Song

Moments of Despair

Original Title: Minutn fun yiesh

Performer: Daniel Kempin
Lyricist: Mordecai Gebirtig
Composer: Mordecai Gebirtig/Daniel Kempin

Yiddish folk poet and songwriter Mordecai Gebirtig was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1877. "Moments of Despair" was written in Krakow in September 1940 on the first anniversary of the German invasion of Poland. The lyrics to this piece comment upon a year of persecution and the uncertainty of the future.

A year now of wartime,
How ghastly, how vast!
How can people live through this?
How can they endure?

A year of persecution,
Of hardship, of pain,
What will become of us?
What will be our fate?

Futile our prayers,
We've slipped past God's reach,
The heavens are locked tight
As the core of the earth.

The heavens are locked tight,
And fearfully dark;
Without question or doubt,
This tortures our hearts.

Without question or doubt
The secret's disclosed:
There is no more justice,
There is no more God.

No peace or solace,
Just hardship and pain.
What will become of us?
What will be our fate?