Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust with Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.
Mayer Kirshenblatt grew up in Apt, Poland, and immigrated to Toronto in 1934. Through conversations and interviews with his daughter, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, the acclaimed Yiddish anthropologist, Mayer recreated in remarkable detail a Jewish life in a small Polish city before the Holocaust.
In 1990, at the age of 74, Mayer taught himself to paint and has since been illustrating the stories of his hometown. The result of this rare intergenerational collaboration between father and daughter is "They Called Me Mayer July", a book and major art exhibition- Judah L. Magnes Museum
The exhibition will be on view at the Judah L. Magnes Museum from September 2007 through January 2008.
Alla Efimova is the Chief Curator at the Judah L. Magnes Museum.
Mayer Kirshenblatt grew up in Apt, Poland, and immigrated to Toronto in 1934. Through conversations and interviews with his daughter, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, the acclaimed Yiddish anthropologist, Mayer recreated in remarkable detail a Jewish life in a small Polish city before the Holocaust. In 1990, at the age of 74, Mayer taught himself to paint and has since been illustrating the stories of his hometown. The result of this rare intergenerational collaboration between father and daughter is They Called Me Mayer July, a book and major art exhibition.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where she chaired the Department of Performance Studies for more than a decade. She teaches courses on the aesthetics of everyday life, world's fairs, museum theatre, tourist productions, food and performance, and Jewish performance, folklore, and ethnography. She is affiliated with the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and has served on advisory committees for six interdepartmental programs - American Studies, Liberal Studies, Metropolitan Studies, Religious Studies, Museum Studies, and Asian/Pacific/American Studiesâ€”as well as for the Department of Food Studies and Nutrition at New York University.
She is currently co-convening the Working Group on Jews, Religion, and Media at New York Universityâ€™s Center for Religion and Media, New York University, with Jeffrey Shandler. A major project of the Jewish Working Group is Modiya, an online resource for scholars, teachers, and students (http://modiya.nyu.edu). She is also co-convening the Jews and Performance colloquium, jointly sponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary and New York University, with Edna Nahshon.
Thank you Stephanie for hosting this event today good evening. I must say I feel like a very lucky curator. It's really, really rare toget to work on the ground breaking project that boldly charts new territory, defies categorizations and makes label makes label sodifficult to write. "They Called Me Mayer July" crosses the boundaries of ardent literature, ethnography and history, memoir and poetry. IfI am a lucky the lucky curator, Mayer Kirshenblatt must feel like a lucky artist. He is not in search of his inner self, not in search ofyour. He doesn't look for market validation or critical appraisal. He knows exactly what he paints, why he paints it and who he paints itfor. And the result is 270 paintings that are proud and jubilant. Sixty of them will be on display at the Magnes in Berkeley starting thisSunday and through January 13th. The exhibition is accompanied by stories narrated by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.The exhibition will travel nationally and internationally including Atlanta, New York, Amsterdam, London and Warsaw. I have many, manypeople to thank for making this project possible at the Magnes. First and very, very soon.Welcome friends, family and guests to the first event in the series celebrating the book launch and exhibition opening of "They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of aJewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust. I am Lisa Silver -And I am Shawna Silver; we are Mayer's granddaughters and Barbara's nieces. We are actually representing Zeidi's entourage. There are four generations of us here in San Francisco. Well,the book is called Mayer July to you. We refer to it as Zeidi July because he is Zeidi to all of us. We are honored to be part of this eventand to have the opportunity to express what this means to us.Zeidi has created an image of Poland for us through his stories and then starting in 1990, through his paintings. When we were small, we learnt about the types of things he would do when he was small. He made toysfor himself in Poland because these were things his family could not afford to buy. He told us that he made things from non things. Allbits of string, pop corns, newspapers, nails, keys, they became new toys for us after being Zeidified. This chicken and