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.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A continued fascination with trenches: 11-11-1914

The breezy Yiddish used in these captions is so charming, and so at odds with the reality of being shot at.

About the Sambatyon resting, from the Jewish Virtual Library:
SAMBATYON (also Sanbatyon and Sabbatyon), a legendary river. ... The first ascription of miraculous qualities to this river is found in the Talmud. When Tinneius Rufus asked R. Akiva how he could prove that the Sabbath was divinely ordained as the day of rest, he replied, "Let the River Sambatyon prove it." It was unnavigable on weekdays because it flowed with strong currents carrying along stones with tremendous force, but it rested on the Sabbath.

November 11, 1914: He discovers a new word and a hiding place on the battlefield.
  1. The shooting has begun again already. They don't rest like the Sambatyon.
  2. Woe is me! They could still find me. How am I part of the war?
  3. Gevald! Police! Murder! They could kill me! I'm not at war with anyone.
  4. Where can one hide from the demons? What a war: not even me do they treat tenderly.
  5. What do they call this - trenches? Let it be trenches, as long as one's life is a bit more secure.

November 11 1914 headline: German airships bombard English cities

ער ענטדעקט אַ נײַעם װאָרט און אַ בעהעלטעניש אױפֿ׳ן שלאַכטפֿעלד.

שױן, עס האָט זיך שױן װידער אָנגעהײבען אַ שיסערײ. זײ רוהען ניט װיא דער סמבטיון.
אָה װעה איז מיר! זײ קענען נאָך מיר אױך טרעפֿען. װאָס האָב איך דאָ צו טהון מיט דער מלחמה?
גװאַלד! פּאָליץ! מױרדער! זײ װעלען מיך נאָך דער׳הרג׳ענען! איך פֿיהר מיט קײנעם ניט קײן מלחמה.
װאו בעהאַלט מען זיך פֿון דיא רוצחים? נו, איז דאָס אַ מלחמה: אַז אַפֿילו מיך שאַנעװעט מען ניט.
װיא רופֿען זײ דאָס - ״טרענשעס״? זאָל זײַן טרענשעס, אַבי מען איז כאָטש זיכער מיט׳ן לעבען.

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