Let’s raise a glass to Yiddle Giddle Dovid
the hunchback of Kolmar, Poland.
May his memory be a blessing!
A distant relative of my grandfather Solly
as was most everyone in the shtetl.
The boys would rub his hump for luck
on the way to shul. The village was divided
as to whether Yiddle was an idiot
or a holy fool: “A single coin in an empty jar
makes the most noise.” Yiddle met his demise
falling into the community cesspool.
It’s been said that he could have been saved,
but none of the townspeople were brave enough
to go in after him. Much to my family’s shame.
When Caroline goes on a genealogy bender
and tells our sons they are related
to George Washington and James Monroe
and various founders of our nation,
I remind them Yiddle Giddle Dovid
lurks in their not so distant past
begging change in another world:
“With money in my pocket I am wise,
handsome and I sing well too.”