_The Mendele Review_: Yiddish Literature and Language
              (A Companion to _MENDELE_)
Contents of Vol. 04.001
31 January 2000

1) Yiddish Matters: from the editor (Leonard Prager)
   a. Is Yiddish a "kultur-shprakh"?
   b) Yekhezkl Kotik on Hasidim
   c. Books Received

2) "khsidim" (from Chapter 29, Volume One _mayne zikhroynes" (yekhezkl


Date: 31 January 2000
From: Leonard Prager 
Subject:  Yiddish Matters

   a. Is Yiddish a "kultur-shprakh"?

Yochanan Reshet in a review of Dan Miron's _Sheleg al kanaf ha-yona;
pegishot im shirato shel avraham sutskever" ['Snow on the pigeon's wing;
encounters with the poetry of Abraham Sutzkever'] (Keshev leshira, 1990,
92 pp,) writes:  "At the center of the book, chapters of which were
written at various periods from 1982 on, is Miron's portrait of
Sutzkever as a romantic classicist, a poet whose verse is intricate,
modern and intellectual.  Miron thereby refutes the accepted image of
Yiddish as a folk language and a humorous one."  [my translation - ed.]
Reshet's crucial sentence in Hebrew reads "soter et hadimui hamekubal
shel hayidish kesafa amamit veaf humoristit."  [HaAretz 7.1.2000, p. 14
B] In the history of the "riv haleshonot" (the language quarrel) in
Palestine, especially during the first three decades of the twentieth
century, Hebraist opposition was not so much to Yiddish per se as to its
use as a "cultural" medium.  Hence the boycott of Yiddish lectures,
theater performances, etc.  The State of Israel continued this
delegitimization of Yiddish as a medium of "high culture" in its
resistance to the establishment of a chair in Yiddish at the Hebrew
University, Yiddish dailies and Yiddish television.  Miron in his book
on Sutzkever rates the poet as a major world poet but concedes that he
has not won recognition in Israel as an Israeli poet; the late Dov
Sadan's concept of "one literature in two languages" has not penetrated
beyond a small circle of critics and scholars.

In the past few weeks the literary columns of the Israel press have
heaped praise on Avraham Yavin's new translation of Sholem-Aleykhem's
_Motl peyse dem khazns_.  _HaAretz_ (28.1.2000, p. 15B) cites the famous
"Mir iz gut -- ikh bin a yosem!" passage from the novel in Yiddish
(though in obsolete spelling) together with six Hebrew translations
(Y._D.  Berkovits, Bialik/Ravnitski, Uriel Ofek, David Shtray, Aryeh
Aharoni, Avraham Yavin).  For almost a century efforts have been made,
with lesser or greater success, to capture Sholem-Aleykhem's Yiddish
classic in Hebrew.  The Hebrew language in this same century has
developed brilliantly and today gives us translations from many
languages that are indesputable works of art.  Yet everyone knows the
intrinsic limitations of translation and no one doubts that
Sholem-Aleykhem's Yiddish works are best enjoyed in Yiddish.  It is also
true, as Reshet indicates above, that both in Israel and in the diaspora
Yiddish has been "ludicized" and "folklorized" -- i.e. made to be seen
by many as principally a vehicle for humorous anecdotes, sayings and
songs.  This completes the early Hebraist program to dissociate Yiddish
from "high-culture" functions.  The independent reader, however, who
makes the effort to master Yiddish and reads _Motl peyse dem khazns_ in
the original, will not care that Yiddish lacks the image of a
"kultur-shprakh."(1) It is a principal aim of _The Mendele Review_ to
subvert the "accepted image" totally.

