100 Years Ago
Here in America, the Sabbath has become a different experience than it was in the old country, due mainly to the very different circumstances in which Jews find themselves. The same Old World Jews who once kept the Sabbath as something precious have changed their ways, and many of them gave up this once important holiday with ease. But others stuck it out, taking low-paying jobs that barely make enough for them to feed their families, just so they wouldn’t have to work on the Sabbath. Genuine martyrs, their beliefs are sacred to them. We asked one why he wouldn’t go to work in a bigger shop where he could earn more money. He answered in a flash, “Even if I would starve to death from hunger, I wouldn’t break the Sabbath.” He thought about that, wrinkled his brow and added: “But it would never come to that. After all, God provides.” Truth be told, truly religious Jews like him are in the minority.
75 Years Ago
A general call was issued via the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer to all Ukrainians to make mass pogroms on the region’s Jewish population. The call, which attempts to flatter Ukrainians by calling them “true heroes” and adds that they are members of the Nordic race, not just typical Slavs, puts forth the hope that Ukrainians will initiate “a wave of pogroms” against the Jews. Der Sturmer reminds Ukrainians of the pogroms that occurred during “Chmielnicki’s revolution” in 1648, during which 400,000 Jews were killed. Additionally, they note that Ukrainians killed an additional 38,000 Jews during the upheavals of 1905, and another 7,000 during the Civil War of 1918–1919. This evil newspaper, run by the No. 1 enemy of the Jews, Julius Streicher, ends the article with the hope that the Ukrainians, “whose best attribute is their hatred for Jews,” will take advantage of the zeitgeist and take revenge on the Jewish population.
50 Years Ago
Reports from Israel say that two Arab infiltrators were killed near the Syrian border, while two others managed to escape. The incident occurred just north of Kfar Yuval, next to the point where the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Israel meet. Weapons found on the infiltrators included Russian and German submachine guns as well as hand grenades. Also found were Syrian-made cigarettes and matches. Though this indicated that they came from Syria, their trail came from Lebanon. An initial investigation revealed that the two were part of a group that had previously engaged in acts of sabotage on Israeli soil. The Israeli army commander whose troops shot the infiltrators said that the two were shot after they failed to heed an order to stop and provide a password. The Israeli army has been on high alert after a bomb placed in the Galilee exploded earlier in the week, wounding six Israelis.