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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.”

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