Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Pepsi" Portrays Penitent Player - The Season of Pepsi Meyers by Abie Rotenberg

Abie Rotenberg has hit it out of the park.

His new novel about a Jewish Yankee baseball star, who is faced with a dilemma of whether to embrace his religion or his passion for baseball, is spiritually uplifting and entertaining at the same time. The quotes from the late great Peter Lawrence Berra (aka Yogi) that begin the chapters are classics and quite apropos. I recommend it for teenagers, as it exposes them to heavy questions about the Jewish religion, answered in simplistic terms. At the same time, one will enjoy Abie's command of the game, in all its technical nuances.

Abie has tantalized his fans for decades, with his haunting melodies and stimulating lyrics on his Journeys and Dvaykus albums.

His song about Yankel was made into a motion picture, with very positive reviews.

Perfect timing, as this is the season for pennants and penance.


  1. This fictional player saw a fork in the road and, Baruch HaShem, took it. He was inspired by an intellectually honest rabbi who told him "If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer."

    He didn't fall for the hype of Madison Avenue and the dominant culture because he understood that if his world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. He became a Jewish Observer a lot just by watching and learned very early on about the krumkeit of his derech and that you’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there. After all, this world is nothing more than a ship carrying you to the next so why buy good luggage? you only use it when you travel!

    Now that Abie has proven that he is both a composer and an author he hits from both sides of the plate ... he’s amphibious.But I don't think that I'll buy my kids this book. Let them walk to school like I did.

    When recalling Abies song "The 9th man"
    this book is It’s like déjà vu all over again. Still, The future ain’t what it used to be.But no one's going to the book signings because they are too crowded and if the publisher schedules them on Erev Shabbos I promise you's going to get late early out there.

    I hope that you don't think that just because you said a hesped on Yogi that he will say one on you.i advise that you never answer an anonymous post.

    In closing just remember that I never wrote most of the things I wrote. I want to thank you for making this comment necessary.

    1. Before I write my reply, I want to state a few words...

      Awesome comment Bray, a pity that you closed up your blog, but you are welcome here anytime.

      I was going to work The 9th Man and it's sequel into my post but forgot to. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. There was a sequel? not a prequel? The past aint what Deja Vu used to be all over again.

    1. I think he had his twos and threes mixed up, as he said:

      "I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four."

      "Pair up in threes."

      Here is the sequel...

  3. I'm sure you all remember us - the bums from the east side.
    Well, now we learn in Kollel, though we're pushing forty-five.
    We each have lots of children, and loads of bills to pay
    No one's into baseball, all we do is shteig all day.

    Rebbi used to teach us torah, each and every day.
    We opened up our eyes and ears to everything he'd said.
    Thanks to him, we're learning, virtuous and wise,
    But one thing is certain
    We don't get much exercise.

    A short time after Pesach, a note came in the mail.
    It was from those boys from Brooklyn,
    Who since moved to Riverdale.
    They said "We can't get over how we lost to you that way.
    And we're coming for a rematch on Lag Ba'omer day."
    Oy Vey!

    When Lag Ba'omer came around it was time to play that game.
    Oh how we davened extra hard, praying it would rain.
    All nine of us of us got on the bus,
    With our buffert and ben-gay.
    And Rebbi also came along with his jacket tie and cane.

    Rebbi used to teach us torah, each and every day.
    He opened our eyes and ears to everything he'd say.
    And thanks to him, we're learning, virtuous and wise,
    But one thing is for certain.
    We don't get much exercise.

    Those guys showed up at the park, looking trim and fit.
    And sure didn't take too long, to see, they still could hit.
    Doubles, triples, home runs - they knocked the ball about.
    Why, they scored twenty-seven runs, and nobody was out.
    There were two outs in the fifth, boy, were we ashamed.
    Just one more out would make it an official game.
    With two strikes on our batter, they realized this was it,
    When faintly Rebbi cried out "Let me pinch hit.

    What could our dear Rebbi do, each one of us was wondering
    When suddenly the sky got dark,
    A lightning and a thundering.
    It started pouring cats and dogs, the field turned into mud.
    The umpire cried, "This game is called, on account we got a flood."

    Rebbi used to teach us Torah, each and every day.
    We opened our eyes and ears to everything he'd said.
    Thanks to him, we're learning, virtuous and wise,
    But one thing is for certain.
    And we all signed up in the kosher gym.
    "Separate days for men and women of course,"
    To get our exercise

  4. Joe Dimaggio's Card

    We grew up together, in New York City
    Oh how the time has flown by
    We were inseparable, closer than brothers
    My best friend Sammy and I

    We'd play by the oak tree, in back of my house
    Tossing a ball to and fro
    Each one of us dreaming, pretending to be
    The great Joe DiMaggio

    One day we each bought a package of Topp's
    And opened them under the tree
    Look Sam! I've got Joe DiMaggio's card
    And he was so jealous of me

    I lovingly hid it, deep inside my drawer
    Where it would be safe as can be
    And I vowed I would keep it forever and ever
    It was so precious to me... It was so precious to me

    When we grew older, and left for Yeshiva
    A change could be seen from the start
    Sam loved to study while I loved to daydream
    Slowly we drifted apart

    I watched him grow, in his learning and faith
    With a mixture of envy and pride
    I realized with sadness, no more could it be
    My best friend Sammy and I

    Many years passed, as I watched my own children
    Playing outside in the yard
    I remembered the friendship of long, long ago
    And the great Joe DiMaggio's card

    Collectors would come, they would knock at my door
    Letters arrived in the mail
    We'll pay half a million, your card it is one of a kind
    I'd answer them, it's not for sale
    ...I'd answer them it's not for sale

    I'd read in the papers, from time to time
    Of events in the life of my friend
    He became Rosh Yeshiva, of our old school
    And now was a leader of men

    But there was a fire that ravaged his school
    I knew it just might break his heart
    So I reached in my drawer and said my goodbyes
    To the great Joe DiMaggio's card

    One day my grandson came home from Yeshiva
    Holding a card that was new
    Look Zaide! Reb Shmuel is one of the Gedolim
    And I'm giving his card to you

    I lovingly hid it deep inside my drawer
    Where it would be safe as can be
    And I vowed I would keep it forever and ever
    It is so precious to me... It is so very precious to me


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