CFG YOUTUBE” “EINSTEIN’S LETTER”

May 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Arabs, CFG, Globalization, History, Israel, Judaica, Palestine | Leave a comment

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CLICK ON:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGSCWK248dA

CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP: LAWRENCE FEINER CFG YOUTUBE APRIL 19 2012: EINSTEIN’S LETTER
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the reagan revolution and the developing countries (1980-1990) a seminal decade for predicting the world economic future

Blog readers want to know:

1. what’s really happening?

2. where am I in all this?

Read:

The Reagan Revolution and the Developing Countries

Cambridge Forecast Group Book

This is a book about the Reagan revolution and the developing countries. It shows why the years (1980-1990) were critical in determining the global economic future. The first chapter is how to think about the future. The second chapter is about growth economic and human capital. The third chapter is about development economic the forth chapter is about the world economy from Charlemagne to the present. The fifth chapter is about the Reagan revolution.

Our book is unique because no other book in our opinion has accurately described just how important the developing world was in Reagan administration policy in our 1979 Japanese book ”world economy/big prediction” the book upon which this book was based, we predicted that in the early 21th century the developing countries would be growing rapidly even as the developed countries stagnated.

About the Authors:

Lawrence Feiner is currently retired. he has a B.S. in math from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Phd in math from M.I.T.. He has previously co-authored numerous Japanese books that were favorably reviewed. He was a principal of the Cambridge Forecast Group specializing in economic forecasting.

Richard Melson is currently retired after working for an investment advisory firm. He got a masters degree in Asian regional economics from Harvard. He has previously co-authored numerous Japanese books that were favorably reviewed. He was a principal of the Cambridge Forecast Group specializing in economic forecasting.

Again:

This is a book about the Reagan revolution and the developing countries. It shows why the years (1980-1990) were critical in determining the global economic future. The first chapter is how to think about the future. The second chapter is about growth economic and human capital. The third chapter is about development economic the fourth chapter is about the world economy from Charlemagne to the present. The fifth chapter is about the Reagan revolution.

Our book is unique because no other book in our opinion has accurately described just how important the developing world was in Reagan administration policy in our 1979 Japanese book ”world economy/big prediction” the book upon which this book was based, we predicted that in the early 21th century the developing countries would be growing rapidly even as the developed countries stagnated.

Click on:

“THE REAGAN REVOLUTION AND THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES”: NEW CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP BOOK

November 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Books, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World, USA, World-system

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2011/11/

CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP: “WORLD ECONOMY BIG PREDICTION” BOOK

Click On:

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/cambridge-forecast-group-book-world-economy/

Cambridge Forecast Group: “World Economy Big Prediction” Book

February 7, 2008 at 4:24 am | Posted in Books, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Science & Technology,Third World

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/cambridge-forecast-group-book-world-economy/
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RECENT CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP YOUTUBE

VIDEOS WITH CFG CO-FOUNDER DR. LAWRENCE FEINER

Click On:

Lawrence Feiner Ph.D – 12-27-11 Original air date

(the global future: tv interview part 1)

Lawrence Feiner 03 06 12 – Original air date

(the global future: tv interview part 2)

Lawrence Feiner

(the fall of Communism and its impact on race relations)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3YXVjSAX2I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB4eQRPF1TI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMyEKguM9v0
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CLICK ON:

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I, Lawrence Feiner, am one of the authors of the reagan revolution and the developing countries. The other is richard melson

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CFG ON YOUTUBE

April 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Arabs, CFG, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Islam, Israel, Judaica, Research, World-system, Zionism | Leave a comment

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Please go to Youtube and type in “lawrence feiner” to view four presentations by Lawrence Feiner of Cambridge Forecast Group on the global future and Muslims and Jews in the world-system:

– world future part 1   12-27-11

– world future part 2    03-06-12

–  Einstein and the Stern gang 04-24-12

–  the fall of Communism and race relations no date

YouTube – Broadcast Yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/
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CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP: LAWRENCE FEINER CFG YOUTUBE APRIL 19 2012: EINSTEIN’S LETTER

April 20, 2012 at 8:21 am | Posted in Books, CFG, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Islam, Judaica, Zionism | Leave a comment

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CLICK  ON:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGSCWK248dA

CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP: LAWRENCE FEINER CFG YOUTUBE APRIL 19 2012: EINSTEIN’S LETTER
spin-globe.gif
cfgnewbook1.jpg

the reagan revolution and the developing countries (1980-1990) a seminal decade for predicting the world economic future

Blog readers want to know:

1. what’s really happening?

