4 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
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Better than Magic - Bracha Graetz    

Better than Magic - Bracha Graetz

Here is a Pesach treat with three very special poems by Bracha Graetz with important messages about teshuva, caring about each other, and giving attention to our children.


Better Than Magic

What’s better than magic
And within your reach each day?
You can make things disappear!
They’ll vanish right away.
What’s better than magic?
Here comes another clue.
Every moment there’s a chance
To start off clean and new.
When you have done something wrong’
This tool can fix your mess
(No matter which bad thing you’ve done.)
What is it? Can you guess?
It’s far better than magic,
‘Cause no one gets a trick deal.
It’s far better than magic,
‘Cause it’s amazing and for real!
In just one tiny second,
Big mistakes can be erased.
Watch it wipe out your aveiros
Without leaving any trace!
And that isn’t all –
For when its full powers are found,
Aveiros change to mitzvos,
Turning completely around!
It’s TESHUVAH that does more
Than pulling rabbits out of hats.
Teshuvah can make you over,
And no magic can beat that!
Pick A Table!
Based on a parable attributed to the famous rabbi, Maharam MiRottenberg
There once was a great rabbi,
Who had a dream one night.
And in the dream he got to see,
A most amazing sight.
The rabbi got the chance to see,
What we'd all like to know.
He found out where givers end up.
And where the selfish go.
First he was led into a room,
Where selfish folk are taken.
A great, big GORGEOUS banquet hall.
Said he, "Are you mistaken?"
The tables were set beautifully.
Great food was piled up high.
"But wait - no one is eating!"
The rabbi wondered, "Why?"
"Why are these people starving?"
He got his answer soon.
Strapped onto each of their arms:
A three-foot-long spoon!
So each one sat there, hungry.
Food in front of each nose.
But they could find no way to eat,
Without bending their elbows!
Then the rabbi was led out,
To the place where givers go.
But it looked just like the other place.
Cried the rabbi, "No way! No!"
A great, big GORGEOUS banquet hall.
Tables set so  beautifully.
But here, the people sitting down,
Looked happy as could be.
Three-foot spoons were strapped on,
In this hall - just like the other.
But in this place, each arm stretched out -
To reach the mouth of another!
"So that is it!" the rabbi laughed.
"To see this is a treat!
Here nobody goes hungry.
Here each one gets to eat!"
"They were so used to giving.
Not one minute ticked by.
Before these souls had figured out,
How to help the other guy!"
"In this banquet hall also,
Their elbows could not bend.
But that would not stop them,
From reaching out to help a friend."
"But oy! Those other fellows!
In the other banquet hall!
They're so used to being selfish
They can't think to give at all!"
"Givers get used to giving.
And selfish folk to taking.
But if they knew where they'd end up,
They'd fix the mistake they're making!"
The rabbi told about his dream.
A dream he was quick to share,
Because he felt it could help us,
To stretch ourselves, to care.
He found out where givers end up,
And where the selfish go.
The places aren't different,
But the people make it so.
And right here, right now
Each day that we are living,
Can really feel like Heaven,
If we spend our days giving!
One True Story, Of Many
Moshe was smoking several packs,
And he was using drugs,
He was also suicidal,
And hanging out with thugs.
He got some very good counseling,
And a mentor, a true friend,
And when he was getting better,
The counselor asked him, at the end:
“If you could have anything,
What would you wish for?”
His answer: “I wish my parents
Would spend time with me more.”
Many are hurting inwardly.
That’s what their calloused toughness means.
Our children require intense devotion,
No less when they are teens.
There’s a widespread misconception,
That teens most want their peers,
But that’s only when their parents,
Can’t listen to their deepest fears.
Teens want closeness with their parents,
As much as when they were two.
Back then they also tried running away,
Testing to see what we’d do.
Rebellious teens are talking to us,
Whether or not we hear.
They are helping us see what we value.
We give time to what we hold dear.
Moshe’s parents were moved by his plea,
But they found it too hard to fulfill.
There were other pressing demands in their lives,
His rebuffs made it harder still.
Looking cool since he’s searching for warmth,
Moshe can be found on the street.
He’s got a message for each of us,
And a challenge we’ve got to meet.
(Bracha Goetz is a Mentoring Coordinator in Baltimore, Maryland and the Harvard-educated author of eight children's books, including The Happiness Box, The Invisible Book, and What Do You See At Home? To enjoy Bracha's uniquely inspiring presentations, you're welcome to email bgoetzster@gmail.com)

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