The Rav in the Hat by Rabbi Seuss, aka Rabbi Amy R. Perlin D.D. (Rosh Hashanah 5778 Family Service, 09/21/17)

The sun it did shine

They were too tired to pray

But, they sat in the Temple

On that Rosh Hashanah day.


Solly sat there with Sally

They sat there those two

And Solly said, “How I wish

That this service was through?”


Not allowed to go out

Make noise or run in the hall

They just sat in the Temple

Wishing it were a mall.


‘Cause all they could do was to

Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!

And they did not like it

Not one little bit.


And then

Something went bump

How that bump made them jump!

They looked!

Then they saw me

They said, “Who is that?”


They looked and they saw ME!

The Rav in the Hat!

And I said to them

“Why do you sit there like that?”


I know it is long

And the rabbi’s not funny

And you can’t wait to go out

To eat apples and honey!

I know some good prayers you could pray

And some great stories, too.

Lots of fun Jewish stuff

I will share it all with you

~Your parents will not mind at all if I do.


Then Sally and Solly

Did not know what to say

What else did they have to do,

On this Rosh Hashanah day?!


Now, now, my sweet dears

I’m a really smart CAT.

I’m a Rav, that’s a RABBI

Said this Rav In the Hat.


Why we can have fun

Lots of good fun, if you wish

With prayers, stories, and songs

For kids who are Jewish.


With a prayerbook in hand

I will teach you the Shema

And that is not all ~

There’s also Torah…


With a kop, that’s a brain

A kipah for a hat

You can learn Jewish history

Now, how about that?


You can learn our traditions

You can eat gefilte fish

And some Shabbat Spartan’s chickens

Or a nice potato knish.


And look! Look at him…

He can eat his own matzah ball

But that is not all!

Oh no. That is not all.

Look at her

Look at him

Look at them now

It is fun to be Jewish

But you have to know how



To the parents I say

It starts when your children are small

Talk of God and tzedakah

Winter, spring, summer and fall.


Together share holidays

Listen to the Shofar’s loud sound.

Share Jewish values

Keep Jewish objects around.


Have grape juice for Kiddush

Light candles Friday night

Bake hamantaschen

And Chanukah candles light.


You can read Jewish books

And a lulav shake.

Eat matzah at Passover

And your own challah bake.


You can come here to temple

As often as you can

Come as a family

In your SUV or sedan!


With a grogger at temple

You can boo old Haman

Have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah

AND a Confirmay-shan


But that is not all. Oh no,

That is not all…


As your child grows up

You can try more Jewish stuff,

You can bring food for the hungry

‘Cause for some life is rough.


Our tradition is old

And there’s so much to do

To make every good girl and good boy

— a good Jew

I promise you’ll like this,

Oh yes – you will, too.”


When there is a game

On a Hebrew school day

There is no other choice,

But to go to Hebrew and not play.


O yes, soccer is fun and

Baseball is grand

But we have been chosen

To give God a hand.


There will be time, to do many things

Like playing piano, and practicing strings

Time to go out – to play with your friends

To swim, dance, or bike -until the day ends.


But, Friday’s Shabbat,

That’s the number one night,

For family dinner

With candles to light.

Eat challah, be thankful,

Turn off cell phones and TV

Go to temple to pray

And to get a Frisbee!


Not just once a month

Shabbat comes every week

Bringing family love

And the peace that you seek.


I know it’s not easy

To make life feel Jewish

In your house, in your life

To feel white and bluish.


Religious school, Temple,

That is not all

Because if it were

Then the Torah would fall.


God and the mitzvot

Are there every day

With values and commandments

To do and obey.


Say the Mi Shebeirach

Be nice to kids at school

Say the Shema before bed

Doing Jewish is cool!

Make Jewish choices

Live what you pray

Be kind to others

And watch what you say.


You say that I’m crazy

Don’t mind if I am

I’d rather eat latkes

Than green eggs and ham!


Today’s Rosh Hashanah

A day to atone

To say sorry for hitting

Or that mean, nasty tone.

Today’s Rosh Hashanah

A High Holy Day

Said the short little Rav

In her firm, mommy way.


It’s a day to remember

A day to be nice

A day to say “Sorry!”

Not once, at least twice.


Talk as a family,

Put away video games

Turn off your cell phones,

Stop calling your brother names.


Until the sun sets,

Turn off tech-no-lo-gy

No fighting, no yelling,

Be as nice as you can be.


God’s got the Book open

It’s huge and its true

God’s looking at us—

Have you been a good Jew?


When the sun does not shine

Or it’s too wet to play

Do you whine, do you kvetch

Do you make your parents go gray?

When there’s no Shabbat wine

Do you run to the store

For challah and candles

Manischewitz and more?


It’s important to think

On this Rosh Hashanah day

So, Sally and Solly

They started to pray.

See Sally and Solly—

They realized today,

As they sat in their Temple

On this High Holy Day —


That the Rav in the Hat

The Rav who’s not tall

She’s not wrong at all

No. She’s not wrong at all.


Promise to be better

In the New Year

Kinder and nicer

As the shofar you hear.


Pick people up,

When you know they are down

Clean up your room

And care for your town.


Did you have any fun?

Tell me,

Did you learn anything new?

Do you promise to be a good person?

A good Jew?


And then said the Rav

As she readied to go

I will tell you another thing

That I know.


Live, love, and laugh—

May your New Year be newish

And always live lives

That are proud, kind, and Jewish!