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In Father's Home

In Father's Home

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“Avremel Smargoner? He’s a Penimi!”
My father heard that the kosher slaughterer in the town of Tcherepovetz, Siberia, had passed away. Since the community was left bereft of a shochet, many had resorted to eating non-kosher meat, and members of the community were looking for someoneto take his place.
Photography became a popular new profession and a number community members, my father among them, quickly learned the trade and became photographers.
We always wondered why we never saw my mother wearing her wedding ring. It was only once I heard the following story that the mystery was solved.
Radio reports broadcasted the atrocities that the Germans had perpetrated against Jewish civilians in conquered territory and encouraged the Jews to leave Kharkov for safer regions.
Bread had been rationed, and was distributed solely in exchange for government issued coupons.
Fearing the Nazi onslaught nonetheless, their mother had pressed them to escape further into the Russian interior.
After my father left prison, he couldn’t continue with the photo business.
The terrible wartime economy left us one year without any money for matzos or other food for Pesach.
I will never forget that frightful scene of Rosh Hashana Eve.
On the one hand, this was the first time we had a house with our very own yard; on the other hand, every move we made was observed by our neighbors.