(1) The novel is now available in Yiddish in a modern-spelling edition.
See Sholem-Aleykhem.  _Motl peyse dem khazns_.  Editsye, nokhvort un
tekstologisher aparat:  Khone Shmeruk.  Tsugegreyt tsum druk un
tsunoyfgeshtelt dem glosar:  Vera Solomon.  Jerusalem:  The Magnes
Press, The Hebrew University, 1997, 360 pp.  [ISBN 965-223-955-0].  See
_The Mendele Review_ vol. 1, no. 12 for selections from this edition.

   b) Yekhezkl Kotik on Hasidim

In the first part of Chapter 29 of Volume One of his memoirs (see
_The Mendele Review_ vol. 3. no. 20), Kotik painted a forbidding view of
the life of misnagdim and argued that a reaction was inevitable.  It
arrived in the form of hasidism.  Kotik in the present issue of _The
Mendele Review_ concludes his Chapter 29 with a portrait of hasidism as
he knew it.  The neglect of family on the part of poor hasidim was of
particular concern to him:  "What disturbed me about hasidim, even as a
child, was the sorry condition of the women which I observed in poor
hasidic homes.  The men were always cheerful, hearty, eating and
drinking and dancing together while their wives and children sat at
home, cold and hungry.  After work, the hasidim would meet in their
prayer hall for a jovial evening, little concerned, it seemed, for
hungry wives and children left sitting in their cold homes."

   c. Books Received

--Bat, Shmuel.  _kleynikaytn, vizyes un nokh_. mayrev-holivud,
kalifornye:  shmuel-bat bukh-komitet, 1999, 205 zz., mit fotograf fun
mekhaber [Samuel Batt, _Trifles, Visions and More_, West Hollywood,
California:  Samuel Batt Book Committee, 1999, 205 pp., with photograph
of author] [author's address:  7540 Hamptom Ave.  #306, West Hollywood,
CA 90046.  Tel/Fax:  323-851-4657]

Biographical sketches, court cases, stories and essays written mainly in
the past few years and arranged under five headings:  kleynikaytn, funem
gerikht zal, vizyes, dertseylungen, eseyen.  "a vizye:  sholem-aleykhem
aykh, sholem-aleykhem!" describes an imagined experience of the author
ten years earlier:  Sholem-Aleykhem, unrecognized except by the author,
attends his own centenary celebration in Warsaw and tells Shmuel Bat:
"yidish iz atsind vi dos groz. me toptshet oyf dem, men leygt oyg dem
asfalt un beton. ober vi nor a shpurunkele, shtupt es zikh aroys un
grint frish un lebedik in der zun. kumen vet a tsayt ven undzer mame
loshn vet zikh tseblien afile in medines yisroel. fargedenkt vos ikh zog
aykh. kon men den oysrotn dem zeydns, dem tatns, dem eynikls shprakh?
zayt gezunt un shraybt, shraybt in mame-loshn..."  (p. 102) In the
thirty years since receiving this injunction, Shmuel Bat has persisted
in writing in Yiddish.  His latest collection includes lively accounts
of the Polish-Yiddish theatrical figures, Yankev and Sore Rotboym.

--Volpe, Dovid A. _ikh un mayn velt; oytobiografishe bleter_. bukh
tsvey. yohanesburg / yerusholaim:  dov-tov* / y.-l. perets farlag, 1999,
334 zz., ilustrirt, ISBN:  965-7012-33-3 [English t.p.:  David E. Wolpe.
_I and My World; Autobiography_, Book Two, Johannesburg / Jerusalem:
Dov-Tov* / Y.-L.  Perets Publishers, 1999, 334 pp., illustrated (pp.
315-334), ISBN:  965-7012-33-3] [author's address:  D. Wolpe, 14 Grace
Road Observatory, Johannesburg 2198, South Africa] [* = authorial

The Lithuanian-born poet and essayist, Dovid Volpe, has written an
engaging personal account of a half-century of his life in South Africa.
A holocaust survivor, he has been at the center of South African Yiddish
culture, editor for many years of the respected monthly _Dorem afrike_.
"Teyl Zeks (1951-1998)" is the heading on the first page of text (p. 5)
and, curiously enough, it is the _only_ heading outside of the title in
the entire volume.  The author's style, fortunately, is highly readable
(and no less so for the occasional bits of literary gossip), although
chapter headings and other devices of division and organization would
have been helpful to readers.

