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August 3, 2007

100 Years Ago in the Forward

There is a great deal of talk these days about Sholem Asch’s new play, “God of Vengeance,” a tragic drama about a brothel owner whose daughter falls in love with one of his prostitutes. Most of this talk is taking place in the non-Jewish press, which is astounded not only that there are talented Yiddish writers, but also that there is such a thing as a modern Jewish literature and culture at all. Correspondent Moyshe Olgin comments that it’s somewhat pathetic that the Jews’ closest neighbors, both in Russia and the United States, apparently have no clue about Jewish culture.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

The Epstein family lives in a tiny one-room apartment in Brooklyn. Like most people these days, they are very poor. Mr. Epstein is a chef by trade, but he has been unemployed for two years. The Epsteins can’t recall the last time they paid their rent. Fortunately, the landlord has taken pity on them. Mr. and Mrs. Epstein have two beautiful children who are starving to death. It is a horrible sight to see these children — a girl of almost 2 and a boy of 3 – crying for food and reaching out their hands to an empty icebox. As a result of their situation, the Epsteins have decided to give away their children to a couple who can support them. Sending off their children like this breaks their hearts, but they feel they have no choice. If they don’t, their babies will die. They had a few opportunities to give away their children to childless couples, but after asking a few questions, they realized that these couples were poor as well, so they reneged. The Epsteins want parents who can support their two children so that they won’t have to suffer hunger or deprivation. Their dream is to be able to keep their children, but as long as Mr. Epstein remains unemployed, they continue to seek a solution.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

With tensions still high in the Middle East, Soviet-Arab radio continues to make threats against the State of Israel. Most recently, broadcasts have been made announcing the importance of Arab unity as the best method to ward off constant Israeli aggression. The broadcasts accused Israel of planning an attack against Syria, an attack that was foiled only by a unity pact made between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and they also attacked the United States, saying that Israel was part and parcel of the American imperialist plan.

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