The topic for today is “Jewish Haiku,” which I found nicely typed out in a folder of keepers stashed away in the front drawer of my father’s desk, where I’m not usually prone to go looking.  Until I did. And there they were.

Given that my shortish-term memory is going the way of my energy level and the perkiness of my behind, I cannot now recall when or from whom I originally received them, and certainly hope I don’t wake up tomorrow morning to an offended email from the donor reminding me.  (As happened with the flashmob performance of “Ode to Joy” a few weeks back.) Be that as it may, their presence in the keeper folder means at one time I found them irresistible. And what do you know? I still do.

However, to post, or not to post? That is the question.

If you’ve never had Jewish guilt or what is known stereotypically as “a Jewish mother” (not all Jewish mothers are), if you don’t know about mohels performing ritual circumcisions on the eighth day after birth or about bar mitzvah ceremonies for boys at thirteen (“Today I am a man”), or that observant male Jews cover their heads with a (usually black) Yarmulke, or that Yom Kippur is the annual Day of Atonement, or that lobster (or any other shellfish) isn’t kosher and therefore mustn’t be eaten, or that food is very important at all times, or that the worst is almost always certain to happen, or that after a death the family sits shiva at home for five days to receive friends and not be alone with their grief — then you probably won’t get what’s going on here.

On the other hand, I’ve already just explained most of the important stuff. So let’s give it a try.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Drop out whenever you’ve had it. Don’t be shy about asking questions. But please don’t ask for more.  By the time you get to the end, I’m sure you won’t want to. There comes a point when enough is enough.




After the warm rain

the sweet smell of camellias.

Did you wipe your feet?


Looking for pink buds

to prune, the old moyel

wanders among his flowers.


Today I am a man.

Tomorrow I will return

to the seventh grade.


Testing the warm milk

on her wrist, she sighs softly.

But her son is forty.


The sparkling blue sea

reminds me to wait an hour

after my sandwich.


Tea ceremony —

fragrant steam perfumes the air.

Try the cheese danish.


Lacking fins or tail

the gefilte fish swims with

great difficulty.


Yom Kippur — Forgive

me Lord for the Mercedes

and all that lobster.


My nature journal —

Today I saw some trees and birds.

I should know the names?


Like a bonsai tree,

your terrible posture

at my dinner table.


Beyond Valium is

the peace of knowing one’s child

is an internist.


Jews on safari —

map, compass, elephant gun,

hard sucking candies.


Coroner’s report —

“The deceased, wearing no hat,

caught his death of cold.”


The sparrow brings home

too many worms for her young.

“Force yourself,” she chirps.


Jewish triathlon:

gin rummy, then contract bridge,

followed by a nap.


The shiva visit:

So sorry about your loss.

Now back to my problems.


Our youngest daughter,

our most precious jewel, hence

the name, Tiffany.


Mom, please! There is no

need to put that dinner roll

in your pocketbook.


Seven-foot Jews in

the NBA slam-dunking!

My alarm clock rings.


Concert of car horns

as we debate the question

of when to change lanes.


Sorry I’m not home

to take your call. At the tone

please state your bad news.


Is one Nobel Prize

so much to ask from a child

after all I’ve done?


Today, mild shvitzing.

Tomorrow, so hot you’ll plotz.

Five-day forecast: feh


Passover — Left the door open

for the Prophet Elijah.

Now our cat is gone.


Quietly murmured

at Saturday services,

Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.


A lovely nose ring —

excuse me while I put my

head in the oven.


Hard to tell under 

the lights — white Yarmulke or

male-pattern baldness?


(Yes, enough.)


  1. These are hysterical! I am grinning ear to ear. Thanks for posting these! Now I’m going to share with my friend who married a nice Jewish boy. Unfortunately, she is no longer married to him, but I know she will get a kick out of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll bet she will. Actually I’m gobsmacked (as the Brits might say) by this overwhelmingly positive “Gentile” response. Should I give Hollywood — Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, et al. — the credit? 😀


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