Melech Ravitch (1893 - 1976) The Excommunication

Melech RavitchReeds tweemaal had ik een blog over de Jiddische dichter Melech Ravitch & zijn bundel Barukh Shpinoze:

Op 7 aug. 2009, met vooral biografische informatie.

Op 11 aug. 2009, met zijn gedicht De geometrische vorm van de Ethica




Het huidige nummer, Jan./Feb. 2011, van het Canadese Outlook, an independent, secular Jewish publication with a socialist-humanist perspective,
heeft o.a. (zie content) een artikel met

A Selection of Yiddish Poetry - Melech Ravitch;
Selections and Introductory Comments by Al Stein
[zie hier]

Daarin een vertaling van een deel van zijn Jiddische gedicht The Excommunication. Ik neem het hierna graag over:

The Excommunication* (fragment)

In another part of the city shutters come down on Jewish 
and in a distant suburb, more shutters,
you hear the same slamming of doors and shutters
all over Jewish Amsterdam;
the Jewish wives and daughters, their heads covered
with black silk kerchiefs, come out of their houses
and fill the streets with ominous waiting.
From the depths of the fog a beadle’s voice cries:
“Everyone to the synagogue!”
Then a silence, broken only by the three loud raps of a wooden
And here’s a woman shouting up to the window above her,
“Solomon, Solomon, for God’s sake, hurry, or we’ll be late for
and we’ll miss Spinoza’s come-uppance!”
... “
Spinoza, fool and lunatic—Barukh, the so-called blessed and
    throw him to the dogs, that Benedict,
    that traitorous pig’s brain! Hell, beating, prison, public shame 
    be on his head!
    Dear God Almighty, that he dared defy you, and spit
    upon your Name. One sin begets another!”

Melech Ravitch


Translated by Miriam Waddington 

* part of the opening of a long narrative poem, written in 1916, on Spinoza, the Jewish philosopher who was excommunicated on July 27, 1656, and who was the dominant philosophic influence on Ravitch.