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, December 1, 2015

We suddenly find out, off-handedly, that Gimpel has a wife. 4-9-1914

An advantage of my having looked at every single Gimpel comic strip from the very beginning is that I can say with confidence: this is the first time we have heard of Gimpel's wife (a few strips ago Mirke mentioned Gimpel's sister-in-law, but that could have meant he had a brother).

It was Professor Shalom Goldman who explained the phrase in the second panel, he wrote:
Barukh she-PeTarani is what the father of the bar-mitzvah boy says when the boy is called up to the Torah and is [subsequently] responsible for his own actions.

April 9, 1914: The relative from his wife's side torments him utterly.
  1. GB: Talk amongst yourselves, children. We old people are like a fifth wheel on the wagon.
  2. GB: I'm no longer responsible for your actions, go get yourself annoyed by the girl. Now I can attend to some real business.
  3. GB: It's almost Passover and without a bride you'll look like a clown. Obey me and...
  4. Mirke's voice: Uncle! Uncle! He doesn't want me, the bum you arranged my match with. Give me another one.
  5. Mirke herself: I want this one. You can hitch us up. You hear? I like this one for a bridegroom.

דיא קרובֿה פֿון זײַן װײַב׳ס צד דערגעהט איהם גאָר די יאָהרען.

גימפּעל בײניש: רעדט זיך אַלײן דורך, קינדערלעך. מיר, אַלטע לײַט, זײַנען דערבײַ װיא אַ פֿינפֿטער ראָד צום װאַגען.
גימפּעל בײניש: ברוך שפּמרני, קױם זיך אָפּגעטשעפּעט פֿון דער מױד. איצט קען איך מיר אַטענדען טאַקע אמת׳ע ביזנעס.
גימפּעל בײניש: עס איז פֿאַר פּסח און אהן אַ כּלה װעסטו אַ פּנים האָבען װיא אַ לץ. פֿאָלג מיך און…
מירקע׳ס שטימע: פֿעטער! פֿעטער! ער װיל מיך ניט, דער יאָלד װאָס איהר האָט מיר גע׳שדכן׳ט. גיט מיר אַן אַנדערען.
מירקע אַלײן: אָט דעם װיל איך. איהר קענט מיר איהם רײדען. איהר הערט? ער געפֿעהלט מיר פֿאַר אַ חתן.

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