Zol shoyn Kumen Di Geule text by Shmerke Kascerginski set to a melody by Rav Kook

Zol shoyn Kumen Di Geule text by Shmerke Kascerginski set to a melody by Rav Kook

This is an intricate, metaphor-laden text.  I’ve included some translation notes below.

Ongezolyet oyfn hartsn, makht men a lekhayim                   Dejected at heart, one drinks, “To life!”

Oyb der umet lozt nit ruen, zingen mir a lid                         If sorrow forbids rest, we’ll sing a song

Iz nito keyn bisl bronfn                                                        If there is not a bit of whiskey

Lomir trinken mayim                                                            Let’s drink water

Mayim-khayim iz dokh khayim                                            “Living water” is, after all, life

Vos darf nokh a yid?                                                              What more does a person need?

 Zol shoyn kumen di geule                                                  Let redemption come already

Zol shoyn kumen di geule

Zol shoyn kumen di geule

Meshiekh kumt shoyn bald – oy!                                        The Messiah will come really soon.

Zol shoyn kumen di geule

Zol shoyn kumen di geule

Zol shoyn kumen di geule

Meshiekh kumt shoyn bald

S’iz a dor fun kule-khayev                                                 This is a generation entirely guilty

Zayt nit keyn naronim                                                        Don’t be fools

Un fun zindikn                                                                    And from sinning

Meshiekh gikher kumen vet                                                Meshiekh will come more quickly

Akh, du tatele in himl                                                          Ah, you, dear little Papa in heaven

s’betn bney rakhmonim                                                  “Children of the compassionate” are pleading

Ze, Meshiekh zol nit kumen                                                See that Meshiekh doesn’t come

A bisele tsu shpet                                                                A little bit too late                                       


S’tantsn beymer in di velder                                                 Trees are dancing in the woods

Shtern oyfn himl                                                                  Stars in the heavens                            

Reb Yisroel, der mekhutn                                                     Reb Yisroel, the in-law

Dreyt zikh in der mit                                                             Spins in their midst

S’vet zikh oyfvekn Meshiekh                                                   Meshiekh will rouse himself

Fun zayn tifn driml                                                                From his deep slumber

Ven er vet derhern undzer tfiledike lid                                  When he hears our prayerful song


Translation notes:

ongezolyet — ill at ease

a lekhayim — a toast, “To life!”;  makhn a lekhayim — have a drink

mayim-khayim — this phrase probably puns on both Biblical “Living Water” and alcoholic drinks, as in “eau-de-vie”

a yid — literally “a Jew”, but here used to mean “a person”

Meshiekh — in this song, this is a very human, vulnerable Messiah figure

a dor fun kule-khayev — there is a teaching that when there is a generation entirely innocent or entirely guilty, Meshiekh will come

“Rakhmonim bney rakhmonim”  — “Compassionate children of compassionate parents” comes up frequently to describe Jews as people who give generously to the poor

Reb Yisroel — In another context, this would be a typical name, Mr. Yisroel.  Here, it clearly stands for the Jewish people.  I haven’t found a good explanation for calling him the mekhutn — perhaps the spinning is like the dancing at a wedding; perhaps in the intimacy of the song, we are reminding Meshiekh that we are closely related to him