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Abie Rotenberg - The Place Where I Belong lyrics

I was made way back in 1842,
By a humble man, a real G-d fearing Jew.
Who did his work with honesty, feeling and with pride,
He was known in Kiev as Yankele the Scribe.

With loving care, his hand so sure and still,
He formed me with some parchment, ink and quill.
Each day he'd slowly add to me just a few more lines,
With words to last until the end of time.

And on the day that I was finally complete,
The whole town came and filled the narrow street.
And they sang and danced and held me high and carried me away,
To the little wooden Shul where I would stay.

And as the Rabbi held me close against his chest,
He spoke out loud and clear to all the rest.
He said, "No matter if you're very young, or even if you're old,
Live by the words you'll find inside this scroll."

Three days a week they read from me out loud,
It filled my soul with joy, it made me proud.
They followed each and every verse with fire in their eyes,
The words that told them how to live their lives.

I watched the generations come and go,
I saw the old men die, the children grow.
But never in a century, did I miss my turn once,
For the fathers, they had left me with their sons.

But the hatred from the west came to Kiev,
And they rounded up the Jews who had not fled,
But Moishele the Shammos, he was brave and he was bold,
He hid me in his cellar, dark and cold.

And for years and years I waited all alone,
For the people of my town to take me home,
And they'd sing and dance and hold me high when they carried me away,
To my little wooden shul where I would stay.

But it was someone else who found my hiding place,
And to America he sent me in a crate.
And the men who took me off the boat, they said I was a prize.
But they were Jews I did not recognize.

And in a case of glass they put me on display,
Where visitors would look at me and say,
"How very nice, how beautiful, a stunning work of art,"
But they knew not what was inside my heart.

And across the room I saw upon the shelf,
Some old friends of mine who lived back in Kiev.
A silver pair of candlesticks, a menorah made of brass,
We'd all become mere echoes of the past.

So if you hear my voice, why don't you come along,
And take me to the place where I belong,
And maybe even sing and dance when you carry me away,
To some little wooden shul where I could stay.

And as the Rabbi holds me close against his chest,
He'll speak out loud and clear to all the rest.
He'll say, "No matter if you're very young, or even if you're old,
Live by the words you'll find inside this scroll."
Live by the words you'll find inside my soul.