2. where am I in all this?

Read:

The Reagan Revolution and the Developing Countries

Cambridge Forecast Group Book

This is a book about the Reagan revolution and the developing countries. It shows why the years (1980-1990) were critical in determining the global economic future. The first chapter is how to think about the future. The second chapter is about growth economic and human capital. The third chapter is about development economic the forth chapter is about the world economy from Charlemagne to the present. The fifth chapter is about the Reagan revolution.

Our book is unique because no other book in our opinion has accurately described just how important the developing world was in Reagan administration policy in our 1979 Japanese book ”world economy/big prediction” the book upon which this book was based, we predicted that in the early 21th century the developing countries would be growing rapidly even as the developed countries stagnated.

About the Authors:

Lawrence Feiner is currently retired. he has a B.S. in math from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Phd in math from M.I.T.. He has previously co-authored numerous Japanese books that were favorably reviewed. He was a principal of the Cambridge Forecast Group specializing in economic forecasting.

Richard Melson is currently retired after working for an investment advisory firm. He got a masters degree in Asian regional economics from Harvard. He has previously co-authored numerous Japanese books that were favorably reviewed. He was a principal of the Cambridge Forecast Group specializing in economic forecasting.

Again:

This is a book about the Reagan revolution and the developing countries. It shows why the years (1980-1990) were critical in determining the global economic future. The first chapter is how to think about the future. The second chapter is about growth economic and human capital. The third chapter is about development economic the fourth chapter is about the world economy from Charlemagne to the present. The fifth chapter is about the Reagan revolution.

Our book is unique because no other book in our opinion has accurately described just how important the developing world was in Reagan administration policy in our 1979 Japanese book ”world economy/big prediction” the book upon which this book was based, we predicted that in the early 21th century the developing countries would be growing rapidly even as the developed countries stagnated.

Click on:

“THE REAGAN REVOLUTION AND THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES”: NEW CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP BOOK

November 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Books, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Third World, USA, World-system

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2011/11/

CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP: “WORLD ECONOMY BIG PREDICTION” BOOK

Click On:

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/cambridge-forecast-group-book-world-economy/

Cambridge Forecast Group: “World Economy Big Prediction” Book

February 7, 2008 at 4:24 am | Posted in Books, Financial, Globalization, History, Research, Science & Technology,Third World

https://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/cambridge-forecast-group-book-world-economy/
spin-globe.gif

RECENT CAMBRIDGE FORECAST GROUP YOUTUBE

VIDEOS WITH CFG CO-FOUNDER DR. LAWRENCE FEINER

Click On:

Lawrence Feiner Ph.D – 12-27-11 Original air date

(the global future: tv interview part 1)

Lawrence Feiner 03 06 12 – Original air date

(the global future: tv interview part 2)

Lawrence Feiner

(the fall of Communism and its impact on race relations)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3YXVjSAX2I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB4eQRPF1TI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMyEKguM9v0
spin-globe.gif

CLICK ON:

feinerpic1.jpg

I, Lawrence Feiner, am one of the authors of the reagan revolution and the developing countries. The other is richard melson

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MOSES HESS: “ROME AND JERUSALEM” 1862 BOOK

July 15, 2011 at 7:40 am | Posted in History, Israel, Judaica, Literary, Philosophy, Zionism | Leave a comment

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Rome and Jerusalem The Last National Question (1862)

by Moses Hess

Rome and Jerusalem The Last National Question (1862), a book published in 1862 in Leipzig. It gave impetus to the Labor Zionism movement. In his magnum opus, Hess argued for the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, and proposed a socialist country in which the Jews would become agrarianised through a process of “redemption of the soil”.

