Stephen Berer
the Eternal Jew's biographer

The Eternal Jew’s Tale, #112, A Tale on 4 Levels, 6

From Susya’s Journal; image colorized and modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons, a text from the Afghan Genizah, JudeoPersian, in the public domain.
From Susya’s Journal; image colorized and modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons, a text from the Afghan Genizah, JudeoPersian, in the public domain.
A note by the author:
The following text will give the reader a taste of the poetry that is behind the prose “translations” of these Eternal Jew stories. The reading experience of my poetry, which is written in a grammatically altered, phonetically spelled English, tho difficult for the novice, provides access to a much more textured and multivalent understanding of “reality.” You may derive a similar experience reading this particular episode. Enjoy!
In this episode Rabbi Susya shakes it up.

The Eternal Jew’s Tale
Sixteenth Era, Part 7, 1320 C.E., Chelm
III. The Derash*
5. The Envious Rabbi’s Tale

* or ‘drash’; careful analytics applied to historical, literary, and religious texts
One evening two of Danyo’s men bang on my door, as they like to do, makin’ sure they roust me from studyin’ midrash* and mystical texts.
“Rav Jew, we found a thang for you; a book that maybe you can read and maybe will serve our master’s case…”
and they hands me a burlap barley sack.
* literary, imaginative analytics in Talmud
In it, a folio in Hebrew script, a shaky hand, and poorly written, but I see right away where it be from.
“Where did you steal this?”
I kind of growl, my brows scrunched down, and piercy eyes. Them two wiggle like sheep, and shrug,
“We didn’t steal it. We don’t know…”
Of course they know, but I let it go.
That book were Susya’s, in his own hand, writ in his anger and shame and guilt. And once I read it, I knew for sure this could cornerstone Danyo’s defense. Poorly spelled and hard to read, in Hebrew letters but in Polish tongue.
I’ve translated it here, best as I can, approximatin’, paragraph by paragraph, his words as he  spelled them; and then my notes just below, to make more sense.
~~~~ Susya’s Journal heer begint ~~~~~
I declaret the graetness of God abov, and His works below, this, Adam’s world, and I begs His mersees tho undeservet, for I, Susya ben *Roekhov Tukhael ben Raya haKesay,* of **Aron’s loin.** This privat confesson of my sarrows and sins, and also to expoze the Adversarees ways, and howl* my thwortet to re-alline the worlds, its twistet and knottet and braken treds.** As evver, remember the glaring*** of God.
*-* Hebrew: blue rider (or perhaps tzitzit rider), son of, [who] sees the Throne;
**-** Aaron, the first High Priest; thus descended from Aaron; a genealogy;
* how (I am)?;
** threads?; 
*** glorying?
Wevils arizen acorst* the lams,** amung the nations and amung the Jews, and I am sung*** of my life in the muck. Oh Lor, know**** me the rit path and how to repent and biy***** my repaer.
* across? accursed?; 
** land?;
*** sunk?;
**** show?;
***** buy? be?
Ludy Bogdan, that wicket raeth* comes with detainers** and treddin*** on me, stickee her finger into my noze, and accuzet me that I muddled**** her man, that I sent that Jew who come from the eest [I thinks she’s referrin’ to me in this — Saadia] to morder Bogdan and take his mans.*****
* wraith?;
** retainers?;
*** threaten?;
**** murdered?;
***** mansion? lands?;
Now Bogdan’s killt and the peasants run off and the mannen* the house be *rude as crap.* And now come **a long and dangerous scorn** and bought up her land for some bags of wheet, and says to her, she can wreck** the land and honor the way as ***a be honored way.*** ****Destind too**** and furyous she come and stick her *****noze in my life.*****
* manor?;
*-* roof collapsed?;
**-** along Danyo Shvarn?;
** work?;
***-*** be on her way?;
****-**** destitute?;
*****-***** knife in my nose?
And not just her, but the Cathlik preest is like to see *her pritty hole*, **askin me for** sorserees, and swore at the locus* Jew on the land. And more, that Jerman ***in total nite***, that Siegfried servin Wenceslaus slayin** the man*** that Danyo owns as his, and Bogdan were forlor**** of him. [Which everyone knows is a blatant lie, but who has proof and where’s the deed? — Saadia].
