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How the Grinch Stole the Rabbi

04/06/2015 07:53:00 AM


How the Grinch Stole the Rabbi
Hanukkah, 2005/5766
by Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Every Jew in old Jewville, so loved their old shul,
Though it had not-enough parking, and no swimming pool.

On Shabbos and Yom Tov, it was standing-room only,
But packed in there together, no one got lonely!

There were too many classes, and not enough rooms,
So kids learned haftorah, in closets with brooms. 

Even Neal Schnall, was forced to go scrounge;
He held Hebrew class, in the pink ladies' lounge.

Ah, but they loved their old shul, with its warm Jewish spirit,
Nothing in Jewville, came anywhere near it!

The shul had become, a center of Torah
A place filled with joy, and for dancing the Horah.

So they came for the services, they loved to share brachas,
They squeezed into the shul, sitting tuchas to tuchas.

But there was one among them, who got no joy and no nachas
From praying the schachrit or saying the brachas.

Synagogue made him so angry and blue-ish
You'd hardly have guessed that he was born Jewish.

He was short, he was green, and he gave off a stench,
He was nasty and mean, and they called him the Grinch.

He lived on a mountaintop, far above town,
And each Shabbat morning, he'd say with a frown:

"At Bar and Bat Mitzvahs they get so excited,
But to none on their simchas am I ever invited.
I sit here alone while they sing Barachu,
I sit by myself while they bow Aleynu.

"Who cares? Who needs them? 
With their long holiday prayers,
With Purim Carnivals and Hannuka Fairs?!
The sermons are long and the service boring,
I honestly don't know why they're not snoring!

"Listen you Jews, take my advice,
Fire that Feinstein, get rid of Schulweis.
You don't need Josh Hoffman, Cantors Baron and Fox
Go out and eat some bagels and lox!

Go to the gym, go and play tennis,
Go get your car washed, go to the dentist!
You shouldn't be spending all day in the shul!
Next Shabbat morning, take a dip in the pool!

"I know what I'll do, I'll liberate them,
From all of this nonsense, I separate them. 
I'll close down the shul, and once and for all,
Get them on Saturdays out to the mall!"

Like Pharoah and Haman and Nebuchadnezzer,
Destroying what's Jewish gave the Grinch pleasure.
He'd do something evil,
Like Osama bin Laden, 
Like cruel Antiochus,
But with tools that are modern.

So he made up a plan so mean but so simple
To close down the shul and keep Jews from Temple.

He came to the synagogue in a sneaky disguise
And asked for a moment with Rabbi Schulweis.
The Grinch asked the Rabbi of things metaphysical
The Rabbi looked back with stare that was quizzical.
When the Rabbi said something of Abraham Heschel,
The Grinch cackled loudly, "Now ain't that special!"
Then all of a sudden without even a lag,
The Grinch stuffed the Rabbi into a great big black bag.

He then on went to Feinstein and said, "Tell me a story,"
So Rabbi Feinstein replied, "Sure, that is my glory,"
And proceeded to tell one of Shalom Aleichem,
Which just doubled the Grinch's intentions of mayhem.
When he finished the story, he sipped tea and sat back,
Grinch grabbed him and stuffed him right into the sack.

To get Rabbi Hoffman, he dressed as a USY'er
And came to the Youth Lounge clutching a flyer.
Rabbi Hoffman looked at him, with eyes kind and keen,
We're glad that you're here, but are you sure you're thirteen?
When the Grinch saw the Rabbi was onto his gag,
He grabbed Rabbi Hoffman and stuffed him into the bag.

As he walked through halls, till he saw Cantor Fox,
Who greeted him warmly with a great big, Voos Machts?
Come here my green friend, do you know some Yiddish?
Cause I heard a story about a Mohel who's British.
When he wished him Gut Shabbos, slapped him right on his back.
The Grinch put the Cantor right into the sack!

Cantor Phil Baron was the Grinch's next prey
He found him preparing for the next Holiday.
He heard Cantor Baron teaching the choir,
Grinch sighed: "To sing Shachrit is my lifetime desire,"
When the choir began to sing one of the songs,
The Grinch perked up his years, "You're singing that wrong!
"Here's how it goes, just listen to me!"
Then the Grinch sang the song in a perfect key of D.

Cantor Phil saw he was talented, and saw he was green,
He wondered aloud if he was kin to Noreen,
"Come join us," Phil urged, "and sing Ami Aloni,
Come join us, tomorrow we're recording at Sony!"

"It's true, I sing great," the Grinch blushed at this brag,
And with that he set down his overstuffed bag.
Years ago, I could sing the entire Hallel
Years ago, I would solo at Mi Yemallel.
But was so long ago, now I'm old and I'm through,
Still, I bet I could do an nice Hallelu!"

"Then go stand on the stage boy, stand in the center
Just past the baritones, next to the tenor.
You're part of the choir now, 
You're leading the service,
Just put on a choir robe
Or you'll make the Board nervous."

Grinch couldn't believe Cantor Phil was so nice,
So he paid not attention as Rabbi Schulweis
Escaped from his bag with Feinstein and Fox
And poor Rabbi Hoffman who lost one of his socks.

The Grinch joined the choir, he made every rehearsal,
He did such a Tshuva, it was quite a reversal!
Instead of his scorn and his rage and rejection,
The shul soon became his place of affection.

He came to each service and became part of the scene 
That soon we forgot that he was hairy and green.
He'd stand at the door, say "Shalom, have a tallis,"
And at the end of the service, he passed out the challas.

Yes, to all of the services he faithfully went
Till they brought up his name to be shul president.
He serves to this day as our faithful leader
And fills in some Shabbos's as Haftorah reader!

If he sees you in shul, a hug he'll extend,
And say: "Here in shul, you've got five thousand friends!"
He'll greet you so warmly with "Shabbat Shalom,
Whoever you are, in shul you're always at home!"


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


Sat, August 15 2020 25 Av 5780