According to a very old Jewish mystical tradition, at all times in history there are 36 righteous men who wander the earth unknown to everyone else, including one another. These are the Lamed-Vavnik, or the Tzadikim Nistarim.
( ) at 2015-08-25
I made this rather long winded comment on the forum thread, but begged Darren to resubmit the poem so i could place it here.
A vast diversity of men intertwine in such opposition as to cause more harm than good such that the 36 righteous men of myth are all that hold civilization together.
He loses vitality getting lost in wonderment through sterile contemplation; evil continues unabated regardless of his good intentions. Admitting he is helpless in the face of such endless malevolence he prostrates himself to a higher power. The Rock of Ages seems to give direction, but no abatement of the torment. The complexity of harmful interaction itself defies a final solution.
He reflects on the belief that Goodness of Life streams from the primeval forest. Yet, the gates of Eden are a blockade keeping man from regaining innocence; the expulsion from the garden is irreversible.
Likewise, false prophets who propose endless promises of salvation while living in luxury prove humankind unworthy, while the history of constant mortal conflict leaves us forever grubbing.
The Tower of Babble, man's audacity, is broken, so that men are cast further into confusion by not Hearing each other. Yet established religions take this Deafness to Reason as normal and exclude he who seeks sanity.
Finally, he comes to understand his inner Truth and decries the inescapable dichotomy of existence. He questions whether even the worthy 36 can abide with such madness, but must live apart. In the end he is reduced to profound tears of despair, for you cannot unknow the Truth. He is left with nihilism.
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There are always 36 (Lamed means 30 in Hebrew, vav means 6) in the world. They are the very foundation of the world, like Atlaswho held up the heavens. If you take away these 36 righteous men, the world is no more. Like if Atlas disappeared, the heavens would fall. Is there 36righteous men in the world? Does anyone think that if these 36 folk were removed...that the world indeed would collapse? Again, just curio about this.
Every year, a group of Orthodox Jewish friends from Argentina journeys 2,500 miles to Russia, Ukraine and Poland to visit the graves of the 36 Righteous Men, the Tzadikim, who are said to live on earth to do good anonymously in each generation. Joining the group one August, WJFF favorite Burman (2010 Visionary Award, Waiting for the Messiah WJFF 2001, Family Law WJFF 2006, Lost Embrace WJFF 2010) records his first documentary, turning the camera on his own personal exploration of discovery and identity, a skeptical secular Jew amidst observant believers.