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Stanley Siegelman of Great Neck, N.Y., is one of our most faithful readers. He is also a master of the wit and wisdom that distinguishes seykhl from ordinary intelligence. His special genius is Yiddish poetry, usually on current matters with a generous dose of biting commentary. His latest contribution is this piece about Senator Joseph Lieberman, who hopes to win the Democratic nomination for president. The English version is by Gus Tyler.

A Yidisher Prezident

Ot kumt er yetst, mit groysn shpan:

S’iz undzer Yosl Lieberman!

Oy, zog undz, Senator, vos brent,

Farvos mustu zayn prezident?

Dertseyl undz Yosele, farvos

Du vilst shtark zayn der balabos!

“Oy, vinsh mir glik, gib mir a kush,

Un lomir poter zayn fun Bush!

“Vu shteyt es geshribn ot azoy:

‘A prezident muz zayn a goy’?

Azoy redt er, un mit respekt

Der landsman fun Konetiket.

Nor zoln mir take zayn tsufridn

Dos vet gut zayn far ale Yidn?

A yid zo hoykh? Iz yetst di tsayt?

S’iz efsher nor a narishkayt?

A shtikl Yid zol zayn a riz?

Er efsher geyt oyf krume fis?

S’iz take meglekh, zog undz bloyz,

An erlikher Yid in Vays Hoyz?

A Yid vos teglekh tfiln shtelt

(Kuk on vi zayn mame kvelt!)

Vos far a Vays Hoyz vet es zayn

Az undzer Yosl muft arayn?

Kumt Fraytik nakht, der tunkl krikht

Di “Ershter Leyde” tsind on likht.

(Vos vet zi ton ven Krismes kumt?

Tsindn on a Krismes boyml punkt?)

Nit mer tsum galakh Billy Graham

Vet Vays Hoyz zayn a tsveyte heym.

Ver kumt far shmuesn un a glezl tey?

Der prezident fun UJA!

Ken Yosele oyf seyder-tsayt

Zitsn oyf zayn linker zayt?

(Der linker zayt, zogt Gor, zayn “pal”

Iz epis tsufil liberAL)

Ven diplomatn kumen arayn

M’git zey Manischewitz vayn.

A kipa Joe trogt far a het.

(A shande farn Kabinet.)

Oy, meydlekh, boyes, mener, froyen

Joe hoft tsu zayn an Abe Lin-Cohen!

A Jewish President

Now, here he comes with great élan

It is our Joseph Lieberman.

Please tell us why you’re so intent

On being U.S. president.

Oh tell us, Joe, the reason why

That you must be the topmost guy.

“Oh wish me luck, give me a kiss

Together we will Bush dismiss.

We must the nonsense now destroy

That says the prez must be a goy.”

’Tis thus he speaks and with respect

Our Joseph from Connecticut.

But should we really hail this news

Will it be good for all the Jews?

A Jew so high? Is this the time?

Can Joe this lofty mountain climb?

Can he perform this daunting feat?

Or does he go on crippled feet?

Now can it be, just tell us plain

Can you, a Jew, White House attain?

A Jew who daily says his prayers

(Just see how much his mother cares.)

What kind of White House will it be

When Joseph holds the tenancy?

Comes Friday and quite soon the night

First lady does a candle light.

(At Christmas time, what shall we see?

First lady lights a Christmas tree?)

No more will Billy Graham roam

Around the White House he calls “home.”

Who’ll come instead most every day?

The president of the UJA.

Can Joseph when it’s Seder time

Upon his left with ease recline?

(“Leaning left,” says Gore, his pal

Would really be too liberAL”)

When diplomats do come to dine

They’ll offer Manischewitz wine.

The yarmulke that Joe does wear

Will make his Cabinet want to swear.

Know all who know he is “our own”

Joe wants to be an Abe Lin-Cohn.

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