- Rachel and Leah
Rachel plays on the mandolinAnd Leah plays on the flute.Between them the Shekhina lays out the cardsAnd seeks an exact account.
Leah will have two eyes that are dim,but a large and hungry heart.Rachel will have luck in loveand braids that are darker than dark.
Leah will have passionate dreams,and on her lips—a trembling song.But Jacob, the man from distant lands,will only see that her eyes are not strong.
Rachel will bewitch the foreigner Jacob;her beauty will be pleasing to him. [End Page 54] So what if she does not have passionate dreams?At least her eyes are not dim.
Leah will die after a long life,but her heart's longing will never abate.Rachel, sated with love, will die young,with the black shining still in her plaits.
Rachel plays on the mandolinand Leah plays on the flute.Between the two women, the Shekhina is smiling.She now knows how each life will conclude. [End Page 56]
- רחל אוך לאה
[End Page 55]
[End Page 57]
Goldie Morgentaler is Professor of English at the University of Lethbridge. She is the translator from Yiddish into English of works by I. L. Peretz and Chava Rosenfarb. Her translation of Rosenfarb's Survivors: Seven Short Stories won the MLA's Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Award for Yiddish Studies in 2006. She also collaborated with Chava Rosenfarb on the translation of The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto. You can reach Goldie at email@example.com
Chava Rosenfarb is an award-winning Yiddish novelist and a survivor of the Holocaust. She is the author of the novels Bociany, Of Lodz and Love and The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto. Her short story collection, Survivors: Seven Short Stories, won the MLA's Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Award for Yiddish Studies in 2006 and the Helen and Stan Vine National Jewish Book Award for 2005. Chava's website is http://chavarosenfarb.com