The surprise only child of quite elderly parents, little Rachmil was adored and indulged. He was a very clever, studious boy with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. It seemed he was destined to become a rabbi - a great honour to his family. The future was mapped out. A wedding to a wealthy bride would be arranged and he would lead the quiet life of a scholar. But, at the age of 9, one sabbath evening as he and his father returned from the synagogue and sat down to their Friday night meal, thugs burst in and murdered his gentle, saintly father in front of his eyes.
This shocking event was to colour the rest of his life and presaged the coming catastrophe that was to engulf the Jews of Europe. In this honest and often humorous memoir he chronicles his increasing frustration with the narrow, restrictive orthodoxy of traditional life; his own sexual awakening; his rebelliousness and love of 'ungodly' books; his curiosity about foreign places and his eventual leaving of Poland forever in 1930.
It is a rare eye witness glimpse of a timeless world from before the First World War. It is also a clue as to why he found it so difficult to navigate a post-holocaust world, earn a regular living, support his family or settle anywhere.