1: Poem (1945) and recording (1969), Kadia Molodowsky “God of Mercy,” Yiddish.

1: Poem (1945) and recording (1969), Kadia Molodowsky “God of Mercy,” Yiddish.

The poem, reproduced in full here and declaimed by Molodowsky herself, draws on liturgical and Biblical language and imagery.

Suggested activity: Play the recording for students so that they can hear how the poem sounds in the original language. Ask them to pay attention to Molodowsky’s tone of voice and her intonation. Even without understanding the words, what can they gather about the poem’s subject? If students know the Hebrew alphabet, have them read along with the original. Have them do so again while you then read the poem in English.

Sources: Kadia Molodowsky, Der meylekh dovid aleyn iz geblibn: lider un poemes (Only King David remained: verse and long poems) (New York: Farlag papirene brik [Paper bridge publishing house], 1946), 3-4. Digitized by the Yiddish Book Center as part of its Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library, accessed December 10, 2015, https://archive.org/details/nybc208413.

Kadia Molodowsky, “Kadia Molodowsky Reads from Her Work and is Interviewed by Abraham Tabachnik” (1969), audio collection of the Jewish Public Library in Montreal. Digitized by the Yiddish Book Center as part of its Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library, accessed December 10, 2015,
https://archive.org/details/KadiaMolodowskyReadsFromHerWorkAndIsInterviewedByAbrahamTabachnick.