Women of Valor

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Live and Let Live Meat Market

Bella Abzug, 1920 - 1998

"Sometimes I'm asked when I became a feminist, and I usually answer, 'The day I was born.' If I was born a rebel, I attribute it to my family heritage. My father, Emanuel Savitzky, fled to the United States from Czarist Russia when the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 broke out. He hated war. Once he told me how depressed he felt when America entered World War I. While President Wilson was proclaiming his 14-point peace settlement, my father painted his own one-point peace plank outside his butcher shop on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. He renamed it 'The Live and Let Live Meat Market.'

"My father did not do very well in business: 'Live and Let Live' is not exactly a formula for commercial success. An extraordinarily sweet-tempered man, his real love was music. On Friday nights, after the big traditional Sabbath meal, he would sing Yiddish and Russian folk songs for us in his fine tenor. My sister, Helena, would play the piano. I scraped bravely away at the violin. (An interviewer once asked my mother what she thought of my political career. 'Oh. I knew Bella would be a success,' she said, 'because she always did her homework and practiced her violin.'"

Notes: 
  1. Entire quote from Bella Abzug, "Bella on Bella," Moment, vol. 1.7 (1976) 26.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Bella Abzug - Live and Let Live Meat Market." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/abzug/live-and-let-live-meat-market>.