Date: 31 January 2000
From: Lucas Bruyn 
Subject: "khsidim" (from Chapter 29, Volume One _mayne zikhroynes_
(yekhezkl kotik)

                          yekhezkl kotik

"mayne zikhroynes," berlin 1922 (tsveyte oyfgabe) ershter teyl, kapitl
29 (zz. 336-344)


gekumen iz es mit a hundert-zibetsik yor tsurik, --- mitn bal-shem,
vemen es hot gelungen tsu zayn der foter fun der iberkerenish. der
bal-shem hot gearbet in tsvey punktn:  fun eyn zayt hot er fargringert
dem yokh fun emune, vos iz geven ummeglekh aribertsutrogn, un az men hot
em shoyn yo in gantsn opgehit un getrogn oyf zikh, iz men nokh alts
nisht geven zikher mit yener velt; fun der tsveyter zayt, vider, hot er
gezen tsu farshtarkn dos yidntum in dem zin, az di eyropeyishe bildung,
vos hot zikh shoyn demolt ongehoybn arayntsushparn tsu ale felker, zol
nisht kalye makhn di yidn als folk.

un nokh demolt hot der geoyn|isher bal-shem farshtanen di umgehoyere
badaytung fun der talmudisher fraze, velkhe er hot opgefrisht un
farshpreyt tsvishn zayne onhenger:  baavor shloysho devorim nigal
yisroyl avor sheloy shinu es bigdeyhem, veloshoynom, veshmoyseyhem
--- tsulib dray zakhn zaynen yidn oysgeleyzt gevorn, vayl zey hobn nisht
umgebitn zeyer shprakh, zeyer nemen un zeyer kleyder.

der bal-shem hot zikh oykh batsoygn mit zayn shite oyf der toyre,
neviyim, ksuvim un talmud.

koydem-kol hot der bal-shem tsebrokhn di shvartse vant, vos misnagdim
hobn avekgeshtelt tsvishn yidishkayt un simkhe, tsvishn emune un lebn.
er hot gezogt, az got hot hanoe fun simkhe, fun lebn un az afile esn un
trinken iz oykh leshem-shomayem. di koyanim, tsum bayshpil, hobn badarft
esn di korbones in heylikn ort, in oyhel-moyed. az a yid darf dinen got
mit simkhe, shteyt in der toyre in dvorim bay der toykhekhe in [perek
28] posek 44:  takhas asher loy ovadeto es adoynay elohekho bsimkho
uvetuv leyvov --- vayl du host nisht gedint got mit simkhe un (337) mit
harts, derfar hostu di toykhekhe.

oykh gefinen mir in shmuel [perek 10, posek 5]:  ufogato khevl neviyim
yordim mehabomo velifneyhem neyvel, vesof, vekhalil, vekhinor
veheymo misnabim.  shmuel hot gezogt tsu shoeln:  az du vest geyn,
vestu bagegnen a makhne neviyim geyen fun heylikn ort, un bay zey iz a
poyk mit a fayfl un a fidl, un zey zogn nevies. vayzt dokh oys az di
neviyim hobn andersh nisht gekont nevies zogn, nor ven zey hobn
geshpilt. in divre-hyomim iz oykh faran:  ven doved hot menadev geven
fil gold un zilber oyfn bes-h|migdesh, hot er gezogt in zayn tfile:
veato amkho h|nimtso po roisi b|simkho lehisnadev lekho --- dayn folk,
vos gefint zikh do, hob ikh gezen, az zey zaynen zikh mit simkhe menadev
tsu dir.

