The Jews of New York -- A WLIW production premiering  January 23rd  on New York Public Television
Rabbi Haskel Besser and Pre-War Germany

Rabbi Hasker Besser talks about his experiences with violent antisemitism in pre-war Berlin, right before Hitler became chancellor.

32 Responses to “Rabbi Haskel Besser and Pre-War Germany”

  1. barbara raugh says:

    I have convinced our Inspirational Book Study Group to read “The Rabbi of 84th. Street,” and I am excited to hear their feedback. I just loved reading the book and would dearly love to meet Rabbi Haskel Besser.

  2. Angela Carovinci says:

    I am reading this book for the second time…………….When asked by the author, “Why do you read so much (referring to the Torah/Talmud)?”
    Rabbi Besser’s response:
    “To know,to understand and to be a better person.”
    Warren Kozak: “What do you look for in these written pages?”
    Rabbi:”The truth.”

    And so, also in the pages of The Rabbi of 34th. Street, I find the truth–preaching and teaching.

    Angela

    Angela

  3. james ainoris says:

    I am interested in Rabbi Besser,s “Page a day Talmud study program” . Kindly refer me to where I can find info about joining. Shalom molekem! Ya’akov

  4. Nancy Esther Ingunza says:

    In isaiah 40:1-5 God says to comfort His people, that they have received double from the Lord´s hand for their sins; and now it is good times for the bitter. He is going to restore their temple and kingdom and they will inherit the land, but they must prepare a spiritual way for God: “Every valley” (the humiliated Jews) will be exalted; and every mountain and hill (the exalted Christians) shall be made low; and the crooked shall be straightened and the rough places smooth; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed before all flesh.”
    THIS IS THE TRUTH ABOUT WORLD WAR II: Jesus Christ sent warning of it to the Pope through His Blessed Mother, Mary, to a village in Portugal named FATIMA; in 1917; but the Pope ignored the warnings Mary brought from Jesus, till 1939; when he saw the troop movement that pressage the beginnning of WW II. Only then Pius XI tried to warn the people about WW II through an encyclical letter he had prepared. But for God it was too late and silenced him. Pius XI died before he could read his encyclical letter and WW II, that he could have prevented began. Per Ezekiel 33:6, God says that the blood of those that have died during WW II is in the hands of Pope Pius XI.
    Mary promised to come six times in 1917; and she promised to come a seventh time, that is still pending and was foretold in Isaiah 52:7-10. She will come, as she did on October 13, 1917, with the Child Jesus, to bless the people and to give peace to the world. This time the Jewish people will see the Child Jesus, so will Osama bin Laden (who is also Jewing, coming from the offspring procreated by King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba whose kingdom was where Marib, in Yemen is now); he will reject Islam and embrace Christ and will recognize his Jewish roots (See Isaiah 11:1-10). I am a Christian loyal only to Christ and not to any religious or political group. The Eoman pontiffs are not doing the will of Christ but self-promoting; and that is why there is no peace. Jesus is returning now to cut off the Christians in power and to restore the Kingdom of Israel and their temple. (See Ezekiel 37:26-28 and Ez. 17:24) May God bless you. Nancy Esther Ingunza

  5. Nancy says:

    You see what you get when you are a false prophet? Bin laden died last night and he will not be any Messiah for anyone ever! You lier and God hears all this and will do you in for your lies! Repent sinner!

  6. Alfie says:

    The only truth is the unfathomable LOVE of God to all, through Jesus, we could be with HIM.

  7. james ainoris says:

    Religion is a set of beliefs by man that describes G-d. Judaism is 613 laws given by G-d that describe man (Rab Hirsch) Lashron Hara (Gossip evil or otherwise) and Yaitzer hara (mans evil inclination) which we must all fight prevent the coming of the Mosiach….. When Mosiach comes there will be no war or suffering pain or illness crime . sadly this has never happened. In fact more wars occured since the time of the destruction of our Bais Hamikdash (Solomons Temple Site of al asqa mosque today) than any time in world history…. It is only the invention of nuclear war that has reduced loss of life do to mans war ( read Dr Teller and Dr Cohens opinion on such facts esp read book “Shame ” describing Cohens neutron device which rendered most of the former Soviet Unions military armor obsolete leading to its collapse Baruch HaShem.) Only when man followss G-ds law will Mosiach come for Jew an righteous Gentile alike

