A Differing View and a Scholar Takes
Hard Look at the Bagel Derivative
Editor, The Jewish News:
I regret that it becomes neces-
sary to enter the arena of scholar-
ly controversy. Gross errors have
been perpetrated in the article,
"The Beloved Bagel Shines on the
American Scene," Ben Gallob
(JTA), The Jewish News, Detroit,
Sept. 17, 1965, p. 13. Specific ref-
erence is made to Mr. Gallob's bor-
rowing, without citation, the hypo-
thesis of philologist Dr. Frederick
F. Fletcher. (Compare: "El Al
Looks into the Bagel," New York:
Bagel Research Center, El Al Is-
rael Airline, no date).
The work of Gallob, following
the earlier research of Fletcher,
is obviously half - baked and de-
mands more heated scholarly de-
bate. Their conjectures ignore the
original hypothesis advanced by
Moss in a report to the Bagel Re-
search Center, Feb. 12, 1965, (per-
sonal communication). Upon re-
ceipt of a National Science Foun-
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dation grant, which will arrive
with the Messiah, I shall assign
two doctoral students the task of
carrying forth the needed research
to demonstrate the validity of my
hypothesis. Obviously, these w ill
be upper-crust students who will
be paid plenty of dough.
Fletcher contends that the bagel
is related . to the croissant. As any
gastronome knows: a croissant is
a croissant and a bagel is a bagel.
However, in Vienna, the kipfel
was reputedly re-named Buegel in
honor of the stirrups of the con-
quering Jan Sobiesky. Perhaps peo-
ple did cling to the stirrups of his
horse and, perhaps, some baker
renamed the half moon bread as
Steigbuegel; however, this reputed
etymology falls flat as dough made
from infertile yeast. It is easier to
pass the camel through the pro-
verbial needle's eye than it is to
close the circle of the kipfel.
If Al commits the grievous er-
ror of almost equating the bagel
with the Bialistocker pletzel, worse
yet, in their illiterate handling of
this important area of scholarly in-
quiry, they do equate the pletzel
with pitah. No Bialy could ever
pass the humus b tahini test.
Again: pitah is pitah and c.
Allow me to offer the Moss
hypothesis. My preliminary re-
search avoids the pitfalls of pre-
vious efforts to track the origin
of the bagel. Such blind alleys in-
clude: a) the medical hypothesis—
the bagel is a doughnut with ar-
teriosclerosis; b) the construction
trade hypothesis — a cement en-
crusted doughnut; c) weapons tech-
nology hypothesis—the bagel as a
lethal weapon when hurled by an
irate wife; and, a host of other
fruitless channels of research. In-
stead, I offer out of my illiterate
command of Hebrew: aigel—circle,
circular, round. Hence, b'aigel-
in the circle! What is more natural
than the linguistic shift which oc-
curs in the Galitzianer pronuncia-
tion—a good old fashioned baygel.
Now that the problem is solved,
will someone please pass the
gerauchter lachs. Now, that brings
up another problem: lachs out of
the Indo-European Sanskritic lahk-
LEONARD W. MOSS
of Sociology and
Serving In Hospitals and Homes
REV. GOLDMAN L.
Serving at Homes and. Hospitals
Recommended by Physicians
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
30—Friday, October 1, 1965
REASONS WHY MAIL
FOR JAMESTOWN, ALA.
CAN BE MISSENT. . •
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When you use- ZIP Code in
your address, your corre-
spondence is more likely to
wind up in the right James-
town. ZIP Code adds ac-
curacy to your mail.
Many exciting things happened
in Cleveland in the 1920s and
1930s. There were rabbinic squab-
bles, synagogues made changes in
their . services, the charitable
groups faced many problems and
there were controversies over
Leon Wiesenfeld was the editor
of the Jewish Voice Pictorial for
a few years during which the bat-
tles occurred. Gathering the arti-
cles he wrote, collecting them into
a brochure of 144 pages, he details
them under the title "Jewish Life
in Cleveland in the 1920s and
1930s." The booklet was published
by Jewish Voice Pictorial, 2821
Mayfield Rd., Cleveland 18.
Among the details recorded
are numerous personality battles
and one wonders what is ac-
complished by these "memoirs
of a Jewish journalist" since
many of the people involved are
no longer among the living and
the struggles hardly have rele-
vance to our time.
