Kabbalah Kronicles 35 – Kanine Kabbalah
Sunday, December 4, 2011 By stuv
Kabbalah Kronicles 35 – Kanine Kabbalah
Uncle Zally / Zalman Velvel
I pray early in the morning with my little dachshund, Peanut. When I start wrapping tfillin, he gets up from his doggy bed and waits by the door, tail wagging. When I open the door, he runs out barking.
What he barks at, I have no clue. I yell at him, “Peanut, be quiet!” so he does not wake the neighbors. He barks anyway, because that is the way God made him.
We then begin our separate rituals. I pray in Hebrew, walking around our pond, while Peanut “does his business.” Then he sniffs everything within an inch of its life, and anoints trees. The selection process as to which trees he anoints is a mystery, just like Kabbalah. But the mystical lifting of Peanut’s leg is not what I want to write about here.
Lately I have noticed that Peanut is getting old. He is 77 in dog years, 15 years older than me. Like me, his facial hair is becoming whiter, and he doesn’t move as quickly. There will come a day when he will not be here to pray with me, and it saddens me deeply.
However, I’m lucky because I still have other loved ones in my life: a wife, children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces, friends and readers, a brother and a sister, and even my mother. But there are a lot of people I see in our business, many elderly, who have little or no family or close friends, only a pet dog.
Many of those dogs are mutts, some are cute, and some quite ugly. Some smell so bad they wrinkle your nose. A few have bowel problems, and even fleas, which are a problem to a landlord.
Still, we allow pets in most of our rentals. Why? Because some of our tenants receive no companionship, or love for that matter, other than what they get from their pet. How could I deny them this small pleasure and call myself a human being?
One of the first stories I was proud to author was about a golden retriever we adopted named Max. He was our family’s first pet, very loving and protective around our children when they were young. He was also one of the horniest creatures I have ever known. The story, entitled "Max, The Wonder Dog" won an award, and is still floating around the internet in its original, though poorly edited form.
At the end of “Max”, I wrote:
“I think I would like to pass from this world the way Max did – held in the arms of someone who loves me, in spite of the embarrassing faults I cannot change.”
A reader sent me the following comment about "Max” :
"I liked your story, and I love retrievers, but I'm afraid of getting one for my children. I had a retriever named Goldy when I was a boy, and when she died, I never got over it."
I wrote him back the following:
"Love doesn't come with a lifetime guarantee. A dog can show you, and your children, many of the facets of love while it is with us, and that experience should not be missed."
I am writing about dogs because this would not be a serious blog about Kabbalah unless we did Gammatria, biblical numerology. The ultimate power of Gammatria comes from the Biblical phrase, “God said let there be light,” meaning the Almighty uttered words, and that is how the world was created.
Therefore, words are clues to the thoughts of God. Kabbalists take a Hebrew word, use the numbers attached to each letter, add up the numeric value of the word, then show how that numeric value is equivalent to the numeric value of another word. They then discuss the mystical connection between the two words, showing there was a divine pattern in the creation of the world. Sometimes, rather that add up the numeric values, they will switch letters around in the same word, and show how the resulting word is also mystically connected.
Gammatria proves that God was a mathematician, ruled by logic. Right?
When a Kabbalist goes into a discourse about Gammatria, I zone out. Sometimes I fall asleep. They think me a little too “mentally relaxed,” like Rocky Balboa. But I majored in Physics and Math in college.
Once at a farbregan, after a little too much vodka, I did a little Gammatria of my own with a Kabbalist (who shall remain nameless). It went like this:
“Rabbi, take the English word “dog.” Now reverse the letters. You get God. That proves that since God is the embodiment of love, so is a dog.”
There you have it – Zally’s Kanine Kabbalah.
Yivorechah adonoy Vayishmarechah – may the Lord Bless you and Watch Over you.
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