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Mein Kind (cont.)

 

Naftali Sarver and Slovka Segal
In the forest near Dusiat – April 26, 1934
Slovka Segal in a previous year's dress…

 

One afternoon on my way to the forest I encountered Abba-Shiye Visakolsky. “Where are you going?” he asked, and I answered, “To the forest”. He said to me: “You shouldn't go alone.” I told him that I wouldn't go far, and would lie down there and read. And truly, I was in the forest by myself and wasn't afraid. Abba-Shiye used to visit us frequently, and I remember that he was a happy and joyful Jew.

 

One day they called us to receive a telephone call at the post office. Toli returned and said to me: “Mein kind, du vest zein gliklich “ [My child, you will be happy!]. We had received a permit to make aliya to Eretz Yisrael, but we had to get married.

It was a Sunday, and everything was closed. How could we get papers? The Gentile in charge, whom my sister knew, helped us with this.

We managed to be in Zarasai, and from there we went to Kovno [Kaunas]. I can't forget the wintry weather and how our clothes were soaked with snow!

We were married in Aleksot [Aleksotas, a suburb of Kaunas]

Menachem Feldman led us to the rabbi. There was a minyan, but unfortunately none of our relatives were present. That was at the end of December 1934.

In 1935 we made aliya to Eretz Yisrael. I clearly remember that I stood on the deck of the ship and cried. I had so longed for the aliya! From when I was little I had read books about Eretz Yisrael. We “swallowed” Eretz Yisrael while still at school. And what about the Hebrew language? As children we used to walk in pairs in the street, cock an ear and “grab” children who were speaking Yiddish.

A Kosher Jewish Home

In Eretz Yisrael I began working as a housekeeper. I remember warning the “lady” that I wasn't experienced at this work. At home we were so spoiled. I worked as a housekeeper for eleven months, and with my first salary I bought candlesticks. The words my mother said when we parted, “God knows whether you will keep kosher,” touched my heart. I then recalled the beautiful candlesticks belonging to my uncle, one of my mother's brothers, who had left home in 1905. They said that he left suddenly, without saying good-bye. He studied artistic craftsmanship in Vilna [Vilnius], and later on went to America, and other relatives followed him. My uncle used to send us samples of his work, among them beautiful candlesticks. And when I bought the candlesticks I recalled my parents' home, and regretted that I hadn't taken the candlesticks then as a memento. To this day I keep a strictly kosher kitchen. Toli also used to be strictly kosher.

Early on the Sabbath morning we used to go to Chaim and Ella Slovo, our good friends. (Elka: Toli used to pray, and afterwards join us for a cup of tea).

In a special box, I keep the greeting cards that Toli used to send me each year for my birthday, for our anniversary, and for the day we made aliya to Eretz Yisrael, and they all begin with the words “Mein Kind” [My child]…

 

Still in Lithuania
Slova (seated on the ground) with Naftali and her sisters, from left to right:
Leah and Chava Segal, (-)

 

June 3, 1928

A souvenir for my dear sister Slova, from when we were in Vyžuonos together…

The lily wilts quickly.

Iron will also break quickly.

But the love between the two of us will last forever

And will never begin to diminish.

Leah

 

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