Just being reminded of “The Marvelous Midos Machine” brings back great nostalgia and a smile to our faces! Let’s run down the top 10 songs and their lessons!
Now don’t tell me that you didn’t grow up with “The Marvelous Midos Machine” when you were little. What?! You didn’t?! Oh, you poor soul! If you would know how much you’re missing out.
Well, that aside, whether you have or have not grown up with it, “The Marvelous Midos Machine” is by far in my opinion one the greatest Abie Rotenberg accomplishments for kids all over the US, Canada, and anywhere else where kids speak English.
More than the actual story lines with Dr. Midos, Schnooky, Schloompy, Dizzy and all the rest, I bet your bottom dollar that the songs spoke so much to the heart and soul of all those who listened. The lessons brought about in a way that were funny, serious, and deep all at the same time have all stayed with us throughout our adult lives.
Here are some of the memorable lessons encapsulated in songs for us and our kids to enjoy.
1. “The Teshuvah Song.” This by far is one of my favorites which is why it’s at the top. Even evil Dr. Doomshtein was moved by this one! A simple reminder that we are never too far from Hashem to do teshuvah, and He is ready and waiting to forgive us. “Hashem is so kind, He’ll forgive you, each day you can have a new start/ Hashem is so kind, he’ll forgive you, with Teshuva that comes from the heart.”
2. “Ahavas Yisroel Song.” This song is so unique because it’s spoken from the assumed perspective of the Kosel Hamaaravi, waiting for the Klal Yisroel to love one another so the Bais Hamikdash can once again rest above her still vacant Temple Mount. You can hear her pleading rebuke to all of us begging us to better our bein adam lachaveiro. “But sinas chinam still lives on, it lingers in your heart/How can you come back home to me while you remain apart?” Link to acapella version from “Kumzitz in the Rain”: https://youtu.be/5Mxf3FhWJL4).
3. “The Chessed Song.” A special treat on this one as we are privileged to hear Baruch Levine sing this one on the final and most recent volume of the Marvelous Midos series. The song reminds children of the importance chesed being one of the pillars the world stands on.
4. “The Torah Says Be Humble.” “Hey there, Mr. Showoff! Ya think you’re really great!/Hey there, Mr. Showoff! You’re makin’ a mistake!” Nobody could have sung this song better than the legendary Moshe Yess a”h. Illustrating in a fun way to our children the importance of not getting to full of ourselves, realizing that we have nothing on our own merit and that all of our kochos and maalos come from Hashem.
5. “Who Spilled the Milk?” This one is for sure etched in everyone’s memory. And so creative how Abie draws so many drastic but kind-of-true examples of the wild things we kids would do and be reluctant to admit to them. But the refrain is so true and encouraging. “’Midvar sheker tirchak’ never tell a lie/Hashem knows just what happened there’s no reason to deny/Honesty is Emes! Make sure all your words are true/So Tatty, Mommy, and Hashem will be so proud of you.”
6. “Never Take Kids to A Store.” Oh, is this one so ever entertaining. Yes, every father knows what happens when they take kids to the store. Boruch Hashem, they think we Tatties just have endless wads of cash to spend on them. (Hashem should up us that we takhe should!) But, as Abie says so in the song, kids who have good midos are happy with what ever comes their way.
7. Patience.” Also, from the most recent album, a wonderful reminder to our children that not everything needs to happen the second you demand it to be so. “You gotta have paaaaaaaaaitience!”
8. “I’m A Hippopotamus.” I mamash could not resist mentioning this one because it leaves you laughing and learning all at once. Listen to a perspective on tza’ar ba’allei chaim through the lens of our very own hippopotamus, as he makes the case for himself and all of his fellow animal friends in the zoo and beyond that “They all have hippopota-feelings too.”
9. “Don’t Be a Shloomp!” Moshe Yess does it again with this direct message to kids about keeping themselves and their surrounding neat and clean (just as they ideally should). We definitely want to ensure that “all Jewish children, they will be known/ for seder venikayon.”
10. “The Midos Song.” And how could we end off this wonderful list without mentioning the theme song of this beloved series? This song, in a nutshell, sums up the reason of why we all must have good midos. “A Jew without good midos is simply incomplete.” “A Jew that has good midos can stand up tall and proud.”
Well, that just about wraps it up for this one! Until next time…enjoy!