Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

DER YIDDISH-VINKL February 27, 2004

Der Yiddish Vinkl received two of Stanley Siegelman’s inimitable witty poems written in reaction to current events. To prevent readers from misinterpreting the following poem as a snide Jewish poke at a Christian denomination, they are asked to read next week’s Vinkl as well, “Hooray, Hooray, der Rebbe iz Gey.”

Oy Vey, Oy Vey, der Bishop iz Gey

Der nayer bishop — er iz gey!

“Nor zorg zikh nit — es iz okey!”

— Azoy derklert, mit groys “élan”

Di Kirkh Episcopeylian.

Galokhim mit zeyer bishop-boss

Dertseyln goyim, “Don’t be cross.

A naye tsayt iz mit undz yetst

Zoln ale congregants be blessed.”

Vos nokh? A blumbe makhn zey

Vos zogt, “Okey tsu zayn a gey.”

Di blumbe (sha! gib nit a lakh)

Makht zaynen gey a koshere zakh!

Di feygelakh arum der velt

Vern lebedik. Der bishop kvelt!

Nur epes kukt oys zeyer mies

Tsu khevre in der diocese:

“Nisht kosher,” shrayen zey, gants “pissed,”

“Azoy zogt undzer Yeyzes Krist!”

Der bishop’s heylik vi a malekh

Er iz a guter, fayner galekh.

Eyn kleyne zakh (zog nit “oy oy”)

Er libt a man, un nit a froy,

Zayn “tsimer meyt” iz nisht a “gal.”

Zi’s take zayn “Episco-pal.”

A “schism” vegn vos er meg

Kumt yetst — a tseylem in dem veg.*

Mir vintshn im parnose, glik

Vayl er khapt on der bishopric

“Gey” un “galekh” — aza “mixture”!

S’iz verbotn in di “scripture”?

Der entfer veyst nor Got aleyn

Zoln ale zogn yetst “Omeyn.”

*“Tseylem” means “cross,” and “veg” means “way.”

Hence, the line refers to a “crossroad.”

Oy Vey, Oy Vey, the Bishop is Gay

The bishop just installed is gay!

“No need to fret — it’s quite okay,”

Asseverates, with great élan,

The church Episcopalian.

The clergy, with their bishop-boss,

Tell congregants, “Do not be cross.

The times are altered, for the best,

May all parishioners be blessed.”

What’s more, they have devised this seal:

“Guys can be gentile and genteel.”

(The purpose is to guilt-suppress

And make things kosher, sans distress.)

To sympathizers round the world

A battle flag has been unfurled.

But something feels so very queer,

The diocesan critics sneer,

And charge the situation’s treyf,

Un-Christian, wicked and unsafe.

A clergyman of great success,

The bishop brims with holiness.

One little item mars the paean:

He loves a man. Is that obscene?

His roommate, un-canonical,

Is truly his Episco-pal.

Will “schism” now divide the church

And leave our bishop in the lurch?

We wish him well, this maverick,

As he takes on the bishopric.

“Gay” and “priest” is quite a mixture

That may be proscribed by scripture.

The answer lies with God, not men.

Let’s hold our peace and say “Amen.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.