If you want to obtain information about an intelligent Jew or a philanthropic Jew from Yedinitz, there's no problem. If you want them to tell you about a great teacher and leading educator of the generation, they will gladly do so. If it's about a righteous woman and a Yiddishe Mama, you'll receive the details as if it had happened yesterday, even if it happened years ago. Sometimes it might seem that there were more of these scholars, saints, wise men and philanthropists in these stories that circulated than there were in fact.
Just like the way the future, even the near future, appears unknown, to the contrary, we perceive events that happened long ago as if they occurred yesterday. The events and images of childhood tend to be so deeply embedded into our memories that all events return as if they had occurred yesterday. Even when an event occurred fifty years ago, it still seems as if you could go out onto the street you'll meet that personality from long ago.
The cold weather had already gone away, and in the street there was hard, sticky and gray mud. Fat Jewish women ran around from house to house with string around their cotton winter jackets, selling fat geese skins in Passover fat (shmaltz) and the veins of the skinned geese. In the market, teacher assistants were selling red wooden noisemakers for Purim. The sun was bright and warm. The town was preparing for Passover. People were scraping the old paint off the walls, and polishing the brass and copper. Our most beautiful and happiest holiday was Passover.
Every Jew had a last name. However, in addition to that, almost every Jew had a nickname. The nicknames can be divided into four groups:
a. According to family origins;
b. According to a former place of residence, etc.;
c. According to profession;
d. Humorous, mocking or malevolent nicknames.
|Purim Party in the school of the teacher Dobrov, 1934/35|
Over the years we have been bothered by the question of how Zabrichan looks today. Since I left my native village of Zabrichan, I never forgot it, although not all my memories from there were good ones. The best period in my life - during my childhood and early teenage years were spent there.
The village of Zabrichan (in Yiddish spelled, Zabritchen) near Yedinitz is surrounded by fields, forests and a chain of villages. The population was mostly Moldavian, with a minority of Russians and Ukrainians. The village was mostly involved in cultivating the land, raising chickens, sheep and fruits. The area was relatively developed for those days.
|Standing, from right: Mordechai Zamora (Tel Aviv), Meir Yakir (Chernovitz), Aryeh Zamora (Motsa), Breina Reich, may G-d avenge her blood, Gittel Yakir, may G-d avenge her blood, Avraham Gendelman (Paris);
Seated: Sisters Batya Lerner (Israel), Shoshana Lerner (Haifa), Sheindel Gelman, may G-d avenge her blood, Rachel Gelman, may G-d avenge her blood.
The Rebbe of Stepanst arrived in Mohilov, and was supposed to travel from there to Yedinitz. A week before his arrival in Yedinitz, some of his Chassidim came to our house and convinced Father that it was worth it to him to ask the Rebbe, who was on his way from Mohilov to Yedinitz, to be our guest in our home for a few hours, even though Father was not one of the Rebbe's chassidim. They had more than one reason in mind. First, a Husyatin chassid would be hosting the Rebbe of Stepanst, and this would give the Rebbe honor and publicity. Second, it might convince R. Zalman Leib to become a chassid of the Rebbe. In any case, they figured they had almost nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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