Top Of The Torah - Poem by gershon hepner
I’ll take you on the greatest ride:
the Big Tent’s waiting–– step inside!
It’s where the Jews all once assembled,
and Jacob, Isaac’s son, dissembled,
and angels once made Sarah laugh,
and Aaron made a Golden Calf,
and Pharaoh wouldn’t budge, so “Push! ”
said God to Moses from a Bush,
and rods were snakes and snakes could talk,
and Jews were told they can’t eat pork
on all days, and not have a sip o’
water when the day’s Yom Kippur.
I’ll be your guide and commentator,
and you’ll see sooner, if not later,
what happened in the Torah center––
I’ll act as an aggiornamentor!
The cast’s not all exemplary,
but everyone’s contemporary,
for what you’ll see through my sharp lens is
a drama, right from Genesis
through Deuteronomy, no less,
and learn things that you’d hardly guess
were written, with a special aura,
by Moses, when he got the Torah.
The characters have all been hewed
to smell as fresh as coffee brewed
the same day that you read about them;
they taste so real, you’ll never doubt them.
The Torah makes them percolate,
and, piping hot, they circulate
through ink upon the parchment scroll,
around your body to the soul.
Like coffee smell them, just to wake up,
there’s Isaac, Abraham and Jacob,
and Cain and Abel, Eve and Adam,
and Joseph, Potiphar and Madam,
and Noah in his Ark with Shem,
and Pharaoh dreaming in his REM,
and Lot who sleeps with both his daughters,
and Moses splitting Reed Sea waters.
Once, sadly, in a temper, he
attacked a rock ex tempore;
because he showed this fatal flaw,
God wouldn’t let him through the door!
There’s Phinehas smiting Hebrew rakes,
and Egypt suffering from plagues,
and Laban, Esau, she-ass, Balaam,
personae dramatis, let’s hail them
like gypsies in a taxi cab,
to take us to the writing lab
where they were processed, no computer,
by Moses––he had God as Tutor!
Most Torah heroes I recall,
stand proud, erect, and ten foot tall,
and even donkeys on a ride
occasionally talk back with pride!
Hats are not shtreimels but ten-gallons,
and women, as in beauty salons,
allow their hair to reach to the ankle,
while from both arms bracelets jangle
while they all revel round a calf,
deciding that it’s time to laugh
once God has given them the tablets,
volte face, like Montagues to Capulets.
The heroes’ lives are one long struggle,
unlike most mortals, they can juggle
on tightropes and the high trapeze,
but never go down on their knees.
Because the show’s the Good Lord’s circus,
there sometimes is some hocus-pocus
providing local color mainly.
Although the Torah’s written sanely,
it sometimes can appear bizarre
and oriental, God’s bazaar,
in which the heroes trade and train,
as like spoiled children they complain,
while God looks after them, their Trainer,
though smiting with His rod, as Caner!
The bottom line, though, and the moral,
is read it, hear it, written, oral!
I’ll see you’re kept quite up-to-date
within the Tent, for it is great
to meet the people, learn the things
that happened in its circus rings.
So come inside the Biggest Top,
start reading–– you will never stop.
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