Poetree by Shlomo Cohen
|Just about a week before Xmas
When the goyim celebrate JC
They go to any old parking lot
And buy just any old tree.
Had the Torah told us to get one
That’s enough of a reason you see,
Because then it would be a Mitzva
Then a tree is not just a tree.
The Torah with myriad details
As Mesora was given to me,
When passed from parent to child
A tree becomes really a tree.
We would have a Maseches Mishnayos
With Gemora as deep as the sea
Ten Simonim in our Shulchan Aruch
For this is to be a Mitzva tree.
We’re accused of being pedantic
Nitpicking as can be,
But we couldn’t possibly settle
For less than a perfect tree.
If we buy it with care and devotion
As each Mitzva, done carefully
It could bring Geula Shleima
Perhaps because of a tree.
Twenty Amos too tall
Ten Tefachim too wee
The search is on for perfection
For a tree is not just a tree.
The trunk may not be bent over
We’d count needles in clusters of three
The top would have to be perfect
‘cause this isn’t any ole tree.
|It can’t be fashioned from plastic
On this the Rishonim agree
For then it couldn’t be kosher
And that is hardly a tree.
You may not save it from last year
Even if you got it for free
For that would surely be Yoshon
We can’t settle for just any tree.
Pine, fir spruce and then hemlock
We must search diligently
To get the species in preferred order
When we set out to buy our tree.
It would have to come from a Pardes
With a Hechsher, a known pedigree
The grower a Yorei Shomayim
This has to be quite a tree.
The chopper would be Shomer Shabbos
His axe as sharp as can be
Only eighteen minutes to fell it
For a tree to be more than a tree.
Of course we must say a Bracha
Maybe two, perhaps even three
Which we say when doing a Mitzva
Since this is a Mitzva tree.
Place an angel on top of the crown
There’s no such Hiddur for me
The top must remain whole and perfect
To be a Halachic tree.
|Every evening a new light is lit
But we don’t use electricity
Little lamps of olive oil only
On our tree that is really a tree.
I think there’s a Chasidische Minhag
Regarding “Etz Chaim Hee”
The Mishpacha could gather together
To sing ‘round the beautiful tree.
Too many gifts raise up the branches
Decorations hanging too heavily
Either way would render it Posul
‘cause this isn’t any old tree
When the Yom Tov is over and finished
Trashing it can’t possibly be
We’d save it to burn with the Chometz
For this was a Mitzva tree.
If we would have such a Mitzva
We’d surely do differently
Halacha would certainly tell us
That this tree is more than a tree
I thank Hashem in my Brachos
For the difference ‘tween a non-Jew
I’d rather stick with my Torah
And not worry about some old tree
For that would be 614 Commandments
One too many for me
So therefor we have no such Mitzva
And therefor we have no tree.