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Ale Mentshn: Shvester, Breeder

by Y. L. Perets, to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” adapted and translated by Hershl Hartman, ©2010

2010+ALE+MENTSHN++SHVESTER+BREEDER[2]Ale mentshn: shvester, breeder —
broyn, royt, gele, shvartse, vayse —
felker, lender un klimatn,
s’iz an oysgetrakhte maynse.

vayse, shvartse, broyn, royt, gele,
misht dee farbn oys tsuzamen.
ale mentshn: shvester, breeder,
fun eyn tatn, fun eyn mamen.

ale mentshn: shvester, breeder —
shvartse, vayse, broyn, royt, gele —
andersh zaynen nor di farbn:
dee natur iz dokh dee zelbe.

 

Human beings: sisters, brothers —
brown, red, yellow, black or white.
Peoples, countries, diff’rent climates
do not change what’s wrong or right.

White and black, red, brown and yellow:
Stir the many hues together.
Human beings: sisters, brothers,
From one mother, from one father.

Human beings: sisters, brothers —
Black and brown, red, yellow, white.
All that’s different are the colors —
All of us must now unite!

 

Hershl Hartman is education director of the Sholem Community and School and a Secular Jewish vegvayzer (leader) in Los Angeles.

Our Mameloshn column is supported by the Atran Foundation.