The Legend of Zorro- A Shavuoth Classic Tale

Shavuoth holds a special place in the hearts of Mexican Jews.  While much is made of eating traditional cheese enchiladas and cold borsht and dancing the Omer Tango, the Story of Ruth is viewed as the highlight of the festival.  Ruth began her life as an idol worshipper who then became an Israelite.  But when she first  arrived in Judaea, she hid her identity. (say quietly)…like a secret Jew

Sadly, hidden Jews are a part of Sephardic culture.  The first man to land in the New World was not Christopher Columbus.  It was Louis de Torres, Columbus’ official interpreter.  But his real name was Yosef ben Halvri HaLevi and he was escaping the horrors of the Inquisition.It is no surprise, then, that along with the reading of Megillat Ruth, the Jews of Mexico also read Megalith Zorro- El Judio Secreto
As the story is read, they shake their maracas at the sound of Senor Zorro’s name as well as that of the brave Lolita and shout ayayayaya when something horrible happens.  They are always led by beautiful senioritas because back then there was no J-Pasar.
Many Spanish Jews came to America making pretend they had converted in order to avoid persecutions and death (ayayaya). On the outside, they were Christian but secretly they still practiced Judaism. To this day, there are secret Jews in the southwest. But that, amigos,  is another story.
Let us begin. Seniorita (FILL IN BLANK) and Seniorita (,,,)…por favor.
Gracias. Senior (NAME)

NOTE:  One holds up a sign saying Ayayaya. The other leads the maraca shaking)
The Jews of Capistrano, California suffered horribly under the rule of cruel overlords (ayayaya). Nobody could stand up to them.  Their leader was the beautiful Lolita Pulido (maracas.) whose secret name was Malka Navara.  Lolita sought out someone to defend her people and turned to a wealthy farmer named Don Diego de la Vega.  Though he was dashing, Diego turned out to be a disappointment.  He was a fool whose only talent appeared to be the ability to count to ten in Ladino on one foot.
But Don Diego de la Vega was no el stupido. He only acted that way to fool the evil overlords of California (ayayaya).  And he fell hard for Lolita Pulido (maracas). That is why Don Diego de la Vega became El Zorro (maracas.) When he heard that Lolita (maracas) had been arrested for being caught lighting candles (ayayaya), he disguised himself in black and a mask and became Zorro (maracas). With his la spada in hand, he swung down across the town square and rescued her. He marked the wall with a Z and then whisked her away. Lolita (maracas) immediately fell in love with the stranger but remembering her maranno roots, she masked her feelings.
Zorro (maracas) became a great hero who protected the people of Capistrano until one day the hired assassins of the cruel overlords of California (ayayaya) captured him.
Alas, he was brought to the town square for his execution (ayayaya.) But Lolita (maracas) and the secret Jews of Capistrano (maracas) were not going to let their hero die. They stormed the plaza and rescued him (maracas).  As our heroine untied him, Zorro (maracas) muttered “Baruch HaShem.”  Lolita (maracas) exclaimed “Gracias a Dios. Usted es un lundsman”  roughly translated as “OMG I’ve hit the Jackpot.”
Lolita and Zorro (maracas) who revealed himself only to her were married and had many adventures and beautiful bambinos. Viva el Zorro (maracas). Viva Lolita! (maracas)
And thus we conclude Megillat Zorro…let’s have a fiesta.



Shavuoth used to be a big deal.  It's one of the three Pilgrimage Holidays.  We read the Book of Ruth.  It is a dairy feast (thank heavens for lactose pills.) We celebrate the receiving of the Ten Commandments.  Many people stay up late studying and eating cheesecake.   And just does not get the same respect it used to.  There's no seder or sukkah or gift gifting.   

Consider the following premise: The Jews gave the world the Torah.  Shouldn't the world be giving something back?  Over the past few years, our family has taken different holidays from other cultures and borrowed them to spice up Shavuoth.   Below you will find Shavuoth Carols that can be sung around the table or in your congregation.   I am also including a sample of what we are doing this year: Seis de Sivan (borrowing the holiday of Cinca de Mayo).  Get creative.  

It is time to start a tradition of celebrating the Second Day of Shavuoth by borrowing from the holiday traditions of other cultures.  After all, on the first day of Shavuoth, we gave the world the Torah.  On the second day, we’d like something back.  Shavuoth Carols, Golden Calf Pinatas, Shavuoth Egg Hunt…you get the idea.  Here are some samples of our favorite carols.    Please credit Stan Beiner as author when sharing.


Here are a few t well-known Shavuoth melodies from South of the Border. Mexican Jews have a rich tradition of Shavuoth songs which have touched us all.

