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, November 14, 2016

1915 started out with horror, but Gimpel gets a windfall. 1-1-1915

The war in Europe was weighing heavily on everyone's hearts... here's Samuel Zagat's political cartoon published January 1, 1915:

Born in an unlucky hour.
On the globe: EUROPE. Below, 1915 says: Better I had never come to the world rather than to fall into such a hellish punishment where the cannons drown out every human voice.

Meanwhile, it seems to have been a custom around New Year's to pay off your debts - or to come chasing after people who haven't paid their debts to you. Here, happily, Gimpel is on the receiving end.

January 1, 1915: The new year begins very well for him.
  1. GB: Why are you hanging around? I don't know you.
  2. Jake: You don't recognize me, Mr. Gimpel Beynish? How can that be? Of course I'm...
  3. GB: Don't try to pull anything on me, I know about bluffs. You're a detective.
  4. Jake: I've been owing you some matchmaking money, and today in honor of the New Year, take this fifty.
  5. GB: If the year begins with such madness, what'll happen next?

דער נײַער יאָהר פֿאַנגט זיך פֿאַר איהם אָן זעהר גוט.

גימפּעל בײניש: װאָס האָסטו זיך אָנגעטשעפּעט? איך קען דיך ניט און װײס דיך ניט.
דזשײק: איהר דערקענט מיך ניט, מיסטער גימפּעל בײניש? סטײַטש, איך בין דאָך…
גימפּעל בײניש: דרעה קײן קאָפּ ניט, איך פֿערשטעה מיך אױף דיא בלאָפֿס. ביזט אַ דעטעקטיװ.
דזשײק: איך בין דאָך אײַך שולקדיג שדכנות, איז הײַנט לכּביד נײַ-יאָהר, נאַט אײַך אַ פֿופֿציגער.
גימפּעל בײניש: אַז דער יאָהר פֿאַנגט זיך אָן מיט אַזאַ משוגענעס, װאָס װעט שױן זײַן שפּעטער?

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