_The Mendele Review_: Yiddish Literature and Language
              (A Companion to _MENDELE_)
Contents of Vol. 04.008
30 May 2000

1. Books Received: Pinye Plotkin's poems (Leonard Prager)
2. _The Music of the Mountain Jews_: A Review (Leonard Prager)
3. Strasbourg Conference Notice (Daniel Galay)
4. "oylem habe" (sholem-aleykhem) [4th of 4 installments]

For Yiddish version:


Date: 30 May 2000
Subject: Pinye Plotkin's poems
From: Leonard Prager 

                    pinye plotkin (1915-)

_mit an ofn harts; oysgeveylte lider_ redagirt fun shmuel bat,
vest-holivud, kalifornye:  yidish kultur klub, 1997. 140 + 6 zz'.

vegn der tsayt un vegn zikh; lider-zamlung redagirt fun shmuel bat,
vest-holivud, kalifornye:  yidish kultur klub, 1999. 128 + 3 zz'.

These two volumes appear to be the only book-length collections of the
verse of a poet whose work can be found in many periodicals, especially
_sovetish heymland_.  A veteran of four years of military service in the
Red Army, Plotkin writes of his lost comrades, of his destroyed shtetl;
elegiac, memorial, nostalgic themes are major strains in his work.  He
laments, as in "biz vanen ikh leb," the suffering of gentiles as well as
of Jews.  His short vignette-like lyrics, such as those I give below,
often paint striking images.

Perhaps one of our readers can identify the placenames mentioned in "biz
vanen ikh leb."



dos shtalekhl, dray klafter in der erd,
hot zikh farhit nokh fun di alte tsaytn.
amol iz do a balegoles ferd
geshtanen far a nayem veg a vaytn.
baginen fleg dos ferdl trinken geyn,
dernokh mit shverer arbet zikh farnemen.
biz itst gefint men dortn shtroy un hey,
a baytsh, a shtekl un a pustn amer.

from _mit an ofn harts_, p. 22, first published _Sovetish heymland_
8:102 (1987).


di kindhayt mayne kholemt zikh mir oft --
a legendare, vayte, nit keyn zate.
ikh ze zi boylet, neyn -- nit nor in shlof,
nit nor a borvese, in lekher un in lates.
un yedes mol, ven shnel tsu mir zi kumt
un glaykh farshvindt un lozt mikh shoyn nit ruen --
far mayne oygn shteyt der trayer hunt,
di ku di broyne, un der alter brunem.

from _mit an ofn harts_, p. 78, first published _Sovetish heymland_
8:102 (1987).

biz vanen ikh leb

di erter, vu ikh bin geven,
atsinder iz shver tsu derkenen.
Velikye, Luki un Rzhev,
un dortn -- fil heylike nemen.

biz vanen ikh otem un leb,
ikh vel mayn zikorn getroyen.
kh'gedenk: in a yishev lem veg
hot opgeshtelt mir a poyer.

ikh hob bam altn bamerkt
a trer in di oygn un veytik,
vayl ver s'zol nit durkhgeyn, hot er
gemeynt, az a zun zayner geyt es.

from _mit an ofn harts_, p. 107, first published _sovetish heymland_
11:143 (1987).

Date: 30 May 2000
Subject: _The Music of the Mountain Jews_: A Review
From: Leonard Prager 

Piris Eliyahu.  _The Music of the Mountain Jews; Transcriptions and
Commentaries_.  Jerusalem:  The Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, 1999.  [ISBN:  0792-3740].

The phenomenon of Yiddish can only be understood fully in the context of
Jewish linguistic history, which encompasses the chronicles of a score
of "Jewish languages."  In its longevity, geographical range, literary
monuments, socio-cultural and political importance, no Jewish language
-- Hebrew excepted -- can quite compare with Yiddish.  But all Jewish
languages share certain common features such as the use -- at least
originally -- of the Hebrew alphabet and a lexicon including many
loshn-koydesh- (Hebrew-Aramaic) origin terms.  Less happily, all Jewish
languages (Modern Hebrew not excepted) share a common vulnerability --
gradual extinction through assimilation or acculturation of one kind
or another.

