Every Jew in Rohatyn knew of the friendly Faust family kapelye. They were: Moyshe, Duvid, Itsik-Hirsh, Mordkhay-Shmuel, andYakov.
ROHATYN (ibid.) "The Kapelye in Our Town," by Yehoshua Shpigel, p. 140. (photo caption: Sitting: Moyshe Faust, Wolf Tsimbler (Shwarts). Standing left to right: Morkhay-Shmuel Faust, Mendl Bas, Yankl Faust, Alter Marshalik, Itsik Hirsh Faust, and Duvid Faust (Hebrew)
ROWNE (P). Rowne; Sefer Zikaron (Rowno; A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Rowno, Wolyn*). Ed.: A. Avitachi. Tel Aviv, "Yaljut-Wolyn" Former Residents of Rowno in Israel, 1956. (Hebrew) "Klezmorim and Weddings," by Shmuel Yisraeli, pp. 338-39.
The two main klezmer families in Rowno were the Krasnes and Skolnes. They were like one big family. They married among themselves, worried about each other, and spoke klezmer loshn together at weddings. Reb Zindl was the leader of the two and died while playing his violin at a wedding.
ROZWADOW (P). Sefer Yizkor Rozwadow Ve-ha-seviva (Rozwadow Memorial Book*). Ed.: N. Blumental. Jerusalem, Former Residents of Rozwadow in Israel , 1968. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "Playing on Purim in Grandfather's House," by Menakhem Izik, p. 56. (Yiddish)
The author remembered Purim celebrations with klezmer music at his grandfather's house.
ROZYSZCZE (P). Rozyszcze Ayarati (Rozyszcze My Old Home*). Ed.: Gershon Zik. Tel Aviv, Rozyszcze Societies in Israel, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina, 1976. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "A Wedding in Rozhishch," pp. 22-23. (photo caption: The Rozhishcher Kapelye before World War I) (English)
The wedding preparations began six months before the date of the wedding. Then the week before the khupe, the dowry was negotiated. Finally came the celebration with the family, guests, and kapelye.
ROZYSZCZE (ibid.) "The Klezmer," by Yosef Kriva, pp. 79-80. (photos and captions: Reb Moyshe Beckerman the Kapelmayster, the Roziezer Kapelye, Yosef Hofn, Violinist, a Banquet with Berl Klezmer, and a painting of three klezmorim) (Yiddish)
In Boyrekh (Beckerman) Klezmer's kapelye there was Moyshe, who played the violin. Moyshe was blessed with many beautiful daughters but unfortunately he had no dowry for them. Then one day he befriended the coachman's son Berele, who was an orphan without a mother. When Berele was thirteen years old, he gave an oath to Moyshe that he would marry his daughter Dvorele. When it was time for the wedding, Moyshe was seriously sick, so the khupe was by his bedside.
RUDKI (P). Rudki; Sefger Yizkor Le-Yehudei Rudki Ve-ha-seviva (Rudki Memorial Book: The Jews of Rudki and Vicinity*). Ed.: Joseph Chrust. Isreal, Rudki Society, 1978. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "Weddings," p. 221. (Hebrew)
At weddings it was customary for the batkhn to divide his program into two parts, one before the khupe and one after. After the khupe and the meal, the klezmorim played many different dance melodies including the Charleston, local waltzes, the Vienna waltz, fox-trots, and the tango.
RUDKI (ibid.) "The Music in Rudki," p. 221. (Hebrew)
The best kapelye was led by Moyshe Durkhshnit. Moyshe had four daughters and his oldest played percussion in the kapelye. Moyshe's kapelye also accompanied the silent films in the movie house in town.
RYKI (P). Yizker-bukh Tsum Fareybikn Dem Ondenk Fun Der Khorev-Gevorener Yidisher Kehile Ryki (A Memorial to the Community of Ryki, Poland*). Ed.: Shimon Kanc. Tel Aviv, Ryki Societies in Israel, Canada, Los Angeles, France and Brazil, (photo caption: Moyshe Yudl Walman and his Family on the Day they Leave for Israel Entertained by Shlomo the Klezmer), p. 13.
RYKI (ibid.) "The Wedding of Hirsh Leyb," pp. 236-37. (Hebrew)
At Hirsh Leyb's wedding, the klezmer's khevre included Dudl the batkhn, his son Fishl on violin, and Butchele Droshkes on cello. After the ceremony, Hirsh and his wife went to yikhed, where some of his friends played a joke on him by putting water and straw on the bed. When they came out, everyone could tell by looking at them and their clothes what had transpired.
RYKI (ibid.) "Weddings," by Moishe Taytboym, pp. 322-23. (Yiddish)
Dudl Batkhn was a batkhn and the leader of the kapelye that consisted of violin, two second violins, bass, and his son on trumpet.
SEMIATYCZE (P). Kehilat Semiatycze (The Community of Semiatich*). Ed.: E. Tash. (TurShalom). Tel Aviv, Assoc. of Former Residents of Semiatich in Israel and the Diaspora, 1965. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "Shepsl Klezmer and Anshel the Batkhn," p. 142. (Hebrew)
The leader of the kapelye in our town was Shepsl the Barber, who was loved by all the women. They would say: "When Shepsl takes the violin, the feet are already dancing by themselves." Anshel the batkhn was also loved by all, but especially by the women as well.
SEMIATYCZE (ibid.) "Semiaticher Klezmorim," by Yasha Halperin, p. 346. (Yiddish)
Semiatycze had its own kapelye and batkhn. They were the only one in the province. All the fancy weddings hired them. If they were not hired, then the wedding was considered second-rate. The main klezmer was Shepsl the Barber.
SHPOLA (U). Shpola; Masekhet Hayei Yehudim Ba-ayara (Shpola; A Picture of Jewish Life in the Town). By David Cohen. Haifa, Association of Former Residents of Shpola (Ukraine) in Israel, 1965. (Hebrew) "Weddings," pp.165-69.
Most weddings were in the summer after Shvues. Before the actual wedding day, there was the farshpil on the Saturday night before the wedding, where the klezmorim played at the bride's home. A lot of future matches were made there. Another custom was for the bride to walk accompanied by the klezmorim carrying a new dress that she brought to a very special female friend or relative. The kapelye consisted of Refaylke, his four sons, and a gentile.
SIERPC (P). Kehilat Sierpc; Sefer Zikaron (The Community of Sierpc; Memorial Book). Ed.: E. Talmi (Wloka). Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Sierpc in Israel and Abroad, 1959. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Jewish Weddings and Jewish Klezmorim in Sierpe," I. A. Liebzon, pp. 267-68. (Yiddish)
In Sierpc they had their own customs for a wedding. One was that during the badekn, the bride's hair was only covered with a scarf and not cut. Then during the wedding feast, after the mitsve dance, the bride had her hair cut. Then she put on her sheytl.
