Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Charlotte Firestone - March 11, 1982

Religious Life

What kinds of things did you do? What were the um, what would a Shabbos night be like?

Very much observed. It was Friday night, you know and, and we never even took out the candlestick from the table. It was very, very religious. Real Orthodox people.

Would the family eat together on Friday? The whole family or just, just the immediate family?

Just the immediate family. Just the immediate family.

And then the men would go to shul on Saturday?

Friday night we went to shul and then we came home, they were singing uh, I don't even remember--Shalom Aleichem and, and, and Zemirot and bentshing We had three boys. They were always my father started and the other two boys. You know, I remember the songs and everything.

And then on Saturday?

Saturday is the same thing. My parents went to the synagogue and the boys went to the synagogue, but the girls never did.

So, what would you do on a Saturday?

Saturday morning we straightened out the house, we prepared the--I was living Saturday morning to lay in bed, so was my sister and then before we came home, we went out from bed and we straightened out the house, but it was never a big cleaning or wiping dust. Everything was done Friday before, before Shabbos came in. You know, real religious. Friday night was fish and soup and meat and farfel, you know like uh, you know summer I remember we had cholent all the time. So, we had to go pick up the cholent, because we were never, you know lighting a match or something like that was...

Would you invite people in from off the, the--people who didn't have a place to eat on Friday night?

My father use to bring home Friday night from uh, from the synagogue one or two people.

That he knew? Friends or...



It was strangers just who came, you know, beggars or things like that, or out of town, he use to, you know--one or two people always.

Did you um, go to Hebrew school of some sort?

No, I didn't go. Later on, there was a Hebrew school. But when I started, it wasn't, when I started school. They didn't have--about three years later, they had a Hebrew school.

Did your brothers go to cheder?

Oh, yeah. I remember my oldest brother once, he went in to a, to a--he woke up he had a little lamp, you know. And he--in nighttime. He was suppose to go at six o'clock in the morning. But once he woke up at two o'clock and, and a police brought him back and knocked on the door and my father went to open the door, he got scared, what happened. So, he said, it's two o'clock in the morning, what are you sending your son for? So he came back. He undressed and went back to bed.

Where had he gone?

To cheder?

At two o'clock?

He didn't want to turn on the light, you know. So, he got dressed in the dark and he took that little lamp and he went to cheder. Till now he is one of us who is the--more religious than all of us.

Um, you went to public school then?

I went to public--all of us...

All of you?

...went to public school.

Not just with Jewish children? With...

No, no it was--yeah...


but there was a lot of Jews...

In Munkacs?

In Munkacs a lot, it was a real Hasidic city.

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