One of the most fragile linguistic treasures of the Jewish people is
Juhuri (also known as Judeo-Tat), an Iranian language of Azerbaijan
which has fused elements from Azeri, Turkish and Hebrew, and which until
1929 used the Hebrew alphabet.  Nine years later the Latin alphabet was
adopted, soon to be succeeded by a Cyrillic-based alphabet.  Piris
Eliyahu, an Israeli musicologist of Juhuri origin, has now given us a
splendid study of Juhuri music.  He tells us that "During the last
decades of the nineteenth century, following the Russian conquest of
Daghestan, Jewish and non-Jewish researchers began to express interest
in the folklore and language of the Mountain Jews.  Songs, folk tales
and linguistic studies were published during this period in Russian ....
Periodicals and journals in Juhuri which began to appear in the
twentieth century included folkloric materials.  During the first
decades of the Soviet period, the scholarly interest in the Mountain
Jews slowly declined.  The journal _Vatan Sovetimu_, edited by, among
others, the writer Hizghil Avshalumov and published since 1960, is the
only modern publication in Juhuri."(p. 18)

A single extant publication!  Yiddish, fortunately, is in a considerably
more favorable position.  (Digitalization and the internet will preserve
and make available more and more Yiddish texts.)  Publication of the
attractively produced and scholarly _The Music of the Mountain Jews_
could give Juhuri music a boost -- the book includes numerous scores.
Will it in some way strengthen Juhuri language maintenance?  I do not
believe that the marvelous-in-itself klezmer craze has substantially
strengthened Yiddish-language interest per se, but interest from any
corner is, of course, to be welcomed.

The song texts in the anthology fall into two main groups:  anonymous
folk songs and contemporary songs by twentieth-century Juhuri poets.  A
radio program in Juhuri (c. 1960) encouraged composition of new songs
which became very popular.  The interaction of Jewish and Muslim
performers forged links to non-Jewish music:  "The singers among the
Mountain Jews wrote down the texts of their songs in booklets called
_talmud_.  This term was also adopted by the Muslim population for their
song collections.  This influence stems from the contacts between Jews
and Muslims, often occurring at joint performances of Jewish and
non-Jewish musicians....  The close relations between Jews and Muslims
throughout eastern and northern Caucasus during the past 500 years are
reflected in their musical culture.  Jews and Muslims share repertoires,
musical instruments, musical genres and even musical performances.  In
mixed villages it was customary for Muslims and Jews to invite each
other to their festivities, and, from Baku to Nalchik, for Muslims to
engage Jewish musicians at their celebrations.  Indeed, instrumental
performance was a typical Jewish profession in the eastern Caucasus.
This phenomenon is common in other Islamic countries, such as Persia and
Morocco.  Any separation between Jewish and Muslim repertoires was due
to two factors:  the language and social context of the performance
(i.e.  Jewish events, such as weddings, bar-mitzvahs etc.)."  (p. 19)

The editor develops further this theme of a common musical culture
shared by Jews and Muslims:  "Numerous musical genres represented in
this anthology are shared by Jews and non-Jews:  sections of the Mugham
repertoire (the improvised Mugham, the Rdng and the Tasni]), the
Tdrdkamd dance in Azerbaijan and southern Daghestan, and the Qafa,
Lezginka and Lyr from northern Daghestan and other areas of northern
Caucasus ....  In the twentieth century Jewish musicians adopted
Armenian popular songs and dances from commercial records....  The
central role which Jews played in the musical life of this area is also
reflected in the writings of Muslim writers such as A.M.  Umakhanova
(1991:44).  This close relationship which developed between Jewish and
non-Jewish cultures in the Caucasus is due to their shared geopolitical
and socio-economic heritage...."  A simple explanation such as "because
they lived and worked together" would have sufficed.

