By Yehiel Ben-Porat (Pultarak)
Translated by David Rendelman
In memory of my brother, Shmuel Eliezer and his wife, Esther
For generations the tannery was located there. The grandparents of years past of the family were amongst the first 24 families in the town.
The grandfathers about whom I had heard spoken of were Itshe Meir Pultarak and Yoav. A large and endearing family of sons and daughters who married and in time left home and took on other lines of work. At the tannery there remained Moshe Pultarak, of average height and broad-boned, he worked from the early years, until his old age. He always prayed with the first minyan of Shabbat and on the holy days at Rabbi R' Alter, and later at Rabbi R' Yosef.
In the tannery the work was very hard, as one did not work with any machine. All by hand. All worked there: young and old. Even the daughters did their share.
The work was accompanied with singing and prayers, amongst others, "Hanani Heani M'maash" of Rabbi R' Yosef.
The two brothers, Iser and Dovid, were excellent singers. Their songs flowed well with the songs and sweet nigunim of the synagogue boys who stood near the tannery and created a harmony
The two brothers, Iser and Dovid, were the head singers at Rabbi R' Yosef. They also sang in the choir of Moshe Lerer in "Hanoten Tshua" for the Czar.
A large and endearing family it was. Daughers and grandchildren, celebrations, weddings and Brit's.
Today the house is silent. No one will ever hear again the singing, because all were murdered together with the entire Jewish community.
Let them be remembered with blessing.
And thus I light a candle in memory of my only brother, Shmuel Eliezer Pultarak and his wife, Esther. Upon their unknown graves I shed tears.
By Sima-Lubling Ben Porat
Translated by David Rendelman
The Stak in Wolbrom was renowned in Wolbrom. Who did not delight in its cold water an entire week and especially Shabbat afternoon? From the Stak, the Jewish water carriers carried water to the entire area.
Along one side of the were the tanners, the Greitsers. On the second side were the bakers, Abraham Berish Becker, and nearby was the huge house of Fradel Yidels.
The Stak was situated below, several stairs headed down to the Stak. In the winter the stairs were iced over from the water that fell from the cans of the water carriers, and it was very dangerous to go down the stairs. Those who lived nearby would throw ash down on the stairs to prevent people from slipping.
At the huge fire of 1904, when the entire town went up in flames, the fire stopped at the Stak. The day after the fire, "bagels" were still pouring out of Avraham Berish's bakery.
After the fire, many Jews settled in Elgoter Street behind the Stak and crowded cnditions there were great.
Making a living for those living around the Stak was hard, and for many, even harder than hard. Let us mention some of them:
Amongst the senior residents of the town. A tall, handsome Jew with a snow-white beard, and kindly eyes, and was very well-mannered and polite. Hs bakery was always open. The village Jew, who used to come to the town, purchased their needs, they stayed at the inn there, with their bags.
One rested at the bakery as one could rest in a beehive. They baked by day and by night, for weddings, and for circumcisions. All around one could smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked goods. And when matzah was being baked for Pesach, the noise and singing of the Wolbromers and the scream of, "A Matzah in the oven." Abraham Berish Baker went around with a tallis-katan and derived much pleasure from life.
He was a butcher, and a tall, broad-boned man. He was a rugged man, never rushed, was very sparing of words, did not mix into the business of the town, was a master of charity. His wife, Malkah Yachet, was like her husband, always doing good deeds. Their oldest son learned in the synagogue and the parents derived from him much pleasure (nachas).
They were in the veal business. They worked hard every year. Pious people, they were beloved by all. Their son, Litman Yakubovitch, worked with his parents. In the later years he took part in the worker-youth movement, and was loved by all.
They were quiet, modest people. They were always working. They were never seen in the street. They were always in the bakery. They always received their costumers warmly. Their bagels were famous throughout the region.
A tall, thin man, always rushing home. He spoke fast and a little untergeshnoipelt. He fixed shoes and boots. Amongst his clients were those who had only one pair of shoes, therefore he had to fix them on the spot.
It also happened that travelers would stop to sleep by him, salesmen traveling through with torn shoes.
Finie Shuster fixed shoes with kavanah, gusto, reciting Tehillim, praying. He was also a specialist in fixing galoshes. He worked hard and earned little.
They lived by Shabatai Kalchmacher. Her husband was a salesman. Both were quiet, modest, and dear people. Day in and day out he went around the villages. He used to be seen coming back from a village, laden with sacks of feathers, that Jewish mothers used to purchase and prepare outfits for their children. Frimet Zeideles did not have any children, and took on the mitzvah to help to fill the shed with feathers and down.
He, a tall man; his wife, a short, thin woman. They went to the village every day with a box of glass on their shoulders, fixing the panes in the peasants' cottages.
He was a quiet man. It was difficult to get him into a conversation. He never complained.
Hanale, was the bread winner of the family. Her man did nothing, only always made a roar and was a complaint of the community.
They lived from what she earned, and she taught Hebrew to the girls, always with a pointer in the hand and the eyeglasses on the end of her nose.
Their son, Shlomo, a pale, sickly boy, was barely half-alive. He helped with making some money. He was the "carrier". In the street he used to throw in coals in the fireplaces of peoples' homes, and even sometimes carried a box with sugar for Yisraelkele Grossman in the store.
A short man with a small beard. Until his old age he was a village salesman.
Despite his tough job - he made little money. In his older years he took on an original way of making money: spending the night watching over the dead.
He was always happy. The stories he always used to tell were like The Thousand and One Nights.
The son-in-law of Itzik Aharon, also a salesman. He had a stately appearance,
with his beautiful, broad beard. He always prayed with the first minyan in the synagogue and from their went to the village. Every day he could be seen coming from the village, tired with sacks, and sometimes also brought a calf. It also happened that he brought nothing back. He never complained, and accepted his hard life with love.
I go back to Fradel Yidles' house, in the basement at the Stak, where the first Lina Hatsedek was created by the two synagogue youths Mordechai Mendel Hocherman and Yehoshua Lubling - both gifted and good learners, who understood the great poverty and need to create a place for the poor to sleep, wanderers, who had no place to rest their heads at night. The basement had several iron beds, which were always occupied.
My brother used to visit the sick at the Lint-Hatzedakah. This happened so often that he was quite familiar with the small steps, and his family essentially lived in the basement.
I want to mention them here to remember their good manners with the sick who were there. Besides this they used to bring them a bit of warmth in the cold winter nights.
Honor their memory.
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