Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker
(Gimpl Beynish der Shadkhn)
Yiddish Comics of the early 20th century

Translation and commentary by Jane Peppler
Click here to read about and order the seven Gimpel books I've published.

Comics read right to left. Click on any comic strip for larger view.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How is it his fault if it didn't turn out well? Marriages arranged by matchmakers were just as bad as the ones we arrange for ourselves.

I guess matchmakers are like surgeons: they do the deed and move on, they never look back. I'd think in a small community the matchmaker would be surrounded by his successes and failures. Without benefit of hindsight (for instance, of we who chose spouses without him) he couldn't tell the unhappy husbands and wives: "If you'd chosen for yourself you'd have done just as badly, or worse."

March 19, 1914: And there are still people who don't believe the dead can rise from their graves.
  1. GB: Why's he looking at me so angrily? I'm afraid he's a robber or a kidnapper.
  2. The stranger: Say, mister, aren't you perhaps Gimpel Beynish the matchmaker? Tell me quickly - yes or no?!
  3. The stranger: Yes? And do you know who I am? Do you recognize me? Well, why are you struck dumb?
  4. The stranger: You don't know? Well, I was one of your customers. You made me a match that...
  5. GB: Police! Murder! How is it my fault if it didn't turn out well?

3-19-1914 און נאָך זײַנען דאָ מענשען, װאָס גלױבען ניט אַז טױטע שטעהען אױף פֿון זײערע קבֿרים.
גימפּעל בײניש: װאָס קוקט ער אױף מיר אַזױ בײז? איך האָב מורא, ער מוז זײַן אַ גזלן אָדער אַ קידנעפּער.
דער פֿרעמדער: סעי, מיסטער, זײַט איהר ניט אפֿשר גימפּעל בײניש דער שדכן? זאָגט שנעל – יאָ, אָדער נײן?
דער פֿרעמדער: יאָ? און װײסט איהר װער איך בין? דערקענט איהר מיך? נו, װאָס זײַט איהר שטום געװאָרען?
דער פֿרעמדער: איהר װײסט ניט? נו, איך בין געװען אײערער אַ קאָסטימער. איהר האָט מיר גערעדט דעם שידוך, װאָס - - -
גימפּעל בײניש: פּאָליץ! מױרדער! װאָס בין איך שולדיג, אַז עס האָט זיך אױסגעלאָזט ניט גוט?


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