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A very young Miss Hattie..........

AUSTRIAN-JEWISH HERITAGE

 

 

 


PHOTOGRAPH VIA JEWS NEWS ON FACEBOOK

 

http://www.facebook.com/jewsnews

 

I thought that I would use this section of the site to explore Hattie Carnegie's Austrian-Jewish heritage, beliefs and culture and how it affected her life and way of thinking.

 Please Note: I am referring to many reference books, articles, other sites, etc for this section.

The credits can be found below the particular article.

              Austrian-Jewish History

 

Austrian Jews have lived in Austria for centuries at often times enduring hostility and repression. At other times the Jewish community in Austria enjoyed a high degree of tolerance. Joseph II reigned 1780-90 lifted restrictions that barred Jewish people from particular trades and education and despite widespread prejudice against them. Jews acheived positions of eminence in business and positions in the arts in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Jewish community in Austria expanded greatly in the 2nd half of the 19th century. (Around the time when Hattie was born-1886) when Jews from other parts of the empire begun to settle there, mostly in Vienna. Most of these so called Eastern Jews came from the province of Galicia, an area in southern present day Poland and in western present day Ukraine. The Province contained two thirds of the Habsburg Jewish population.

After the Anschluss, the Nazis applied their racial policies, to the country's Jewish population. Approximately 100,000 Jews managed to emigrate from Austria, before World War II begun.

Mr. Kanengeiser (Hattie's father) moved his family from Vienna to New York City in 1900. To allow his family a better life but he saved their lives. As the were spared the certain fate of The Concentration Camp,  but over 65.000 Jews died in Concentration Camps or prisons of The Third Reich. As a result Austrian Jewry was virtually annihilated. After World War II few surviving members of the Jewish community ever returned to Austria, and Austrian authorities made no concentrated effort's to repatriate them.
As of 1990 a little more than 7000 Jews were registered with "The Jewish Orthodox Religious Community" in Vienna.

Reference: 1UP INFO>AUSTRIA>JEWS-AUSTRIAN INFORMATION RESOURCE

COUNTRY PROFILE AS OF 1993
Formal Name :Republic of Austria
Short Form: Austria
Term For Citizens :Austrian(s)
Capital: Vienna
SIZE
Approximately 83,859 square kilometers
Of total area 20% arable land, 29% pasture, 44% forest, 7% barren
CLIMATE: Temperatures and rainfall vary with altitude. Temperate, cloudy, cold winters with frequent rainfall in lowlands and snow in mountains, cool summers with occasional showers. Humidity highest in wetter regions, diminishing toward east.
LANGUAGE: of the native born population 99% speak German with small minorities speaking Serbo-Croatian or Slovenian.
RELIGION: of native born and foreign born population combined 78% are Roman Catholic, 5% are Protestant, 8% are other (Includes Jewish, Muslim and Orthodox
EDUCATION: Public Elementary, Secondary and Higher Education free Nine years compulsory. By ninth year, students usually in pre-university academic schools or vocational education. literacy 99% for population over age fifteen.
HEALTH AND WELFARE: Social insurance covers all wage earners and salaried employees, self employed workers and dependents. Coverage compulsory. State required health insurance covers 99% of population. As of 1990 Average Life expectancy was almost 76 years. (72 for Males 79 for Females)
GOVERNMENT: Federal republic with nine provinces, each with own assembly and government 1920 constitution was revised 1929, forms constitutional base of government.
Government consists of executive, legislative and judical branches. President head of state elected by popular vote every six years.
Executive headed by ( Prime Minister) and Cabinet, which reflect party composition of parliament. Legislative power vested in bacermal parliament consisting of Nationalrat, (National Council) and Bundesrat, (Federal Council)
Nationalrat primary legislative power with 183 elected offics;
Bundesrat represents the provinces with 63 members elected by provincial assemblies, Independent judiciary.
LEGAL SYSTEMS: Supreme Court for civil and criminal cases. Administrative court for cases involving administrative agencies and Constitutional court for constitutional cases.
Four higher provincial courts ,seventeen provincial and district courts, and numerous local courts.
POLITICS: Dominated by Social Democratic Party of Austria  (Sozialdemokratische Partei-Osterreichs---SPO) and Austrian Peoples Party (Osterreichs-Volkspartei---OVP) Government Coalition of these two parties since 1987.) Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche-Partei-Osterreichs---FPO) gaining strength despite split in 1993 with formation of The Liberal Forum (Das Liberale Forum)
Enviromentalists also represented in Parliament.
FOREIGN RELATIONS: Founding Member of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and member of United Nations (UN) and European Economic Area (EEA) Admission into European Union expected in 1995- Information as of December 1993
Reference: 1Up Info>AUSTRIA>GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: AUSTRIAN INFORMATION RESOURCE.

