A Freilichen Purim

February 2013HenyaChaiet-100

 

 

“Haynt iz Purim morgen iz ouz, git mir ah groyshen un varft mir ahroys.”

(“Today is Purim tomorrow it’s over, so give me a penny and I’ll be gone.”)

Many years ago, little children would run from house to house in their little shtetl singing this on Purim. I heard it from my grandmother, as a little girl, and I still remember it.

Dem ershter yor ven ich hob gehcumen tzu mein haim in California, haub ich zayer gehbenkt far mein mishpokeh.

(The first year I came to my new home in California I was very lonely for my family and friends.)

Nu menschen vos tult men? (So people, what does one do?)

Meh macht zicht ah nyeh mishpoken. (You make yourself a new family.)

Ah Yid gehfint zich ah veg! (A Jew finds a way!)

Siz iz geven Purim un ich haub gehbackt hamentashen un andereh ziseh zachen, un gehbracht shalachmones tzu meineh nigheh frient. (It was Purim and I bakedhamentashen and other goodies and I brought shalachmones (portions) to all my new friends.)

Ich haub gehbeten ah por froyen cumen tzoo mir un mir hauben gehleyent dee Megillah Esther un geh shlaugen Hamen mit unzereh gragers. (I asked some women to come to my home and we all read the Megillah Esther and made noise with our groggers when we heard Hamen’s name.)

Ah zeh macht men nigheh frient ahz meh vil hauben frient, muz men zein ah frient. (This is the way I made new friends. To have a friend you must first be a friend.)

Nu fargest nit braingen shalachmones tzu ayereh alteh frient, un macht nigheh frient. (So don’t forget, bring shalachmones to your old friends and make new friends.)

Ah gooter frient is ah mahtoneh fun Gaut. (A good friend is a gift from God.)

Henya Chaiet is the Yiddish name for Mrs. A. Helen Feinn. Born in 1924 ten days before Passover, her parents had come to America one year prior. They spoke only Yiddish at home so that is all she spoke until age five when she started kindergarten. She then learned English, but has always loved Yiddish and speaks it whenever possible. Chaiet lived in La Porte and Michigan City, Ind., from 1952 to 1978 and currently resides in Walnut Creek, Calif. Email: afeinn87@gmail.com