SKIERNIEWICE (P). Sefer Skierniewice (The Book of Skierniewice). Ed.: J. Perlow. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Skierniewice in Israel, 1955. (Yiddish) "Three Beautiful Masters: The Baker With His Violin, The Tinsmith With His Trumpet and The Cottonmaker With His Drum, Played at a Poor Wedding ," by Yisroel Heller, pp. 356-58. (photo caption: Skierniewicer Klezmorim, The Zhiradover Marshalik, Yerakhmil Grinberg, Yosele Klezmer, Lipman Lentshner, Shmuel with his bass, Lipman Karp and Tshvirtshok)
In Skierniewice there were three dear Jews: Nison the Baker, Lipman the Tinsmith, and Berl the Cottonmaker. All three performed as letsim at Purim-shpils, brises, and weddings to help raise money for poor brides and grooms so they could still have a wonderful celebration. Once there was a wedding where the bride and groom could not pay the town's kapelye. The local kapelye refused to play for them, so the three letsim got their instruments, formed their own kapelye, and played the wedding. This angered the town's kapelye.
SKUODAS (L). Kehilat Skhkud; Kovets Zikaron (Memorial Book of Skuodas). Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Skuodas, 1948. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Women's Benevolent Society," p. 11. (Hebrew)
The women of Skuodas made sure that a poor bride's wedding would be fine. Monies for the institution came from monthly contributions and pledges that were made just before the reading of the Toyre and the calling of the alies.
SLUTSK (B). Pinkas Slutsk U-benoteha (Slutsk and Vicinity Memorial Book*). Ed.: N. Chinitz ans Sh. Nachmani. Tel Aviv, Yizkor-Book Committee, 1962. Hebrew, English, Yiddish) "The Wedding Dress," by Khayim Zaydes, pp. 365-66. (Yiddish)
Once there was a wedding where the water porter had promised two hundred rubles for his daughter's dowry. Then a special dress was made for her that cost fifty rubles. On the day of the wedding, the mother-in-law did not want to go to the khupe because the dowry was not the full two hundred rubles as agreed upon in the contract. Luckily the butcher gave his wife's jewelry as collateral until the extra fifty was paid. The kapelye consisted of violin, flute, and bass bandura.
SMORGONIE (P). Smorgon Mehoz Vilno; Sefer Edut Ve-zikaron (Smorgonie, District Vilna; Memorial Book and Testimony). Tel Aviv, Assoc. of Former Residents of Smorgonie in Israel and USA, 1965. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Shloymele the Magid and His Beautiful Melodies," by Beyle Ber, p. 357. (Yiddish)
Shloymele who played klezmer gave private lessons, played for celebrations, and for the silent films to earn money for the school. After the conservatory in Vilna he became a composer. His Jewish and classical music was heard throughout the concert halls of Vilna.
SMORGONIE (ibid.) "This Violin," by Tsvi-Hirshele Levin, pp. 358-60 (A poem about Shloymele. However, pages 359-60 are missing in the Memorial Book) (Yiddish)
SOCHACZEW (P). Pinkas Sochaczew (Memorial Book of Sochaczew). Eds.: A. Sh. Stein and G. Weissman. Jerusalem, Former Residents of Sochzczew in Israel, 1962. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "From the Book: Poland," by Y. Y. Trunk, pp. 342-50. (Yiddish)
Weddings were never during the day in the Kotsker synagogue courtyard. Everyone waited under the khupe until the havdole candle was completely burned out. Then the Kotzker Rebe came out of his room to the khupe. In Sochaczew, weddings were during the day, but klezmorim and batkhonim were not supposed to entertain. Once the batkhn sang his rhymes, and Reb Shmuel yelled: "Enough! These rhymes come off your tongue so dryly like an unfortunate marshalik. "
SOFIYIVKA and IGNATOVKA (U) Ha-ilan Ve-shoreshava; Sefer Korot T "L Zofiowka-Ignatowka (The Tree and the Roots; The History of T.L.-Sofyovka and Ignatovka*). Eds.: Y. Vainer, T. Drori, G. Rosenblatt, A. Shpilman. Beit-Tal Givatim, 1988. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "Weddings," by Eliezer Barkay, pp. 74-77.
At some weddings, a gentile band played at the Jewish weddings, but generally it was the Jewish kapelye led by Facel Kalker, who played the violin.
SOKOLOW (P). Sefer Ha-Zikaron; Sokolow-Podlask (Memorial Book Sokolow-Podlask). Ed.: M. Gelbart. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Sokolow-Podlask in Israel and in the USA, 1962. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Wedding," by Boyrekh Rozenboym, pp. 128-29.
The Sokolow kapelye had six musicians. Two of the klezmers were barbers. One cut the hair of the children and the poor while the other cut the hair of the young people.
SOKOLY (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-kedoshei Sokoly (Memorial Book of the Martyrs of Sokoly). Ed.: M. Gelbart. Tel Aviv, Residents of Sokoly, 1962. (Yiddish) "Musicians," by Khayim Alshe, p. 366. (List by profession of those who died).
Klezmorim : Both sons of Reb Mikhl Eliyahu, the former shames and gravedigger. And Yisroelke Pizok and Moyshe Meyer both died in America.
STASZOW (P). Sefer Staszow (The Staszow Book*). Ed.: E. Erlich. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Staszow in Israel and in the Diaspora, 1962. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "Birth and Childhood in Staszow," by Yekhazkil Kirshenboym, pp. 221-23. (photo caption: Zisl Fanfe playing the violin) (Hebrew)
The poor children in Staszow helped their parents by doing whatever work they found. One boy every Peysekh played a sad melody about spring coming. It reminded everyone about the pogrom that happened in Kishinev. There were some happy moments in Staszow, for example when a new Toyre was brought out or when a bride and groom were led to the khupe by klezmorim.
STASZOW (ibid.) "The Synagogue and Beysmedreshim," by Hershel Pomerantsblum, pp. 251-53. (photo caption: The Shames and his helper putting up the khupe) (Yiddish)
The Staszower klezmorim were led by Reb Yisroel Ber and his family. The most gifted child was Raphael, who eventually played first violin in the Berlin and Vienna orchestras.
STASZOW (ibid.) "Musicians, Cantors and Music Enthusiasts," by Moshe Rotenberg, pp. 295-98. (music) (Yiddish)
Yakov Tsimerman was the local klezmer. Eventually he moved to Warsaw, where he began to make violins. His name became so well known as a violin maker that violin virtuosi like Huberman, Szigeti, Kreisler, and others came to his workshop for his opinions and violins.
STAVISCHE (U). Stavisht. Ed.: A. Weissman. Tel Aviv, The Stavisht Society, New York, 1961. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Wedding Ceremony," by David Kohn, pp. 145-48. (Yiddish)
When the parents of a bride made a betrothal party where the engagement agreements were written, the dowry was left with a trusted person. The groom felt more comfortable with this arrangement and this was proof for the bride's father the wedding was on.
