Skip To Content

April 8, 2005


• Vaudeville theater manager Abraham Levi was brought into court on charges that he threatened to kill his wife, from whom he has been separated for a year. Mrs. Levi, a magician, showed up in court covered with diamond jewelry, causing a stir among the lawyers and clerks, who couldn’t take their eyes off her. The lawyer for the deaf defendant had to yell the charges of breaking into his wife’s apartment into Levi’s ear. “That’s a lie!” Mr. Levi screamed, so loudly that one could hear him in the street. “I went to her apartment to see if a certain man was there.” His wife argued that her estranged husband broke in with two other men, who left after she pointed a revolver at them. The judge arranged for the pair to have their case moved to the divorce court.


• Yarmulkes have become big business in America. Of all the religious articles available, the yarmulke is a best seller and millions are being bought. They have become a symbol of Yiddishkeit for American Jews and they put them on at weddings and bar mitzvah parties and even funerals. These yarmulkes aren’t like the traditional sort that our fathers and grandfathers wore as part of their daily get-up. They are worn only at religious events, and then they are thrown away afterward. If you need another one for a different event, you just buy a new one. That’s the American style. They’re also much smaller, and barely stay on your head.

• “It’s already been two days, and I’m so captivated by this book that I simply can’t tear myself away. However much I read is not enough — I want to know more. This is a book about well-known figures, good and even better friends, about people with whom one has lived for years. And once in a while you come across a new name that, as long as the person is interesting, is equally as engaging.” The preceding is from a review of Zalman Reisen’s Lexicon of Yiddish Literature, Press and Philology, a four-volume collection of biographies of Yiddish writers over the last 150 years.


• A large literary conference that took place in Moscow was reported on this week in both Izvestia and Pravda. Every people and language of the Soviet Union was represented — except the Jews. It was noted that between 1918 and 1954, more than1,600 foreign language books were translated into Russian from nearly every European language and from many Asian ones — but not Yiddish or Hebrew. The Jews, it seems, have ceased to be a people in the Soviet Union. There seems to be no more Yiddish literature and no more Yiddish writers. Making things worse, Yiddish and Hebrew have been written out of Soviet history. No mention is made that these languages once existed in the USSR.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.