*-* my head on a pole?;
**-** accusin’ me of?;
* local?; 
***-*** that Teuton knight?;
** sayin’?;
*** land?;
**** a warlord?;
Long*nite in my bed,* she makes me vow to sliver* that Jew [I thinks that’s me! — Saadia] and **seed her kont** that Shvorn has ordered Bogdan killt to steel his land. And if I don’t, then she and Siegfried and the priest will sware I ***hav fothered Bogdan’s kid,*** which all the Jews in Chelm indorsed, hopin to swallow up Polish hams.*
*-* knife to my head?;
* give her?;
**-** plead in court?;
***-*** ordered Bogdan killed?;
** lands?
Now lookee, that Jew, the one I saved from the prezens* [Me again. — Saadia], turnt agains me now. With sorserees and Mongole arts he stole the seel** of Rodof Zahhav, that gambellin, women-chasin swine, and turnt him into a devellish feend. With *magics terribel,* word and deed, he **caws bewilders to feer** the sick, and makin the ***childish women go bare.***
* prison?; 
** soul? zeal?; 
*-* magisterial?; 
**-** causin’ wonders to heal?;
***-*** childless woman to bear;
And lookee me, a forgotten feel,* my benches like vinyards gon to weed, my house a stud** unmanned at nite. That sorserres Jew [Me yet again. — Saadia], a cros*** on him. I will banish him out of the land, declarin him cherem,**** of Ameleks***** root.
* fool?;
** study?;
*** curse?;
**** Hebrew: excommunicated;
***** embodiment of evil; see Devarim/Deut. 25:17-19
*Ul khaet shekhatunu lifanekhah.* I rode to Vladishlov **in my fals wor.** Ul khaet shekhatunu lifanekhah. I have envied, spraed rumors and secertly accused. From the left a devel stickt a knife in my noze. From the rite he ellevates an apostate Jew. What have I dun to ern this raeth?* Lor, You are the test and I the fool.**
*-* prayer of confession: ‘for the sins that we have sinned before You;’
**-** and I false swore?;
* wrath?;
** fail
Today I gon and seen for myselv that Rodof Zahav in his *under wears.* And there arrose for the first aleya* that Jew all *poten with rumbel fart.* [That’s me again, and I ain’t that bad.] Revulsin I feel. That’s when I known he were the ***fars in performin*** Zahav. He lain some ****burnin into the pants**** of a *****haulin man a wontin for sex,***** and led them simpel folk astray.
*-* wonder works?; 
* Hebrew: ascent to go up to Torah to say a blessing before and after the reading;
**-** posin’ with humble heart?;

***-*** force/source in transformin’?
****-**** learnin’ into the hands?;
*****-***** holy man as wantin’ for texts
I rusht home and won’t restrain: in Mincha* and Marev** I declare him *pis of,* a servint of Satan, a cherem*** on him!
* afternoon prayers;
** evening prayers;
*-* pasul? (Hebrew for unclean)
*** Hebrew: excommunication
Now, what have I dun, o Lor of the World? I have slandert; I mordert the sperit of him. I see the way closin over my hed. *“Sus v’roekhvo rummah v’yum.” “Horse and rider is throne in the see.”*
*-* Shmote/Exodus 15:1
~~~~ Susya’s Journal heer endet ~~~~~
Readin’ his words I were greatly upset and confused, like a man with a noose around his neck. I ain’t seen no cherem*; ain’t heard no curses; ain’t no one refusin’ to sell me my bread. Ain’t no one refusin’ to talk to me as I make my rounds in Danyo’s work. What has the hangman got planned for me?
* Hebrew: excommunication, which includes all the punishments listed.
In the next episode, a bombshell (before there were bombs)…
About the Author
I am a writer, educator, artist, and artisan. My poetry is devoted to composing long narrative poems that explore the clash between the real and the ideal, in the lives of historical figures and people I have known. Some of the titles of my books are: The Song uv Elmallahz Kumming A Pilgimmage tu Jerusalem The Pardaes Dokkumen The Atternen Juez Talen You can listen to podcasts of my Eternal Jew posts on my personal blog, Textures and Shadows, which can be found on my website, or directly, at: I live just outside Washington, DC with my bashert, and we have two remarkable sons. Those three light my life.
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