Date: 30 May 2000
Subject: Strasbourg Conference Notice
From: Daniel Galay 

                      YIDISH-BAGEGENISH 2000
              fun 5tn bizn 9tn november in Strasbourg

      In farloyf fun der YIDISH-BAGEGENISH 2000 vet di sesye fun
    9tn November in binyen fun Europeyshn Rat zayn gevidmet der teme:

                     FARBINDUNGEN UN MITARBET

Yidish-organizatsyes un aktivistn fun yedn land vern gebetn tsutsushikn
a forshlag mit a hoypt kontsept un praktishe gedanken vi azoy tsu
antviklen ot di dozike teme.  Der forshlag darf zayn formulirt folgndes:

1.  Oyf Yiddish, meglekh oyf a tsveyter Europeysher shprakh
2.  Biz dray zaytn leng
3.  Ongebn oyb m'planirt zikh bateylikn perzenlekh oyf ot der-o sesye
4   Di forshlagn muzn onkumen bizn 31stn oygust, 2000, oyfn adres:

                              HEMSHEKH DOR
                              P.O.B. 29786, Tel-Aviv 61297, ISRAEL
                              Phone: 00972 3 6413273
                              Fax:     00972 3 6429339

Bite, ongebn ale protim (adres, telefon, faks, blitspost) fun der
perzon/amt/organizatsye Ale tsugeshikte forshlagn veln bahandlt vern mit
der grester oyfmerkzamkayt.  Ayer baytrog tsum derfolg fun der sesye vet
helfn koordinirn di yidish-tetikayt in der noenter tsukunft.

Bite, farefntlekhn in der prese un locale krayzn.  A dank fun foroys far
ayer mitarbet.
                            * * * * *

                        YIDDISH SUMMIT 2000
                    STRASBOURG    5-9 NOVEMBER

During the YIDDISH SUMMIT 2000 the session on November the 9th at the
residence of the European Council will be devoted to the issue:


Yiddish organizations and activists from every country are invited to
send proposals with a main concept and practical ideas on how to develop
this issue.

The proposition should be formulated in keeping with the following:

1. It should be in Yiddish, and possibly in another European language.
2. Up to 3 pages long.
3. Indicate if you are planning to attend the session.
4. The deadline for proposals is 31 August 2000.
5. Send proposals to:

                    HEMSHEKH DOR
                    P.O.B. 29786, Tel-Aviv 61297, Israel
                    Phone: 00972 3 6413273
                    Fax:     00972 3 6429339
                    E-mail: asafgl@netvision.net.il

Please give name, position, organization, address, telephone and fax
numbers, and e-mail address.

All proposals will be carefully considered.  By helping to make this
session a fruitful one, you will assure better planning and coordination
of Yiddish activities in the future.

Please circulate this announcement in the media and among your local

Thank you for your cooperation.

Date: 30 April 2000
Subject: "oylem habe" (sholem-aleykhem) [hemshekh fun 4.007)
From: leah krikun 

         "oylem habe" (sholem-aleykhem) [hemshekh fun 4.007)

"lost zikh dinen!" zogt tsu mir eyner fun di andere tsvey gaboim, der
vos me ruft im reb yoysi, a yidl a kleyns mit a halb berdl an
oysgefliktes.  "ir darft visn, yungerman, az ir hot oyf zikh nokh a
bombe:  ir hot nisht keyn papirn, keyn papirn hot ir nit.

"vosere papirn?" freg ikh im.

"fun vanen veysn mir, ver der bar-minan iz? efsher [236] iz dos gor nit
der, vos ir zogt?" makht tsu mir der hoykher mit di dine finger,
elyezer-moyshe heyst dos.

ikh shtey un kuk fun eynem oyfn andern, un yener, der langer mit di dine
finger, vos me ruft im elyezer-moyshe, shokelt tsu mit'n kop un tayt mit
di dine finger un zogt tsu mir:

"yo, yo, yo. efsher hot ir aleyn ergets gekoylet a yidine, un efsher
take ayer eygn vayb, un gebrakht tsu firn aher un dertseylt a mayse:  a
feld-kretshme, dem krethshmer's vayb, tsakhatka, kleyne kinder, oylem

aponim, az ikh bin gevorn rekht toyt fun di dozike dvorim, makhmes
yener, der kleyner, vos me ruft im reb yoysi, hot mir genumen oysredn
dos harts, az, eygentlekh, zey aleyn voltn nit gehat kegn dem gornisht,
vorum vos hobn zey tsu mir? zey zenen mikh, kholile, nit khoyshed, zey
farshteyn gants gut, az dokh bin ikh nit keyn gazlen un nit keyn koyler.
nor ikh bin dokh fort, zogt er, a fremder, un a bar-minan iz nit keyn
zekl kartofles, me hot tsu ton mit a toytn menthsn, mit a mes....s'iz,
zogt er, bay undz faran a rabiner un, lehavdl, an uryadnik, a protokol
muz men makhn....

