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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Di havdole (Dem rebns havdole) Yiddish comic song recorded on Columbia by Joseph Feldman

Joseph Feldman, Yiddish tenorThis song is described in the catalog as "comic," but without the second verse to set up the joke one might miss it. In the first verse we have the usual slightly mocking tone as true believers cluster lovingly around their spiritual leader at the end of the Sabbath - and they have the great honor to eat the leftovers from his feast.

In the second verse, which Feldman did not record, the rebbe's wife is holding forth among her friends with the same prayers for the end of the Sabbath, but when she hears her husband starting the final wrapup she comes running, and he takes her into the house and closes the door behind her for a little "holy havdole" of their own.

So that's what the distraught abandoned wife in the third verse is begging for, a little of that same holy havdole from the rebbe.

I love Joseph Feldman. The title on his 78 is Dem Rebbin's Havdoleh (Josef Feldman). Here's his recording:


Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.


Dem rebbin's Havdoleh

Bay undzer rebn az es kumt shabes af der nakht
Filt men poshet an emesn gan eydn
Es iz freylekh in shtub gor a prakht
er dertseylt undz mofsim fun zayn heylikn zeydn (miracles)
Er git undz tsu derklern az ales vos mir hern
Iz dokh gor minashomayim come from heaven
Mir hobn a groyse skhie fun aza heyliker brie hobn epes shirayim
Der rebe zogt tsum gabe es iz shoyn shpet abrom-ave (abraham our father)
Endik shoyn dem bnei heichala (sabbath song at the table, last meal on shabes)
Un af undz falt a moyre a shrek az mir derzen dem grobn ek
Fun undzer rebns heylike havdole

Oy vey, dem rebns havdole iz bay undz heylik un tayer
Tsulib dem rebns havdole voltn mir gelofn in fayer

Di rebetsn iz gekumen in droysn mit ir glaykhev
Un hot geleynt di sedre zeyer voyl
Hot zi gehert vi der rebe geyt havdole makhn
Hot zi geshrien a brokhe zol kumen af zayn moyl
Zi iz geshtanen af eyn ort un hot nokh gezogt vort bay vort
Un di vayber hobn zikh arum ir arum geshtelt
Di rebetsn hot zikh gefreyt un mit dem kop hot zi gedreyt
Un fun dem rebns havdole hot zi gekvelt
Vi der rebe hot fun di psomim gesmekt spices
Un fun dem vayn gelekt
Iz di rebetsn arayn mit der tkhine der shmole
Der rebe hot zikh mit ir in shtibl farmakht
Vayl yedn shabes af der nakht
Bentsht er zi mit zayn heyliker havdole

Vi mir hobn nokh gezungen dem hamavdil
Hot zikh plutsim oyfgeefnt di tir
Es iz arayn tsu undzer rebn an ishe (lehavdl)
Un hot geshrien, rebenyu, nor helfn kent ir mir
Der rebe hot zi oysgehert un zi hot im epes derklert
Mit zeyer a shlekhte mine
Zi hot dertseylt mit a klog az ir man iz avek shoyn a por tog
Un zi iz geblibn eyn eybike egune
Bin ikh rebenyu gekumen tsu aykh az ir zolt farsheltn glaykh
ot o dem kolboynik er zol hobn a mapole
Un oyb ir hot a bisl tsayt bet ikh aykh fun mayn zayt
Bentsht mikh mit ayer heyliker havdole

At our rebbe's, as the end of the Sabbath approaches
One feels a true paradise
It's so happy in the house, very pretty,
He tells us miracles from his holy grandfather.
He lets us know that everything we hear comes straight from heaven
We have the great honor to eat a few leftovers from this holy being
The rebbe tells the sexton it's getting late for the "Abraham Our Father"
So hurry up with the Bnei Heichala sabbath song.
And a terrible melancholy falls upon us as we see the coarse ending of our rebbe's holy havdole

Oy vey, the rebbe's havdole is holy and dear to us.
For the rebbe's havdole we'd run into fire.

The rebbetsin comes outside with her peers
And she reads the siddur very well
When she heard how the rebbe was making havdole
She cried "A blessing on his mouth."
She stands still and repeats after him, word for word,
and the women stand around her.
The rebetsn rejoiced and preened, and she was proud of the rebbe's havdole
When the rebe smelled the spices and licked the wine
The rebbetsin comes in with her little prayerbook
The rebbe closed himself in the house with her
Because every Sabbath night he blesses her with his holy havdole

When we sang the hamavdil again the door suddenly opened
A woman (pardon me mentioning such a thing) comes in to see our rebbe
She cried, "Rebenyu, only you can help me."
The rebbe heard her out and she told him with a terrible expression on her face
She told him, with a sob, that her husband left a couple days ago
And she is left a grass widow for eternity
"I've come to you, rebenyu, so you will curse that scoundrel so he has a downfall. And if you have a bit of time, I ask you for myself, bless me with your holy havdole."


For sheet music and/or performances contact me: jane@mappamundi.com

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