Feb 262013
 

Hey, at least he could afford to see a doctor, efficacy notwithstanding.

Yaakov Frances (1615 – 1667)
Oh Doctors

Oh doctors, how long shall you rid Earth entire
Of dwellers? By day and by night how you slaughter!
How long shall you wield against God’s sons and daughters
Your pens like a sword, your words’ steel-forging fire?1

And why do all men, old or young, in their ire
Not nail you onto the cross, you marauders?2
The sickness inside a man, how might you augur
If your eyes can’t see through his scabs, I inquire?

I see you reply with an asp’s wrath, assuring,
“Faith, every pain, every sickness, all fractures,
Are made clear to us by what your gut produces!”

If so, in the judgment of feces and urine
Hangs every man’s life, and relief if one lacks cures,
Then eat shit, you villains, and drink urine’s juices!

יעקב פראנשיס
הוי רופאים


הוֹי רוֹפְאִים, עַד מַה תְּכַלּוּ חֶלֶד
מִיּוֹשְׁבָיו? יוֹם תִּרְצְחוּ וָעֶרֶב!
עַד מָה לְכָל נוֹצָר יְהִי כַּחֶרֶב
זֶה עִטְּכֶם וּדְבַרְכֶם אֵשׁ פֶּלֶד?

לָמָּה לְמִזָּקֵן וְעַד הַיֶּלֶד
לֹא יִתְקְעוּכֶם בַּשְּׁתִי וָעֵרֶב?
אֵיךְ תֵּדְעוּ, מַה מַּחֲלַת הַקֶּרֶב,
אִם עֵינְכֶם לֹא תַעֲבֹר הַגֶּלֶד?

אֶרְאֶה וְיֵשׁ מִכֶּם בְּכַעַשׂ פֶּתֶן
עוֹנֶה: ‘הֲרֵי כָּל צִיר, חֳלִי וָשֶׁבֶר
לָנוּ יְגַלּוּ תוֹצְאוֹת הַמֶּעִי!’

אִם כֵּן, אֲשֶׁר בִּפְקֹד רְעִי וָשֶׁתֶן
חַיֵּי אֱנוֹשׁ נִתְלוּ וּמַרְפֵּא גֶבֶר,
שֶׁתֶן, רְשָׁעִים, טַעֲמוּ וָרֶעִי!
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Hoi rof’ím, ʕad mah tekhalú ḥéled
Mi-yoshváv? Yom tirtzeḥú va-ʕérev
ʕad mah le-khól notzár yehí ka-ḥérev
Zeh ʕitkhém u-devarkhém ‘eish péled?

Lámah le-mizakéin ve-ʕád ha-yéled
Lo yitkeʕukhém ba-shetí va-ʕéirev?
‘Eikh teidʕú, mah maḥalát ha-kérev
‘Im ʕeinkhém lo taʕavór ha-géled?

‘Er’éh ve-yéish mi-kém be-kháʕas péten
ʕonéh: “Haréi kol tzir, ḥolí va-shéver
Lánu yegalú totz’ót ha-méʕi!”

‘Im kein, ‘ashér bifkód reʕí va-shéten
Ḥayéi ‘enósh nitlú u-marpéi géver,
Shéten, reshaʕím, taʕamú va-réʕi!

  1. The doctors’ prescriptions (the pen) and advice are no better than swords and fire.
  2. In Hebrew, this line is “why don’t they stick you on the weft-and-warp?”, which seems to be a reference to crucifixion. “Marauders” I added for the rhyme, and to fill out the line.

  2 Responses to “Yaakov Frances, “Hoi Rof’im””

  1. and this was even before the rise of the scam of insurance!

  2. […] satire in Hebrew poetry from Hillel ben Shmuel (first half of the 13th century – 1295?), Yaakov Frances (1615 – 1667), and Immanuel Frances (1618? – […]

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

Are you a Russian spam robot? Prove it: *