The Perfect Rabbi

Rachel S. Harris
April 22, 2013
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In response to the discussions that have arisen around leadership needs in my synagogue, with the search for a new Rabbi, I propose this alternative job advertisement. To the tune of “The Perfect Nanny” from Mary Poppins.
The Perfect Rabbi
by Rachel Harris:

[Spoken] Wanted a Rabbi for an adorable congregation

[Sung] If you want this choice position
Have a clever disposition
Small beard, no smell!
Give shirs, and spell

You must be kind, you must be knowing
Very active and outgoing
Talk about Israel, kasher pots
Sing niguns, laugh lots

Never be cross or strict
Never watch our practice and convict
Make sure you have a son or daughter
And a wife who conjures soup from water

If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won’t sleep during sermons
Or leave to pee
Ignore your lectures
Or refuse your fee
Hurry, Rabbi!
it’s not a paradox
Sincerely yours,

The Modern Orthodox

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Rachel S. Harris is Assistant Professor of Israeli Literature and Culture in Comparative &World Literature and the Program in Jewish Culture & Society at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has published on contemporary Israeli literature and culture in the journals Israel Studies, Shofar, and Modern Jewish Studies. She has written on suicide in Israeli literature, and more recently on women in Israeli film. Her co-edited volume bringing together articles on a range of subjects “Narratives of Dissent: War in Israeli Culture and Arts” will be published in the Fall through Wayne State Press. She is also the series editor for the Dalkey Archive Press “Hebrew Literature in Translation Series” and the Hebrew editor of “The Levant Notebook” an online literary magazine bringing together Middle Eastern fiction and poetry in English translation, along with reviews, and opinion pieces on the state of culture.

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