May 26, 2019

How the Grinch Stole Shabbat

Oh, the Jews up in Jewville,
they loved their Shabbat,
from the oldest of old folks
to the youngest of tots.

With candles and wine
and chocolate chip challah,
they felt oh so good
till way past Havdalah.

They all went to shul
to hear Rabbi Schulweis,
who told them, “It’s important
to treat everyone nice.”

And after the service
they each took their tallis
and ran to tables
for cookies and challahs.

But there was one among them,
though he was born Yiddish,
who didn’t like candles or challah
or “Kiddush.”
In fact, Shabbat made him so angry
and bluish,
you’d hardly have guessed that he
was born Jewish.
Since his bar mitzvah,
he grew not an inch.
He was tiny and hairy,
and they called him the Grinch.

He lived on a mountaintop
far above town.
On each Shabbat evening
he’d say with a frown:
“What’s the big deal,
with their candles and brachas,
to me the whole thing is a pain
in the tuchis.

I don’t feel any different from Friday
till Sunday.
I don’t need your Shabbat —
give me any old Monday!
I’ll show them, I’ll show them:
I’ll steal their Shabbat!
I’ll take all the wine and
the candles they’ve got!”

So he set about building
a Shabbat-stealing machine.
It was nuclear powered,
it was noisy and mean.

He built the world’s first
Shabbat candle blower-outer
that blew out the candles
with ucky green powder.

Then one Friday night
while they welcomed Shabbat,
the Grinch saw his chance
to hatch his ugly plot.

While they all sat in shul,
so polished and clean,
the Grinch from his mountaintop
brought down his machine.

While the cantor sang prayers
and the rabbi told fables,
the Grinch came down chimneys
to attack Shabbat tables.

As the Jews in the shul
davened louder and louder,
the Grinch he revved up
his Shabbat candle blower-outer.

He snuffed all their candles,
he stole all their challahs,
he dumped out their “Kiddush” wine
all over their tallis.

There was no one to stop him,
they were all still in shul,
as he pour all their chicken soup
right in the pool.

He ate all their kugel.
he ate up their herring.
He ate all their desserts
without even sharing!

That Grinch he stole Shabbat
from all their mishpoches,
from such terrible things
some people get nachas.

He ruined their Shabbat,
he didn’t think twice.
He even stole Shabbat
from Rabbi Schulweis.

The Grinch stole the Shabbat
from Jewville’s fine Jews.
He went up all their streets
and down avenues
until he finally arrived
at the road by the crevice,
the very last street
where they drink Manischewitz.

At the end of the block
lived little Suzie le’Jew,
who couldn’t make it to shul;
she was home with the flu.

Of all Jewville’s Jews
little Suzie was smartest;
she studied the longest,
she studied the hardest.

She knew “Kiddush” and “Motzi”
and “Birkat” by heart
she knew “Sh’ma” and “Amida”
and the in-between parts
that only the cantor and Yossi could say
if only the rabbi would let people pray!

Now this little Suzie
slept snug in her bed,
while candles and challah
danced in her head.
When all of a sudden she heard such
a clatter,
and in through her window came
the Grinch on a ladder.

Now Suzie in darkness
she just couldn’t see.
“Who is this visitor?
who could it be?”
She thought maybe zeyde
had forgotten his key,
or perhaps cousin Herschel
had dropped in for tea.

So she jumped out of bed
gave a kiss and hug.
She whispered, “Good Shabbos”
into his hairy mug.

Now the Grinch didn’t know
what hit him that night,
everyone he would meet
ran away in great fright.

This was the first Shabbat kiss
he had got
since he was a kid back in
Rabbi Jay’s tot Shabbat.

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 all of the hugs
that he’d missed all these years.

“I’ve done something awful,”
the Grinch started to cry.
“I’ve done something awful,
and I don’t know why.”

“We believe in teshuva,”
Suzie wisely explained.
“We believe that your ways
can always be changed!”

“But what can I do
to earn love in your eyes?
What can I do
to apologize?”

“The Jews of our town are forgiving
and true
The Jews of our town will learn
to love you

But first you must show
your words come from the heart.
Clean up your mess,
that’s a good start!

Put back the candles
and put back the challahs,
put back the “Kiddush” wine,
put back the tallis!

But hurry up, Mr. Grinch,
it’s time to be nervous,
’cause here come the Jews
home from the service!”

The Grinch he moved fast
like a mighty tornado.
The Grinch he moved faster
than even Sigfredo.

He put back their candles.
He put back their challahs.
He put back the “Kiddush” wine.
He cleaned up the tallis.
He set all the tables with
gleaming white dishes.
He filled all their plates with brisket
and knishes.

So the Jews of old Jewville
came home singing songs,
and they never found out
there was anything wrong.

The Grinch did teshuva
and changed all his ways;
he learned to love Shabbat
all of his days.

All of his meanness
and anger and stink —
he got rid of all,
he needed no shrink.

Instead he had Suzie,
his wise little teacher,
who taught him that
inside the heart of each creature
is God’s special light
’cause in God’s image we’re made,
and so there’s no reason
to ever be afraid.

The Grinch loved the Torah
so much that one day
he signed up to be a rabbi
up at the UJ.

And so, my dear friends,
this Shabbat, let’s not miss;
turn around to someone,
give a hug and a kiss.

Suzie has taught us
that even a Grinch,
with enough hugs and kisses,
can turn into a mensch.