mouse are two examples that we were allowed to bring into California.As we grew up, the known things became bows and arrows, stilts, hornsand whistles made out of willowbark. But and began to resonate more with us were his stories about school. Well, we would go toschool from nine to four. He told us about his school experience. He would attend Polish Public School from seven to twelve, come home forlunch and then go to Thater Jewish school until dark, six days a week. We couldn't believe it, school six days a week, all day without summers, even uphill both ways, he would say.The life that he had became clear to us the day he showed us his first painting,the one of his mother's kitchen. It was no longer told tales of old, it was actually real. And not only was it a view of Poland in the pastfrom a child in adolescent perspective but it was a view of our grandfather. His current interests and what he would do with us, sailing,showing us war planes, the details of how a clock worked; the painting showed us where those interests came from. He taught us aboutcombustion engines and told the stories about the first Carson Apt. And we could finally see exactly what he was talking about.But this effort was a collaboration. Growing up with Barbara as an aunt, we knew that we knew when we are being interviewed always. As aresearcher and professor, she was curious about everything. When asked what we did that day, "nothing" was not acceptable answer. Shewanted to know what exactly did hanging out mean. Where did you go if you were going around? She had been honing these skills for manyyears interviewing our grandparents about life in Poland and life in Canada. We are here today because of her vision for this project, herperseverance as an interviewer, her encouragement for Zeidi to paint, and our grandfather's ability to express his remarkable memory in detail on canvas.So what does this mean to us? We have been very lucky to have Zeidi to ourselves for the last many years. We have tried totake advantage of his knowledge, insight and zest for life. The book in exhibition open his world to you, and we are delighted to sharehim. Thank you.Well of course we have a few thank yous of our own and I'll make them brief because Alla hasalready indicated. But I have I really do have to say on behalf of my father and myself, to the University of California Press andespecially to my editor, Stanley Holwitz and our designer, Nola Burger that and this is for Deborah Kirshman Associate Director years, thatit has been an absolutely wonderful wonderful experience to create this book with the press, the faith of the press in the project and thededication of everyone, my manuscript editors, Rose Vekony, and Dore Brown, my publicist, Alex Dahne, everybody has really, really pulledtogether. The museum has also been an extraordinary pleasure. Alla is a very creative and innovative curator and it has been a delight towork with her and with her staff and I thank Terry Pink for her support, Faith Powell and James Leventhal who is here this evening. AndStephanie Singer, thank you for organizing this event and of course the Taube Foundation in Shayna Penn. But I think above all we reallyhave to thank our family because they are there day to day and they we really my father would not be in the great shape that he is inwithout this incredible family, so warmest thanks to them. So without further adieu, They Called Me Mayer July and I'd like to begin just bysaying a few words about the project and well I began interviewing my father in 1967. I was taking a course in Russian Folklore at theIndiana University, came home during Thanksgiving and I read a passage at the table from the book. And the passage was when a person diesthey lay out the body and they put a glass of water and hanky on the window sail and open the windows, so when the soul leaves the body itwill wash itself, dry itself and be able to exit. And then from somewhere in the kitchen I hear, "Well, we used to do that." And I thought"Oh my god, its right here. I don't have to read the book on the Russian Folklore. Its right here." And so I began those interviews andcontinued them and continue them to this very, very day. And one of the things that I discovered when I was talking with my father was thatif he was describing something to me, like for example how to bridle a horse not that I've ever bridled one or ever intended to bridleone, or how the pumps worked that the firemen used to put out the fire and I didn't understand, he say "Give me a paper, give me a pieceof paper, a pencil." And in my note book or on a piece paper he would make a sketch or make a drawing. How to stencil a room, you'll seefrom some of the paintings that the rooms are stenciled, the goldsmith tools how to make a shoe; every with three complete pages in thebook in detail; you could make a shoe from those instructions. I knew from those drawings and I knew