                     Austrians of Jewish Heritage

I wrote a e-mail to a museum in Austria regarding "Austrians of Jewish Heritage."
They answered some of my questions or at least the ones they knew the answer to, and referred me to more places for additional information.
I found out that, Although The Kanengeiser Family was most DEFINATELY FROM AUSTRIA. They were NOT FROM VIENNA, BUT A LITTLE TOWN NEAR THE EASTERN BORDER. (Hattie's parents were named, Isaac and Helen Kanengeiser.)
They also explained a little bit about her culture. They said, That Jewish people in Austria (around the time, Hattie was born in 1886) faced severe prejudice, and were often treated cruelly and as as second class citizens in Austria. They were limited by their government in regard to education and employment and were only allowed to hold certain jobs in certain designated areas, thus they were kept in poverty. Despite being extremely poverty stricken, Hattie's parents were very fortunate in a way, because both her mother and  father could read and write,  and were educated,  many people in their little village or town were not
Due to the fact that conditions were horrid for them, Mr. and Mrs. Kanengeiser considered relocating to the United States.
Austria wanted to push the Jewish population, further and further out of Austria, particularly Vienna, by making the conditions so bad that they would just leave the country permanently.
The house fire they suffered convinced Hattie's father that they should leave the country hearing a lot about the opportunites in America that could benefit his children in particular. He was sold on the idea of moving his family to America and did just that.
The museum also explained to me that Hattie's father when he registered the family in New York, when asked where they were from that he probably wrote "Vienna, Austria" on the immigration forms, because of the situation of honor and pride.
Austrians and in particular Jewish Austrians were/are a proud people with a proud heritage, and because everyone knew of Vienna (and it held a lot of pride because of the Emperor and most likely nobody ever heard of their little town or village where they emigrated from, so they were ashamed, and just stated that they were from Vienna.) up until her death Hattie Carnegie herself always claimed to be from VIENNA. Hattie was born in Austria and was proud of her heritage, but her family never resided in Vienna.
THE MUSICAL, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Which I  happen to love by the way, IS HATTIE CARNEGIE'S HERITAGE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!

      

             IMMIGRANTS -Building their Community

On a deeper level, The German/Austrian community of New York, was the first minority group in the city to have a fully developed high culture of it's own, with a German Language theater and press, abundant public lecture programs and a distinctly European penchant for an intellectual approach to politics.

I thought these next two paragraphs were interesting because Hattie's father Isaac Kanengeiser was a tailor by profession.

The manufacture and sale of garments and textiles had already become something of a Jewish speciality in Central and Eastern Europe, and many of the German-Jewish immigrants had brought their skills to America with them. In that area Grand Street from Broadway to Essex was the principal shopping district of New York and it's greatest department stores stood there. Since Canal Street, running parallel to Grand two blocks south, was the main location of the wholesale clothing and textile suppliers of New York, The area took on a high concentration, of Jewish-owned enterprises. It was this situation, as growing number's of Jewish immigrants arrived from Eastern Europe, that begun to affect the residential patterns of the neighborhood.
Garment manufacture, from it's earliest days right down to the beginning of the 20th century, was primarily a cottage industry. Merchants and suppliers worked out of business establishments that were separate from their homes, but the people who cut and sewed the raw material usually worked in their homes. In New York this arrangement naturally encouraged those immigrants who were skilled tailors (such as Hattie's father) to live within a short walk to the places where they picked up and deposited the goods. The first distinct Jewish neighborhood in New York then, arose beginning in the 1870's with might be called a tailors' migration from certain regions that were then either part of, or adjacent to the German Empire, where the dialect spoken by the Jewish population that settled there, tended to have a closer relationship to standard German then Yiddish often did.
These Jewish immigrants came to New York specifically in search of economic opportunity, settled near the clothing establishments of the German-Jewish merchants, becoming in a sense a German Empire of merchants in the heart of the garment district. Russian Jews started pouring into this neighborhood as well beginning around 1882.
REFERENCE: THE LOWER EAST SIDE-A GUIDE TO IT'S JEWISH PAST.
Text by Ronald Sanders Photographs by Edmund V. Gillon, Jr. page 4-5 Copyright 1979

 

                      The Tailor’s Strike of 1895

This particular article is about the tailor’s strike of 1895. Just a few short years prior to the Kanengeiser’s emigration to the Lower East Side Neighborhood where this strike had taken place from Austria. Hattie's father Isaac was a tailor so I thought it would be interesting to post.


