By Guest Author

Published July 21, 2006, issue of July 21, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Joan Braman graces the Yiddish Vinkl with another of her translations of an English classic into Yiddish. This week, she has chosen a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


As a fond mother, when the day is o’er

Leads by the hand her little child to bed,

Half willing, half reluctant to be led,

And leave his broken playthings on the floor,

Still gazing at them through the open door,

Nor wholly reassured and comforted

By promises of others in their stead,

Which, though more splendid, may not please him more;

So, Nature deals with us, and takes away

Our playthings one by one, and by the hand

Leads us to rest so gently, that we go

Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,

Being too full of sleep to understand

How far the unknown transcends the what we know.


Vi tsertlekh di mame, ven s’geyt oys der tog,

Firt bay der hant ir kleynem kind arayn in bet,

Halb vilndik, halb shayen zikh, er zet

Zayne shpilzakhn oyfn dil ibergelozt.

Un kukndik oyf zey durkh der tir farefnter

Er shteyt dort nit baruikt un nokh fardayget.

Un khotsh andere kestlekh me vet im narayen,

Zey veln im mestome nit gefeln mer;

Azoy shaft zikh mit undz di natur, un nemt tsurik

Eyntsikvayz undzere shpilzakhn un bay der hant

Firt undz shtilerheyt tsu der ru, un mir geyen,

Oder blaybn, oder geyen, koym nit visendik;

Der umbavust ibershtaygt dos vos iz bekant,

Ober mir zaynen tsu farshlofn tsu farshteyn.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach!
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • 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.