Contents

First Letter

Second Letter

Third Letter

Fourth Letter

Fifth Letter 

Sixth Letter

Seventh Letter

Eighth Letter

Ninth Letter

Tenth Letter

Eleventh Letter

Twelfth Letter

Epilogue                    

Rome and Jerusalem

Rome and Jerusalem. The Last National Question (German: Rom und Jerusalem, die Letzte Nationalitätsfrage) is a book published by Moses Hess in 1862 in Leipzig. It gave impetus to the Labor Zionism movement. In his magnum opus, Hess argued for the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, and proposed a socialist country in which the Jews would become agrarianised through a process of “redemption of the soil”.

Importance

The book was the first Zionist writing to put the question of Jewish nationalism in the context of European nationalism.

Hess blended secular as well as religious philosophy, Hegelian dialectics, Spinoza‘s pantheism and Marxism.[1]

It was written against the background of German Jewish assimilationism, German antisemitism and German antipathy to nationalism arising in other countries. Hess used terminology of the day, such as the term “race”, but he was an egalitarian who believed in the principles of the French revolution, and wanted to apply the progressive concepts of his day to the Jewish people.[1]

Major themes

Written in the form of twelve letters addressed to a woman in her grief at the loss of a relative. In his work, Hess put forward the following ideas:[2]2.     The Jewish type is indestructible, and Jewish national feeling can not be uprooted, although the German Jews, for the sake of a wider and more general emancipation, persuade themselves and others to the contrary.

1.     The Jews will always remain strangers among the European peoples, who may emancipate them for reasons of humanity and justice, but will never respect them so long as the Jews place their own great national memories in the background and hold to the principle, “Ubi bene, ibi patria.” (Latin language: “where [it is] well, there [is] the fatherland”)

2.     The Jewish type is indestructible, and Jewish national feeling can not be uprooted, although the German Jews, for the sake of a wider and more general emancipation, persuade themselves and others to the contrary.

3.     If the emancipation of the Jews is irreconcilable with Jewish nationality, the Jews must sacrifice emancipation to nationality. Hess considers that the only solution of the Jewish question lies in the returning to the Land of Israel.

Reactions and legacy

At the time the book was met with a cold reception, and only in retrospect it became one of the basic works of Zionism.

References

  1.  a b Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem. 1862, Introduction by Ami Isserov
  2. “Rom und Jerusalem.” by Isidore Singer, Max Schloessinger in the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906 Ed.

Further reading

  • Shlomo Avineri, Moses Hess; Prophet of Communism and Zionism (New York, 1984).

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MARY BERG: “WARSAW GHETTO: A DIARY” FROM 1945

May 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Art, Books, History, Judaica | Leave a comment

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In the classic work “Warsaw Ghetto Diary” by Mary Berg, the entry for July 12, 1940 describes how the Jews of the Lodz and Warsaw ghettos attempted to understand what was happening to them in terms of Polish literary classics by Mickiewicz, Slowacki and Wyspianski, quoting Wyspianski’s classic play “Wesele” from 1901:

Uncouth yokel, you had a golden horn.

Now what is left you is only a rope. …

(page 33, “Warsaw Ghetto Diary,” 1945 edition)

Warsaw Ghetto: A Diary

by Mary Berg

edited by S.L. Shneiderman

Published: 1945

L.B. Fischer Publishing Corp.

©1944 by L.B. Fischer Publishing Corp.
L.B. Fischer
New York, NY

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“THE LAST OF THE JUST”: ANDRE SCHWARZ-BART NOVEL FROM 1959

April 17, 2011 at 9:40 am | Posted in Art, Books, History, Judaica, Literary, Philosophy | Leave a comment

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“The Last of The Just”

Lamedvavniks and Tzadikim Nistarim

According to Jewish tradition, 36 “just men” are born in every generation to take the burden of the world’s suffering upon themselves.

The Tzadikim Nistarim (hidden righteous ones) or Lamed Vav Tzadikim (36 righteous ones), often abbreviated to Lamed Vav(niks)[a], refers to 36 Righteous people, a notion rooted within the more mystical dimensions of Judaism. The singular form is Tzadik Nistar.

Origins

The source is the Talmud itself, explained as follows:

As a mystical concept, the number 36 is even more intriguing. It is said that at all times there are 36 special people in the world, and that were it not for them, all of them, if even one of them was missing, the world would come to an end. The two Hebrew letters for 36 are the lamed, which is 30, and the vav, which is 6. Therefore, these 36 are referred to as the Lamed-Vav Tzadikim. This widely-held belief, this most unusual Jewish concept is based on a Talmudic statement to the effect that in every generation 36 righteous “greet the Shechinah,” the Divine Presence (Tractate Sanhedrin 97b; Tractate Sukkah 45b).[1]

Their purpose

Mystical Hasidic Judaism as well as other segments of Judaism believe that there is the Jewish tradition of 36 righteous people whose role in life is to justify the purpose of humankind in the eyes of God. Tradition holds that their identities are unknown to each other and that, if one of them comes to a realization of their true purpose then they may die and their role is immediately assumed by another person:

The Lamed-Vav Tzaddikim are also called the Nistarim (“concealed ones”). In our folk tales, they emerge from their self-imposed concealment and, by the mystic powers, which they possess, they succeed in averting the threatened disasters of a people persecuted by the enemies that surround them. They return to their anonymity as soon as their task is accomplished, ‘concealing’ themselves once again in a Jewish community wherein they are relatively unknown. The lamed-vavniks, scattered as they are throughout the Diaspora, have no acquaintance with one another. On very rare occasions, one of them is ‘discovered’ by accident, in which case the secret of their identity must not be disclosed. The lamed-vavniks do not themselves know that they are ones of the 36. In fact, tradition has it that should a person claim to be one of the 36, that is proof positive that they are certainly not one. Since the 36 are each exemplars of anavah, (“humility”), having such a virtue would preclude against one’s self-proclamation of being among the special righteous. The 36 are simply too humble to believe that they are one of the 36.[1]

Lamedvavniks

Lamedvavnik is the Yiddish term for one of the 36 humble righteous ones or Tzadikim mentioned in kabbalah or Jewish mysticism. According to this teaching, at any given time there are at least 36 holy Jews in the world who are Tzadikim. These holy people are hidden; i.e., nobody knows who they are. According to some versions of the story, they themselves may not know who they are. For the sake of these 36 hidden saints, God preserves the world even if the rest of humanity has degenerated to the level of total barbarism. This is similar to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Hebrew Bible, where God told Abraham that he would spare the city of Sodom if there was a quorum of at least 10 righteous men. Since nobody knows who the Lamedvavniks are, not even themselves, every Jew should act as if he or she might be one of them; i.e., lead a holy and humble life and pray for the sake of fellow human beings. It is also said that one of these 36 could potentially be the Jewish Messiah if the world is ready for them to reveal themselves. Otherwise, they live and die as an ordinary person. Whether the person knows they are the potential Messiah is debated.

The term lamedvavnik is derived from the Hebrew letters Lamed (L) and Vav (V), whose numerical value adds up to 36. The “nik” at the end is a Russian or Yiddish suffix indicating “a person who…” (As in “Beatnik“; in English, this would be something like calling them “The Thirty-Sixers”.) The number 36 is twice 18.

In gematria (a form of Jewish numerology), the number 18 stands for “life”, because the Hebrew letters that spell chai, meaning “living”, add up to 18. Because 36 = 2×18, it represents “two lives”.

In some Hassidic stories, disciples consider their Rebbes and other religious figures to be among the Lamedvavniks. It is also possible for a Lamedvavnik to reveal themselves as such, although that rarely happens—a Lamedvavnik’s status as an exemplar of humility would preclude it. More often, it is the disciples who speculate.

These beliefs are articulated in the works of Max Brod, and some (like Jorge Luis Borges) believe the concept to have originated in the Book of Genesis 18:26

And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.[2]

Notes

  • a In Hebrew numerals, 30 is lamed  and 6 is vav‎‎. Together they yield 36.

References in popular culture

  • The mystery thriller novel The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne deals with the murder of the righteous ones, one by one, and solving the murders.
  • In “Three Septembers and a January,” from Neil Gaiman‘s comic The Sandman, Death remarks: “they say that the world rests on the backs of 36 living saints – 36 unselfish men and women. Because of them the world continues to exist. They are the secret kings and queens of this world.”

References

  1. 1.                              a b Zwerin, Rabbi Raymond A. (September 15, 2002 / 5763). “THE 36 – WHO ARE THEY?”. Temple Sinai, Denver: americanet.com. Archived from the original on Jan 18, 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  2. 2.                              “Genesis » Chapter 18”. bible.ort.org. Retrieved 3 August 2010.

The Last of the Just

Andre Schwarz-Bart (Author)

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Schwarz-Bart’s 1959 novel is a chronicle of Jewish persecution beginning in England in 1105 and ending with the Holocaust. This book was a huge hit when first released, eventually being translated into several languages. It is both a historical document and a compelling piece of fiction.

Product Description

According to Jewish tradition, 36 “just men” are born in every generation to take the burden of the world’s suffering upon themselves. This book tells the story of two Jews, divided by eight centuries, who are persecuted to death, becoming part of the catastrophic history of the Jewish people.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP; First Edition
  • January 31, 2000
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781585670161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585670161
  • ASIN: 1585670162

In this classic of 1959 André Schwarz-Bart reworks the Jewish legend of the Lamed Vavs, the handful (36 in most versions of the story) of Just or Righteous Men who live among the Jews in every generation and who provide the merit on which the world depends. The tradition dates back to the 5th century Babylonian Talmud. It was elaborated by kabbalistic Jews in the 16th and 17th century and by Hassidic Jews in the 18th century: the Lamed Vavs are humble men and unnoticed as special by their fellow Jews. At times of great peril, so this version has it, “a Lamed Vavnik makes a dramatic appearance, using his hidden powers to defeat the enemies of Israel or mankind” (Encyclopedia Judaica).

Schwarz-Bart was born in France and lost most of the members of his family in the Holocaust.

Schwarz-Bart imagines the story of the Levys, one family in which the role of the Just Man was hereditary. They have suffered death down the ages, beginning with the massacre of the Jews of York in 1185. In later generations this wandering Jewish family suffers at the hands of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions; they are expelled from one area after another; the Cossacks add their contribution; and when we come to the late 19th century, the family leaves its home in Zemyock in Russian Poland and settles in Germany. At this stage there are three generations: at the head of it is Mordecai, the venerable patriarch, who accepts that all suffering is part of God’s will and who tells his family that there is no point in putting up any resistance. His son Benjamin thinks there is an escape in trying to merge into German society; but the Patriarch tells the story of the Just Men to his frail and scholarly little grandson, Ernie. Ernie lives in his own intensely active and romantic imagination, and, with the arrival of the Nazis in 1933, he is convinced that he is to be the next Just Man.

The remaining two thirds of the book deal with Ernie’s life from that time onwards. There are terrible scenes of brutality – gangs of Nazis attacking Jews as they go to the synagogue, atrocious bullying of the Jewish children by a teacher and by their fellow-students. Ernie’s life is full of suffering and strengthens his conviction that the calling of being Just Man has indeed fallen upon him. The scenes of cruelty are interspersed with the vivid poetical and mystical nature of Ernie’s imagination. With one terrible exception when he is in utter despair – a touch of human nature which rescues the portrait of him from being just too accepting – he identifies with suffering everywhere, not just among the Jews; he is open to the beauties of the earth amid all the horrors that rage upon its surface. It is this lyrical element of the book which sets it apart from so many other accounts of what happened to the Jews under Nazi persecution.

Before the gates of the prison that was Nazi Germany finally slammed shut, the Levy family managed to emigrate to France, only to be trapped there when the war broke out. Ernie volunteers for the French army, though in a non-combatant role as a stretcher-bearer. The horrors of war are described, not with the excruciating detail with which the author had dealt with the brutality in Germany, but with Voltairian brevity and irony.