  8. james ainoris says:

    When mossiach comes there will be no more war or suffering of anyone jew or gentile that follows Noachide law. This has never happened . In fact the world became more horrible after the destruction of the second temple. Hundreds of people clailed to be th mosciach. I I wish people could just accept us… we have never forced anyone to convert or had crusades or pogroms…. only now when we are attacked in eretz Israel. The Torah clearly defines the land of Israel. The Moslem conqurer Saladin put us back there after he deafeated Richard the lion hearted in the last evil crusade. I must mention here also that the Roman Emporer Hadrian destroyed G-ds bais Ha Migdash (Temple mount) killing off most of the jews before Islam and Christinity existed and renamed Israel “Palestine” after the philistines who worshipped “molech” and “baal” which included sacraficing their own children by burning them alive…. That would make the Jews the first palestine refugees! Of course you cannot say this in University course..

  9. james ainoris says:

    If anyone is interested in the Gemara (talmud) they should know it is originally written in aramaic. There are two Talmuds being the bavli (written in Babylon) and the yerushalmi (written in Jerusalem) the latter version is partial due being stolen when Titus sacked Jerusalem and parts are hidden in the freindly Vatican … The British museum did release some of it to us Cheerio! The Talmud or “Torah sha bal peh” (oral Torah) was told to Moshe on har Sinai during the 40 days. It was forbiden to write down unless extreme emergency would cause it to be lost .We all how nice the world was to us… so we wrote it down. In orthodox judaism one has to study Gemara to properly comprehend Torah. There were jews that rejected it being : saducees (herod) kairites and modern reform jews. There are 2400 pgs that are not numbered with various commentators notes such as Rashi an Rambam. After six years of secular university studies in architecture I have NEVER encountered such

  10. james ainoris says:

    It amazes me how many people are obsessed with conspiracy theories . Did you ever stop to think that the conspiracy theory is a conspiracy? lol… The Torah warns us about soothsayers faith healers and various people who claim to know the future through prophecy…. Our Tanach (what gentiles call the “Old testement”? ) is filled with writings by our sages. From Joshua to chronicles 2 which fortell of future events and was sealed by the men of the great assembly 2500 yrs ago. During the hellenistic period Alexander the Great admired the jews and wanted our Tanach to be translated into greek. After his death one of his generals “Philo” had seventy rabbis independently translate such separately with no contact. After translation was reveiwed all seventy were identical! Philo considered this a great miracle…hence the gentiles have the septuaginta (70 In greek) which was later used by the vatican and rearranged and changed then translated into latin then later into german by Martin Luther then Martin Luther.

  11. james ainoris says:

    Contuation: Martin Luther initially tried to learn hebrew and rejected the catholic vulgate.He hired rabbis to translate such into german and became furious when this translation did not read the way he wanted (christilized) He then became a rabbid anti semite and is quoted in his writing s to kill us and burn our buildings etc just like the popes crusaders and arabs. There are 700 Changes made to the Tanach (see R.Margolis) some made during greek translation by rabbis most done by vatican and luther. For instance in greek in Isiaih there is no virgin , it reads “young woman” in fact many places were modified to endorse a different agenda…. I would ask the reader the followig: Does G-d make mistakes? does he change his mind? Did not Moshe recieve the Torah on sinai? (Moslems ,Christians and us agree here) How then can anyone say that these are “old” implying obsolete or over written by some “new deal” Would you not want to read the original writings not modified in any way(dead sea scrolls prove this fact)

  12. james ainoris says:

    I discovered that my great grandparents came from kovono lithuania and were jews. They had to convert to another religion to be allowed to come to america due to harsh antisemetic immigration quotas then. I came to discover another very interesting fact that my great uncle was Senator Robert Wagner who went to great efforts to help mankind . He was hired to investigate the infamous Triangle shirtwaist fire in nyc which led to legislation banning child slave labor and sweat shops. He also wrote social security act and also gave all workers the right to form unions. Two bills he wrote and were rejected were the anti lynching bill (mostly innocent black men murdered by southern states up to 1960s) and most disturbingly the “wagner rodgers bill” in which he attempted to save 40000 Jewish children all under 14yo to waiting welcoming homes in america. Both of these bills were blocked by the so called “moral majority” and large churchs. They defended lynching as states rights , the kids were communists !

