ההוא סבא And the President’s Bible Chug

2 Jan

by Ari Silbermann

The other night I was in the audience for two events

The one, took place at the President’s house in the late afternoon

I had to pass through the huge gates and walk through the gardens, to get to the cakes and coffee which proceeded the lecture. The President was there as were the artifacts in the huge hall. It reminded me of the grandeur of Kings.

The other took place on a dark street in Jerusalem early in the evening

I wasn’t really even meant to witness it, it’s just a regular scene

No cakes, no coffee and no large audience

At the President’s house the speaker was a charismatic leading archeologist

He carried a computer and showed maps and slides

He wore a suit and made jokes and spoke of the Israelites who are really Canaanites

He was followed by a young student, the future they called him, who already in his final year at high school spoke well beyond his years, articulately talking about the meaning of the Bible as a book composed in the 8th Century, a work which combines all different works and views, a work which should guide us today in that light.

Down that dimly lit Jerusalem side-street the speakers were three old men

Two carrying a Gemarra the third wearing a tracksuit – no gates, no grand halls

It reminded me of ההוא סבא

They spoke of a nearby shule where one goes to davon when they don’t have time even to davon at home – of having to get their half an hour early just to catch up.

Smiling at their joke –

I followed them.

Ari Silbermann is a Jewish educator living in Gush Etzion, who is currently completing his MA in Bible at Bar Ilan University and Beit Morasha.

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One Response to “ההוא סבא And the President’s Bible Chug”

  1. Tali January 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Beautifully written! Menachem Begin used to have a Bible Chug in his home, and from what I understand he personalized humility, sincerity and authentic Jewish values – despite his esteemed position!

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