Dos Pintele Yid

The Little Spark of Jewishness
דאָס פּינטעלע ייִד

Words by Louis Gilrod (1879-1930); music by Arnold Perlmutter (1859-1953) and Herman Wohl (1877-1936). Published in sheet music by the Hebrew Publishing Co., N.Y., 1909. It was the title song of a play by Boris Thomashefsky.

Used by permission of the copyright owners, Ethnic Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


In every land, in every place, the Jew hears only one thing:
You’re a Jew. Go. We don’t need you.
You’re a stranger, a convert.
The Jew wanders, does not tire, carries in his heart the spark of Jewishness.
He laughs at his enemies, for when God is with him who can harm him?
Yet many times the Jew’s spirit is broken.
He bends with the slightest wind.
Still, the greatest storm cannot uproot the beautiful, tiny spark.

The little spark of Jewishness is very good.
It makes the Jew honored and proud.
Care for it and cherish it and guard it.

Little Jew, your crown is the spark of Jewishness.
You’ve suffered greatly for this spark of Jewishness.
Your limbs were tormented, your brothers tortured, everyone bathed in your blood.
Countless libels were leveled against your spark of Jewishness. Still, the spark remains strong.
The little Jew laughs at you, Amalek, and remains true to the spark of Jewishness.

In yedn land, oyf yedn ort
Hert dos yidl nor eyn vort:
A yid bistu, gey dir, mir darfn dikh nit,
A fremder bistu, a ger,
Dos yidl vandert, vert nit mid,
Trogt in hartsn dos pintele yid,
Er lakht fun di sonim; ven got iz mit im
Ver ken im shlekhts ton, ver,
Fil mol iz gebrokhn yisroliks gemit,
Er beygt zikh far dem klenstn vintele;
Dokh der grester shturem oysvortslen ken nit
Dos sheyninke, kleyninke pintele —

Dos pintele yid iz zeyer git,
Koved un shtoltz makht es dir, yid,
Akht es un shets es un hit.

Yidele, dayn kroyn iz dos pintele yid,
Fil gelitn shoyn far dem pintele yid,
Gematert dayne gliderlekh,
Gepaynikt dayne briderlekh,
Gebodn zikh hot yeder in dayn blit,
Bilbulim on a tsol oyf dem pintele yid,
Dokh mutik ale mol blaybt dos pintele yid,
Der kleyntshiker Yisrolikl
Lakht fun dir, Amolikl,
Un blaybt tray dem pintele yid.

אין יעדן לאַנד, אױף יעדן אָרט
הערט דאָס ייִדל נאָר אײן װאָרט:
אַ ייִד ביסטו, גײ דיר, מיר דאַרפֿן דיך ניט,
אַ פֿרעמדער ביסטו, אַ גר,
דאָס ייִדל װאַנדערט, װערט ניט מיד,
טראָגט אין האַרצן דאָס פּינטעלע ייִד,
ער לאַכט פֿון די שׂונאים, װען גאָט איז מיט אים,
ווער קען אים שלעכטס טאָן, װער,
פֿיל מאָל איז געבראָכן ישׂראָליקס געמיט,
ער בײגט זיך פֿאַר דעם קלענסטן װינטעלע,
דאָך דער גרעסטער שטורעם אױסװאָרצלען קען ניט
דאָס שײנינקע, קלײנינקע פּינטעלע —

דאָס פּינטעלע ייִד איז זײער גוט,
כּבֿוד און שטאָלץ מאַכט עס דיר, ייִד,
אַכט עס און שעץ עס און היט.

ייִדעלע, דײַן קרױן איז דאָס פּינטעלע ייִד,
פֿיל געליטן שױן פֿאַר דעם פּינטעלע ייִד,
געמאַטערט דײַנע גלידערלער,
געפּײַניקט דײַנע ברידערלעך,
געבאָדן זיך האָט יעדער אין דײַן בלוט.
בילבולים אָן אַ צאָל אױף דעם פּינטעלע ייִד,
דאָך מוטיק אַלע מאָל בלײַבט דאָס פּינטעלע ייִד,
דער קלײנטשיקער ישׂראָליקל
לאַכט פֿון דיר, עמלקל,
און בלײַבט טרײַ דעם פּינטעלע ייִד.

Song Title: Dos Pintele Yid

Composer: Arnold Perlmutter
Composer’s Yiddish Name: אַרנאָלד פּערלמוטער
Lyricist: Louis Gilrod
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: לאױס גילראָד
Time Period: Unspecified
Additional Composer: Herman Wohl
Additional Composer’s Yiddish Name: הערמאַן װאָל

This Song is Part of a Collection

Pearls of Yiddish Song Cover with Illustration of musicians playing instruments

Pearls of Yiddish Song

First published in 1988 as Pearls of Yiddish Song: Favorite Folk, Art and Theatre Songs, this anthology contains 115 songs. Some material had never been published, while others, included in rare song collections or sheet music, were largely inaccessible. The songs presented reflect Jewish life in Eastern Europe and the United States and depict childhood, love, family celebrations, poverty, work and struggle. There are also songs from the Hasidic and Maskilic movements, songs of Zion and of America, as well as songs from the Yiddish theater.

The title of this anthology derives from the weekly two-page feature column “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry,” which the compilers Yosl and Chana Mlotek initiated in 1970 in the Yiddish newspaper Der Forvertz (the Yiddish Daily Forward). Hundreds of readers from around the world — including authors, composers, singers, actors — became co-participants in this collective folk project and recalled melodies, lines, fragments, stanzas and their variants of songs, poems, and plays which they had heard in their youth. At first, readers sent in only written material. Later, they also taped songs on cassettes, many of whose melodies had, until then, never been recorded. They also identified and supplied missing information regarding lyricists, poets, and composers and described the circumstances surrounding the songs’ origins, their dissemination, diffusion and impact.

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