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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Der lamden Reb Sender

Since there are versions of this song available online for anybody to hear, I am not going to record this song myself. I refer you to Cantor Israel Bakon at youtube:



Also Moshe Koussevitsky sings Der alter Reb Sender at the FAU Judaica Sound Archive (you can hear it for free).

Another recording by "Moses Kusewicki" is entitled "Der lunden Reb Swender"

There are many complicated arrangements of this song, intended for concert performance by cantors with pianists or orchestras. Morris Rund wrote the words, Joshua Weisser wrote the melody. My sheet music does not include wandering instrumentals as are part of some recordings.








Yet another man who studies Gemorah while his family goes hungry. I've recently learned guys like this - absent-minded scholars hunched over their holy books ignoring the needs of the real world - are called "batlens" !!

My translation of the Yiddish lyrics:

cantor moshe koussevitzkyIn the study house Reb Sender stands by the prayer podium, turning the pages of the great Mishnah. Suddenly two tears appear. "Oh God, what will happen, I have no peace at home. I have seven sons, simple Greeks/louts, they're taking their time coming to you. And she, my wife, cries: "Bring me a livelihood." And I don't have time, I need to study Torah.

Forgive me, Master of the Universe, don't 'open your mouth to the devil,' you gave me the gift of seven sons, every one of them a blockhead. I don't know who they take after, they never take a Jewish/Yiddish word in their mouths, they can't learn even one page of Gemorah, all they care about is eating, give me some advice, what can I do with them?

And my wife, she'd be ok if she'd just let me learn in the studyhouse. It disgraces God's name the great sin, day and night she chews her cud. I ask you God, isn't it a sin to get a divorce when one's in the elder years?

Master of the Universe, I testify before you, in my last years I want to have ... I am not asking you for money, God forbid, if you'd only provide support to my wife and sons. I'm a scholar, this is my request, I want to study Torah, and you, God, please provide the livelihood.

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