_The Mendele Review_: Yiddish Literature and Language
              (A Companion to _MENDELE_)
Contents of Vol. 04.002
29 February 2000

1) Yiddish Matters: from the editor (Leonard Prager)

   a. An exchange of letters on translating Sholem-Aleykhem
   b) The dissolution of a family -- Kotik's opening chapter of the
      second volume of his memoirs.

2) Project Onkelos (Noyekh Miller and Leonard Prager)

3) Volume Two, Chapter One, _mayne zikhroynes_ (yekheskl kotik)


Date: 29 February 2000
From: Leonard Prager 
Subject:  Yiddish Matters


Sholem Aleichem [Sholem-Aleykhem] is not quite headline material in the
newspapers of the world, not even in Israel where his name is widely
known, where streets are named after him, where his plays or dramatized
novels are frequently performed (not to mention _hakanar al hagag_
'Fiddler on the Roof'), where translators vie to make him as memorable
in Hebrew as he is in Yiddish.  Readers of book reviews and
letters-to-the-editor on the back pages of _HaAretz_ may -- as has
happened recently -- run across his name with a certain refreshing
frequency.  In conjunction with Avraham Yavin's new translation of
_Motl, Peysi the Cantor's Son_, the literary section of _Haaretz_ (28
January 2000) printed the Yiddish passage "Mir iz gut -- ikh bin a
yosem!"  ('This is fun -- I'm an orphan!') together with the Hebrew
versions (by Y. D. Berkowitz, Kh.  N. Bialik and Y.Kh.  Ravnitski
[according to Khone Shmeruk's deduction], David Shtray, Arye Aharoni and
Avraham Yavin).

As I indicated in the last issue of _The Mendele Review_ (4.001),
Avraham Yavin's new translation of Sholem-Aleykhem's _Motl peyse dem
khazns_ -- _Motl ben peysi hakhazan_, Tel Aviv:  Am Oved Publishers,
1999 [ISBN 965-13-1366-8] -- has been widely acclaimed.  It is not hard
to see what many reviewers found praiseworthy in the Yavin translation.
It is written in a very readable modern Hebrew.  Yochanan Reshet
(_Haaretz_ 3 December 1999) concluded his positive estimate with the
words:  "There is a synthesis of the old, the new, and the faithful -- a
mix that distinguishes all of Yavin's translations, which are aimed at
the more discriminating, more tasteful reader, but also at the simple
Israeli reader.  In any event, this rendition avoids the hackneyed
"yidishkayt" of earlier translations and achieves a surprizing
Hebrew-Israeli modernity.  Thus we are given a Sholem Aleichem who is
both eternal and contemporary."  [my translation -- ed.] It would be
interesting to know precisely what the reviewer meant here by
"'yidishiut' hakefuya mashehu shel hatargumim hakodmim" [which I have
translated as "the hackneyed 'yidishkayt' of earlier translations"].
Yavin followed the Yiddish text of the recently published (1997)
modern-spelling edition edited by the late Professor Khone Shmeruk (see
_The Mendele Review_ vol. 1, no. 12 for selections from this edition).
Almost nothing in Israel can be unanimous and I give here an
exchange of letters regarding the Yavin translation [translation mine-


"All the Works of Sholem Aleichem"

_HaArets_ 8.2.2000

[in answer to "Through Motl's Eyes" by Yael Dar in _HaAretz_, 19 January
2000, "Gallery," p. 2B]

One applauds all steps taken to shorten the Hebrew reader's path to the
Jewish bookshelf, including Avraham Yavin's new translation of Sholem
Aleichem's classic work, _Motl, Peysi the Cantor's Son_.  We should also
remember earlier translations, especially Y.-D.  Berkowitz's, and that
of Arye Aharoni published two years ago by Am Oved.

