Moses Mendelssohn

Moses Mendelssohn was a German-Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the Haskalah, the'Jewish enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is indebted. Born to a poor Jewish family in Dessau, Principality of Anhalt, destined for a rabbinical career, Mendelssohn educated himself in German thought and literature and from his writings on philosophy and religion came to be regarded as a leading cultural figure of his time by both Christian and Jewish inhabitants of German-speaking Europe and beyond, he established himself as an important figure in the Berlin textile industry, the foundation of his family's wealth. His descendants include the composers Felix Mendelssohn. Moses Mendelssohn was born in Dessau, his father's name was Mendel, it was Moses who adopted the surname Mendelssohn. Moses's son Abraham Mendelssohn wrote in 1829, "My father felt that the name Moses Ben Mendel Dessau would handicap him in gaining the needed access to those who had the better education at their disposal.

Without any fear that his own father would take offense, my father assumed the name Mendelssohn. The change, though a small one, was decisive."Mendel was an impoverished scribe — a writer of Torah scrolls — and his son Moses in his boyhood developed curvature of the spine. Moses's early education was cared for by his father and by the local rabbi, David Fränkel, besides teaching him the Bible and Talmud, introduced to him the philosophy of Maimonides. In 1743 Fränkel received a call to Berlin, a few months Moses followed him. A refugee Pole, Israel Zamosc, taught him mathematics, a young Jewish physician taught him Latin, he was, however self-taught. He learned to philosophize at the same time. With his scanty earnings he bought a Latin copy of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, mastered it with the aid of a Latin dictionary, he made the acquaintance of Aaron Solomon Gumperz, who taught him basic French and English. In 1750, a wealthy silk-merchant, Isaac Bernhard, appointed him to teach his children.

Mendelssohn soon won the confidence of Bernhard, who made the young student successively his bookkeeper and his partner. It was Gumperz who introduced Mendelssohn to Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in 1754, who became one of his greatest friends, it is said that the first time Mendelssohn met Lessing, they played chess. In Lessing's play Nathan the Wise Nathan and the character Saladin first meet during a game of chess. Lessing had produced the drama Die Juden, whose moral was that a Jew can possess nobility of character; this notion was, in the contemporary Berlin of Frederick the Great ridiculed as untrue. Lessing found in Mendelssohn the realization of his dream. Within a few months, the two became intellectually allied. Lessing brought Mendelssohn to public attention for the first time: Mendelssohn had written an essay attacking Germans' neglect of their native philosophers, lent the manuscript to Lessing. Without consulting the author, Lessing published Mendelssohn's Philosophical Conversations anonymously in 1755.

In the same year there appeared in Danzig an anonymous satire, Pope a Metaphysician, which turned out to be the joint work of Lessing and Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn became the leading spirit of Friedrich Nicolai's important literary undertakings, the Bibliothek and the Literaturbriefe, ran some risk by criticizing the poems of the King of Prussia. In 1762 he married Fromet Guggenheim. In the year following his marriage Mendelssohn won the prize offered by the Berlin Academy for an essay on the application of mathematical proofs to metaphysics, On Evidence in the Metaphysical Sciences. In October 1763 the king granted Mendelssohn, but not his wife or children, the privilege of Protected Jew, which assured his right to undisturbed residence in Berlin; as a result of his correspondence with Abbt, Mendelssohn resolved to write on the immortality of the soul. Materialistic views were at the time rampant and fashionable, faith in immortality was at a low ebb. At this favourable juncture appeared. Modelled on Plato's dialogue of the same name, Mendelssohn's work possessed some of the charm of its Greek exemplar and impressed the German world with its beauty and lucidity of style.