STEPAN (P). Ayaratenu Stepan (The Stepan Story; Excerpts*). Ed.: Yitzhak Ganuz. Tel Aviv, Stepan Society, 1977. (Hebrew, English) "Klezmer," by Yeshiahu Fry, p. 82. (Hebrew)
In Stepan there was the Klinikas family kapelye. Two of the klezmorim supplemented their income by giving music lessons to the rich.
STOLIN (P). Stolin; Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilat Stolin Ve-ha-seviva (Stolin; A Memorial to the Jewish Communities of Stolin and Vicinity*) Eds.: A. Avatichi and Y. Ben-Zakkai. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Stolin and Vicinity in Israel, 1952. (Hebrew) "Workers," by Aryeh Avatichi, p. 134.
There were many handicraft workers in town. There were tinsmiths, roofers, woodcutters, painters, seamstresses, hatmakers, butchers, coachmen, klezmorim, etc. Among the klezmorim there were several barbers, woodcutters, and a porter. After the Russian Revolution, many of the men lost jobs due to industrialization.
SUCHOWOLA (P). Sefer Suchowola (Memorial Book of Suchowola). Eds.: H. Steinberg et al. Jerusalem, The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, 1957. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Two Weddings," by Simkhe Lazar, pp. 379-82. (Yiddish)
The author remembered two weddings he attended. At one wedding the Dombrover klezmorim joined the Suchowoler klezmorim and entertained the guests. At the second wedding after the prayer "Grace After Meals" was said, the older folks got up and danced. One deaf man got up on a table and with his cane did the shtek tants. Afterward, the men studied the Gemore and sang "Avinu Malkeynu."
SUCHOWOLA (ibid.) "Suchowola Tales," by Sore Rukhl Bura, pp. 379-82. (Yiddish)
After Khane Nisl returned to town after her medical mishap, she decided she needed to have her sins pardoned, so she commissioned to have a Sefer Toyre written. When the Toyre was completed, she celebrated with a party. The Toyre was carried under the khupe while the Dubrovy klezmorim played music as they walked to the shtibl.
SUWALKI (P). Yizker-bukh Suwalk (Memorial Book of Suwalk). Ed.: B. Kahan. New York, The Suvalk and Vicinity Relief Committee of New York, 1961. (Yiddish) "Artists," by Berl Kohn, pp. 243-44.
In Suvalk and the surrounding areas, there were a few artists who went to America and became Yiddish actors. One was Jenny Atlos, who performed with Adler, Kessler, and Thomashevsky. Another was Bernard Gelling, who went to America in 1914. His father was a tailor and klezmer.
SWIECIANY (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-esrim Ve-shalosh Kehilot She-nehrevu Be-zor Svintzian (Svintzian Region; Memorial Book of the Twenty-Three Jewish Communities*). Ed.: Sh. Kanc. Tel Avivi, Former residents of Svintzian District in Israel, 1965. (Hebrew, Yiddish). "A Wedding in Town," by Sholom Yitskhok Tyts, pp. 845-48.(Yiddish)
When there was a wedding, the shames gave out the invitations. As a hobby, the children collected them. Different color invitations were worth different kinds of buttons. On the day of the wedding, the klezmorim arrived early before they led the groom and bride to the khupe. The kapelye was a quartet with violin, flute, bass, and tsimbl.
SWIR (P). Ayaratenu Swir (Our Townlet Swir*). Ed.: Ch. Swironi (Drutz). Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Swir in Israel and in the United States, 1959. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Family Artists," p. 190. (Yiddish)
Elikum the Barber was known as the Paganini of the town. Elikum also had a beautiful voice and sang and played at weddings. However, his main profession was as a barber. He worked even on Shabes, because many of his customers were leftists and did not keep the Shabes.
SZCUZUZYN (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilot Szczuczyn, Waliszki (Memorial Book of the Communities of Szczuczyn, Walsilszki ). Ed.: L. Losh. Tel Aviv, Former residents of Szczuczyn, Wasiliszki , 1966. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Wasilishker Musicians," p. 201. (Yiddish)
The Jewish shoemakers in Szcuzuyn were also klezmorim. They had all learned to play music while in the Czar's army. The leader of the kapelye was Yankl the Cossak. He played clarinet while his sons played cornet and baritone.
SZCUZUYN (ibid.) "A Wedding in Town," Tsipora Berkovitsh and Yosef Bayer, pp. 210-11. (Yiddish)
After the wedding ceremony and celebration on Friday, the bride was taken to the synagogue on Shabes. Then that evening the sheve brukhes began, with music from the Shuster kapelye. Their first piece was a freylekh called "Gut Vokh."
SZUMSK (P). Szunsk Sefer Zikaron Le-Kedoshei Szumsk (Szumsk Memorial Book of the Martyrs of Szumsk ). Ed.: H. Rabin. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Szumsk in Israel, 1968. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Khupe in the Cemetery," by M. Khazn, pp. 382-86.
Over seventy years ago, there was a cholera epidemic throughout the world that killed over twenty million people. Our town Szumsk was also affected. The doctor and his two assistants could do nothing to relieve the sick and dying. Every day people woke up with fear of contracting the disease. Then the Russian government had all the besmedreshim and churches post instructions on how to stay clean and tidy. There was no way to get rid of sewage in our town. The water from our river was filthy with fecal matter and other stuff and there was no other water to drink. Without clean water, the disease spread faster.
So the doctor ordered everyone to wash all their fruit, heat the milk before drinking, and to boil all water before drinking it. The pharmacist gave people lime to spread in the outhouses and streets to keep them cleaner. Then the doctor and the Russian police commissioner walked through the town making sure people listened to the orders. But the epidemic raged on.
The people not only had to contend with the disease, but it was Tamez [Heb.: the tenth month in the Jewish calendar] and they could not get any relief from the oppressive heat. People went to the rabbi for answers. He answered them by reciting more psalms. The women went to the cemetery asking the dead for answers, while Rabbi Bereniv told people not to fast on Tishebov if they felt weak. Finally it was decided that a possible remedy for the epidemic was to make a wedding in the cemetery with an orphan bride. The public would be there along with klezmorim, hoping the epidemic would heed their offering.
Immediately the shatkhn went out looking for candidates. For the groom he found Perets the Fool, who was blind in one eye, lame in one foot, and a stutterer. He was at least thirty and had a sick mother. He went around every Friday with a sack collecting khale and other bread for the whole week. People give him a coin, a piece of meat or fish, and this is how he and his mother lived weekly. When he came to a house for bread, the girls asked him if he wanted to marry? Proudly with joy he answered yes and tried to kiss the girls. With a scream they ran away while he chased them, holding his coin in his hand. This was the spectacle every Friday when Perets the Fool came around for his bread.
