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A Sukkeleh

In response to numerous requests for the words to Avraham Reisen’s famous Yiddish poem “A Sukkeleh” we post the words and translation. Enjoy!

A Sukkeleh

A Sukkeleh, a klaineh
Foon breitlach gemeinah
Hab ich mir a sukkeleh gemacht
Tzudekt dem dach
Mit a bisseleh s’chach
Zitz ich mir in Sukkeleh banacht

A vint, a kaltan
Bloz durch di shpaltan
Un di lichtelach
Zei leshen zich fil
Is iz mir a chidush
Vai ich mach mir kiddush
Un di lichtelech zei brenen gantz shtill

Zum ershten gericht
Mit a bloson gezicht
Brangt mer mein tochterel arein
Zi shtelt zich avek
Un zakt mit shrek
Tatenyu di Sukkah falt bald ein

Zi nisht kein naar
Hab nit kein tzar
Zal dir Sukke geit tan ba’ang
Es iz shoin gar
Bald tzvei toizant yar
Un di Sukkeleh shteit nach gantz leing

A sukkaleh, quite small,
Wooden planks for each wall;
Lovingly I stood them upright.
I laid thatch as a ceiling
And now, filled with deep feeling,
I sit in my sukkaleh at night.

A chill wind attacks,

Blowing through the cracks;

The candles, they flicker and yearn.

It’s so strange a thing

That as the Kiddush I sing,

The flames, calmed, now quietly burn.

In comes my daughter,

Bearing hot food and water;

Worry on her face like a pall.

She just stands there shaking

And, her voice nearly breaking,

Says “Tattenyu, the sukkah’s going to fall!”

Dear daughter, don’t fret;

It hasn’t fallen yet.

The sukkah’s fine;

banish your fright.

There have been many such fears,

For nigh two thousand years;

Yet the sukkeleh’s still standing


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