February 6, 2009

Looking Back

Published January 28, 2009, issue of February 06, 2009.
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100 Years Ago In the Forward

“Don’t pay rent, be your own landlord,” a banner advertisement screams. “A rare chance for anyone who has just a bit of capital to have a beautiful, quality and comfortable home in the most beautiful and best section of East New York, just 25 minutes from Delancey Street. Handsome and massive, these homes have been built with the latest improvements. With two steam heat furnaces in every house, they also feature wide sidewalks, gardens, and a fence. With the rent that you pay your landlord each month, you could be paying for your own house. If your situation doesn’t permit you to buy, find an honest partner and buy it together!”

75 Years Ago In the Forward

Major protests occurred outside Macy’s Department Store on 34th Street after it was discovered that the store hasn’t been abiding by the general boycott of goods produced by Hitler’s Germany. Organized by both the Labor Zionists and the Organization of Zionist Youth, more than 1,000 people, carrying banners exhorting people to boycott Macy’s, participated in the demonstration. It should be noted that this is not the first time that Macy’s has been boycotted for selling German goods. More than a week before the demonstration, members of the Socialist Party, including its leader, Norman Thomas, gathered in front of Macy’s in protest. The Socialists have warned that they are planning further protests of any store or company that does business with fascist Germany.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

In response to our recent article on the Kaddish industry in which mourners pay proxies to say the Kaddish for their deceased relatives, we received a number of interesting letters. Some of them are from people like Mrs. R.S.: She raised her children in religious environments and sent them to religious schools, but her grown children are no longer religious, and Mrs. R.S. fears, as do many others, that Kaddish will not be recited after their deaths. We also received letters from people who only have daughters, and therefore the children are not required to say Kaddish. These people want to know if it is acceptable to “rent” a person to recite Kaddish. Some letters also came from the mourners themselves, one of whom wrote that he was a traveling salesman and rarely among Jews. How would he be able to recite Kaddish?

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