When President Roosevelt recognized
the U.S.S.R. travel to
In 1935, Tante
Manya, lame, with a cane, decided she will go back to
Schedrin. Her intinerary was
Only God knows how she managed the rest.
I think the ship form the
She arrived at our house on
Then she posted a notice in the Forverts that Manya of Schedrin is going home- and any one who wants a message delivered should contact her at our house. Mail, between our countries, was prohibited, before this date.
Two days later, a line formed from our door down the block, with natives of Schedrin, seeking some news of parents, sisters, brothers, and so forth.
They came holding tzetalech - slips of papers with the names, some with pictures; and others came with messages by voice only. They couldn't write. Manya sat like a reigning queen and very patiently recorded all requests. Every night for 3 days the line formed.
We saw her off...on the steam ship!!
A very determined, courageous lady, unafraid.
About two months later, she returned to our house. The pictures you have were what she brought back with her.
She had in the trunk - a huge samovar- silver coated, massive charcoal burning tea maker. Native cheeses shaped like big hockey pucks and harder. And a native luchshen farfel trough like a small canoe. The women sat by this canoe and rubbed and rolled pasta into farfel.
And she had all the replies she could gather for the supplicants.
She told us she had a shvitz - a Turkish bath house- built for the community.
She posted a notice in the Forverts announcing her return.
And the line returned.
Only this time it was a celebration.
My father got charcoal, the samovar was boiling tea , schnapps was freely offered, the cheeses had been thawed out, the folks were breaking their teeth and Manya and Shima were at the canoe, with babushkas rolling farfel and singing old songs.
Some folks wept with joy finding out who was alive - and others wept with the news of death.
What a party!!
When she left for
This has been imprinted in my head for all these years.
Uncle Fred [Sorkin]
adapted from Fred Sorkin's
email to Karen Zale 8 Aug 2005 by Andrew
 In 1932,
Forward was the venerable Yiddish language socialist newspaper serving
 The author, Fred Sorkin, is Manya's 17-years-old nephew
 Fred Sorkin is writing to his niece and nephew, Paul and Karen Zale .
 >"The samovar is a traditional
 Luchshen is Yiddish for noodle
 farfel [FAHR-fuhl] 1. An egg-noodle dough that is grated or minced and used in soups. 2. In Jewish cookery, farfel refers to food-such as dried noodles-broken into small pieces.
 Schnapps, a German word, "is the generic term for all white (clear) brandies distilled from fermented fruits. True Schnapps has no sugar added and is definitely an aquired taste, particularly for nationalities not used to raw distillates." So schnappses are different from liqueurs on two major fronts, they being both fermented and distilled, where liqueurs are simply fruits steeped in an alcohol which has already been fermented and distilled. [Quoated from Gunther Anderson web site]
 Russian, meaning ‘grandmother’;, diminutive of baba old woman. It also meant their head scarfs.