Dem Tatns Reyd

See lecture: "Mothers and Fathers"

"Dayn tatns reyd, her tsu mayn zun,Your father's words, heed, my son,
Ikh farlang dokh gevis dayn glik.I only demand the best for you.
Ikh vil du zolst mir tselib tun,I want you to do my bidding and
Vern a mentsh mit mentshn glaykh.Be a mentsh like others are.
Derfar tu shoyn t'shuve un ver shoyn frum,So repent and become observant,
Fast un zog t'hilim vu mir gefelt,Fast, read the Psalms, as I wish,
Vestu kumen reyn dort far im,So you'll arrive pure before Him,
Far got in himl af yener velt."Before God in heaven, in the other world."
"Akh, kh'lebn tate, ikh farshtey dikh nisht,"Oh, father, I swear I don't understand you.
Tsi der t'suve host mikh ongeredt?You want to convince me to repent?
Far vos zhe zol ikh shoyn t'shuve tun?Why should I repent so soon?
Ikh fil in mir gor keyn khet.I feel no sin in me at all.
Ikh hob nokh veynik geleybt unter der zun,I have not lived long under the sun;
Kh'hob nokh nit tsugeroybt yenem gelt.I have not yet robbed anyone's money,
Heystu mir shoyn t'shuve tun,And you ask me to repent,
Un shadkhnst mir shoyn yene velt?"And you match my future with the world to come."
"Akh, vos redstu, mayn liber zun?"What are you saying, my dear son?
Du host khato'im oyf yedn shrit.You sin at every move.
Ersht nekhtn hostu a gey getunJust last night you walked,
On negl-vaser azoy fil trit.Without a ritual washing for so many steps.
Tsu modim hostu dikh nisht gebukt,At the moydim prayer, you did not bow.
In mitn haftoyre hostu oysgeredt.In the middle of the Torah reading, you spoke.
Vi kohenim dukhenen hostu oykh gekukt.When the kohanim were blessing us, you peeked,
Tu shoyn t'shuve oyf yedn khet."So do penance for every sin."
"Oy, take emes, ikh hob azoy getun,"Oh, indeed it's true, I did these things,
Ober kholile ver laydet derfun?But who has suffered for it?
Ober azoy vi du host nekhtn ba yenem goy,Like yesterday, when you grabbed away
Zayn gelt a khap getun.All the money from that peasant.
Der goy hot nebekh farkoyft zayn ku'The man, alas, had sold his cow

Shteyern tsu tsoln derfun.

To pay his taxes.
Itst nemt men bay im zayn shtibele tsu,Now they are taking his house away.
Meyn ikh gor, az du megst t'shuve tun."So I think you'd better repent."
"Goys toes iz muter, mayn zun."A gentile's error is allowable, my son,
Treyfe-pusl tsu leynen dos iz a khet.But forbidden literature is also a sin.
Mit meydn arumtsugeyn iz oykh a zind.To walk around with girls is a sin, too,
Un oyfn rebn hostu oykh geredt.And you gossiped about the rabbi.
Du gleybst in keyn kishef', in keyn rukhes,You don't believe in magic or in spirits.
Fun di alte zakhn haltstu nit,You don't respect the old things.
Du farshvartst dokh mir mayn sheynem yikhes!You're degrading my honorable family lineage,
Tu shoyn t'shuve, vayl ikh halt nit oys.So repent right now, for I cannot stand it.


Copied from "Az di furst avek", by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman