Tag Archives: American Army

Jew of the Week: Bob Kahn

The Father of the Internet

Bob Kahn – Father of the Internet

Robert Elliot Kahn was born in New York in 1938. After receiving a Ph.D from Princeton, and working at AT&T Labs, he joined ARPA, the US military’s massive research branch. There he led the team that developed ARPANet, which came alive in 1972 when twenty computers went online. Realizing the significance of this tremendous achievement, he moved on to develop a protocol that would allow all computers in the world to be connected. He wrote out the blueprint for TCP – Transmission Control Protocol. A man named Vinton Cerf joined him to develop this system [Vint Cerf is possibly a descendant of Jews himself, as “Cerf” is a last name common to Jewish-Hungarians]. Together they created TCP/IP, which serves as the backbone of the internet to this day, allowing computers to communicate with one another and exchange packets of information. Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf have therefore been titled “the Fathers of the Internet”. In 2004, they received the Turing Award for “pioneering work on internetworking, including… the Internet’s basic communications protocols… and for inspired leadership in networking.” The two have also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest award in the US). Interesting: Bob Kahn initiated what may be the largest single research project in history, the Strategic Computing Program, which cost over a billion dollars – in the 1970s!

 

Words of the Week

And at that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry, for the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust. The entire occupation of the world will be only to know God… the people of Israel will be of great wisdom. They will perceive the esoteric truths and comprehend their Creator’s wisdom to the full capacity of man, as it is written (Isaiah 11:9): “For the Earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the water fills the seas.”

– Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 12:5)

Jew of the Week: Judah Touro

A Great American Hero

Judah Touro: War Hero, Philanthropist

The Touro family was forced out of Portugal in the explusion of 1497. They first settled in the Netherlands, then tried their fortunes in the New World, being among the earliest pioneers in America. There, they established the first official synagogue in the Americas, the Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island. George Washington visited in 1790, there giving his famous speech “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Isaac Touro was the chazzan of this congregation. His son Judah Touro (1775-1854) established a small goods store in New Orleans which blossomed into a massive merchant empire. Throughout his life, Judah contributed vast sums of money for important causes, both Jewish and non-Jewish – schools, cemeteries, orphanages and hospitals, including the $20,000 necessary to build the Jews’ Hospital of New York, now known worldwide as Mount Sinai Hospital. In an early act of Zionism, Touro sent $50,000 to Jews living in Israel. In another instance, he provided the funds to establish a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem, called Mishkenot Sha’ananim. At death, he left half a million dollars to charity, an unheard of amount in those days. Two-thirds of this money went to non-Jewish causes. The other third was given to nearly every active synagogue operating in America. For these reasons, some say Judah Touro is the greatest Jewish philanthropist of all time. Most impressively, Judah Touro also served his country in the War of 1812. After getting injured, he continued to volunteer as a munitions carrier. In the Battle of New Orleans, a 12-pound cannonball smashed his leg, ripping off most of his thigh. Left for dead, he managed to survive and continued his business for another 40 years. Humble and modest, he lived in a small apartment all his life. Judah Touro’s financial advice: never take a mortgage on an existing property to invest elsewhere.

Words of the Week

Better an Israel that everyone hates than an Auschwitz that everyone loves.
– Rabbi Meir Kahane