Audio Gallery
Title: I Was Born in Vilna, Poland
 
Shep Zitler
Audio:
Duration: 106 seconds
Copyright: ©1999, John Menszer
Transcript: I was born in Vilna, Poland. Right now it's Vilnius, Lithuania, the capital of Lithuania. I am very proud of being born in a town like Vilna because they gave the eminent name to the Jewish people, to the Jewish world. "Jerusalem deLithuania"--What does it mean? That's the Jerusalem in the diaspora of the Jews in the Eastern . . . That made this the capital, like Jerusalem in Israel is the capital of Israel, that's what they do. So they believed in Vilna is the capital of the Eastern European countries, and that's why they gave it that name, "Jerusalem deLithuania." And why? We did because in Vilna was . . . we weren't Chassidic. We believed, the Orthodox Jews, they were Misnagdim . . . we believed in the book, not in dancing and singing. We didn't do it. Right now I am saying I am not against it: we are going to the synagogue, you dance and you sing. We didn't do it, because we were learning. And Vilna has a name. We had a library in Vilna, Strashun they called it, and before the war it was the biggest library of Jewish learning in the world. If anybody all over, from America, if they wanted really to learn and to know anything about Jewishness, they had to come to Vilna, to my home town. That is why I am proud of being born in that particular city. We had . . . we had everything in Vilna._________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________


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