  13. james ainoris says:

    None of these innocent children were communists and not one kid was allowed to come simply because of his belief in HaShem. They all were murdered by nazis and their collaborators whom I will now discuss. There were close to 600 million people in europe during ww2. Out of this only a few thousand people tried to help(Denmark Sweden Norway and Spain refused to deport and are blessed by HaShem) these few individual s are heros . But there is one problem. After the evil nazis were long gone local people and there government continued to murder rob and rape jews that survived so much so that they had to be put in “displaced persons camps” (prison) in europe. Not only did the nice people help the germans but continued such especially in poland and holland which are catholic and protestant respectively. Even today stolen property and war crimes against us goes un investigated. What really upsets me now is that in poland right next to auschwitz they are building malls and gift shops using this site for profit ! ?

  14. james ainoris says:

    During the 1700 s ther were two schools of thought in russia and eastern europe being: chassidus founded by the Bal Shemtov and mitznagdim headed by the gaon of vilna lithuania. The chassidus believe that G-d loves all jews and righteous gentiles equally. The guy that sweeps the floor is equal in HaShems eyes to the talmud scholar. They also looked for the positive in the negative the blessing in the curse… they studied kabbalah (mystcisim) and davin (intesne prayer) 3 times daily. The mitznagdim focused on intense Torah /Talmud study and looked down on simple and unlearned people. They claimed chassidus was incorrect and followed dangers possibly leading to another false moshiach (shab szi shvi) . They later admitted Chassidus was correct following the school of the Alter Rebbe (chabad today). They united later to fight judaisms greatest enemy “reform” (haskalah ) ” enlightened” ones in germany who sadly believed that the Torah could change with the times and if they assimilated they would be safe….

  15. james ainoris says:

    Sadly, as before in egypt persia babylon greece and rome they were wrong and suffered the same fate…. Rabbi Sampson Raphael Hirsch fought reform and proved that one could stay observant and be a doctor or farmer etc. Later in france a military General was falsely accused of being a spy Knownown as the “Dreyfuss affair” (actor Richard Dreyfuss is great grand son) A news reporter named Hertzel followed the antisemetic court mashall and later concluded that no matter what a jew did or how he tried to fit in it would not matter in europe. Jews had to find their own homeland eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel)… Zionism was born. At that time the Ottoman Turks owned Israel and glady sold abandonded land to jews from europe and mideast (60% of jews in Israel today are from arab countries that ejected them) .During this time no one wanted this land except the jews. Arabs are from arabia. Not untill the british tricked the arabs and the jews with false promises did much of the current problems arise.

  16. james ainoris says:

    It is interesting to note that the observent religious jews from eastern europe were some of the poorest and suffered terrible pogroms (violent attacks by locals with no protection from police who often led the attacks) The evil czars of russia oppressed all into eternal servitude (jew and gentile alike). Karl Marx (german reform jew) and Peter Engles (Protestant) were children of wealthy industrialists and were appalled by the terrible treatment of the workers which includede children. They had no voice or rights and were used like animals and simply disposed of when injured or sick etc. (see movie “Oliver and research Triangle shirtwaist fire in NYC) They spoke out to try to help the little guy. Later in russia Lennin and Trotsky (both jews) over threw the evil czars but went to far by eliminating G-d from society . In the Torah there are laws that protect the worker from Such exploitations and more importantly no man can be above another man eg “Divine right Monarchy is evil kings and popes not allowed .

