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Looking Back November 18, 2005


In a private letter provided to the Forward by a resident of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the current pogroms in Russia are described: “Ten thousand people have been killed and wounded; children were thrown off of tall buildings; the bellies of pregnant women were cut open… the hospitals are packed with dead and wounded. Three quarters of Odessa has been plundered. The large Jewish-owned stores on Deribasovskaya Street have been destroyed. Rich people have been impoverished. Jews were murdered wherever they could be found on the streets of Odessa.”


The latest gossip at New York’s Café Royal is all about the terrific argument that occurred backstage at Maurice Schwartz’s Art Theater between actress Stella Adler and prompter Joseph Schwartzberg. Apparently Adler didn’t understand what Schwartzberg was whispering to her while she was onstage, and therefore she muffed her lines. After the show they had a knockdown, drag-out argument that ended in tears and hysteria all around. The next day Adler showed up at the Art Theater with her brothers, who allegedly threatened Schwartzberg with a beating unless he produced a written apology to their sister.

Recalling the days of our bubbes and zeydes, sniffing a pinch of snuff has come back into style. Even in the New World, millions of people are now keeping a little container of tobacco snuff in their pockets, sniffing it and sneezing just like in the good old days. American tobacco producers make 41 million pounds of snuff per year. How many noses do you need to sniff 41 million pounds? It is estimated that more than 25 million people in the United States sniff tobacco.


Tens of thousands of Jews packed New York City’s Madison Square Garden to participate in a stormy protest. America was ordered to take steps to sell Israel the weaponry it needs to protect itself against the hostile Arab countries surrounding it. The massive rally held just a few years ago to commemorate the murder of 6 million European Jews was still fresh in the minds of many people who attended this protest. America’s Jews do not want to see another massacre. They fear that the massive donation of Soviet arms recently given to the Egyptians places Israel’s Jews in great danger.

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