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How the Grinch Stole the Torah

04/06/2015 07:54:00 AM


How the Grinch Stole the Torah
Hanukkah, 2006/5767
by Rabbi Ed Feinstein


Oh the Jews of old Jewville loved everything Jewish 
From traditions so ancient to those that are new-ish. 

A mezuzah was hung on all of their doors, 
In shul during sermons, you could hear all their snores. 
'Tween milchig and fleishig they divided their dishes, 
And from Purim carnivals they all brought home fishes. 
Start singing Dayenu, and you'll get an earful, 
Sing them Hatikva, and their eyes got all tearful. 
They would celebrate Sukkas with Etrogs and Lulavs 
And cook all the dishes that only a Jew loves. 

But more than the bagels and more than the Horah, 
The Jews of old Jewville loved their Sefer Torah. 
They wrapped it in velvet and adorned it with crowns, 
And reached out to kiss it when it was carried around. 
When the Torah was read, you'd hear not a peep, 
No cell phone would ring, no beeper would beep. 
They listened intently, they listened with love, 
They caught every letter, from aleph to taf. 
Each year they read Torah, from Bresheet through the end, 
Then rolled it right back and began it again. 

Each year they watched God divide light from the dark, 
And rode on the waves in old Noah's ark. 
When Abraham argued with God, they all cheered, 
When he sacrificed Isaac, they trembled and feared. 
They admired smooth Jacob, he sure was a play'a 
Till he discovered he'd married not Rachel, but Leah. 
They wrestled the angel, and at dawn they prevailed 
And that's how we came to be called Yisrael. 

When Moses met Pharaoh, they screamed "We'll be free!" 
Then they hurried across, when he split the Red Sea. 
They stood at Mt Sinai that wonderful day, 
They stood at Mt Sinai, and they heard God say: 
I am your God, you'll worship no other, 
Remember the Shabbos, show respect to your mother. 
Don't murder, don't steal, and adultery do not! 
Don't covet your neighbor, even if she is hot! 

Yes the Jews of old Jewville took Torah quite serious, 
And when it was read, they all got delirious. 
But there was one among them, who got no joy and no nachas 
From dreidels and challah, and candle-lit brachas. 
The synagogue made him so angry and blue-ish 
You'd hardly have guessed that he was born Jewish. 
Since his Bar Mitzvah, he grew not an inch, 
He was mean, he was surly and they called him The Grinch. 

The Grinch, he looked down from his mountaintop lair, 
He watch all of Jewville with a scowl and a glare. 
He watched them by day, and all the night long, 
And he moaned and he groaned, and he said, "Something's wrong! 
"They say they love Torah, but I know that's untrue, 
They pretend to love Torah, but they don't read Hebrew. 
They dropped out of Hebrew School and left only me, 
To learn to read Hebrew with Neal and Yossi. 
When the Torah is lifted, reverently they stand up, 
But they can't read the words, they can't sing the troups. 
When the Torah is carried, they reach out to kiss it, 
But what's real in the Torah, they don't know, they just miss it. 
They kiss just the covers, not what's within, 
'Cause they can't tell the difference 'tween a hey and a shin. 

I'll go down there one day, and I'll teach them a lesson 
That you can't learn the Torah from a delicatessen. 
I'll go steal the Torah, that we got from our sages, 
And right in its place I'll put Yellow Pages. 
They won't know the difference! You'll see, they will kiss it, 
Their Torah is stolen, but they're too dumb to miss it! 

He came down to the town just after dark, 
He snuck into the synagogue and stood by the ark. 
He opened the doors, to the Torahs so fine, 
So many Torahs, so little time! 
He opened his bag, and started to pick 
This Torah? This Torah? Then he heard a loud "click." 
Suddenly Grinch felt his belly get sick 
As the darkness around him got deep and got thick. 
The doors of the Ark closed him in, they closed tight, 
And the Grinch couldn't move them with all of his might. 
He pushed and he shoved at the doors of the Ark, 
Then he sat down and cried, in the cold and the dark. 
"Oh, dear God," Grinch prayed, "I'll be good, yes, I swear it, 
Just let me get out of here before Shmini Atzeret!" 

Grinch sat in the ark, he felt like a fool, 
He couldn't have known that into the shul, 
Came another sad Jew, in deep agony, 
Into the synagogue came sweet Brittany. 

Today was to be the day of Brit's wedding, 
Instead it became the day she was dreading. 
Her fiance adored her, until he went mental, 
And took up with a stewardess who flew Continental. 
She was tall, she was blonde, she was leggy and fine, 
She captured his heart, half way to Des Moine. 
Right there on the plane, he expressed how he felt, 
She said, please return to your seat and fasten your belt. 
To marry that stewardess became his obsession, 
When she said please put your tray table in its upright position. 

So here was poor Brittany, in her white wedding dress, 
All alone in the shul, an emotional mess. 
She imagined the huppah, she imagined the ring, 
And all the nice presents that wedding guests bring. 
She imagined a honeymoon on a beach in Hawaii, 
But now all that was gone, and on the bima she cried. 
Alone in the synagogue, she walked to the ark, 
Her tears filled her eyes, as she prayed in the dark, 

"Dear God, I do vow, that I'm going to marry, 
The next Jew that I see, be he Tom, Dick or Harry." 
Then she opened the Ark, not a lot, just an inch, 
Surprise there's a Jew there, Brittany -- meet the Grinch. 
She grabbed the poor Grinch in a big strong bear hug, 
She planted a kiss onto his hairy mug. 
Now the Grinch didn't know what hit him that night 
'Cause out of the ark came a shining bright light. 
At that very moment his heart started to beat 
He felt warm and tingly from his head to his feet. 
Out of his eyes came flowing the tears 
From the hugs and the kisses that he'd missed all these years. 

The Grinch, he was smitten, and returned her sweet kiss, 
That's what happens to men who read Genesis. 
He said, yes I'll marry you, I give up my autonomy, 
Just take me home, I've had enough Deuteronomy." 

Brittany wed the Grinch in her flowing white gown, 
They invited the synagogue, they invited the town. 
She exclaimed to all present, "To you, he's a Grinch, 
But after what I've been through, I think he's a mensch! 
"Yes, he's hairy and green, but he's my beshert, 
He hasn't a job, and has holes in his shirt. 
But he's God's gift to me, he is my fate, 
And he's so much better than the guys on J-Date!" 

They lived happily after, they belong to the shul, 
They bought a home in Tarzana, with a big swimming pool. 
All of their children attend Hebrew School, 
Grinch is only to happy to drive their carpool. 
For each time that he drives them, he says -- look here kids 
You've got to know Torah to call yourselves Yids! 

The secret to a life that is happy and true, 
Is to find your beshert, be they purple or blue. 
So when you are lonely and the world seems so dark, 
Go to the synagogue, take a peek in the ark. 
Who knows who you'll find there, with a scroll and a Yad, 
Whoever it is, is your gift from God.

* This document, or any portion thereof, may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.


Sat, August 15 2020 25 Av 5780