November 11, 2005

Published November 11, 2005, issue of November 11, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share


The Forward received an emergency telegram from the Bund in Russia: “The forces of reaction are stretching us to the ends of our strength. The Black Hundreds have organized all over Russia. Jews are being murdered by the thousands. Entire towns and villages have been set ablaze: Akerman, Gaydiatsh, Zolotonashna and parts of Kremantshuk, Kisheniev, Odessa and others. Bloody riots. Help arm the people for self-defense! Collect guns and weapons.”


Hasidim from all over Poland came to celebrate Simchat Torah with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who has been living in Riga for the past year-and-a-half. The Jews of Riga, who are mostly modern and secular, looked at the Hasidim as if they were a primitive species. And those who attended the festivities in the rebbe’s court were not disappointed. First the rebbe announced that he wanted all clean-shaven, non-tefillin-wearing men and non-mikveh-going women out of his court. When no one moved, the rebbe said: “If the people who I have just identified do not leave, they will not live to see next year. Get out!” He also attacked religious Zionists, screaming: “All the members of Mizrahi should have their beards and peyes cut off and should be thrown into a monastery! They will burn in hell! When the messiah comes, Jesus Christ will be resurrected, but those who send their children to Mizrahi schools will not!” The rebbe’s comments upset everyone there, except for the Hasidim, who drank, sang and danced wildly until dawn. The Jews of Riga, who previously considered the rebbe to be a learned, intelligent man, now see only a wild fundamentalist.


The Syrian government has arrested 10 people on charges that they spied for Israel. One of the 10 is an Israeli citizen and an Arab member of the Knesset named Sheik Jabber Dahish. The Syrian prosecutor has requested the death penalty for all the accused. Dahish, who crossed into Syria bearing proper documentation, was arrested immediately on entry on the charge that he was a spy. In related news, Syria and Egypt have signed a mutual defense pact guaranteeing that one will protect the other in case of attack by Israel.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach!
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.