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October 2, 2009

100 Years Ago In the Forward

A Bintel Brief has a letter written by an embittered man who ran into trouble getting together a minyan for his son’s bris. It was the eve of Yom Kippur and, as he stood in front of his building, trying to find a 10th man for the minyan, a well-known local rabbi walked by. The man asked the rabbi if he would participate in the mitzvah, but the rabbi told him that there was no way he was going to trudge up to a fourth-floor apartment without getting paid. The man pleaded with him, saying that he was just a poor laborer and could not afford to pay him. The rabbi turned around and walked away, and eventually the man found someone else. The editors responded by saying that “woe is to the Orthodox Rabbinate in New York;” this rabbi is a hypocrite.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

Sufi Abdul Hamid, also known as “The Black Mufti,” has been causing trouble for Jews and Jewish storekeepers in the Harlem section of Manhattan. He and his band of followers have been going around to Jewish-owned stores and demanding that the storekeepers hire black workers or, more specifically, one of them. When they entered Jewish-owned stores that already had black employees, they demanded that the owners fire them and hire the Mufti’s followers in their place. The Black Mufti has also held numerous street demonstrations in which he has excoriated not only Jewish storekeepers, but also Jews in general. His antisemitism has gotten so bad that he has attracted Nazis, who applaud him, to his rallies. During a speech at a recent rally on 125th Street, he said that all Jews have syphilis and that they spread their immorality and filth throughout Harlem. He added that if any of his followers meets a Jew, he or she should tear out the Jew’s tongue together with the tonsils.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

Radio Moscow has made one of its bitterest attacks on Israel in recent memory: It accused the Jewish state of collaboration with Iran to destroy the peaceful coexistence that has been built up by East and West. The station added that during Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s recent visit to the United States, Israel and Iran were plotting to attack certain Arab countries together. The Moscow report continued, saying that both Iran and Israel were puppets of the United States and that both strove to foil any possible resolution to the Cold War.

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