As a reader and lecturer in Yiddish literature, I prefer Aharoni's
translation to Yavin's.  As we know, Berkowitz felt free to "correct"
the original text by emendations and omissions.  The same is true with
regard to Yavin, who followed the supposedly scientific edition of
Professor Khone Shmeruk, who excised chapters and changed the title of
the first chapter.  Instead of the original text's charming caption:
"haynt iz yontev, me tor nit veynen" ['It's a holiday today, one mustn't
cry'], Shmeruk -- followed by Yavin -- gives us the altered 'I and the
Little Calf'.

Since we are talking about Sholem Aleichem, it is worth mentioning that
during the past year Arye Aharoni completed his life work of translating
the complete works of Sholem Aleichem from Yiddish to Hebrew.  This is
the first complete edition of Sholem Aleichem's writings in any language
-- including Yiddish.

Professor Gershon Weiner


"Sholem Aleichem's Word"

_HaArets_ 15.2.2000

[in answer to "All the Works of Sholem Aleichem" by Professor Gershon
Weiner in _HaArets_ 8.2.2000]

Sholem Aleichem initially published chapters of many of his works in the
Yiddish press as separate stories.  He made a variety of changes,
deletions, and additions before finally issuing these separate items in
book form.  This was the case with _Motl, Peysi the Cantor's Son_.
Stories of Motl began to appear in the Eastern European and American
Yiddish press as early as 1907, whereas the book was first published in
1913 (in the Warsaw "Progres" edition).  Sholem Aleichem made various
changes for the "Progres" edition, including substition of the title
"ikh un dos kelbl" ['I and the Little Calf'] for the earlier "haynt iz
yontev, me tor nit veynin" ['It's a holiday today, one mustn't cry'].
Since this edition appeared during Sholem-Aleichem's lifetime and with
his active participation, it undoubtedly represents his last word and
expresses his views and wishes.  This text, therefore, was properly
acknowleged in Professor Khone Shmeruk's academic edition published by
the Magnes Press in 1997, and in Avraham Yavin's translation.

Professor Chava Turnianski
Chair, Department of Yiddish
The Hebrew University


The opening chapter of Yekhezkl Kotik's less well known second volume of
memoirs is a narrative version of a familiar melodrama of family
dissolution -- indeed, it could readily be adapted to the stage.  "di
kinder hobn zikh yederer gevoynt in zayn hoyf eynzam. der
familye-farband iz zikh bislekhvayz in gantsn opgeshvakht gevorn."
('The children lived in their separate quarters.  The family bond was
gradually weakened.')  The grandfather, the affluent, wilful patriarchal
figure accustomed to mete out benefits and reap the affection and
respect of an extended family of children, in-laws and grandchildren
remarries soon after becoming a widower.  Famous for doting upon his
wife of many years, he brings home a new wife who is considerably
younger than himself and encouners general hostility.  While not quite a
Yiddish version of "January and May," Kotik's account of his uxorious
grandfather is not only a moral tale of an old man's folly; it is a
vivid canvas of a family's life together and in conflict.

Date: 29 February 2000
From: Noyekh Miller  and Leonard Prager

Subject: Project Onkelos

                          Project Onkelos

Onkelos, first century (C.E.), was a proselyte and student of Rabbi Akiva
who translated the Torah into Aramaic.  His translation, universally known
as the Targum (translation) Onkelos, is taught and used to this day.

His targum caught on because by his time a great many Jews no longer
understood Hebrew, at least not very well.  Placed as it normally is along
the side of a Torah page, those who wanted help with their Hebrew found
Onkelos an invaluable teacher.

We at the beginning of the 21st century face the same problem with
respect to Yiddish.  There are many who want to become Yiddish readers
or improve their Yiddish, but the tools available to them are often
sparse.  It is our intention with Project Onkelos to help readers to
read Yiddish by providing them with exemplary Yiddish texts that also
exist in English translation.

Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg dedicated their anthology of Yiddish
stories in English translation "To the Six Million," and it is hard to
think of a more fitting memorial.  We propose to add a further dimension
to this highly influential bridge to the Yiddish-language culture of
Ashkenazic Jewry by providing in an easily accessible and attractive
format the original stories, which readers will be able to read
alongside the Howe-Greenberg anthology in a kind of improvised Loeb
Classic edition.  Reading these great stories in Yiddish means not only
entering into the world of the Six Million, but entering deeply into
their imaginative life, hearing their voices.  This ambitious project
(subject, of course, to copyright limitations) will be realized over the
next few years, hopefully with the aid of additional volunteers.

