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.

Friday, December 25, 2015

For Shavuous Gimpel receives a "bundle of greens" and his life changes forever. 5-29-1914

There's a lot going on in today's comic strip.

In late May or early June we have Shavuous, a holiday celebrating the wheat harvest in Israel. Traditionally one wears new clothes and decorates the home with greens. In this case, the "greens" are Gimpel's wife and children, newly arrived from the old country.

Note that Gimpel uses his medal, acquired in a dubious manner, to bluff his way onto the ship.

Note the fascinating parnose (livelihood) called "puller-in." These guys stand on the sidewalk and try to yank customers into the clothing stores. The boys need new clothes for Shavuot and for their new lives in America! (There's a puller-in in my town, he wears a serape and a sombrero and carries a sign, "Eat at El Patron," but he doesn't lay hands on anybody.)

May 29, 1914: He receives a fine "bundle of greens" for Shavuos and it will probably be a happier holiday.
  1. Sailor: Say, mister, where are you creeping there onto the ship? Excuse me, you'll have to go for your bundle of greens on Ellis Island.
  2. GB: Respect, please, you scamp! See this medal? It's from the war! I may go anywhere I please.
  3. GB: Greetings, my wife and children. You'll soon be all right. You'll see who I am!
  4. Puller-in: Mister, your children have to have suits for Shavuous. Come into the store with me - half price!
  5. Another Puller-in: This is a disgrace, to treat children this way. Come in, we'll turn you into princes!

ער קריגט אַ פֿײַן בינטעל גרינס אױף שבועות און מסתּמא װעט שױן זױן אַ פֿרעהליכער יום טובֿ.

מאַטראָן: סעי, מיסטער, װאוהין קריכט איהר אױף דער שיף? געהט, זײַט מוחל, נאָך אײַער בינטעל גרינס אױף עליס אײַלענד.
גימפּעל בײניש: דרך ארץ, דוא שײגעץ אײנער! דוא זעהסט דעם מעדאַל? דאָס איז פֿון דער מלחמח! איך מעג געהן איבעראַל.
גימפּעל בײניש: שלום עליכם, מײַן װײַב און קינדערלאַך. איהר װעט באַלד זײַן אָלל-רײַט, איהר׳ט זעהען װער איך בין!
פּולער-אין: מיסטער, אײַערע קינדער מוזען האָבען סוטס אױף שבֿועות. קימט מיט זײ אַרײַן צו אונז אין סטאָר – האַלב אומזיסט.
אַן אַנדער פּולער-אין: עס איז דאָך אַ שאַנדע צי פֿיהרען אַזױ קינדער. קומט אַרײַן, װעלען מיר אײַך מאַכען פֿאַר פּרינצען.


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