Sunday, December 9, 2018

Mr. Menorah-head (Chanukah) 5779

As their favorite season drew closer this year
The Jews down in Jew-ville lacked Chanukah cheer
They all loved this holiday, boychiks and maidels
They longed to light candles, eat latkes, spin dreidels
To gather their families, from lands far and wide
To sing “Rock of Ages” and eat stuff that’s fried

But 2018 brought such sorrow and starkness
The Jew-ville Jews felt overcome by the darkness.
In a nation asunder and bleeding at heart
There were too many villains to know where to start

With no single scoundrel to bear all the blame
The grim events mounted, too many to name:

There was angry division, greed and despair
Tantrums on Twitter and rage everywhere
Murderous shooters and racist attacks
And taunts of Fake News to obscure all the facts

Huge killer storms and death-dealing fires
Couldn’t sway EPA’s science deniers
Jobs that don’t even approach living wages
Kids torn from parents and cast into cages

The poor-they got less, and the rich—they got more
We sold out our allies for tyrants galore
Like Putin and every corrupt Saudi royal
Whose evil’s forgiven because they’ve got oil

Bigotry prospered, with hateful aggression
Thanks, in no small part, to voter suppression

Corporate leaders who claimed to lean in
Turned out to be just more bad masters of spin
As Facebook and Russia connived to implore us
To blame all our failings on Jewish George Soros

Now all of the shtetl was filled with dismay
Would a hero arise who could still save the day?

Every Jew down in Jew-ville, each boychick and maidel
Held hope Lucy Latke and Dana the Dreidel
And brave Gershon Geltbag might get them un-mired
But as it turned out, they had all just retired

All hope seemed to fade as the day it grew dimmer
But off in the distance, the Jews saw a glimmer
It moved toward the people, quite quickly it sped
Yet the light did not shine on Menorah-head’s head
Yes, although their brave hero had clearly returned
His bald head was dark where the candles once burned
And boxing Reb Moishe, his side kick of old
He stood in the shadows, forsaken and cold

The people cried, “Save us!”—their hero said, “No—
We must all work together if we want to grow
I’ve come to deliver a critical warning:
It’s time to give thanks and to quit all your mourning

It’s true Jew-ville’s broken, and feeling quite dark
But if you want light, you must gather up sparks
And kindle new flames, for in this black night
There is also great beauty, and kindness and light

Look around you, he said, at school, work and home
The world’s full of color, it’s not monochrome
If life’s got you down with the Chanukah blues
Start looking around and you’ll find there’s good news:

All over the globe, hope’s flag—it unfurls
There’s more education for women and girls
Even in the most troubled and poorest of nations,
Poverty’s down, with far less starvation
Yes, the world’s getting better, despite what it seems
More people than ever nurse new hopes and dreams

More women in Congress—minorities too
With more diverse voices, so long overdue
Possessing the vision to heal and repair
And lift us, together, from dread and despair

After Parkland, our young people found a new voice
Reminding their elders that we have a choice
Their generation—our daughters and sons—
Will free schools and cities from violence by guns

 Clean energy sources that once didn’t pay
Like wind farms and solar are leading the way
Yes, carbon-free power, once thought unattainable
Lies within reach—it’s real and sustainable

Right here at home, at the people’s demanding
Medicaid healthcare will soon be expanding
And in nearby Meridian, I’m pleased to say:
The law now protects you if you’re trans or gay

And friends, if through all this, you’re still feeling low
Have faith: this year, new winds of justice will blow
When your spirit is dimmed and your vision is duller
Remember the two magic words: Robert Mueller

Though in some ways, our age—it is still fraught with fear
Just to be is a blessing, let’s be glad we’re here.
The darkness will pass, the light will return
The bright flames of freedom will once again burn

Then Mr. Menorah-head stood tall and proud
Concluding his words to the gathering crowd:

My flame comes from you—in the dark of this night
If we’re to prevail, we must all kindle light
No hero alone will deliver this nation
Together you must make your own celebration
You each have your own righteous light you must sow—
So let your light shine and the tyrants will go!

Then each Jewville Jew looked into their soul
And the flame of community glowed like a coal
With courage and faith, they banished all fear
And it’s said that a great miracle happened here—

For hope was rekindled, despair—it was gone
And Jewville burst into a Chanukah song.

And Mr. Menorahead, now shining bright
Said “Gut Yuntiff to all and to all a good night.”

1 comment:

Annete G. said...

Laughter, hope, a message to light our way! Thank you