Murray Fink

Name: Murray Fink 11/01/1897-3/13/1967

Family: Second wife, Rose Ronsenberg, children, Chester and Marvin.

Fink came to Durham to work for Solomon Dworsky. Fink was strongly principled and had high religious values. These values led to difficult problems for him in his life. To maintain a livelihood, even observant Jews, like Fink, had to work on Saturday. However, he had the hereditary title of being a kohen, which meant that he was eligible to receive the special honor of being the first one called up when the Torah was read at synagogue services. Fink never felt that he deserved to be honored because he had to break the commandment of no work on the Shabbat. Therefore he would refuse to be called for an aliyah; he would walk out of the synagogue, rather than risk being called.

Fink ran into another problem when his son died. Marvin had severe developmental difficulties and died at the age of nine. Kohens, according to traditional Jewish law, are not allowed to go into the cemetery and Fink was certainly not going to break this law. Therefore, the son was buried by the wall facing the street, so that Fink could stand in the street outside the cemetery fence and look on at his son's grave.