In last year’s recapping of two-thousand-and-eight
(a lame bit of rapping and my third one to date),
I had the chutzpa to wish yours and mine
a much better year in two-thousand-and-nine.
Who knew I’d be pining for those days of yore,
Before I knew just what was in store,
From warfare in Gaza and rabbis in trouble,
And the lasting effects of the real estate bubble.
The latter left all of us deep in recession,
As group after group in a dismal progression
Announced all the folks that had to be laid off
Thanks to the market and that creep Bernie Madoff.
You had to be deaf or a tabula rasa
Not to hear of the woes that struck poor Hadassah.
We suffered a case of communal shell shock — a
Blow to our pride and a loss of tzedaka.
The bad news came on with so deep a surge
That a number of groups decided to merge.
However, in hell it would be a cold day
Before Friends of Peace Now were to join ZOA.
Or AIPAC and J Street, to pick two at random,
Would agree to do what they do in tandem.
The clash between lobbyists made national news,
As lawmakers wondered, “Who speaks for the Jews?”
The year turned out rocky for our new prez Obama.
You see, he and Bibi were caught in a drama,
As Israel rejected attempts to appease
Mahmoud Abbas with a settlement freeze.
After another Mahmoud, this one in Iran,
Stole an election (oh, yes, he can!)
He worriedly watched as the streets filled with Shias.
Let’s hope the regime is as unstable as he is.
After failing for months to gain any traction,
Health-care reform seemed headed for action.
Although people’s hopes for a national plan
Ran into a roadblock named Joe Lieberman.
A party of one, the once popular Joe
Went from Mr. Jomentum to plain Mr. No.
What gave this pariah such moral authority?
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Majority!
When it came to a talent for political scandal,
To New Jersey no one could hold up a candle.
A federal sting went according to plan
And made national news when the Dwek hit the fan.
When the prodigal son dropped the proverbial dime,
Some Syrian rabbis faced some serious time.
From Secaucus to Bayonne, from Deal to Hoboken,
It’s clear that the system was seriously broken.
It wasn’t all bad news in the year that just passed.
Fans of the Yankees sure thought it a blast.
And the eyes of Republicans will start to get misty
When they ponder the win of Christopher Christie.
And who woulda thunk that ex-President Carter
Would state his sudden change of heart — Or
Perhaps his regret for his Middle East stances
Was about his grandson’s political chances?
But let us judge all with a generous spirit.
It’s almost a new year, and as we get near it
It’s important to remember these words of our fathers:
God strikes with one hand and heals with the other.