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[Pages 533-534]

Nise the Tailor (Dub)

by Dov Amit (Berish Drug)

Translated by Archie Barkan

A tall skinny Jew with a black-like beard that folded into a tobacco color, bent over somewhat, used to sometimes run out to the market and buy a wagonload of wood from a farmer, and right away back home to his sewing machine. His specialty in tailoring was new long coats for the priests of the region of Kamin. Surrounding villages around Kamin were many and understandably every village had its priest with his long coat. I don't know how the priests would have gotten along without Nise, and similarly Nise without the priests, while his specialty consisted of those long coats.

His wife was a tall person, the sons and daughters tall. He sewed at a very large machine and with a large shears used to cut the large black sheets of merchandise that the big fat priests used to bring to him. The priest used to stand in front of Nise at the measuring like a little boy. He used to turn forwards and backwards and then turn him around to measure the length and the width of the stomach and the priest used to understandably be obedient in order for the coat to come out very pretty and with wide sleeves.

When the priest was very happy with Nisan's work, he used to bring him a chicken as a present. The chicken naturally he gave to his wife who used to blow at the rear end of the chicken and inspected it to see if it was yellow and fat, or G-d forbid blue and skinny, and after that, tied a colored rag to a foot of the chicken. And Nise used to, with his large scissors, cut off half of his tail. That was done in order for the chickens to be able to be recognized because he did not go to slaughter it right away. They used to sit with him for a day or two in the stable until they were used to their new location and to their new bosses, and after that he would let them go freely walking around on the highway or in the neighboring gardens like so many Jews in the town used to do with their chickens. Everybody made their mark on the chickens in order for them not to be exchanged.

With Nise the tailor there was a sort of steady trait. The tall daughters used to once in a while go out to call the chickens with a very loud toot-toot-toot that you could hear in the other part of town. Nise once in a while would look through the window with a fat lower lip, with glasses on the end of his nose looking over the glasses, and listening to the very strong call of a daughter of theirs and at the same time thinking that it is already time for this young lady to get married. She is now big and strong, and could be a very good housekeeper. With G-d's help, Nise married off his daughters and sons and they all were sewers of clothes except for one son-in-law who was a shoemaker. The priests would continue with his being their sewer of long coats. They came to Nise the tailor and now his wife was calling the chickens to feed them, not neglecting many of her daughters, but only her voice was thinner and more hoarse.

He perished along with all the other Jews of the town. No priest came in order to help him in such a tragic time and certainly not to save him from death.

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