DER YIDDISH-VINKL December 26, 2003

A WEEKLY BRIEFING ON THE MOTHER TONGUE

Published December 26, 2003, issue of December 26, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Al Grand is not unknown to readers of Der Vinkl. On numerous occasions, we have carried his Yiddish translations of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, aka the Savoyards. Recently, he sent us the following fascinating story about a Bing Crosby conference he attended last year.

“Panelist Irving Saposnik,” he wrote, “read a paper titled ‘A Jewish Christmas With Bing Crosby and Irving Berlin.’ Linda Emmett, daughter of Irving Berlin, was one of the discussants. Following the lively discussion, I asked Mrs. Emmett how deeply her father was involved with Yiddish. She said that Berlin was quite fluent in Yiddish and that she clearly remembers that, as a child, she would hear him hold full conversations in Yiddish with relatives…. Assuming that Berlin may have known that Isaac Bashevis Singer grew up in the Polish shtetl of Bilgorey, I was impelled to write a Yiddish version of ‘White Christmas.’ as I imagine Berlin himself may have written it. Here then is Berlin’s original lyric followed by my Yiddish version.”

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the one I used to know.

Where the treetops glisten

And children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

Ikh kholem fun a vaysn yontef

Punkt vi in shtetl Bilgorey

Vu di beymer blishtshen

Un kinder kvitshen

Ven zey hulyen inem shney.

Ikh kholem fun a vaysn yontef

Ven ikh gedenk fun langer tzayt

Zol zayn simkhes un gute nayes

Un zol yontef brengen shneyen vays.






Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj 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! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "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."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • 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.