Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993


Tell me um, tell me something about a Friday night in your house.

Friday night--first of all, Friday afternoon we had--the store was open, and Friday was market day, you know. It was market day, you know, where the farmers would bring all their, all their uh, wares, and all their chickens and their vegetables to the city and so on...


All non-Jews. And they would bring into the market, which was like the--sort of the piazza. Every little town had a little piazza surrounded by uh, buildings all around, and at that place, they displayed all their grain. There were grain dealers. There were pigs and pig butchers and cattle, vegetables and the apples and so on. And they would trade, sell all that out and at the end of the day, they would go to the bars, get drunk and we would all survive, you know. They would come to our store and buy yard goods and suits and stuff like that. And Friday afternoon, I remember, that it was always a panic started around three o'clock, because we were always afraid we were going to run into Shabbos. But they are basically kind, and to them it wasn't a holiday, so we used to talk to them and beg, "Please leave." We--and they couldn't understand why, what is the rush? Why do you want to--and by around four or five o'clock, all the stores in the city would be pretty well locked tight, and everybody will remember we used to polish shoes and clean and wash and run to the mikveh and you know, as, as a little boy, my father would take us both--my brother and I--to the mikveh and would sit there, you know, wash stuff and come home. Change into--I remember, a silk--black silk--what we call a kapote. But uh, and I uh, it was black silk robe which was--we call kapote and white socks, and a velvet little hat and off we went to daven. Oh, the atmosphere, you know, it was like a holiday every Friday, and then we would always bring home somebody that--it was call oyrech. An oyrech was a poor Jew that would come into--was spread out to the shtiebl and in each place--there would be four or five of them--and then when the services were over, they would line up by the door, and certain men--they would--on his way home, they would look over and we would take him home, sit him down, make kiddush and uh, uh, the meal was out of this world called ???, and my grandmother used to be busy all day Friday cooking in the kitchen, and preparing, and the same thing, you know, the next morning, same way, you know...

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