Got Un Zayn Mishpet Iz Gerekht

God and His Judgement are Just
גאָט און זײַן משפּט איז גערעכט

Words by Louis Gilrod (1879-1930); music by David Meyerowitz (1867-1943). Published in sheet music by A. Teres, N.Y., 1921.

The song was written for Z. Libin’s play Di gebrokhene hertser (The Broken Hearts), 1903, where it was sung by the famous actor Jacob P. Adler. Theatre authority Sholem Perlmutter notes: “Which Jew who has some contact with the Yiddish word did not hear himself sing this song? … It was sung in all Yiddish theatres throughout the world.” In the ghetto the song assumed a negative meaning with the words: “Di geto hot a batayt/ Fun a moyredikn sof / Far a folk vos shtendik hot zayn shtrof/ Azoy batlonesdik farshvekht/ Mit ‘got un zayn mishpet iz gerekht.” (The ghetto signifies a terrible end for a people who always accepted its punishment so foolishly with “God and His Judgment are right”). Dos geto-land, in S. Kaczerginski. The song was revived in the Off-Broadway musical The Golden Land (1982-87).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


The Jew always has a word of comfort for his plight
And it was given to him by his old grandfather.
No matter what evil befalls the Jew, no matter what happens to him,
He bears it quietly and contentedly as if nothing had occurred.

His face turns pale, his eyes grow moist,
His heart is covered with blood.
To ease his pain and strengthen his heart,
He comforts himself by singing:

God and His judgment are just.
One must never say that God is wrong, because God knows what He does — never punishes anyone without cause.
God and His judgment are just.

The Jew is never happy.
He suffers eternally.
Broken into pieces is the Jewish nation.
He has no home, no country, no friend, no comforting warm word.
The beautiful sun does not shine for him.
He is despised here and there.
A cursed alien, he is a stranger, persecuted everywhere.
He has many troubles, still he suffers quietly.
He cries and he says: God and His judgment are just.

In almost every generation, a Haman rises and tries with terror to put an end to the weak Jew.
Even today in the twentieth century, without friends.
Jews are robbed and plundered in all countries.
Every Russian and every Pole spills the blood of the Jew.
They make pogroms, his blood runs in torrents, and the Jew continues to sing: God and His judgment are just.

Der yid hot in zayn lebn
A treystvort oyf zayn brokh,
Un dos hot im gegebn
Zayn alter zeyde nokh.
Un vos far a shlekhts es treft dem yidn,
Vos es zol im nit geshen,
Trogt er durkh un iz tsufridn,
Glaykh vi gornit geven.

Nor zayn ponim vert blas,
Di oygn vern nas,
Zayn harts vert fargosn mit blit.*
Tsu shtarkn zayn harts
Un tsu shtiln zayn shmarts,
Nemt er zikh treystn dermit:

Got un zayn mishpet iz gerekht,
Men tor keyn mol nit zogn
Got is shlekht,
Got veyst vos er tit,
Umzist shtroft er keynem nit,
Got un zayn mishpet iz gerekht.

Der yid iz keyn mol gliklekh,
Er laydt fun eybik on,
Gebrokhn in shtik-shtiklekh
Iz di, yidishe natsyon.
Er hot keyn heym, keyn land, keyn fraynd nit,
Keyn treystnd varem vort,
Di sheyne zun far im, zi shaynt nit,
Me hast im do un dort.
A farsholtener ger,
A fremder iz er,
Iberal vert er geplogt.
Er hot tsores fil,
Dokh laydt er shtil,
Er veynt zikh gut oys un zogt:
Got un zayn mishpet is gerekht…

Kemat in ale doyres
Shteyt a Homen oyf.
Un zukht mit kol hamoyres
Dem shvakhn yidns sof.
Oykh yetst in tsvantsikstn yorhundert,
On fraynd derinert aykh,
Men roybt dem yidn un men plindert
In ale lender glaykh,
Ayeder ‘Ivan’
Un ayeder ‘pan’
Fargisn dos blut fun dem yid,
Zey makhn pogromen,
Zayn blut gist zikh shtromen,
Un der yid zingt zikh vayter dos lid.
Got un zayn mishpet is gerekht…


דער ייִד האָט אין זײַן לעבן
אַ טרײסטװאָרט אױף זײַן בראָך,
און דאָס האָט אים געגעבן
זײַן אַלטער זײדע נאָך.
און װאָס פֿאַר אַ שלעכטס עס טרעפֿט דעם ייִד,
װאָס זאָל אים ניט געשען,
טראָגט ער דורך און איז צופֿרידן,
גלײַך װי גאָרניט געװען.

נאָר זײַן פּנים װערט בלאַס,
די אױיגן װערן נאַס,
זײַן האַרץ װערט פֿאַרגאָסן מיט בלוט.
צו שטאַרקן זײַן האַרץ,
און צו שטילן זײַן שמאַרץ,
נעמט ער זיך טרײסטן דערמיט:

גאָט און זײַן משפּט איז גערעכט,
מען טאָר קײן מאָל ניט זאָגן
נאָט איז שלעכט,
גאָט װײס װאָס ער טיט,*
אומזיסט שטראָפֿט ער קײנעם ניט,
גאָט און זײַן משפּט איז גערעכט.

דער ייִד איז קײן מאָל גליקלעך,
ער לײַדט פֿון אײיביק אָן,
געבראָכן אין שטיק־שטיקלעך
איז די ייִדישע נאַציאָן.
ער האָט קײן הײם, קײן לאַנד, קײן פֿרײַנד ניט,
קײן טרײסטנד װאַרעם װאָרט,
די שײנע זון פֿאַר אים, זי שײַנט ניט,
מע האַסט אים דאָ און דאָרט.
אַ פֿאַרשאָלטענער גר,
אַ פֿרעמדער איז ער,
איבעראַל װערט ער געפּלאָגט.
ער האָט צרות פֿיל,
דאָך לײַדט ער שטיל,
ער װײנט זיך גוט אױס און ער זאָגט:
נאָט און זײַן משפּט איז גערעכט. . .

כּמעט אין אַלע דורות
שטײט אַ המן אױף.
און זוכט מיט כּל המאורות
דעם שװאַכן ייִדנס סוף.
אױך יעצט אין צװאַנציקסטן יאָרהונדערט,
אָן פֿרײַנד דערינערט אײַך
מען רױבט דעם ייִדן און מען פּלינדערט
אין אַלע לענדער גלײַך,
אַיעדער „איװאַן‟
און איעדער „פּאַן‟
פֿאַרגיסן דאָס בלוט פֿון דעם ייִד,
זײ מאַכן פּאָגראָמען,
זײַן בלוט גיסט זיך שטראָטען
און דער ייִד זינגט זיך װײַטער דאָס ליד,
גאָט און זײַן משפּט איז נערעבט. . .

* טוט

Song Title: Got Un Zayn Mishpet Iz Gerekht

Composer: David Meyerowitz
Composer’s Yiddish Name: דוד מײעראָװיץ
Lyricist: Louis Gilrod
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: לאױס גילראָד
Time Period: Unspecified

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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