The Museum of

       Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays


Paint What You Remember
Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays in Opatów, Poland
as told by Mayer Kirshenblatt



With spring came Shavuot (Pentecost), the festival that celebrates the giving of the Torah by Moses to the Israelites. Best of all, we got two days off from school. On the meadow where we used to romp around, there was a pond. Around the pond was a marshy area where we gathered reeds and willow to decorate our homes for the holiday. The house was scrubbed clean and bedecked with greenery scattered on the floor, walls, and furniture.

On the windows we put shevieslekh, beautiful paper cutouts, which we made ourselves. It was kind of a competition to see who could make the nicest ones. If you could not make them yourself, you could purchase them at a shop. Father would save the shevieslekh from year to year between the pages of the festival prayer book. I remember how to do so many things, but not how to make shevieslekh. They were a little like cutting paper snowflakes. It was also customary to eat dairy food on Shavuot, and Mother made delicious blintzes, cheesecake, and cold soups from fruit.



Kirshenblatt, Mayer (1916-2009)
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in.

next ►►


Home       |       Site Map           Exhibitions     |     About the Museum      |      Education         Contact Us            Links

Copyright © 2007-9. Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy