My family

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    Ottoman Empire
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My older sister Zelda, mother Klara, my older brother Albert, my older brother Moris, my father Noah, my older brother Golber, my older brother Charles, my older brother Davit.  I and my older sister Ida were not born yet.  Nothing pertaining to this photograph was told to me.It is probably around 1915.  Because my older brother Davit was 7 years older than me and he is still little in this picture

.My father was born in Lithuania. I don't know but he probably went to highschool, he couldn't do more because he ran away from Lithuania. My father spoke in Yiddish. He knew German and Arabic. My father spoke Yiddish in the family among themselves and their parents. They spoke in Arabic if they wanted to hide something from the children.My father was a serious and hardworking person and a very, very good father.  He was especially very fond of his children. He was excessively fond of them. We, 5 kids, went to school at the same time. All the children attended school.  At the Saint-George school, and there was a Goldschmith school at the time. He educated all of us. He was so fond of us that, in summer we would go to the sea as a family. He would go into the sea, he would only allow us to go in until the water reached our knees, he would not allow us to go deeper, he was scared that we could drown.My father did tailoring to earn their living. My father earned well, he was a good tailor for women and men.My mother was born in Romania. My mother went to Egypt when she was 2 years old, she must have gone to school there. My mother spoke Yiddish, she spoke German.  She knew Arabic too, she spoke Arabic with my father. I don't know what she studied. She was married at 15.The clothing of my mother was the modern clothing of the times.My mother was very good too, her only job was to raise the children. But she walked around with a whip in the house.  There was a pole, with leather strips on the end.  Because there were 6 boys, 2 boys in each room, the pillows would fly in the air. As if this were not enough, the 6 children of my father's sister would also come to our house. My mother of course walked around with that whip and everyone was scared. But the house was always clean and my mother was always busy with cooking.We always had books in our house.   My older brothers had books, magazines, for example, there was Stern. There were a few religious books but we did not read them, my father did. My parents liked reading, but my father read more.  My mother, even though she enjoyed it, did not have much time from struggling with the kids. A newspaper arrived to the house too. The French newspaper, Journal d'orient would come. They did not have the habit of going to the library.My father could be considered religious. He applied Passover, Purim, Rosh hashana and Yom Kippur among the Jewish traditions. They observed kashrut.  Pork products, shrimp and such would not enter our house. He even had different tableware served during Passover.  There were special plates for Passover.  Also my father did not like small plates, he liked to eat in big plates. There would be holiday celebrations in the house. We would go to relatives, they would come to us. My father went to the synagogue every Friday and Saturday. My family was a member of the Jewish community.My mother and father met in Egypt, but how, I do not know.  My father had moved to Egypt, they met there and were married there. In Cairo. First my mom went there, she was 2 years old then.  She stayed there for 15 years.  Later my father came and stayed there for 10 more years. But I don't know how they met.  Was it matchmaking, or was it not, I was not told. I only know that they were married in a synagogue in Egypt.Our family's financial situation wasn't very wealthy, but it was good. He educated five children at the same time, a big house, plenty of good food, and going out, that means he earned well. 

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Interviewee: Jak Rutil


Klara Rutli
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Noah Rutli
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