The strike by the Brotherhood of Tailors that involved 13,000 tailors was the largest strike in this branch of trade that had ever taken place and the members of the Brotherhood promised to strike with unanimity. There were 630 shops represented in the Brotherhood of Tailors. 610 shops immediately obeyed the order to strike other's soon joined them.
The tailors felt that the system was unfair. They kept increasing the daily task of every tailor, till the conditions were worse than slavery, for if the tailor couldn't finish the task one day he had to finish it on the day following, working long hours into the night without as much as a break during the day. The tailors shouted and carried signs that read, "No task work! Down with the sweating system!" Yet the strike remained orderly.
The cause of this strike was due to the refusal of the Contractors Association to sign an agreement prepared by the tailors in July of 1895 that read
Contractors are only to employ union members in good standing and the Brotherhood of Tailors would give the contractors all the hands they needed.
Fifty-nine hours should constitute a weeks work, ten hours a day for the first five days from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm with one hour for dinner, and nine hours on the sixth day from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm with one hour for dinner.
No overtime is to be permitted.
The minimum rates of wages demanded are: basters  $13.00 per week and upward, finishers  $9.00 per week.
The tenement-house sweating system is to be abolished.
Once the demands were met the tailors returned to work.

The News of the Tailors Strike appeared in the New York Times on July 29th 1895
Reference: Portal to America: The Lower East Side 1870-1925 The Epic First America for Millions of Immigrants by Allon Schoener

The next few articles were taken from the book: Portal to America: The Lower East Side

1870-1925-The Epic First America for Millions of Immigrants.

 

               Arranged Marriages of the Austrian-Jewish Culture

To her dismay and heartache, Hattie's FIRST husband was selected by her parents. Hattie's family was extremely poor and probably didn't not set up the arrangement with Ferdinand Fleischman and his family in the matter the article below states. This is just one example of how these marriages were arranged by not the only one.
In fact, Hattie herself was very vague about how her FIRST marriage was set up. She was NOT happy because she had fallen in love with John Zanft, and her parents had selected Ferdinand Fleischman and that broke her heart.

                              

                                   Climbing Up the Social Ladder
........................................................................................
This article is all about arranged  marriages and the Austrian-Jewish culture. It appeared in the New York Tribute on June 30th 1901
The choice of the son in the family may be poor and of inferior connections, and there will be nothing worse than disappoint, but should the daughter look, there are storms and entreaties, and even curses. So great is the desire for sons-in-law's above the rank of the family. That extraordinary measures are taken by the parents to secure a desirable addition to the family. The son-in-law for whom the soul of every East Side Immigrant pines for is a professional man-a doctor preferably.
Now there are not so many physicians to be had, and there is only a slight chance that one of the number will look kindly on any given girl; so this can not be left to chance. An ambitious young man is "caught young," his fancy fired with pictures of social and professional glory; financial help is promised him, and then like a pill in jelly, is tucked the condition, "You must marry my daughter afterward." This practice is so common that there has arisen a saying, used when a young girl marries a physician, "Her father bought her a doctor."
Generally the young men do not seem to object to the arrangement.
Indeed at the age of seventeen the prospect of marriage is a little worthy of consideration to the young man. If repentance comes after he manages to keep it to himself and to live up to the bargain.
The case of one young man recently married, will serve to illustrate the practice. At the age of eighteen the father of a girl about a year or two his senior made a contract with him, the one promising a medical education and the other side marriage and social elevation. The young man agreed, went through the medical school, and duly announced his engagement. The girl's father furnished his office and living rooms, paying the rent and promising financial support till the young man's medical practice should pay. The girl's family have succeeded in putting their daughter a rung higher up the social ladder; They shine with reflected glory. Henceforth, their conversation will be peppered with "My son-in-law, Dr so and so" and "My son-in-law -----he's a doctor, you know." Should the couple be present when the neighbor's visit, his title will be hurled at their heads at least once a minute.

Reference: Portal to America: The Lower East Side 1870-1925- The Epic First America for Millions of Immigrants. Edited by Allon Schoener

                            The Matchmaker’s Role

 Poor Hattie was so confused as she was caught between two very different cultures.

  Her father's way of thinking, and Hattie's desire to be with the man she loved.

These next few articles deal with The Matchmaker and the important role they played in the Austrian-Jewish way of life at the turn of the century.

              

              More on Arranged Marriages and Jewish Immigrants.........
    

