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The Anointed One

A short lad, his walk aggressive and powerful,
the football coach at Spinoza HS
six winning seasons in a row
the last one a perfect 12-0,
also Head Dean, keeping malefactors in check,
and more: almost a Real Estate tycoon
“Just getting started, Bernstein, ” he said
because I asked if he’d made his first million yet.
Then Danny announced his engagement and I said,
“A Jewish woman, I hope.”
He laughed, plopped a hunk of cantaloupe
in his mouth, asking if I wanted some,
then said, “Fifteen grand for the ring.”
“A nice chunk of change, but you got it, I’m sure.”
Again: “Just getting started.”
Then, out of the blue saying,
“I was born blind, first six weeks of my life,
doctors couldn’t help
that’s why I put on the Tallis and Tefillin
each morning when I pray.”
This time a piece of honeydew melon.
“You lost me, Danny.”
“My father went to the great Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson
of righteous memory, head of the Lubavitchers.”
”The guy they said was the Messiah?
but he died, and the world’s still in the toilet.”
“Take a grape, Bernstein. Calm yourself.”
I lifted three red beauties, dumped ‘em down.
“The next day my eyes opened wide, my father
told me all this, and the Rebbe only
asked morning prayers for the miracle
which my father did until the day he died
and which I now continue from three to four each morning
day in and day out, rain or shine,
happy or sad
because the prayers must go on.
Tears now
and standing saying,
“A single good deed can transform the world,
the Rebbe’s words to my father
and then I could see.”
Still tears, shining on his cheeks.

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Rudyard Kipling

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