SARAH + HYMAN
Sarah was the first (and favorite) granddaughter of her patriarchal and loving grandfather. She was somewhat of a princess in his eyes and enjoyed a sense of privilege all her life. She considered herself lucky. Saying goodbye to her family when she set off for America was sad, as they would probably never be reunited. Her grandfather left her with a blessing: Mine glicklachah kindt furt avech, meaning "my lucky child is travelling away."
In Warsaw, Hymie’s name was Chaim Yonah Menaches. "Rosen" was acquired after the impatient immigration officer he dealt with in Ellis Island couldn't spell Menaches. When Hymie said that he would be staying with his married niece, Sarah Rosen, he was assigned her last name. Her husband's name had been changed six years earlier from the family name, Jastromzombowski.
In 1902, in Warsaw, Hymie fell in love with Sarah Goldberg, a beautiful and precocious fourteen-year-old girl with bright eyes and creamy skin. She was a saleslady in a shop of fine leather goods. Hymie passed by the store often, and their eyes would meet. Sarah was impressed that he regularly prayed on Sabbath mornings, which she could see from the balcony of her grandfather’s apartment at 33 Targova Street. Their young courtship flourished. Turn-of-the-century Warsaw was a vibrant, romantic city, full of theaters, restaurants, and parks. It was the Paris of the East. Sarah’s mother, Miriam, gave permission for the marriage with the fateful prophesy, “you’ll never be in want. Hymie is a go-getter and will always be a good provider.”
The wedding was the talk of the town. Two full days of gaity and dining on a snowy Warsaw New Year’s weekend in 1907. Their wedding picture reflects a handsome groom donning the Van Dyke beard, top hat, and formal dress. His bride, dressed in a billowy gown of satin and lace, solemnly stands, her left hand on his shoulder, their serious eyes facing a future of hopes and dreams. After the wedding, the newlyweds were carried off by a rented formal carriage pulled by four proud stallions, standard practice for a Warsaw wedding.