13 February 2006

The Joy of Light

I made a call to Jew-D to apologize to her that I neglected to pick up laundry detergent for her when I was in the States. (Most of us immigrants are in some way tied back to the countries we came from - laundry detergent, Lactaid pills, Dockers, wool socks...) I gave her the whole rigmarole of how I managed to miss the ball on this one. Turns out she got laundry detergent yesterday anyway, and then she mentions to me (it's Tu B'Shvat) that Meir Abehsera is speaking in the old city.
"Who's Meir Abehsera?"
Shock on the other side of the phone. "You don't know who Meir Abehsera is? Have you lived!?"
So how can I not go? I wash my dishes and put on some presentable clothes and walk through the Jerusalem night to the old city...and Meir Abehsera.

Let me tell you...oh, if only I could tell you.

There's a story about the Karliner Rebbe, where he turns over heaven and earth to stand in front of one old man who saw the Ba'al Shem Tov, who could tell him a story about the Ba'al Shem Tov.

Meir Abehsera, oh!

Meir Abehsera was the Rebbe's Badhan, the Rebbe's jester, his comic, his whistler. He's simple. He's crazy. He gives over the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He doesn't give over his Torah. He gives over the Rebbe. He sets the room on fire and calls out each soul, and lights us all up with love and holy madness and longing and...oh!

I caught a glimpse of the Rebbe tonight. A glimpse like I have never seen.

How can I keep from smiling?

12 comments:

MC Aryeh said...

Wow. I had no idea the Rebbe had a badchan. Please tell me more. What did he do? What did he say?

LOL at Jew-D's "Have you lived?!"

Miss Nibbles said...

Oh man. Sometimes I feel so left out. It's all those confusing Jewish terms.

My Jewish dictionary here is just a scrap of paper that says, "kosher" "little tiny hat" and "circumsicion".

So yeah, it makes it hard to follow sometimes.

But I"m rather fascinated.

Although, I think I've been getting rather too fascinated by all these amazing entries about all sorts of things I"ve never experianced.

Last night I dreampt I was a country western singer at a Jew party. In which my neck was actually red... and I was singing a song entitled "don't be Jew-sie about the Jews-ies" Which was really shamely embarassing, even in my dream and thusly the crowd yelled, "You're not kosher!!"

and booed me off the stage.

'laizer said...

Ms. N - I apologize about the provincial language...didn't mean to put up barriers to entry.
My internal world is a mix of English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Aramiaic. We're all lucky I make any sense at all.

Tu B'Shvat is the new year for the trees.

A Rebbe...oy...who can define a Rebbe? A Rebbe is a teacher, a guide, a friend, a there's-only-a-few-of-them- per-generation-and-maybe- only-one-for-your-soul kind of person.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (who I just call the Rebbe here) was one of the huge lights of the past generation.


The Ba'al Shem Tov, books and books and books of legends and teachings have been written. The Baal Shem Tov, who can say? Was a revolutionary teacher of about 300 years ago. He turned over the world. He's the Rebbe's Rebbe. He taught that every person, every person has a unique mission, every person is precious to God, every person has what to teach and do that no one else can do. All of modern Judaism is colored by the Baal Shem Tov.

And a Badhan - a Badhan is a holy, holy, jester...

'laizer said...

Ms. N - I wrote a bit more about the Ba'al Shem Tov here.

MCAryeh - I'm not ignoring your question, I'm just waiting until the moment is ripe to respond. ;)

MC Aryeh said...

Not to worry. Your poetic responses to Miss Nibbles will tide me over in the meantime...

oishkapipik said...

I actually didn't know what a badhan was either! Can you give us a help section in each of your posts, I found it very helpfull. Did he speak at the Heritage House? Can you speak at 3rd meal this coming shabbat? You have to miss that, no?

'laizer said...

oishk' - I actually do miss it. It's not the same place since you left (since we all left.)

Badhan comes from .ב.ד.ח - the same root as בדיחה.

MCA - You don't expect me to take that compliment sitting down, do you!?

Miss Nibbles said...

Oh my! That was breathtakingly incredible.

I daresay I haven't ever had such a full, well rounded reply to a question before. I commend you!

I will most certainly not shy away from asking more questions when I can't figure heads or tails of things.

I'm surely going to have to read these things and mull upon them a dozen more times.


So thank you again.

'laizer said...

With Pleasure...

yitz said...

In the early 1970s, many of us became BTs through the wonderful efforts of R. Meir Abehsera, who was mekarev some 40 people at SUNY Binghamton, including 4 geirim! He's awesome, the best!

We owe our Jewish lives to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and one of his many shlichim, R. Meir Abehsera!

WanderingStu said...

LayZer!! Nice eating lunch next to you today-- but we are so far apart.... i need some Jew-Fire, whether it's the emes from your Red Head of some Meir Abse-something--- take me along-- there's fog out here in BA, and i can't see where i'm going.
054-221-5100-- if i have to borrow money from you again to keep in touch, so be it!

'laizer said...

Stu!!!