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May 30, 2008

100 Years Ago in the forward

The tefillin trade in Warsaw is in an uproar after it was discovered that a set sold in the city was not only lacking the scriptures, which normally sit inside the housing, but also contained a tiny crucifix instead. Initially, this set of tefillin was thought to be one of those that come from either Slonim or Lukov, both of whose tefillin factories have flooded the market with cheap models. As a result of this scandal, some Warsaw rabbis have banned the use of tefillin received from Slonim or Lukov. It turns out, though, that the set in which the crucifix was found was, in fact, from Slonim but had been tampered with by tefillin makers in Sokolov who had removed the portions from the boxes and placed the crucifix inside in order to stanch the sales of their competitors from Slonim.

75 Years Ago in the forward

A special Forward correspondent recently visited Germany, where he disguised himself as a Nazi to see what kind of reaction he would get from Germans and Jews. The correspondent, who wore a brown shirt and a swastika badge, writes that the difference between dressing as a Nazi and as a normal civilian is like night and day. In short, without a swastika badge, a person gets terrorized. As a Jew, it’s worse: Expect to pay double for items in stores; expect terrible service in restaurants and hotels; expect to be pelted by rocks and manure. But put on a brown shirt and a swastika, and one can get lower prices, better service and respect from everyone. Everyone, from bankers to simple workers, greets you with a “Heil!” If one enters a Jewish-owned store wearing such an outfit, one is free to take what one wants without payment, as Jewish merchants have been so utterly terrorized and demoralized by the Nazis.

50 Years Ago in the forward

This week in Beirut, Lebanon, pro-Nasser terrorists firebombed a Jewish doctor’s office in the Baab-ad-Driss neighborhood. A second bomb was found in a nearby synagogue and was defused before it was to explode. Of late, the anti-government, pro-Nasser forces have been very active. They recently called the head of the American Community School of Beirut and threatened to blow up the school if the American government did not take a more positive attitude toward the pro-Nasser forces. As a result, the school, which caters to the children of diplomats and oil company employees, was closed down.


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