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A Song About Rabbi Abuaf

This is a song about a Rabbi Abuaf. The song is written in Ladino, the medieval language of Sephardic Jews.

Through her grandson, Daniel Starr-Tambor, Lounah (Abouaf) Starr shared that this song might be about her great uncle (her paternal grandfather's brother) who was a respected rabbi in Turkey and known by the name of "Maurice Baston" because he was somewhat flamboyant and always seen with a cane.

Below the song appears an English translation provided by Niso Abuaf of New York. The translation looks like it could use some refining, so please contribute if you speak Ladino.

If your computer has an audio player for mp3 files, then you can click here to listen to a beautiful recording of this song.

El Rabinu Abuaf

Van y vienen avadizes
Vendedor de bilibizes
Escarvador de las yindrizas
El rabinu Abuaf

Chorus:
     Pamparapám Maurice capelo
     Pamparapám Maurice bastón
     Pamparapám Maurice grevata
     Telas de mi corazon

Franco sos de soy no viene
Remata esta franquedad
Vistite una braqueta
Van y viene (vendre?) caxcabal

En la trómbica la hielada
La nezlica desmaselada
No sé que le demandaba
El rabinu Abuaf.

The Rabbi Abuaf

News go and come
Seller of roasted chick peas (itinerant sellers; Turkish leblebi-- chick peas)
Digger of junk
The Rabbi Abuaf

Chorus:
     Pamparapam Maurice the hat
     Pamparapam Maurice the walking stick
     Pamparapam Maurice the tie
     The cloth of my heart

You are westernized by ancestry -- doesn't fit
Get rid of these westernized (or snobbish, cold) ways
Wear old style (flop pants)
Comes and goes Kaseri or kashkaval cheese (a down to earth type cheese)

In the small trumpet the ice (or the ice cream)
The coquette (the Turkish nazli I believe) unlucky one (schlechtmazal in Yiddish)
I do not know what he was asking of her
The Rabbi Abuaf

Thanks to Amy & Jessica Dolcourt for bringing this song to my attention.