How an Heirloom Bible Found Its Way to Its Rightful Owners after Eighty Years

A few years ago, an art historian came upon an ornate Tanakh—with drawings by the famed 19th-century illustrator Gustave Doré—for sale on eBay. He purchased it, and then donated it to a local synagogue. Four years later, its origins were pieced together. Nicole Asbury tells the story:

A father and son in Oberdorf, Germany in 1990 were renovating the home they’d just bought when they came across something unusual: a chest hidden behind a double wall in the attic. Tucked inside the chest was a large, gilded Jewish Bible that looked like it had been carefully placed there. It was heavy, about 22 pounds, and almost 30 inches long and three inches high. . . [T]he son held onto it for nearly 30 years. But in April 2017, he decided to sell it on eBay. . . .

The Bible, it turned out, was part of the legacy of Eduard and Ernestine Leiter, a Jewish couple from Stuttgart killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. . . . The Nazis forced them to move to Oberdorf . . . to live with seven other Jewish families. In August 1942, the Germans sent the couple to Theresienstadt, a ghetto and concentration camp outside Prague. Before the Leiters left the home in Oberdorf, they hid all their valuables and personal items—including their jewelry, some letters, and an 1874 edition of the Jewish Bible—in hopes of returning and retrieving their keepsakes. They never returned.

The Leiters’s son, Sali, was the lone survivor in the family. That’s when the family story becomes remarkable: Sali’s descendants—who did not know much about him—came to possess his parents’ Bible. It landed this summer on their doorstep in New York.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: German Jewry, Hebrew Bible, Holocaust, Holocaust restitution

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship