With the High Holy Days behind us, it seems timely to recall a little story in Ruth Levitan’s ever entertaining collection titled “Lakh a Bisl, Lakh a Sakh.” The English translation is by Gus Tyler.
A goy hot zikh amol megayer geven. S’iz grade geven in mitn vinter. Az s’iz gekumen Rosh-Khoydesh Shvat, iz viRead More
“Leyner Dermonen zikh Lider” (“Readers Recall Songs”) is a recurrent feature in the Yiddish Forward. Yosef Rosenblum, a concentration camp survivor who now lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recently wrote a column about the following song. He asked readers whether they recalled hearing it; if so, where, and if they knew who the author mightRead More
As Columbus Day approaches, we are reminded of the dual and contrary views held by Jewish immigrants at the turn of the 20th century regarding Christopher Columbus. To some, he was the heaven-sent explorer who brought a goldene medine (a sort of secondary promised land) to the wandering Jew. To others, whose experiences in this strange land wereRead More
By now, readers of this column must be fairly well acquainted with the laugh-evoking, thought-provoking rhymes of Stanley Siegelman. Now, in the spirit of “equal opportunity” and fair play, Siegelman comes forth with a mirthful suggestion, inspired by Der Yidish Vinkl.
Tvinkl, Tvinkl, Goyish Vinkl
Zol mir ale zayn tsufridnRead More
On August 12, 1952, the most famous Jewish writers in the Soviet Union were “liquidated” by order of Stalin. There was no reason other than the fact that they were Jewish and enjoyed fame. To memorialize these “martyrs,” the Forverts devoted its page on “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry” to excerpts of their works. What follows areRead More
To most Yiddish readers, Moyshe Nadir, ne Yitskhok Rayz, is known as a great satirist — which he was. But he was also a man of many other moods who wrote about his lifelong homesickness for his shtetl, his loneliness, his disillusionments, his despair. For his 60th yahrzeit, the Forverts devoted its columns on “The PearlsRead More
Our steady readers must, by now, be well acquainted with the ever-punning and provocative poet Stanley Siegelman. His pieces on a Jewish president, Senator Hillary Clinton’s confessions, dog bar mitzvahs and the Supreme Court decision on gays have left their indelible mark as cutting commentaries on the follies of our times. This time, hisRead More
A half-century ago, the name Ruth Rubin was almost synonymous with Jewish folk songs. A singer, recording artist, scholar of Jewish lore, writer and translator, she edited a charming collection titled “Jewish Folk Songs (In Yiddish and English).”In the foreword of Rubin’s book, Moses Asch wrote: “Today [Rubin] ranks as one of theRead More
Stanley Siegelman seems to be as prolific as his timely, topical poems are terrific. Just a few weeks ago, we ran his poem about the White House with a president named Joseph Lieberman. While readers were still giggling, he sent us a second bit of brittle, brilliant humor on Senator Hillary Clinton’s biography. And now, here is aRead More
By age 13, David Einhorn was writing poems in Hebrew. He continued to write his popular poems, often for the Forverts, until his passing in 1973. On the occasion of his 30th yahrzeit, excerpts from several of his poems ran in the pages of the Forverts devoted to “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry.” What follows is an early piece about when,Read More