        SHADCHAN'S ( MATCHMAKERS) FIND BUSINESS BAD
           From the New York Tribute- September 30th 1900
................................................................................
When the Jews begun to come to this city in large number's and to crowd the Germans out of the East Side district they brought the marriage broker with them. They had always been accustomed to having a professional matchmaker arrange their marriages and at that time they did not know how to get a long without it. The young men were bashful and were more than willing to give up ten percent of a girl’s dowry if someone else would put the question. Besides, they made sure of getting a wife this way. They would go to the shadchen (matchmaker), and outline their ideal of a wife, not forgetting to mention the amount of dowry they were expecting. The matchmaker would then take note of all the young man's advantages- personal appearance, education, and money-making ability. Then he would go among the young women of his extended aquaintance and speedily find someone who was willing to wed on the terms the matchmaker offered.
The matchmaker's fee was paid as soon as the engagement was announced. It was usually ten percent of the girl's dowry, but in some cases a stipulated fee was charged when the girl was very pretty and her people unable to give a large marriage portion. Sometimes the matchmaker had difficulty collecting his fee in those cases he evened things up by breaking off the match. There were many ways of doing this. If the man was at fault, The matchmaker would find the girl a more desirable match. As love had not entered into the engagement it was speedily broken, leaving the man sadder but wiser.
If the matchmaker discovered it was the girl who objected to paying the fee he found a prettier girl for the man.
This was the way it used to be done.
Let the oldest matchmaker in the area tell why his services are no longer in great demand.
The sign outside many a matchmaker's door reads, That he can write letters, make translations and teach Hebrew or English.
"I would starve to death if I depended on just matchmaking for a living." A matchmaker stated bitterly, "At one time, I lived on the fat of the land, and most of the marriageable young men and women in this area depended on me to make them happy for life. Now they believe in love and all that rot. They are making their own marriages, and many of them will be unhappy. Several things combined brought about the change. In the first place there are too many girls in the Jewish Quarter. There are six or seven girls after every man. This makes the young men difficult to deal with, for they can marry into almost any family on the block just for the asking, Some young women still come to me but it is difficult to find mates for them.
They learned to start their own love affairs from the Americans, and this is the worst thing they could have picked up. How can a Jewish couple expect to be happy in a marriage of their own making when it has been the custom of their mothers and fathers for ages not to see each other until the wedding day? The love which they have put so much faith in dribbles out in trips to Coney Island and dating before marriage. In a month this young couple so in love is finding out ways of getting rid of each other. In the matchmakers way every month of married life made the young people more attached to each other. They may come back to the old way of doing things and for their sake, I hope they do."

The above interviewee sounded like a bitter matchmaker to me. I think Hattie would beg to differ with his way of thinking.


 

               The Jewish Wedding Ceremony as it was around 1901

Such a thing as a strictly quiet wedding, with no witnesses except for the immediate family members, is almost unknown in The Lower East Side Jewish Quarter. When the wedding contract has been signed and the matchmaker's work completed, there is usually an engagement party at which the parents of the bride-elect make public announcement of the daughter's engagement and break a glass to in the presence of the invited guests to indicate the contract is not fragile, like the work's of man and cannot be broken like them. All those who come to the engagement party are usually asked to the wedding ceremony, and receive wedding invitations, which are printed on fancy embossed cards in English and Yiddish, and often times in German. These invitations are worded nearly like like the ordinary wedding invitations, but in every instance the line follows the address where the ceremony will take place, which tells the brides resistance.
The people who are least blessed with worldly goods have the ceremony performed at the home of the bride; those who have more hire the synagogue for the occasion, and those of the highest circle of the East Side have the ceremony performed in the synagogue and hire a hall for the wedding dance and dinner.
Yet the largest number of weddings takes place in the halls  which are arranged for that purpose. These halls usually contain a women's reception room, a dining room, and a ballroom, and are rented for evening weddings and dances from five to ten dollars. This does not include what is known as the "hatbox" where the wardrobe of the guests is left. The proprietor of the hall usually charges 10-30 cents a couple for taking care of hats and wraps.
"When people are very swell." said the proprietor of one of these halls, "they hire the hatbox, and their guests don't have to pay for hatchecks."
The invitations usually give five or six o'clock as the hour of the ceremony, and at that time named bride and bride-groom arrive with their respective families. The bride is attired in a white satin gown with a long veil, and has many flowers; the groom is in evening clothes, They take stations in different rooms, and the guests arrive the ceremony of Kabolath-ponim or presenting takes place, this lasts till the guests have all arrived- generally an hour or two later than the time named on the invitation cards-and then if it's a large company, the young people have a dance or two, this over the groom takes his place under the chupah or canopy, and there awaits the coming of his bride, who is brought to him by her father. The chupah or canopy, has been an important feature in the Jewish wedding ceremonial ever since there has been a record. One East Side rabbi stated that a verse in the Bible refers plainly to "the joyous voice of the bridegroom under the chupah" This canopy is made of velvet and may be of any color but is usually deep red or purple, trimmed with gold lace, and has the Star of David embroidered in gold on one end. Under the canopy which symbolizes the future home of the family, the bride is taken by her parents, and the rabbi performs the marriage ceremony. when the couple have taken wine from the same glass to show they will be partners in joy, and the ring placed on the bride's finger, a glass is again broken; which ceremony the rabbi explained thus.
At no occasion should the Jew forget the glory of the Jewish nation is broken. The broken glass reminds them of that. It also reminds the young people that sooner or later all must return to dust, and even like beautiful glass be shattered and destroyed"
The ceremony over ,everybody congratulates his neighbor as well as the bridal couple, and then under the leadership of the chief actors, the whole party goes into the dining room, where luncheon is served. Since early in the morning the kitchen has been in charge of a kochfrau under whose direction a lunch and a supper, which is served later in the evening, has been prepared. The lunch lasts a short time, and then dancing begins and dinner is served around 11 pm
The synagogue wedding, when the chupah is reared in the sanctuary, is more expensive then the hall, because aside from the fee paid to the rabbi and the hall rent, there is a five dollar for use of the synagogue. Jewish Wedding ceremonies most often take place on Sundays.
Information Appeared in The New York Tribune on June 30th 1901.......... REFERENCE: Portal to America: The Lower East Side 1870-1925 The Epic First America for Millions of Immigrants. Edited by Allon Schoener

