Bobe Chipa Mary – A story about Chipa Mary Feldman nee Zelbovitz

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Chipa Mary Zelbovitz is located in the Nosson family tree (Chipa Mary > Yankel Yehuda Zelbovitz > Eliya Zelbovitz > Nosson Zelbovitz)

(as told by her daughters Sarah, Rose and Paula)

It happened in 1918 after our father died. Our mother was sick; we were all sick with the flu at the time. We heard a noise in the basement. So our mother said to our brother, Hymie ”go down and see who is in the basement”. He opened the door and saw that someone had left a bucket of coal and had run away when he was seen. Hymie took the bucket of coal, and put it back in the bin where it belonged, and then locked the outside door. He came upstairs and told our mother what had happened. She said, ”No, my son that is not right. You go and put that bucket of coal back, open the door and leave it there, we have a basement full of coal while others may be sick and cold.” Hymie replies ”No momma, I will not do that. If they want coal they can come ask for it.” She crawled out of bed, sick as she was. She filled up that bucket with as much coal as it held, she left the outside door open and closed the door upstairs, so that the man or whoever it was shouldn’t hear us. It about an hour, sure enough, the coal was gone. That is what our mother did.

When she was in Manitowac, it was Saturday and she was going to the synagogue. On the sidewalk she was $10.00. She did not pick it up. When I heard of it I said ”Why didn’t you call me, I would have picked it up. She said ”I could have picked it up myself if I could call you. If I couldn’t have picked it up, you could not have either.” She was a true believer. Believe me, she could have used the $10.00.

Momma was a very religious person. Of course she was very very kosher. Among all of her children, she never ate at any one of our homes. We might have brought in cracker or cookies that contained something that was not kosher — on the other hand the boys did not keep kosher at all. She was a diplomat. She did not want to hurt any of our feelings so she ate at none of our homes. She treated everyone alike. At the same time she never interferred in what we did. He philosophy was ”I am going to live my life my way. You can do it your way. I will not criticize you.” She was no fanatic.

Mother lived to be 94. Just before she died mother asked the Rabbi to wait while she got dressed. The Rabbi replied that he had no time to wait — she said ”You have a long time and later I will not be here.” Then she called Sam and told him ”Hymie is working, Harry is working, and you are doing nothing. I want you to take care of the Kaddish. But don’t answer and not keep your word.” She said goodbye to everybody, sighed one HUGE sigh, and that was the end.

Mother besides being serious about things, had a great sense of humor. During the time of her last illness, she went into a coma. She was put into an oxygen tent. She was at Rose’s home. All of a sudden she woke up. The doctor, who was Jewish, was standing over her. She opened her eyes and said ”Where am I?” The doctor replied ”Bobba, you are in Heaven.” Sick as she was, she still retained her sense of humor. She said to the Doctor ”If I am in heaven, what are you doing here?”