in tilim 43:  veovoo el mizbakh elohim el-eyl simkhas gili veodekho
bekhinor elohim elohoy [tilim 71 posek 23] teraneyno sefosay ki azamro
lokh venafshi asher podiso --- ikh vel kumen tsum mizbeyekh fun got mit
mayn freyd un ikh vel loybn mit mayn fidl dikh, got, mayne leftsn veln
zingen un mayn nefesh vet zingen tsu dir, vos du host mir oysgeleyzt.
nokh iz faran in tilim 68 [posek 4]:  tsadikim yismekhu, yaaltsu lifney
elohim veyosisu besimkho --- di tsadikim freyen zikh far got un freyen
zikh in simkhe. oyf dem zogt der medresh:  keshetihye oymed lehispolel
yehey libekho sameyakh olekho sheato mispalel lelohim sheeyn keyoytse
bo. ki zos hi hasimkho haamitis. yehey libo shel odom alez veeyn
hashekhino shoyro elo mitokh simkho shel mitsvo --- ven du vest shteyn
un davnen, zol dayn harts in dir zikh freyen, vos du davnst tsu aza got,
vos iz zayn glaykhn nishto, vorum dos iz di emese simkhe, ven dos harts
fun mentshn iz durkhgedrungen mit freyd.

in tilim 100 posek 2:  ivdu es adoynay besimkho bou lefonov birenono
--- dint got mit simkhe un kumt far im mit gezang. deroyf zogt di gemore
in shabes 66:  eyn hashekhino shuro elo mitokh simkho shel mitsvo --- di
shkhine rut nisht andersh, nor beys der simkhe fun a mitsve. tilim 104
[posek 34] :  yeerav olov sikhi onokhi esmakh badoynay --- far got
zaynen zis mayne reyd un ikh frey mikh mit got. in tilim 149:  yismakh
yisroyl beoysov bney tsiyon yagilu bemalkom --- yisroyl freyt zikh mit
zayn bashefer, di bney-tsien freyen zikh mit zeyer meylekh.
shir-hashirim [perek 1 posek 4]:  mashkeyni akharekho narutso, havieyni
hameylekh khadorov, nagilo venismekho bekho --- tsi mikh, got, ikh vel
dir nokhloyfn; der meylekh hot mikh gebrakht in zayne khadorim, veln mir
zikh freyen un fargenign hobn mit dir.

der barimter r' moyshe-khayim lutsatw, vos iz nokh geven farn bal-shem,
hot geshribn in zayn "mesilas yeshorim," az a yid darf nor reynikn dos
harts far got. shoyn in der hakdome zogt er:  "sheyirmu (338) rohv bney
odom, shehakhasidus beamiras mizmoyrim harbey, viduim arukim meod,
tsomos kashim --- kulom devorim, asher eyn haseykhl noyekh bohem veeyn
hadaas shekeyto, vehakhasidus haamitis hanirtse vehanekhmod rakhok
mitsiyur sikhleynu" --- dos rov mentshn meynen, az khsides iz ongevendt
bloyz oyf zogn fil mizmoyrim mit lange viduim, mit shvere taneysim ---
azelkhe zakhn, vos der seykhl iz zey nisht maseg. in perek 18 bay der
derklerung fun mides khsides, zogt er, az mentshn hobn kalye gemakht dem
ruekh hakhasides in di oygn fun hamoyn un oykh bay di maskilim, velkhe
meynen, az khsides batsien zikh tsu azelkhe narishkaytn oder azelkhe
zakhn, vos dos iz kegn seykhl-hayoshor. zey gloybn, az dos gantse
khsides balangt nor in zogn fil bakoshes, in geveynen, in bukenish mit
meshunedike paynikungen, vos der mentsh zol zikh toytn durkh zey. neyn,
nisht dos iz khsides! un er rekhnt oys di gute madreyges, vos der mentsh
darf bazitsn, un az dos vort khosed iz di hekhste madreyge, hekher fun
tsadek, un khsides iz durkh simkhe mitn harts, mitn gayst. veomru
khazal [khokhmeynu zikhroynom levrokho] [shabes 30b]:  eyn hashekhino
shoyro loy mitokh atsvus --- di gemore zogt:  di shkhine rut nisht oyf

un der bal-shem hot fartift un farbreytert dem gedank, az a yid darf
dinen got nor mit simkhe, der mentsh tor gor nisht tsulozn keyn
moreshkhoyre, keyn troyer. er darf shtendik zayn lustik un freylekh, un
dos heyst mit an emes dinen got. vayter darf a yid zikh dervaytern fun
ale shlekhte mides, bazunders fun gayve, vos dos iz di muter fun ale
shlekhte mides. yidn darfn lebn in akhdes un sholem. es darf nisht zayn
keyn greser, keyn klener --- un demolt vet kumen di geule.

