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December 26, 2003

100 Years Ago

• The entire Lower East Side is furious about the evil deeds of the nefarious daily Di Yidishe Tageblat. It’s not enough that the Tageblat was against the bakers’ strike; not enough that it could only manage to collect a few cents for Dreyfus; not enough that it sold its soul to corrupt politicians. Now it has to come out with the news — four days after the event, four days after it was reported that the assassination attempt on Dr. Max Nordau was done by an extreme right-wing nationalist by the entire world press — that the shooter was a socialist. This unbelievable libel will not stand. The whole world knows who shot Nordau, and even the victim knows his assassin is an extreme nationalist. So what makes the Tageblat think it can get away with such blatant lies?

75 Years Ago

• The chief of the Histadrut’s women’s division, Golda Meyerson, is currently in New York, promoting her cause. One of the Yishuv’s most important young leaders, Ms. Meyerson represents the 14,000 female members of Israel’s largest labor union, about 40% of the total number of members. Meyerson, it should be noted, is no stranger to the United States: Though born in Russia, she grew up going to Milwaukee public schools and was active in the Labor Zionist youth movement. It is not known how many Jews have left the comfortable life here in the United States to become chalutzim in Israel, but Meyerson is one; after only a short time, she is already in charge of one of the Yishuv’s most important labor organizations.

• Did you know that when you buy a Christmas tree, it is wrapped in retsues (tefillin straps)? Well, okay, not real tefillin straps, but because so many Jews are involved in the Christmas tree business, there has been an influx of Yiddish terminology. The trees themselves are known as shtekns (sticks), especially those that don’t have too much greenery left on them after the trip from Canada. Those trees that remain in good condition are considered to be raykh gekleydt (well-dressed). Christmas wreaths are known as bagels, and holly branches are called latkes. It should come as no surprise that many Jews buy such Christmas decorations, mainly to dress up their store windows.

50 Years Ago

• With 13 already imprisoned, Egypt arrested four more Jews this week. The arrests were made by Egypt’s special anti-Zionist police, a section of the department recently founded by the Egyptian Revolutionary Committee. This week also saw the opening of the trial of eight Egyptian Jews arrested previously on charges of spreading Zionist and communist propaganda. At the prosecutor’s request, the trial, which was postponed almost as soon as it began, will take place in a military, rather than civil, court.

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