The list below gives the table of contents of the Howe/Greenberg
anthology.  Stories marked with an asterisk are already available in
_The Mendele Review_ in UTF and PDF format (see:

Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg, eds.  _A Treasury of Yiddish Stories_
New York:  Viking Press, 1954.

                          Table of Contents

1.   The Calf                                    Mendele Moykher-Sforim
2.   On Account of a Hat                             Sholem-Aleykhem
3.   Devotion Without End                            Y.-L. Perets
4.   Eternal Life                                    Sholem-Aleykhem
5.   Hodl                                                   "
6.   The Search                                             "
7.   Dreyfus in Kasrilevke                                  "
*8.  The Pair                                               "
9.   The Dead Town                                   Y.-L. Perets
*10. Neilah in Gehenna                                      "
11.  Cabalists                                              "
*12. Bontsha the Silent                                     "
13.  If Not Higher                                          "
14.  The Mad Talmudist                                      "
15.  Rabbi Yochanan the Warden                              "
16.  The Golem                                              "
17.  And Then He Wept                                Dovid Pinski
18.  A Meal for the Poor                             Mortkhe Spektor
19.  Sanctification of the Name (A legend)           Sholem Ash
20.  Kola Street                                            "
21.  The Poor Community                              Avrom Reyzn
22.  The Big Succeh                                         "
23.  Tuition for the Rebbe                                  "
24.  The Recluse                                            "
25.  Mazl Tov                                        Y.-L. Vaysnberg
26.  Father and the Boys                                    "
27.  Revenge (Extracts from a Student's Diary)       Zalmen Shneyer
28.  The Girl                                               "
29.  White Khale                                     Lamed Shapiro
30.  Smoke                                                "
31.  Tbe Rebe and the Rebitsn                             "
32.  Munie the Birl Dealer                           Moyshe Kulbak
33.  Repentance                                      Y.-Y. Zinger
34.  Sand                                                 "
35.  Competitors                                     Yoyne Roznfeld
36.  The Sick Goose                                       "
37.  Gimpel the Fool                                 Y.-Bashevis Zinger
38.  May The Temple Be Restored                      Yoysef Opotoshu
39.  A Page from the Song of Songs                   Sholem-Aleykhem
40.  My First Love                                   Moyshe Nadir
41.  The Adventures of Hershl Zumervint              Itsik Manger
42.  Eating Days                                     Lamed Shapiro
43.  In a Backwoods Town                             Dovid Berglson
44.  To the New World                                Isaac Metzker
45.  A Quiet Garden Spot                             Sholem Ash
46.  The Little Shoemakers                           Y.-Bashevis Zinger
46.  Higher and Higher                               Peysekh Markus
47.  The Eternal Wedding Gown                        Yoysef Opotoshu
48.  The Return                                      Yankev Glatshteyn
49.  The Man Who Slept through the End of the World  Moyshe Nadir
50.  A Ghetto Dog                                    Shaye Shpigl
51.  My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner                 Khaym Grade
52.  Yiddish Proverbs
53.  A Tale of a Candelabrum                      R. Nakhmen Bratslaver
54.  Stories of Hershl Ostropolier
55.  Tales of Khelm

Date: 29 February 2000
From: Lucas Bruyn 
Subject: Volume Two, Chapter One:  _mayne zikhroynes_ (yekheskl kotik)

yekheskl kotik

"mayne zikhroynes," berlin 1922 (tsveyte oyfgabe) tsveyter teyl,
kapitl 1 (zz. 7-14)

                      [nokh der bobes toyt]

