Adam Feldman <adamleofeldman@...>
I'm looking for an authoritative source to support a theory I have
about a discrepancy between the birthday on my grandmother's (Dvoyra)
birth certificate which we've recently found and the date we've been
celebrating as her birthday. The later date is on every other official
document she has. My theory is that Dvoyra's mother (Chasse) brought a
folk tradition or religious practice of celebrating her daughter's
weaning on her second birthday. Further, I'm supposing that Chasse
tracked time at that point or for this purpose using the Hebrew
calendar, and so the Gregorian calendar date of Dvoyra's second
birthday became remembered officially as her birthday. Does this sound
plausible? Have any of you found the same? Here's my timeline to
27 March 1921 | Chasse arrives in Philadelphia after journey from
Kovne via Rotterdam
29 Jan 1922 | Chasse and Aron marry. He's >from Vilkomir and came 9
15 Jan 1923 | Dvoyra born according to her recently discovered birth
certificate. This happens to be 27 Tevet 5683
23 Jan 1923 | Dvoyra's birthday according to her, and according to her
marriage certificate, drivers license, and passport.
23 Jan 1925 | 27 Tevet 5685 or 2 years by the Hebrew Calendar after
When I stumbled upon the coincidence of the 27th of Tevet, it
surprised me. And it surprised Dvoyra. Her father Aron who came in
1913 >from Vilkomir was tailor and a committed leftist. While a
believer in modernity he wasn't an ardent assimilationist. He raised
Dvoyra in folkshuln, and was passionate about a proletarian Yiddish
culture. It's possible a weaning ceremony would have been seen by him
as a cultural treasure of the Jewish people and worthy of throwing a
party or reappropriating in some way.
We know Chasse lit candles longer than anyone else in my family tree.
And her father was a butcher, which I imagine suggested Halakha was
more important in her household growing up. Though I believe she went
to a Yiddish Gymnasium and was modern in outlook as well. She was well
primed to move closer to Aron's ideologies.
So given the outlook and our memories of my great grandfather and
great grandmother we were all surprised to see evidence of tracking
any time other than say a Yortsayt by the Hebrew calendar. Did women
of Chasse's generation >from Lithuania place ceremonial importance on
weaning? On the second birthday?
Has anyone experienced this? Has anyone read about this in a book of
Jewish genealogy? A sociological study of Litvaks? Of Jews >from the
Pale of Settlement? Of "greenhorns" in America? I'd love a citation so
I could track something published down. I've been unsatisfied with
what I've found online.