[Mendele] Mendele Vol. 19.024

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Sun Apr 25 20:14:21 EDT 2010

Mendele: Yiddish literature and language

Contents of Vol. 19.024
April 25, 2010

1) I.B. Singer story sought (Russell Block)
2) gram shtram (Barnett Zumoff)
3) gram shtram (Martin Davis)
4) demoniac (Josh Price)
5) finfer turem, finfer shlos (Petr Jan Vins)
6) Shakespeare's "The Tempest in Yiddish (Rebecca Jane Fletcher)
7) Sutskevers a lid (Shimen Noyberg)

Subject: I.B. Singer story sought
Date: April 17, 2010

I am trying to identify a short story by I.B. Singer that I read some 
years ago.  Here is a brief summary of the plot:

A Holocaust survivor living in New York City receives an invitation to a 
ball for survivors from his shtetl to be held in lower Manhattan. Although 
the weather is cold and it is snowing heavily, he decides at the last 
moment to attend.

He hails a taxi to take him downtown and, then, a few blocks from his 
destination, the  taxi is involved in an accident.  He decides to go the 
rest of the way on foot.

Arriving at the ball, he sees many old friends, some of whom he thought to 
be dead. After a while, he realizes that he too is dead.

This is one of the most chilling ghost stories I have ever read.

Can anyone identify the title and the volume in which it was published?
Naturally, I would "die" to get hold of the original Yiddish text.

Russell Block
Subject: gram shtram
Date: April 11, 2010

Could this be a reference to the lines "gram, shtram, latutnik," from "I 
am Mani Leyb" (by, of course, Mani Leyb) (cf. Goldsmith's Yiddish 
Literature in America)? I have translated those lines as: Gram, shtram, 
patch-maker", referring to the fact that Mani Leyb was a cobbler.

Barnett Zumoff

Date: April 11, 2010
Subject: gram shtram

In my family it was "gram shtram, makh mir a gramida"; I've never heard 

Martin Davis
Date: April 15, 2010
Subject: demoniac

One of my professors wonders if there is a Yiddish equivalent for the noun 
Harkavy gives "eyner vos hot in zikh a sheyd." This seems, however, rather 

Josh Price
Date: April 11, 2010
Subject: finfer turem, finfer shlos

Just an idea...

I would understand "Finfer-turem, Finfer-shlos" as a reference to Prague's 
Lesser Quarter, which has an coat of arms with five towers.

See the coat of arm here:

Greetings from Prague
Petr Jan Vins
Date: April 12, 2010
Subject: Shakespeare's "The Tempest"


I am seeking any information on the Yiddish version of Shakespeare's "The 
Specifically, I want to learn when the first translation into Yiddish was 
published.  Also, I have read that "Di shturem" was one of the final 
productions mounted in Warsaw just prior to war.  Does anyone know if "Di 
shturem" was produced on an earlier occasion in Warsaw and, if so, at 
which theater and when?  How often was it performed in Yiddish?  How 
popular might it have been?  Whatever information you may have, or leads 
to information, would be much appreciated.
With thanks,
Rebecca Joy Fletcher
Date: April 12, 2010
Subject: Sutskevers a lid

Sheva Tsuker bet dem original tsu der iberzetsung fun Sutskevers a lid:

You say: There is no God. No world creator.
If so, my friend, it seems, the miracle is greater:
He isn't and created all that isn't, all that is,
Light and shade, rainbows of madness, all are his:

dos lid gefint zikh i in "Fun alte un yunge ksav-yadn" z. 190 in 
"Tsviling-bruder" z. 75 (dem ershtn opdruk 1976 in der "Goldene Keyt" hob 
ikh nit gezukht). dos lid geyt azoy:

du zogst: nito keyn boyre-oylem. veyst mistome beser,
nor oyb azoy, kolege, iz der vunder, dakht zikh, greser:
nito, un hot bashafn di nitoen un di doen,
baynand mit likht un shotn un kolirn fun shigoen.

bashafn lebn un bashafn toyt oyf lange yorn,
mir zoln bloyz an eyntsik mol farzukhn zayne kraytekhtser.
bashafn klangen-perl in der mushl fun zikorn
un volkndlekh mit zeyere farvandlungen un baytekhtser.

du zogst: a goyrl nemt men in di eygene yodayim,
kolege, ikh bin maskim az tsu nemen iz keday im.
vu nemt men im? un vi azoy? dertseyl es mayne finger,
dem eyfl-turem nemen oyfn aksl iz dokh gringer.

dayn shotn hot arayngekert, zet oys, a tseber mashke,
nor kh'muz a sod fartroyen in zikh hoydendike oyern:
aleyn dem goyrl trogn iz bloyz feik a murashke,
derheybn zikh tsu ir madreyge darf undz nokh gedoyern.

mit hartsike grusn,
Sh. Noyberg
End of Mendele Vol. 19.024

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