ober azoy vi yidn lebn nisht dervayle in zeyer land, zey zaynen tsevorfn
iber medines un shtet, zol yeder teyl, yeder kibuts yidn oysklaybn far
zikh a rebe, vos zol shteyn absolut brosh fun dem kibuts, un zayne
verter darfn zayn heylik far alemen! men tor im nisht vidershprekhn oyf
a hor. vi di gemore zogt [rosheshone 25,72]:  "yerubaal bdoro kmoyshe
bdoro dan bdoro karn bdoro, yiftakh bdoro kshmuel bdoro,
lelamdekho sheafilu kal-shebekalim shenismane parnas el hatsibur, harey
hu avir shebeavirem" --- yerubaal in zayn dor iz, vi moyshe in zayn dor,
don in zayn dor iz, vi arn in zayn dor, yiftakh in zayn dor iz, vi
shmuel in zayn dor --- fun danen iz gedrungen, az afile a kal (339)
shebekalim, der gringster (der klenster) mentsh, az er vert oyfgenumen
far a firer bay a tsiber, iz vi der grester mentsh.

yeder gedank fun a yidn, vos gefint zikh in a kibuts, darf nor zayn
getsilt tsu ot dem mentshn, far im darfn zey antdekn ale zeyere soydes,
far im darfn zey efenen zeyere laydn un freydn, zeyer harts un neshome,
un nor azoy vet konen bay yidn zayn akhdes un sholem. un oyf sholem
shteyt di velt.

es farshteyt zikh, az di dozike verter zaynen geven akurat tsugepast tsu
der trukener, moreshkhoyrediker misnagdisher tsayt. zey zaynen geven vi
a guter regn oyf a fartriknt feld. un yidn hobn zikh a shot geton tsu
khsides. di zelbe emune, der zelber das, der zelber shulkhn-orekh, nor a
laykhterer, a laykhter lebn, a laykhterer emune-yokh mit simkhe,
hespayles un ekstaz. un iberhoypt --- ale glaykh , ale glaykh --- nisht
do keyn yikhes.

itst darf men zikh nisht paynikn biz in toyt arayn un zikh nisht metsaer
zayn, nor farkert, esn di beste maykholim un trinken di beste vaynen ---
abi zol nor zayn. mitn esn un trinken di beste vaynen kon men azoy gut
dinen got, vi mitn davnen un mitn lernen, abi men est nor
leshem-shomayim, mit a freylekh harts, mit simkhe, tayneg. a yid darf
tomed zayn lustik un freylekh, a yid darf nisht zayn bay zikh gefaln mit
zayn yidishkayt, ven er kon afile nisht lernen. men kon dinen got mitn
gedank, mitn gefil, afile mit a krekhts.

bay di misnagdim zaynen afile di lomdim gefaln bay zikh in di inyonim
fun yidishkayt. zey haltn fun dem, vos der tane r' zire hot gezogt in
der gemore [shabes 112b]:  im rishoynim bney malokhim onu bney anoshim,
veim rishoynim bney anoshim onu kekhamoyrim, veloy kekhamor shel r'
duse ve|r' pinkhes ben yair elo kekhamoyrim stam --- oyb di ershte
zaynen kinder fun malokhim, zaynen mir kinder fun mentshn, un oyb di
ershte zaynen kinder fun mentshn, zaynen mir khamoyrim, eyzlen, un afile
nisht der eyzl fun r' khanine ben duse un fun pinkhes ben yair, nor
proste eyzlen...

ober loyt der shite fun bal-shem, zaynen yidn zeyer groys, men darf
eygntlekh nisht hobn geoynes un keyn oysergeveyntlekhe feikaytn. zaynen
zey do, iz avade gut, anisht --- shadt oykh nisht. ale yidn konen zayn
tsadikim, di ameratsim vi di lomdim, nor a gut harts (340) farmogn iz
shoyn genug. di misnagdim haltn fun dem posek [oves 2:5]:  "veloy
amoretss khosed" --- an amoretss kon keyn khosed nisht zayn, dos iz
nisht rikhtik. an amoretss mit a gut harts kon zayn a greserer yid, a
greserer khosed, eyder der grester talmid-khokhim.

