Sunday, September 28, 2014

  • Sunday, September 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

During Rosh Hashanah prayers I sat next to a very nice gentleman, 68 years old. I was impressed with how nicely and devoutly he prayed as well as his sense of humor and personality.

It turns out that he is looking for a wife. But there is one problem: he is a Kohen and as such has limitations on who he can marry. So he - very nicely - asked me, as I'm sure he asks many people, if I know any fine ladies in their 50s and 60s that fit into the halachic framework for him (essentially, who are not divorcees.)

Hey, it is that time of year when we are all looking for extra good deeds, and I do have a bit of an audience here, so if anyone knows of a religious Jewish woman seeking a husband who fits this profile, contact me and we can explore this further. Although he lives in the New York area, he is willing to relocate for the right person.

During a break he mentioned to me that Thomas Edison was an antisemite. I had never heard of that - we all know about Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, but I never heard that about Edison. So I did a little research and the anecdotal evidence seems fairly strong:

U.S. author Paul Auster, who wrote "The Invention of Solitude," said his father was hired "for a brief moment" as an assistant in Edison's library "only to have the job taken away from him the next day because Edison learned he was a Jew."

Car developer Henry Ford, known for anti-Semitic views, sent Edison a complete set of the notorious anti-Jewish work "The International Jew," author Allan Gould writes.
Also, an Edison biographer says:
It wasn't until I journeyed into the Big City to the Berg Collection at The New York Public Library in Manhattan and asked to see copies of the pocket journals of naturalist John Burroughs that I hit upon a dirty little secret -- transcripts of antisemitic fireside conversations between Edison and his close friend Henry Ford on their summer camping trips in the Adirondacks during and after World War I.
That antisemitism wasn't nearly as bad as Ford's, but it was there:

IMDB adds, "In his later years, [Edison] often committed social faux pas by making racist and anti-Semitic comments before the press."

Edison's film production company also made a couple of films using antisemitic Jewish stereotypes. Here is the plot of his 1904 comedy short, Cohens' Advertising Scheme:

Cohen is pacing up and down in front of his store waiting for a customer. After vainly looking up and down the street Cohen enters the store. A tramp now appears on the scene, clothed in rags, and admires the fine clothes which Cohen has for sale outside his establishment. Cohen steps out and seeing the poor tramp, shivering with cold, offers him an overcoat. The tramp tells him he is broke. An idea strikes Cohen and he re-enters the store. He immediately comes out with a fine new coat which he assists the tramp to put on. After thanking Cohen the tramp goes on his way. The reason for Cohen's charity appears in an advertisement on the tramp's back, "Go to Cohen's for clothing, Baxter Street."
And here is a 13-minute with the same Jewish character, scheming to commit insurance fraud - Cohen's Fire Sale. Notice the scene at the very end where he cannot kiss his new fiancee because of the size of his nose.

But the gentleman I met had a quite normal sized nose.

So if anyone out there is interested in meeting him, let me know.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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