This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #ukraine

Bruce Drake
 

One of the childhood memories of Pinchas Sherlag was sitting on a bench next to the stove in his family’s small, cramped house looking at something on the floor in front of him wrapped in linen. “I observed it with half an eye, not knowing how precious a treasure it concealed. It was my dear mother.” And he realized he was an orphan.

What drew me to this chapter — “In a Little Town” —from the Yizkor book of Chorostkow (Khorostkiv, Ukraine) was the fact that the story begins in 1855 when the author was born. So many of the chapters I have curated here are accounts written by people describing lives and events at the turn-of-the-1900s and through the grim years of World War I and the Holocaust.

So, Pinchas Sherlag’s coming-of-age account was, for me, like being transported back in time. He traces his life from its poverty-stricken beginning, how his parents treated him, to his efforts to earn a living, his schooling, getting married (and later cheating on his wife).

Along the way, he provides vivid pictures of the customs and times in which he grew up — what people ate, how they coped with illness and epidemics, the “terrible stories about evil spirits” they passed on, the rituals of a Jewish wedding, the arrival of the newly-invented sewing machine, and small character portraits of the people who his path had crossed.


URL: https://www.facebook.com/JewishGen.org/posts/3036351223053679?__tn__=K-R

Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

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