  17. james ainoris says:

    So the jews were the driving force in social justice and took violent action in the Red October revolution in russia initially to try to help the workers . Sadly they also tried to destroy religious jews and gentiles as well. Meanwhile all the wealthy industialists and robber barons (none jews except rothschild) were sweating at the possibilty of this new movement spreading to there countries. In america Rockefeller (see ;Ludlow lead mine massacre ) and Henry ford a rabbid antisemite propogated antisemetic propoganda with newsletters and radio shows (Father Coughlin) to frighten americans and convince americans that all jews were commies and money hungry cheating anyone…. When the russian czars were destroyed one last thing they did for revenge was to concockt a horrible and slanderous book of lies called “The protocals of the learned elders of zion” . This book led to the murder and persecution of millions of innocent human beings and in one of the best selling books in arab lands today(more on this later

  18. james ainoris says:

    As a young man even during graduate school study I was actually convinced that this stuff was true. I was a fool and ignorrant of so much…. I came to find that after ww1 the german economy (i am of german descent by the way) as we all know was destroyed . Germany did not start ww1 Austria and Hungary did. The versallies treaty bankrupted germany which up to this time was not really a bad place. Propogandists had to find someone to blame. Since most of the jews were diamond and gold dealers and had seen the failure of the deutsch mark they preserved their wealth as anyone would want to do… The evil nazis saw a way to blame the failing economy on some one. Martin Luther and the Lutheren church for hundreds of years wrote anti semetic books about jew and wrote”the final solution” The german industialists did not want unions or communism and teamed up with the vatican. Since the protocols and final solution books were known and the jews “killed god” guess who they chose?

  19. james ainoris says:

    I have to clarify a terrible rumor that i have overheard and actually used to belive: Hitler was not a jew …. hitler was a nickname since he came from the hitler mountains in austria. His name was “shicklegruber” and his mothers name was “Mary ” a roman catholic…. no one knows who his father was and it does not matter since under halachic law you are only a jew unless your mother is or complet an orthdox conversion. I vomit everytime i hear this rumor. Lets back track. The religious jew of eastern europe were some of the poorest people. A hand ful of jews (Rothschilds etc were bankers) Why condem millions to death? Evil greed and power. In ww1 jews fought for germany and were treated fairly (See Fritz Haber a scientist who discovered a way to obtain nitrogen from the air to make unlimited amounts of fertilizer and high explosives . sad end with zyklon b gas . see movie “amen”)

  20. james ainoris says:

    I must clarify an error Theodor Fritsch came up withthe final solution he was isspired by martin luther. Now add to this constant persecution for almost two thousand years by the catholic church. Pope urban decreed thatall jew were restricted fromworking or owning land. They were forced to be tax collectors money lenders and rent collectors for the noble men who answered to the vatican. They were also forced to dress different with black hats and coats yellow stars etc. So it was burned into the european mind that jews were ng. So it was easy for evil propogandists to convince the bankrupt bitter german or pole that its th jews fault not england and france. Meanwhile back in america american conservative/reform jews did very little to speak out against atrocities. Many were afraid to inflame an already hostile public and were aware of Henry Ford and others propoganda. Even walt disney testified that jews were un american commies…. One of the most difficult questions to ask is why did the Ny times cont.

  21. james ainoris says:

    Why did the Ny Times and other major papers owned by jews fail to bring front page attention to the horrors occuring in europe? Why did the not insist that the railroad lines to the murder factories be bombed even once? (I did research and found that Jimmy Dolittle and america wanted to bomb rr tracks but british said no…. all the tracks in europe were continually bombed except these…. why???…. brits didnt want more jews to flee to eretz yisroel? many questions few answers ..
    Many Reform jews were and still are anti zionists. Now since 1971 they want their “conversions” accepted by Israel….. which is a contentious issue for the many who suffered so to stay frum under such oppression while american jews drove volkswagens on shabbos to get bacon cheese burgers on their way to some civil rights rally for anyone except a religious torah observent jew….My Rebbe said the biggest danger to Judaism is assimilation. To try to fit in to be embarassed of religious observant jews. This has happened here..

  22. james ainoris says:

    I must apologze… I am not supposed to critcize other jews only to help them become closer to HaShem. The nobile efforts of reform social jews is righteous and I am sure noted by the court of heaven…..Like the Quakers they helped man people from indians to black americans. The ACLU was formed from the terrible Scottsboro case where innocent black teens and a 12yo were hung by lynch mobs . Also see the Dread Scott decision by the US supreme court and you will see how we need a balanced court system. The Gemara (Talmud) says to listen to the left and the right and make a decision since they often both have good and or bad ideas…. “an eagle(usa) needs a strong left and right wing to fly straight” jpa 2005 . Very often we here angry voices on the media looking for someone to blame for societies current ills… sound familiar? Lets get back to Chassidus for a moment. As we stated earlier the BaShemtov beliieved all human beings were loved equally . He started a movement that insured that all could study.

