A din toyre mit Got

Kaddish of R. Levi-Yitzhok Barditshever *

[See lecture: Kings and Queens

Gut morgn dir, riboynoy shel oylom,Good morning, Master of the Universe,
Ikh, Leyvi Yitskhok ben Sore Sashe mi-BerditshevI, Levi Yitschak son of Sara from Berditshev,
bin tsu dir gekumen mit a din toyrehave come to You in a law-suit  
far dayn folk Yisroel.on behalf of Your people Israel.
Vos hostu tsu dayn folk Yisroel?What have You against Your people Israel?
Un vos hostu zikh ongezetst oyf dayn folk Yisroel?And why do You oppress Your people Israel?
Az vos nor a zakh, iz: "Tsav es Bney Yisroel",

No matter what happens, it is: "Command the Children of Israel."

Un vos nor a zakh, iz: "Eymoyr livney Yisroel,"No matter what happens, it is: "Say to the Children of Israel."
Un vos nor a zakh, iz: "Daber el Bney Yisroel!"No matter what happens, it is: "Speak to the Children of Israel."
Tatenyu ziser:Father dear!
Kamo umoys bo'oylom?How many other peoples are there in the world?
Bavlayim, Parsayim, Edomayim!Babylonians, Persians, Edomites!
Di Ruslener vos zogn? "Unzer keyser iz a keyser!"What do the Russians say? "Our csar is a csar!"
Un di Daytshlender vos zogn? "Unzer keynig iz a keynig!"And what do the Germans say? "Our king is a king!"

Un di Englender vos zogn zey? "Unzer malkhus is a malkhus!"

And what do the English say? "Our sovereign is a sovereign!"
Un ikh, Leyvi Yitskhok ben Sore m'Berditshev, zog:  And I, Levi Yitskhak son of Sara from Berditshev, say:
"Hamelekh hayoyshev al kisey rom veniso" *"O King who sits exalted on his throne."
Un ikh, Leyvi Yitschok ben Sore Sashe m'Berditshev, zog:And I, Levi Yitskhok son of Sara from Berditshev, say:
"Lo ozuz mimkoymi!"I will not move from my place" [Hebrew] -
Ikh vel zikh fun mayn ort nit rirn!I will not stir from my place! [Yiddish]

Un a sof zol dos zayn!

An end there must be [to this suffering]
Un an ek zol dos nemen!It must all stop!
Yisgadal v'yiskadash shmey rabo!" *Hallowed and magnified be the name of God."



* This text has been copied from "A Treasury of Jewish Folklore" by Nathan Ausubel (Crown, 1948). In Ausubel's version, the phrase beginning Yisgadal is sung at the end of the second and third stanzas. In another version from "Anthology of Yiddish Folksongs", Vol.4, the phrase beginning with Hamelekh is sung at the end of both verses. The line included here beginning with Di Ruslener ... is taken from the "Anthology".

Rabbi Levi Yitzhak's prayer has been set to music at least three times: by Joel Engel (1868-1927) as the "Kaddisch des Rabbi Levi-Jitzchak Barditzewer" (Berlin: Juwal, 1923); by Leo Low (1878-1962) as "A din-toyre mit Got" (R. Levi Yitshak Berditshever's kadish) (New York: Metro Music, 1927); and by Erwin Jospe "A din toire mit Got" (A judgement against God) (New York: Board of Jewish Education, 1951). (Allen Maberry, 1998).