After the defeat of the French Army, Ernie manages to get into Vichy France. The instinct for survival overcomes for a while his mission to become a martyr: he converts, he attends Mass, he fornicates, he nearly begins to lose his Jewish appearance; but in his ever fertile fantasy he sees himself as a dog and sometimes literally behaves like one. Anyway, his disguise does not work: he is recognized as a Jew, and with that moment he recovers for himself his Jewish identity.

He makes his way back to the Jewish quarter of Paris where he finds four devout old men from Zemyock who have not yet been deported. Before his own deportation, old Mordecai had told them that he believed his grandson to be one of the Just Men. Ernie is now treated by them with the utmost reverence, and he becomes conscious again of his destiny.

But what will drive him to seek entry into the hell of Drancy and the extinction that awaits in Auschwitz is not the consciousness that he is one of the Just Men, but something altogether less mystical, more human. At one point in the heart-wrenching last pages, Ernie`s compassion makes him tell the terrified children in the cattle-truck that they will soon be in the Kingdom where “an eternal joy will crown your heads; cheerfulness and gaiety will come and greet you, and all the pains and all the moans will run away.” He is reproved by an old woman for not telling them the truth. He replies, “There is no room for truth here”. So will they find the truth in the next world? Will they find an answer to the question that, in his dreams, he heard a fiddler sing:

“Oh, can we rise as far as heaven
To ask God why things are as they are?”

The Last of the Just  

In 1959 The Last of the Just won the Prix Goncourt, the top literary award of France (the French Booker). A sweeping epic of a thousand years of Jewish life in Europe, the novel traces the fortunes and tragedies of one family with a special heritage. A member of each generation of the family is one of the 36 just men that Jewish tradition claims feel the suffering and pain of all the living, and without whom the world could not go on. Since the Jewish word for 36 is lamed vov, these men are often called Lamed Vovniks.

This strange and singular honor was attributed to the Levy family in 1085 following an attempt by the Bishop William of Nordhouse to massacre the Jewish citizens of York. To save his people, the Rabbi Yom Tov Levy leads them to an abandoned tower where they withhold a siege of six days by the local Christians. Rather than succumb to the indignities of their captors, the Jews decide to take their own lives. As was done in Massada a thousand years earlier, the Rabbi takes on the role of blessing and killing each of the members of his community and then taking his own life. Some of the children, including the rabbi’s son Solomon, survive. When Solomon becomes a man he has a vision from God where he is told that, because of his father’s noble act, beginning with him, each generation of his family will contain one of the Lamed-Vovniks.

The first 140 pages of this book presents a history of the Levy family, their lineage of Lamed-Vovniks, and their fame in the Jewish community. The last three hundred pages tells the story of Ernie Levy, who is born in the Twentieth Century, during the events leading up to and in the Holocaust.

Sweeping in scope and yet focused on the life of a single man, this book presents the joys of Jewish community life and the accomodations they make to survive being a European minority marked for extermination by the Christian majority. It presents European history from a Jewish perspective and provides a detailed background to the insanity that is the Holocaust.

The point of view is that of a family of holy men whose compassion and wisdom gives the story great depth and understanding. Sadly, the Levy Lamed-Vovniks are all male. While the women of the story are well portrayed and strong personalities, they are never the main characters so the book has a decidedly male perspective. 

There are in the world 36 `just men’ that take on the suffering of the world, that are the reasons God allows the world to continue. There are among these men, some number of `unknown just’ who see the world differently from most of us.

That when one of these `unknown just’ dies his soul is so cold that God must hold him in his fingers for a thousand years so that he can open to paradise.

Ernie Levy in The Last of the Just is one of those men. A thousand years of history, two thousand years of suffering are all concentrated in the story of one boy, the movement of a family from Poland, to Germany, to France, to extermination. The story of a people, the story of a family, the story of a man, the story of the twentieth century.

The Last of the Just

Since the Palestinians are today’s “Jews”, “The Last of the Just” should impel all Jews to support the Palestinians.