Z’man Matan Torah (tune: Guantanamera)
Z’man Matan Torah aya ya Nos encanta Torá (We love Torah)
Z’man Matan Torah, aya ya Nos encanta Torá (2x)

Milchig Bandito  (tune Frito Bandito Song)  Baby Boomers will know this!          
Ay, ay, ay, ay! oh, I am dee Milchig Bandito.
I like New York Cheesecake, I like it so much.

I want cheesy blintzes, egg soufflés. And such
Ay, ay, ay, ay! oh, I am dee Milchig Bandito.
Its too bad Shavuoth comes just once each year
We like dairy dishes and Ruth’s such a dear

Feliz Shavuoth (tune Feliz Navidad)
The harvest is here (3x)
Let’s go out and thrash the holy grain

We want to wish you a Chag Sameach (3x)
From the bottom of our hearts.

Feliz Shavuoth (3x)
Prospero año y felicidad



Love the Torah (tune Conga- Miami Sound Machine)
Come on, move your body Israel do the horah
We know you can't control yourself any longer
Come on, move your body Israel, love the Torah
We know you can't control yourself any longer

Everybody gather 'round now
Moses going up the mount
Don't you worry if you are freaking;
God will never let you down
It's the rhythm of the tablets,
And like Torah oh so sweet
If you want to do the right thing,
You’ve got to listen to the beat

Come on, move your body Israel do the horah
We know you can't control yourself any longer
Come on, move your body Israel, love the Torah
We know you can't control yourself any longer

Good Tithings  (We wish you a Merry…)
We wish you a happy Shavuoth 3x
As Omer concludes
Good tithings we bring to Temple we show
Shavuoth’s the happiest time that we know


Borrowed from another holiday whose songs start blaring in malls everywhere starting in October.  It has been such an inspiration for us all as we celebrate the giving of the Torah.

Zman Matan (Dashing through the Snow)
Thrashing through the wheat
With an oxen driven cart
Harvest is complete
The holiday can start

Shavuoth has arrived
The festival so sweet
Everybody shouts
It’s time to not eat meat

Oh Z-man Matan
Torah Time
Tickle my sweet tooth
Bring out all the dairy treats
And chant Megillat Ruth

Silent Hill  (Silent Night)
Har Sinai
Mountain alone
Moses waits
Light is shone
Prince of Egypt
On the hill
Thunder is raging
But voices are still
Ten Commandments
He brings them home
Peace Shalom Shalom

Deck Bimas  (Deck the Halls)
Deck bimas
With lots of flowers
Throw in lots of fruit
To show our thanks
Tis the season to be jolly
Falla lala la la la la la

Now Shavuot is upon us
Falla lala la la la la la
Eat a blintz and New York cheesecake
Falla lala la la la la la

Dairy Days (Jingle Bells)
Dairy days, Dairy Days
Dairy all the way
Of what fun it is to be milchdik all the day
Dairy Days Dairy Days
Dairy all the way
Shavuoth is a festive time, our very favorite day

Dashing out to shul to stay up all the night
Walking home at two is always such a fright
Reading Ruth real fast
So Uncle Bob won’t sleep
Of What fun Shavuoth is
Depriving us of sleep

Dairy Days…

David’s Coming to Town  (Santa Claus is Coming to Town)  Note: For those observing two days
You better not pout, you better not sigh
You better not kvetch
I’m telling you why
Dovid Melech’s coming to town

Ruth is his great grandma
And Boaz great grandpa
Without them no messiah  
Would come to save us all

You better not pout, you better not sigh
You better not kvetch
I’m telling you why
Dovid Melech’s coming to town

He’s checking his list, he’s checking it twice
Wants to find out if the world’s being nice
Dovid Melech’s coming to town.

12 Days of Shavuoth?  (12 Days of Xmas)
On Erev Shavuoth, Moses gave to me
The Torah for all the world to see

On the morning of Shavuoth, Moses gave to me
Two No Doze tablets
And the Torah for all the world to see

On the second night of Shavuoth, Moses gave to me
Three Cheese knishes
Two No Doze tablets
And the Torah for all the world to see

On the second morn of Shavuoth, Moses gave to me
Four ice cream dishes
Three cheese knishes
Two No Doze tablets
And the Torah for all the world to see

On the second night of Shavuoth
Moses said to me: WHY SECOND DAY?
Israel now’s alive
Everyone tells time
And we have the Torah for the world to see






“The Jews gave the world the Torah…What’s the world going to give us in return?”
This year, it’s Cinco de Mayo otherwise now known as…

Seis de Sivan


An evening to celebrate Latin Shavuoth and the victory of Mexican Jews over adversity.
Revisit the story of Zorro- the hidden Jew!
Plus a South of the Border poetry slam and the Golden Calf Pinata!


¿Cuando?      Sunday, June 12

Dónde?        Beth Hacienda  
¿Hora?           6:00-8:30pm

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