The girl destined to be the bride limped a little with her left foot, was paralyzed in her right hand, was a tiny bit deaf, and had two red eyes. The groom immediately fell in love with her and the preparations for the wedding began. Perets's mother said it was not fair for her son to marry and not receive a dowry. But the orphan bride had no dowry, so the town collected one hundred rubles, the wedding clothes, and all the other equipment that was needed to make a wedding.
The wedding was set for Friday afternoon. All the people prepared themselves while the shnaps [Yid.: liquor, whiskey] flowed like water. Then everyone gathered in the square opposite the home where the wedding feast would be. All the young girls were dressed up and the klezmorim played music. Then at two P.M., with everyone gathered in the square, the groom and bride were led to the khupe at the cemetery, with the klezmorim leading the way, playing. The ceremony took place an hour before lighting the Shabes candles. Afterward, the klezmorim led the groom and bride back to his mother's home while everyone else prepared to welcome the Shabes. Perhaps the wedding helped as a remedy, but as soon as cooler weather came, there was less and less illness. Unfortunately because of the mother-in-law the couple's home did not have peace and quiet for too long.
SZYDLOWIEC (P). Shidlovtser Yizker-bukh (Yizkor Book Szydowiec*). Ed.: Berl Kagan. New York, 1974. (Yiddish, English) "Klezmorim and Batkhonim," by Dvora Blonder, p. 155. (Yiddish)
The Gayger brothers and their relatives formed the kapelye. The batkhonim were Yudele Vinonski, a religious man, and Yitzkhok Moyshe Rafalovitch, the drummer in the kapelye. Rafalovitch was more worldly and knew the modern songs.
TARGOWICA (P). Sefer Trovits (Memorial Book of Targovca*). Ed.: I. Siegelman. Haifa, Former Residents of Targovica in Israel, 1967. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Weddings in the Town," by David Marants, pp. 24-25. (photo caption: The Wedding of Benyomin ben-Mikhl and Sara Koyfman) (Hebrew)
Everyone went to the wedding even if you were not invited, just to see the latest fashions, shoes, jewelery, etc. Mlotsek on his trumpet and Yidl on his violin were the klezmers and led everyone to the bride's house.
TARNOGROD (P). Sefer Tarnogrod; Le-zikaron Ha-kehila Ha-yehudit She-nehreva (Book of Tarnogrod; In Memory of the Destroyed Jewish Community). Ed.: Sh. Kanc. Tel Aviv, Organization of Former Residents of Tarnogrod and Vicinity in Israel, United States and England, 1966. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Black Khupe in the Cemetery," by Nakhum Krumerkop, pp. 95-99. (Yiddish)
In the summer of 1916 there was a cholera epidemic that raged in the towns near us.
The rabbi decided to marry a hunchback and an old maid under a black khupe in the Jewish cemetery. This was an old remedy they had used before against various other epidemics. The klezmorim accompanied the couple and others with music to the cemetery.
TARNOPOL (P). Tarnopol (Tarnopol). Ed.: Ph. Korngruen. Jerusalem, Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, 1955. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "To the Khupe!" by Meyer Khartiner, pp. 321-30. (poem and khupe march music) (Hebrew and Yiddish)
The poem speaks about the joy, laughter, music, and general din of the wedding celebration. The klezmorim led the bride and groom to the khupe. After the khazn sang and the havdole candle burned out, the glass was broken and the klezmorim played a freylekhs. The mizinke [Yid: youngest daughter] got married.
TELECHANY (P). Telekhan (Telekhan Memorial Book*) Ed.: Sh. Sokoler. Los Angeles, Telekhan Memorial Book Committee, 1963. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) (photo caption) Telekhaner Klezmorim, (1908).
Hirshl Melnik, Nisl Melnik, and Fayvl Arkes Kagan. Fayvl lived in Hollywood and was a noted person in the musical world there.
TLUMACZ (P). Tlumacz-Tolmitsh; Sefer Edut Ve-zikaron (Memorial Book of Tlumacz*). Ed.: Shlomo Blond et al. Tel Aviv, Tlumacz Society, 1976. (Yiddish, Hebrew, English) "Klezmorim and Weddings," by Efrayim Shrayer, pp. 320-21, 68, XLIX-L. (Hebrew, Yiddish and English)
Weddings were held next to the big synagogue, while the wedding feasts were held either at the tavern or at the railroad station. The boisterous feasts were at the tavern and the quieter ones were at the railroad station. If the wedding was more prestigious, then the klezmers and marshalik from Stanislow were brought in and joined the local kapelye.
TLUSTE (P). Sefer Tluste (Memorial Book of Tluste). Ed.: G. Lindenberg. Tel Aviv, Association of Former Residents of Tluste and Vicinity in Israel and USA, 1965. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Our Town," by Dr. A. Stup, pp. 69-71. (Yiddish)
Once a year the children dressed up as Hussars on Purim. They came inside the house and entertained with song and music. On Purim, even singing a Ukrainian song at a khasidishe table was not inappropriate. Afterward, dessert and whiskey was given to the children and the kapelye.
TLUSZCZ (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilat Tluszcz (Memorial Book of the Community of Tluszcz). Ed.: M. Gelbart. Tel Aviv, Association of Former Residents of Tluszcz in Israel, 1971. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Tlusher Kapelye and their Klezmorim," by Khenekh Perl, pp. 73-75. (Yiddish)
The Tluszczer klezmorim were the only kapelye in the Radziminer region with a good reputation. They were led by Hirshl Postalski on violin. When he died, his brother Yidl became the first violinist. To keep up their reputation, they employed a trumpeter from Warsaw who was also the local ballet teacher. During weddings, this handsome young man helped the religious women by calling out the dance steps.
TOMASZÓW-LUBELSKI (P). Tomashover (Lubelski) Yizker-bukh (Memorial Book of Tomaszów Lubelski). New York, Tomashover Relief Committee, 1965. (Yiddish) "The Big Wedding," by Asher Reyz, pp. 441-45. (photos and captions of the rabbis, groom, and guests dressed as Cossacks)
There was a lavish khasidic wedding where the Sayshinover Rebe's daughter got married to the Hentshiner rabbi's son. The groom lived in another town and was met by three regiments of fifty khasidim, each all dressed as Cossaks. Some carried swords and others carried guns as they were accompanied by two orchestras.
TOMASZÓW-LUBELSKI (ibid.) "Yoyl Batkhn and his War Experiences," by Yaakov Shwarts, pp. 709-11. (photo caption Yoyl Batkhn at a wedding in Berlin immediately after the war)
Everyone in town knew Yoel Handlesman, the teacher and batkhn. He spread his humor, jokes, and happiness to all weddings, even if it was a shtile wedding (one with no klezmorim).
TOMASZÓW-MAZOWIECKI (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilat Tomaszow Mazowwiecki (Tomashow-Mazowieck; A Memorial Book to the Jewish Community of Tomashow-Mazowvieck*). Ed.: M. Wajsberg. Tel Aviv, Tomashow organization in Israel, 1969. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French). "Yosef Marshalik," pp. 322-23. (Yiddish)
The town's batkhn was Yosef Marshalik, who was known throughout Tomaszów and the surrounding areas. "With Yosef's death the town lost an interesting typical Jewish character, authentic and one of the most famous batkhonim."
