Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Shabbos III

And Saturday was the same. You would go to shul.

Yes, Saturday was the same. The next morning, you would get up and polish up everything, and off we went. And then on the way home, we would go and pick up our cholent. Everybody made a cholent, and we took it to the bakery on Friday afternoon, and the baker would put all the cholents in the whole city, you know, there were several bakers that were Jewish bakers, put them in the oven. They would stay overnight, and the next day, right after shul, the goya that worked there would take them all out and set them on the floor, and everybody--we, as kids, had to go and carried them. You know, they were like pots and everybody recognized their, you know, cholent by the way it was covered with paper--which newspaper covered up the cholent, and sometimes we'd bring home the wrong cholent. It was a disaster. "It's not ours. It's not ours." But the aroma, uh, the cholent, you know, I mean all the neighbors--it was just--it was really a happening, but, uh...

What went into the cholent?

It was built mainly around the potatoes...


...carrots. A big chunk of meat, you know. ??? a bone, and there was a large bean, as I recall, it was white beans...

Kidney beans.

Kidney beans--no--yeah, kidney beans. And then a little cocoa would be put in a porcelain dish, in the middle of it. That was the sweet part--cocoa. It was, you know, really something to look forward to. I can, I can smell the aroma now, what it was like.

And during the day on Saturday, what would happen in the afternoon?

Well, I uh, you know, myself--really, we were, we were so suppressed as kids, when I look back. I mean, all the, the other kids were allowed to go outside and play and so on, and my grandfather insisted that we sleep after the meal. "You go to sleep," because he wanted to take a nap, and we couldn't get out, because ??? and "You're not gonna go out on Shabbos and play because God knows, you know, you might pick up a stone or something. It was not to be touched, because, you know, the word was muktza --you cannot touch anything other than the talis and the tzitzit and the challah and cholent. Everything else was an untouchable--the money, or a knife or a piece of metal--everything else was not to be touched. You know, you hear about, they had an eruv you know, the wires running across, because that was based on the Halakhic rule that you're not supposed to travel on Shabbos outside the community, and, you know, for whatever footage you were allowed to move around. So, that in order to declare this an inside community, they strung the eruv, you know. As long as there was a wire connecting one end of this area to this area, it was a symbolic consideration that that was inside the perimeter. So, you couldn't do anything outside that you were not supposed to be doing Shabbos. I mean, the Shabbos was so observed--unbelievable. We weren't even allowed to ride a bicycle and that's how strict my upbringing was.

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