Skip to main content

A Poem for Shavuos / Shavuot / שבעות

Okay, I lied:  it’s not a poem for Shavuot.  I’m Ashkenaz and proud, and for once, if you want to read the poem, you’re going to have to read it MY way.

Shavuos - here’s how you say it:

  • Sha, like you’re shushing a baby;
  • Voo, like the French word for youse;
  • Iss.  Who doesn’t like a holiday that rhymes with KISS???

Now that you can say it, there’s a free printable PDF version of the poem here.

Also, it’s a bit late for this year, but be sure to check out my Shavuos learning for kids (not just for homeschoolers!) resources roundup page here!

image The Tzaddik:  A Poem for Shavuos
Hundreds of years ago, far far away,
A tzaddik is dying; the end nears today.
He drifts in his dreams as he turns in his bed,
His worries for Yiddishkeit swirl round his head.
“If only,” Rebbe Alter murmurs out loud,
“If only I knew, if a glimpse were allowed,
A glimpse of the future, to see how they fare,
Carrying Torah to the new world out there.”
And just at that moment, a spectre alights:
“Dear Rebbe Alter, you’ve earned those sights.
I’ll show you a glimpse of the world yet to be,
The world of tomorrow you’ll merit to see.”
And off the two fly ‘round the world, far away,
Passing through time to the world of today.
To a shul they arrive and he sees the men daven,
At home, Erev Shabbos, a warm fragrant oven.
“Ah,” he exclaims, “it is true, every word,
Forever and ever our tefillos are heard.”
“Now come,” says the spectre, “there’s more yet indeed,”
And off the two whirl, round the world with great speed.
They fly far away, to another vast land,
A young boy with a candle in his steady hand.
And then, from his distance, Rebbe Alter is shown
A Chanukah such as he’d never known.
A table rich with presents, near lights softly glowing,
Sizzling smells warm the night, though it’s snowing;
Families gather, spread festive delight,
Cheer in the streets, songs greeting each night.
“Ah,” he exclaims, “if this is the way,
Chanukah’s celebrated here in this day;
Please let me remain; I just cannot miss –
Seeing how they must embrace Shavuos.”
image But wisely the spectre puts an end to his roam,
“Your travels are over,” he whispers, “safe home.”
And yet, I can hear his voice, whispering still –
“Chanukah, yes, but won’t you… you will?
גוט יום טוב


  1. Ok, I'm confused! I know that the Ashkenaz pronounce the s at the end but why is it iss instead of os?

  2. Ashkenazim do things with vowels, too, that are a bit more subtle than just the "t/s" shift, like the way an A sometimes becomes an O, like in "Boruch atoh".
    Most Ashkenazim I know are careful to pronounce the name of Hashem "Adonoi," for example - not the modern Hebrew "Adonai." You may have heard this if you're hanging around Chabad-niks. :-)
    Look in an NCSY bencher if you have one for a guide to Ashkenaz pronunciation - if you don't have one, it's a good thing to get anyway, and they're very cheap.
    Our rabbi actually pronounces the name of the holiday Shvoo-ISS - only 2 syllables; I actually suspect this is more "Ashkenaziss."

  3. Ah... that explains some of it :-) (and I do probably hear more Chabad-nik pronunciations)


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

What do we tell our kids about Chabad and “Yechi”?

If I start by saying I really like Chabad, and adore the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, z"l, well... maybe you already know where I'm headed. Naomi Rivka has been asking lately what I think about Chabad.  She asks, in part, because she already knows how I feel.  She already knows I’m bothered, though to her, it’s mostly about “liking” and “not liking.”  I wish things were that simple. Our little neighbourhood in Israel has a significant Chabad presence, and Chabad conducts fairly significant outreach within the community.  Which sounds nice until you realize that this is a religious neighbourhood, closed on Shabbos, where some huge percentage of people are shomer mitzvos.  Sure, it’s mostly religious Zionist, and there are a range of observances, for sure, but we’re pretty much all religious here in some way or another. So at that point, this isn’t outreach but inreach .  Convincing people who are religious to be… what? A lot of Chabad’s efforts here are focused on kids, including a