by Jacob M. Appel
Nothing I’ve got against the new rabbi—If they choose to hire a woman, so-be-it—But she wants I should go along to the parties.What does a cantor need with parties? At my age?To engender good will, she says. Moral support.What’s moral, I ask you, about fog machines,And blue uplighting, and preteen girls so fahpitzed To make Sophie Tucker blush red as an onion?One buffet—I swear—they got shrimp cocktail,Bacon fritters laid out like anybody’s business. And the boys! Sullen blockheads to the last:If lazy was a tree, they could raise a forest. Cantor, can we skip a week for soccer practice? In the days of my father, alav ha-shalom, A youth was called to the Torah—not pushed.But it means something when your kid sisterHears dirty kike on the bus, when stones fly.When the names denied entry belong to faces.Now here is some thirteen-year-old Casanova(Double popped collar, gelled Jersey Shore hair)Asking if it’s true you can sing the HaftarahTo the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme.They enter knowing nothing, gornisht helfn, Leave knowing nothing minus one parashah, Maybe a few blessings. What else can I do?Their parents make them gods.... Life will make them men.