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.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yom Kippur and Sukkot customs: 9-29-1914, 10-1-1914

"Beating lashes" - that is, the custom of self-flagellation on the day before Yom Kippur, is still practiced in some circles is in Yiddish shlogn malkes. There was also shlogn al kheyt - to beat your chest while saying Al Het ("For the sin...") during the Yom Kippur service.

As soon as Yom Kippur is over, you're supposed to get to work building your sukkah. Gimpel was a little late to the party...

September 29, 1914: Gimpel Beynish has a very busy start to his Yom Kippur.
  1. GB: One should carry out the mitzvah of beating lashes, afterwords fasting, and 'that's all.'
  2. GB: Say, Mister Beadle. Of course you know me. So let's have at it, let's have a bit of flagellation - but with mercy.
  3. GB: I also gave him a wife. All are helped by my precious matches.
  4. Beadle: Now I have a chance to get even with him for my sweet witch. One - two - three!
  5. GB: This is how you observe Jewish customs? Loafer, antisemite - may you go to war.

And this happened before Kol Nidrei, that's to say, right before fasting.
  1. GB: Jake, I see the match pleases you.
  2. GB: Let's hear a word, say yes, it's getting late.
  3. Jake: Ahh, I'm sleepy. We'll do it another day.
  4. GB: See how he bothered me for three hours?
  5. GB: And now it's time for Kol Nidrei, it's already too late to eat.

October 1, 1914: Even mitzvahs are scarce these days.
  1. Praised be He - the fast is over. Now I can get back to business.
  2. What's this? A wagon full of hay? It reminds me of something.
  3. One should already be thinking about a sukkah. I'll get right to work.
  4. I'll go bang in the first stake -- and get the mitzvah.
  5. I can't even get the mitzvah. Robbers! Devils! Thieves!

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