WHEN HATTIE CARNEGIE WAS UNITED IN MARRIAGE TO MAJOR JOHN ZANFT-

THEY WERE MARRIED ON AUGUST 22nd 1928 BY RABBI NATHAN KRASS OF TEMPLE EMANU-EL OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE IN NEW YORK. CITY
HATTIE WANTED TO RETURN TO HER OLD NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE SHE FIRST FELL IN LOVE WITH JOHN AS A YOUNG TEENAGER.

 

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Jewish Ketubah and Traditions

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Judaism is an ancient religion steeped in culture and tradition. Unfortunately the Jewish people have always faced prejudice and intolerance in their homeland and elsewhere .They felt an extreme need to hang on to the customs and way of life that was so dear to them, to preserve their way of life for the future generations, Judaism must survive, and thrive if it could, because of this they developed certain protections one of these was the Marriage Contract or Ketubah.

The Ketubah or Marriage contract was created to be certain the Jewish couples married and stayed married, and that children would be born into the faith. The Ketubah was never meant to be a document to trap individuals, into a marriage, they thought they didn’t want or could not sustain if it turned out the couples were not compatible nor could stay together.  Divorce was actually permissible, but the Ketubah was generally a protection for the wife specifically, if the husband decided he wanted to leave, so that her needs and the needs of any children of the union would be met.

 

The Ketubah outlines the rights of the wife and what the husband is obligated to give her:

 

   In the traditional Ketubah, the husband must provide to the wife, the following:

Food, clothing, a comfortable dwelling, place to live, a monetary allowance, alimony in case of a divorce, and it is her right for martial intimacy.

The Ketubah gave the wife, a sense of power, and actual rights that were guaranteed to her, in a time when a woman’s legal rights were few.

 

Hattie Carnegie established her first shop in 1909, at the age of twenty-three. At this time, a woman with her own business was practically unheard of, unless she was an old maid, and had no choice, but to support herself financially   Hattie was told that she was promised/arranged to be married to Ferdinand Fleischman.   Hattie’s father thought the talk of opening a business was just a foolish young lady talking, so he mapped out her future for her is a protection. It was in all actuality a gift of fatherly love from him to her. She needed somebody to take care of her.

According to marriage records, Hattie married Ferdinand around 1905, at the age of nineteen, she had already been in a serious relationship that begun when she was sixteen with a young American by the name of John Zanft which ended when Hattie was obligated by tradition and custom to marry Ferdinand. She didn’t have a choice, John was going into the service, her father was called by God to Heaven. She honored the Ketubah, thus honoring her beloved father.  The Ketubah listed some information that could be embarrassing to a young lady, because she had already been in a serious relationship, with another man, her dowry if she had one was far less than a woman that hadn’t been engaged in a previous relationship. At the turn of the century, traditional Jewish couples were not allowed to kiss, hold hands or to at any time be without a chaperone during courtship. Hattie was a modern thinker, and dating an American, John found Hattie’s Austrian-Jewish culture and traditions confusing, John was from a Jewish family too, but he was born and raised in the United States so all of the traditional thinking went out the window.

Hattie’s parents are the ones to blame, they encouraged her and all six of her siblings to meet other teenagers and to socialize, so they could adapt to their new life in America. Falling in love was bound to happen.

Hattie’s sister Frances who was three years younger met her future husband, Joseph Barrnett, at a teen social club, and they too ended up getting married. Hattie’s generation was the very first generation that had time to be involved in social activities.  Social clubs were all the rage.

Ferdinand knew about Hattie’s previous relationship with John, and it didn’t bother him. He still married her, even though it was just to please his parents. They made the best of the situation and the cards, they were dealt. They agreed to their Ketubah, along with the two required non-related males and the Rabbi who signed the Ketubah.