from the ways in which he rememberedthat he had a very, very visual memory. I also knew that he was very handy. He had he had paint wall paper store for many years, hedecorated our bedroom of our kids, royal blue walls and beautiful curtains and I just at a certain point I said; "You know, just paintwhat you can remember." "Just just paint what you can remember." And we went through a whole long process and finally, finally finally hebegan. And the the way the sort of there were several pivotal several pivotal moments. But the pivotal moment that I remember bestwas we were on a trip to New Zealand and we were it was torrential rains; we were you know, mountain road, there was a gorge fallingbelow, the road was falling away, everybody was very, very tense and my mother in the backseat was saying, "Mayer, Mayer, paint the kitchen.Do it for Barbara, she'll use it in her work." And through the whole rest of the trip we were it was you know; New Zealand____ glaciers, sub tropical rain forests; the whole trip he is thinking, "How am I going to paint the kitchen?" So we came back and sureenough, he painted the kitchen. It was just before his 50th wedding anniversary and just before he turned 74, he was 73 when he did it. Andthose the very first drawing which is in my sister's collection is in the exhibition, as is the very first water color and this is thevery first painting. So we will start with this painting. So what do we have here?The kitchen you know when our real estate men comes to show you a house, it's just this is the kitchen, if we didn't know it was the kitchen, this is the washroom so I'lltell you, this is the kitchen. The kitchen is the most important room in the house. All the activities were in this room. Over there overon the left hand side is my mother sitting, that's where I slept. The reason we have two rooms and the other room, my father and my motherslept of course in two separate beds, and there was a schlefbunk, a little deep bed that pulled out, that two of my brothers slept. Andmy youngest brother because he is on the floor so, one day he wrecked my mother's bed, the other day he wrecked my father's bed. On theright hand side is the wash bunk. It was a cabinet which was quiet a luxury, with that basin where all the dishes were washed.Now on the wall was our armor, our frame, all the best china and cups were displayed and near the the table is near window and there wasreally a big fight amongst our four brother we came in, who is going to sit near that window they can look outside and see what'shappening in the courtyard. On the right hand side of course is a brick oven with our shovel as the big door, where all the baking was done.I also used to practice the fiddle and there is my brothers playing in the corner there, is a bowl where the water was kept and as a little wash stand with a basin and pitcher of water.Now there is something else noteworthy here and that is howbeautifully these walls are decorated, and just in a nutshell to tell you that, they were it was cheaper to use have a man coming and stencil them than to use wallpaper.Wall paper was it was the unknown thing. And I think there was anybody in city whocould angle paper. A cousin of ours, he was quiet well to do and he brought some wall paper he took the book binder, because he handledpaper, he should know the paper well, - however that paper was our manual. Uh-huh this is a boy with a heron. I this isan official school uniform, the hat was official, a blue jacket, the color is called Slovasky color it was 17 18th century -- 19th century Polish Slovasky and this is the kind of color you wore,plus for us white socks, these socks on your head, because my father was in Canada. He send home cloth parcels parcels with clothsand of course buy shoes, red ski boots with yellow laces and brass polished eyelids. And -.Now, before you could continue - what about this with this hat, you said to me that the religious boys wouldn't wear it.Yes because it said on top there was the four corners formed together. It was the form of our cross. Now a herring a herring was a very importantpart in the Jewish diet, generally our Jewish woman to really be our chef. Herring, first of all we went to buy herring, better mygrandmother said, buy the herring, it sure is a male herring. Now paper, newspaper was precious. She gave a little piece ofnewspaper for a handheld. So I shouldn't but as the brine was dripping I thought a couple of leaks out of brine anyway.Anyways we brought the herring home. My mother would wash it. She would cleanit. And she made a little sauce of vinegar, a little water and some sugar and she cut up the herring to pieces and if I had a chance tohave a little piece of herring, dipped the bread in the sauce this sort of before the supper. Supper wasn't very much; our main meal wason noon hour. Supper was a piece of dry bread and we had a lot of that and was rubbed on the garlic