Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
By: Dave Logan
DAY 14 was a long one for the crew at TPX IV. Tour embed Andrea Shea King has some of the day covered at her site The Radio Patriot. Of course, the big surprise yesterday was Christine O’Donnell appearing at the Wilmington, DE rally.
DAY 15 will be just like most days — long and cold. It also will be the last day of the TPX IV tour. Waterbury, CT — 11 AM; Worcester, MA — 2:30; Concord, NH — 6 PM. Again, you can attend any and all of these rallies via your computer at Tea Party HD and Liberty.com.
Below, some of the action from yesterday’s rally with Christine O’Donnell:
It has been a long tour and I’d like to thank those bloggers/reporters who took the time to promote the tour, promote America: John Ruberry at Marathon Pundit; Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at NoisyRoom; Melanie Morgan at Melanie Morgan.com; Barbara at American Freedom; BlogTalkRadio veteran Douglas V. Gibbs at Political Pistachio and Grant at Tea Party Movement — thank you one and all. You’re TRUE patriots!
THE ANDREA SHEA KING SHOW will broadcast “live” from the tour this evening at 9 PM ET. Join us for this last broadcast.
UPDATES from the road will be called in by Andrea Shea King and will be posted down below. While you wait, Elizabeth Letchworth has a short, but to the point article, about the TPX. Well worth your time — The Daily Caller.
Hat Tip: Brian B.
Hat Tip: Brian B.
By: Fern Sidman
Close to 3,000 people gathered at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday evening, October 24th, for the premiere of a seminal documentary that meticulously chronicles the rich and vibrant narrative of Syrian Jewish life in the United States. The film, entitled “The Syrian Jewish Community: Our Journey Through History, Episode 2, Coming to America,” which runs for approximately 90 minutes, is the first in a multi-part film series with another one slated to premiere in 2011. This massive project of significant historical magnitude is the brainchild of Joseph J. Sitt, a real estate developer and prominent member of the Syrian Jewish community. Mr. Sitt has dedicated the last eight years of his life to creating a most original Sephardic Heritage Museum that will preserve the 2,000 plus year history of the Jewish communities of the Near East.
A palpable electricity and an inherent excitement filled the hall as film goers arrived for this long awaited endeavor and this magnificently produced film of stellar cinematic quality went far beyond its expectations. The audience sat in rapt attention and remained transfixed on the screen as they imbibed the poignant stories of a panoply of Syrian Jews, (many of whom were relatives), some middle aged, some in their 80s and 90s, who shared vivid recollections of their own childhood experiences and those of their parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts. Replete with rare and some never before seen black and white photos and footage, this film graphically depicts the vicissitudes of life for their antecedents when they arrived on the shores of America from such places as Aleppo, Damascus and Lebanon during the years of 1900-1919.
Exploring such aspects of life through the lens of a newly arrived immigrant, the film included segments on religious dedication, family life, education, work ethic, cultural elements such as food, clothing, music and dance and an unwavering devotion to community. The hall was punctuated with laughter, soft weeping and singing at certain junctures as the audience responded to the humorous stories, musical interludes and melancholy moments revealed by those interviewed. An informal and cozy atmosphere prevailed as one almost felt as though they were sitting in a living room watching old 8mm home movies with thousands of relatives.
The year is 1900 and we are swept back in time to the teeming tenements of Manhattan’s lower east side, where Jews from Eastern Europe were the predominant Jewish community, having made the United States their new home in response to persecution in their native lands.
We hear testimonies of those Syrian Jews whose parents arrived penniless and without any knowledge of English. “The Ashkenazim didn’t know what to make of us,” said one interviewee. “They didn’t think we were Jewish because we didn’t speak Yiddish,” she said. The film’s powerful narration makes it abundantly clear that the priorities for these Jews from Syria were vigilance to the same six values that they lived by for centuries: religion, hard work, family, honesty, tzedaka and the continuance of Sephardic culture. “When we arrived we didn’t have a synagogue of our own and we prayed in the streets,” said a distinguished gent that was interviewed. “What was most important for our community, even more important than where we were going to live or what we were going to eat, was to continue our attachment to G-d through building our own synagogue, mikvah and yeshiva and furthering our own traditions,” he said. Another man told of how his father wanted to live on the top floor of his overcrowded tenement building because he wanted to be close to Hashem.
Maintaining a rigorous work ethic came second nature to the Syrian Jews as each man spent long days and nights peddling their wares on the streets of the lower east side. “We sold anything we could to make a living and there was no such thing as unemployment in our world. We worked almost 18 hours a day sometimes. When newcomers came from Syria, they were immediately given work,” said another interviewee. One person speaks of Syrian peddlers selling clothing, hats and other accessories at hotels in the Catskills. After years of pounding the pavement in the peddling trade, Syrian Jews used their acquired business acumen to eventually create a niche for themselves in the linen and clothing trades and established connections with factories in China. Despite the financial hardships imposed upon them in their new country, the anecdotal stories told in this film reveal that the Syrian Jews dealt with their less than ideal situation with great equanimity, humor and love.
