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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Gimpel discovers that all the bad things people say about donkeys are true. 5-23-1914

This is a picture of me and my donkey Jethro. I've owned him for eight years. I had dreams that he would pull a carriage and when Armageddon came I would ride him to the grocery store, he would be a vehicle fueled by weeds.

He does pull a carriage but he pulls it straight into the ditch in order to eat weeds. A donkey's first question is always "Why Should I?" Jethro is cute but useless. So this particular Yiddish comic strip plucked at my heart strings.

What he literally says in the first frame: This is a matter of Tza'ar ba'alei chayim, the suffering of living creatures.

May 23, 1914: Again he makes a very uncomfortable discovery.
  1. Say, why are you murdering that old nag? You shouldn't treat her that way.
  2. You ask if she'd walk for me without a beating? A fine question! She'll literally fly!
  3. Well, get moving. Don't embarrass me.
  4. ! ! ? ? ?
  5. A plague on all of Mexico! Even the old nags here are terrible demons!

ער מאַכט װידער אַ זעהר ניט אָנגענעהמע ענטדעקונג.

סעי, װאָס ממית׳טו אַזױ דיא שקאַפּע? עס איז דאָך אַ צער בעלי חײם.
צי זיא װעט בײַ מיר געהען אָהן קלעפּ? אַ שאלח אַביסעל! זיא װעט ממש פֿליהען!
נו, גיב זיך אַ ריהר. לאָמיך פֿון דיר קײן בושות ניט אײַננעהמען…
! ! ! ? ? ?
אַ ניכפּע אױף גאַנץ מעקסיקאָ! אפֿילו דיא שקאַפּעס זײַנען דאָ שרעקליכע רוצחים!

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