Published May 19, 2006, issue of May 19, 2006.
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Stanley Siegelman returns to Der Vinkl with his discovery of rare news followed by his commentary on the subject in poetic form — in both Yiddish and English. The rare bit of news is the following: “Las Vegas is attracting new Jewish residents at an astonishing rate — about 600 people a month. The city and its suburbs are, in fact, home to the fastest growing Jewish population in North America

Oy Vey, Oy Vegas

Tsu zukhn Got (dos iz, haShem)

Mir geyen tsu Jerusalem

Nit mer! Las Vegas iz di shtot

Vi yetst gefint zikh undzer Got!

Dortn zet men meydlekh tayer

On der stanik, heys vi fayer.

Dortn hulyet dokh di velt

Dort m’ken farlirn gelt

Nit mer iz itst di mikveh “cool,”

Itst geyt men tsum “swimming pool”

Der glantsiker tokhes (oy a klog!)

Iz dortn klor — klor vi der tog!

Bleyztentserkes (hu ha) “entice”

Mit naket pulkes un mit “vice”

’Siz vikhtik ven m’zet a moyd,

On kukn bay ir di hoyt.

’Zoy gleybt a man (nu iz er rekht?)

Ven er batrakht zikh fun geshlekht.

A lange tsayt tsurik, me zogt,

In midbers hobn Yidn “walked”

Durkh fremde lender “wilderness,”

Zukhendilk fun Got a nes

Durkh “Moses” un durkh Got’s bafel

Zey hobn gefunen “Israel”

Far Yidn yetst a naye tsayt;

“In Vegas now they see the light.”

English Version

In search of God (that’s “Adoshem”),

Jews thronged once to Jerusalem,

Today, Las Vegas is the place.

The goal to which they quickly race.

Hotel, motel, casino, spa.

(Where entertainers doff the bra)

These are locales to which Jews flock.

To gamble, oft to end in hock

The cleansing mikveh, once the rule,

Has yielded to the swimming pool

Where boobs and buttocks are displayed

And assignations often made.

When Jews from proper pathways amble

Should proctors oversee their gambol?

As brazen strippers strut their stuff

(Of buff the men can’t get enough)

The guys assert it is no sin

To contemplate and study skin.

Their rationale can give you fits!

They sound like dermatologists.

Now many male Las Vegas Jews

Endorse such hedonistic views.

In ancient times (so write the scribes)

As ordained wanderers , our tribes,

Traversed the hills and barren sands

And wilderness in many lands

Pursuing a relentless quest.

The searching now has come to rest:

In Vegas, shrine of appetite,

The Jews now see the (neon) light!

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