Akh, vi voyl s'iz tsu zayn a yid!

How good it is to be a Jew!

[Source: Ginzburg, S.M. & Marek, P.S., Yiddish Folksongs in Russia. Photo repreoduction of the 1901 St. Petersburg Edition. Bar-Ilan University Press, 1991]

[Also called: Yontev Peysekh - Listen to Adrienne Cooper z"l singing a similar version here]

[See: "Jewish Festivals"; "Ashkenazi Food"; "Shavuot"]

Der tog fun Pesekh iz keyn kleynigkayt,

Ven Got hot uns fun Mitsrayim bafrayt.

Parez harts mit makes bashmirt

Un undz dem yam aribergefirt.

Akh, vi voyl, akh vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Der far esen mir matse-kneydlekh

Un bay'n seder zitsen gantse redlekh

Fun arba keyses vert men freylekh,

Un yeder yid iz bay zikh a melekh.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Shvues iz dokh a fargenigen, kh'lebn,

Ven Got hot unz di toyre gegeben.

Derfar esen mir kreplekh un puterkukhen,

Un yeder muz derfun farzukhen.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Rosh-Hashono blost men sheyfer,

Un fun di alies vert yeder yid a koyfer,

Me geyt zikh opshoklen bay dem taykh

Fun di aveyres vos m'hot a sakh.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Erev Yom Kiper makht men vaksene likht,

In dem tog fun Yom Kiper veren ale gerikht.

A gantsen tog geyen ale in zoken,

Un bay nakht shlogt'n arayn in suke a floken.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Sukes, 'kh-leben a fargenigen,

Ven man un vayb heren zikh oyf tsu krign.

Zi git im esen, nit keyn bisel,

Vayl der shokhen kukt arayn in shisel.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Di vokh fun khanuke iz a velt,

Ven ale geyen klayben khanuke-gelt.

Kabtsonim fardripenen zikh iber di knies,

Freg ikh: tsi, dos iz mies!

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

 

Der tog fun Purim iz keyn khayes,

Ofn gas zet men alts a nayes:

Do freyt men zikh mit der kehile,

Do shlogt men homonen bay der megile.

Oy vi sheyn, oy vi gut,

Iz dokh tsu zayn a yid!

Pesach day is no small thing,

When God freed us from Egypt.

He weakened Pharao's heart with plagues

And He led us over the sea.

Oh, how nice, and oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

That's why we eat matsa kneydlach,

And everyone crowds around the seder.

We get merry on four cups of wine,

And every Jew is a king.

Oh, how lovely, oh how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

Shavuot is a real delight, I swear,

When God gave us the Torah.

Therefore we eat kreplach and butter cakes,

And everyone has to try them.

Oh, how great, and oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

On Rosh Hashana we blow shofars,

And everyone is able to be called to the Torah,

We go to the river and shake out

Our sins, which we have plenty of.

Oh, how lovely and oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

On the eve of Yom Kippur we make wax candles

And on that day everyone is right.

All day long we go around in stockinged feet,

And at night stick in the first pole of the succah.

Oh, how nice, and oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

Succot, I swear, is a pleasure

When man and wife stop fighting.

She gives him food, and not just a little,

Because the neighbour is looking at the dish.

Oh, how nice, oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

On Chanuka week, it's customary

For everybody to collect chanuka money.

Beggars ooze all around you,

I ask you: isn't that ugly!

Oh, how lovely, oh, how good

It is to be a Jew!

 

On Purim day there are no animals,

Everything on the street looks new:

Here we all have a good time,

Eating hamentashen near the Purim scroll.

Oh, how lovely, oh, how good

            It is to be a Jew!