Phaedo was an immediate success, besides being one of the most read books of its time in German was speedily translated into several European languages, including English. The author was hailed as the "German Plato," or the "German Socrates". So far, Mendelssohn had devoted his talents to criticism. In April 1763, Johann Kaspar Lavater a young theology-student from Zurich, made a trip to Berlin, where he visited the famous Jewish philosopher with some companions, they insisted on Mendelssohn telling them his views on Jesus and managed to get from him the statement, provided the historical Jesus had kept himself and his theology strictl

Alf Blair

Alfred Lewis "Smacker" Blair was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach whose playing career ran from 1917 to 1930 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. A skillful five-eighth he made a single appearance for the Australian national team in 1924. Blair played his club football career with the South Sydney, whom he captained to premiership victories in 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1929, he was the 1927 NSWRFL season's top point scorer and was captain-coach of the Rabbitohs that year. He took a year off from Sydney football in 1928 when he traveled to Queensland to captain-coach Longreach, he returned to Souths for his final playing year in 1929, winning a premiership and leading the side on the first tour of New Zealand by a Sydney club team. After finishing his Sydney career with Souths, he captain-coached the Waratah-Mayfield club in Newcastle in 1931, he finished his career at Cooma before returning to Sydney. Blair played 167 first grade games for the Rabbitohs between 1917 and 1930 scoring 37 tries and 120 goals for a total of 351 points.

The noted journalist Claude Corbett said of him, "He was beyond doubt the finest rugby league captain Sydney club football has known. He had an uncanny intuition of positional play." Blair played seven games for the New South Wales rugby league team in 1919 and 1927. He played one test match for Australia against the touring Great Britain team in 1924, he is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 128. Blair coached the Western Suburbs Magpies for the 1943 NSWRFL season, after which he was succeeded by Henry Bolewski, he coached South Sydney for the 1944 NSWRFL season. Blair had just completed the season coaching his old club, when he died at his Coogee home on 28 September 1944. Up until his death, he was a popular steward at the NSW Leagues Club, became ill at work a few days before he died, he was survived by Alf. A large funeral was held for Smacker at St. Brigid's Church, Coogee where many past and present members of the South Sydney District Rugby League Football club were present.

He was buried at Botany Cemetery on 30 September 1944. Andrews, Malcolm; the ABC of Rugby League. Australia: ABC Books, 2006. Whiticker, Alan & Hudson, Glen The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, Gavin Allen Publishing, Sydney Whiticker, Alan & Collis, Ian The History of Rugby League Clubs, New Holland, Sydney

Adolphe-Chéron Stadium

The Adolphe-Chéron Stadium is the main stadium for football and athletics in the city of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. The stadium has a capacity of 3,500, it is used by the football clubs US Lusitanos VGA Saint-Maur. In 1912, Phileas Vassal bequeathed 37 hectares of land to the city of Saint-Maur; the will stipulated that the plot must be divided up and it must be devoted to sports played by "both sexes". The Company of the Olympic Stadium was created in 1920 to operate the site. Under the leadership of Adolphe Cheron, construction of the stadium began in early 1920 and was completed in May 1922; the opening of the stadium, which at that time could accommodate 10,000 spectators, took place 28 May, 1922. The Henry Paté gym is situated on the site; the stadium hosted the Ladies Athletics Championships of France in 1929, 1933 and 1934. The stadium underwent superficial renovations between 1943 and 1951; the stadium was renamed the Adolphe-Chéron Stadium on 24 May 1952 and underwent further renovations between 1958 and 1973, including the installation of permanent lighting on 19 November 1964.

The lighting was only partial and had to be supplemented for nighttime events, such as the famous "Saint-Maur," athletics meetings. These evening athletics events saw Michel Jazy break several world records: on 27 June 1962, Jazy beat the world record in the 3,000 meters in 7:49.2. On 2 June 1965, Jazy beats the world record in the mile in 3:55.5, the 12 October1966, Jazy bade farewell to the competition by beating the world record in the 2,000 meters. Other international athletics records are set at the stadium were: Hervé Encausse beat the European record in the Pole vault on 5 June 1968. Guy Drut beat the world record for 110 meters hurdles on 23 July 1975; the stadium was renovated again between 1987 and 1988, with the erection of a new main stand of 680 seats. This stand, named after Michel Jazy, was inaugurated on 9 October 1988