 

Ketubah’s  were decorated so even people who were illiterate, knew that it was an important document to be honored, treasured and cherished. Although I was told most of the Jewish population at the turn of the century could read and write, that if for no other reason, they could study the Torah  Ketubah’s were hung on the wall in traditional Jewish households to remind the couple of their commitment and promises to each other and to God.

The Ketubah of Herman and Anne Carnegie was written in both the traditional Hebrew and English. They were married in the United States on Christmas Eve of 1921.

Apparently both of  Herman’s and Anne’s families were traveling on the same ship to America. They did not meet however until after their arrival in America.

 

Ketubah’s are treasured in the United States, but they are a personal document, and are not a matter of public record. However they are still filed as legal documents in Israel.

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO SHOSHANA FOR A GREAT IDEA FOR A TOPIC!

 

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Jewish Marriage Traditions

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so I have decided my next topic would be Jewish Wedding Customs.

Carnegie Couples

There were many happy and lasting unions within the Carnegie Family.

Kallah-Bride                                            Chatan-Groom

 

Hannah and Issac (Kranczer) Kanengeiser

Hattie Carnegie-Zanft and Major John Zanft

Anne (Lax) Carnegie and Herman Carnegie

Rose (Carnegie) Apisdorf and Bernard Apisdorf

Frances (Carnegie) Barnett and Joseph Barnett

Celia (Carnegie) Meyers and Frank Meyers

Violet and Abel (Toni) Carnegie- Common Law Marriage   

 

Dedication

I want to dedicate this topic to all the great Jewish love stories that exist today, those that will exist in the future all the while remembering all of the romances of the past.

 

Not in the Synagogue

 

Most Jewish couples do NOT want Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, to be played on their wedding day, which is more commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride" because the song  was written by antisemitic composer Richard Wagner. He was Hitler's favorite composer, and it is said that the Nazis used to have his music piped into the Concertration Camps relectence of this may fade as more years pass it will eventually become a little known fact.

 

 

 

Wedding Ring

 

We all know the wedding ring is a marriage symbol in the majority of the religions of the world. In keeping with the theme of this website I will as always concentrate on the role and symbolism that the ring holds for Jewish couples.

 

Wedding Blessing

 

This is the wedding blessing recited by the Rabbi

 

Praised be Thou, O L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning illicit relations; and has prohibited us those who are merely betrothed; but has permitted to us those lawfully married to us by chuppah and kiddushin. Blessed art thou G‑d, who has sanctified His people Israel by chuppah and kiddushin.

ברוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם אשׁר קדשׁנוּ בּמצוֹתיו וצוָנוּ על העריות ואָסר לָנוּ את הארוּסוֹת והתּיר לָנוּ את הנשׂוּאוֹת לָנוּ על ידי חפּה וקדוּשׁין. בּרוּךְ אַתּה י-י מקדשׁ עמוֹ ישראל על ידי חפּה וקדוּשׁין.

Who Has Sanctified Us. G‑d has not merely allowed human beings an erotic indulgence by the legal validation of marriage. G‑d has sanctified us by giving us the institution of marriage. Through it we achieve a closer relationship with Him and a more intimate relationship with other people. Thereby we enrich the family and perpetuate the species, for G‑d created the world with the specific purpose that it be inhabited and civilized.

 

Here is my reference page.

 

CHABAD.ORG

 

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/313723/jewish/Betrothal-Blessings.htm

 

The Chuppah

The bride and groom get married under a canopy called a chuppah.  The chuppah represents the home that the bride and her groom will build together within their union

The blessing is toasted with wine because it is a special occasion to be celebrated. The bride and the groom sip from the same cup.

The groom than places the ring on the bride’s finger while reciting this blessing

 

"With this ring, you are consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel." The betrothal must be witnessed by kosher witnesses in order to be valid.

 

The Right Hand

 

The groom places the ring on the right index finger of his bride. So that everyone witnessing the ceremony is certain to see it, cementing the couples union by marriage.  The bride usually moved it to her right ring finger after the ceremony, but not always.

Rings were traditionally worn on the right ring finger. In recent times this was changed for a couple of reasons. There is a major vein in your left ring finger that leads straight to the heart. Hence the ring is on a direct line to the wearer’s heart.

It was also changed because 90% of the population is right-handed. It kept the ring from getting ruined by day to day activities.

I always wondered why Hattie was always shown in photos with her wedding ring on her right hand, now I know the answer.

In Judaism, the ring symbolizes a coin which has roots in the time of arranged marriages and the dowry, a groom was supposed to give his bride to be a gold coin.  The ring is a coin worn on the bride’s finger.

