By Sylvia Gurinsky
(With apologies to Charles Dickens......)
The health care plan had steamed along toward final approval in the United States Senate, until Ebenezer Lieberman of Connecticut had said no.
The worst part was that Ebenezer, a one-time Democrat turned independent and a one-time almost-was vice president of the United States, would not say exactly why he was now trying to torpedo the legislation. This despite the fact that hundreds of rabbis and constituents chased after him.
The spirits thought about sending the ghost of Al Gore to visit Ebenezer, until they were reminded that Gore is alive and well, kina hora.
Then they thought about sending three latkes - the latke of Chanukah past, in which Ebenezer recalled his childhood as the son of a liquor store owner (Package store? Come on.); the latke of Chanukah present, with the Senate debate over the bill and the latke of Chanukah future, in which Ebenezer would find himself unable to get a minyan together for Shabbat because the other nine men didn't have health insurance.
But then the spirits were told that Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, had a change of heart, and Ebenezer would not be needed - at least for now.
So they'll all be voting on health insurance erev Christmas.