October 10, 2008

Looking Back

Published October 02, 2008, issue of October 10, 2008.

100 Years Ago in the forward*

Tragic economic circumstances struck the First Roumanian-American Congregation on Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and as a result, the synagogue was forced to begin selling off its Torahs this week in an auction that was open to the public. The scene was intense. Men cried and women wailed as Torahs were pulled from the Holy Ark and put on the block. After hearing that a “Jewish God” was being auctioned off, a number of local Irishmen wandered in to see what was happening. Seeing one of the Torahs up on the block, one of the Irishmen said, “Ya see, Pat, there’s the Jewish Jesus.” When the auctioneer began the bidding, the other Irishman yelled out, “I think that’s worth at least $3.” But Jews weren’t about to let a Torah fall into the hands of the Irishmen, and so they began outbidding them. Suddenly, a woman came in, screaming, “Give me my daughter! Give me my burned-up daughter!” A chill ran down every spine in the synagogue. The woman was Mrs. Diamond, the butcher’s wife from Ludlow Street. Her daughter had been burned to death in a fire, and so Mrs. Diamond donated a Torah to the synagogue in the girl’s name. She calmed down after being told that the Torah she donated was not one of those being auctioned and that it would remain in the synagogue.


75 Years Ago in the forward

There’s a gold rush — in the Bronx! When the Gorelick family found what they thought was gold buried in their backyard in their Bronx neighborhood, the local kids went wild digging up all the backyards for blocks. But after geologists inspected the shiny stones that the Gorelicks found in their yard, it was determined that the material was not gold, but a type of mineral called mica, which is shiny but not worth anything. That didn’t stop the neighborhood kids from digging up front yards and backyards and ruining numerous flower beds, much to the chagrin of the homeowners.


50 Years Ago in the forward

President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) has begun to disseminate an Arabic translation of the famed antisemitic book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” In addition, foreign journalists stationed in Egypt were also given copies of the book, which is available in a variety of different languages. Nasser himself admitted this fact in an interview with a Bombay-based journalist, which was broadcast on Egyptian radio. In the interview, Nasser said the following: “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or seen a book with the title ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’ I will give you a copy in English. This book will clearly show you that the fate of the European continent is in the hands of 300 Zionists, all of whom know each other.”



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