A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 13, 2019
“God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers”

"God can’t/couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers” is a saying that has been printed on many images. Bohemian Jewish writer.Leopold Kompert wrote the saying in his ghetto stories. “Die alte Babele bei Kompert sagt: ‘Gott konnte nicht überall sein, darum hat er die Mutter geschaffen’” was printed in the book Rom und Jerusalem (1862) by Moritz Hess. “The saying of the old rabbi, ‘God could not be everywhere, and, therefore, he made mothers’” was printed in the novel Ben-Hur (1880) by Lew Wallace.

English poet, novelist and journalist Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) has been credited with the saying since at least the 2000s, but the saying was cited in print before Kipling was born. It’s uncertain if Kipling ever used it.

“GOD couldn’t be everywhere so he created Grandmothers’ was printed in the El Paso (TX) Times on May 11, 1974. “God could not be everywhere so he created grandmothers and grandfathers” was printed in The Daily Standard (Sikeston, MO) on March 10, 1975.


Wikipedia: Leopold Kompert
Leopold Kompert (15 May 1822 – 23 November 1886) was a Bohemian Jewish writer. He was born in Mnichovo Hradiště (German: Münchengrätz), Bohemia, and died in Vienna.
(...)
Geschichten aus dem Ghetto, Leipzig, 1848;
Böhmische Juden, Vienna, 1851;
Am Pfluge, Berlin, 1855;
Neue Geschichten aus dem Ghetto, Prague, 1860;
Geschichten einer Gasse, Berlin, 1865

Google Books
Rom und Jerusalem, die letzte Nationalitätsfrage. Briefe und Noten, etc
By Moritz Hess
Leipzig: Eduard Bengler
1862
Pg. 29:
Die alte Babele bei Kompert sagt: “Gott konnte nicht überall sein, darum hat er die Mutter geschaffen.”

Google Books
Ben-Hur:
A Tale of the Christ

By Lew Wallace
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, Publishers
1880
Pg. 223:
I had a little sister, and she and I were the family, and we were so happy that I, at least, have never seen harm in the saying of the old rabbi, ‘God could not be everywhere, and, therefore, he made mothers.’

OCLC WorldCat record
Scenes from the ghetto : studies of Jewish life
Author: Leopold Kompert
Publisher: London : Remington, 1882.
Series: Humanities Preservation Project, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign (Series), 95-0169.
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Fiction : Microfilm : Master microform : English
Contents:
Schlemiel --
Old Babele --

Google Books
Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages (Volume 2)
Compiled by Robert Christy
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
1893
By 65:
God could not be everywhere, therefore he made mothers. (Ben Hur.) Wallace.

Google Books
Jewish Literature, and Other Essays
By Gustav Karpeles
Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America
1895
Pg. 123:
Granny (Alt-Babele) in one of Kompert’s tales says: ‘God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.’

25 October 1895, The Daily Independent (Helena, MT), “It Will End To-day,” pg. 5, col. 3:
“There is an old Jewish proverb,” he added, “that says that God cannot be everywhere, and, therefore, he created mothers, thus making them his immediate representative on earth, the channel through which flowed divine mercy and forgiveness.”

3 September 1897, The Jewish Messenger (New York, NY), “Jottings,” pg. 4, col. 4:
It was the heroine in one of Kompert’s tales who said: “God could not be everywhere, so He created mothers.”

Google Books
Rome and Jerusalem:
A Study in Jewish Nationalism

By Moses Hess
New York, NY: BLoch Publishing Company
1918
Pp. 86-87:
The little old grandmother in Kompert’s story says: “God cannot be present everywhere at the same time; He therefore created the Mother...”

Google Books
Caprifoil
By William P. McGivern
New York, NY: Dodd, Mead
1972
Pg. 45:
I asked him to join me in my study, and I told him I favored the correct phrasing of that pleasant old aphorism, which, of course, is, ”God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.”

11 May 1974, El Paso (TX) Times, pg. 9-C, col. 7 classified ad:
GOD couldn’t be everywhere so he created Grandmothers. Love you. Situ, Adam, Jason, Bryan.

10 March 1975, The Daily Standard (Sikeston, MO), “Handicapped man refuses to feel sad,” pg. 4, col. 4:
The other two pictures are inscribed with “God could not be everywhere so he created grandmothers and grandfathers.”

7 September 1975, The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), pg. B10, col. 4:
Or one can choose from those he has already crafted. (Fence picket signs.—ed.) One says: Grandfathers are for loving and fixing things. Another: God could not be everywhere, so he created Grandmothers.

Google Books
Era: New Directions for Aging
California. Dept. of Aging
Volumes 1-5
1975
Pg. 8:
From Drop-In Center News, Ft. Bragg, California we glean: “God could not be everywhere so he created Grandmothers.”

Google Books
Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral:
An Interactive Play in Three Acts

By Glenn Wein and Amy Lord Blumsack
New York, NY: Samuel French
1998
Pg. 45:
DORI. G-d couldn’t be everywhere, so He created Grandmothers

Google Books
A Treasury of Jewish Quotations
Edited by Joseph L. Baron
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
2004
Pg. 319:
God could not be everywhere, so He created mothers. Kompert. q KJL, 123; Hess, Rome & Ierusalem, 87.

Twitter
Khaled
@moukhan
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers..................
6:05 AM - 18 Sep 2007

Google Groups: The Grif.net
05/10/08 Weelend Grif.Net - Beautiful Expressions of Motherhood
Dr. Bob
5/10/08
(...)
God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.
- Rudyard Kipling

Google Books
Mum’s Wit and Wisdom:
Quips and Quotes for Marvellous Mothers

By Richard Benson
Summersdale Publishers Ltd
2018
Pg. ?:
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.
RUDYARD KIPLING

Google Books
Title God Couldn’t Be Everywhere, So He Created Grandmothers: Blank Line Ruled Journal - Great Gift Grandmother, Grandma, Granny, Nana
Author Spitfire Books
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018
ISBN 1727744268, 9781727744262
Length 100 pages

Google Books
Title God Couldn’t Be Everywhere, So He Created Grandmas: Blank Line Ruled Journal - Great Gift Grandmother, Grandma, Granny, Nana
Author Spitfire Books
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018
ISBN 172774425X, 9781727744255
Length 100 pages

Twitter
Abhishek Suryavanshi 🇮🇳
@abhishek06112
God could not be everywhere so he created mothers.
#Happy_Mothers_Day🎂
8:07 PM - 12 May 2019

YourTango
75 Happy Mother’s Day Quotes To Share With Your Mom & Grandma
Emily Francos
May 12, 2019
(...)
5. Mom’s are a blessing when we need them most.
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” —Rudyard Kipling

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Monday, May 13, 2019 • Permalink