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Eddie Leigh - Ki Lo Na’eh Ki Lo Ya’eh

Ayn sein der Foter (Echad Mi Yodea in Yiddish)
Echad Mi Yodea
Ki Lo Na’eh
Ki Lo Ya’eh

Eddie Leigh“My daughter and two grandsons live here and my son, his wife, granddaughter and grandson are in Israel so their approach is different. My son used to live on a kibbutz, and now works for a kibbutz company, so has a communal Seder and doesn’t have the opportunity to sing the family songs.

Here, with me sitting in the top seat, we do what I say! Up till the meal we do things traditionally, although more English has crept in over the years. It used to be me davenning from A to Z while the others waited for the food to arrive. More recently, before space limitations, we used to have up to 16 people for the Seder and I always tried to involve other people in the songs after the meal. I would do the first verse then I’d ask other individuals to sing a verse. We’d sing the last verse together - it was absolute pandemonium but it was fun!

Eddie Leigh's family
I was taught to say the Four Questions in Yiddish from the age of about six or seven until my sister took over. She used to say it in Hebrew and English because my parents used to speak Yiddish to stop my sister and I understanding what was going on until they realised that we understood and then Yiddish disappeared from the household! I haven’t said the Four Questions in Yiddish – Di Fir Kashes – for almost seventy years.

The other song that we do in Yiddish is Echad Mi Yodea, God is One. My grandsons, who are twenty and sixteen, and I do it together - all thirteen verses with actions as well! They’ve written the words down in phonetics. We’ve become almost a party piece and we even get invited to other Sederim because nobody knows it in Yiddish! I learned it from my uncle Lou Lebetkin.

The Lebetkin family came from Russia and my uncle, who married my mother’s sister, ran a public furniture company and had a big house. There were six families and so there would be between thirty and forty people sitting around the Seder table. My uncle was something of a controller and every son had to say the Four Questions to every father - it went on for ever! Harris Lebetkin, his father, brought the Yiddish song to England from Russia around 1900. My father came to England from Russia when he was four but he couldn’t sing!”

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