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2011: Rhymes and misdemeanors
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2011: Rhymes and misdemeanors

From Irene’s winds to autumn’s snow,
The past year put on quite a show.
An earthquake made us all lose focus.
What’s next? A plague of swarming locusts?

Or maybe just a rain of frogs.
Like Sarkozy, if that name jogs
A memory of public gaffes
When he and POTUS shared some laughs

And said what everybody knew
About Binyamin You Know Who.
A tip for parents and for tykes:
Don’t tell the truth near open mics.

In truth it was a rocky year
Between Barack and the premier.
We wondered how the prez could let a
Trusted aide like Leon Panetta

Lecture Israel while on a visit.
A “family feud,” they said, or is it?
At least when my folks disagree
They try to keep it off TV.

In Tel Aviv there were events
That showed its people were in tents,
With protests that would soon inspire
Many a foreign Occupier.

With pressure building, Bibi found
A need to speak on friendly ground.
After looking hard and long, res-
cue came from the U.S. Congress.

From Tripoli to Tahrir Square
The Arab Spring was in the air;
Said every emir, king, and sultan:
“Look, our people are revoltin.’”

The West looked on with fear and glee
Rooting for democracy
And worried that the ballots would
Benefit the Brotherhood

(And not the kind you find in shuls
But those who love Sharia’s rules.
Our guys — or at least my hunch is —
Much prefer their bagel brunches).

The news was twisty, dark, and weird,
And that’s just Matisyahu’s beard.
When he announced his plans to shave it,
Millions called on him to save it.

Had this hasidic king of reggae
Become a secular shmeggegge?
“God forbid,” he told his buffs.
“And don’t forget to buy my stuff.”

The year just past was tough on ritual
And customs that we find habitual.
In San Fran it was hit or miss
Whether they would ban the bris,

While Holland’s folk rose up in order
To ban the right to kosher slaughter.
It’s not the Jews, opponents said;
It’s just the things they do instead.

Our enemies loomed far and nearier,
From Lebanon to Assad’s Syria,
To Tehran, where Islamic moms
Have visions of atomic bombs.

But no foe, never mind his crimes,
Scared us like The New York Times,
As if Tom Friedman and his advice is
Israel’s single biggest crisis.

But let’s not end with disagreement.
Instead consider the achievement
Of folks like Gabby Giffords who
Beat the odds and soldiered through.

Or Debbie Friedman, rest in peace,
Whose music gave us sweet release.
Greet the year with fresh demeanor,
And never mention Tony Weiner.

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