TOMASZÓW-MAZOWIECK (ibid.) "Shulik Klezmer," pp. 332-34. (Yiddish)
The famous klezmer Shulik Klezmer was revered throughout Poland for his beautiful violin playing.
TUCZYN: Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilat Tuczyn-Krippe (Tutchin-Krippe, Wolyn; In Memory of the Jewish Community*). Ed.: B. H. Ayalon. Tel Aviv, Tutchin and Krippe Relief Society of Israel , 1967. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Wedding in Town," by Rivke Khamut, pp. 135-36. (Yiddish)
During the wedding feast the bride's in-laws crowded into the kitchen to tell the waiters that the groom's in-laws should be served first, so as not to insult them. After the droshe geshank, the klezmorim played a sher. Then the adults danced the koyfn tants and demonstrated to their children how it went.
TURKA (P). Sefer Zikaron Le-kehilat Turka Al Nehar Stry Ve-ha-seviva (Memorial Book of the Community of Turka on the Stry River and Vicinity). Ed.: J. Siegelman. Haifa, Former Residents of Turka (Stry) in Israel, 1966. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Klezmorim Are Arriving in Town," by Khayim Feler, pp. 137-39. (Yiddish) (photo caption: The Oferman Kapelye)
In 1870, a klezmer kapelye (Shmuel Oferman and his family) arrived in town, because there were no klezmorim. From that point on, they were very successful in Turka and throughout Galicia as well.
TURKA (ibid.) "The Orchestra in the New Times," by Moshe From, pp. 139-43. (Yiddish) (photo caption: The Amateur Orchestra Under the Leadership of Pinkhus Shwarts)
The next generation of Ofermans formed the nucleus of a klezmer kapelye, which became even more successful than the first kapelye. They were even brought to Munkács (across the Czechoslovakian border) for the marriage of the Munkácser Rebe's daughter.
TURKA (ibid.) "Rozele's Wedding," by Khayim Pelekh, pp. 168-70. (Yiddish)
A slightly addled storyteller named Rozele was much beloved by the town. A young man came to Turka and fell in love with her. The whole town turned out for her wedding. She was led to the khupe by the townspeople and the Oferman kapelye.
TYSZOWCE (P). Pinkas Tishovits (Tiszowic Book*). Ed.: Y. Zipper. Tel Aviv, Association of Former Residents of Tiszowic in Israel, 1970. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Tishovitser Klezmorim," by Moyshe, pp. 179-80. (photo caption: Tishovitser Klezmorim) (Yiddish)
The town kapelye was the Borukh family. They were so liked that they even played for the Christians for their special state celebrations. Now "everything is still because the Tyszowcer klezmorim are not here."
UHNOW (P). Hivniv (Uhnow); Sefer Zikaron Le-kehila (Hivnov (Uhnow); Memorial Book to a Community). Tel Aviv, Uhnow Society, 1981. (Hebrew, English) "Merrymaking at a Wedding in Uhnow," p. 54-55. (English)
If the groom was from out of town, then the bride's relatives went to the railroad station to meet him with the kapelye. Since there was no wedding hall in Uhnow, the festivities were held at the bride's house.
UTENA (P). Yisker-bukh Utyan Un Umgegnt (Memorial Book of Utyan and Vicinity). Tel Aviv, Nay Leben, 1979. (Yiddish) "A Wedding in Malyat," by Hadasa Fisher, pp. 124-25.
Sore-Beyle, an older woman, got married to a considerably younger man from somewhere, but it did not matter. Her parents were rich and gave whatever amount for the dowry for their one and only daughter. During the wedding feast, the klezmorim sat in a corner and waited while the bride sat on her throne beaming as the guests came to give her a hearty mazltov.
WARKA (P). Vurka; Sefer Zikaron (Vurka Memorial Book). Tel Aviv, Vurka Societies in Israel, France, Argentina, England and the United States, 1976. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Types and Figures in My Town," by Sh. Rozentsvayg, pp. 122-24. (Yiddish)
Pertshe, an older woman, finally found a husband, and the town rejoiced. They hired an important batkhn from Warsaw, and the Kozieniecer kapelye.
WARSAW (P) Warsaw (Warsaw Volume*). Ed.: J. Gruenbaum. Jerusalem, The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, 1953-73. 3 vols. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Klezmorim, Jews," by M. Sh. Geshuri, pp. 473-79. (Hebrew)
The author gave a detailed description of the history of the klezmer in Poland from the end of the Middle Ages through the end of the nineteenth century.
WARSAW (ibid.) "Mixed Marriage," by Yekhiel Huper, pp. 479-88. (Hebrew)
There was a wedding between an orthodox groom and a bride who was from a non-orthodox family. The wedding was held at the Tlomackie Synagogue, where bankers, businessmen, and intellegentsia were all invited. The Vaghalter klezmorim performed at the wedding. Their talents were known wide and far. Their grandfather played with Paganini.
WARSAW (ibid.) "The Wedding of a Daughter of a Khasid to the Groom, a Modern Jew, in 1910." pp. 483-88. (Hebrew)
At this extravagant wedding there were two kapelyes. One played waltzes for the non-orthodox guests in one room, while the other played Moditser nigunim for the khasidim in another room. A khasid found out about the mixed waltz dancing and quickly had the kapelye stop playing. All the non-orthodox guests went home while the khasidim continued to celebrate.
WARSAW (P). Pinkes Varshe (Book of Warsaw). Eds.: P. Katz et al. Buenos Aires, Former Residents of Warsaw and Surroundings in Argentina, 1955. (Yiddish) "The Music and Musical Life of Warsaw," by J. Stutschefsky, pp. 572-88. (photo captions: Zimre Zeligfeld, M. Kipnis, Z. Shnyer, Gregor Fitelberg, David Baygelman)
The author wrote about the importance of the batkhonim, klezmorim, khasidic nigunim, and Yiddish folk and theatre songs, which all helped undeniably to create a national folk character for Jewish life in Eastern Europe. He also wrote brief biographies on several famous Polish Jewish musicians, such as Landowska, Huberman, Rubenstein, and many more.
WARTA (P). Sefer D'Vart. Ed.: Eliezer Estrin. Tel Aviv, D'Vart Society, 1974. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Klezmers," by Khanon Shutyn, pp. 111-12. (Yiddish)
The wedding was planned and Yitskhok Klezmer was hired to play. He was especially known for his playing of polonaises.
WARTA (ibid.) "A Wedding in Town," by Mordkhay Mitus, pp. 349-55. (Hebrew)
The klezmorim in town were the Prukh family. "Their name in Polish meant dynamite, and they played with such great intensity it was as if they were going to explode." Each one of the members of the family kapelye was quite unique.
