DER YIDDISH-VINKL December 31, 2004


Published December 31, 2004, issue of December 31, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Hanukkah is ever old and ever new — as the following poem by Alef Katz testifies when he reminds us of events 2,000 years ago and their meaning for Jews today.

It is in the light of this everlasting tradition that Der Vinkl now runs the third in a series of poems that appeared in the Forverts devoted to the theme of the Maccabees and their successful resistance to the attempt of the arrogant Antiochus Epiphanes (God’s spirit on earth) to impose his religion on the Jews. Here is a transliteration of the Jewish version into the Roman alphabet by Goldie Adler, followed by an English version by Gus Tyler.

Hekher Shoyn 2,000 Yor

Fun di likht, vos brenen freylekh

Zing ikh itster un dertseyl aykh

Mit a shtolts un varem kol

A geshikhte fun amol.

Di geshikhte, zi banayt zikh

Un ir shtoltser ruf tseshrayt zikh

Ruft tsu undz in yedn dor

Hekher shoyn tsvey toyznt yor.

Az mir zoln zikh nit bukn

Nor mit an oysgeglaykhtn rukn

Vi amol, azoy oykh haynt

Shteln zikh antkegn faynt.

Shtoltse yidn, shtoltse mentshn,

Lomir vayter tsindn, bentshn

Un tseflakern dem flam

Fun di likht fun undzer shtam.

Zol der flam fun zeydes brenen

Un di eyniklekh derkenen

Vi geshen in yed dor

Hekher shoyn tsvey toyznt yor.

* * *

More Than 2,000 Years

By these candles burning brightly

I do bring a tale most sprightly

With a proud and hearty voice

A song to make us all rejoice.

The story always reappears

The song, it never disappears

It rolls right on from age to age

Two thousand years have been its stage.

It says thou shalt not bend thy head

You’d rather stand erect — or dead

As once you did so once again

Hold head up high as you did then.

Yes, you’re Jews who stand up proud

You’re not just bodies in a crowd

So, light the candles, let them flare

Display our courage everywhere.

Now let the light of grandpas shine

And to their families give a sign

As we have done in years gone by

We’ll live a life with head held high.

Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.