05 - Rosh Hashanah


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(From Tapestry): “Rosh Hashanah 1938. This was the last Rosh Hashanah service that my zayde, Chaim, and his neighbor, Baresh–the two patriarchs of the village–conducted. Shabbos and holiday services were always conducted in Shmuel’s house, one of the largest and nicest in Mniszek. Most of the furniture was removed, and the Torah was placed in a closet draped with curtains.”

Embroidery and fabric collage, 1996.
32″W x 42″H.

Narration by Esther's daughter, Helene McQuade

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Transcript of Narration
This is Helene McQuade, Esther’s younger daughter.

Holidays at home were among our mother’s most cherished memories. Since the little village of Mniszek had no synagogue or Rabbi, Esther’s grandfather, Chaim, and his neighbor, Baresh, the village patriarch, led prayer services for Shabbos and holidays at Shmuel’s house, which she describes here as one of the biggest and nicest in Mniszek. Chaim and Baresh are beautifully draped in their tallit, their prayer shawls. And Chaim holds the shofar, the ram’s horn, with which he will trumpet in the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah.

This picture, a memorial to the last Rosh Hashanah service lead by Chaim and Baresh, reflect Esther’s pride and admiration of her grandfather, and the deep significance this Jewish holy day held for her.

​Transcript prepared by the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science Docent Association.