial was the victim of Nazi vandalism or simply age and weather. Hellmut Königshaus, defense commissioner in the German Parliament, said during the panel discussion that there had been recent cases of harassment against Jewish soldiers in the army. But perpetrators face severe punishment and are usually expelled from the force, he said. As a citizen’s army, he said, “the Bundeswehr is a mirror of society.”
2010(30th of Cheshvan, 5771): Rosh Chodesh Kislev
2011: Gilad Sharon, author of Sharon: Life of a Leader is scheduled to appear at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival.
2011: In New York City, leading Adlerian psychoanalyst and president of the Alfred Adler Institute of New York Ellen Mendel is scheduled to present a comprehensive introduction to Alfred Adler, the man, his theories and his impact, providing attendees of the lecture with a broad understanding of Adler’s psychology and philosophy. In New York City
2011(10th of Cheshvan, 5772): Ninety year old “Dov Schwartzman also called Berel Schwartzman, a Haredi Jewish rabbi and rosh yeshiva of Bais Hatalmud” passed away in Jerusalem.
2011: All Israeli government and security-related websites that crashed yesterday started working once again today after long hours of malfunctions.
2011: A general strike by Israel's public sector ended today after four hours of near paralysis across in the economy. The strike took place from 6:00 A.M. to 10 A.M., after Labor Court President Nili Arad decided after a night of deliberations to limit it to only four hours. The strike included trains, buses, universities, government ministries and municipalities.
2011: An IDF force spotted a terrorist squad today around noon, as it planted two explosive charges near the northern section of the security fence separating Gaza and Israel. The IDF Spokesman's Unit said that the Israeli soldiers fired tank shells at the terrorists and identified hits on target.
2012: The staff of Maariv has gone on strike for the first time in the Israeli daily newspaper's 64-year history.The Hebrew-language paper was not printed today and its website NRG has not been updated since yesterday evening, when the employees walked off the job.
2012: Israeli leaders congratulated President Obama on his reelection. "The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a short statement issued today morning in Israel shortly after Obama delivered his victory speech. "I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel."
2012: Jose Ramon was arrested in connection with the disappearance with the disappearance of Etan Patz.
2012: “The World Is Funny” is scheduled to be shown at the Melbourne Opening Night of the Jewish International Festival in Australia.
2012: Start of Jewish Book Month sponsored by the Jewish Book Council
2012: British premiere of “Aliyah” at the UK Jewish Film Festival
2013: In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is scheduled to host a panel discussion “Restored or Endangered? The State of Free Exercise of Religion in America”
2013: The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center “with special cooperation from the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago,” is scheduled to add the names of two Bulgarian rescuers to the Ferro Fountain of the Righteous.
2013: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host a panel discussion “The Vilna Gaon and the Make of Modern Judaism.”
2013: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism, is scheduled to speak at the San Diego Jewish Book Fair.
2013: Terrorists fired on IDF soldiers overnight and attempted to run one officer down (As reported by Gil Ronen)
2013: A terrorist was shot dead Thursday evening after he used a flare gun to fire at Israeli civilians at a hitchhiking stop (As reported by Gil Ronen)
2014: Today marks the 70th anniversary of the murder of Hannah Senesh at the hands of her fascist captors
2014: Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Peppermill Hotel Casino.
2014: Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef today called on Jews to stop their attempts to visit Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, in order to restore calm to the capital after weeks of violence and religious clashes surrounding the holy site” and because it “was religiously forbidden for Jews to ascend to the mount at all, reiterating a long-held consensual rabbinical view that today’s impure Jews should not risk defiling the holiest site in Judaism.” (As reported by Itamar Sharon and Times of Israel staff)
2014(14th of Cheshvan, 5775): Seventeen year old yeshiva student Shalom Ba’adan, the nephew of Shas Rabbi Shimon Ba’adani died of wounds he sustained two days ago when a 48 year old Hamas terrorist “plowed into pedestrians at a light rail station along the seam-line between East and West Jerusalem.”
2014: While giving his closing argument today in a Detroit federal court, Assistant U.S Attorney Jonathan Tukel told jurors that it is “ridiculous” to be lieve that Rasmieth Odeh “didn’t think she had to disclose conviction for bombings in Israel when she applied for U.S. Citizenship in 2004.”
2014: Thanks in no small measure to efforts of Steven Shepard, Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater, FL is among those who are scheduled to observe “Hannah Senesh Shabbat.”
2015: Timothy Snyder, award-winning author of the new book Black Earth, the validity of which has been challenged by Walter Laqueur http://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/11/timothy-snyder-the-newton-of-the-holocaust/ is scheduled to deliver a lecture on “The Holocaust as History and Warning” in Chicago, Illinois.
2015: In Toronto, Beth Avraham is scheduled to host a showing of “Robert Clary: A Memoir of Liberation followed by a Q & A led by Jewish History teacher Chaim Klein.
2015: “Phoenix” will be shown at the Rutgers Jewish Film Festival.
2015(25th of Cheshvan, 5776): Parsahat Chayei
2015(25th of Cheshvan, 5776): Seventy year publishing executive Rena Wolner passed away today. (As reported by Sam Roberts)
2015: Hannah Senesh Shabbat: Today marks the 71st anniversary of the murder of Hannah Senesh at the hands of her fascist captors. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if temples and synagogues all across the globe could dedicate their Shabbat services to memorializing this marvelous young woman? She not only embodied bravery, patriotism and loyalty to both her comrades in arms and the Jewish people, she left behind a corpus of poetry and song lyrics that have enriched us for decades. Imagine the joy the heavenly hosts would feel if the whole House of Israel were to join in singing אלי, אלי. It might serve as reminder that there is more that binds us together as the Jewish People than separates us as individual Jews.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.
Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor's sake.
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Hannah Sensesh
2016: The Exhibition “All About Golda” is scheduled to officially open today at the Skirball Center.
2016: “The Future of Holocaust Memory” a panel discussion whose participants included Karen Jungblut, the Director of Collections at USC Shoah Foundation and Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter is scheduled to take place at the Anne Tanenbaum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto as part of HEW (Holocaust Education Week)
2016: “The Tenth Man” and “The Small World Sammy Lee” are scheduled to be shown at the 20th UK International Jewish Film Festival.