May 8, 2009

100 Years Ago in the forward

Oy, if only Mendel Weinstock had taken our advice, everything probably would be okay. Not long ago, 19-year-old Weinstock opined, in a letter to our Bintel Brief advice column, that he had ended up in the hospital as a result of a love affair gone bad. According to the letter, Weinstock had fallen in love with a girl in his shtetl, but economic circumstances forced him to come to New York, where he was forlorn and lonely. Eventually, however, his shtetl-love followed him here, and the couple made plans for marriage. But the evil sister of Weinstock’s girlfriend began to interfere, and convinced her sibling that she could do better than a lowly tailor. As a result, Weinstock was dumped. He wrote to us for advice, and our response to his letter was for him to calm down and let his girlfriend think about it: If she truly loves him, she’ll return to him. But Weinstock couldn’t calm down, and he ended up tragically shooting both the girl and himself.

75 Years Ago in the forward

WIn the wake of the Nazi newspaper Der Stuermer publishing protests by Germany’s Central Council of Jews against threats of pogroms, the paper’s editors have come forth with what they call “proof” of a Jewish plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This “proof” is a Rosh Hashanah greeting card printed in 1930, showing a rooster with the Führer’s head drawn on it, about to be slaughtered for the custom of kapparot, in which Jews slaughter chickens in expiation of their sins. According to Julius Streicher, the paper’s editor, the postcard is clear proof that the Jews plan to slaughter Hitler for ritual purposes, as a sacrifice for the Jewish people. The paper added that the Jewish “Sanhedrin’s” plan for Aryans, who, they note, are the best part of humanity, is to wipe them out.

50 Years Ago in the forward

In both the Jewish and general press, numerous articles have appeared during the past weeks, describing the pitiful situation of the Jews in Morocco. Most of these articles focus on the dozens of arrests, made by Moroccan authorities, of Jews attempting to illegally immigrate to Israel, and the subsequent imprisonment and torture of those Jews. Our correspondent in Paris met with a major figure of Moroccan Jewry — who, for his safety, must remain nameless — to discuss the current situation. According to him, many members of the 200,000-strong Jewish community want to leave the country. Most of these Jews come from the mellahs, or ghettos, and are the poorest segment of the community. Many wealthier Jews also want to leave, but because they are not permitted to take their money or valuables out of the country, they remain.

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May 8, 2009

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