Third Temple - Where Heaven Touches Earth

Shabbat Lighting Times
Jewish Time - Zemanim
(any location worldwide)

Third Temple Torah

Thanks To Us From Harry Truman

By Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko

Rabbi Baruch Poupko , father of Jerusalem’s own Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko was a man used to thinking big. After all, when in the fifties a frightened cold war  America was busy building air raid shelters, Poupko was developing the strategy that ultimately liberated Soviet Jewry.  As a public school student in communist Russia he learned that Russians fear humiliation far more than death itself. To Baruch Poupko this meant that there was nothing in Russia’s arsenal of thermonuclear weapons to protect them from the merciless public ridicule his movement would heaped upon them. Ultimately this led to the success of America’s Jackson–Vanik amendment in  1974 that pressured the Soviet Union to stop restricting Jewish emigration through "diploma taxes" . The rest is well known history.

For Baruch Poupko then , an annual schul dinner could not simply  be a schul dinner . To make it an event of appropriate proportions he decided  to invite then former President Harry Truman as the main speaker . As Baruch Poupko was apparently blessed with the intelligence gathering abilities of a native Russian ,  he learned that President Harry Truman himself answered the phone in his Presidential library for a full hour  after his daily constitutional. Rabbi Poupko phoned him and there were no problems in agreeing to the terms  and scheduling.

Introducing President Truman at the dinner, Rabbi Poupko expressed his appreciation for the fact that he had made America the first country to recognize the de facto authority of Israel’s Provisional Government. (Later the Soviet Union became the first country to recognize Israel’s sovereignty de jures.)   President Truman responded, “Rabbi Poupko it is not you Jews who owe me the thanks . It is I who owe  you Jews the gratitude, for you are an eternal people  and I wanted a share in that eternity”. 


Photos and Data © Third Temple and/or Avrahom Dovid.