"yo, yo, yo! a protokol! a protokol! shtelt arayn der langer, vos me
ruft im elyezer-moyshe, un tayt mit'n finger un kukt oyf mir fun oybn
arop mit azelkhe oygn, glaykh vi ikh volt do beemes opgeton epes
azelkhes, vos me kumt mir kriminal....ikh hob shoyn mer keyn verter nit;
ikh fil nor, vi a shveys iz mir aroysgetrotn oyfn shtern, un s'iz mir
gevorn, nit far aykh gedakht, nisht gut oyf tsu khaleshn. ikh hob gut
farshtanen di viste-finstere [237] lage mayne, vi mies ikh hob mikh do
arayngekhapt; s'iz mir geven a bizoyn mit a fardros mit a hartsveytik
ineynem. hob ikh mikh meyashev geven:  vos vel ikh do makhn mit zey
lange makhzokes? gey ikh un nem aroys dos taysterl un ruf mikh on tsu di
dray gaboem fun khevre-kdishe:

"hert-zhe oys, yidn, di mayse derfun iz azoy:  ikh ze shoyn, az kh'hob
mikh do gut arayngekhapt, der guter yor hot mikh getrogn, ikh zol zikh
opshteln in a feld-kretshme onvaremen zikh un trefn akurat demolt, van
dem kretshmer's vayb farglust zikh makhn a shtarb, un hern vi a yid an
oreman, a metupl mit kinder, bet zikh, redt mikh tsu, ikh zol zikh koyfn
oylem habe-- badarf es mikh kostn rebe gelt. ot hot ir aykh mayn tayster
mit gelt, ikh farmog arum un arum besakh hakl a kerblek itlekhe un
zibetsik; nemt aykh un tut aykh, vi ir farshteyt; mir lozt nor iber oyf
der hatsoe biz radamishli, un nemt tsu bay mir dem bar-minan un lozt
mikh aroys fun danan mit'n lebn.        aponim, az mayne verter zenen gezogt
gevorn mit harts, vorum ale dray gaboem hobn zikh ibergekukt tsvishn
zikh, nisht gevolt zikh tsurirn tsu mayn taysterl, mit gelt, un hobn mir
gezogt, az s'iz bay zey, kholile, nit sodom; emes, dos shtetl iz take an
orem shtetl, un kabtsonim zenen bay zey faran a sakh mer fun ngidem, nor
nemen onfaln oyf a fremdn mentshn un zogn im:  "zshid, davay roshe" --
dos fe! mahaktiti, vifil ikh vel gebn mit mayn gutn viln, iz gut; poter
beloy klum -- dos geyt nit, s'iz an orem shtetl. haynt epes shamoshim,
khevre noysa-hametekh, takhrikhim, bronfn, karke-geld, geveyntlekh, tsu
bislekh, shitn darf men nit, vorum shitn hot keyn shier nit!

[238] meyle, vos zol ikh aykh nokh dertseyln vayter? der kretshmer zol
farmogn di ri"sh alafim, volt zayn vayb nit gekont hobn aza levaye, vi
zi hot gehat! dos gantse shtetl iz zikh tsunoyfgelofn onkukn dem
yungenman, vos hot gebrakht a bar-minan. eyner dem andern hot ibergegebn
di mayse mit a yungenman un mit a bar-minan zeyer a raykhn, a raykhe
shviger (fun vanen hobn zey genumen, az s'iz mayn shviger?), iz men
gekumen mkabl ponem zayn dem raykhn yungenman, vos hot gebrakht di
raykhe shviger un shit mit gelt....me hot mamesh getayt oyf mir mit di
finger. un oreme layt? kekhoyl hayom! zint ikh leb, zint ikh shtey oyf
mayne fis, hob ikh azoy fil oreme layt nit gezen! erev yom kiper far der
shul iz gor keyn dimyon nit! me hot mikh geshlept far di poles, gerisn
oyf shtiklekh. a kleynikayt, a yungerman, vos shit mit gelt? a glik, vos
di gaboim hobn zikh ongenumen mayn krivde, nisht derlozt mikh, ikh zol
avekgebn dos gantse gelt, un iberhoypt yener hoykher, vos mit di dine
finger, elyezer-moyshe heyst dos, iz nit opgetrotn fun mir oyf keyn rega
un hot nit oyfgehert tsu taynen mit mir un taytn mit di finger:
"yungerman! shit nor nisht mit keyn gelt! shitn hot keyn shier nit!" nor
vos mer yener hot getaynet ikh zol nit "shitn", hobn zikh alts mer
gekloybn arum mir shlepers un gerisn fun mir shtiker fleish:
"nishkoshe!" hobn geshrien di oreme layt.  "nishkoshe, az me bagrobt aza
raykhe shviger, meg men zikh lozn kostn nokh a por groshns! di shviger
hot im gelozt genug gelt! khutz zayn shodn oyf undz gezogt gevorn!"

