Meet Sam Adams — Humphrey Bogart’s Assistant and I.B. Singer’s Dealmaker

Posted on January 16th, 2017
Laurie Gwen Shapiro for The Jewish Daily Forward

I met retired Hollywood film and literary agent Sam Adams while I was on a research trip for my forthcoming book. When I introduced myself, he was reading a dog-eared copy of perhaps the greatest of true Antarctic tales, Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s “The Worst Journey in the World.”

Sam, now just shy of his 90th birthday, was then 88, full of energy, and very funny. Although he adored his wife, a harpsichordist he married after a dozen years as a widower, she simply didn’t share his passion for traveling to the coldest spot on Earth. Sam was solo for our journey, the oldest passenger on a rather rough expedition route, and one of the trio of Jews (including me) aboard the ship.

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Lost diary of tortured Mexican ‘converso’ features in early-American Jewish exhibit

Posted on January 9th, 2017
BY PENNY SCHWARTZ for The Times of Israel    

Manuscript by Luis de Carvajal was missing for 75 years until spotted by a keen-eyed collector. Now it joins others on display at the New-York Historical Society

In the closing years of the 16th century, as the Holy Inquisition reached across the ocean to Spanish and Portuguese territories, Luis de Carvajal the Younger was put on trial by the Mexican Inquisition, suspected of being a Jew. The Spanish-born de Carvajal (1567–1596) was from a family of “converso” Jews who had converted to Catholicism. He was living in Mexico, where his uncle served as the governor of Leon.

Under torture, de Carvajal betrayed more than 120 people who continued to practice their faith in secret. He and many of his family were burned at the stake.

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Why the Word for Wine Is Similar in So Many Languages

Posted on January 2nd, 2017
Philologos in Mosaic

There’s Greek oinos and Hebrew yayin, to say nothing of such farther-flung cognates as Swahili mvinyo and Maori waina. Is there a common root?

Q: My Oxford English Dictionary says that “cider” ultimately comes from Latin sicera, and that this word was used to translate the Hebrew word sheykhar. Was the Latin word originally Semitic, and if so, why? I’ve also observed that the Greek and Hebrew words for wine, oinos and yayin, are similar as well. Does this imply that there was a Mediterranean trade in alcoholic beverages?

A.  There certainly was such a trade, although whether that explains the similarity of oinos and yayin, or of sicera, sheykhar, and “cider,” is something else. Let’s start with sheykhar.

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I can’t believe this is a true story!

Posted on December 26th, 2016

In this season of miracles, add this one to the list.

From the IsraelVideoNetwork

Many people face terrible tragedies in their life. At the time, they look up to heavens and ask God “why are you doing this to me?” We may not understand it at the time but God is always looking out for us.

This young, brave paratrooper is a walking miracle who’s life is a testament that the Lord is always looking out for us – even in the most tragic situations.


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7 humanitarians who inspired us this year

Posted on December 19th, 2016

by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine

We look back at the selfless, altruistic people who won our hearts and touched the lives of thousands of people around the world.

There are those who dedicate their lives to something bigger than themselves. These people are not famous, or rich, or powerful. They're just trying to do their part to make the world better for generations to come. As 2016 comes to a close, we salute those selfless, passionate people who made this a year to be thankful for.

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