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!
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 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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
Sizzling smells warm the night, though it’s snowing;
Families gather, spread festive delight,
Cheer in the streets, songs greeting each night.
Chanukah’s celebrated here in this day;
Please let me remain; I just cannot miss –
Seeing how they must embrace Shavuos.”
“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?”