WEGROW (P). Kehilat Wegrow; Sefer Zikaron (Community of Wegrow; Memorial Book). Ed.: M. Tamari. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Wegrow in Israel, 1961. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Engagements, Weddings and Sheve Brokhes," by Sh. Zabludovitsh, pp. 259-60 (Yiddish)
On the first Shabes after the wedding, it was the custom to bring the bride a gift of food like noodle or potato kugl, wine, beer, or fruit.
WISZNIEW NOWY (P). Wisniowiec; Sefer Zikaron Le-kedoshei Wisniowiec She-nispu Be-shoat Ha-Nazim (Wisniowiec; Memorial Book of the Martrys of Wisniowiec Who Perished in the Nazi Holocaust). Ed.: H. Rabin. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Wisniowiec, 1970. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Weddings," pp. 441-42. (Yiddish)
The whole town enjoyed the weddings, which were accompanied by the Haritske family kapelye. Before the newlyweds entered the hall to celebrate the wedding feast, a young boy from either the bride or groom's side entertained the couple with a poem either in Yiddish, Russian, or Hebrew. During World War I, the oldest son Duvid led a kapelye and discovered that the real family name was not Haritske but Mandelboym.
WISZNIEW: "A Tragic Wedding," pp. 442-41.
On the day of the wedding, the groom's little brother drowned. The rabbi was asked whether they should proceed with the wedding. He determined they should, but without klezmorim.
WISZNIEW (ibid.) "A Wedding in Town," p. 456. (Yiddish)
After the khupe many youngsters went to the window of the home where the wedding feast took place and watched the festivities. The klezmer and batkhn Avromchik entertained the guests while he played the trumpet and sang rhymes.
WISZNIEW (ibid.) "The Pagentry of Avromchik's Batkhones," pp. 457-59. (Yiddish)
This is the batkhones Avromchik recited while the other klezmorim accompanied him.
WLODOWA (P). Yizker-bukh Tsu Vlodave (Yizkor Book in Memory of Vlodava and Region Sobibor*). Ed.: Shimon Kanc. Tel Aviv, Wlodawa Societies in Israel and North and South America, 1974. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "The Wedding in Town," by Avraham Barnholts, pp. 529-33. (Yiddish)
Toward the end of World War I, the author's father prepared a lavish wedding for his daughter, who was marrying the grandson of the Bialy Rebe. He obtained permission from the German authorities so many rabbis could attend. The wedding lasted a week, with the klezmorim and batkhn accompanying throughout.
WLODOWA (ibid.) "Klezmer," pp. 551-52. (Yiddish)
The Wlodower klezmers, the Shpilman and Fidlman families, played at weddings in and around Wlodowa. Besides weddings, they performed for the theatre, movie house, and for vacationers during summer in the country villages. If it was a rich wedding, they brought a batkhn from Lublin.
WLODZIMIERZEC (P). Sefer Vladimeretz (The Book of Vladimeretz). Ed.: A Meryerowitz. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Vladimeretz in Israel, (196-). (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "One Wedding," by Yaakov Bas, pp. 102-104. (Hebrew)
Pici Mkulak was a klezmer violinist known throughout Volyn. Once he gave a benefit concert in the Stoliner synagogue for the poor people in town. Everyone attended, even the Polish and Russian intelligentsia. Though gentiles came to the concert as well as Jews, the Stoliner khasidim were not angry. Music teachers were astonished at the artistry of this self-taught old man.
WOJSLAWICE (P). Sefer Zikaron Voislavitze (Yizkor Book in Memory of Voislavize*). Ed.: Shimon Kanc. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Voislavitze, 1970. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Wedding and Sheve Brukhes," by Yaakov Tenenboym, pp. 156-60. (Yiddish)
The klezmorim played from the time of the oyfrufn through the last day of the Sheve Brukhes. The week that led up to the oyfrufn was called the silver week and the week from the oyfrufn to the wedding was called the golden week.
WOJSLAWICE (ibid.) "The Batkhn's Rhymes," pp. 260-61. (Yiddish)
The author remembered his brother's engagement party and wedding. He said: "Since that time I have been to so many weddings, but there was none compared to my brother's. Those old traditions have disappeared like the Jews of my town."
WOJSLAWICE (ibid.) "The Kapelye and the Rabbi," by Fayvl Hokhe, pp. 365-66. (Hebrew)
In order to ensure that the klezmorim would show up for a local wedding, the town's butcher volunteered to walk to their town on shabes to secure a deposit (a trumpet). The rabbi was displeased that he walked so far and carried the trumpet on shabes, and banned him from selling meat for a month.
WOLKOWYSK (P). Volkvisker Yizker-bukh (Wolkovisker Yizkor Book*). Ed.: M. Einhorn. New York, 1949. (Yiddish) "The Klezmorim Accompany the Groom and Bride," by Dr. Moshe Einhorn, pp. 57-58. (photo caption: A Khupe in Wolkowysk)
The custom in town was to celebrate a wedding on Friday after lunch. The kapelye consisted of two first violins, sekund, clarinet, trumpet, cornet, and flute. They paraded down the street playing freylekhs as they led everyone to the khupe.
WYSZKOW (P). Sefer Wyszkow (Wishkow Book*). Ed.: Sh. Shtokfish. Tel Aviv, Association of Former Residents of Wishkow Israel and Abroad, 1964. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Wishkower Kapelye," by Yitskhok Markusmakher, pp. 55-57. (Yiddish)
At the meeting of the Wyszkower historians, Rabbi Harry and Rabbi Khayim discussed when there was a wedding without klezmorim. They spoke about the beautiful nature that surrounded their town. The Sonower forest, meadows, the wide and deep Bug River, and the big fruit orchards. Orchards filled with plums, apples, white pears, and red cherries. They remembered how the youth loved to play in the country and how on every Shabes and Jewish holiday you heard singing from nearly every home. And at celebrations you heard Metsh with his violin and Nosele on clarinet.
