Memories of Bubby and Zaide

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    Feif Un

    My Zeidi lived with us in my parents’ house.

    He used to laugh and put me on his knee.

    And he spoke about his life in Poland,

    He spoke with a bitter memory.

    He spoke about the soldiers who would beat him.

    They laughed at him and tore his long black coat.

    He spoke about a synagogue that they burned down,

    And the crying that could be heard beneath the smoke.

    But Zeidi made us laugh and Zeidi make us sing,

    And Zeidi made a Kiddush every Friday night.

    And Zeidi, Oh, my Zeidi, how I loved him so,

    And Zeidi used to teach me wrong from right.

    His eyes lit up when he would teach me Torah.

    He taught me every line, oh, so carefully.

    He spoke about our slavery in Egypt land,

    And how God took us out and made us free.

    But winter went by and summer came along.

    I went to camp to run and play,

    And when I came back home, they said, “Zeidi’s gone.”

    And all his books were packed and stored away.

    I don’t know why or how it came to be.

    It happened slowly over many years.

    We just stopped being Jewish like my Zeidi was.

    And no one cared enough to shed a tear.

    But Zeidi made us laugh,

    And Zeidi made us sing,

    And Zeidi made a seder Pesach night.

    And Zeidi, O my Zeidi, how I loved him so.

    And Zeidi used to teach me wrong from right.

    Many winters went by, many summers came along,

    And now my children sit in front of me.

    And who will be the Zeidi of my children?

    Who will be their Zeidi, if not me?

    Who will be the Zeidi of our children?

    Who will be their Zeidis, if not we?

    Who will be their Zeidis, if not we?

    This song of course was not composed by this poster. I’m sure he did not mean to take credit for it. It is a famous song and he probably figured everyone was familiar with it


    wow!! what an amzing poem!!!!!!!!!! sad though!


    Yup, this one really GETS you in the kishkes, all right!!!!!! Thanks for ruining my artfully applied mascara. What a moving song!


    This will probably resonate with grandchildren of survivors:

    When I was very little, I would ask my Bubby a”h to wash the numbers off on her arm—she was so clean, and always in the kitchen—took me a while to realize they were there forever.

    Always had a freezer full of food and tons of guests. No one ever left hungry. Her emunah was incredible–“Everything is from the Heilige Bashefer” was always on her lips as were kapitlach of tehillim.

    Zaidy zt”l suffered as much as Bubby did in the camps. Incredibly, he always had a smile on his face, and loved a good laugh. His shabbos table was regal and inspiring, and his zemiros had a mixture of beauty and history. He loved to do mitzvos–he always got excited to light chanukah licht, build the sukkah etc.– always praised HKB”H that He kept him alive to be able to be an Eved Hashem.

    They were B”H zoche to see (bli ayin hora), many great-grandchildren.



    A medical issue that nowadays is treatable BH and therefore will not shorten my own life meant that I never knew or even saw either of my zaides, and my bubbys were sadly victims not of the fire of the Churban but of the water of North American assimilation.

    Regrettably, they left me no guidance, few positive memories, but rather only family feuds and the typical baggage of the post-immigrant secular Jewish malaise which was their legacy to my parents. Even the bit of Yiddish I heard from them was suppressed and even ridiculed by my parents, and it is not the same Yiddish I managed to learn on my own.

    Of the descendants of a family of 9 immigrant children 2 generations ago (2 did not emigrate and were killed during the churban) of a talmid chochom, I am the only one who is shomer Shabbos.

    Who will be the Zeidi of our children?

    Who will be their Zeidis, if not we?

    Who will be their Zeidis, if not we?


    Never lived long enough to ever know or meet them, but for those of you who have had the privilege of spending time with them, and knowing them, or those who are B’H still with us, please know, you are very blessed, and you shouldn’t take one second with them for granted.


    Nice posts here.


    I have only one memory of my father Z”L’s father who was a Rov, and that is one of sitting on one lap, as my sister sat on the other one, on our couch, which was pushed out of the way because we were getting new carpeting. I could not have been more than three or four years old. My Zaidy O”H was a beautiful man with a long, long white beard (no cracks about this time of year), anda real twinkle in his eyes, and my mother loved her shver very much, especially as she lost her own father when she was 12. my paternal Bubby O”H was very sickly all the days I knew her, and I cannot recall ever being hugged or kissed by her, though I know she was a loving mother and grandmother.

    My maternal Bubby O”H lived with us, as I said for the last thirty years of her life in her late 80s. She really took care of us, as my mom worked with my dad for all those years. She truly epitomized the words of Eishes Chayil, and though widowed at a very young age, raised two daughters on her own, never went on Welfare, and was mekabeles kol echad b’sever panim yafos. She had a hard life, but remained positive, happy, and hardworking without complaint. My happiest memories are of her teaching me how to make challah (which she did at dawn every Friday morning). She was also an amazing baalas chessed, who though poor herself, made up food baskets and challah, and before dawn,hand-delivered them to a newly-widowed woman and family in her neighborhood, so she would not be seen. On those days, she took my mother with her to help carry the food. It was a great lesson for my mother to see growing up. I love all my grandparents, but I miss her as much as I miss my parents. And Purim will never be the same for me, because I will always light a yartzeit licht for that day.


    i happen to love that song 🙂

    i dont know WHO the composer IS, but the singer is moshe yess, and he sang it very well.



    A600KiloBear, don’t know if you are a zayde or not but you have a great opportunity to create for your own grandchildren that which was not given to you.

    May you have many fulfilled years to share with our future generations, you sound like you have many stories of strength, character, and faith.


    Yeowch, AKB, That’s a heavy load. Much like my father’s and mother’s family stories. Fortunatly for them, the next generation (me and my sisters) are producing lots of yiddish nachas.

    So will you!


    It’s so hard that so many children today dont live near their parents. Especially those that grew up in Boro Park and now moved to Lakewood to build their own homes. Most of the Parents in BP dont have their children living nearby…That I find is hard. Our children need grandparents.


    nice thread.

    the above posted song was composed, and the lyrics written, by Moshe Yess. it was first recorded by him on Megama, around 30 years ago. Megama was a duo of Yess on guitar, and a wonderful violinist named Ruby Harris. the whole album is a tear jerker.


    Now that Chanukah has passed, I really miss my Grandma’s Punchkees (Doughnuts) She came to live with us after my Grandfather passed away. (My mother was an only child and my parents decided that there was no way she could live alone.) Every Chanukah, she would make her delicious doughnuts. She memorized that receipe, and unfortunately, she never wrote it down. My mother always regretted never writing down the ingredients. My mother is always on the look out for any receipe that may be similar, but she has never found “the right receipe” I think it was no coincidence that my Grandmother was niftar on Chanukah, on Rosh Chodesh Tevet.


    Bear, there are many of us. I am the ud muztal from my mothers side. Recently someone commented that I have such amazing kids. I told them that the zechus of those temimusdik people and their yisurim had to show up somewhere. I never knew that grandfather, he was niftar when my mother was 18, but we were told he worked on a farm in Conecticut for eight years to be able to bring my grandmother over to the US, ( they were from rural Poland,) and he was a yoshor in his community in Brownsville. It was a common fate for those who came before the war, to lose the next generation. Baruch hashem for grandchildren (some) and great grandchildren (yishtabach shmo)

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