A Tale for Yom Kippur

I suggested to my wife that we too should build a tomb-like structure and find some available, abandoned tzadik. If we don't find him, I said, we can make him up.

The fact that I was not a businessman during the course of my life doesn't mean that I didn't have various entrepreneurial ideas. If they never came to pass, it's because they were ahead of their time. And there is no better day than Yom Kippur to tell of such an idea, one that combines business with spiritual awakening.

The year 5769 was an entirely spiritual year. That spirituality is likely to pick up steam in the new year, 5770. The letter het in the Hebrew word for "spirituality" (ruhaniyut) ought to be written with the vowel shva rather than the obligatory kamatz, because ruhaniyut with a shva resurrects itself and takes the place once occupied by the soul of the dead. This is a major rule of crisis theory: As materialism becomes crasser, this fashionable spirituality also ascends.

My idea was ingenious in its simplicity. It could have established our standing for generations as the founders of a spirituality movement in Israel.

In those distant days, we lived in the Galilee. We found ourselves to be residing in a land riddled with tombs. Each tomb bears the name of some righteous individual. It also has a number of estate executors. To our surprise, we even discovered the tombs of Mordecai and Esther. Perhaps they got to that point together while riding on the same horse they had received from Ahasuerus. Esther was half-naked during the entire trip, much like Madonna, who has devoted herself almost exclusively to kabbala.

I suggested to my wife that we too should build a tomb-like structure and find some available, abandoned tzadik. If we don't find him, I said, we can make him up. Since every holy site possesses its own unique quality, we can attribute our old-new site a reputation as one that restores the light of vision to the blind. Why the blind? Because the blindness in this country is a national plague, one that will provide a good living. Also, this happens to be my wife's specialty, for she is someone who has often opened my eyes.

We managed to find a neighbor who was ready to appear on a TV morning show and describe how after one visit, after one act of genuflection, and one touch of the hand, he began to see the light. We had no doubt that the next day our site would fill with people, and our cash register would fill with shekels.

To this day I am not quite certain as to why my wife abandoned the idea at the last minute. Perhaps it is because she was thinking we would attract only the downtrodden who seek assistance from the heavens to guide them through their troubles. In recent months, though, she was proven wrong. This year we saw the country's rich and powerful - politicians as well as members of the jet set - accompany real-life righteous ones to the graves of the righteous dead. They go as far as Ukraine and Bulgaria. They would certainly have found time for the Galilee, just as they find the time to go to Netivot.

In the year 5769, we discovered that the owner of the controlling interest in a major bank hears hidden voices and sees hidden prophecies. She, too, is spiritual, with a shva. I prefer her over her colleagues who behave as she does, only through other means. At least she communicates with the spirits directly, while the others need the services of middlemen who charge a fee. "You see," I tell my wife, "we could have been millionaires while hobnobbing with billionaires. Not only did we lose capital, but we also lost wayward followers. And you wasted your charisma, the authority you project and the trust that you engender."

After hearing my grumbling, she sends me to the doctor, but she warns me to keep away from witch doctors.