by Batya Zajbel-Izraelewicz
Translated from the Hebrew by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The mikvah [ritual bathhouse] bordered our meadow. The mikvah water flowed through a specially created canal onto the surrounding meadows. Streams were created at various places in which our ducks splashed.
Once, on a Thursday night, the ducks disappeared. We looked for them all over and, not finding them, we were sure that they had been stolen. My father, as always, when something unusual happened, responded with a saying, Never mind, a kapore on the ducks, as long as we have other fowl.
However, it happened: There was a pious Jew in Klobuck, a God-fearing person, an Aleksanderer Hasid, Reb Yudl Ahron, who went to the mikvah every day to immerse himself. On that Friday morning, when he entered the dark mikvah, he suddenly heard splashing in the water. In his imagination, he saw images moving on the surface of the water.
Frightened, he quickly ran out, went home and, later in the beis hamedrash [house of prayer], said that he had seen ghosts in the mikvah Several bold Jews, among them my father, took a chance and went into the mikvah. Here they saw our ducks swimming in the mikvah. They were given the nickname, Kosher ones, immersed ducks.
Mrs. Gitl Goldberg talks about the mikvah in her memoirs: My father-in-law always spoke about the problems the Klobucker Jewish residents had in building the mikvah. It seems that gentiles were afraid of the Jewish mikvah that was being built and twice they burned the building that was being built.
A delegation of esteemed Jewish Klobuck businessmen went to Piotrkow to the governor and obtained permission for the regime to protect the religious facilities of the Jews. The Klobuck police turned to the Polish managing committee at the city hall and made it responsible for every case of setting fire to the mikvah. This had the effect that the building of the mikvah was completed.
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