or onions, and some goose fat and oura cup of tie until supper time, mother would take the herring, she take out the semen sack -The milt? She opened it up.The the milt and she would Opened it up andscratch it apart and this was part of the preparation of the herring.So this dish was called by cuts borsht which means a scratched borsht, because the milt the sack of semen was opened up and the insides was scraped out and that was mixed together with the vinegar, the sugar, little bit of water okay.My greatest pleasure at that time I mean first ofall, I didn't have much of our youth my first header I was may be about four years old, Mom sent me there I don't think to learnanything, it was like a babysitting job. But just the same, the teacher taught me alphabet, my greatest pleasure is running to Taboot. I used to cover miles and miles and miles, every evening, you know of course looking into resource, looking at the peasants, what they do etc. etc.Now when my father would say you know that was at the corner of the Vonster Bage andsuch and such, I had so many locations and I couldn't figure where the thing was. So I made a list of all the places he told me about and Iasked him to draw me a map of the town and then we went through it, he said, okay where was the show, where was the cemetery, where was theriver, where was everything? So this is his hand drawn map and I think that we may we are going include that I am not sure if we aregoing to include it between in the show, but its just preliminary to a wonderful painting of the town panorama which is not exactly whatyou would have seen because many of the important buildings have been put into this panorama in order to be able to show it to you. ButMayer will walk you through the town panorama.The most important part was the portals. Apt was originally a walled city. The walls are long gone, but the port remains. On top of the port is a picture of ( ) who was on the provision on a place calledChestahova, the --- and the face was black and the baby Jesus also was black, is a picture that's venerated in the PolishCatholic culture and in Chestahova's big cathedral and is a lot of pilgrimage on to the place and this picture is painted on top ofthe portal. As you see there is a staircase, the church is built on the hill. On the right hand side there is few steeples, there was amonastery there. As the steps lead to a little house with a big huge, huge bell. The bell was used primarily in very important occasions,and most important in case of fire, they rang the bell to wave up the populace to go and to help put out the fire. Next to the to thebell, there was the tower of the cathedral. The cathedral was very ancient and we went to see it recently, it's certainly very, verybeautiful. Next on it is the Synagogue. The Synagogue was a very important building with masonry and properly later on, you get a betterdescription. Next to Synagogue is this traditional that next to the Synagogue there is always a Beit Midrash, a house of study. That'swhere to get voice of lord religious studies, learned the Talmot etc, etc and then there was a few houses, and then there is thegarden. A city a small town of Poland; after all it was not unique. All the city that you see are build under same system. The center ofthe town is a garden and around the center of this town garden there is a best buildings in this most the best stores etc etc. Andas the tower sees the buildings get they get more broken down and really had to have supports and etc etc, and of course there is inthe middle of the garden, there is a monument to the First World War people they have killed, soldiers and also the city well. At the timeit was rare. But it used to be you know, I thought times were tough, even United States was in depression, particularly in our town. Sothus people went around and then took time think of few plans together. This is a man you had a a little organ he played and he had aparrot and he had a little basket, - you give him few pennies and the parrot came down and gave took out a little fortune for you it gave you a fortune.And what's it was nice that you could actually see the portal and when we were in apart of recently, I realize that that black Madonna is actually on the outside of the portal, but in order to give you the panorama Mayerpainted it on the inside, but you can see here it's not up there because in fact it's on the outside.That the richest man in town was Mundelbon. He had a factory making soap the ] ____, also a soap with an elephant, for laundry, it wassupposed to be very strong because of an elephant, and he had he was a rich man and man came and he called himself ____, thehuman fly. He'd call up the corner of this of the building, on top there was a pole, did some aerobics and came down and the end, and get money, I was almost there, you see me in the blue uniform helping out.There's something you will notice inmany of