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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's in Mirke's vengeful heart that matchmaking and Sing Sing come together. 4-15-1914

Usually it's the bachelors denigrating the girls in front of their faces. This time Mirke calls it as she sees it while the little guy stands there. And so we find that in addition to being less than gorgeous, a bad cook, and picky, she also has a vengeful streak.

This is not the first time Sing Sing prison came up in the Gimpel cartoons. I never knew Sing Sing was built in 1824 and the name came from the Native American meaning "stone on stone." Look below for a picture of "Sparky," the electric chair at Sing Sing around the time of this cartoon.

April 15, 1914: Well, should one tear one's clothes in mourning if he has to give money again to another matchmaker?
  1. Moyshe Motl: Here she is. Just talk to her like a man, we'll be breaking plates before the day is out. Just open your muzzle.
  2. Mirke: Gevald, what good is this barrel of herring to me? Take him away before I call the Board of Health.
  3. Mirke: Where is he, that bluffer? I'm going to unload my angry heart on him. I'm going to knock out his teeth!
  4. Mirke: Robber, thief, gangster! You referred me to the matchmaker Moyshe Motl. Give me as much money as I gave him.
  5. GB: If Sing Sing prison wasn't so far away, I'd take her there and put her on the electric chair.

נו, איז ניט קריעה צו רײַסען אַז ער דאַרף נאָך געבען געלד פֿאַר אַנ אַנדער שדכן?

משה מאָטעל: אָט דאָס איז זיא. נאָר רעדט צו איהר װיא אַ מענש, װעלען מיר נאָך הײַנט ברעכען טעלער. נו, עפֿען אַ פּיסק.
מירקע: געװאַלד, װאָס טױג מיר אַזע פֿעסעל הערינג? נעהמט איהם צו פֿון מיר, װאָרום איך רוף די באָאַרד אָװ העלטה.
מירקע: װאו איז ער, דער בלאָפֿער? מײַן פֿינסטער האַרץ װעל איך באַלד צו איהם אױסלאָזען. דיא צײהן זעץ איך איהם אױס!
מירקע: גזלן, שװינדלער, גענגסטער! איהר האָט מיר נאַרײַעט דעם שדכן משה מאָטעל. גיט מיר אָפּ דאָס געלד װאָס איך האָב איהם געגעבען.
גימפּעל בײניש: װען סינג-סינג װאָלט ניט זײַן אַזױ װײַט, װאָלט איך זיך דורכגעפֿאָהרען אַהין און זיך געזעצט אױפֿ׳ן עלעקטריק טשער.



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