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Anonymously Sold

It happened back in time, quite a long way,
Back in the day, as they today like to say:
An era when most donations to yeshivas**      **Rabbinical academies, often
Didn't require much of a man's pay--                with a preparatory high school 
$18, $36, $54 at the most--
If you gave $100, you could really boast...

Annual banquets were different, however,
Promotions for them being quite clever,
Promising 'Full-Page Ads,' 'Silver-Page' and even 'Gold,"
All for a relative pittance, truth be told:
For a $180, $250 or $360 fee
Your good name would be trumpeted constantly,
With great pomp, dignity and high pedigree.

As 'a mere teacher in a yeshiva,' my own ads 
Were quite modest: $50 for a quarter-page,
To pen something brief, but sage
About the yeshiva I toiled for out of love, not a wage.

So one year, quite way back in the day,
Imagine my surprise, my happiness, my elation,
     Then my CONCERN and my SHOCK!...
...When browsing the banquet adbook journal ad hoc,
Just to see if anyone had penned a kind word about me,
I came upon THREE ADS, "Thanking Mr. Wolf," all paid for in Gold,
For over a thousand dollars! they had been ANONYMOUSLY sold. 

The blood drained from my face; I felt faint and quite dizzy.
The room swam in circles, my nerves on edge, in a tizzy.
I looked around in amazement; who might have done it?
I spotted the adbook's creater, the man who had run it.
  "Far be it from me to reveal the secret," he intoned.
   'I don't deserve such a great honor,' I felt in my bones.

In the days to come, I asked everyone in town,
Yet no one would admit that he had plunked down
$1,080 to sing my praises to the world of the yeshiva,
To pay tribute to me like some big star or great diva.

So I had to give up my crusade as 'Super-Sleuth,'
Had to graciously acknowledge what seemed to be the truth,
That the anonymous parents of one of my students
Had been sincerely thankful that I was teaching their youth.



Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 4/28/2018 8:19:00 AM
Beautiful, simply marvelous storytelling, Gershon! The imagery of the humor and humanity makes this a riveting read ... I deliciously devoured every word for start to finish. I loved the ending of this mystery too. Great poem! An instant fave for sure. Love and more love always.
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Gershon Wolf
Date: 4/28/2018 10:02:00 PM
Wow! A fave, no less. I am humbled and grateful to you for your generous praise and support. Thank you, thank you. Peace, Love, (and a little prosperity never hurts either)! :) gw
Date: 4/27/2018 11:04:00 AM
This is a masterpiece. I'll fight anybody who thinks otherwise, Mr. I. Well-done, well-earned and I know the truth of it.
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Gershon Wolf
Date: 4/27/2018 11:51:00 AM
Yes, you do, my dear...I almost put in explanatory stuff about how, of course, I should have been much more grateful and appreciative of the anonymous gift---but then it wouldn't have been an honest write. I don't know if the contest's sponsor will sympathize with me, but I can't let that thought rewrite the poem...Thank you so much for your response. :) Mr. Ay
Date: 4/27/2018 9:17:00 AM
I'm sure you are a great teacher and worth every penny!
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Gershon Wolf
Date: 4/27/2018 11:52:00 AM
Thank you, Michelle!! Actually, I AM worth every last penny. It's just all those dollars which I don't think I can live up to. :)