Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tisha B’Av in Rhyme, Till the End of Time

Listen my friend and you will hear A story that's caused many to shed a tear And while it happened so long ago We're still here in golus with nowhere to go

For a thousand-plus years, the story’s been told

Everyone knows it, both young and old

Yet its lesson for everyone rings oh so true

For it speaks to the neshamah of every Jew

Why hear it again? You may just ask

What is the purpose of this repetitive task?

But of each bitter churban we ask, “Why? Oh why?”

In each generation must we cry, cry, and cry?

Hundreds, thousands, millions of korbanos

Young and old kedoshim, tzaddikim and tzidkaniyos

Battered, injured, left to starve and to die

As we cry to Hashem, “Ad mosai? Ad mosai?”

Can anyone of us change this tide?

Would we be able to restore our Yiddishe pride?

If we want to repair our broken heart

We must go back to the beginning when everything did start

Sometimes people just don’t get along

Often because someone did something wrong

As children we are encouraged to make it right

Apologize, make up, Yidden don’t fight!

Hashem looks at his children, “How wonderful are they?

I’ll also forgive them when to Me they will pray

Look how these children don’t bear a grudge

With favor and kindness my nation I’ll judge”

But this sad story did not end this way

And that’s why we’re crying to this very day

When it all began, no one was crying

To forgive and be friendly no one was trying

Mazel tov! She’s engaged, let’s all drink lechayim

Such a wonderful chosson, the finest in Yerushalayim

A big wedding, so fancy, was planned

A fine gourmet menu and eleven-piece band

Friends, guest and neighbors, gedolei rabbonim

Everyone’s invited, even meshulochim

The guest list was lengthy, not one oversight

Many surprised, “Even me he’d invite?”

Just one single person was excluded from the list

His name was Bar Kamtza, he wouldn’t be missed

“I really hate that fellow, for him there’s no place

It would ruin my party if I’d see his face”

Now it was Bar Kamtza who was his enemy

But the fellow named Kamtza he wanted to see

So someone was sent Kamtza to invite

But the messenger got confused, he did not get it right

To the house of Bar Kamtza, the enemy, he came

He knocked on the door, not noticing the name

“I’m invited to the wedding by my enemy?

Could it be he’s no longer angry at me?”

The invitation was something he hardly believed

But it seemed to be true, he was greatly relieved

How wonderful this friendship we both can now mend

And the messenger told the host, “Kamtza will attend”

So it came to pass, the wedding day did arrive

Guests were coming, the ruach was alive

Hundreds, maybe thousands, from every city and village

To be at this wedding was quite a privilege

First came the shmorg, with every fancy dish

Sweet breads, ribs, and sushi raw fish

At the chosson tish every rosh yeshiva and rov

Coming up to the mechutan to wish mazel tov

The march to the badeken was quite a stampede

With jumping and dancing with every type of Yeed

Then to the chupah with hartzigeh mezamrim

And tons of kibbudim for the choshuve rabbonim

The grand ballroom was opened, the guests streamed inside

The host went to each table beaming with pride

Until he reached the table where Bar Kamtza did sit

His eyes began to bulge as he went into a fit

“What are you doing here?” he screamed and he cried

“To my dear daughter’s wedding, who allowed you inside?

To be in this room you have no permission

Not to eat, not to drink, not to hear a musician

“I hate you, I’m disgusted to look at your face

Get up immediately and leave this place!”

His embarrassment was terrible, yet no one did protest

Neither family nor rabbonim, rosh yeshiva nor guest

Please let me stay, I’ll pay for my meal

Don’t throw me out or make a big deal


Everyone was quiet, all they did was just stare

“For half of the party, I will gladly pay”

“NO WAY! GET OUT!” is all he did say

“Please don’t embarrass me, I’ll pay for it all

The food, the band, the magnificent hall”

“NO! NO! GET OUT”” he said in his rage

Like a very wild animal out of his cage

“Will anyone help me?” came his plea, came his cry

Not the caterer, not a guest, or a respected rabbi?

“Okay, I will leave, you can dance, you can sing

But I’m going to get you and snitch to the king

This terrible sinas chinom you will all regret

With a churban the Yidden will never forget”

So he went to the king and asked to be seen

“I’ll get them back well for being so mean

The Jews have rebelled, you aren’t respected

Send them a korban, it will surely be rejected”

The ruler followed Bar Kamtza’s advice

And sent to the Temple a fine sacrifice

On the way a small blemish was made to its eye

That only for Jews it would disqualify

But for the nations to reject it, there would be no reason

If the Jews won’t accept it would be outright treason

What should we do with this animal’s blemish?

The question was going around the bais medrash

Not realizing Bar Kamtza was filled with such hate

By the time they said no, it was already too late

The Mikdosh and all of its pride and its glory

Would soon be destroyed and remain just a story

Whose fault is it? Who is to blame?

When we sit by quietly and see someone’s shame

We all are responsible, we all share the guilt

Of why the Bais Hamikdosh hasn’t been built

We must get together with strength and with achdus

And ahava v’achvah veshalom verei’us

Ahavas chinom can help this dream be fulfilled

As the foundation of the Bais Hamikdosh we soon will all build!



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