With apologies…

’Twas the night before Chrismukkah, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, but Fievel the mouse.
The stockings were hung, the menorah aglow,
The Hanukkah story would soon be retold!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
With cravings of latkes and nog in their heads.
Mamma in her shawl and I in my kippah
Had just settled in for a long winter’s sleepah.

When on the fire escape arose such a shtuss,
I leapt with a start and woke up our puss.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
My Siamese kitty tore up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes did we find,
But a rickety cart with eight milk cows behind.
With a plump, aged dairyman pulling the wagon,
I knew in an instant it must be Reb Tevye!

As slow as molasses the cows they came,
And we suddenly realized that each one was lame!
But good ol’ Reb Tevye would not be dismayed,
As he passionately grunted and called them by name.

“Now, Barron! Now, Perlman! Now, Brickner and Adelson!
On, Rosen! On, Sered! On, Sischy and Abramson!
To the top of the fire escape, to the top of the stovepipes,
Now, limp away! Limp away! Limp away all!”

Tackling the mount, up the tenement they drew,
All bundles intact, and Tevye too.
And then in a flash I heard on the roof
The dragging and clomping of each cloven hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning away,
Down the stovepipe plopped Tevye, shouting “OY VEY!”
Clad in worn work clothes from his head to his toes,
He shot me a glance as he wrinkled his nose.

His eyes how they twinkled, his punim so merry,
With five missing teeth, he looked a bit scary.
His dark beard was thick and as long as they come,
And crumbling challah bits fell off his gums.

He had a long face with an awfully big belly,
That growled from ingesting donuts with jelly.
A shake of his fist and a hearty guffaw,
Gave me to know that this guy had chutzpah!

He spoke not a word as he danced a swift hora,
And lay out my gift of a holiday Torah!
With a tug of his tallit and a reverent bow,
Up the stovepipe he leapt, I do not know how.

He jumped in his cart, to his cows gave a nudge,
And away they all hobbled like curdled hot fudge.
But I heard him exclaim, from Anatevka afar,
“L’chaim to all, and to all Chag Chrismukkah!”


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