Then once there was this wedding where the bride, Leah-Eta, who was quite rude and stubborn, did not want to bring the whole Pultusker kapelye with the batkhn to the khupe. She said: "Father Metsh and his friend Nosele, they are not enough? They have to make a living. So why should there be klezmorim from another town?" The bride's father then told Metsh what she wanted and Metsh said not to worry, he would get a kapelye with a batkhn. Metsh went to his son Nosele and told him what they had to do. "Father, who will play the bass, drum, and violin?" "Well, I will get Isirel. His playing will capture all the wives." "But Isirel won't play in the kapelye for a few pieces of parsley and rotten apples. What will his wife cook? He needs some real earnings. For a few rubles he will play! And what about the bass, drums, and a batkhn?" "We will get Palukhl to play bass." "Palukhl, father, he has no ear!" "It doesn't matter; we will still take him, and for a drummer I will get Yidl, he has a drum!" "What!" screamed Nosele, "Yidl who washed flasks? Oi, woe is me, what a kapelye we will have with Yidl on the drum and Palukhl on bass!" "And I have a batkhn, too," said Metsh, "Our young boy Khayim-Henekhl. I will send him immediately to Warsaw to the great Yosl and in one day he will learn to be a batkhn. "
The wedding day came and the Wyszkower kapelye played for the rude bride. It was quite a wedding. People stood head to head, young and old, Jews and gentiles, not to see the groom and bride but to hear the newly formed kapelye. Metsh, a pale, tall, broad-shouldered Jew, spoke to Nosele: "My child, when you play, really play! You know what I mean. They should play in the key of F on B. They should really take the spirit!" "Palukhl, the spirit of your father's father will be within you if you make true art with your bass. Come in with everyone and end with everyone, otherwise the wedding will end immediately. Yidl, how you wash and slurp from the flasks! This is not my way. I will show you how to do this properly just as I am a klezmer ! Isirel, I have nothing to say to you. Nosele will keep an eye on you. And Khayim-Henekhel, my child " (he was crying) "go and show what you know and capture them with your speaking."
Khayim-Henekhel put on his hat, stood on the bench, and began reciting Toyre. His words were sharp and rhymed. The wives wiped their eyes and the bride looked straight at the batkhn and gave a laugh. He stopped his speech and said the following: "Oi, bride, bride, cry, cry. From your mother you have a lot of charm, and when your groom will look upon you, he will break out in a great wail. And we all say Amen!" Then he shouted to his father and Nosele to play a freylekhs for the bride.
What a tumult it was with Metsh and Nosele playing and everyone dancing. Isirel played the violin but with a thin tone, but lyrical. Palukhl played the bass, but it was a low grating sound. Yidl hit the drum while snowballs thrown by a gang of youngsters were hitting it as well. Yidl was so angy that he gave an extra hit to the drum and screamed: "It will be like cholera for you when we meet again after I finish!"
It was pitch-black out while a small wind blew and the snow fell. The khupe candles were all extinguished and in the middle of this there was a scream: "Crazy Leya's shawl is burning!" A candle she carried caught her shawl on fire. What a scene this was. Yidl and Palukhl took this opportunity to jump to the kitchen and make a l'khayim. "Ai, ai, Yidl, Yidl," said Palukhl, "if only God would send us to such a fat wedding every week." "Yes," said Yidl, "the rolls, the fish, this great yoyikh with soup nuts. A ghost should take some of this." "You know what?" said Palukhl, "let us divide this up a couple of rolls for you, and a couple for me. My children have not seen such rolls in a long time." "Let's run, Palukhl!" shouted Yidl.
At the khupe they had just broken the kidesh glass and now they were about to begin the khupe march. Palukhl ran back to his big bass, two times bigger than he was, and began to play. Yidl had his drum attached to him and could barely run. The khupe march was played and everyone was reveling. The Jews who lived near the wedding never forget how the Wyszkower kapelye, without any musical knowledge, brought joy to this celebration.
WYSZOGROD (P). Wyszogrod; Sefer Zikaron (Vishogord; Dedicated to the Memory *). Ed.: H. Rabin. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Vishogrod and , 1971. "Kalman Agrodnik, the Musician and Conductor," by Motl Walfish, pp. 226-27. (photo by Kalman Agrodnik)
Kalman was such an accomplished violinist that at age twelve he was invited to lead the kapelye. He taught the rest of the band to read music and about basic music theory. He himself read, composed, and arranged. He changed the town's perception of klezmorim for the better. Eventually he went on to have a distinguished musical career, until he died in the Bialystoker ghetto.
YAMPOL (U). Ayara Be-lehavot; Pinkas Yampola, Pelekh Volyn (Town in Flames; Book of Yampola, District Wolyn). Ed.: L. Gelman. Jerusalem, Commemoration Committee for the Town with the Assistance of Yad Vashem and the World Jewish Congress, 1963. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "The Yampoler Water Carrier," by David Rubin, pp. 120-21. (Yiddish)
The Shabse family kapelye aspired to get out of the water carrying business and become full-time klezmorim.
YAMPOL (ibid.) "Yampol's Own Music Kapelye," by David Rubin, pp. 121-22. (Yiddish)
The Yampoler kapelye (comprised of the Shabse family) was of adequate ability, and played mostly for poorer families. They themselves had to supplement their income by carrying water and fishing. They got by until the town was struck by cholera. After that they barely made a living.
YAMPOL (ibid.) "A Khupe in the Cemetery," by David Rubin, pp. 122-25. (Yiddish)
The town arranged a wedding in a cemetery to offset the cholera epidemic. The Shabse family kapelye played for the wedding. Years later, the kapelye 's leader, Elynka, was murdered by a Ukrainian gangster.
YEDINTSY (R). Yad Le-Yedinitz; Sefer Zikaron Le-yehudei Yedinitz-Bessarabia (Yad L'Yedinitz; Memorial Book for the Jewish Community of Yedintzi, Bessarabia). Eds.: Mordekhai Reicher, Yosef Magen-Shitz. Tel Aviv, Yedinitz Society, 1973 (Hebrew, Yiddish) "A Wedding in Town," by Golde Gutman-Krimer, pp. 447-50. (Yiddish)
At the khupe the batkhn and klezmers entertained. Late on everyone danced a bulgarish in the bride's home. Then there was more music during the feast and finally the droshe-geshank, where Alter Peltsnmakher and his wife Khantshe gave one hundred lei [Rom.:money].
YUSTINGRAD (U). Yustingrad-Sokolivka; Ayara She-nihreva (Yustingrad-Sokolivka; A Town that was Destroyed). Eds.: Leo and Diana Miller, Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh, New York, 1972, 1983. (Hebrew, English) "Klei-Koydesh," pp. 28-29. (drawing of a kapelye) (English)
The Sokolivka orchestra was well known and played in the nearby towns for the Jews and for the landed gentry.
ZABLOTOW (P). Ir U-metim; Zablotow Ha-melea Ve-ha-hareva (A City and the Dead; Zablotow Alive and Destroyed). Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Zablotow in Israel and the USA, 1949. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Klezmorim," by Avraham Kysh, pp. 178-79. (Yiddish)
In Zablotow the Shiplman family were the klezmorim. The second son became a bandit and was caught. He was sentenced to twenty years' hard labor in a severe prison, where he later died. It was rumored that he dug a hole under the prison wall and disappeared.
ZABLUDOW (P). Zabludow yizker-bukh (Zabludowo; In Memoriam*). Eds.: Sh. Tsesler et al. Buenos Aires, Zabludowo Book Committee, 1961. (Yiddish) "Theatre, Culture and Entertainment in Zabludow," by David Zabludowski, pp. 272-81. (drawing of a wedding)
Inspired by traveling theatre troupes, the author's father formed his own local theatre company. And since there was no local kapelye, they had to be brought from Bialystock whenever there was a wedding.
