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The Khanike Rebellion, Before and After

by Yankl Stillman IT ALL STARTED over 2,300 years ago. Alexander of Macedonia (aka Alexander the Great) conquered an empire that stretched from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. It might have been even bigger had he not died in Babylonia in 323 BCE, at the age of 32. When you have an empire […]

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Sholem Aleichem: Pity for Living Creatures

Thoughts of a Silly Boy by Sholem Aleichem Translated by Yankl Stillman Originally published in the January-February 2009 issue of Jewish Currents   ‘IF YOU WANT to be a good little boy, you can help us grate horseradish, until we get done preparing the fish for the holiday.” That’s what my mother said to me, […]

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Ab. Cahan Meets Friedrich Engels

The Legendary Forverts Editor Encounters Karl Marx’s Famed Collaborator by Yankl Stillman In August, 1891, Abraham Cahan was elected by the Yiddish-speaking branches of the Socialist Workers Party as a delegate to the second International Socialist Congress, in Brussels. When the comrades in England found out that he was coming to Europe, they invited him […]

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Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972)

by Yankl Stillman Last year marked the hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s birth and the 35th yortsayt of his untimely death. For Jewish secularists, his meaning lies in his deep involvement and eloquent statements on the passionate issues of his day, which are similar to the passionate issues of our day: race and […]

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Itche Goldberg on Khayim Zhitlovsky

Earlier this year, a book entitled Eseyen Tsvey (Essays 2) was published in Yiddish. Its author, Itche Goldberg, is 102 years old! Itche (as he is lovingly called by almost all who know him) is probably the oldest living writer publishing in any language. A previous volume entitled simply Eseyen was published in 1981. Both […]

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Edward Filene: Pioneer of Social Responsibility

This is the fifth article in a series that celebrates the 350th anniversary of Jewish emigration to the U.S. by profiling prominent American Jewish social activists. AN IMPORTANT Jewish social reformer of the early 20th century was a capitalist, known today mostly for his retailing acumen. Edward Filene’s family was among the central European Jews […]

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August Bondi and the Abolitionist Movement

by Yankl Stillman FIFTY YEARS AGO, when Jewish Currents was called Jewish Life, the Jewish Young Folksingers, in association with the magazine, commissioned poet Aaron Kramer to write “The Ballad of August Bondi.” This was their contribution to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Jewish life in the United States. The current year marks […]

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Jewish Cultural Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

Each year, the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – which began on the eve of Passover, April 19th, 1943 – makes us feel astonished by the fact that the revolt took place at all. The Second World War was in its fourth year. The Nazis had been carrying out their plan to annihilate Jews […]

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