Published May 23, 2003, issue of May 23, 2003.
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“Mishpokhe Kheyndlekh” are an ongoing feature in the Yiddish Forward. The items refer to humorous bits that are clean enough to be shared with the extended family. What follows are a few examples from recent issues. The transliteration is by Goldie Gold; the translation is by Gus Tyler.

Tsvey fraynd zitsn in an eroplan. Bemeshekh funem fli, iz eyner zeyer nervez.

“Vos zorgstu zikh?” fregt im der tsveyter. “Trakht azoy vi ikh — ven s’kumt dayn tsayt tsu geyn fun der velt, vestu geyn, un shoyn!”

“Dos farshtey ikh aleyn,” entfert zayn fraynd, “Vi iz ober az s’iz dem pilot’s tsayt tsu geyn?”

Two friends are in an airplane. During the flight one of them gets nervous.

“Why are you so worried?” asks the second. “Think the way I do. When the time comes for you to go, you’ll go, and that’s it.”

“I understand that myself,” answers his friend. “But what happens if it’s the pilot’s time to go?

* * *

A froy hot ongeklungn in byuro fun der ortiker tsaytung un gezogt az zi vil shteln a nekrolog far ir man.

“Gut,” entfert di sekretarshke, “vos vilt ir zol shteyn?”

“Moris Levine iz geshtorbn.”

“Dos iz es? Bloys ‘Moris Levin iz geshtorbn?”


“Ober farn zelbn gelt, kent or tsugebn nokh epes.”

Di almone shvaygt a rege, un zogt: “Gut. Shraybt azoy: Moris Levin iz geshtorbn. Kadilak tsum farkoyfn.”

A woman called the office of a local newspaper and told them that she wanted to place an obituary notice for her husband.

“Good,” answers the secretary, “what do you want it to say?

“Morris Levine died.”

“Is that it? Simply, Morris Levine died?”


“But for the same money you may add anything else.”

The widow was silent for a moment and then says, “Gut. Write the following. Morris Levine died, and a Cadillac is for sale.”

* * *

Sheyndl iz gegangen oyf an intervyu far a positzye vi an exzekutiv-sekretarshe.

“Zog mir,” fregt der intervyuer, “vos far a feyikeytn hot ir, vos ir halt zenen vikhtik?”

“Ikh ken shraybn,” hot Sheyndl geentfert. “Farayorn hot men publikirt tsvey dertseylungen mayne, un ikh hob farendikt mayn roman.”

“Yasher-koyekh. Gemeynt hob ikh ober dayne feyikeytn vos kenen aykh tsu nits kumen beys di arbet shoen.”

“Ikh veys! Dos iz take geven beys di arbet-shoen.”

Sheyndl went for an interview for a position as an executive secretary. “What kind of abilities do you have that you consider important?”

“I know how to write,” answered Sheyndl. “A few years ago they published two stories of mine, and I have completed a novel.”

“More power to you. But what I meant, however, was what talents do you have that would be displayed during working hours?”

“I know! All these things did take place during working hours.”

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