Karagöz, my impish and oppositional puppet, is very serious today, and this, my friends, is an unusual event.
Karagöz, the little chorus of dancing ladies tell me, has decided to honor one of our sage puppet elders, Yehuda Rebbe, the Globalized Rabbi Wise Man, as it is Rosh Hashanah, one of the high holy days in Judaism.
Some of you may know that in the Talmud, it is indicated that 3 accounting books of a sort are brought forth on Rosh Hashanah, and as Wikipedia explains, “wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of an intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed “to live.” The intermediate class are allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent and become righteous; the wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living forever.”
“Why,” I asked, “has this day moved him so, is he trying to alter his space in the book?”
Looking around furtively, the little chorus of dancing ladies quickly flashed me a tiny drawing of an Ottoman empire man. “This,” one of them whispered, “was the man who raised Karagöz after his father left him…he practiced the Jewish faith, and Karagöz honors him each year this way although his faith has taken him elsewhere.”
That Karagöz, he may be deeper than we all thought.
In case you are interested in the history of people of Jewish faith and their lives in Turkey, you can check out this website for more.
- A Turkish Tisha B’Av (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
- Turkish prime minister approves reconstruction of old synagogue (timesofisrael.com)
- Rushing to Prepare for Rosh Hashanah (omgyummy.com)