Kaddish Libretto

The words and music to Kaddish are copyright 2008 by Lawrence Siegel. All rights, including publication are reserved to the author. Permission to quote from the Libretto (the words) is contingent upon obtaining written permission from the author, and upon crediting: text Copyright 2008 by Lawrence Siegel. Used by permission of the author.

Like Cherries in the Winter
Maybe I did not have certain things,
Like cherries in the winter…

My father was a learned man.
We celebrated all the holidays.
My mother cooked-
The aroma of the wonderful baking of challah,
And everything:
It was a very nice life…

My Father Bought Me A Horse
… Now my father explains to me:
While the material things they can take away from you,
what goes into your head will stay with you until your grave.
Nobody can take away from you.
And it is my responsibility as a Jewish father,
to put as much knowledge into your head as possible.
What you do with it is gonna be your business.

My Daughter’s Name
…I’ve asked myself,
I’ve asked myself many times.
I have many times strong feelings about it, thinking-
That I took my parents away from my little sister.

To see my parents faces
When they watched my little sister being killed…

And it’s becoming kind of more lingering
As I get older.
I keep on thinking, of myself: What would I do if these were my children?

Himmler’s Aria: Decent Fellows
Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite frankly,
and yet we will never speak of it publicly.
I mean the evacuation of the Jews,
the extermination of the Jewish race…

So Here I Am
… So here I am.
And we came to the gate, where it says
“Arbeit Macht Frei.”
(It’s still there.)
And to the posts of the Germans, they were still standing there.
And I just went through the gate.
And my whole family was outside the gate.

I thought to myself, My goodness!
I am here!
I survived,
And look who is with me!