vi gezogt, hobn zikh yidn a shot geton tsu khsides. far proste yidn iz
dokh dos khsides geven mamesh a glik. zayn aktsye hot zikh itst in
gantsn gehoybn. oyser dem, iz er frier in besmedresh nor keyn mentsh
nisht geven, nisht bay zikh un nisht bay andere. un do, in
khsidem-shtibl, vi men ruft dem khsidishn besmedresh, iz er glaykh mitn
grestn talmid-khokhim. oreme-layt vider zaynen glaykh mit di greste
gvirim. lomdim misnagdim hot dos khsides oykh tsufridngeshtelt dermit,
vos zey hobn zikh gekont bafrayen fun moreshkhoyre, zaynen gevorn
royshndiker, rirevdiker un tif-denkerisher, vos zey hobn frier nisht
gekont. far zey hot zikh oykh geefnt a nay feld fun mistik un kabole,
vos di poezye fun dem trinkt on vi mit gute vayn.

un nokh alemen hot geraytst un getsoygn di fraye khsidishe shtimung. a
misnaged tut shtendik un dayget. az es kumt far yontef, muz er zikh
makhn a sheynem malbush, vorem in besmedresh kukt men shtark oyf
malbushim. tomer hat a misnaged nisht keyn sheynem malbush, shemt er
zikh far dem tsveytn, vos geyt in a shenern malbush. bay di khsidim iz
di dayge fun malbushim arop in gantsn, vi bekhlal dayges. dort, in
khsidim-shtibl, shpiln sheyne kleyder keyn role nisht. men kukt zikh nor
nisht um, in vos far a kapote der oder yener khosed geyt. ale zaynen

in khsidim-shtibl iz nishto keyn khazoke-shtet, nishto in gantsn keyn
shtet, yederer shtelt zikh davnen, vu es kumt im oys, un in klal shteyt
men nisht bay khsidim oyf eyn ort baym davnen. men dreyt zikh, men varft
zikh, der temperament lozt nisht aynshteyn. men muz zikh bavegn. geyn
take um khsidim beshas zey davnen. eyner shteyt frier in mizrekh,
dernokh baym tir, dernokh in dorem, in tsofn --- mit eyn vort, men dreyt

un oykh hitn zey nisht dos davnen btsiber; di haltn "borekh-sheomar" un
yene "yishtabakh," un di "shimenesre," un der roykhert a lulke. roykhern
iz bay zey oykh a mitsve.

un do in a vinkl shteyen etlekhe khsidim. eyner halt in hant a fleshl
bronfn mit a kelishok [vaynraykh un stutshkov:  "kelishik"] un trinkt
mit an eyde yidn lekhayim --- (341) di hobn shoyn opgedavnt nokh farn
oylem. kotsker khsidim konen zikh makhn lekhayim, afile nokh farn
davnen, in mitn kumt nokh eyner on mit a nigundl, un etlekhe yinglekh
helfn im tsu --- un es iz freylekh. gayve iz bekhlal bay khsidim nisht
faran, azoy vi dos volt nor oyf der velt nisht geven. ale zaynen glaykh,
oreme mit raykhe, ameratsim mit lomdim, yungere mit eltere. dos rohv
"dutsn" zikh khsidim, un zey konen gor nisht farlaydn, az men "irtst"
zikh. irtsn zikh iz bay zey a min anti-khsides.

