A Jewish Christmas Rhyme for 2023

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
2 min readDec 24, 2023

’Twas the day before Christmas,
the rabbi was vexed.
His wishes for peace
felt trapped in his chest.

While scrolling his socials
for goodwill and cheer,
the hatred against him,
was awfully near.

He said, through his tears,
at the silence surrounding,
“I can’t make much sense
of what used to feel grounding.

“I haven’t abandoned
my love for my neighbors,
but these last dreadful months,
make me feel like we’re strangers.
My family’s grief
feels in moments forgotten,
as if bonds we’ve created
were but wisps misbegotten.”

With children on campus,
and family in shelters,
with cousins held captive,
counting babies and elders,
the war we are fighting
is for our survival,
and not, as accused,
to cause harm to a rival.

So sisters and brothers,
who wish life to be merry,
this rabbi implores you
to see what is scary:

We aren’t invaders,
we tilled the same ground
and our children (and theirs)
deserve lives, safe and sound.

The teacher whose love
held the world in his hands,
would have testified
that Jews were there walking the land.

So while Ceasefire marches
feel like prayers for peace,
they aren’t, (nor are chants
from the river to sea).
They’re calls for my death
for my family and friends,
they’re claims that sheer violence
is fine means toward our end.

The rabbi sat shaking,
a pen in his palm,
wishing civilians and worshipers
nothing but calm.

The glow all around him
he only wished brighter.
It could help lift the world
and make every heart lighter.
But one thing he wished for,
in the light that was hallowed,
was for Jews to be no longer
consigned to the shadows.

There’s hope that endures
in the darkest of times,
through danger, in mangers,
when hearts are aligned.

Long ago there wasn’t room
for a mother and child,
but to say so today
our own souls we’d beguile.

We can choose to see God
in the eyes of our brothers,
but to get to that step
we must first take another:

I cannot erase my own self
to make peace.
We must fight for the right,
‘till hatred’s fire does cease.

When no creature is stirring,
not even a mouse,
when we Bring Them Home Now
to our arms, as we vow.

Then we’ll know to our core
that our world can be right.
Only then can we wish the world
and ourselves a good night.