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FROM MOUNT SINAI TO LUBLIN: HOLOCAUST POEM OF JACOB GLATSTEIN

March 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Art, Books, History, Judaica, Literary | Leave a comment

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The Yiddish poet, Jacob Glatstein

Jewish theologians since the Holocaust have struggled to understand God’s role in the Holocaust. The American rabbi, Richard Rubinstein, argues that God is dead (or, at least, the personal God of Jewish tradition). Martin Buber speaks of an “eclipse” or of the “hidden face” of God.”

The Yiddish poet, Jacob Glatstein, pushes the theological envelope even further.

In a 1946 poem entitled, “Not The Dead Praise God” he hints that the Shoah ended God’s role in our lives.

Playing on the ancient Jewish tradition that the covenant with God was accepted when all the people of Israel stood together at Sinai, Glatstein hints that the vast, communal destruction of the Jews nullifies that bond:

We received the Torah at Mount Sinai and in Lublin we gave it back.

Not the dead praise God-

the Torah was given for the living.

And as we all together

stood in a body

at the Granting of the Torah,

so truly did we all die in Lublin.

“Not The Dead Praise God”

Jacob Glatstein 1946

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BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEB 23 2011: JAPAN’S ECONOMY

February 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Judaica | Leave a comment

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Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February now available‏

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Wed 2/23/11

Central bankers’ speeches for 23 February 2011

now available on the BIS website

Mario Draghi: In memory of Enzo Grilli

Glenn Stevens: The resources boom

Zeti Akhtar Aziz: Advancing women’s leadership in public life

Caleb M Fundanga: Fourth quarter 2010 media briefing

Hirohide Yamaguchi: Japan’s economy and monetary policy

Jürgen Stark: Central banking after the financial crisis

All speeches from 1997 onwards are available from the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/list/cbspeeches/index.htm.

Communications

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

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“THE JEWS OF MUSLIM SPAIN”: ELIYAHU ASHTOR BOOKS

November 27, 2010 at 1:55 am | Posted in Books, History, Islam, Judaica, Research | Leave a comment

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Eliyahu Ashtor

Eliyahu Ashtor is an historian and educator who has taught in Paris and at Harvard University, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His writings have made major contributions to the study of Islamic social history in the Near East during the Middle Ages.

Bibliography

The Jews of Moslem Spain, Volume 1 (author)

The Jews of Moslem Spain, Volume 2/3 (author)

The Jews of Moslem Spain: Volume 1

Eliyahu Ashtor (Author)

Jenny Machlowitz Klein (Translator)

David J. Wasserstein (Introduction)

Product Details:

· Paperback: 492 pages

· Publisher: Jewish Publications Society

· January 1, 1993

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 0827604270

· ISBN-13: 978-0827604278

This book combines a rich literary style with formidable scholarship, creating a narrative that is at once intensely moving and factually illuminating. Indispensable for those seeking to understand Spanish and Sephardic Jewry, their heritage and contribution not only to Jewish civilization and thought but to Hispanic culture in general, and even to important aspects of Western Islamic worldview.

Eliyahu Ashtor

“LUFTMENSCH”: MAX NORDAU

July 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Books, Germany, History, Judaica, Zionism | Leave a comment

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Luftmensch (German)

Rootless person. The expression was introduced by Max Nordau to describe the Jews in eastern Europe, who lived by peddling and minor speculation.

The origin of the Yiddish word luftmentsh

How is it possible that by joining two common German words, Luft (air) and Mensch (man, human being), one gets a Yiddish but not a German word?”

It is, of course, perfectly possible for two Germanic words to be compounded in Yiddish as they are not in German itself, thus producing a brand-new word. But is this the case with luftmentsh? It seems likely that the word started out as a German one after all.

