Clever Chaim


getzel-rubashkinBy Getzel Rubashkin

You may know a boy who’s like Chaim

or you may say that Chaim’s like you.

He not only did all the things he was taught

he knew why he was doing them too.

He put on his Tefillin since he’d turned 13

to harness his heart and his mind.

“Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like”

so he tried to be gentle and kind

From just eating Kosher to blowing the Shofar

to wearing his Tzitzis all day,

Chaim knew why, he had all the answers –

they were all just a question away.

But then there was something he couldn’t explain

and he didn’t know what he should do.

For the first time since ever his answer to “Why?”

was “I’m sorry – I don’t have a clue!”

He felt very unsettled, he walked back and forth

he just couldn’t stand in one place.

He ran in small circles, he stood on his head –

and he promptly fell flat on his face!

Now, to stand on your head and fall on your face

may not really sound like a plus

but oddly enough, our clever lad Chaim

just grinned as he sat in the dust.

There was nobody there to ask Chaim why,

there was no one to talk to all,

but if you would have been there he would’ve explained

the lesson he’d learned from his fall.

You can stand on your feet the whole day proud and tall

and you won’t lose your balance, tip over and fall.

But stand on your head and (unless you’re a dancer)

you won’t last two minutes – and that is the answer.

Your head’s good at thinking, at finding the reason,

but it makes up a new thought for every new season.

One day it makes sense, but who is to say

that it won’t seem confusing the very next day?

Feet are not clever, they do what they’re told,

but they’ll do what they do until you get old.

Thinking is great but it’s not a foundation.

and it’s not what is special about our nation.

Day One at the mountain we stood and we said

we’ll stand on our feet and not on our head.

So Chaim got up and he stood on his feet,

for the first time that he could recall,

walked away from that tumble with barely a scratch,

but not the same Chaim at all.

He still does all of the things he was taught

and he doesn’t leave anything out

and just like before he can still talk for hours

to explain what they’re all all about

But if you would ask him to tell you the reason

we do all the things that we do,

he’d stand on his feet and he’d say loud and clear

“’cause Hashem has instructed us to!”

{ Newscenter}


  1. A true and important message, with far-reaching ramifications when you stop and really contemplate it, yet delivered with a wit and a charm that is gevaldig and bright!
    A Gut gebentcht yur! May Hashem our father in heaven, who is the true Dayan, and who is the Moitze Asurim and Podeh Anovim, send each and every one of us our needed yeshuos on a personal level, and Klal Yisrael its desperately needed geula on a community level.

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