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Der Filosof

Der Filosof

Vos farshteystu filosof
mit dayn ketsishn moyekhl
Kum amol tsum Rebn’s tish
un nem zikh dort on seykhl
A damfshif hot er oysgetrakht
un (er) nemt zikh dermit iber
Der Rebbe shpreyt zayn tikhl oys
un fort dem yam ariber.
An ayznban hot er oysgeklert
un er meynt (az) er iz dermit a khorets
Der Rebbe shpot, der Rebbe lakht
er darf es oyf kapores
Tsi den veystu vos der Rebbe trakht
beshas er zitst beyekhides?
In eyn minut in himl flit
un est nor shales sides.

The Philosopher

What do you understand, you philospher
with your cat’s brain
Come for once to the Rabbi’s table
and take on some wisdom there.
He thought up a steamboat
and he takes it over
The Rabbi spreads his hankie/cloth out
and crosses the sea.
He thought up a train
and he thinks that with that, he’s clever
The Rabbi sneers, the Rabbi laughs
he has no need of it.
Do you know then what the Rabbi thinks
whilst he sits alone.
In one minute he flies into the sky
And just eats his Sabbath meal there.

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Velvel Zbarjer, who was Galician Jewish, was a Brody singer. Following in the footsteps of Berl Broder, his "mini-melodramas in song" were precursors of Yiddish theatre.

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