October 2012

Through all the variations in stress and meaning that have characterized Sukkot through the ages, one thing has remained constant: the underlying significance of the holiday.  No matter when or where celebrated, Sukkot always meant “dependence on G-d,”: man’s faith in the protection of his Maker, as expressed in every symbol of the feast days.  The important aspect of the Sukkah was the roof, which had to be open to the stars and the elements.  Man is protected, ultimately, not by a strong roof over his head, but by the strong faith that shields him from all diversity.  In fact, the Rabbis said, the Sukkah in the desert was not made of wood but fashioned out of the “clouds of G-d’s glory,” which shielded the children of Israel from the heat of the sun overhead, the scorpions of the desert underfoot, and the enemies on all sides.  And the Rabbinic literature, we find interpretations of the “four species” that clearly bespeak the concept of dependence on G-d as the chief meaning of Sukkot.  Thus the palm branch is seen as the spine of man that must be upright and yet must bend before the will of the Creator.  The Esrog is the heart of man which must be without blemish in the service of G-d.  The myrtle leaf resembles the eyes of man and the willow leaf the lips, testifying that eyes must seek to behold only the good in G-d’s universe and the lips praise Him on whom we lean for strength and support.  Looking back at the desert period, the time of the dwelling in booths, later writers referred to it as the “honeymoon period.”  G-d and Israel were at their very closest.

Reprinted from the American Post – a Paterson, NJ publication, Dr.Reuben Kaufman, Editor & Publisher, October 26, 1967.

Sukkoth was in the olden days the occasion when all male Jews were required to visit the Temple at Jerusalem.  It begins on the fifteenth day of Tishri and lasts for seven days with an additional day Shemini Atzereth.  Later Simchos Torah, the ninth day of the holiday was added.

Reprinted from the Criterion – Paterson YM/YWHA, October 1, 1930.

 Once again we of the Society wish you and yours L’Shanah Tovah, a healthy and sweet New Year. 

 We are grateful for the support and encouragement received these more than thirty years and for what we have thus far accomplished.  We are on track, not necessarily a fast-track, by making headway in sorting records and preserving our archives in acid-free folders and boxes.  We are thankful and sometimes in awe of what we have saved from the shredder and the trash.  There is still much out there to be saved and recorded for future generations.  Our Jewish north Jersey beginnings were in Paterson; however we believe our future lies in Bergen County and have been building a Bergen County archives.

 With the advent of a New Year, Dorothy Greene, Lou Mechanic and Michael Kemezis have instituted a new program called Photo Friday.  Every Friday we will attempt to post several photos from our archives to be posted on our site.  The program began on September 14th to a limited number of people and thus far it has received favorable reaction.  We have extended it to our entire email list and added several more pictures to the weekly posting.  We would appreciate your comments and feed-back as well as your identification of any individuals, subjects and/or functions therein not identified.  This is not a part ofFacebook.

 Nancy Lieblich Garson has been commuting between Washington, DC and Paterson several times in the past few weeks in order to research family history (by appointment).  Nancy’s great grand-father Jacob Rosen, along with his son Max Rosen, founded Jacob Rosen & Sons silk manufactory in 1905.  By the 1920s they were the largest silk ribbon manufacturer in the USA.  Jacob Rosen was the cantor at Barnert Temple from 1900-1920 and led the choir he had organized in 1907 for almost 40 years.  Jacob and Max held office at Barnert Temple and Barnert Hospital through the years.  Nancy’s grandfather Joseph Lieblich, an eminent Paterson lawyer, and father Daniel, a Paterson lawyer, were active in the Barnert Hospital.  Cousin Samuel Klugherz was a prominent Paterson photographer from 1890 – 1920.  Anyone having information, oral or written about the above is asked to please contact us.  We also seek any Klugherz photos anyone might possess. 

 In gratitude for accessibility to our Paterson silk strike records, Rutgers University has come forth and offered to assist in preserving our vast collection of oral interview cassettes.  Concerning our collection of photographic negatives, if there is anyone out there with dark-room skills and a dark-room, we have many negatives that need to be printed.

 We have ushered in a New Year and our wish is that you all experience a happy and sweet year.  Our dream is for a better year and that things continue to improve.  Our greatest need at the moment is financial aid in order to keep on track.  We still have much to sort and catalog, an overwhelming task. Ahmed Tanveer of the Barnert staff has been very helpful in maintaining our computer and his assistance is very much appreciated.

 You are our source for the future.  Without your help financially we will not be able to continue.  Please do not hesitate to become involved in saving our heritage, a heritage that for many generations has been kicked, pushed around and neglected by historians and writers.  Your contribution is urgently needed and will be put to good use, regardless of the amount. So,  take a minute to help us out. The nominal cost to join is only $18. for a single and $36. for a family. Of course, all donations, of any amount, are most welcome and appreciated!

     We favor your comments, suggestions and information.  Please do not allow to disappear.  We promise not to fill your drawers with address labels.

 Have you checked your closets lately?

Jerry Nathans, President