nor der, vos kon gut zogn, hot a zisn kohl, mit harts, mit kavone, vert
zeyer geshetst bay khsidim. oykh der, vos hot in zikh a sakh simkhe, kon
makhn a shnaps un khapn a tentsl, vert oykh shtark gelibt. un az im
farvilt zikh tantsn, shlept er mit ale khsidim un men geyt. er meg zayn
a yungerman, oder an oreman, oder a proster yung. es makht nisht oys. er
shlept shoyn arayn in tants dem grestn gvir, dem grestn lamden, dem
eltstn zokn, un men tantst in a glatn mitvokh. un tomer foylt zikh tsu
amol a raykher zokn, vos dos treft eygntlekh zeltn, krigt er a klap in
pleytse un men tsit im far der bord biz er nemt tantsn. un er muz makhn
a shnaps oykh, vert er shoyn begilufndik un tantst oyf vos di velt

bay di khsidim iz shtendik yontef un shtendik freylekh. ven eyner hot
yortsayt, raysn shoyn bay im di khsidim in shtibl shnaps. tomer iz er an
oreman, gebn di negidim far im shnaps, un ven a shtikl noged hot
yortsayt, muz er shoyn gebn shnaps lerov, un der oylem trinkt nokhn
davnen un es iz lebedik. in grund iz bay zey yeder tog a min yontef. do
iz yortsayt nokhn rebn, makht men a sude un men trinkt, un men est, un
men zingt, do iz a gast --- iz vider dos zelbe, do farvilt zikh glat
eynem hulyen un azoy vayter.

der shabes vos far slikhes beys oyf ale misnagdim tsit zikh aroyf a
groyse moreshkhoyre un men rikht zikh oyfn yom-hadin, beys men zogt
farnakht in di bote-medroshim dem yomerikn lamenatseyekh, iz do, in
khsidim-shtibl, ersht an emese simkhe. in dem zelbn farnakht zingt men
bay di khsidim zmires biz shpet in der nakht arayn, nokh shpeter vi ale
shabes, un shabes tsu nakhts vert gekokht a krupnik mit fleysh, men
brengt shnaps mit bir (dem krupnik kokht (342) men in khsidim-shtibl,
oder bay a shokhn), un der oylem zingt farsheydene nigunim dem gantsn
ovnt biz halbe nakht. demolt kumen zikh shoyn oyf ale khsidim, men zogt
slikhes kurts un munter, un in a halbe sho iz men shoyn fartik mit
slikhes. dernokh greyt men tsum tish. oyb der krupnik iz fartik, geyt
men esn, anisht zingt men un men tantst mit kavone.

un azoy hulyet men op biz fartog, in der nakht iz men mesader dos forn
tsum rebn, vifl furn men vet darfn hobn un dos glaykhn. di oreme rukn
zikh tsu di raykhere. yeder oremer bashtelt zikh a raykhn oyf tsu forn,
un interesant:  der oreman kloybt oys dem noged, un nisht der noged dem
oreman. un az der oreman kloybt zikh oys, lomir zogn, khayimen, tor im
shoyn khayim nisht opzogn. farkert, der noged git im nokh a klap in
pleytse, der oreman git im tsurik, un men makht zikh a gelekhter. tsum
gresern noged rukn zikh tsu tsvey oreme khsidim, un nor tsu a groysn
noged ----- a dray, fir. mayn foter hot shoyn gehat zayne
khazoke-khsidimlekh:  avrem, hirsh un motke, vos zaynen shoyn mit im
geforn ale rosheshone tsum rebn.

tsum rebn forn oyf rosheshone mer vi a dritl khsidim, un di iberike, vos
forn nisht, kumen zikh ale oyf tsum baleytn di avekforer. men git zey
mit kvitlekh-bekoshes tsum rebn, in velkhe es vern oysgeshribn di
bekoshes, vos der oder yener farlangt fun reboyne-shel-oylem.

un vi azoy khsidim lebn a gants yor, hob ikh, dukht mir, genug bashribn
oyfn geherikn ort in mayne zekhroynes.

vi ikh hob shoyn gezogt, iz dos khsides tsugepast far ale teyln un klasn
fun folk, farn oreman, farn gvir, farn amoretss un farn lamden, farn
altn un farn yungn. dem negidishn khosed iz mamesh mekane tsu zayn. im
iz beser farn grestn gvir fun misnagdim. un nisht nor bay yidn, a
raykher un frumer krist hot gevis nisht dem tayneg fun a raykhn khosed.
bay dem letstn iz di shtub ful mit gezang, mit ekstaz un groyser simkhe.

