Purim Shpiel 5772: Rabbi Greg Wolfe
The Mort, Max! I Speak for the Jews…
And the shpielers go shpieling juiced up on sweet rum
There was a young boy, Maxeleh Max was his name
Who, after this tale, was just never the same.
For you see he learned lessons that opened his eyes
Of brave Esthers, and Hamans we love to despise,
And of silly ol’ kings and wise Mordecais,
Who never, not once, fail to thrill and surprise.
So it happened one night, ’twas the full moon of Adar,
That Maxeleh Max set out with his family by car
To visit his wise great-grandpa in Kalamazoo
Who had learned quite a lot and knew what he knew.
And Max wanted to learn, when they came through the door,
He knew, too, what he knew, but he wanted much more…
Is it really quite true, do you swear you’re not joshin’
That long ago there were no prune hamentaschen?
Yes, indeed, I declare that no ‘taschen were tasted,
imagine the seeds of poppy: all wasted!
Your favorite pastry, behold its creation
You’ll see how The Mort, Max, saved our whole Jewish nation.
So whispering low now, just enough to allure him
Great grandpa unrolled the whole megillah of Purim.
Those long ago days were quite wild and appealing
Our people, the Jews, were not too revealing.
We did what we did and we worked with great pride,
But if you were a Jew you just kept it inside.
And that’s how it was when she came on the scene
A beauty was Esther in the contest for queen.
Not a word did she leak of her Jewish persuasion
An important plot twist in the story’s equation.
The king was delighted, now, high on his throne
With Esther his queen, he no longer felt alone.
Though her beauty had got her just where she had got,
She knew what she knew and that was a lot!
But the days of great bliss were not destined for long
When Haman arrived, then our story went quite wrong.
He was filled with hot air, and some say sour gas,
And perhaps he was mean cuz it just wouldn’t pass.
But whatever it was why he did what he’d done,
This wickedest bad guy in all of Shushan.
He thought he was mighty, one notch below God
He made everyone kiss the place where he trod.
He’d see you and sneer, all sickening and sweet,
And point with one finger right down at his feet.
His meaning was clear, no one could refuse,
The young and the old bowed and kissed Haman’s shoes.
That’s just how it was when old Hame’ came to town
But he hadn’t accounted on Mort comin’ round.
Now, bow down, said Haman, and make it quite quick
But Morty the Jew was in no mood for his shtick.
I am the Mort, Max, he hollered the news
And I’m here to tell you I speak for the Jews
So come on down here and get off your high horse
We won’t bow to you, only to the One God, of course!
Haman’s eyes they were popping, his ears turned all red
the steam it was steaming right out of his head
Right then and there he knew just what he’d do
Even if it meant he would have to get every last Jew.
He flew in a rage to the king at his court
As he hatched evil schemings to get that Jew Mort
He had no use for those people, the ones they called Jews
We’d be better off without them, what’s really to lose?
They are not like us, they are really quite other
I’ll make ‘em go bye bye, or worse, if you’d druther.
So just say the word, and give me your sign
I’ll take care of those Jews and you will feel fine.
Oh the king was so foolish, he did not understand
And now he was trapped in what Haman had planned.
A royal decree was sent out through the land
The end of the Jews was now a command.
While all of our people were sad at the news
It was Mort, Max, who called out, “I speak for the Jews!”
Oh, no we won’t give up or be singing the blues
For the Jews are a people with lofty values
Just the kind of thing that we all could sure use.
Great grandpa added so Max wouldn’t snooze.
Are you paying attention? Are you getting the gist?
He said with great gusto, while raising his fist.
It was the Mort, Max, who uttered, “I speak for the Jews,”
We know what is right and when to refuse
And a Jew is a Jew right down to her shoes
We must stand up and fight for our right to be free
Esther the queen is the one I must see!
Esther was worried, she’d heard what was done
In a flash, being queen, was not that much fun
Of her role, Max, Mort said, there could be no debate
For she and her people would share the same fate.
Though the weight of her task was now taking its toll,
Deep down inside she knew this was her role
She knew that with courage and faith in her plight
She would help the king see that what’s right is just right
So she took a big leap that the king would accept her
And when he did see her he held up his scepter.
Whatever you want, up to half my kingdom
A party, your highness, and could you please come?
And while we are dining on fine Persian dishes
I’ll then let you in on just what my main wish is
And please be so kind as to bring as your guest
That guy, what’shisname?, you know the big pest.
The king and ol’ Haman showed up right at eight
Excited to see what she’d put on their plate
All through the meal that ol’ Haman did flirt
Little did he know that he would soon get his dessert!
Then came the moment when king turned to wife
When on bended knee she begged for her dear life
And, Max, that’s when she said, “I speak for the Jews”
And tell you right now you’ve been tricked by a ruse.
Poppycock and Poppy seed! What’s this all about?
It’s Haman, your Highness, he is the lout!
Don’t worry, my dear, he will rot cuz he’s rotten
“Poor him” they will say when they hear what I’m plottin’
Guards! Grab him and take him away real soon!
And stuff him with cherries or maybe a prune.
To this very day, with Hame’ we do feast
‘cept now he is served on pans that are greased!
So if you’re in Persia or Kalamazoo
Always be proud that you are a Jew
And now you do know all there was to be knew
Go and tell this sweet tale so others will too!