Thursday, November 1, 2007

Saturday Nov 1

Visited Bar Kochba Camp
in Bronx. Enjoyed
Judget Stahls adress on
his impressions in Palestine
and later went home
together with him.

I have hired a religious man
this eve. to say Kadish for the
soul of my beloved father for
the remaining 5 months as
it will be impossible for me to
do so in the winter however
at every opportunity I will
go to the Synagogue to say it
myself also.

I paid the man $5.00 deposit
and $5.00 more to be paid.


Matt's Notes

There's lots to cover here but not a lot of time, so let's hit the facts:

1 - The "Bar Kochba" Camp in the Bronx is a chapter of B'nai Zion, a.k.a. Order Sons of Zion, the fraternal order to which Papa belonged. The nickname refers to the fierce warrior, Simon Bar Cochba, who led a Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 A.D. and briefly reclaimed much of Palestine before his forces were defeated in 135 A.D. (The revolt had been brewing for some time but apparently started in earnest when the Emperor Hadrian attempted to build a temple to Jupiter where the Jewish people expected to build their Third Temple). I'm sure Papa approved of the "Bar Cochba" camp's nickname because it conveyed an image of strength and competence; he had insisted on nicknaming his own B'nai Zion camp "The Maccabean" after the Jewish warriors of old.

2 - Papa left the Bar Cochba camp (located at 953 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx) with Jacob Strahl, a liberal Judge and former B'nai Zion Nasi (or head) who left for Palestine back in July in order to establish the Judea Insurance Company on behalf of B'nai Zion. Papa attended a farewell dinner on the eve of Strahl's departure and found it inspiring, so he must have been thrilled to travel back to Manhattan with him.

3 - As my mother pointed out a while back, observant Jews say Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, morning and night for the first year after the death of a loved one. I think Papa had been pretty diligent about it and I'm not sure why he felt he'd be unable to continue this practice into the winter (perhaps he expected to work more hours or an earlier shift at the factory) but it's not unusual to hire someone to say these prayers if the need arises. (When Papa died, his sister Clara gave money to a group called the Old Sages of Israel to say Kaddish for him.)

4 - The bottom of this diary page has a printed message that reads:

A REMINDER -- Have you ordered your diary for next year?
For duplicate of this book order by number in front.

I don't know if Papa ever ordered another diary, because this is the only one I have. Can it really be so close to the end?



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