In Orthodox Judaism, the bride doesn’t give the groom a ring, nor does she make a statement to him. The statement is to be the groom’s responsibility to the bride. The groom promises this publicly in front of the synagogue, so that he will have to keep his word.

In Reform Judaism, which Hattie and John practiced, the bride is allowed to give her groom, a ring and a promise to promote equality within the marriage.

 

The traditional wedding ring is supposed to be plain with it can be with or without a Hebrew message. The rings with the Hebrew writing are extremely beautiful.  It must be real gold although silver is acceptable. It stands for the love and commitment of the couple.

The ring must belong to the groom and never borrowed.

If the groom’s parents have to buy the ring or if the parents of the groom would like to pass an older ring down within the family lineage.  His parents must first give it to their son as a gift, therefore the ring will technically be his to present to his bride.

John broke tradition when he presented Hattie with that pearl ring encircled by diamonds.

Hattie’s ring was very beautiful. However they couldn’t utilize that particular ring when they had their synagogue ceremony. BECAUSE THIS IS NOT PERMITTED

According to Jewish tradition, her ring had to be plain without any stones nor glitz.

More than likely John purchased a simple, no frills ring for their synagogue ceremony. After the ceremony Hattie replaced the ring with the one from John with the pearls and the glitz.

The Carnegie Family Practiced Reform Judaism

Because they were Reform, Hattie was allowed to present John with a ring, however it could not be given to him during the ceremony or according to Jewish tradition, the marriage would not have been considered valid. A bride in Reform Judaism is allowed to present her groom with a ring after the wedding is over. In the majority of marriages the groom is usually very proud to wear it.

 

Wedding Day Attire

Wedding day attire is also very different.  The bride and her groom both wear white.   The groom wears a kittel over his suit. ( white robe) Although white symbolizes purity. It isn’t the reason that a kittel is worn. It actually means that the marriage is a LIFE ANEW, free from all past misdeeds of the couple, as they start their lives together. In other words……..Pure.

In a Christian wedding, the bride is not to be seen by the groom until she walks down the aisle. In a Jewish wedding, the opposite is done, the groom veils his bride. This is done because of an incident in the Torah.

 

The Torah

This is what took place…….

Rebecca is the first bride in the Torah and she was the first one to use a veil. When she approached her fiancé, Isaac who was the son of Abraham, she lowered her veil across her face as a sign of modesty. Later on their son Jacob had his bride switched on him by his father-in-law Laban, who used the veil to replace Jacob’s attended bride Rachel with her sister Leah.  To ensure that this never happened again, a new custom emerged. The custom of the groom personally veiling his bride became commonplace.

The bride must not wear any jewelry during the ceremony because the groom is marrying the bride, not her possessions. Jewelry may be worn after the ceremony.

 

The Signifigance of the Number Seven

 

Under the chuppah, the bride circles the groom seven times. The number seven is of great significance because the world was created in seven days.  It also is a testament to their new life together.

 

The Seven Blessings will be recited.    Here are the blessings in Layman’s Terms.

 

  1. who has created everything for his glory
  2. ... who fashioned the Man
  3. ... who fashioned the Man in His image ...
  4. ... who gladdens Zion through her children
  5. ... who gladdens groom and bride
  6. ... who created joy and gladness ... who gladdens the groom with the bride
  7. and the standard prayer over wine.

The couple then drinks the wine.

 

Judaism 101-

http://www.jewfaq.org/marriage.htm

 

Fasting

 

The couple will sometimes choose to fast the day before the wedding. After the wedding there is traditionally no receiving line. This is because the newly married couple will break the fast in private.  The couple will go into a private room referred to as the "yichud room" where they will spend a few moments alone. They will have something to eat before joining their guests for the reception.

 

Why the Glass is Broken at the Conclusion of a Wedding Ceremony.

 

For a Number of Reasons

 

First - to symbolize the Jews sadness at the destruction of their temple.

 

 Second- Jews believe that before birth that future spouses are one single soul. When people are born they are separated into two souls, one male, one female.  Throughout their lives these two souls are on a quest to locate each other.  The broken glass makes you look at your separation with sadness, then you rejoice because you found each other and are together again. The broken glass is the uniting of two souls into one. They will never be separated again.

 

Third- The marriage will last until the glass is put together again.

 

The broken glass is given to the couple in a velvet pouch to keep forever.

 

 

 

Reminds me of the Great Love Story of Hattie Carnegie and Major John Zanft Reunited in Love after Twenty Years.

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM HATTIE-CARNEGIE.INFO

 

References for this Essay…….

 

Judaism- Ask the Rabbi

http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabbi_c/bl_weddingring.htm

 

 Jewish Celebrations

http://www.jewishcelebrations.com/wedding/Conservative/Attire.htm

 

Judaism 101-

http://www.jewfaq.org/marriage.htm

 

 

The Jewish Custom when Mourning a Loved One



The Lower East Side Tenement Museum explains the mourning process this way in the book "Stories of Immigrant Life".

In the book, about immigrant life at the turn of the century, they discuss a Jewish man by the name of Abraham who had just died all the mirrors in the apartment where he resided are covered
for about a week after Abraham’s death. On the top of the dresser in his bedroom there was a lamp (needed day and night because of the lack of windows for sunlight), grooming materials, and glass cups called bankes. The bankes were heated on the inside and applied to the body. It was believed that illness could be drawn from the body by cupping. When the cups had been on the body for the required period. They were removed making the popping sound of a section cup freeing the loved ones body of illness.

What is a Shiva?

The Hebrew word for seven stands for the formal period of mourning a loved one which is observed by the family after the death of a loved one. It also stands for the seven relatives one is supposed to observe shiva for.

These relatives include Mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and spouse. The family is supposed to remain at home. They sit on low stools to represent "feeling low". Three prayer services daily for a week are said in honor of the loved one who has died. An adult male, If he is over 13 years of age (in the case of a parent) leads the Kaddish (The prayer of the dead) This service is called a minyan (number). If a friend pays their respects to the family. According to proper etiquette. They are expected to sit quietly near the family and not speak unless spoken to in respect to their friends loss and allow them to mourn.

According to Jewish law, Family members observing a Shiva must not:

Shave

Take a luxurious bath

Wear leather shoes (because they are considered comfortable)

Engage in marital relations

Wash clothing

 

 

PHOTOGRAPH FROM JEWS NEWS VIA FACEBOOK

 

http://www.facebook.com/jewsnews

 

Independence Day in Israel- Jewish Nation was Reestablished on May 14th 1948

The Jewish people trace their origin directly back to Abraham who believed that their was only one God, creator of the universe. Abraham, his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob are the patriarchs of the Israelites.

They lived in the land of Canaan which today is modern day Israel. They and their wives are buried in the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron.

Israel was the name given to Jacob in the Old Testament. His twelve sons were the kernels of the twelve tribes that would develop into the Jewish nation. The term Jew stands for Yehuda (Judah) one of Jacob twelve sons so the phrases of Israel, Israeli or Jewish refer to those of the same origin.

The descendants of Abraham began a new nation after their exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses transmitted to his people on behalf of God, The Ten Commandments and the Torah. After forty years in the Sinai Desert Moses led his people to the land of Israel which was a land that was promised by God to the people.

Modern day Israelites continue to share the same language and culture that they had during Biblical times beginning with Abraham. The Jewish population has had a continuous presence and influence in the land of Israel for well over 3000 years..

The rule of Israelites in Israel started with what is referred to as the Period of the Kings. The most famous kings were David who proclaimed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his son Solomon who built the first temple in Israel as documented in the Old Testament

In 587 BCE, The First Temple was destroyed when the army of Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar’s

captured Jerusalem and exiled the Jewish population to Babylon which is modern day Iraq.

Also the year 587 marked a turning point in the region with different ruling empires before Isreali independence was finally realized

The ruling empires consisted of Babylonian, Persian, Greek Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Empires, Islamic and Christian Crusaders, Ottoman Empire and concluding with the British Empire. After their exile the Jewish population emigrated to several countries of Europe of North Africa They held their culture, customs and faith dear to their hearts and made a home within the adopted countries they chose to settle in, but as history dictated they always longed for home and their hearts remained in Israel and they always included the nation of Israel in their daily prayers.

The early part of the 20th century was a time of mass emigration and many Jews had chosen to return to their homeland of Israel. The Jews were and still to this day are the constant targets of prejudice, violence and were and are often killed because of their faith this was most prevalent during the Nazi Regime in Europe which would led to the Holocaust and the deaths of over six million Jews.

On May 14th 1948 The Jewish Community in Israel reestablished sovereignty over their homeland and The Declaration of Independence was made an official document.

The day after the official signing of the Declaration of Independence of Israel the armies of five Arab countries invaded Israel.

These countries included

Egypt,

Syria,

Jordan,

Lebanon

Iraq.

These countries together have waged four wars against Isreal which is only about the size of New Jersey These wars were

1948 War of Independence

1956 Sinai War

1967 Six Day War

1973 Yom Kippur War

Despite being outnumbered Israel courageously defended and won it’s right for freedom.

The Jews in Israel continue to this day struggle to keep their freedoms. Freedom remains precious to them as does the dream of peace.

 Reference: http://www.science.co.il/Israel-history.asp

 

 

 

Please Move Over Elf on a Shelf-

 

 

AWESOME FOR HANUKKAH!

 

  

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