ZAGLEMBIE (P). Pinkes Zaglembye (Memorial Book Zaglembie). Ed.: J. Rapaport. Melbourne, Zaglembie Society and Zaglembie Committee in Melbourne; Tel Aviv, Hamenorah, 1972. (Yiddish, English) "The Jewish Musician," by Ruven Braynen, pp. 241-42. (Yiddish)
I visited Bedzin, where I once wrote a report on various aspects of Jewish life in Poland. I was befriended by Dr. Maximillan Vasertsvayg, who took to me to the Jewish section where the poor lived. The doctor brought me to the home of a Jewish musician who played at weddings. It really was not a home but just a lair, one room and a window.
When I walked into the klezmer's filthy home, I saw poor forlorn children who wore dirty tsitsim. They ran and jumped, making a great racket. They looked at me with curiosity, as if I were a rich landowner. I wanted to ask the children some questions and pat their pale faces, but they did not stand still. Then one boy answered all my questions without any fear. With this kind of khutzpe I could see this young boy becoming a millionare or a baron.
Inside the home it was quite horrible and shocking. Nothing I ever read or saw in a photo prepared me for this. The narrow room with black walls had two uncleaned beds in it. Straw was strewn across the beds with a cloth covering the straw. There was a table with weak uneven legs and a broken stool on the damp floor. The floor was full of mud and excrement. The smell was so foul it made me sick to my stomach. In a corner of the room there was a barren woman who sat in a puddle with twins barely a year old. Both struggled and cried, obviously from hunger.
In one bed there was a girl about seventeen years old who was sick and moaning like an animal from hunger. In the other bed were two more children who were also sick from extreme hunger and two more who crawled on the floor. By the door stood a boy of about twenty who suffered from a lung malady. The doctor told me that this boy played the clarinet at weddings but his health condition made it difficult for him.
The head of the family was forty-five years old and had nine children. He was sick with consumption and looked at his instrument with longing, unable to play. All eyes were on us in hopes that we would cure them of their sickness and hunger. The doctor explained that he was a professor from Berlin. When the man heard this, he jumped up with happiness, hoping that the doctor could give him a prescription that would cure him so he could play at weddings again and earn some bread for his wife and children. The man explained how for several years it was difficult to play the clarinet because he had no breath and was too weak to blow. And when he was healthy he still hardly earned anything from the poor weddings. There seldom were rich weddings where he could earn more. And now he was a wreck, a broken tool. His son had played until he became sick. Now the instrument sat in the corner, rusting away. And with tears in his eyes he asked us what did he and his wife do to deserve this curse from God? What sins could the youngest have possibly done? Then the children's eyes looked at their father in hopes that he would save and cure them. I stood there shaken, feeling helpless. There was no end to my sorrow. There was nothing I could do to help these unfortunate people. I took out a silver coin and said: "Here, take this and buy some candy." When the mother heard this, she became angry and said: "God forbid you take this money from the professor!"
ZAGLEMBIE (ibid.) (painting) "Musicians," by Moshe Apelboym, pp. 278-79. (Yiddish)
Moshe Apelboym was born in Amshinov in 1886 and died in Katowice in 1931. He painted various subjects of Jewish life including the klezmorim. In his last years he also painted many pictures depicting the lives of the coal miners that were prevalent in and around Katowice.
ZAMBROW (P) Sefer Zambrow; Zambrove (The Book of Zambrov*). Ed.: Y. T. Lewisky. Tel Aviv, The Zambrower Societies in USA, Argentina and Israel, 1963. (Hebrew, Yiddish, English) "The Broygez Dance," pp. 393-94. (Yiddish) (photo caption: Goldetchke son a talented klezmer and hairdresser and part of the intellectual circle standing at his mother's gravestone) (Yiddish)
The author's grandmother really was angry when she danced the broyges tants with her son's mother-in-law at his wedding. But she followed the song and made peace by its end.
ZAMBROW (ibid.) "Yisroelke the Drummer," p. 548. (Yiddish)
The drummer in the town's kapelye was also a grocer.
ZAWIERCIE (P). Sefer Zikaron; Kedoshei Zawiercie Ve-ha-seviva (Memorial Book of the Martyrs of Zawiercie and Vicinity). Ed.: Sh. Spivak. Tel Aviv, Former Residents of Zawiercie and Vicinity, 1948. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Avrahamele's Wedding," p. 188. (Yiddish)
The famous Zawiercie klezmorim played at a big wedding in town.
ZDZIECIOL (P). Pinkas Zhetl (Pinkas Zetel; A Memorial Book to the Jewish Community of Zetel*). Ed.: B. Kaplinski. Tel Aviv, Zetel Association in Israel, 1957. (Hebrew, Yiddish) "Klezmer and Batkhonim," p. 92. (Yiddish)
The kapelye played while the batkhn Medvetski walked around and entertained the guests. He carried a parasol in one hand while a red handkerchief stuck out from his back pocket.
ZDZIECIOL (ibid.) "The Last Batkhn," by Yakov Indershtayn, pp. 276-77. (Yiddish)
Moshe the Ox, later called Reb Moshe, was the batkhn. He was also a full-time shoemaker.
ZELECHOW (P). Yizker-bukh Fun Der Zhelekhover Yidisher Kehile (Memorial Book of the Community of Zelechow). Ed.: W. Yassni. Chicago, Former Residents of Zelechow in Chicago, 1953. (Yiddish) "The Tpyhus Epidemic and a Wedding at the Cemetery," by Moyshe Borukhovitsh.
In the Zelechow ghetto there was a terrible typhus epidemic that affected the Jews. Dr. Shkap was popular among the Jews and dedicated to the sick. He was sent by the Judenrat to another town because he headed the Jewish Social Self-Help organization.
Instead of Dr. Shkap, they brought in two doctors who controlled the whole hospital. To avoid disinfection and four weeks' quarantine, one had to bribe the doctors. The typhus epidemic continued to take many victims. Finally it was decided to arrange a wedding in the cemetery as well as a ceremony to bury whatever scraps of Jewish holy books remained in the shtibl.
A bride and a groom were found, and on the day of the wedding the community led the couple to the cemetery. Following behind them was a wagon filled with old Jewish books. The whole procession was accompanied by the klezmorim. Then the books were buried and the wedding took place. Afterward, the festivities were held at the Judenrat's office with food, music, and small contributions of money for the newlyweds.
ZYRARDOW (P). Pinkas Zyrardow, Amshino un Viskit (Memorial Book of Zyrardow, Amshinov and Viskit). Ed.: M. W. Bernstein. Buenos Aires, Association of Former Residents in the USA, Israel, France and Argentina, 1961. (Yiddish) "Moyshe Apelboym," pp. 412-13. (photo: Moyshe Apelboym and a picture of a painting of a klezmerkapelye.)
Moshe Apelboym, born in Amshinov April 15, 1887, (d. January 3, 1931,) was a well-known painter. Among his subjects, klezmorim figured prominently.
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