nor ikh hob dokh keyn khosed nisht gekont vern. tsu khsides iz nisht
gelegn mayn harts. ershtns, hot mikh opgeshtoysn fun khsides der inyen
rebe, vos iz shreklekh fremd dem kharakter fun a misnaged. a rebe an un
far zikh iz nokh efsher tsu derlaydn. nor der kokh, vos arum em, di
umgehoyere badaytung zeyer un dos, vos di rebeshaft geyt iber
beyerushe, vi bay a keysr, shtoyst op in gantsn. ikh kon beshum-ofn
nisht gloybn, az es zol zayn a mentsh, nisht nokh keyn oysgeklibener,
nor beyerushe, far velkhn men zol konen oysreydn dos harts, fartroyen
ale felern, vos kumen durkh der natur, oder durkh geveynthayt. un ot der
mentsh, vider, zol im lernen vi azoy zikh oystsubesern, optsugeveynen
zikh fun zayn shlekhter natur, fun zayne shlekhte geveynthaytn un azoy
vayter. un es zol zikh veln im folgn.

vider hot mikh opgeshtoysn fun khsidim yinglvayz dos, vos ikh hob mikh
ongezen bay oreme khsidim dos shlekhte lebn fun zeyere vayber. di manen,
di khsidim, zaynen shtendik freylekh, lustik, esn, trinken, tantsn un
zingen mit khsidim, un zeyere vayber un kinder zitsn in der heym in kelt
un in hunger.geven khsidim arbeter, vos flegn fardinen in gantsn tsen
gildn oder tsvey rubl a vokh. zey flegn vashn shepsene felkhlekh baym
taykh um vinter, un di vayber mit di kinder zeyere flegn laydn hunger un
kelt. ober nokh der arbet flegn zey, di manslayt, geyn in shtibl, flegn
zikh makhn freylekh, hulyen un zingen, un zey hobn zikh, a ponem, veynik
metsaer geven derfun, vos dos vayb un kinder zitsn in a kalter dire un

un dos hot mir farshtert di simkhe. psikhologish iz efsher der kibuts
gerekht:  vos vet shoyn zayn, az er vet zitsn in der heym mit di
farkumerte vayb un kinder? vet er zey den dervaremen? vet er zey
freylekher makhn? ober oyf mir hot es shtark gevirkt un mir zaynen beser
geven gefeln di khmarne misnagdim, vos freyen zikh nisht, vos tantsn
nisht un zingen nisht, ober derfar zaynen zey mer nebn zeyere vayb un
kinder un trogn oyf zikh dem shvern yokh fun parnose.

kegn khsidim hob ikh gehat, farshteyt zikh, teoretishe argumentn oykh,
vi ikh hob shoyn geshribn, nor do iz vikhtik tsu dermonen di praktishe
zayt, tsulib velkher ikh hob, a ponem, hoyptzekhlekh nisht gekont mushve
vern mit der shite. un nokh vos:  men darf zikh konen fargesn on dem
praktishn lebn un ibergebn zikh in gantsn tsu gezang ( 344) un
zorglozikayt. ikh hob dos nisht gekont, un fun mir hot keyn khosed nisht
gekont aroys.

nokh a feler in khsides muz ikh dermonen, vos hot oyf mir demolt shlekht
gevirkt. bay khsidim hobn keyn groyse lamdonim nisht gekont aroyskumen.
a gut khsidish yingl mit a gut kepl iz farfaln gegangen. er hot nisht
gelernt, bay im zaynen avek di teg in gornisht, un dos hot zeyer vey

misnagdishe kinder hobn ober a sakh gelernt, hobn take a sakh gekent un
mit zey hot men zikh getsatsket. a misnagdish yingl hot gehorevet. un
mir hot zikh oykh gevolt horeven un kenen. un ikh bin azoy in gantsn
dervaytert gevorn fun khsides...
end of _The Mendele Review_ 04.001

Leonard Prager, editor  

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