Across the street from Chaya Ruchel's brick house was the dwelling of Yehuda the capmaker. He was a sharp-minded person, a man of the people, and a gracious host as well. He was full of humor and always had a smile on his lips and a good word for everyone. After the First World War, when many Jewish refugees arrived in Goniondz, he was a sort of professional witness for all of them. He would verify to the local Polish authorities that these people had indeed been born in Goniondz. His standing as a witness was very much accepted by the municipal authorities at the town hall, especially after he had befriended them with some cakes and a little whiskey. However, Yehuda was witness for too many people, and a special commission came from Bialystok to investigate. He explained to the commission that there was a committee in town whose function, in part, was to offer congratulations at circumcisions and that since he was the chairman of the committee, he knew every child born in town.
(note from editor: This is the first part of this article. We believe the second part of this story to be appended by the translator to the end of the translation of The Great Fire which begins on page 485.)
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