The Purple Jacket People
Story by Rabbi Klatzko, Poem by Shira Freedman

A land I once heard of was ruled by a king
Who was fair and kind and good
He asked just one thing from his people
That they behave as decent humans should
But his nation disappointed him
They grew worse and worse each day
Until one night t he king had enough
He packed up and ran away
He bought a new plot of land
And built every person’s dream
A country with delightful things
And luxuries supreme
Then he put ads in all the newspapers
Inviting those from everywhere
To join him in this ‘Camelot’ place
But the king made one thing clear
Those living there had to be honest
They could not lie or cheat
They could not go out late at night
Looking for people to beat
People came from around the world
To see if this could be true
More people moved in every day
His country grew and grew
You needn’t lock your doors at night
Your children were secure
And while everyone enjoyed this place
The king was the happiest for sure
But one day he opened the newspaper
And saw to his dismay
Even his new country was slipping up
They were changing day by day
They king turned to his trusted advisor
And asked him of his error
“Will my new place evolve to my old place?”
He asked, all filled with terror
“You are kind and just king,
But your nation never sees you
They need a living example
To demonstrate what you do”
The king liked his advisor’s advice
And a small group was selected
They were informed about their task
And were told what was expected
They were recognized by their purple jackets
And these people were looked up to
They were a beautiful reflection of the king
And always showed what to do
Alas, our story has a bittersweet ending,
For even they started going astray
Instead of the example, they became the excuse
“What do you expect from us if they do it this way?”
The king called in this little group
As angry as can be
“What do you think you’re doing? “He asked
“Don’t you know that you represent me?”
“I can’t take away your purple jackets,.
All know who you are
But the punishment that you’ll receive
Will be more humiliating by far
“You will be punished publicly
So that everyone will see
That the way that you have acted
Is not a representation of me”
As you may have figured out,
The gracious ruler is our king
We wear our purple jackets with pride
It’s a gift for which we sing
But it also comes with responsibility
To always act as we should
(You know they say: nobless oblige)*
As we personify our King of good

*it is a French term which means that it’s nice to be noble and respected, but it comes along with certain obligations. A prince may have to work hard and go through a rigorous training and education, but he would still rather be royalty than a pauper.