"yungerman!" shrayt eyner a shleper un shlept mikh bay der pole.
"yungerman! git undz oyf tsveyen eyn [239] halb kerbl! khotsh a
fertsiker git undz. mir zenen tsvey geboyrene kalikes, eyner a blinder,
der anderer a krumer. git undz khotsh a gildn, a gildn oyf tsvey
kalikes, tsvay kalikes eyn gildn zenen tomed vert!....

"vos hert ir, vos er vet aykh dertseyln kalikes?" shrayt nokh a shleper
un shtupt-op yenim shleper mit di fis.  "ot dos heyst bay im kalikes? a
kalike iz mayn vayb, on hent, on fis, on layb un lebn, un mit kleyne
kinder oykh kranke. git mir khotsh, yungerman, nokh a pitakl vel ikh
zogn kadish nokh ayer shviger, zi zol hobn a likhtikn ganeyden!         itzter
lakh ikh; damolt bin ikh geven vayt fun gelekhter, vorum di khevre
oremelayt zenen gevaksn vi oyf heyvn. me hot in eyn halbe sho farfleytst
dem gantsn mark; s'iz umeglekh geven zikh rirn mit der mita. di khevre
shamoshim hobn mit shtekns gemuzt nemen zikh tsetraybn dem oylem; iz
derfun aroys a geshleg; hobn zikh shoyn ongehoybn klaybn arum undz goyim
oykh un goyes un shkotsimlekh un shikses laroyv, biz es hot dergreykht
in de hoykhe fenster, farshteyt ir, un es hot zikh bavizn der adoyn der
uradnik, raytndik oyf a ferd, mit a baytshl in hant, un hot mit eyn kuk
un mit itlekhe gute baytshlekh tsetribn dem gantsn oylem, vi di
foygelekh, un aleyn iz er arop fun'm ferd un tsugegangen tsu der mita
khoyker vedoyresh zayn, vos do tut zikh, ver iz dos geshtorbn, fun vos
iz men geshtorbn, un vos iz azoy farfleytst der mark? tsum ershtn iz im
gefeln a freg ton mikh, ver bin ikh, fun vanen un vuhin for ikh dos? iz
mir gevorn "pirkhe neshomti", un bin geblibn on loshn. ikh veys nit, vos
dos [240] iz? derze ikh an uradnik, loz ikh op hent un fis, khotsh ikh
hob oyf mayn lebn nisht ongerirt, ve me zogt, keyn flig oyf der vant, un
ikh veys gants gut, az an uradnik iz a mentsh, a boser-vedom glaykh mit
ale mentshn. aderabe, ikh ken a yidn, vos lebt mit'n uradnik, vi andere
tsvey, geyn ayns tsum andern tsu-gast, kumt yontef est der uradnik baym
yidn fish un dem yidn iz der uradnik mikoved mit eyer, kon zikh gor nit
oploybn, vos far a goy dos iz! un fun destvegn, az ikh derze an uradnik,
antloyf ikh. aponem, az s'iz a yerushe-zakh, vorum ikh aleyn, darft ir
visn, kum aroys fun "geshmisene", fun di slaviter heyst dos, take fun di
emese slaviter vos bimey vosiltshikov, vos vegn dem hob ikh aykh tsu
dertseyln un tsu dertseyln gantse pek! nor sha! ikh bin shoyn, dakht
mir, oyf yener zayt boyberik?....       hot mikh, heyst dos, der adoyn der
uradnik genumen oyfn tsimbl:  ver bin ikh un vos bin ikh un fun vanen un
vuhin for ikh? gey dertseyl im a mayse, az ikh zits baym shver in zvahil
oyf kest un dos for ikh keyn radamishli nokh a pas! lang lebn zoln take
di gaboim, vos zey hobn mikh oysgeleyzt fun a tsore:  eyner fun yene
tsvey gaboim, der kleyner vos mit'n oysgefliktn berdl, hot avekgerufn
dem adoyn oyf a zayt, mit im epes gesoydet zikh dortn, un der hoykher
vos mit di dine finger hot mikh dervayle gelernt un ayngetayt mit di
finger, vos ikh zol zogn:

