January 23, 2004
100 YEARS AGO
• Cigarmaker Sam Gold, 24, was in love with Annie Ordover, 20, and asked her to marry him. Annie, however, wasn’t interested and brushed off his advances. On Friday night, when Gold proposed again in the middle of Sixth Street, he was rebuffed a second time. It was then that he pulled out a revolver and began to shoot at Miss Ordover. Fortunately, the three shots he managed to fire off didn’t hit anyone. Miss Ordover ran into a nearby candy store and fainted. Gold threw down the pistol and took off running, but was caught by a policeman, together with some witnesses. The following day, in the Essex Street Courthouse, Sam Gold declared that he regretted one thing: that he didn’t kill Annie Ordover. He is being held on $1,500 bail.
75 YEARS AGO
• Walking through the Lower East Side, you might notice the numerous barrels of pickles that dot the streets. But where do all these pickles come from? The truth is, they arrive from all over the country, mostly at Pier 29, near Vestry Street, which is currently the largest pickle market in America. From there they are trucked to markets all over New York City. But mavens take note: Better-quality pickles, those from New Jersey, Long Island and upstate New York, are shipped straight into cold-storage facilities in Brooklyn and cost twice as much as those from Pier 29. But buyers should be aware that because of a poor season this year, Long Island pickles, the best in the barrel, are few and far between.
• The Jewish neighborhood in Vienna, the Leopoldstadt, has produced a messiah, and the local Jews are up in arms. The messiah, whose name is Herman Miller, is a Galitzianer who walks about the streets of the quarter carrying a long stick and wearing a leather hide around his hips, preaching sermons. Barefoot, he beseeches listeners to engage in self-flagellation. To this, a local Jew wearing a yarmulke announced, “Jews! Listen to what I say. We must take this false messiah and lash him in the middle of the street! Forty lashes, I say! … We must fight the false messiah!”
50 YEARS AGO
• It should seem obvious that most Reform rabbis do not speak Yiddish. Maybe they use a Yiddish expression once in a while, but it doesn’t usually come out sounding very Jewish. Simply stated, they don’t have much use for it. But perhaps it could come in handy. A Yiddish expression spices up a boring sermon. And, for some reason, the congregation always laughs when a Yiddish word is thrown in, even when they don’t seem to know what it means. But one Reform rabbi, who shall remain unnamed, tried to take it a step further and give a whole sermon in Yiddish. Needless to say, the response was not a pretty one.