That my father told me - Niv
Eliezer Niv [Chachnovsky]
Recorded by: Aviva his daughter
My father recounts: Two months before the important event I studied with a rabbi who prepared me for the homily. When the designated Sabbath arrived I was at long last called to the Torah. My father accompanied me and stood by his youngest child all the time. My mother, who was of course very excited to see her small and naughty son receive the burden of the kingdom of heaven, was in the ladies section. When we entered the synagogue they threw raisins and sweets at us. After I said the blessing the reader read passages from the Torah. I followed him with excitement, when from time to time I looked towards the congregation with pride. However, when I said the Haftarah the words almost stuck in my throat and I thought I wouldn’t succeed. However I slowly overcame that and everything went smoothly.
When I finished everyone, the family and the congregation, went to our house. My father gave me a beautifuuly knitted bag – knitted by my mother, and in it were phylacteries for the head and the arm. And it was a great honour for me, From that day I would get up at dawn and put on the phylacteries that I received for my Bar Mitzvah.