The abject poverty and cultural adjustments that this immigrant group had to face were most challenging and some reflected on those differences. “Life was very different for us in Syria. There we stood shoulder to shoulder with our Arab neighbors in the market place and unlike the Ashkenazim, we were not persecuted. Our neighbors in Syria knew of our religion and our way of life. As a matter of fact, my mother told me that after Pesach each year in Aleppo, the Arab women in our neighborhood would come over with trays of wheat breads, cakes and pastries for us because they knew we couldn’t eat those foods during Pesach.”
Shabbat was a special time for Syrian Jews in New York in the early years of the 20th century, when instead of eating only one course for dinner such as green beans, they would prepare three or four courses in honor of this holy day, despite the destitution that they encountered. “The singing, the food of our homeland, the prayers and just being with family and community were so very special to us on Shabbat. I believe that is what kept us going,” said one woman.
Because family is the cornerstone of the Syrian Jewish community, this film also devotes time to the history of arranged marriages in the new world and perpetuating centuries old traditions through the education of their children. “We made it our business that boys would receive the same kind of religious education that they had in Syria and when we were told by the government that we had to send both boys and girls to public school, we continued to educate them in their religious studies at home,” said another man.
One of the resounding themes in this film is the fact that several interviewees spoke of their fathers’ inculcating them with the precept of “achieving a good name;” of defining themselves and the entire Syrian Jewish community as people who possess the highest degree of integrity, who play by the rules and treat everyone they encounter with fairness and honesty.
The odyssey of this film leads us out of the lower east side and into Williamsburg and then to the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, where the community has established their base for the last 90 years. As the film draws to its conclusion, one could only sit there wanting more; hungering for more history and more details of this timeless journey to a new land.
Rabbi Elie Abadie, senior rabbi of the Edmond J. Safra synagogue in Manhattan said after the film, “I was more than delighted with this tremendous film and I congratulate Mr. Sitt and all those who participated in it. This film sets the record straight on the history of the Syrian Jewish community and will be an invaluable reference tool and source of great pride for generations to come. Our history must be preserved because it is so unique and so special, unlike any other peoples. It shows the respect for values that we’ve held so dear for thousands of years, the values of family, community, chesed (kindness) and helping each other with the same love that we show our blood relatives. We’ve really defined ourselves by our incomparable tzedaka organizations and that goes way beyond charity. It is not an option in our world, it is a must and we are taught to give of ourselves from the time we learn to speak. It is all about pursuing righteousness and justice and making our community and the world we live in an infinitely better place,” he said.
“I found this film to be overwhelmingly amazing in every respect; a wonderful testament to our heritage and culture and it truly captured the essence of who we are as a people,” declared Rabbi Ezra Labaton of Deal, New Jersey. “We are the most successful immigrant group because of our cohesiveness, our unity and the way we sacrifice for each other,” he said.
Ezra Ashkenazi was one of the people interviewed for the film and he had this to say: “I thought this film was absolutely perfect and even though I wished it would have been produced sooner, it is better late than never. We live our entire lives for our children and our future generations after them and this film will be a hands on instructive guide to them on how their ancestors lived and how they should live. The Syrian Jews are a humble, hard working people who give of themselves no matter what. When we came to these shores, not one of us was left without support, even though we were very poor ourselves. Someone from Syria would come and we would meet them at the boat and show them where they are going to live and where they are going to work and they didn’t have to worry about homelessness or starvation. Above all, we showed gratitude and appreciation to G-d and to the new country of America for giving us the opportunity to succeed and share with others.”
Hat Tip: Brian B.
Hat Tip: Brian B.
By: Trevor Loudon
Communists have a well deserved reputation for altering history or “sanitizing the past” to suit their purposes. But that’s all in the past, they are open and honest now…. they would never use deception to advance their agenda, would they……?
The communists naturally want to protect their “friend” from negative fallout should such associations become publicly known.
It seems they are even willing to censor or alter their own publications to hide evidence of their past support for the President. Thankfully “wayback” provides proof positive of the communist’s deliberate dishonesty.
Below is a screen shot of the original article, taken as it appeared on the Communist Party USA website as at December 30, 2007. Note the reference to Communist Party support for Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate primaries.
Below is a screen shot of the edited article (current version):
Note that the sentence, “Our Party actively supported Obama during the primary election.” has been scrubbed from the above article.
Rub the communists face in their clumsy attempt at deception. Email this post to every patriot you know. Also send it to any honest Democrats in your circle of friends or colleagues and ask them what they think of this blatant attempt to hide the Communist Party’s ties to the President.