A Visit from the Rebbe*
'Twas the night before Xmas, the night we call “Nittel”
Not a bochur was learning, not even a little;
The seforim lay closed on their shtenders with care,
Not to be opened till naitz would be there;
The kinder were nestled all snug in their beds;
Trying to rid Torah thoughts from their heads;
And I with my AirPods, and mamma with tichel,
Had just settled our brains for a Torah-free Nittel,
When out on the lawn something broke through my dremmel,
I sprang from my bed with a shrill "Gutt in Himmel!"
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the
breast** of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a luster of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a stretch limousine full of bochrim from shiur;
With a saintly old driver so lively and heimish,
I knew in a moment – ‘twas the Rebbe, Reb Beinish!
More rapid than eagles he and eight chevra came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Itche! now, Mottel! now Yankel and Bumy!
On, Velvel! on, Lazer! on, Ber and Avrumy!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to my roof the chevra they climbed
With volumes of shas and achronim combined.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard, a bit loud
The daf-yomi shteiging of that lebedig crowd
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Reb Beinish came with a bound.
He was dressed all in black, from his head to his boots,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and shmutz;
New sets of Gemaras he had stuffed into sacks
For every young talmid whose learning was lax.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His mouth hummed a niggun, as if from a fiddle,
And the beard on his chin was as white as a kittel;
With a wink of his eye and a kind smile he said,
“Minhag shtus is this custom, there’s nothing to dread!”
Then, he admonished, “Not a moment of bittul –
There’s Torah to learn, even though it is Nittel!”
He knew what to do and went straight to his work,
And gave me a sefer; then turned with a jerk,
"Final thought," said he, "verse is more fun than prose!"And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;