[z. 7] kapitl I

nokh der bobes toyt.  -- der zeyde tut a shidekh.  -- plutsling gekumen
mit a vayb.  -- der ayndruk oyf der familye.  -- di "bobe".  -- dem
zeydns tayneg.  -- zayne naye tekhter.  -- tsezeyt un tseshpreyt.  --
mayontkes.  -- undzere hakhnoses-orkhims.  -- yokheved.  -- leye.  --
men dervaytert zikh fun zeydn.  -- nishto amolike yomim-neroim.

di bobe iz geshtorbn -- un dem zeydns lage hot zikh grod farbesert. er
iz vayter geblibn der eyntsiker goyel umoshie, der bal-yoyets un
vegvayzer bay di pritsim, vos zenen geven tsemisht fun oyfshtand, fun di
redifes un tsores, vos hobn zikh geshotn oyf zeyer kop fun muravyovs
breyter ayzerner hant. mankhe fun zey hobn itst gefunen treyst in dem
altn kluger arn-leyzern un er hot zey take mitgeholfn in ale protim.

a dank zayne eytses, hobn zey opgegebn zeyere mayontkes tsu di yidn in
arende un bakumen genug gelt, um tsu firn zeyer pritsish lebn vayter.
gelt hobn zey demolt bazunders noytik gehat. der zeyde hot ober oykh
ongehoybn fardinen a sakh gelt un zayn lebn iz avek nokh breyter vi
frier. zayn britshke mit di por ferd, vos hobn frier oysgezen
yidishlekh, hobn ersht gekrogn a pritsishn oyszen. di ferd mitn shpan
hot im a porets avekgeshenkt, un in britshke iz er gezesn mit der
gantser breytkayt zayner. der zeyde, vos iz shtendik geven ongegosn mit
impet un hast, hot, farshteyt zikh, nor badarft oysgisn di gantse trern,
vos er hot gehat, oyf der bobes toyt, un koym hobn di dozike trern-kvaln
etvos oyfgetriknt, hot er shoyn a trakht geton vegn a tsveytn vayb...
shatkhonim hobn dos bald dershmekt un genumen balegern [z. 8] dem zeydn
tog-teglekh mit farsheydene shidukhim, yunge vayblekh, raykhe, afile
sheyne, u. az. v. dos hot ober dokh nisht gepast far der familye. flegn
di shatkhonim zogn, az zey reydn shidukhim arn-leyzers zun yisroeln, vos
iz mit mir geven in eyn elter. keynem fun di kinder iz dokh nisht
ayngefaln, vi men hot nisht gekent dem zeydn, az er zol veln khasene
hobn nokh aza heym-gelibtn vayb, bay azoyne eltere yorn, beys er hot bay
zikh ale kinder mit a zibetsik eyniklekh un ureyniklekh.

der gedank vegn a tsveytn vayb hot dem zeydn azoy tsehitst, az er hot
nor fargesn on zayn zuns shidukhim, mit velkhe er hot zikh zeyer
interesirt frier, un er, vi men hot zikh shpeter dervust, hot nokh
getaynet mit di shatkhonim, az men zol im shatkhenen epes a sheyn vayb,
fun mitele yorn un a yakhsnte. alts zol zayn tsuzamen.

un in a dray khadoshim arum kumt der zeyde plutsling fun ergets tsuforn
aheym a freylekher, un heyst makhn an ordenung on shtub. es darf kumen a
gehoybener gast. un in a vayle arum zogt er zikh azoy farbaygeyendik
tsu di kinder:

- ikh hob khasene gehat... mit a groyser yakhsnte... r' itsele, karliner
rovs, tokhter... a yidene a tsadeykes...

un bald deroyf ruik dertseylt vegn ir. dem man hot zi geget, vayl er iz
gevorn an apikoyres, nisht kukndik oyf dem, vos er iz a yid, zeyer a
sheyner, a gebildeter un hot dervaksene kinder mit ir. zi, di tsadeykes,
hot nisht gekukt oyf di ale glikn un hot nisht gevolt lebn mit an

in shtub iz gevorn a khurbm. alemen iz finster gevorn in di oygn; un men
iz zikh tselofn in di andere tsimer -- zikh oysveynen. di zakh iz ober
opgeton gevorn, farfaln, heyst es, un der zeyde hot vi es iz
aropgeshlungen dem tsar fun di kinder un iz bald avekgeforn brengen dos
naye vayb...

