Eugen Grunfeld grew up with five siblings and his father was a merchant. After he attended religious schools in Zau Mureş and Bukarest, he studied at a Romanian school in the city. During the war, he was a forced laborer and worked at the Tighina fortress among other places in Romania. After the war, he moved to Cluj-Napoca, where he was married in 1949. He worked as chief trained cellulose insulation technician at a factory for thirty-five years.
Studying Khimesh Dilemma
Eugen reveals in this clip, how he spent his Sabbath afternoons growing up. While other children played outside, his grandfather quizzed him about his Talmud (Khimesh) knowledge. In addition to private sessions at home, Eugen attended a public and then private religious school. Eugen thus underwent a thorough religious education before his bar mitzvah.
Jewish boys would traditionally learn how to read Hebrew and study the Torah at the age of 5 in cheder, an elementary school for the study of Jewish texts. The religious teacher (melamed) would then instruct Mishnah at the age of 7, before moving on to Talmud study. Engaging in these complicated religious texts as child, it is understandable that Eugen rather played with his friends on a Saturday afternoon than revise with his grandfather.