Tag Archive | White Christmas

Bright Shabbos – An Ode to Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin) was an American Jewish composer and songwriter who, like many other Jewish artists of his era, found an open door to the expression of his gifts in the music industry.  He is considered among the greatest of American songwriters, and “White Christmas” was among his most famous contributions to American culture. The song may have been born out of his own personal experience of loss, it may have been intended as a tribute to what he loved about life in America. Though not religious, Berlin identified ethnically and culturally Jewish until his death in 1989 at the age of 101.

Irving Berlin, born Israel Beilin

In the spirit of living Jewishly in America at this time of year, I offer the following rendition of Berlin’s timeless contributions. Note: Most people are unaware that the song’s original version has an introductory paragraph about living in Beverly Hills and yearning to be celebrating the holiday up north!

(Sung to the tune of “White Christmas”)

The sun is hiding, the sky is grey
The naked branches sway
It feels like every other day
In Rockland County, you say?
But it’s the 24th of December
And I am longing to be with our members….

I’m dreaming of a bright Shabbos
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the challahs glisten
And children listen
To hear Kiddush chanted slow
(But please, not too slow….)

I’m dreaming of a bright Shabbos
With every guest that I’d invite
May your soup be salted just right,
And may all your Shabboses be bright!

I’m dreaming of a bright Shabbos
But COVID’s got some other plans,
Will you all get tested?
Will germs be bested?
Of masks the guests are just not fans.

I’m dreaming of a bright Shabbos
Though all’s shut down and dark tonight.
May your hearts be open and light,
And may all your Shabboses be bright.

Shabbat shalom, and enjoy the spirit of others’ holidays as we wish others to enjoy ours! And to my friends celebrating Christmas in the northeast, so glad it snowed for you last night!

First snow!

Rabbi Craig Scheff

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