Friday, July 31, 2009

A midnight story

(Marc Chagall, “Over Vitebsk”)

Translated with Google translator, since I don’t know how to translate poetry.

Listen to it (after midday of Friday) here. Lyrics (again, sorry for Google translation, with Russian sentence structure preserved — the best thing to do is listen to the song, while looking at the translation):
Hersh-cobbler summer night
After three glasses of vodka,
In a whimsical step was going
From the inn home.
Walking was on an empty street,
Past the old synagogue,
Where prayers were not heard
The long three hundred years.

Breath of cold he felt
From the ruins blackened,
To Hersh seemed as if
A fire blinked.
And immediately stopped,
He leaned to the wall broken,
And looked carefully
In the blue twilight.

He saw eight elders
In the bloody clothes,
A Torah scroll on a stone,
And also a candle.
And above Torah bowed
Old Rebbe Eliyahu,
By cossacks killed
Three hundred years ago.

Alcohol dispelled instantly.
Recoiled Hershle-shoemaker
And wanted to escape, but feet
Grew to the ground!
And looked the late Rebbe
At scared Hersh,
And said: "At last we
We have our minyan. "

To Hersh, he extended his hands,
And in the hands holes of wounds
From the nails that were knocked
Three hundred years ago:
Steadfast the rabbi was in the faith,
And for this cossacks
Nailed Eliyahu
Dead to the wall!

Then said Rabbi sadly:
"Could not we pray,
because were were only nine --
this is not a minyan.
That is why did not hear
Us the Heavenly Almighty,
And it looks like you, shoemaker,
Arrived on time."

And prayed Hershle poor
In the synagogue with the dead,
And as the morning lit up --
He became one of them.
And him found his neighbors --
Shifra-nurse and Dvoyra,
And his widow called,
And they said to her:

"With the dead in minyan
Hersh will remain from now,
So that they could pray
For the living - for us. "
And they told the widow
Empty water from the basin,
Because the angel of death
In it washed his knife.

... Since then passed the years.
No Jews in Yavoritsi.
Faded memory, and over
Our story about them.
But moonless nights
In the ruins of the synagogue
Someone is praying silently
For the living - for us.
Author: Daniel Kluger.

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