In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Greennesses
  • Rivke Basman Ben-Hayim (bio)
    Translated by Zelda Kahan Newman (bio) and Kathryn Hellerstein (bio)


(ניט יעדער פֿאַר זיך)

ניט תּמיד העלפֿט די גרינקיַיטוואָס רינגלט מיך אַרוםאיר וועלט איז אַ פֿאַרמאַכטעאון איך פֿאַרבליַיב אין דרויסן.אָן אַ טרײסטרייד איך צו די בלעטערווי צו גוטע פֿרײַנדאון בעט ביַי זיי מיר עפֿענעןדער טויער זייערן-פֿאַר מיר אַ טרייסט געפֿינעןרוישן זיי אין אויער מיראַ גרינלעכן גערויש, וואָס מיינט.אַז זייער וועלט איז בלויז צו גרינעןרייר איך צו די בלומעןווי צו גוטע פֿרײַנד—און בעט ביַי זיי אַ טרייסט אין די קאָלירןשוויַיגן זיי אין אויער מיר אַרײַןאַ בלומיקן געשוויַיג—אַז זייער וועלט איז זיך אַליין באַצירןזוך איך אין אַ ליד די טרייסטאון אָטעם אין די ווערטערעפֿנט מיר דאָס ליד דעם טויער.טרעריק אַ באַשערטע [End Page 174]


(Is every thing indeed for itself?)

Not always does the greennessSurrounding me help—Its world is closed,And I remain outsideUnconsoled.So I talk to the leavesAs to good friendsAnd ask them to openTheir gateTo console me—And they rustle in my earA green rustle that meansThat their world is only to green.So I talk to the flowersAs to good friendsAnd ask them to console me with their colors—And they stay silent in my earWith a flowerlike silenceFor their world is only to adorn—So I seek consolation in a poemAnd breathe in the words,And the poem opens the gate for meTearful and fated. [End Page 175]

Rivke Basman Ben-Hayim

Rivke Basman Ben-Hayim survived the Holocaust, married Shmuel (Mula) Ben-Hayim, an artist, and came with him to live in Israel. She is the head of Beit Leyvik, the Yiddish writers’ union of Israel, and lives in Hertzliya Pituach. Her books of poetry have been published in Yiddish and in translation into English, Polish and Hebrew. Her two volumes of collected poems, L’koved: Ikh un du (In Honor: I and You), were published in 2006.

Zelda Kahan Newman

Zelda Kahan Newman specializes in Yiddish, the language and its literature. She teaches Hebraic and Judaic studies at Lehman College/

Kathryn Hellerstein

Kathryn Hellerstein is Associate Professor of Yiddish at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include In New York: A Selection, a translation and study of the poems of Moyshe-Leyb Halpern; Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky; and Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, of which she is co-editor. Her new books on women Yiddish poets are forthcoming from Stanford University Press. Her own poems have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poetry, Tikkun, Bridges, Kerem and many anthologies. She is poetry editor of Nashim and Kerem.



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 174-175
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.