Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
The Jews were discussing, even Rabbi Kraus.
Their ideas were hung on the Torah with care,
with Mishnah, and Talmud, and Zohar to spare.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But the adults kept arguing their faces churned red.
Was he real or historic, imagined or fake?
Was he God or a prophet or Mithra awake?

I tried to suggest we were on the wrong path,
That the message and myth transcended our wrath,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our texts to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window we flew with a crash,
Spilling candles and dreidels and even some trash.
The moon was bright like the eyes of a doll
Or a dollop of horseradish on a gefilte fish ball.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a huge chariot and its flaming commander.
Riding that chariot was One still Unnamed
Who called to His angels engulfed all in flame:
“Now Rafael, now Gabriel, now Michael and Satan!
On Metatron, on Uriel, on Flanken and Leiben!”

I knew in a moment that He was the One
Who called out to Hagar and Sarah and sons.
He looked at us all and shook His great head,
“What? I can’t have a son? Nu? A daughter instead?”

Sure, sure, we said, You do what You do,
But not with a virgin, not even a Jew.
From Zeus we expect it, and may from Wotan,
But with You we are certain such things are verboten.

“What? Are you saying there’s something too great
For the One who created love, fear, and hate?
I do what I want and I want what I do
Even if it's to have kids with a virginal Jew.

“I’ll tell you a secret, and you can let them all in,
I’m not Jewish or Muslim or even Christian.
Though I lean toward the Buddha and Chaung Tzu his cousin,
I’m still just the One for whom names there’s a dozen.

“And when you're too certain you know who I am,
I do something wild and burst through you dam.

"Some oil shall burn not one day but eight,
And a baby in a manger shall preach against hate,
And an Arab in a cave shall receive My Word
Just as others have and will no matter the herd.

“That’s what this season is for after all:
A time to grow big while starting so small.
If these things don’t make your narrow minds spin,
There’s no hope for tomorrow you’ve lost out to sin.

“So kindle your candles and light up your trees,
Anything that brings you down to your knees.
For the hope of the season rests not in the story
But in your potential to manifest My glory.”

Then laying His finger to the side of His nose,
He gave us a nod and to heaven He rose!
And as He drove higher up into the sky
He turned in His seat to wave a good-bye.

And I heard Him exclaim ‘ere He flew out of sight,
“Happy Boxing Day to all, and to all a good-night!”


rbarenblat said...

Their ideas were hung on the Torah with care,/ with Mishnah, and Talmud, and Zohar to spare.

Delicious! (I think of the midrash where Moshe rabbeinu saw God putting tagin on the letters of the Torah for just this reason... :-)

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, / We sprang from our texts to see what’s the matter.


This is wonderful; thank you for it!

Chag urim sameach, and merry Christmas, too. :-)

(ps: will you be at the ALEPH Kallah next summer? I'd love to cross paths in person someday.)

Rabbi Rami said...

Thanks for the positive response. I can no longer afford to attend conferences unless I am invited to speak and get my expenses covered. So, I doubt I will make it to the ALEPH Kallah. Someday, maybe.

Hag Sameach Hanukkah.