  23. james ainoris says:

    This helped so many who suffered so much in poland russia and europe. Jews from russia and europe are known as “ashkenazim” whereas jews from spain italy and north africa are “sephardim” often not mentioned are the “mitzrahi” jews from babylon persia egypt and other arab lands(make up60% of current israeli population today) Askenazi jews rarely ever had peace or freedom in christian europe…. Sephardim lived fairly decent lives under moslem rule for periods of time and began to assimilate studying music philosophy and science of others where as the Chassidus delt with livng under constant oppression and fear…. The Chassidus developed a way to deal with the horrible outside world and its cruelty “stay out of it” and focus on doing mitzvos(good deed s as per Torah) and intense davining (prayer). They developed songs called “niggum” and stayed positive in their belief of the coming of Mosciach…. (call 718 953 6100 for lessons) The Chabad movement was started by the Alter Rebbe (Zahlman) .

  24. james ainoris says:

    The Alter Rebbe wrote a series of books called “the Tanya” which brought the Zohar (kabbalah) down to the simple jew to use in every day life… HaShem is everywhere and in everything even mudane things or work. (go on Chabad.org for more info) As we can see we have a broad sprectrum of jews in the world who make up less than one tenth of one percent of the worlds population have been the target and scapegoat of every evil empire and/or dictator from mitzrayim(egypt) persia (iran today) greece rome europe and now the arabs (with their british and russian backers) have tried to destroy us…. most of them are gone … we are still here and BaRuch HaShem doing well! A very good educational documentary film “the roots of anti semitism” from PBS explains much about what happened but fails to explain how we survived… “G-d”!. We were scattered amongst the nations and know being gathered back as per Torah… (listen to Rabbi Berel Weins series of lectures “The history of the jewish people” Destiny Project.

  25. james ainoris says:

    Today we see with honored visit of Israels Pres. Netenyahu (spelling erreors due to big fingers and failig eyesight combined with tiny keypad on phone .sorry).. America stood behind Israel today and agrees not to split Jeruselem or a two state solution BaRuch HaShem . The reason I have said alot on this blog is to clarify as much as I can about judaism to many gentiles that have blogged and or read it. Much information in the outside (Goy) world are based on baseless rumors and the lack of the abilty to read hebrew. One cannot properly study without reading hebrew and aramaic as well as a little yiddish (german/hebrew hybrid). &udaism does not look for converts (gairim). But if one shows through intense effort and is genuine you may be considered. Most bet din s (jewish court of rabbis) will not consider conversion unless you live in a community like crown heights etc. Unless ther are yeshivos(schools) kosher food and a Mikvah (immersion pool which later was adopted by gentiles as baptism).

  26. james ainoris says:

    Lets take a few moments to discuss “Shabbos” or sabbath in english. This is the seventhday of the week. It is perhaps the most critical law as per G-ds instruction to Moshe (moses) and the Jewish people and is mentioned contnually in the Torah. The Jewish calender is very accurate (see NASA study on accuracy ) and has been around since Moses. The pagan roman world under the evil emporer Theodosius after Constantine banned the hebrew calender and renamed the names of the month and days of week after pagan gods eg “sunday” the first day is named after the pagan sun god….. Later during some vatican council they gave themselves the authority to change G-DS Shabbos to the new sunday….? This was around the 4th century ce. So geezus and all of his people obeyed Shabbos since there was no julian or gregorian innacurate pagan calendar during his life time. The most intense campaign soon followed this roman decree to destroy G-ds shabbos and contnues until today as “blue laws” which somehow came to america .

  27. james ainoris says:

    Blue laws restrict buisnesses from being open on sunday. Most states now have struck down such laws only recently. Somelimit the sale of alcohol etc. Years ago I was operating noisy heavy equipment and local police warned me that if I continued I would be arrested! How could this be in America a religious law enforced by the gov? These laws were designed in catholic europe that forced Jews to be open on Shabbos and close on sunday. On Shabbos one cannot work or drive or cook or do laundry. Before nightfall candles are lit by the women and girls of the home . All food would have been pre prepared to be consumed.