ven er iz avekgeforn, hot zikh ersht ongehoybn di groyse yelole. di
geveyneray un gvalderay iz geven kimat azoy groys, vi in dem tog fun der
bobes toyt. ale hobn mit trern gekukt eyner dem andern in di oygn, on
verter, vi mentshn, vos darfn iberkumen an umfarmaydlekhe gefar, es hot
zikh keynem avade nisht gegloybt, az der zeyde, vos hot lib gehat der
bobn un azoy fil ayngelegt di velt nokh ir toyt, zol bald fargesn oyf
dem alem, un oyf der elter, [z. 9] tsu zekhtsik yor, bay a fule shtub
mit kinder un kinds-kinder, zol er araynbrengen a shtif-muter. di trern
zenen ober nisht mer geven vi trern. helfn hot men nisht gekont. un in a
por teg arum iz take aropgekumen a breyte, a sheyne yidene fun a yor
finf-un-fertsik, sheyn oysgeputst, un der zeyde hot geheysn der dinst
shteln dem samovar.

di kinder hobn zikh gemakht harts, nisht aroysgevizn far der breyter
sheyner yidene zeyer tsar un fardros, un hobn zi oyfgenumen nisht kalt
un nisht varem. dem zeydn iz geven zeyer nisht bakvem:  im hot zikh
shtark gevolt, az zayn tsveytes vayb zol varem oyfgenumen vern. ober
farlangen es hot er nisht gekent, un dos zelbe hoyz, vos iz shtendik
geven azoy kokhedik un royshik mit kinder un mit eyniklekh, vu men hot
geshtift un gelakht, getantst un gezungen -- dos zelbe hoyz iz itst
gevorn shtil, farmoret, vi oysgeshtorbn. keyn hoykh reydn, keyn
gelekhter, keyn geshreyen, keyn gepilder, alts ayngehaltn, dershlogn,
shtil. fun shtot hot men oykh oyfgehert tsu kumen, nisht tsu di kinder
un afile nisht tsu arn-leyzern. men hot gevust, az er iz farnumen mitn
nayes vayb, az er muz mistame zitsn bay zikh in tsimer mit ir un klaybn

di "bobe" nome, vi di eyniklekh hobn zi far laytn gerufn, hot zikh
dervayle oykh gehaltn korekt tsvishn di kinder un eyniklekh. zi hot
a ponem, farshtanen, az der shtub-oylem iz lefi-erekh a gants eydeler un
az men darf zikh staren vi vayt meglekh tsu tsutsien ot di ale mentshn,
kedey zey zoln nisht varfn oyf ir keyn um-kheyn, vos dos iz nisht
gevuntshn. hot zi zikh batsoygn tsu der gantser familye zeyer heflekh un
aroysgeshtelt zikh far a "mamen" un a "bobn".

in a tsvey vokhn arum iz gekumen tsu forn tsum zeydn a gast. dos iz
geven dem vaybs a yungere tokhter, a fraylin fun a yor fertsn. shpeter,
in a por vokhn arum, iz gekumen nokh a gast. vider a tokhter, a fraylin
shoyn fun a yor zibetsn. di dozike tekhter zenen farblibn nebn der
muter. in a por khadoshem shpeter hot dem vaybs a zun khasene gehat mit
a tokhter fun kamenitser balebos... un azoy arum iz shoyn in a kurtser
tsayt fun a knapes halb yor oysgevaksn baym zeydn a naye familye... di
beyde tekhter hobn zikh shoyn gehodevet baym zeydn un er hot zey
aroysgevizn a sakh foterlekhe libe. der eydem mit der shnur, der mekhutn
un mekhuteneste mit zeyer [z. 10] gantser familye zenen gevorn gantse
bney-bayis baym zeydn in shtub, hobn farnumen dem oybnon, azoy az es iz
shoyn nisht geblibn keyn ort far beyle-rashes kinder un eyniklekh, vos
hobn frier ful gemakht di shtub mit simkhe un gelekhter. di kindershe
fargaltkayt un dershlognkayt hot teylvayz oykh gevirkt oyfn akhdes
tsvishn eynander. es iz nokh geven di noentkayt, es iz nokh geven epes
libe, ober di libe hot shoyn nisht geflakert un vos shpeter hot es alts
gekilt un gekilt...

