Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wow, this dude likes cholent

Excerpted from Heinrich Heine's The Sabbath Princess

[The Sabbath] allows [A Jew] all things
Save this one, tobacco-smoking:
"Loved one! Smoking is forbidden,
For today the Sabbath is.

"But at noon, in compensation,
Thou a steaming dish shall taste of,
Which is perfectly delicious
Thou shall eat today some Cholent!"

"Cholent, beauteous spark immortal,
Daughter of Elysium!"
Thus would Schiller's song have sung it,
Had he ever tasted Cholent.

Cholent is the food of heaven,
Which the Lord Himself taught Moses
How to cook, when on that visit
To the summit of Mount Sinai.

Cholent is the pure ambrosia
That the food of heaven composes
It's the bread of Paradise;
And compared with food so glorious,

When the [Jew] this food hath tasted,
Gleams his eye as if transfigured,
And his waistcoat he unbuttons,
And he speaks with smiles of rapture.

I don't read German, and translations are always hard to evalaute; still, this poem comes across like one of GH's little parodies. I almost caught myself reading it to the tune of 99 Red Ballons.

Anyway, could the language be any more purple? Cholent is the food of heaven! Pure ambrosia! Glorious and beauteous spark immortal! Ye, gods. Maybe the German recipes of the period called for cholent to be served with cocaine and pornagraphy.

Meanwhile, cholent-lover MoChassid is having the poem laminated, and emroidered on aprons and napkins.

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