the paintings and its here too, that there seems to be a fascination with the graining of wood and there are some paintings wherethe floors are grained, the cabinets, the table, the chairs, everything is grained. And in Canada my father actually learned how to fakewood. I remember going with him when he once when we grained these enormous church doors, all the doors at our home were grained andyou'll see some of these skills are applied in the paintings themselves.This was called ____ hotel, an old dilapidated building.It was the only hotel I mean you know -It was called the hotel because all the people there were very, very poor. Yeah sure I bought a care we had going to work in the morning. A lot of some guyskept ____, a few chickens and so and so forth, to make things a little easier. The home since I learned is here you can youcan see that's the poorest homes, you can find a little bit of cardboard or something to cover the wholesome crux, that wasn't there, howpeople survived that winter time I don't know, because snow and the wind must have been come again.What one of the stories that my father tells about with in relation to this painting is that in 1931, when the Polish census was taken, histeacher at the Polish Public School who taught him Polish language and literature asked him to accompany him to take the census becauseMayer's Polish was really, really excellent; very, very fluent. And that was an opportunity to actually go inside this building and fromroom to room just see how people lived and he has actually painted some paintings from this.It's amazing. The Jews lived in Apt for not 400 to 500 years, and when the people could not speak Polish, they created all small little ghetto, the Yiddish___was there and the shrill was there, the koasher butcher was there, everything was there and they couldn't speak Polish. And it's amazing, thesame people came to Canada after the war without any money, without any language, without any profession, and they've done extremely well.And believe me they learned how to speak English well, not well, but fast. This is the story of the boy in the white pajamas. We had atthe town, two men named Khiel. Khiel, the cobbler was a red headed blonde; they called him the shvartser Khiel, the black Khiel. Now therewas a guy ____ and he was our brush maker, now he was a brunette, they called him the blonde Khiel. The cobbler had sevendaughters. Every time a male child was born, it died. He went to the Rabbi said to all the Rabbi, "Help me. Where will I find certaingrooms for my seven daughters? Where will I find dowry for my seven daughters? Who will say Kaddish when I die? Rabbi, help me." Rabbi says,"Look here is an amulet. You wait you see nine months from now, god will help you have a son. Let him wear white Pajamas, because as youknow the Jewish people bury people in a white shawl, ____. So if and when the angle of death will come to take him, as he iswearing white, it will think he already a dead, leave him alone. The fact was when I left I was eight years old, in 1942 he was 16, he stillwore the white Pajamas, he was expelled from Apt with the rest of the Jews never to return. Market day; a very important day. The Jewishsmall petty businessmen that do much all week, you know so the formative market day, great anticipation because the farmers came to town tobuy and sell their products, the turkeys and chickens and eggs and whatever, cheese, whatever they have made on the farm. And here I showat the top of the pictures Mandelbums building it was important, nicest building in the city. Next toward is the county seat. And atthe center you see is the garden. And under your left hand side is the people selling clothes, books etc, at the right hand side there issome people selling things. And of course you know the lady in red; you can imagine what her profession was and really the far made arevery difficult I mean, we came to town -- he came to town; the thieves just robbed him and steal them. The favorite stuff everything was a guy would walk aroundwith a red handkerchief on his face, "Good morning." Now one of us will say, "What's what's your problem?" He says, "I have a badtoothache. And I went to the dentist, he told me, in order for me to cure my teeth, I have to suck it ___. I'll give you 20Zlotys. Please let me do it. Well 20 Zlotys, but the meantime, shared a little money in it, just sell something. He sucked the best allright; also he sucked the money out from him. Here here I show the farmer brought wood, the firewood, oh no he brought you -.Eggs and the chickens and what a favorite thing it was. Such a woman down on the curb andthey count eggs and how long her skirt. As she was full, she couldn't help herself to empty the wagon. And here this is you seethe gate in the center, that's where I lived. It was a little small market place before the warehouse. So I'll show here also at the sameat the market day. She