Lamed Vav

By G David Schwartz

(Do you think dogs are not good people?)

With true love and deep affection to Maverick (Heinz Von Geckchosen) and Buba. This German Shepard of mine and a Shjtza of my wife’s were the first among several. Together we had Elie (Labrador) and them Quinn (named after, if you ask my daughter Michelle, a cartoon character, but if you ask me, a Bob Dylan song) and my daughter Sara moved away to go to Ohio University school and has a handsome (part Newfoundland, past Chow and part mutt) with the name Kiros, and again a blind dog named Tucker.

How, you may very well ask, does the world consist to rotate for such a long time, Is her time not overdrawn, What will all of the scandals and wars, the senseless pitting of man against man, how does she survive, I shall try to tell you.

There is a tradition – nay more than that – a teaching – that in every generation there are thirty-six righteous men (and I am sure that if alive today they would also say women), who are the Lamed Zaddikim,’ who sustain the world. It is as if they were responsible alone to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. It is for this reason that they are called the pillars. And how do these individuals ensure the continuity of existence, It is said that they have a lot of pull upstairs.

Thirty-six Zaddikim are hidden in each generation. Their unselfish usefulness holy ways and work are done in concealment, as a man who appears to be performing some secret and mystical act, as a service to God. On the other hand, he may bed spending a slothful day from work. Nobody knows who the Lamed Vav are except Him who Lives Beyond the Universe, and He who Lives in the Universe will remember their deeds.

These men do not reveal themselves – usually doing so on those rare occasions when a Jew is in some danger. At those times, they manifest themselves and, by some mystical act, or by the uttering of the Name, they right the wrongs heal the sick, feed the hungry, free the prisoner’s and occasionally make a happy end to what may have been going to be a sad story.

Rarely do the common people, or the rabbis (such as Rabbi George Barnard or Rabbi Goldfetter) or sages such as Rabbi George Barnard or Rabbi Goldfetter, see a lamed –vav whom they are privileged to recognize during their life. This is because when the hidden Zaddikim are near-by, the “William Tell Overture” does not play.

It just so happens that once upon a time, about seventeen miles from here, there lived a king. This king was a notorious Jew hater. He hated Jews notoriously. There are many will-known stories about this assumed royal man, telling of his evil cunnings and his wickedness. Jews who were forced to live under his feared rule found life difficult indeed. It was told that the king once decided to put a massacre to all the Jews because their God had protected them from ignorance by giving them a magic set of books called Talmud and Zohar.

The king was normally jealous and was now jealous against these passive people who were so foolish to spend their free time studying ancient crept (ancient! I posses a 1958 volume printed by the Saphrograph Co. Edited by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon, published by the Rebecca Bennet Publishing.

(C)opyright 2009 G David Schwartz All Rights Reserved

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