"yehudi beloy! ir dabert im, az ir zent a higer, nor ir zitst nit vayt
samukh leir, un dos iz ayer khamuti, heyst dos di shviger ayere iz
nifter gevorn, zent ir [241] gekumen aher zi mekaver zayn, un beshas ir
vet im nasnen in yad arayn, zolt ir oysklern epes a nomen fun der
hagode, un dem orl ayern veln mir avekrufn in beys arayn un mikoved zayn
mit a tsintsenet yash, loz er zikh nit dreyen do far di eynayim, vet
zayn toyv meoyd! un der adoyn der uradnik iz arayn mit mir in a shtub un
hot mikh genumen tsum protokol. es zol mikh azoy visn bayz mit aykh
ineynim, vi ikh veys, vos ikh hob em dortn ongebebet. ikh gedenk nor, az
ikh hob epes gebelebetshet mit der tsung, vos s'iz mir gekumen oyfn
zinen, dos hob ikh gezogt, un er hot farshribn oyf papir.

-- vi azoy ruft men dikh?

-- movshe.

-- dem tatn?

-- itsko.

-- vifil bist du alt?

-- nayntsn yor.

-- a bavaybter?

-- a bavaybter.

-- kinder faran?

-- faran.

-- vos iz dayn tuekhts?

-- a soykher.

-- ver iz dos geshtorbn?

-- mayn shviger.

-- vi azoy hot zi geheysn?

-- yente.

[242] -- ir foter?

-- gershn.

-- vifil alt iz zi geven?

-- fertsik yor.

-- fun vos iz zi geshtorbn?

-- fun a dershrek.

-- fun a dershrek?

-- fun a dershrek.

-- vos heyst fun a dershrek? -- makht tsu mir un leygt avek di pen,
faroykhert a papiros un batrakht mikh fun kop biz fis, un ikh fil, az
ot-ot klept zikh mir tsu di tsung tsum gumen.  hob ikh mikh meyashev
geven, ikh halt shoyn bemeyle in bakn shkorim, darf men bakn vayter!  un
ikh hob im dertseylt a gantse mayse, vi azoy mayn shviger iz gezesn eyne
aleyn iber an arbet, gearbet a zok, un hot zikh fargesn, az in shtub
zitst irs a yingl, Efroyim heyst er, shoyn a bokherl fun a yor draytsn,
nokh an opgerisener nar, a lekish, shpilt zikh nokh mitn shotn.  iz er
zikh meyashev un leygt tsunoyf unter der shvigers pleytses beyde hent
un makht a tsigele oyf der vant fun'm shotn un efnt oyf dos moyl un tut
a geshrey "meeee!"  iz zi aropgefaln funem benkl, di shviger heyst dos,
un iz geshtorbn.

azoy veb ikh im a lang-modnem lign, un er kukt, lozt nit arop keyn oyg
fun mir di gantse tzayt, un ikh red, shit, belebetshe mit der tsung, ikh
veys aleyn nit vos.... oysgehert mikh biz'n sof, shpayt er oys, visht
zikh oys [243]di royte vontses, geyt aroys mit mir in droysn aroys tsu
der mita. dekt oyf di shvartse dek, tut a kuk der geshtorbener in ponim,
tut a makh mit'n kop, vi eyner redt:  "s'iz epes nit glat!"....ikh kuk
oyf im, er oyf mir, nokhdem ruft er zikh on tsu di gaboem:

