Copyright Michael Alan Ross 2004-2015. All rights reserved.
Twenty hours into the fast, I pumped up with "Shma,"
"Listen to your own voice," I told myself. "You'll survive."
Protectively, though, my mind lifted me afar...
"Tonight's guest host, Moshe Ben Nachum, live!"
The audience roared welcome like I was the Sabbath bride,
The band played Lecho Dodi, uptempo, loudly,
I sauntered, waved, shook hands, smiled, proudly,
Leno, Carson, Allen, and Paar were by my side.
"Thank you," I confidently calmed the crowd,
"We have a r-e-a-l-l-y great show for you,
A midrash, Maimonides said he'll do.
And, on his harp, King David." I bowed.
"First, a special treat, a senior citizen dance troupe,
Who cherkiziya, mayim, and Yemenite in bare feet,
Sing-a-long, yelp, even manage an occasional leap,
Let's give it up for this outstanding group!"
"Weren't they terrific, they'll be appearing on the coast,
For the annual dance festival with Haifa as host.
Coming out now, the philosopher extraordinaire,
The Rambam, himself, let's show him we care."
"So, tell me, Rav, what deeds have you been up to?"
"Well, I've been reorganizing Halacha, what folks should do."
"Does that mean the whole Torah and Talmud, you've gone through?"
"Yes, it was an extreme olympic challenge which I wanted to pursue."
"And what wit or wisdom, would you leave us to digest?"
"Well, given the shortness of our lives, don't overdo it on rest,
To focus on good deeds probably is our human test,
Making life easier and fulfilling for yourself and neighbors is best!"
"Thank you, Rav. Coming up next is King David on his harp.
First this message from Tiberious Fish and Carp!"
"What page are we on?" I felt a tapping on my shoulder.
An attractive woman had sat down beside me. "Page 236," I told her.
The momentary distraction didn't bother me. "Five seconds," from the producer, a call.
"Welcome back," I smiled at my audience, standing with my shoulders back, my head tall,
"Now leaving the green room, straight from Jerusalem, where he's just finished building a wall,
Our King David, still as handsome, lyrical and melodic...give him a warm welcome, y'all."
The harp's tones must have lulled me to sleep, for the next moment I was aware,
"Are you all right?" The page seeker raised my head with great care.
"You were falling over," she said. "Perhaps, you should end your fast early?"
Her act coupled with her concern made me sit straight in my chair.
"Thanks," I said to her. "I was drifting, dreaming, and now am back here."
Her smile so made me want to hand her a fruit offering, perhaps a sweet pear,
Forgetting my Walter Mitty-ish hosting, I responded warmly to her touching, so rare,
Embracing a Godly moment during my fast, of another person's empathy to share.
"To appreciate a clock telling time, we have to recognize every tick."
"What do you mean?" she whispered back at me.
"Each of us is like a second and it takes hands to bring us together," I replied.
"Oh," she said. "You're thanking God for our dance music."
1. Shma (Hebrew for listen) is a central Jewish prayer.
2. Lecho Dodi (Hebrew for Come my Beloved) is a Sabbath welcoming prayer.
3. & 5. Maimonides, Rabbi Moses ben Maimom - acronym: Rambam - was a 12th century Jewish rabbi/philosopher/physician.
4. Cherkiziya, mayim, and Yemenite are Israeli dance steps.
6. Rav, generally, is Hebrew for teacher or rabbi.
7. Halacha (Hebrew for the way) is the body of Jewish religious law.
8. Walter Mitty was a James Thurber fictional character who frequently day-dreamed.