The inimitable Stanley Siegelman has returned to Der Vinkl to report on a new trend among Russian Jews immigrating to the United States: They are undergoing ritual circumcision in significant numbers. The goal is to affirm in a demonstrable way their allegiance to Orthodox Judaism.
Di Ruskis Kumen
Fun Rusland, take, kumen zey.
Fil yidn yetst, tsum USA.
Di mener geyen oyf krume fis:
Vos zukhn zey? Gevald, a bris!
“Ruf dem moyel, mit zayn meser!”
Shrayen zey, “We mean it, yes sir!”
Iz dos modne? Iz dos “sad?”
— A miskayt bloyz fun Leningrad?
Efsher vert men opgeshnitn
Nor tsu vayzn anti-s’mitn?
Ven der moyel derlangt a zets
Zogn Ruskis “Da!” (Keyn “Nyets”)
Oy, gloybt mir, fraynt, es tut gants vey!
Bay’m Rusishn man, s’iz dokh “OK”!
Der moyl arbet shver; er kvelt,
Vayl er fardint a zak mit gelt.
Nor an oremer Rus, mit der leydiker shisl,
Er kumt oys epes kurts a bisl
Tsu orem zayn iz nit keyn “crime”!
Far yedn Rus, it’s Milah* time”!
*Brit milah is ritual circumcision, more commonly called a bris. “It’s Miller time” is the slogan of a beer manufacturing company.
The Russians Are Coming
To U.S. shores, these Russians rush.
Their goal’s enough to make you blush:
On circumcision they’re intent
Their Judaism to augment.
We seek a “mohel,” they allege,
“Who’ll put us on the cutting edge.”
Is this phenomenon a fad
That spread from Minsk to Leningrad?
Or is it just a sudden surge
Of ethnic pride, a pointless urge?
Post-op, do Rooskies have regret?
Unanimous they answer, “Nyet!”
The process hurts, we all know where.
It is true pain the Russians bear.
The mohels, busy as can be,
Feel free to charge a hefty fee,
While cash poor immigrants report
They’re often prone to come up short.
No matter what, the Russians chime:
“We’re resolute! It’s Milah time.”