Candles of Song 1 of 2

June 5, 2012 by

Candles of Song: Yiddish Poems about Mothers Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath

Yiddish poems about mothers, in memory of my mother, Miriam Pearlman Zucker, 1914-2012.

Photo of Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath

Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath (1958 – ) was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in a Yiddish-speaking, staunchly Yiddishist home. She studied in the Sholem Aleichem Folkshul 21, United Mittleshul and Jewish Teachers Seminary, where she graduated with a degree in Jewish literature. She also earned degrees in Russian (Barnard College), nursing (Columbia University) and health administration (New York University), and currently works as a clinical consultant in long-term care. She has been active in the Yiddish movement her entire life, and has worked as editor for several Yiddish magazines. Since 2005 she has been stylistic editor of Afn Shvel, the periodical of the League for Yiddish. She lives in Teaneck, New Jersey,  and is the mother of three Yiddish-speaking children. She has published one volume of poetry, Sudden Rain: Yiddish Poems (Israel Book, Tel Aviv, 2003).

Here, Mame, by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, read by Sheva Zucker:


One pair of arms
living life
left and right.

But what a sight!

From these two
is woven tight
one little nest
for child’s delight.
Sudden Rain: Yiddish Poems
Translations by Jeffrey Shandler and Zackary Berger


Eyn por orems
oysgelebt zikh –
links un rekhts

Nor zet a vunder!

S’hot fun di tsvey
zikh oysgevebt
a nestele
far kinder.


איין פּאָר אָרעמס
אויסגעלעבט זיך –
לינקס און רעכטס

נאָר זעט אַ וווּנדער!
ס’האָט פֿון די צוויי
זיך אויסגעוועבט
אַ נעסטעלע
פֿאַר קינדער.
פּלוצעמדיקער רעגן, 2003

Poems cross-posted with

Dr. Sheva Zucker is currently the Executive Director of the League for Yiddish and the editor of its magazine Afn Shvel. She has taught and lectured on Yiddish language, literature and culture on five continents.