Jewish Journal

My Grandmother’s Yiddish Song From Her Childhood

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

November 23, 2010 | 9:00 am

In honor of the holidays and the shame my family is enduring due to this blog, I thought I would post something a little more good-natured than normal.  This past year on my birthday, my Grandmother sang this song to me for the first time.  My Dad and Uncle got her to retell it for posterity a little later on video.  I could feel her trying to pass on not just the song but the wisdom and history of hundreds of years of ancestors before her who sang this song to their daughters and granddaughters; I found myself trying to memorize every single second of it, just hoping that I was soaking up what I was supposed to take from her.  I don’t know if I did yet, but I know that by the time I pass it on, I will have.

The first video is her explaining the story of how her mother shared this Yiddish song with her and then her singing it to us.

The second video is of her translating the Yiddish to English.

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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