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baby pisetskaya

Grandfather Menachem went to the synagogue regularly. I remember that he put on his tallit and tefillin when he prayed at home. I was five then and remember that I stood beside him and kissed the cubes - tefillin, and my grandfather kissed the edges of his tallit.
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My grandmother was very beautiful; she had very thick long hair that she combed with a metal comb. She wore a lace shawl. She also wore hats.
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Jankiel Kulawiec

He had this huge beard down to his waist, he had sidelocks and wore a head covering - this cap with a small round peak; it was called a 'Krymka' [Crimean cap], from the Crimean Jews, who used to wear caps like that.
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Rafael Genis

My mother cooked chulent for Sabbath. Meat, potatoes, carrots, beans and at times plums were put in a large pot and placed in a hot oven. On Saturday my parents went to the synagogue. When we grew up, we went with them. Father bought a seat there. His tallit and prayer book were kept there in a small cabinet beside his seat. My father knew many prayers in Hebrew. Upon our return from the synagogue, we sat at the table and our housekeeper - a Lithuanian lady - took the chulent from the stove with the help of a large oven fork. Before we started eating, Father said a prayer. I still remember the feeling of that festivity and ceremoniousness during Sabbath in my parents' house.
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Krystyna Budnicka

Only one of my brothers, Boruch, was religious. He had a pious wife and he wore a kashket too.
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She must have come from a religious family - I remember that on Saturdays she wore a wig, and on ordinary days she went around in a hairnet. Father always had his head covered. He didn't have sidelocks - he was no Hasid [2], but he was a pious Jew, and he had a beard, a beautiful long silvery beard, which parted at the bottom. He didn't wear a hat but a kashket, a kind of a small cap with a peak.
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Janina Duda

It was there that I saw for the first time these, as they are called in Poland, ‘chalats’ [Hasidim]. I walked around in my high school cap, with a large visor and they pointed at me in the street. Pointed at me with their fingers, because I was wearing that cap. A girl? With such a visor? I didn’t see that at all in Bialystok.
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You can see what Father looked like in the photographs: mustache, blond hair, he was an ordinary man, he dressed normally.
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He spoke perfect Polish, he didn’t wear sidelocks, he was a completely secular person.
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They observed traditions, the basic religious forms, but there were no visible signs. They all dressed normally.
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Lily Arouch

My father's mother, Lea, was a very traditional woman: she didn't go out much, she wore her traditional headscarf and she only spoke Spanish, even after moving to Thessalonica in 1914-1916. Of course Thessalonica was Turkish then; it became Greek only later on.
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Isroel Lempertas

I know hardly anything about my father's family. I remember grandfather David Lempert lived in Latvia, in the town Daugavpils, but I do not know if he was born there. In my father's words David was born in the middle of 19th century. Father said that grandfather David dealt with timber trade and was a rather well-off. Judging by the portrait hanging in our house, where David is with beard, with a kippah on his head and from the scares tales of my father I can say that grandfather was a religious Jew. During World War One, father's family was also exiled. In my father's words grandfather refused to live in Kharkov [Ukraine, 440 km from Kiev], where he worked in some offices of the Soviet Army. When the war was over, the family returned to Lithuania. I cannot say when grandfather David died. I think it happened before the family came back to the Baltic country. Maternal grandmother, petite lean woman, with her head always covered, lived with us. I do not remember even her name. Her health was very poor and she mostly stayed in her room in bed. We just called her grandmother. I remember her lighting candles on the Sabbath eve. She read her thick shabby prayer book while she was able to see. When I was five, i.e. in 1930, grandmother died. She was buried in accordance with the Jewish tradition in the Mazeikiai Jewish cemetery. I do not know anything about father's siblings. I think he was an only son. At least I do not remember any talks about siblings.
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