The Yiddish Forward devoted a page in its October 10 edition to Sukkot and Simchat Torah. These holidays are, like Thanksgiving, related to the harvest time. Indeed, some believe that the colonial Thanksgiving was based on the Puritans’ reading of the Old Testament. Sukkot runs for several days and closes with the reading of the last Torah passage and then begins the series once more. The following are fragments of a poem by Avrom Reyzin. The transliteration is by Goldie A. Gold, and the English version is by Gus Tyler.
Zol di freyd zikh vayzn vider
In dem yontef — freydik, frum.
Klingen zol gezang fun brider
Bay der bime un arum.
Un di kinderlekh vos merer —
Kh’ze zey do — zey kumen on!
Mit di rabonim, mit di lerer,
Yedes kind mit nayer fon
Un di fon arum dem shtekl
Un a likhtl in der hoykh.
Un dos likhtl in an epl
Dos aleyn derfreyt shoyn oykh.
Un dernokh mit ziger-mine
Greyt tsum “marsh” shoyn kleyn un groys
Ringlen dray mol um di bime
Der bal-tfile geyt foroys.
Seyfer-toyre — glaykh geshetste
Di hakofes der glaykh;
Tsi di ershte, tsi di letste —
Oys dem yikhes, orem, raykh
S’iz di raykhkeyt in dem minyen
Nokh a yid iz shoyn a glik!
Yeder minyen iz an inyen
Un mit gloybn shaynt dos glik!
Let our joy resound once more
On this pious happy day
With those we’ll love forever more
With those we always want to stay.
See the children, more and more
I see them here as they do run.
With rabbis, teachers, they adore
Waving banners ’neath the sun.
For every flag there is a stick
And there’s a light held way up high
A luscious apple you can lick
You want to laugh, you want to cry.
And in a mien victorious
Prepare to march both young and old
Their manner is most glorious
They circle round in triple-fold.
The Torah scrolls they do revere
And each does hold an equal rich
Way up front or in the rear —
No matter poor or very rich.
Their wealth is present in the minyan
And every extra Jew adds riches
We all do hold this same opinion
Our faith does bind us with its stitches!