The Daily Chizzuk of our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a, in his story of living with his family in the home of the Steipler zt”l
Wednesday, 22 Cheshvan 5783 — Our Rebbe Rav Berland shlit”a in revelations from the past, giving a glimpse of his life as a young avereich with his family in the home of the Steiper.
These are his holy words:
We lived on Rechov HaRashbam in the home of the Steipler [Rav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, one of the leaders of the Lithuanian Chareidi community in Israel and author of Kehilot Yaakov on the Talmud]. He gave us his house.
The Steipler left on 1 Nisan, when the home that he needed to move to still wasn’t ready. He said to me, “I am leaving so that you will have time to prepare the house for Passover.”
Everything was black. He never in his life whitewashed the house. In the bath there were kerosene burners; it wasn’t like today. There was no stovetop. For a year, two years we cooked on kerosene burners, and this produced a great deal of smoke.
You do the laundry on a Primus [a portable kerosene] stove, and the Primus explodes, turns over.
There wasn’t a refrigerator. Then … would wait for the ice truck. I was in kollel, so she would wait for the ice truck. There was a quarter block there in the ice chest. Sometimes, this would already be melted completely, and the ice truck still hadn’t arrived.
We lived like 3,000 years ago. Outside of that, we had water on tap, because in Uman there also isn’t water on tap. When we come, they make the water flow only because they pay the municipality, but without this, there isn’t water on tap. They need to prepare water in the bath.