Chasidic Yiddish blogger Katle Kanye on the swine flu

Original here. Translation mine.
The truth is that we Chasidim haven't been so impressed by the swine flu from the beginning. Yes, it's gotten to South America, Europe, and even Israel. But that sort of thing usually doesn't interest a Chasid too much, and a "God have mercy"or a "it shouldn't happen to us!" can take care of it. So folks in New York have gotten it too? I assume you're familiar with the verse "and all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings"! And which cheder pupil doesn't know about the plague of blood when the Egyptians bought water from the Jews - so what's the difference here? ...They said about AIDS that it would eat up the whole world, but like the lice in Egypt it stopped at the Chasidic zip codes. Just like the miracle of the shemittah farmers who clearly see their blessings compared to their neighbors, all the maladies I visited upon Egypt are not seen or found among those who are meticulous in their observance of commandments both major and minor. So much the more so in this case because we don't eat the flesh of pigs - their hoof is cloven but the cud they do not chew - and we're in the month of Iyar, which stands for I, God, am your healer.

The catastrophe is though that - whether it's really true or they're just saying it - two yeshiva students from Mir got it. Oh my teachers and rabbis, death has risen to our windows, come to our palaces and the Angel of Death is attracted to white shirts and black hats too. Now it's a tragedy. I know the experts say that it's easier to get infected on the train than it is from a Chasid's achoo on the other side of the Mediterranean, but what do the experts know? They say the world's getting warm but the kutchme sellers aren't yelling for a bailout. When Chasidic young men get it it's a whole other story. It's our concern now, so we need to get in touch with the Chasidic doctors and move mountains.

Nevertheless, as they say, in all labor there is profit, or as the goyim say, every cloud has a silver lining. A truly God-fearing Jew feels a spiritual satisfaction, a feeling that we're not left out, we're on the guest list too. Leave it to the Jews: if there's something to pick up in the world you can bet that we won't be left behind. We might look different but there's nothing we don't have. We'll get there. We won't just get there, we'll make the whole business our own by giving it a name. Make a mishebeirach, change pig to Mexico, and confuse the devil just like we do on the eve of Rosh Hashanah... from a swine's flu you can make a silk purse, or a shtreimel.


  1. Is it meant to be ironic?

  2. Thank you so much for that translation. Katle Kanya rivals Sholem Aleichem, if he were a chasid.