A luftmentsh in Yiddish (the best colloquial English translation might be “airhead,” since an “airman” is an aviator) is a person of impractical nature who lives more in vague hopes and unrealizable plans than in social and economic realities and — however intelligent or charming he may be — is never able to make a go of it. Although one doesn’t have to be Jewish to be a luftmentsh, as far as Jews were concerned it definitely helped. The luftmentsh was generally conceived of not only as a Jew, but also as a representative of a large group of late 19th- and early 20th-century Eastern European Jews who, ousted from their traditional breadwinning roles by industrialization and the growing competition of non-Jews, lived on the economic margins, scrambling for a living without notable success, while consoling themselves with unfulfillable dreams of something better. No one was more adept at describing the lives of such luftmentshn than Sholom Aleichem, and no fictional character of his is more quintessentially luftmentshlikh than his Menachem-Mendl, of whom Sholom Aleichem’s son-in-law Y.D. Berkovitz once wrote:

“He [Menachem-Mendl] is a symbol of an entire collective, a special class of Jews who go through life without real ground beneath their feet. Their livelihoods are made of air, the structures they build are built on air, their thoughts and fantasies float in air, and their whole existence in this world is an airy one that blows away in the first strong wind.”

Yet to the best of my knowledge, Sholom Aleichem, who wrote his Menachem-Mendl stories between 1892 and 1910, never actually used the word luftmentsh to describe Menachem-Mendl or anyone else. Not only that, but the first documented use of the word that I am aware of is in German and not in Yiddish.

It occurs in an address given by the Zionist leader, author and intellectual Max Nordau at the fifth Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1901, in which Nordau spoke of the “Luftmensch” as a distinctly Jewish type that only Zionism, which would return the Jew to the soil and productive labor, could eradicate. “Viele Luftmenschen ergeben zusammen ein Luftvolk,” Nordau declared in German, “Many air-persons make an air-people.”

In an essay composed a few years later, the Anglo-Jewish author Israel Zangwill wrote:

“If the Jew, by not living the life of the nations, but living in a Biblical dream-world of his own, escaped the feudal point of view with its dispiriting consequences on the fortunes of the lower classes, this peculiar aloofness prevented the dreamier section from ever facing the realities of life. A class of beggar-students and rabbis and nondescript Bohemians was evolved, who still haunt the Ghettos of the world from New York to Jerusalem.

‘Luftmenschen’ Nordau has ingeniously styled these airy tribes who look to miracles for their daily food, and scan the horizon for provision-bearing ravens.”

Born in London to immigrant parents from Russia, Zangwill grew up speaking Yiddish. If he attributed the coining of Luftmensch to Nordau rather than considering it an older Yiddish word, presumably he can be trusted. Nor is it any wonder that luftmentsh should quickly have entered Yiddish after Nordau’s invention of it, for present at the congress in Basel were hundreds of Eastern European delegates who would have taken it back with them to their native districts, in which its aptness would have been recognized.

In German, on the other hand, the word had a sadder fate. It was eventually appropriated by the Nazis, for whom the Jews were a Luftvolk in the worst sense — a rootless, decadently cosmopolitan people of social and economic parasites. Whereas a luftmentsh can be endearing despite his faults, a Luftmensch — the German word — can be held only in contempt. The word was ultimately stricken from German dictionaries as part of the linguistic de-Nazification campaign after World War II.

It occurs in an address given by the Zionist leader, author and intellectual Max Nordau at the fifth Zionist Congress, held in Basel in 1901, in which Nordau spoke of the “Luftmensch” as a distinctly Jewish type that only Zionism, which would return the Jew to the soil and productive labor, could eradicate. “Viele Luftmenschen ergeben zusammen ein Luftvolk,” Nordau declared in German, “Many air-persons make an air-people.”

Comment:

See Andre Schwarz-Bart’s Holocaust masterpiece, “The Last of the Just.

From 1959/1960.

“And so it was for millions, who turned from Luftmenschen into Luft.

I shall not translate.”

From 1960 Bantam Books paperback, last page of novel, page 422.

Also:

Dr. Max Nordau coined the expression Luftmenshen for people whose only apparent means of subsistence is the air they breathe.

This Luftmensch, who in America, by virtue of his getting-by philosophy, is identified with the hobo…”

From Louis Wirth “On Cities and Social Life” 1964

University of Chicago Press page 102

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