DER YIDDISH-VINKL April 30, 2004


Published April 30, 2004, issue of April 30, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The news event around which Stanley Siegelman weaves another one of his inimitable poems is just a bit of trivia. But in the hands of our astonishing humoratarian (not in the dictionary, but should be), it becomes the essence for a bit of epic “epis.” As our Siegelman puts it in the introduction to his poem: “An American Airlines pilot, brimming with religious fervor, suggested over the public address system that Christians on the flight should discuss matters of faith with non-Christian fellow passengers. He asked the Christians to identify themselves by raising their hands. He also characterized non-Christians as people who were mentally depraved.”

Got In Himl!

“Ikh zog tsu alemen, umzist,

Oy, hert zikh tsu, tsu Yeyzus Krist!”

Di verter kumen fun a man

Vos kerevet an eyroplan.

Er zitst dort in der “pilot’s seat,”

Un makht a droshe ven er flit

Er shrayt, er brent mit heylikn flam

Un zidlt oyf der “intercom.”

Di pasazhirn vundern:

Der pilot’s efsher arop fun zin?

Der khevreman “at the controls”

Vil ton a mitsve: “saving souls.”

Tomer bistu nit a goy,

Bist do gants meshuge, oy.

“Pasazhirn, trakht! Repent!

“Makht a tfile! Heybt di hent!

“Yiddish rayze-layt, ‘attention.’

“Zayt relidzhyes. Nit luft-mentshn!”

Oy, Yidn, ven ir nemt a “flight.”

Zogt gornisht fun ayer Yidishkayt!

Zey viln dir hakn nor fun “God”

Un makhn dir a mensh geshmadt,

Vayst nit a simen fun ayer “creed,”

Vayst nit az bist a Yid!

Tsum suf, bamerkt a tayre “lesson.”

Fregt nit keyn mol far Kosher esn!

* * *

God in the Heavens

“I say to all, you have a choice!

Hear Satan’s or the Savior’s voice!”

These words, designed to overwhelm,

Came from the man who’s at the helm:

The pilot! As he scans the skies,

He sermonizes as he flies.

Ablaze with brimstone, holy fire,

He constitutes a one-man choir.

No passenger the man rebuts.

All wonder, though, if he is nuts!

It’s clear the guy at the controls

Is all intent on saving souls.

He yells, “Let Jesus ease your pain

If you reject him, you’re insane.

I warn all passengers, repent!

Accept this truth — it’s Heaven-sent!”

“You must not risk your soul to lose!

This goes especially for Jews!”

Oh, Yidn, when you book a flight,

Say nothing re your yidishkayt.

By acting thus, you will avert

Attempts to get you to convert

Remain as silent as a clam

Abjure, the tribe of Abraham!

Reject fanatics’ crazy spiel!

Don’t order, please, a kosher meal!

Just be alert and have suspicion

Of missionaries’ firm position!

Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "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.
  • 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.