Friday, 12 June 2009

Lamp of Luminance

'Rabbi of his people, leader of his nation, lamp of luminance, blessed be your arrival for peace' Unless you passed Egerton Road this week and have a smattering of Aramaic and more than that of English you may not be aware of the arrival of the Lamp of Bobov in our midst. And by the time you read this the Lamp will have travelled to radiate its luminance elsewhere so you will have missed out.

The reason I bring this to your attention is because I always wonder why is it that we are happy to put into Hebrew , Aramaic or even Yiddish words we would never say in English. Sometimes, like the Yiddish section of the JT, it's because they put into Hebrew characters anything they wish to keep out of sight of the goyim or, worse, the JC. But there's nothing harmful about describing a 50/60 something as a lamp yet the most his followers would ever say about him in English is 'Grand Rabbi'. So why this reticence?

I have a couple of theories.
1. They know it's a load of rubbish and are embarrased of others who lack their fervour reading it. As for Hebrew speakers they're all used to it and those who disapprove can be dismissed as heretics or opponents. Anyway most of them use even more extravagent epithets for their own Grands so simply to keep up with the halberstams and teitelbaums you need to lay on the lamps.

2. The embarrasment is of themselves. English being a language used for logical discourse will cause the silly titles to jar in their own brains. By contrast, since Hebrew is used for prayer of which half of it in anyway not understood, and even that which is understood is mumbled through automatonlike at a speed far exceeding light, nonsense can be spouted out as no one gives it a second thought assuming they had a first one. It allows the propagandists to use ancient, anachronistic mumbo jumbo without as much as a shokel as the message is not in the meaning but simply being there in a size 72 font multiplied by the number of bulbs illuminating it. It evokes sights and mental sounds of a golden age and of musty books to which they wish to nail their rabbi's shtreimel. And as far as that goes it does a fairly good job.

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