Oyfn Pripetshik

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Oyfn Pripetshik (Yiddish: אויפן פריפעטשיק‎) (English: translation: On the cooking stove) is a song written in Yiddish by M.M. Warshawsky (1848–1907). Other spellings include Oyfn Pripetchik, Oyfn Pripetchek, etc.[1]

The song is about a rabbi teaching his young students the alef bet. By the end of the 19th century it had become one of the most popular songs of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe: as such it is a major musical memory of pre-Holocaust Europe.[2] The song is still used in Jewish kindergartens.

The fourth stanza introduces tragic pathos into the song: "When, children, you will grow older/You will understand/How many tears lie in these letters/And how much crying."[3] The lyrics hint at the traditional Yiddish saying that "the history of the Jews is written in tears".[3]

In media[edit]

The song has been featured on soundtracks including:


% 0
 \tempo "allegro"
\numericTimeSignature \time 3/4 \key c \minor
 c'8 d'8 ees'8 ees'8 ees'4 d'8 f'8 ees'8 d'8 c'4 ees'8 c'8 ees'4 f'4 g'2.

% 2

c''8 g'8 bes'8 aes'8 f'8 d'8 f'8 aes'8 g'8 ees'8 c'4 d'8 f'8 ees'4 f'4 g'2. c''8 g'8 bes'8 aes'8 f'8 d'8 f'8 aes'8 g'8 ees'8 c'4 d'8 f'8 ees'4 d'4 c'2.
\bar "|"

Oyfn pripetchik brent a fayerl,

Un in shtub iz heys,

Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh,

Dem alef-beys.


Zet zhe kinderlekh, gedenkt zhe, tayere,

Vos ir lernt do;

Zogt zhe nokh a mol un take nokh a mol:

Komets-alef: o!

Lernt, kinder, mit groys kheyshek,

Azoy zog ikh aykh on;

Ver s'vet gikher fun aykh kenen ivre -

Der bakumt a fon.

Lernt, kinder, hot nit moyre,

Yeder onheyb iz shver;

Gliklekh der vos hot gelernt toyre,

Tsi darf der mentsh nokh mer?

Ir vet, kinder, elter vern,

Vet ir aleyn farshteyn,

Vifl in di oysyes lign trern,

Un vi fil geveyn.

Az ir vet, kinder, dem goles shlepn,

Oysgemutshet zayn,

Zolt ir fun di oysyes koyekh shepn,

Kukt in zey arayn!!!!

English translation[edit]

On the hearth, a fire burns,

And in the house it is warm.

And the rabbi is teaching little children,

The alphabet.


See, children, remember, dear ones,

What you learn here;

Repeat and repeat yet again,

"Komets-alef: o!"

Learn, children, with great enthusiasm.

So I instruct you;

He among you who learns Hebrew pronunciation faster -

He will receive a flag.

Learn children, don't be afraid,

Every beginning is hard;

Lucky is the one has learned Torah,

What more does a person need?

When you grow older, children,

You will understand by yourselves,

How many tears lie in these letters,

And how much lament.

When you, children, will bear the Exile,

And will be exhausted,

May you derive strength from these letters,

Look in at them!


  1. ^ The word pripetshik is borrowed from Russian pripechek, a shelf by a russian oven
  2. ^ Holocaust related music.
  3. ^ a b Music in Jewish history and culture, Emanuel Rubin, Harmonie Park Press, 2006 - page 186
  4. ^ "Soundtracks for "Brothers & Sisters" episode Light the Lights". IMDB1. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Soundtracks for Billy Bathgate". IMDB2. Retrieved 5 May 2011.