Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Go the F**k to Shul

A re-imagining of the bestseller

Print Email

“Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos,” says Dr. David Arredondo (via Gawker), criticizing Adam Mansbach’s parody children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep. A sensation, Mansbach’s book (you can, and should, hear Werner Herzog reading it) imagines a classic bedtime story from the perspective of the parent who cannot believe said child is still awake. (Mansbach was honored with a Big Jewcy profile this month.)

Profanity aside, the book is hilarious and all in good fun, because even as the parent’s frustration mounts, his or her love for the child is never actually in doubt. Still: “Imagine if this were written about Jews”? Sounds like a dare …

(Profanity after the jump.)

It’s Yom Kippur, and you’re far away,
The last thing I want’s to be cruel.
I’m your mother, son, you know I adore you,
But please go the fuck to shul.

You’d only go for a few hours,
Shorter than a full day of school.
You’ll probably run into people you know
If you go the fuck to shul.

We don’t observe the birth of Christ, son,
This isn’t some lame fucking Yule.
It’s the Day of Atonement, a big deal:
Go the fuck to shul.

Go ahead, eat something beforehand.
Gay gezunt, no reason to drool.
I’m not asking you to believe in it,
Only to go to fucking shul.

It’s a depressing observance, I know.
Could make you want to hit the barstool.
It’s the day that you say you’ve been shitty,
Which is why it’s in fucking shul.

Sure, guilt me, make me feel I’m unfair,
That I treat you like a fucking mule,
That I’m an awful, ungracious mother,
Who cares, if you’re in shul?

Cast me as some kind of tyrant,
Your very own lord of misrule.
Jesus, is it really so fucking horrible
For you to go the fuck to shul?

And yes I’m a big stereotype,
Or worse, just a big Jewish tool.
It doesn’t matter what you think of me, though.
Go. The fuck. To shul.

You used to treasure your religion.
I’d get you in Hebrew School carpool,
And all you’d discuss was how you couldn’t wait
To go the fuck back to shul.

But now it’s just some kind of burden,
Time-spending’s equivalent of gruel,
Fucking stop all your bitching! It’s not so bad,
As you’d know if you went to shul.

I admit Yom Kippur can be trying,
You do tend to run out of fuel.
One year I actually fucking fainted
In the middle of shul.

It came early this year, so it’s warm
I could just go swim in the pool.
Would it truly be the end of the world if I
Don’t go the fuck to shul?

Screw this. I’m done lying to myself,
No more shall I feel like a fool.
I’ve got things to do anyway,
I’m not fucking going to shul.

‘Go the F**k to Sleep’ Not Funny [CNN]
Related: The Big Jewcy: Adam Mansbach [Jewcy]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

David S says:

Ooh ooh, can I be the first Tablet commenter to accuse the author of being a self-hating Jew?

Verificationist says:

ooh, can i be the first commenter to accuse the author of being a fucking genius? amazing, tracy!

I’m guessing the author doesn’t have kids and didn’t quite get the joke of the first book. The original was brilliant. This is crappy. Pardon, shtutz.

Moshico says:

Every other word in the movies is F*** so I guess he watches to mnay of them.
I think he thinks his mothers a bitch pushing him into something he does not want to do and when you push it causes the opposite to happen.
So I guess he should f***ing well stay at home shul can do with out the little F***er

Larry says:

I loved Monsbach’s book, and thought for a while about why I didn’t enjoy this effort at all. Here’s what I’ve come up with: It apes Monsbach’s book, but certainly doesn’t parody it. What it parodies is a whole set of stereotypes about Jews and their shuls, but why would one parody those stereotypes using the literary conceit of a children’s book? Swing and a miss.

Lighten up…their just words in a folder. Close it and forget it.

I don’t think it’s half as bad as some of the less civil commenters have pointed out. But it’s hard to miss the undercurrent of anger that’s missing from the original, and which renders the parody less charming.

Ellen says:

This could be read in sleepaway camp…

If you liked Herzog’s reading of GTFTS, you will LOVE Samuel L. Jackson’s. I realize I am way overthinking here, but the prob I have with the book is literary: IT DOES NOT SCAN! The rhythms are off. The reason I love the Jackson audiobook version is that his reading actually improves the text; his pacing and pausing creates SCANSION! Plus he builds suspense with his audibly increasing frustration — it’s funnier than it is on the page.

No better way to kill comedy than to analyze it. And yet I do.

Dick Dennis says:

For sure, I will make it a point to NEVER read anything Tablet offers online. Like the incompetent standup “comics,” Tablet relies on profanity to gain interest. I refused to go past the second paragraph. If an idiot wants to write profanity, that’s his choice, and that just shows his weakness . . . and Tablet’s for repeating it.

oh, lighten the fuck up

Scott says:

I realize its supposed to be tongue in cheek, but its a bit offensive. I am trying to be open minded and see it as a parody. The one thing I really didn’t like is the end. I found that counter productive and humbly offer this change….

Screw this. I’m done trying
No more shall I feel like a fool.
I’ve got better things to do,
So just shut up and go to fucking shul.

It’s totally hilarious!!

Tsvi says:

Are you f***ing kidding me?

It starts off ok, but missed the original’s well-meaning and PARTICIPATORY nature.
I do not see the f***ing mother going to shul or going anyway when the son does not.
I do not see how trying to get a kid to go to bed (a thing he must do *daily*) is comparable to a once-a-*year* perceived burden. Where is the Minyan he should attend so others can mourn if needed, or just to appreciate the gift of the day?

Where is the blessing of love in weekly shabbat?

The original dealt with the kid doing other productive kid activities to avoid a needed bedtime. This Jewish parody paints the son just as a f***ing schmuck who won’t even do a once-a-year thing he should do, let alone do some thing he needs to do a once a day; or, at least, hopefully, once per week.

So i guess what you have here is just a f***ing flop. Cool idea; can the cruelty. I mean, this guy can’t even talk about others’ faith, however wrong we may feel it is, without using disrespect.

None of what this author claims to have been intended by this parody reflects the faith and humility of the Jewish faith I know. And THAT is why this “parody” is just f***ing lame.

guest says:

“The pages are blank on the screen, child

The whales huddle down in the deep

If you can’t write a funny satire,

Just go the —- to sleep.”

lets create more self hating sarah silverman type jews to finish hitlers job

Jay A Friedman says:

It’s a ****ing stupid idiotic article that belongs in the trash heap. How many of you will remember this idiocy one week from now?

Mick says:

A personal view (of a Catholic): I don’t care what group this extended satire (or not according to Guest) is nominally, on the surface about. For me it’s just about humanity. I’ve seen instantiations of the behavior of the mother or the son in people all over the world, of all races, creeds, classes and ages. As a result, I don’t see them as somehow “standing for” all Jewish people in this speech. They’re just two human beings.

That all said, given the history of cartoon-ish depictions of Jewish people being used as a justification and a spur to the expression of the worst of humanity, I entirely understand your sensitivity.

Chovesh says:

As an orthodox Jew who grew up Conservative, I can TOTALLY imagine my mom identifying with this. I think I’m going to send her the link.

Jay a says:

Not offended.Just not that funny.

This is funny! I have to admit it.

I m a pro-Palestinian hipster Jew and i m wearing Alexander McQueen. Please read about my blog

Breaking news about Mike Leigh, famous english film director..He had nothing to say about why he’s boycottin’ Israel. Please schmuck me up and read!

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to search out someone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is something that is needed on the internet, somebody with a little originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Go the F**k to Shul

A re-imagining of the bestseller

More on Tablet:

Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS

By Lee Smith — Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose