Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Forward Looking Back


• When Lexington Avenue candymaker Morris Kornblum heard that his wife was slandered by his neighbor Isadore Blumenthal, he ran straight to the precinct to lodge a complaint against him. Blumenthal, in his own defense, said that he used offensive language only after Mrs. Kornblum cursed and slandered him. Kornblum categorically refused to believe his wife would use such language and announced — in front of the magistrate — that he would give $500 to charity if it could be proved that his wife spoke in such a vulgar manner. It turned out that Blumenthal could and did prove that Mrs. Kornblum called him, among other niceties, “a drunken, thieving bum.” Magistrate Krane advised Kornblum not to make further bets on his wife.


• Heinrich Graetz’s monumental oeuvre on the history of the Jews has outlived its usefulness. As a historical text, Graetz’s “History of the Jews” has not only been overtaken by subsequent historians, but also because Jewish historiography has made such enormous advances in the past 50 years that cover innumerable details that Graetz could never have known. Having adhered to the 19th-century school of rationalism, Graetz viewed chasidim as “fakers,” for example, and was unable to see them as today’s historians do, as a socioreligious movement of historical import. But we Jews will continue to sing a nigun from generation to generation, no matter how stale it has become. And, it seems, the same thing has happened with Graetz’s “History of the Jews.”


• They streamed out of Me’ah She’arim’s synagogues, shtiblekh and study houses, out of basement and attic yeshivas, a sea of young and old men in black hats with beards and sidelocks wearing long black coats. Some were so white it seemed that their faces had never been touched by sunlight. Along with them came religious women of all ages carrying books of psalms and wearing kerchiefs on their heads. The stores of the neighborhood had been shuttered, like on Tisha B’Av. They all gathered before the Orenshteyn Shul. A group of men mounted the stairs and sounded shofars. They swayed, prayed and beat their breasts. Here, Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community was demonstrating against the Israeli government’s decision to require women to perform national service.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.