der zeyde, vos hot shtendik gezogt dos vertl, az "dem zol di erd
aroysvarfn di beyner, ver es git op a kind fun zikh," hot zikh dokh
genumen tsu farzorgn di kinder yedn bazunder. meglekh, az er hot gikher
gevolt poter vern fun zeyere fargalte blikn, vos hobn im fardorbn dos
fargenign mitn nayes vayb. far yedn kind hot er gedungen an ander hoyf
in arende. far zikh aleyn hot er oykh gedungen a hoyf -- "pruske" bay
vilevinskin, fir vyorst fun kamenits, mit a bronfn broyz.

in a halb yor tsayt hot er bavizn tsu farshtekn yedes kind in an ander
hoyf. men iz tseforn un tseshpreyt zikh un er hot zikh geshept nakhes
fun zayn "vaybl" un ire tekhter. arum iz geven:  sha, shtil... poter
gevorn fun di kinder, hot er nokh fun onfang gevoynt in kamenits,
makhmes der hoyf iz geven noent. in a sho hot men shoyn gekent zayn in
pruske ahin un tsurik. ober in a kurtser tsayt hot ot der royshiker
mentsh zikh farbenkt nokh emese ru, nokh shtilkayt, azoy, az es zol im
gornisht shteren in zayn fargenign. azoy farkisheft iz er geven fun
zayn nayes vayb.

di kinder hobn zikh yederer gevoynt in zayn hoyf eynzam. der
familye-farband iz zikh bislekhvayz in gantsn opgeshvakht gevorn. un ven
nisht yokheved, dem feter yosls vayb, vos hot zikh shtark tsum hartsn
genumen dem goyrl fun der mishpokhe un hot zikh gestaret tsunoyf
tsubindn di opgerisene opgeshvakhte letste fedemlekh, volt mistame funem
familye-akhdes gevorn a tel. ot di yokheved iz geven a groyse
makhnes-oyrekhte un zeyer an ibergegebene froy. gevoynt hot zi in
babitsh, a hoyf -- akht vyorst fun kamenits, un di familye flegt oft
kumen tsu ir in gest mit geshpan un ferd. shtendik flegn zikh bay ir
gefinen a tsen fuftsn perzon, di -- avekgeforn, yene -- gekumen, [z. 11]
un men hot gegesn mlintshikes un zikh gebodn in milkhiks. der tuml fun
dem zeydns hoyz, hagam shoyn shvakher un klener, hot bislekhvayz
emigrirt tsu ir. bay ir flegt men zikh freyen, tantsn, lakhn un reydn
fun der breyter "bobn" mit ire tekhter.

di tsveyte makhnes-oyrekhte iz geven dem tatns shvester leye, oykh zeyer
a kluge un a gute froy. men hot oyf ir gezogt in der familye, az dos iz
di muter beyle-rashe. es farshteyt zikh, az dos iz geven a guzme. ir man
elyezer goldberg iz geven a yunger man -- a lamdn, a maskl un a
meshoyrer. az im hot zikh farglust, hot er gemakht a hebreishn shir oyf
khanuke, oyf purim un iz derbay geven a leb-yingl. er hot gehat zeyer a
breytn kharakter; in der familye hot men gezogt, az er hot shitere
finger... gelt iz bay im geven a kole. gevoynt hot er in a hoyf
starsheve, nebn zastavye. dos iz geven der zelber hoyf, vos der zeyde
hot zikh geshemt tsu nemen, beys a porets hot es im gevolt opshraybn

iz starsheve geven der tsveyter hakhnoses-orkhim far der familye, nor
shoyn an ergerer fun yokheveds hakhnoses-orkhim. beheymes hot zi keyn
sakh nisht gehat, un az es iz ongeforn di familye hot ir nisht gestayet
keyn milkh un keyn puter. esn fleysh iz demolt gor in mode nisht geven,
oyser shabes; un oykh oyf shabes iz es shver ongekumen. agev hobn dem
oylem shtark getsoygn tsu yokheveds mlintshikes.  yokheved hot zikh
oysgelernt zey tsu makhn bay ir shviger beyle-rashe, vos iz shoyn geven
mit dem mefursem. dos zenen geven vunderlekhe mlintshikes, vos haynt zet
men shoyn nisht mer azelkhe.

mayn liber foter, vos iz geven der eltster in der familye, hot gants
veynik bazukht di dozike hakhnoses-orkhims. er hot gehat zayne rayones.
vider iz er geven far di yunge tsu frum, tsu gelasn, hagam zey hobn im
zeyer lib gehat; un az er hot zikh a mol bavizn bay yokhevedn in shtub,
iz dos geven bay alemen a min yontev, vi a rebe kumt tsu forn in
gest tsu zayne khsidim. in zayn gezelshaft hobn ale koketirt mit ruikayt
un gelasnkayt, keyn geshreyen, keyn gelekhter, keyn shtifn. ale flegn im
arumringlen un er flegt zey vos dertseyln oder zogn a kluger vits, vi
zayn shteyger iz shtendik geven, un alemens oygn flegn oyfshtraln.

[z. 12] vinter hot yokheved gezetst gendz tsu draysik oyf a mol un
gepreglt shmalts un gribenes; hot zikh ongehoybn a sedre mit yokheveds
gribenes. di gendz hot zi ayngezaltsn in a fesele, un a khoydesh tsayt
hot men gegesn gendzns un gribenes. dertsu hot zi nokh yedern mitgegebn
a portsye aheym. es hot zikh geton a velt mit yokhes gribenes. zi hot
oykh gepashet indikes un yedn fun der familye hot zi geteylt oyf peysekh

a berye iz zi geven a groyse, say in shtub un say in hoyf. zi hot fun
alts gevust, umetum geven, hot gehit di beheymes, kelblekh, ferd un
destglaykhn. a gantsn tog iz zi geven farnumen. flegt oyfshteyn zeks a
zeyger in der fri. say zumer, say vinter, hot zi zikh a gantsn tog
geporet, nor mayse-khvat, laykht, vi di emese berye. zi hot zikh umetum
gemisht, hot alts bavorent, un vinter flegt zi oft shteyn a gantsn tog
in shayer baym dreshn di tvue... der bakvemlekhkayt fun di gest hot es
ober gornisht geshadt. bald in der fri hobn ale gest gehat heysn tey fun
samovar mit di gute slivkes un gebeksn.

geven bay ir ober a shvakhkayt, -- fort a ishe!  -- vos flegt teyl mol
gants shver virkn oyf di gest:  zi hot zikh lib gehat tsu barimen far
alemen, az zi iz a groyse berye... un barimen zikh nisht kurts, nor
lang, mit nayn mos reyd. hot zi dertseylt fun ire arbetn, fun ir kokhn,
bakn, fun bekies in gesheftn, fun konen oyfnemen a gast, fun konen
fartsireven a gvald-ris u. az. v., un hot ofter alemen fardreyt dem kop
mit di dozike vaybershe barimerayen. in di dozike nayn mos reyd iz ober
tsu mol gelegn a shtokh, getsilt in ir man, vos iz kloymersht a gantser
porets, makhmes zi tut far im. er iz a porets, zi iz shtendik farton in
arbet. er kumt tsu alem fartikn, zi darf dreyen mitn kop. ober a berye
iz zi fort geven a groyse, un di shvakhkayt ire hot men ir gekent moykhl

in di yomim-neroim-teg, ven ale yishuvnikes kumen in shtot arayn oyf
rosheshone, yonkiper, iz zikh undzer familye tsunoyfgekumen. tsum zeydn
ober iz men nisht farforn, hagam in kamenits iz bay im geshtanen leydik
a groyse voynung. yederer hot zikh gedungen oyf rosheshone un yonkiper a
dire. der zeyde flegt oykh kumen mit zayn vayb un tsvey "tekhter."

