There's a scene in The Magician of Lublin (part six, section 5) where Yasha is playing cards with Herman, a shady character in Warsaw.

Yasha allowed him to perform several tricks: the trick with the three cards, the one with the four sevens, the changed card. Yasha shook his head at this and clicked his tongue, "Tsk, tsk, tsk..." He almost said, I was already doing these tricks when I was a little girl.
(translated by Elaine Gottlieb and Joseph Singer, 1960)

That caught me off guard; as far as I can tell, Yasha never was a little girl. Was this a translation error on the part of the translators, or was this supposed to be part of the insult to Herman (that a little girl could do the tricks he was doing)?

(Unfortunately, I only have an English copy and not a copy of Der kuntsnmakher fun Lublin in Yiddish, so I can't check the original text.)

1 Answer 1


I found the text here, and indeed, it looks like he does say something along the lines of "when I was a little girl". מײדל translating to "girl"

יאשא האט אים געלאזט װײזן עטלעכע קונצן: די קונץ מיט די דרײ קארטן, די פיר זיבעלעד, דער פארביטענער קארט. יאשא האט דערביי געשאקלט מיטן קאפ און געשמוצערט מיט די ליפן: טס טם טס... ער האט שיער נישט א זאג געטאן: כ׳האב דאס נאד געקענט װען כ׳בין געװען א קלײן מײדל...

Rough Google Translate

Joshua had him perform some tricks: the trick with the three Cards, the four zibeled, the exchanged card. Joshua did the same Shaking his head and smearing his lips: Ts tm ts ... he Sheer did not say: I knew the nod when I was A little girl ...


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