“DEAD OR ALIVE!?” a poem September 3, 2019 (2Z Day!)
“The Story of Salvation for The World!” Here (for you) in Jewish-Rhyme?:
“SAVE ONE PRECIOUS SOUL, and you’ve saved The World Entire,” EVERY TIME!
“Once-upon-a-time there were 36 RIGHTEOUS MEN* (?) left on The Earth;
Now, we’re down – to one or two – who still have-a-bit of mirth!?
THE WORLD WILL SURVIVE – BECAUSE OF EVEN ONE GOOD MAN ALONE!
Things might look pretty bleak, but IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL and known:
That the prayers of one loving man are more powerful BY FAR,
Than The Tears of One Thousand Years – compounded (with interest) from afar!
Just ONE-is all we need! Just ONE – to command,
The ATOMS-TO-HOLD-TOGETHER and just ONE SONG – from THE BAND!”
So, REJOICE Everybody! The World – is breathing – AND DOTH THRIVE,
And WILL! always-and-forever!! Dead! or Alive!
- – In later Kabbalistic folklore, the thirty-six hidden ones have the potential to save the world, they appear when they are needed, and one of them might be the Messiah. They come at times of great peril, called out of their anonymity and humility by the necessity to save the world. Because they can, because we need them. We began to get familiar with them, referring to them in Yiddish as the lamed vov-niks (lamed vov is Hebrew for thirty-six), and seeing them everywhere in the anonymous acts of good people who rise to great acts in difficult circumstances. And because one of the lamed vov-niks, one of the anonymous thirty-six might be the Messiah, we tended to treat strangers with kindness and the possibility that he or she could be the one.
I knew, in my blood in my bones, that I had been born into a generation in which there were not thirty-six. I knew this from the stories that my parents hid from me, from a world abandoned, if not to evil, to complacency. I don’t know how the world is to be saved, unless it is to repair it with tears. To weep the world well, so to speak, saving the world with our tears. I understood something new about the place of tears in our High Holiday liturgy. I realized, too, that weeping was the center of the story in the Talmud, and the connection between the legend of the thirty-six and teshuvah. The world would not be saved in the common, obvious ways; it may not be saved even by the righteous, there may be too few of them, nor by the sincere acts of repentance. It would be saved only by our tears.
SO, CRY! (It’s NOT HARD! Only impossible! without something like: GRACE!) T. M. P.