Olfaction in Israel

Siegelmania

By Stanley Siegelman

Published April 10, 2008, issue of April 18, 2008.
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NEWS ITEM: In its battle against pollution, the Israeli government employs a corps of 300 people to sniff out the sources of bad air. These specialists utilize a basic bodily organ: the nose. Now, they’re coming to the United States to train Americans in odor detection. (Source: Dateline: World Jewry, published by the World Jewish Congress Foundation, April 2008 issue.)


It takes a special kind of mensch
To trace the source of noxious stench,
Impervious to that which flows
Malevolently through their nose!

With great persistence they’re imbued,
A nose-to-grindstone attitude!
Israelis train such personnel
Who’re willing to endure the smell!

With discipline they bear this yoke,
They gasp and choke and pant and croak,
But through it all, they persevere
And to their mission they adhere.

Sometimes these folks may disappoint
(Perchance a nose gets out of joint),
But mostly they perform with grace,
Despite what fills the nasal space.

For tasks involving the mephitic,
A hook-shaped nose is best! (Semitic!)

Es Shmekt in Israel

Fun vanen kumt der shlekhter “stench”?
Gey, freg di frage bay a mentsh
Vos hot a noz vos arbet punkt
Ven ales plutzling iz “farshtunkt”!

In Yis-ro-el, zey hobn yetst
Fil mumkhim mit di nezer best!
Der reyakh zey derkenen bald,
Un shrayn, heyzerlik, Gevald!”

Mir shikn zey a groysn dank
Far tshepenen mit der geshtank!
Ibergegebnkeyt’z a mekhaye,
Shtendik emesdik, gerekht, getraye!

Der ipesh iz tsufil oft mol:
Demolt di shmekers “lose control.”
Gestrokhe’z a geferlekhe zakh!
Nu! Khap dem otem! Gib a lakh!

Farshraybt in aza “worthy cause,”
Gebentsht zol zayn di Yiddish noz!


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