  28. ya akov says:

    Amazing negative reaction…. sadly this last comment was someone who reacts in a hostile way. Yes there are hypocrites amongst us and good and bad in every person. The truth is often rejected. I am no one to talk…. I used to be arrogant and even antisemetic when I was younger and thought I knew everything after graduating university. It took alot to convince me that there is only one G-d…. Usually we come to this after extreme punishment and suffering…a life threatening illness etc. If one looks at psalm 107 which says anyone who survives inprisonment or a dangerous sea journey or survives an illness …such a person is obligated to praise HaShem for the rest of his life… I would hope this person would not have any such experience. The comment Mentioned “why dont you people do some good for the world” Its G-ds world…. and we praise and thank him continually not asking for reward.. When I pray I only thank G-d for saving my life many times and allowing me to have two beautiful children…

  29. jim ainoris says:

    I just returned from my first trip to eretz Yisael… I travet to svat the home of the kabbalists…it is an ice cream cone shaped mountain and many authors of kabbalistic writings settled there. I visited Hanna s grave and Luria s mikvah…. I then took a bus to Yerushalayim to the kotel and davened minchah….My friends live in the hadreidi hungarian section of HaShems city and I spent shabbos there. I was so happy to see halachic law being folled so seriously by frum families…no.driving working etc. allowed. I managed to learn enough hebrew and some yiddish to get by…. My trip focused on jewish holy sites and i had no interest in Tel Aviv etc. I managed to get to Masada and walked down this most historic site. I was emotionally affected when I realized how many jews tried to see Israel in peace and safety like this….. and never lived to see it…. I felt guilty. I noticed many people of all countries and races and religions (including Arabs) visiting and working and living safely protected by IDF..

  30. jim ainoris says:

    I would ask why much of the world posts such negative reports about Israel? There are good Moslems and Christians living and protected with full civil rights there….my Rabbi claims these problems will only be solved when Moshiach arrives… soon… BaRuch HaShem. I am also of Irish heritage and I would suggest that one look up the history of the Irish Genocide at the hand of the British. It is a very similar story in some repsects to what the nazi s did to us…. Sinn Fein to the Stern gang. You will be shocked how the Irish were dehumanized as monkeys and millions starved to death… I realized then how correct Emma Lazarus was… it seems G-d has sent some his finest to america.. Ironic how the Jews were blocked during ww2? Check out St Patricks brigade…. poor irish were forced into mexican american war to get here…American Indians (who are now mexicans) got a bad deal . America has been pretty good to the jews… assymilation and reform is our greatest danger like in greece of ancient times.

  31. yaakov says:

    LASHRON HARA (gossip which would embarass or harm another human being) is equal sin to murder…. and drags this world into a lower level….we see and hear so much of it on the media and internet today… Only when mankind can control this impulse will Moshiach come. Hillel was said to be a man whom no one could anger and spoke no ill of anyone…. even evil romans. I just returned from Ha aretz (Israel) for the first time… I visited the Kotel (western wall) and the old city. We had to pray under military guard… while all the “others” prayed and walked freely around under the protection of our IDF hero s…. I came to meet a soldier who was a “Druze” . I did not know much about the and did some research. It seems they are a small minority of moslems who like the jews and serve proudly in the IDF and police force. It seems they also suffered genocide at the hands of arabs and christians for hundreds of years and find safety and protection in Israel…..like Ethiopian and Yeminte jews.

  32. ya akov says:

    I find it terrifying that antisemitism is on the rise again mainly in evil europe…. A soocer game in ukranine where open anti semetic t shirts and slogans are chanted and a growing nazi party ….even though they are slavs not aryans? (silly theory)… poland and england and other euro countries seem to be failing economically again and want to blame someone again…and it is not just Moslems… Recently Jews asked for a moment of silence for our murdered athletes of the 72 olympics…. there seems to be some reluctance by to officials… I think as others we should not play in such (hellenistic) games and if we do only in America! The Rebbe told us America is blessed. Forget europe! (except Denmark ) We should all focus on eretz Israel and USA! BaRuch HaShem!


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Three Generations of the Russ Family

The Russ Family on Slicing Lox
Rabbi Haskel Besser and Pre-War Germany
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