Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Pasternak - August 13, 1984

Religious Experience

What, what was it like, say uh, on Friday and Saturday in your household, in, in your community?

Oh, on a Friday night... Friday, we used to get ready for the Shabbos. Oh, they used to be a lot of doing... We used to clean up the house and we used to scrub the floor and we used to clean the windows, and my mother, may she rest in peace, she was getting ready for Shabbos and she was cooking and baking and... It was a lot of things going on then. We shined our shoes, we brushed our clothes, it was a, a busy day, it was delightful... Oh God! And we used to press our old shirts and uh, and we went to, then after that we went to the bathhouse because uh, they didn't have showers and bathtubs like they have around over here. And we used to get ready, then us children, we were forced to sleep in the afternoon on Friday, so that we should stay, we should be able to stay up for the Friday night meal and to be able to go to the synagogue especially in the summer because we used to start to eat late because the Sabbath was not, did not start until late in the evening around eight, nine, nine o'clock. It was a must to sleep. Oh, I remember my father, may he rest in peace, insisted upon that we sleep, so that we used to go to the synagogue and used to see everybody coming home from the synagogue dressed up and it was a delight... Oh, it was happiness, it was really, uh... Except that once in a while, I mean uh, some of the Gentiles used to scream from the other side, from across the street used to scream and yell, "You dirty Jew" or something like that. That was in the early days when I was a youngster.

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