is a woman she's leading a pig. And so she has a little string on his leg to control him and a littlea little way a little stick there to encourage you. And the other farmers is leading a cow and the woman where black clothes, made fromlinen, homegrown linen. They wore abig, big skirt, and a jacket and of course you know about the lady in red. She is and theguy is selling here neighbor is selling boots and our woman is trying to sell a goose. You know, my mother used to go on by poultry andused to buy goose, particularly in the fall time. The goose was force fed to make them nice -.So hang on a bit. We got to come to those in just a second.But what I wanted you to do was to to take you from that doorway to the courtyard to show you what the courtyard was like on the otherside of the doorway. And this is the courtyard. And in fact the table do I need to put more water.The table that you saw on the kitchen that everybody fought over to be able o see out. That you'd see outinto this courtyard and of course the hoop and the water carrier and etc. Just to give you a sense of the other side.____ he was the one of the richest men in town. I remember, a night in 28', he bought the first car was brought up to Apt thefirst car that I saw. Friday was time to sell the fish. Of course the fish was possibly alive. You know, if our fish was not there itwasn't alive, then he would go hit the head the fish under head. It will it will move rising you will see the fishes rise alive. Hiswife was a kleptomaniac, my mother told me that she she saw her steal sine fish and put it in her bosom. But the he was the allmerchants in the city were told, if she steal something leave her alone. He kept track of what she brought home and on Sunday that peoplewent to his office, he paid everybody off. This is the livestock market. Also this next to the Jewish cemetery you see on your left isJewish cemetery. This has mainly mainly for selling and buying cows, horses, not livestock. And the you see and the tower there was atower, the volunteer fire brigade used to practice. I used to climb up there and below was the Hazel. The Hazel was a man that employed bythe town. They gave him quite a big farm and he had special and he had animals for breeding. And I show here how they breed horses andthey bred their cows. Of course you see two these are doing their thing. And thus I got my sex education.Standing in the firemen's tower of course now somehow or other we have a whole series of paintings, they are all about meat. So vegetarians beware.Oh this is ...Yeah this is at the day before Yom Kippor. So everybody buys chicken for women and rooster for a man and if youhaven't got that use a use a fish or whatever.So after you arefinished you say to the rooster, you're for that to me for life three times and woman says, three times for a chicken and if you are richyou gave the chicken away to some poor family and if not eat it yourself for a main meal before you keep your fast. This is the____ this chicken slaughterer. He as it is shown there and he kills the chickens and if he has got three holes or four holes to letthe chicken bleed itself out, if it doesn't he just throws it away and the chicken runs around till it dies and the center there peoplepluck the chickens, pluck the feathers. So women are coming and going. It was a little bit out of town. This is up the nobility.____ and her brood. There were what you call Campton pictures.People have polished door handles; you know what I mean they were beggars. And one they some of the Jewish wives said to the____ I will give you a five ____, take the chicken through a slaughter and kill it and bring it back just as fine.By themselves one that people notice,that through her window, a lot of feathers are coming out. I say, "Hey what are you doing?" She was killing the chicken by a piece of glass.And she and of course, she was out of her business then. Then of course when you bought a goose or you bought a duck, feather was very,very precious because everybody had the feather in the covers, feather cushions, and so you figure it as you paid for $5 five zlotys forthe chicken, or for the goose, so you can get the refund and if so much money for the feathers and here is some of them were pluckingthe feathers and they are ready for sale.Yeah. You know traditionally I think it's a law or sort of a rule whatever, the Jewish tradition, you are not supposed totake away the calf for certain days from the cow. So the farmer had his favorite butcher and the cow was getting close for giving birth, hecame and says, ____ kept the value soon, the calf will be here. He says fine, and when the cow the calf was born, he went and ofcourse the farmer used to feed the calf a lot of water it'll weigh more and in the mean time he would come in and take the cow home, thecalf shouldn't lose too much weight, to keep it on his shoulders, although at times calf meat are wet.But