Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Roth - February 4, 1983

Religious Life

Yes, it just gives us a flavor of what your household was--tell me what, what a Friday night might have been like at your house.

Friday night, we went out, of course, to--we--as I said, there was three, there was a???, there was a shul, there was a beth ??? We went to the ???, to the uh, there was the ??? there was a kind of medium and then there was the more modern, but it was all orthodox. And we went to the me...uh, medium type of uh, uh, congregation. And we went, and we went, oh I remember, I remember my father's seat, were he sat. And of course, the service was performed, and then you went to the back and picked up the orkheem...

What's that?

The strangers. You had to pick up the stranger--brought him to the house. You usually had at least one, maybe two. But you had to bring a stranger to the house for the Shabbos. He stayed, he slept there, he ate, he became a part of the family for that, for that weekend. And when we came home we sang the Sholem Aleichem uh, and unlike here, there was four to five to six other preliminary uh, melodies that were chanted and uh, the meal. Let's see the table was usually full. It was a big table. And, of course, all of the children were there, and guests and uh, and str...not strangers--orkheem means guests. Probably usually ten at a table, twelve. Mother served the meals. The sisters helped. I didn't have to do anything, I was the... And then after the meal, there were a lot of songs, a lot of songs. And if I remember, the highlight was, and he already married, because after all he is twenty years older than I am, was...He used to come for visits every two months or so. And he led the singing, and that was the highlight of, of, of Friday night, Friday evening meals, when he came back. Ari, and uh, had a good voice, good voice. Knew all the songs that father--in fact, when we were in Israel uh, two years ago, three years ago, when he was still alive, Ulof Hashlom he made me a cassette of all of these songs. Which I have. Next day walking--oh, after the meal we used to walk to, to uh, my older sister's house, they are not here, I don't have her picture, but that uh, uh, his mother's house and like for dessert. At that time walking a mile was nothing. You know. You didn't have cars, you didn't...you didn't drive, you just walked.

The whole family?

The whole family walked.

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