Translated Texts: La bivda de Shelomo Ashkenazi, el Sultan Ahmed I i el Vizir Murad Pasha Translation of the first part of a poem by Albert Levy poem recounting how a sinister vizier tries to defame a noble Jewish woman. Translation by Ashley Bobman.
The young Sultan Ahmed the first
was very intelligent and sincere;
he gained the affection and recognition
of Esther Ashkenazi, a woman of sense.
It is thanks to her that he had been saved,
when his life was on the brink;
thanks to her, she saved him from death,
and kept for him a burning affection.
The Sultan wanted to see her every day
to discuss the problems of Turkey;
he demanded her opinion and suggestion about the relations of each nation.
Esther Ashkenazi was a sharp diplomat,
an intelligent and reasonable woman;
modest, affable, and virtous,
a fervent Jew and quite pretty.
Then at 16 years of age,
the Sultan was named a father;
2 sons were born to him,
received with a grand ceremony.
During the ceremony, the monarch,
as a sign of recognition of high status,
and considering himself fortunate,
he sent to Esther a valuable present.
Esther then received the present,
she declared how strong her desire was
to see the trusted sovereign,
and [for him] to shine during his reign.
The Vizier Murad Pasha, the tyrant,
the cruelest of the Ottoman Empire,
was atrocious, quite ferocious,
inspired fear in every city.
The Vizier, hated the Jews,
was an anti-Semite of highest degree;
jealous, ambitious, and very arrogant,
he did not want to see the Jews progress.
To Murad Pasha, the Jew Esther
who was then influential in Turkey,
tried to put obstacles in front of him
so he would have no more success.
Through dishonest and brutal means,
to achieve his evil goals
he tried to slander Esther
and with his influence he pushed her down.
Murad Pasha had great audacity
in continuing his base infamy,
to demote Esther in the eyes of the king,
in the name of Muhammed and his law.
Sultan Ahmed I listened
but, considered absolutely nothing;
Esther kept her status
and was treated with much care.
– “why did you slander her, he said
to the tyrannical and cruel vizier;
why do you hate Esther the Jew,
a noble woman in Turkey?”
“She saved my life,
and she deserves my recognition;
she is intelligent and very enlightened,
a woman who should be [well] regarded.”
The Vizier Murad Pasha unwisely
responded to the king as follows:
I declare to you with sincerity and frankness
that Esther desires honor and greatness.
“She is in secret relations
with different enemy nations;
for the damage of our empire,
that is with the most serious abuse.”
“This Jew is very ambitious,
hypocritical, and highly dangerous;
we should not remain indifferent then,
one must punish her very severely.”
–Good said the king, we must have patience,
we will investigate before giving the sentence; today I have blind confidence
and my recognition for her is immense
when [if] I would find that which you declared, that with words today you satisfy me, then and only then would I act
and would give her the deserved condemnation.
The Vizier who was a miserable person,
with an arrogant and abominable air;
grinded his teeth with much rage,
seeing that the king was a wise person.
Reluctantly he had declared
that the case be investigated
in order to then find the truth
regarding the abuses of Esther the Jew.
(to be continued)