I was brought into this world by working-class parents of modest means. My father kept a small basement shop where he fashioned pots and pans. My mameh was a seamstress who made fine shirts, working with her machine in the rooms where we lived.
In winter, when it was too cold in his shop, Tateh did small jobs at night in the kitchen—and I watched him as he worked. Tateh and Mameh were still young and I was their only child.
We lived in a two-room apartment, which was in a building owned by my mother’s father, Schloma Peretz Engelbach, who was a famous figure in Skala, since he was the shammes of the Chortkover house of prayer.
Owing to Schloyme’s important position in the community, the Engelbach family lived comfortably.