"nu, di geshtorbene kont ir bahaltn, un im, dem dozikn khevreman, muz
ikh do farhaltn, biz ikh vel oysforshn di zakh, tsi s'iz emes, az dos iz
zayn shviger un az zi iz geshtorbn fun a dershrek."

ir kont zikh forshteln, vi biter un finster mir iz gevorn fun der
doziker bsure! far tsores hob ikh zikh opgekerevet on a zayt un hob zikh
tseveynt -- vi azoy, meynt ir, tseveynt? vi a kleyn kind.

"yungerman! vos veynt ir?"  -- makht tsu mir yener, der kleynitshker,
vos me ruft im reb yoysi, un er treyst mikh, redt mir oys dos harts, az
s'vet mir gornit shodn, vorum mima nafshekho:  bin ikh do reyn -- vos
zhe hob ikh moyre?  _"az me est nit keyn knobl, hert zikh nit fun'm
moyl" -- leygt-tsu reb shepsl der gabe mit aza shmeykhele, az es glust
zikh mir oyfvarfn im tsvey flomfayerike petsh in beyde grobe bakn....
gvald! vos hot mir genutst oystrakhtn aza miesn grobn lign, araynmishn
aher di shviger mayne? es geyt mir take mer nit op tsu mayne zaydene
kleyder, es zol dergeyn tsu ir di dosike mayse, vi azoy ikh hob zi
lebedikerheyt bagrobn durkh a dershrek!....

"yehudi beloy, shrekt zikh nor nit azoy, got iz mit aykh! der adoyn iz
gornit aza beyzer adoyn, vi ir meynt. ir natnet im nor in yad
arayn....un dabert im, er [244] zol mit'n protokol makhn beloy....der
adoyn iz a kluger adoyn, a durkhgetribener; er veyst gants gut, as
altsding,vos ir hot do gedabert, iz mekhile sheker vekazav."

azoy makht tsu mir reb elyezer-moyshe un taytlt mir mit di dine finger.
ikh zol konen, volt ikh im tserisn oyf tsveyen, vi me tserayst,
ashteyger, a hering. ingantsn hot er dokh mikh aroyfgefirt oyf dem
dozikn glitsh, yemakh shmoy vezikhroy!....

ikh kon mer nisht dertseyln. ikh kon afile nit dermonen mikh vos ikh hob
damolt gehat! ir farshteyt dokh shoyn aleyn, az di itlekhe gildn hot men
bay mir tsugenumen, in kotshument arayn hot men mikh ayngezetst un a
mishpet hob ikh oyf zikh gehat -- nor dos iz nokh alts blote kegn dem,
vos kh'hob gehat nokhdem, az s'iz dergangen tsu mayn shver un shviger,
az zeyer eydem zitst far a mes, vos er hot gebrakht tsu firn fun
ergets....se farshteyt zikh, az zey zenen glaykh gekumen tsuforn un hobn
zikh gemeldet, az zey zenen mayne shver un shviger -- ot do hot zikh
ersht farkokht di rekhte khasene:  fun eyn zayt politsie nemt mikh oyfn
tsimbl:  "sheyner bokher vos du bizt! vi bald az di shviger dayne, yente
bas gershn, lebt, haynt ver iz geven di geshtorbene?"....dos iz numer
eyns. vehasheynis, hot zikh genumen tsu mir di shviger zol lebn:  "ikh
freg dikh nor eyn zakh:  zog mir nor, vos host du gehat tsu mir nemen un
bagrobn mikh a lebedike?!" zelbstfarshtendlikh, az oyfn mishpet hot zikh
aroysgevizn, az ikh bin reyn, vi gingold; es hot gekost gelt, me hot
aropgebrakht eydes, dem kretshmer mit di kinder, un me hot mikh fun
gefengenish bafrayt. nor vos [245] ikh bin demolt oysgeshtanen, un
iberhoypt fun der shviger -- dos vintsh ikh nit dem grestn, dem ernstn
soyne!  --

fun demolt on antloyf ikh fun oylem habe....
End of _The Mendele Review_ 04.008

Leonard Prager, editor

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