Leizer and Devora Finchelstein at a wedding

Leizer and Devora Finchelstein at a wedding

I think this photograph was taken in a restaurant on the occasion of the wedding of an acquaintance, Denisa Rotman. Denisa got married around 1970-1980. She would have been 50 now, had she still lived. She died very young. I, Leizer Finchelstein, am the one on the left, and my wife is on the right.

My wife's maiden name was Devora Faiestein. She too was born in Iasi, in January 1925. We met for the first time in our Jewish neighborhood, I fell in love with her and to this age, after 56 years of marriage, I'm still in love with her. When I come home and ring the doorbell, and she opens the door for me, it's as if a spotlight lights up the entire house. When I was going to work in the morning and by the time I returned home, I'd start missing her as I didn't see her all day long.

After the war, we continued to maintain friendship relations mostly with Jews; I had Christian co-workers and we got along very well, but we didn't really go out together.

I observed holiday traditions after the war as well. I can say that I never ate bread on Pesach, even though I am a heavy bread-eater. I was used since childhood to eat a lot of bread; in a home with so many children, bread was the main food. And there was also a saying in Jewish homes with many children: 'Eat a small piece of meat and a large piece of bread.' And despite all that, it's as if I don't even know what bread is during the 8 days of Pesach. I ate with my colleagues at work. I ate unleavened bread, they ate normal bread. To this day, my wife still prepares the Pesach observing the traditions she learned at home, from her parents. I always fasted on Yom Kippur, although I am not a religious fanatic. Likewise, we tried to observe the Sabbath as much as we could: we ate soup, and as long as there was a shochet, we took the fowl there to be slaughtered according to the ritual. There was a shochet in Iasi until around 1975-1980, then somebody from neighboring towns would come about once a month. People brought fowls to the Community so that the shochet could perform the ritual slaughter. You paid a small amount of money for this service.

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