December 26, 2008

Looking Back

Published December 18, 2008, issue of December 26, 2008.
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100 Years Ago in the forward

One of the most active members of the Jewish community of Boston’s South End was a young Mr. Kadelsky, who not only belonged to a number of different Jewish organizations, but also was given the honor of reading from the Torah this past Yom Kippur and led the circuits around the synagogue on Simchat Torah. But it turns out that Kadelsky isn’t even Jewish. Earlier this month, at a meeting of his landsmanshaft, the Brit Avraham, a new immigrant showed up and was shocked to see Kadelsky, whom he knew from his town in Poland. There, Kadelsky was a Catholic Pole. When this news came up, the meeting turned into an uproar, and when all the members asked what was going on, Kadelsky fainted. When he came to, he admitted that he wasn’t really Jewish but had been raised with Jews, knew Yiddish and could even daven. The head of the landsmanshaft was upset and wanted to kick him out for lying, but Kadelsky said that he wanted to be a Jew. To prove it, he was circumcised the following week.


75 Years Ago in the forward

Dr. David Levy, an X-ray specialist, had fallen in love on the job with a Catholic nurse. A priest married the couple, and Levy even allowed their children to be raised as Catholics. But when his mother died — shortly after the wedding — he told his wife that if he died before her, he wanted to be buried next to his mother, even though two of his children, who died young, already had been buried in a Catholic cemetery. Mrs. Levy did as her husband requested and had him buried next to his mother, but soon thereafter she had regrets. She returned to the cemetery and told the superintendent that she wanted the body exhumed. When Levy’s sister, Bessie Goldstein, got wind of this activity, she called the superintendent and told him that under no circumstances was her brother’s body to be exhumed. Now, Levy’s widow has announced that she will file a court case in order to have her deceased husband’s body exhumed from the Jewish cemetery in Perth Amboy, N.J., and re-interred in a Catholic cemetery.


50 Years Ago in the forward

In a major speech given in Port Said, Egypt, United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria) President Gamal Abdel Nasser bitterly attacked Israel, calling it the “Arab world’s greatest enemy,” and proclaimed a new struggle against its existence. “We have fought against Israel from the first day of its existence, and we will continue to struggle against it,” Nasser said. In related news, Moscow radio has been broadcasting reports saying that the West is supplying Israel with advanced weaponry and that the Jewish state is planning a major war against its Arab neighbors.


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