now this particular would you take a little water. So this particular butcher is very interesting because he couldn't read or write and hehad his own method of keeping accounts on his boots and he had to keep the accounts because when he killed a cow he had to get rid of themeat very quickly because there was no refrigeration. So if a woman who came to buy the meat didn't have enough money and he gave hercredit, he had to keep track of what she owed him. So with piece of chalk he made a little mark on his boots. But on Fridays he had to cleanhis boots to go to the show, for the Sabbath. So he had to go around and settle all his accounts. So he settles his accounts, cleaned hisboots, and that was the end of the book keeping for the week.This is ___ happen to find the art it was illegal to kill a cow by yourself, you have to take it to slaughterhouse. So I know just that how he killed the cow.So in other words, he had to go to an abettor, but this this guy did it in the barn?Yes and one of the things that I don't actually think it made it into the book because I did notice, but secondprinting is he had a long beard and in order to keep his beard from interfering with the slaughter, he actually had a kind of cotton -.- bag that he kept it in. And but this was an in secret and it was illegal.Yes. This is a Synagogue. Of course like I've told you before and that's the Synagogue is the house of study in this middle ageand this is usually the Synagogue is used throughout a week, only on holidays and the Sabbath, now I've shown on the courtyard, sort of alittle bit people coming and going at the Saturday morning service.And this is it leads to the women's section stairs that go up here and this is also one of the very first paintings within I think may be the first one ortwo years that Mayer was painting 1990-91'.Yes the Synagogue is of course a very important building in the Jewish community. It was masonry, outside it was very,very plane, because it should not dominate more than the cathedral, the cathedral. Inside the building was you have to go go down fouror five steps because it shouldn't be higher than the cathedral. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett:So the idea was that you could have it lowerSo the idea was that you could have it lower on the outside but it would seem very high inside by lowering the floor.In the center is the beam. That's the place where the Torah is read. And you see on your left hand side, going up is the stairs through the holy arch, on the top of the arch you seethe two tablets, and two lions and also two eagles and it says the____ the wisdom of our fathers that should be as fleet as aneagle and as strong as a lion to do the will of god. On the left hand side is the tomb of Rachel, Jacob's favorite wife, on the right handside is the rest of the wall and also on the right hand side is the southern side of building, there is the signs of the zodiac and verybeautiful colored windows, on the left hand side you see the all these black windows and openings, it is where the women were praying, andalso the coat of arms of all the tribes of Israel and below is the two spies that Joshua sent out to spy out to larger Israel, -Jericho a lot of grapes, and in the center is the beamer and this also at the bottom of the stairs is the Qazim, he leasesthe service and there is the choir there and I was in the choir.Inthat little blue, that's me and of course the most important people are sitting on the eastern wall which is particularly those who would donate the most money.And as you just say that it's a it's a characteristic feature of a Polish Synagogueto have the central beamer and a very architecturally interesting canopy for it. So that's really quite distinctive of Polish Synagogues.Well you know, god only understands Hebrew. We have Apt was known as a town of very important Rabbis and also____ people that you know, ____ and this is the anniversary of demise of Rabbi [___, so a lot of the people that couldwrite and read Hebrew brought out their notebooks, with pencil and they made petitions you know the Jewish believed in ___ inorder to live a little partition of the grave of an important a thinking man, may be spiritual god knows whatever, so here is thewriting in the courtyards of the synagogue, the writing ____ - partitions.So in other words the students, the teachers from the Hebrew schools and these___ they would be for a groom to do better in business, to help somebodywho is sick, somebody who is barren and the idea being that the dead communicate with god -- and would intervene on their behalf.Here is the and on the top there, it's called____. It comes from the Hebrew word ____ and they call it ____ so that the Hebrew would ____ which meansattend, there is no check and there are three graves there, very, very important. Rabbis - it's still a lot of people coming and going. Next:And this would be on the anniversary of