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 © Gershon Wolf | Year Posted 2018