Friday, June 23, 2017

Korach and Hamilton

It has been forever since I posted here.  I hope to start up again but I often get taken in different directions.  I love writing about Torah but sometimes I do that for my teachers to help with their classes and have little energy here.  But my birthday just passed and so maybe a time of renewal of this.  So last year on Parasha Korach I was at CAMPJRF now known as Camp Havaya, the Reconstructionist movements camp in Pennsylvania.  Rabbi Fred Dobb and I were the faculty-in-residence for the week and part of the deal is to write a parody song about the Torah portion.  So we wrote it around the widely popular Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Maranda.  He reminded me of this today with an email that I will share here with you all.  Please to enjoy.

Korach and Moses – “Your Obedient Servant / The World Was Wide Enough”
For Camp JRF, Summer 2016 – George Kelley and Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, after Lin-Manuel Miranda

 How does Moses, an arrogant, unpopular, stutterer-killer, Egypt-son somehow endorse that guy Aaron, his brother, for the Kohen Gadol, here in the 9th inning,
just to keep me from winning?!       [pause]

I wanna be in the Holy of Holies!
The room where it happens – the Holy of Holies
He’s kept me from the Holy of Holies
For the last time!               [beat box interlude]

Dear Cousin Moses:
I am slow to anger  but I toe the line
as I reckon with the effects of your life on mine
I look back on where I failed
and in every place I checked
the only common thread
has been your disrespect.
Now you call me “ungodly,”
a “dangerous disgrace” –
If you’ve got something to say
name a time and place – Panim el Panim
I have the honor to be Your Obedient
Servant:  ben Yizhar.

Rebel Korach:
I am not the reason no one trusts you
No one knows in Whom you believe
I will not equivocate on my opinion
I have always worn God on my sleeve
Even if I led how you say I led
You would need to cite a more specific grievance
Here’s an itemized list of all the
years of disagreements

[KORACH]   Sweet Moses!

[MOSES]   Hey, I have not been shy
I am just a navi in the public eye
tryin’ to divine what’s best for the Tribe
I don’t wanna fight   but I won’t apologize for
standing up for the Almight…y
I have the honor to be Your Obedient
Servant:  ben Amram.

[KORACH]   Careful how you proceed, good man
Rav lachem  (you overstepped)  indeed, good man
Answer for the accusations I lay at your feet
or prepare to bleed, good man

[MOSES]    Korach, your grievance is
legitimate;  I stand by what I said:
democracy is good, let’s work toward it.
You stand only for yourself, that’s how you fly
I can’t apologize because I stand with Adonai!

[KORACH]      Then stand, Moshe:
Tent of meeting.  Dawn.    Fire pans.  Drawn.
   [MOSES]      You’re on.    

I have the honor to be Your Obedient Servant
   [MOSES]  ben Amram.   [KORACH]  ben Yizhar.

[KORACH]       I see how death discriminates
between my sinners and your saints
It takes      and it takes     and it takes
The ground simply obliterates  our entire legacy
we go down,   in a great earthquake.

But dear old Moses  looked to the sky
He truly walked with Adonai
And I’m the one who paid for it –
me and my followers, we paid for it

Now I’m the villain in your history
I was too full of myself to see:

We could have
grown  –  together,
shown –  The world
was wide enough
for both Moses
and me

The world was
wide enough
for both Moses
and me

No comments:

Post a Comment