February 18, 2005


• The real holiday this week won’t be on account of Lincoln’s Birthday, but on account of the big benefit in the Thalia Theater for the striking Capmakers’ Union. The Thalia Company will be presenting the play “Mirele Efros,” with all its biggest stars. It goes without saying how important it is that the benefit be a success, so we are calling on all New Yorkers to show their sympathy for the strikers by attending this benefit. Be one of the thousands of people to help the striking capmakers.


• As word slips out of Moscow that plans are afoot to shut down the Yevsektsia, the Jewish section of the Soviet Communist Party, news has arrived that the famous Moscow Choral Synagogue will be confiscated by the party as part of a five-year plan to completely root out religion from the country. In addition to synagogues, dozens of churches will be appropriated. Word has it that the Choral Synagogue will be taken over by the Communist Party Central Committee as its new headquarters. Leningrad’s choral synagogue is also slated for confiscation and will be transformed into a “house of culture.” In addition to the confiscations of both Christian and Jewish houses of worship, the party is gearing up for its annual anti-Easter and anti-Passover campaigns.


• “There are strange people whose thoughts and reckonings are also sometimes strange. In our house, at Number 10 Krochmalna Street, lived an elderly couple, common folk. The man was probably an artisan or a peddler. All of the children had already left home. The neighbors used to say that even though they were old, they still seemed to be in love. On Shabbos, after cholent, the two would go walking arm in arm. At the grocery store, at the butcher shop, everywhere she did her shopping, all the woman talked about was her man. ‘My man loves mushrooms, my man loves beans, my man loves beef, lamb, roast, sinews.’ She’s one of those women who don’t stop talking about their men. The husband was the same way; at every opportunity he would go on about: ‘my wife.’ My mother, a rabbi’s daughter, looked down her nose at such people. To her it was a sign that they were low class. But when it comes to an elderly couple, you can’t simply dismiss such love. So when we heard that the old couple was getting divorced, it gave everyone a shiver.” — From the first installment of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “From My Father’s Court,” serialized in the Forward.

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February 18, 2005

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