Der Yiddish Vinkl received two of Stanley Siegelman’s inimitable witty poems written in reaction to current events. To prevent readers from misinterpreting the following poem as a snide Jewish poke at a Christian denomination, they are asked to read next week’s Vinkl as well, “Hooray, Hooray, der Rebbe iz Gey.”
Oy Vey, Oy Vey, der Bishop iz Gey
Der nayer bishop — er iz gey!
“Nor zorg zikh nit — es iz okey!”
— Azoy derklert, mit groys “élan”
Di Kirkh Episcopeylian.
Galokhim mit zeyer bishop-boss
Dertseyln goyim, “Don’t be cross.
A naye tsayt iz mit undz yetst
Zoln ale congregants be blessed.”
Vos nokh? A blumbe makhn zey
Vos zogt, “Okey tsu zayn a gey.”
Di blumbe (sha! gib nit a lakh)
Makht zaynen gey a koshere zakh!
Di feygelakh arum der velt
Vern lebedik. Der bishop kvelt!
Nur epes kukt oys zeyer mies
Tsu khevre in der diocese:
“Nisht kosher,” shrayen zey, gants “pissed,”
“Azoy zogt undzer Yeyzes Krist!”
Der bishop’s heylik vi a malekh
Er iz a guter, fayner galekh.
Eyn kleyne zakh (zog nit “oy oy”)
Er libt a man, un nit a froy,
Zayn “tsimer meyt” iz nisht a “gal.”
Zi’s take zayn “Episco-pal.”
A “schism” vegn vos er meg
Kumt yetst — a tseylem in dem veg.*
Mir vintshn im parnose, glik
Vayl er khapt on der bishopric
“Gey” un “galekh” — aza “mixture”!
S’iz verbotn in di “scripture”?
Der entfer veyst nor Got aleyn
Zoln ale zogn yetst “Omeyn.”
*“Tseylem” means “cross,” and “veg” means “way.”
Hence, the line refers to a “crossroad.”
Oy Vey, Oy Vey, the Bishop is Gay
The bishop just installed is gay!
“No need to fret — it’s quite okay,”
Asseverates, with great élan,
The church Episcopalian.
The clergy, with their bishop-boss,
Tell congregants, “Do not be cross.
The times are altered, for the best,
May all parishioners be blessed.”
What’s more, they have devised this seal:
“Guys can be gentile and genteel.”
(The purpose is to guilt-suppress
And make things kosher, sans distress.)
To sympathizers round the world
A battle flag has been unfurled.
But something feels so very queer,
The diocesan critics sneer,
And charge the situation’s treyf,
Un-Christian, wicked and unsafe.
A clergyman of great success,
The bishop brims with holiness.
One little item mars the paean:
He loves a man. Is that obscene?
His roommate, un-canonical,
Is truly his Episco-pal.
Will “schism” now divide the church
And leave our bishop in the lurch?
We wish him well, this maverick,
As he takes on the bishopric.
“Gay” and “priest” is quite a mixture
That may be proscribed by scripture.
The answer lies with God, not men.
Let’s hold our peace and say “Amen.”