Looking Back August 5, 2005

Published August 05, 2005, issue of August 05, 2005.


Galician childhood sweethearts Avrom and Dvosye Laykin had been happily married for 11 years. Their breakup has shocked the Lower East Side — not because of the split per se, but on account of the reasons behind it. In the official court documents, it says that after 11 years, Avrom came to the realization that his dear Dvosye is actually a man. He has asked the court for an annulment instead of a divorce. When contacted by the press, Dvosye said she’s sure her husband has fallen in love with someone else and wants to get rid of her. After speaking quite freely, she mysteriously clammed up when asked the simple question, “Are you a man or a woman?”


It’s yesterday’s news that Hasidim from different sects might throw punches for their respective rebbes. Shtreimels are flying, beards are being yanked and curses are flowing like water. But the shtetl of Munkatsh is special in this respect. The Munkatsher Hasidim have been at war for the past 10 years with the Belzer Hasidim, and this has escalated significantly in recent days. In Munkacs, heads get split open, holy books are torn up, garbage is thrown into synagogues, black candles are lighted, shofars are sounded and enemies are excommunicated. In Munkacs, Belzer Hasidim are considered heretics, Zionists are called apostates and socialists, well, they haven’t even heard of socialists there.


Born in Greece to Russian Jewish parents, 31-year-old Mrs. Bessie Robins, a mother of four from Oceanside, N.Y., is about to become the first female cantor in history. A lead soprano in Temple Avodah’s choir, Robins was picked over a number of other candidates to become the Reform synagogue’s cantor. She is slated to begin this coming Rosh Hashanah. One of the members of the board that chose Robins said that he knew of no law that should prevent a woman from serving as a cantor. Despite the fact that Mrs. Robins did not attend cantorial school, she is considered an expert in liturgy and competent to fulfill all cantorial functions.100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

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