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October 31, 2008

100 Years Ago in the forward

Antisemites made up a lie about Jews: that they… are a frightened people who fear both the receiving and giving end of punches. Such people are simply going to have to apologize and will have to admit that they don’t really know the Jews very well at all. In this case, it’s the Jews of Buffalo, N.Y., that have proved them wrong. In the Russian synagogue, the rabbi is extremely well liked by the congregation, but not by the big machers who run the place, as they were upset with the rabbi because he refused to condemn the local socialists. So the bigwigs fired him. The members were furious, but decided to wait until after the holidays to do something. But when the first circuit of the Torah took place on Simchat Torah, the whiskey was already flowing and the crowd got boisterous. The crowd attacked the synagogue board and its supporters. Fists flew, noses were broken, heads were split and a number of beards without faces were seen on the floor. The police were called to take care of the Simchat Torah ruckus, but they were attacked, as well.

75 Years Ago in the forward

In response to a letter written to the Forverts as to why the streets of the Jewish neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side are so disgustingly dirty, another reader writes: “I am a garbage man and have worked for the Sanitation Department for five years in a variety of different neighborhoods. Jewish and Italian neighborhoods are much dirtier than others. Other neighborhoods are far less dirty than Jewish areas.” Our reader tells us that the reasons for this is that landlords in the Jewish quarter are cheap and don’t supply enough garbage cans, causing those available to overflow. “Plus,” the reader said, “people tend to just throw their garbage into the streets. When I ask them why, they tell me it’s my job to clean it up — and tell me I get paid to do it. But when they refuse to tie up the bundles of paper they leave on the sidewalks and the wind blows everything away, it’s impossible for the Sanitation Department to handle it.”

50 Years Ago in the forward

Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, said this week that the three-and-a-half million Jews who reside in the Soviet Union and in other countries in Eastern Europe must be rescued from their current predicament. Goldmann argued that the discrimination Jews face as a minority behind the Iron Curtain, in addition to the extreme difficulties they face in living Jewish lives, has rendered it impossible for them to have a future with a normal and free Jewish existence. “There is no greater task facing the Jewish people today than to try and influence the powers of the Soviet Union to permit its Jews to remain religiously and culturally Jewish according to their will, and to allow those that want to, to immigrate to Israel,” he said.

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