“AND I SHOULD MERIT THROUGH THIS, OUR LEARNING, THAT THEIR LIPS WILL MOVE IN THEIR GRAVES”

«Stop here!», Evron orders Mordecai, the young Lublin reader hired by the wise men of Chelm to read the Zohar. «We will think about this quote.»

«I don’t know what we have to think about. The thing is clear as day», Elijah says.

«Then, explain it to the rest of us idiots, if you are so kind.»

“Well, it’s very simple. He says we should go to the cemetery to listen to the dead.”

There is a great deal of confusion and shouting. 

Evron climbs into a chair and from there tries to reassure the others: «Folks, calm down! Calm down and let me speak!»

Gradually, the congregation settles down and the wise men of Chelm listen to Evron who addresses them standing on the chair: “Elijah has had little tact in saying it so abruptly. But I also think that this is what Kabbalah demands from us.”

These words cause quite a stir.

“Listen”, Evron continues, “We’ll appoint a delegation to go to the cemetery tonight in order to hear what the dead have to tell us.”

A commotion arises in the room.

«A klog tzu meineh sonim! (A curse on my enemies!)

«Az och un vai!» (Tough luck!)

«Chas v’cholileh! (God forbid!)

There are those who fall out of their seat and those who bangs his head against the wall and those who jumps out the window. (Luckily it’s a ground floor.) The only one who remains calm in the midst of chaos is Elijah, who remarks sardonically: “This is what I call being tactfull.”

Evron tries in vain to placate the tumult: “Consider that it’s the Kabbalah that will speak through their lips. So there is no reason to be scared.”

It begins to get dark when a small group of men walks towards the cemetery. Two of them carry oil lamps. In addition to Evron who heads the group, there are Dovid, Fishel and Elijah, all of them reciting psalms. But suddenly they stop walking and reciting when they see before them, in the middle of the path, a human figure profiling on the horizon. 

“Where the hell are you going at this time?” yells Golda, Dudel’s wife.

Everyone exhales a sigh of relief.

“It’s not a women’s issue.” Evron answers.

“It has to do with that damned Kabbalah, I guess”, she says.

“Don’t talk like that about Kabbalah, woman!” Evron snaps at her.

“I speak as I please”. And puting her arms akimbo, she adds: “Tell me where you are going or I don’t let you pass.” 

“That bloody pest of a woman”, Elijah murmurs.

Evrom takes the floor: “There have been complaints lately about the cemetery. We’re just gonna have a look.”

“What kind of complaints?”, she asks.

“Complaints from the dead”, Fishel answers.

The others silence him.

“I accompany you” says Golda joining them. “I’m interested in what the dead have to say.”

When they arrive at the cemetery it is already night.

“What are we supposed to do now?” asks Fishel.

Suddenly Golda screams: “Hey dead! What are your complaints?!”

The others wring their hands and draw back with a wince.

“What are you doing Golda?” Evrom murmurs echoed by Elijah: “Woman, have you gone crazy?”

Suddenly, Dovid lets out a bloodcurling shrieck that causes the panic among his companions.

“What’s the matter now?” 

“There! Something has moved!” Dovid exclaims pointing to a grave.

“Idiot! It’s just a snake!” Evron murmurs. “The next one to raise the voice, will get a smack.”

Once they have calmed down, they begin to walk slowly between the clustered together headstones.

“I don’t hear any complaints”, Golda says. “Just some owl”

“Maybe owls are the souls of the dead” Dovid mutters.

“This is a waste of time” Golda says.

“No one has invited you, so …”

But they are interrupted by the vision of a a white figure that also moves between the graves but lacks human form.

The folks of Chelm are paralyzed by the impression. 

“Our main complaint is to be dead”, they hear the white figure say. 

But they don’t have time to listen to anything else because they start running towards the entrance gate.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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