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Remembering Reb. Gershon Ber Jacobson

Remembering Reb. Gershon Ber Jacobson

(Printed in the Algemeiner Journal 5/19/06)

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  Remembering Reb. Gershon Ber Jacobson

 

 

This month is the first yarhtzeit of Reb. Gershon Ber Jacobson.  He was the founder of the Yiddish newspaper, the Algemeiner Journal.  When I looked at the Algemeiner editorial page Reb. Gershon Ber Jacobson is still listed as Editor-In-Chief.  How can that be?  I asked myself isn’t there a yahrtzeit coming up?  Can it be a mistake?  The answer, I believe, is that Reb. Gershon Ber lives on through his work, the wonderful newspaper, the Algemeiner Journal.  As it says by Yakkov Avinu, his children carry on the spirit so he, Yakkov, lives on.

 

It has been taught in Pirkei Avos that the world stands on three things, Torah, Avodo, and Gamilus Chasodim.  So too the Algemeiner stands on three things.  They are the three distinguished sons of Reb. Gershon.  Rabbis Simon, Yosef, and Boruch.  Each son is a prolific writer, creative, informative, and, at times, quite controversial.  They are a true chip off the old block.

 

I remember having a conversation with Reb. Gershon about his children.  He boasted to me, “My boys tell it as it is.”  This son spoke here and the other one there.  Each with a distinct message of presenting the truth.  Whether the message is kind or harsh, it is the truth.

 

All of us know that the Algemeiner was the Pravda – the real truth – printing all the news that needed to be known.  The Algemeiner was not scared to be controversial.  If anything it spoke up for the emes at all costs.  No one could intimidate the editor, Reb. Gershon.  Not Israeli leaders, American politicians, nor those representing the Chassidic or Litvisher olam.  Reb. Gershon could not be bought!  When all failed there was one newspaper that reached out and that was the Algemeiner.  Topics like Israel exchanging land for peace, Russian Jewry, Chassidic debates, Carlbach, Igud HaRabbonim, Lubavitch, Agudah and Satmar were all given coverage.  This was the message of Reb. Gershon.  Let the people know and they will make up their minds.

 

So indeed Reb. Gershon lives on through his beloved Algemeiner Journal. 

 

The flag of Algemeiner’s truth flies high and is waved occasionally to those despairing.  On this yahrtzeit we remember a most wonderful, talented editor who left the world much too early.  Much more can be written but in this particular case the written words would only limit the truth.  Reb. Gershon we all miss you.

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