Nevertheless, as history perhaps
some of the details are of value
and some interest. For instance,
detailing "The Incessant Silver-
Goldman-Brockmer Zionist Strug-
gle," Wiesenfeld recalls the fight
for the Zionist presidency at the
convention held in Detroit in 1929.
Wiesenfeld tells of having stood
always with Dr. Abba Hillel Silver
and he praises the late Zionist
leader for having founded the
Cleveland Zionist Society.
The personality issues described
in this booklet are, indeed, in-
triguing. Wiesenfeld describes also
the battles that centered in the
Cleveland Bureau of Jewish Edu-
cation, and many prominent names
are involved. For Clevelanders
this booklet will be a source for
recalling conditions that probably
could not be repeated today.
Recalling the anti-Nazi activities,
Wiesenfeld tells how Mayor Bur-
ton was exploited by the Nazis and
inveigled him into recognizing the
Nazis, giving them status in the
community. Wiesenfeld's role in
the battle is given much space, and
the book is in this and in many
other respects a personal docu-
ment of a former active leader's
role in his community.
A Goldman-Benjamin fight be-
tween two rabbis is described
and Dr. Solomon Gokdnan is
quoted as having found it diffi-
cult to remain in Cleveland be-
cause of Sliver. Wiesenfeld de-
Rabbi Brockner's name also is
dragged into the controversies.
There are charges of prejudices,
and in the descriptions of the wel-
fare fund, the community council
and other activities there are de-
tails of fights galore. The author
also - tells of the "hard life" he had
while he was a member of the now
defunct Jewish World staff.
Wiesenfeld also tells about "per-
petual meat scandals" and there
are other accounts of fights on
In a sense, this book is a defense
of the author's role in his commun-
ity, and Wiesenfeld documents his
statements to prove the validity of
his role in Cleveland.
In his introduction Wiesenfeld
explains that he felt the need to
give an account of Cleveland's past
history because they were years of
There is a tribute to Wiesenfeld
in an introductory essay by M. Z.
Frank entitled "The Man and His
By Sid Shmarak
THE CANDY CONE, newly
opened ice cream emporium at
23111 Coolidge in Oak Park, which
features ice cream in 48 delicious
flavors, is now selling the world
famous Barricini Chocolates, in-
cluding a fine selection of holiday-
Catholic Dignitaries Dedicate Hall
in Rome in Memory of American Jew
grated to the United States at the
age of 16. Together with his bro-
thers he founded the department
stare in Pittsburgh _ , bearing the
Kaufmann name. He died in
1955. During his lifetime he do-
nated cmil.sleiso.ns of dollars to chari-
ROME (JTA) — Top-ranking
Catholic church dignitaries headed
by the Vatican's Secretary of State
Cardinal Amleto Ciognani, honored
an American Jewish philanthro-
pist, the late Henry Kaufmann of
Pittsburgh, at ceremonies dedi-
cating a hall in his memory at
Pro Deo University here, April 29.
A bust of Mr. Kaufmann was un-
veiled at the ceremonies.
Pope Paul VI, in an apostolic
brief, warmly praised efforts to-
ward "links of brotherhood" by
men of study and action from dif-
ferent nations and different so-
cial and religious backgrounds,
and has established an Interna-
tional Pro Deo Union to work for
Judge Joseph Proskauer, honor-
ary president of the American
Jewish Committee, dedicating the
Kaufmann Hall, termed as "Anni
Mirabili" the year in which the
United Nations Charter promoting
respect for fundamental human
rights was adopted, and last year,
when the Ecumenical Council ap-
proved in principle the declaration
on Jews. The ideals and accom-
plishments of Pro Deo, he de-
clared, were in these very same
Fr. Felix Morlion, president and
rector of Pro Deo University,
singled out Judge Proskauer as
one who — through his contribu-
tions to the Declaration of the
United Nations on Human Rights
and his defense of the first Catho-
lic candidate for President of the
United States, Al Smith, against
bigotry and intolerance—"had prac-
ticed equality and justice and
certainly can teach equality and
Henry Kaufmann, a major figure
in American retailing history, was
born in Germany in 1860 and emi-
JERUSALEM (JTA)—Israeli of-
ficials reported that three major
West German firms, AEG, Tele-
funken and Siemens, had resumed
trade relations with Israel after
they renounced the Arab boycott
Mor Karman, a 19th Century
Hungarian-Jewish e d u c at o r, is
credited with pioneering the estab-
lishment of that country's first
modern secondary school system.
and his ORCHESTRA
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