Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eugene Feldman - July 15, 1991

Religious Life

What about um, tell me something about a Friday night at your house.

We used to have a regular challah and if we had meat it would be mostly meat. That was always of course a problem because we were very, very, strictly kosher. There was no shochet there. So what did, what did, we used to do, or dad used to do is buy a calf and go to town, bring a shochet. We would ki...to--would slaughter the calf and I guess they would split up among you know, because there was no refrigeration. We had a cellar dug into the ground in the back, in the backyard somewhere. And it used to keep it kinda cool. But I guess they would salt it down, I don't even know. They must have been salting it down to preserve it. Otherwise, I mean the business now, I don't know how you can preserve it except freezing the damn stuff. So I would say salting it down. It would last for a few weeks whatever.

So the...

And that's... Once...

Meat would be Friday night.

Usually we try to have meat. But I don't think it's--can afford it. I don't remember really much. But I know it was a big deal, Shabbos, Friday night.

Do you remember...

Shabbos to us we never wa...ride or anything. Strictly, strictly observe.

Did you sing?


Did you sing at Shabbos, at dinner?

No, we didn't sing.

Zemirot, nothing.

Just daven you know, real da...daven. No singing. Because there was only the family, immediate family. I don't remember ever, dad you know, s...singing.


Even in the shul, just plain daven.


There was no... We didn't have a cantor. So one day I guess one would daven. But they all knew how to daven. I mean, they were very good at that. I mean, they did, they might not know any other language, but they knew how to daven. And every--we take turns. We had a Torah, if I remember right. We had a Torah. I don't know where they got it.

And the Holidays? What happened on the Holidays?

I don't remember anything about Holidays. I don't know why they--I guess to me the Shabbos and Holidays the same thing. I mean it was so observant the Shabbos that Yom Kippur didn't make any difference. What's the difference? We don't observe it any stronger, Yom Kippur, than the Shabbos.

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