[z. 13] zayn in gantsn dervaytert fun zeydn hot dokh nisht gepast, un az
men iz gekumen fun davnen, flegn di gresere kinder geyn opgebn
gut-yontev dem zeydn un bald aheym gegangen. farn gantsn tog iz men
shoyn mer tsum zeydn nisht gegangen, un di shtub hot oysgezen dem ershtn
rosheshone, nokh der bobes toyt, vi a khorev-gevorene shtot. nor oyb es
hot zikh dokh etvos gerudert in dem zeydns shtub rosheshone-tsayt --
zenen dos geven di gest, vos flegn kumen tsu zayne shtif-tekhter.

mayn tate iz geven rosheshone baym rebn in slonim.

dem feter mortkhe-leybn hot zeyer fardrosn zayn bruders khasene, hot er
zikh oykh dervaytert fun im. er hot im afile gornisht gezogt vegn dem,
nor bay zikh hot er es gehaltn far a groys farbrekhn un far a miese
grobkayt, un azoy arum hot er zikh bislekhvayz opgerukt fun zayn bruder.
der zeyde flegt shoyn kumen tsu mortkhe-leybn, nisht vi a mol, mit yener
breytkayt un fraykayt. der kluger zeyde hot groysartik farshtanen dem
bruders shtumen broygez un hot zikh gestaret tseraybn es vi es iz. azoy,
lemoshl, hot er ongehoybn kumen oft tsum bruder, onshtot dem, vos frier
flegt yener kumen tsu im.

di nakht tsu erev yonkiper, vos hot gehat aza kheyn baym zeydn in shtub,
iz itst avek zeyer shtil un umetik. der shoykhet iz take gekumen koydem
tsu arn-leyzern, ober di balebatim hobn nisht arayngeshikt zeyere
kapores tsum zeydn in shtub. ale kinder, vider, hobn zikh opgeshlogn di
kapores bay zikh un arayngeshikt tsum zeydn di kapores fartike,
"opgeshlogene," nisht vi far a yorn.

nor di nakht fun erev yonkiper zenen di gresere kinder avek tsum zeydn.
es iz geven derzelber groyser raykher tish mit di farsheydene
ayngemakhts un tortn un pireshkes, un lekekher un nis un zise bronfns,
ober vu iz di simkhe? vu iz di frayndshaft, di bridershaft, di groyse
libe? alts vokhedik kalt, moreshkhoyredik, farshlofn, nishto dos royshn
fun di fil kleynitshke un gresere eyniklekh. nishto di shtralndike
blikn. ale hobn zikh bislekhvayz tserukt, tsevorfn, farborgn. un dos
bentshn erev yonkiper iz shoyn oykh nisht dos, vi far-a-yorn, beys ale
hobn gevart eyne oyf di andere, keyner iz nisht avekgegangen aleyn. ale
hobn tsuzamen geveynt un di geveyneray mit der yomeray say fun di groyse
un say fun di kleyne zenen dergangen bizn zibnter himl.

[z. 14] der feter berl-bendet, vos flegt shtendik farforn mit zayn
gantser familye kinder un eyniklekh tsum zeydn oyf rosheshone un
yonkiper, iz haynt farforn tsu zayn foter zelig andarkes... nor eyn
zakh iz efsher geven mer vi far-a-yorn:  shtile, dershtikte trern...

nokh yonkiper zenen ale tseforn in di hoyfn un alts iz avekgeshvumen.
es iz geven klor, az di groyse shif iz tsebrokhn gevorn, un yeder shvimt
avek bazunder oyf eyntsike heltslekh un bretlekh, vos zenen geblibn funem
groysn shif...
End of _The Mendele Review_ 04.002

Leonard Prager, editor  

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