Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Religious Life

How many synagogues were in your town?

Was lot of--was main synagogue the shul. Then was the bet ha midrash was connected. And then was lot of stiblach, that means uh, they, they belonged to rabbis. So they, was the--was a lot of rabbis and we had a lot of Chasidim what they belong to the rabbis. So every week almost--every few, few weeks a different rabbi came to town. So we--like my father was a Modzitzer Chasid. This...


Modzitzer. The Modzitzer Chasid was very famous for songs, and musics. He was very--and he was not far from my home, from ???. And then it was the--was a lot of, lot of rabbis--how many rabbis was in, in Poland. So they had Chasidim in our hometown. When they came was, was frailech. The city was, was in, in action.

What was it like?

I used to love it. I used to love it. When the rabbi came, he stayed by his host. Then after davening Friday night, we went home and we ate uh, we make--my father make kiddush and we ate the supper and then we all returned to the bet ha midrash. And then the rabbi sat down a big long table and his Chasidim, his Chasidim was sitting around the table, then he make kiddush and it, he gives ???. That's uh, when he make hamotzi over the challa or he--piece of fish and ??? hand for hand. Like for instance if you sat on the end of the table, see they didn't serve you with a plate, or it went from hand to hand to hand to hand it come to you. And that was very nice. And then the rabbi start to--he give a nice shmues and it was very interesting and we spent almost the whole night Friday night just being in, in the bet ha midrash to listen to each week or each few weeks other rabbis came to town. It was a very religious town. We had a Gerer rabbi, we had a Modzitzer rabbi, we had a--I don't remember mention uh, we had our own rabbi too. He, he, he was living in Warsaw or he was a native from my hometown himself.

Did you ever travel to other cities to see the rebbe?

To me? No.


If the rabbi, the Modzitzer rabbi, if he came to, to our town he had a sister-in-law in ??? and then he didn't go to bet ha midrash. He catered in his house because he invited so many, so many Chasidim to his sister-in-laws house and we spent the Friday night with the rabbi.

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