his death?Yeah, it's inside the____, you see the graves. You see all the ____ there and with the light candles and there aside they --, the psalms. This iscalled ____ is a Polish word which means mourners, criers. If somebody died, they hire them, they went to the Synagogue, openedup the doors of the holy arch, because it's a sacred place, and they beg god, "Please help, he is a poor man, this is the wife and hischildren, save his life, etc, etc. The viewing you there is a next day we are going to ____ about yourSo rather if somebody is very - very sick. The last resort was to deal with the the idea was of the "Shleena"?Yes - the spirit of god was inside theThe arch where the the Torah scrolls are kept and so and this is the in the best measures so that was a good sign that the end was near.And oh here is a shaving the corpse there once was a man as we know when people get rich, religion takes is diminished. He didn't wear the Jewish hat. It's the little black hats.All the Jewish wore those little black hats. It didn't ____. He wear an on top of head, he didn't go to the Synagogue, only hewill keep peace knock in just for the ___ that's it. Any way one day he got sick. It was ill for about a few months, also -excuse me, he shaved up his beard of course. Anyway he got sick, for a few months. His beard grew back. There are by ordained, let's takehim to court judge in the Synagogue, shave up his beard, because if he comes with a beard to the ____ so then he will bea lord with a beard he will not recognize him, so they shaved up his beard. This is a funeral and this is the mourners, the ____are following and they are screaming and yelling and crying and mourn etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. This is the ____ this was thetime of this the black wedding. The time of the ____ wars and Tom was a caller at the wedding and every of a it is a smallcommunity at a time, every week two or three people passed away, it was tragic. They went with the rabbi and says "rabbi, do something",because you know what the make outs are - wedding at the cemetery. May be the people out sayings there have been very devil help us inimplore god to help us. Well there was a young girl. She was with ____ user around orphan. She had nobody she hadno cousins, no brothers, no sisters no one. She was employed by Jewish family. They gave her a gave her a room in board may be a fewpennies and some used out clothes. If you ask her "would you like to get married?" she says yes. There was a man he used to clean this the____ and he slept in the little room that kept all the tools, all the implements they usually do to clean the dead people beforeburial, he slept there, there he was allowed to get married he says yes. And he waited there to announce all the theatres and all theSynagogues same on this this day in the morning. When you have a black wedding get a cemetery. Anyway of course the orchestra came probono, the bathroom you know bathroom is a merry maker at the wedding. He came also pro bono and usually there was the additionalJewish wedding feasts are announced. The mother of the bride they gave candle sticks, the mother in law gave a feather bed and all thelittle items were started off to let the young couple under house keeping. So but they didn't have a home. So they just had a table in alittle burrow there, so a rabbi said "I must have threw in money. Before you knew it, the barrel was full. Anyway that the orchestra playingand you see the rabbi with this the beard flying in his shoulder all over, he is ____.It's the religious obligation dance.Yes, with the grand, with the bride and the groom. And sure enough in a few days the epidemics settled.Now there are some very interesting features of this painting, first of all these tomb stones were carved at a very soft stone. Sandstone and they were very paintedin very beautiful bright colors including gold gilt what will we do?It's gold powder by a mix up with the lights of age. And you have turned up very-very bright.So the there is one thing to notice of these very beautiful tomb stones the other thing is that ___ around orphan you have to understand that in Yiddish I used the word orphan, isa person that's lost one parent. It's enough to lose one parent to be an orphan. If you lose both, you are around complete or a roundorphan. So the other point I would make is that it's the greatest mitzvah, the greatest good deed you can do is to marry two people whoEspecially an orphan as someone who has no dowry,have many-many more images, many-many more stories, but I think we will probably stop there for tonight. We are going to be continued topresent material on another occasions to give you an opportunity to ask questions and if time remains and you want to see a couple of moreimages and stories we we have an on core prepared. But I think it might be it might be good just for the movement to to stop and takesome questions.