My parents, Dvora and Aaron Zmora, of blessed memory, had four children in the years 1938-1944, in the settlement of Ramat Hasharon.
Orange exports stopped because of World War II and my parents converted one of the two rooms in their house into a haberdashery and a toy store. All week long it was a store, and on the Sabbath – a sacred space. For ten years, on every Shabbat and holiday, Father moved the merchandise from the big table in the middle of the room and from on top of and around the couch. Everything was packed, tied up and hidden. The merchandise in the closets was covered with curtains. Only the bookshelf and the sacred objects – which were covered during the week - were uncovered and revealed their glory.
The table was covered with a white, starched and ironed tablecloth. Chairs were placed around the table and there were three meals. “Whoever eats three meals on Shabbat, merits the Garden of Eden” – say the sages. For us, the meals itself were paradise: Mother cooked on a kerosene burner - fish (that were floating in the bathtub on Thursday) and chicken (from the chicken coop) and dessert.
This was all only once a week – in honor of Shabbat – and of course, challot and wine. And there was kiddush and Shabbat songs and grace after the meals and the study of the portion of the week (from the bible). And the store – non-existent! Only after havdala (the ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath) did Father return the store to this space. This continued for ten years, each week and before the holidays and the Seder, until the store moved to the coop in the courtyard. Of course, every Shabbat we continued to make kiddush and eat and sing and say grace after the meal in the room as we had done before, but without such careful preparations of the sacred space.