In the Trisker Shteibel

Side by side with our home, where brought up, and with the Cheder, where we atudied the Shtiebel, where we read our prayers together with our parents, was a potent factor in the formation of our consciousness. It is there that we made our first contacts with the outside world, where we had our first discussions on all sorts of topics, where the lighter sides of our lives found expression.

From the Shteibel we emerged, each following his own bent and political beliefs. But the spark of reverence, sanctity, and fanaticism we owe to the Shtiebel. The Trisker Shtiebel stood in the Shool street, near the Husiatiner and Tomashever Shtieblech. It was a large wooden structure with a spacious yard, covered with grass.

I remember the Jahrzeit of the Trisker Magid  (2 Tammuz). In the middle of the Shtiebel the young men hung up a board, inscribed with the word "Beth be-Tmmuz" and surrounded by a number of lamps. The board was tied to the ceiling and made to revolve all through the night.

During the High Festivals, a special atmosphere prevailed. On the night of Slichot, candles were lit on the tables and on the sandy floor. Many of the worshippers were wrapped in Taleissim and "Kittels" with "Attarot". The whole ritual put the fear of God into us, and we beat our breasts with fervor: "Ashamnu, Bagadnu" (how we, children, had sinned, I know not to this day).

I clearly recall our Shlichei-Zippur (the Chazonim). Reb Yerahmiel  Werbkowitzer with his ringing voice; Reb Nehemia Berliner, whose intonations tore at our heart-strings. In connection with the latter, I recall that, in later years, when the elders inveighed against Haskala and "small books", Berliner it who argued that it was bad policy to scold the youth and that the elders ought to attract them, instead of alienating them.