April 9, 2010

100 Years Ago In The Forward

The meat boycott that has engulfed New York City has really heated up. After a dramatic increase in the price of kosher meat, women, worried they won’t be able to stretch their husband’s wages to provide their families with food, have organized boycotts of local butchers. The women manning the picket lines in Brooklyn have girded their loins; those on Forsyth Street, in Manhattan, are getting organized, and the Bronx is already locked up. In Manhattan’s Harlem section, hundreds of women are out picketing butcher shops. Fist fights have broken out because the butchers keep calling for the police, who have been clubbing the women with nightsticks. But by midday, not one single butcher shop in Harlem was open. When police rushed the hundreds of women picketing the East 102nd Street chicken market, the women fought back. A number of them were arrested, including Fanny Caplin, Annie Itzkowitz and Sadie Visser. Each woman was fined $1 for rioting.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

For 75 years, the Gemeinde Shul in Hamburg served the city’s Orthodox community, first as a refuge from the wave of reform that took place in the early part of the mid-19th century. It was an Orthodox synagogue like no other: It was nothing like an Eastern European Orthodox synagogue; instead, it was a distinctly German one that was at the forefront of creating a kind of Modern Orthodoxy. During the 1920s the synagogue was used less frequently, but with the advent of the Nazi onslaught, it became a refuge, and Jews began returning in large numbers on a daily basis. But now, leaders of the Nazi-run Hamburg city government have turned to the Jewish community and said that they need the building and that they’re simply going to appropriate it. So after 75 years, the ner tamid, the eternal light that hangs above the ark, was extinguished.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

The entire Samaritan community of Israel, numbering some 150, traveled to Jordan along with the community’s high priest, in order to participate in Passover activities with the Jordanian Samaritan community, which lives in Nablus. The people of the community have been given permission to stay in Jordan for 10 days during the holiday.**

**In other Israel news, it is estimated that the scrolls found in caves near the Dead Sea are about 1,900 years old and date to the time of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman occupiers. Yigael Yadin, the professor who is in charge of an archaeological project that is deciphering the scrolls, made the announcement. It is expected that it will be some time before the scrolls are published, but it has already come out that some of them contain items from the Book of Psalms.

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April 9, 2010

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