The ketubbah of Marim and Iacob Haller

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This is the ketubbah, the marriage contract that was drawn for us when I, Marim Haller, married my husband, Iacob Haller.


I, Marim Haller, got married in 1946. I had a religious ceremony performed, in Margulies' house. Solomon Margulies was my first employer, and he was actually my sponsor at the wedding. They wedded me. They had 4 rooms, and that's where my wedding was held. They brought a chuppah there, and Burstein performed the wedding. He was a Ruf [rav], he wasn't a rabbi. A Ruf who also performed chores - the slaughtering of animals for meat, kosher, what have you… [Editor's note: The Ruf or Rof is a pronunciation variant of the Rav which has the same word root as the Rabbi. The difference between the two (mainly in the 20th century) is that the Rabbi is who was anoint, the Rav is who is an expert in the Jewish traditions, for instance, he is a important Talmud scholar. The Rav is an honorific title and not an authorized one. He could decide about dubious kashrut issues, because he had enough knowledge about it.] The wedding sponsors hold you arm in arm under the chuppah, the groom stands still and you turn around him together with the sponsors. Afterwards a drink is given, the husband drinks, then you are given to drink. That's how the ceremony went. A wedding contract was drawn up [ketubbah] - I still have it, I ran across it the other day. And there were guests, a feast, people ate, just like at a wedding. The guests were relatives, acquaintances. There weren't many people. There were, say, enough persons to fit into a house.


My husband, Iacob Haller, wasn't very religious, moderate I'd say. He went to the synagogue very rarely. He did so on holidays. Especially when prayers for the dead were performed, he always attended the synagogue as well. He also wore the tefillin at home from time to time.


I used to light candles on Friday night, and I still do, to this day. I pray for those that are no longer among us - I light these candles in their memory. I don't recite that many prayers. That's all I say - may they rest in peace! I light 2 candles - I've grown into this habit. The candlesticks are made from silver, I received them as a gift from our wedding sponsors, the Margulies family. I didn't have separate dishes for meat and milk. I didn't even eat meat and milk separately, I somewhat mixed them.


After my mother died, I sat shivah for 8 days in her memory. [E.M.: In Botosani, I have come across the custom of sitting shivah for 8 days instead of 7.] I honor my parents' memory very much. You place a rug on the floor, and you sit on it. You stand up from time to time. These are the customs. The dead are buried in white sheets. People make clothes for them, sew, but they must be white, in any case. The dead are not dressed in a suit of clothes, no. You pay money to the Community, they buy them, manufacture them - a woman at the Community makes them. That's life!

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Interviewee: Marim Haller
Emoke Major
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Botosani, Romania


Marim Haller
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