the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Fiddler on the Roof

Yenta the Matchmaker for the Day


In the old-country, Jewish marriages were arranged by matchmakers.  Perhaps the most famous Jewish matchmaker was Yenta.  Yenta was the name of the matchmaker in Sholom Aleichem’s stories, several of which were collected into what became the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”   The word “yenta” has taken on negative connotations in the modern word, and it is usually used to describe a “busybody.”

I’d like to defend the good name of matchmakers.  Being a busybody was part of the job.  A matchmaker HAD to sneak around and ask a lot of questions because she was a detective — always looking for clues that would help her make the best match.   In the Jewish tradition, it is also a mitzvah (good deed) to help make a successful match.

(from Matchmaker, Matchmaker — Fiddler on the Roof) 

Well, somebody has to arrange the matches,
Young people can’t decide these things themselves.

She might bring someone wonderful—-

Someone interesting—-

And well off—-

And important—

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match

I’d like to revive the spirit of Yenta the Matchmaker right here on this blog — on these special days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.   Tomorrow, Thursday, will be a special day on “Citizen of the Month.”  Tomorrow, we shall all become Yenta the Matchmakers. 


I will be making blog matches between 10 pairs of bloggers.   These are not romantic pairings.  These are pairs of bloggers who I have never seen read each other’s material (I’ll check their blogrolls), but I think should give each other a try.  Using an ancient technique passed down from my grandmother, I will try to match bloggers by their sensibilities and interests. 

Recently I was successful in introducing Danny and Elisabeth to each other.  At first glance, they have nothing in common.  But a true matchmaker realizes that they are both brainy bloggers with a twisted sense of humor.   Now they are on each other’s blogrolls.  

This is not easy for me.  I do have a jealous streak.   I used to get upset when my “blogging friends” became friends with each other.   One day, I’ll be reading Blogger X and I’ll be surprised to see my friend Blogger Y writing a comment.  Before you know it, Blogger X and Blogger Y are taking a trip to Las Vegas together, without even sending me a postcard.

But the week before Yom Kippur is one of reflection and self-improvement.  I’m going to fight my jealousy and spread the love.   So, if I match you up with someone, give their blog a chance.  I know matchmaking is not a perfect science. 

Please join in tomorrow with some matchmaking of your own, maybe even mix and matching blogrolls.   Are you the type who is always saying, “These two bloggers really need to read EACH OTHER!”   If so, tomorrow is your chance to do a mitzvah by becoming a Yenta the Matchmaker for the day.

Update:  The matches.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  A Shanda (Yiddish for Shame)  (I really get Jewish at this time of the year, don’t I?)


His Fiddler on Her Roof


Tevye is in the kitchen blogging.  Golde comes in, wearing her nightdress.

Golde:  “Tevye, enough with the blogging.  It’s time to go to bed.  You have work tomorrow.  You’re not a rich man.”

Tevye:  “I know, Golde… I know… let me just finish this post about Israel.”

Golde:  “Tevye, what is it with every post lately being about the Jews?  You used to write interesting posts, about other subjects… like sex.”

Tevye:  “Hold on… hold on… another anti-Semitic comment on my last post.  I need to answer this jerk before I go to bed…”

Golde:  (singing)  “Tevye, do you love me?”

Tevye:  “What?”

Golde:  “Do you love me?”

Tevye:  “What kind of question is that?
(singing)  For all these years, I’ve been with you
Ate with you, laughed with you
Slept with you, blogged with you
After all these years, why talk about love now?”

Golde:  “Tevye, do you love me?”

Tevye:  “Of course I do!”

Tevye stands facing Golde, and guides her slowly to the floor.  He moves under her long nightdress, his beard gently rubbing her inner thighs.  Tevye guides his mouth to Golde’s pussy.  Golde moans as Tevye flicks his tongue inside, tasting her juices. 

Golde:  “Oh, Tevye, you’re always so good at making me come!”

Tevye:   “Tradition!  Tradition!”


A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  My Entry to the Vanity Fair Essay Competition

Fiddler on the Goof, Part 2

Now that Rosie O’Donnell has signed up to play Goldie in "Fiddler of the Roof" on Broadway, big-name movie stars are lining up to play several of the other characters. 

Here is Scarlett Johansson auditioning for the role of "Motel the Tailor."


"But of all God’s miracles, large and small,
The most miraculous one of all
Is the one I thought could never be.
God has given you to me."

(from "Miracle of Miracles," ‘Fiddler on the Roof’)

Tradition, Tradition


With Broadway all abuzz with the casting of Rose O’Donnell as Goldie, Tevye’s prototypical Jewish wife in the revival of "Fiddler on the Roof," top Broadway producers have quickly added "crowd-pleasing" but inappropriate stars to their upcoming shows:

Carrot Top is "The Wiz"

Fran Drescher is "Evita"

Lindsay Lohan  is "The Man of La Mancha"

Louie Anderson in "A Chorus Line"

Dave Chappelle in "Oklahoma"

Phyllis Diller is "Annie"

Paul Reubens is "The Phantom of the Opera"

Shaquille O’Neal in "Hair"

Carson Kressley in "The King and I"

James Earl Jones in "Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in ‘Da Funk"

Margaret Cho in "1776"

*NSYNC in "Beatlemania"

Patrick Stewart is "Funny Girl"

Dennis Miller in "Grease"

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