Exploring Escalator

Exploring Escalator

Escalator

music and lyrics by Kobi Oz

℗&© Anana Ltd

Lying on some rock during a school tripMy teacher forgot me withmy kova tembel hatI was a little sleepy withan empty water bottleThen I saw an escalator goingdown and up and downUp to the heavens (1)And there were angels with shiny pretzelsI counted two One enlightened (2),the other seeing the lightOne with a rope around his neckOne seeing the light , the other enlightenedSeven-stick candelabra, the other a spotlight The one seeing the light said “Follow meTo a world of noble magicAnd if you don’t come, whoahWe’ll stick you on the grillAnd I felt a kind of awethat locked my knees The angel left, head-butted the pretzel, kissed the bible,drilled a mezuzah with his eyesThus they went up and down, up and down, the angels from heaven One enlightened, the other seeing the lightOne with a rope around his neckOne seeing the light , the other enlightenedSeven-stick candelabra,the other a spotlightOne defined the other definesOne from village the other from cityOne ancient, other progressOne promo, the other holiness The enlightened said “Friend,There’s no magic in the world, only moneyAnd the light of the one who saw the light is a black hole dressed up as a flashHe smiled a million dollar smileLike a gourmet of teethHe saidEverything is a dream buddyI’ll clap my hands and you’ll wake upAnd hop!All was goneThe escalator no longer went up and down up and down up to the heavensAnd the angels disappeared and I was left with an empty water bottle One enlightened, the other seeing the lightOne with a rope around his neckOne seeing the light , the other enlightenedSeven-stick candelabra, the other a spotlightOne defined the other definesOne from village the other from cityOne ancient, other progressOne promo, the other holiness    בְּשוֹכְבִי עַל אֵיזוֹ אֶבֶן בְּטִיּוּל שְׁנָתִימוֹרָתִי עִם כּוֹבַע טֶמְבֵּל שָׁכְחָה אוֹתִיקְצָת הָיִיתִי מְנֻמְנָם עִם מֵימִיָיה רֵיקָה   אָז רָאִיתִי מַדְרֵגוֹת נָעוֹת יוֹרְדוֹת עוֹלוֹת יוֹרְדוֹתעוֹלוֹת עַד הַשָּׁמַיִםוְהָיוּ שָׁם מַלְאָכִים עִם כְּעָכִים מְצֻחְצָחִיםאֲנִי סָפַרְתִּי שְׁנַיִים  אֶחָד נָאוֹר שֵׁנִי מוּאָראֶחָד עִם חֶבֶל עַל צַוָּאראֶחָד מוּאָר שֵׁנִי נָאוֹרשִׁבְעָה קָנִים שֵׁנִי זַרְקוֹר   הַמּוּאָר אָמַר לִי “בּוֹא אַחֲרַילְעוֹלָם שֶׁל קֶסֶם אַצִּיל”וְאִם לֹא תָּבוֹא ואהואוונָשִׂים אוֹתְךָ עַל הַגְּרִיל וְהִרְגַּשְׁתִּי מִן יִרְאָה שֶׁנָעֲלָה לִי ת’בִּרְכַּיִם  הַמַּלְאָךְ הָלַךְ בְּכַעַךְ נָגַח וְנִשֵּׁק תַּנַ”ךְ מְזוּזָה קָדַח עִם הָעֵינַיִםכָּךְ עָלוּ יָרְדוּ עָלוּ יָרְדוּ עָלוּ יָרְדוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים אֶל הַשָּׁמַיִם  אֶחָד נָאוֹר שֵׁנִי מוּאָראֶחָד עִם חֶבֶל עַל צַוָּאראֶחָד מוּאָר שֵׁנִי נָאוֹרשִׁבְעָה קָנִים שֵׁנִי זַרְקוֹראֶחָד מֻגְדָּר שֵׁנִי מַגְדִּיראֶחָד מְכַפֵּר שֵׁנִי מֵעִיראֶחָד קַדְמוֹן שֵׁנִי קִדְמָהאֶחָד קְדִימוֹן שֵׁנִי קְדֻשָּׁה   הַנָּאוֹר אָמַר “חָבֵראֵין קֶסֶם בְּעוֹלָם רַק כֶּסֶף יֵשׁוְהָאוֹר שֶׁל הַמּוּאָר חוֹר שָׁחֹר שֶׁהִתְחַפֵּשׂ לִפְלַאשׁ הוּא חִיֵּךְ חִיוּךְ מִלְיוֹן דוֹלָרכְּמוֹ גורמט מֵהַשִּׁנַּיִםהוּא אָמַר הַכָּל חֲלוֹם חָבֵראֶמְחָא כַּפַּי וְתִתְעוֹרֵרוְהוֹפּהַכָּל נָגוֹז הַמַּדְרֵגוֹת כְּבָר לֹא עָלוּ יָרְדוּ עָלוּ יָרְדוּ עָלוּ יָרְדוּ עָלוּ אֶל הַשָּׁמַיִםוְנֶעֶלְמוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַאֲנִי נִשְׁאַרְתִּי מֵימִיָיה רֵיקָה מִמַּיִם  אֶחָד נָאוֹר שֵׁנִי מוּאָראֶחָד עִם חֶבֶל עַל צַוָּאראֶחָד מוּאָר שֵׁנִי נָאוֹרשִׁבְעָה קָנִים שֵׁנִי זַרְקוֹראֶחָד מֻגְדָּר שֵׁנִי מַגְדִּיראֶחָד מְכַפֵּר שֵׁנִי מֵעִיראֶחָד קַדְמוֹן שֵׁנִי קִדְמָהאֶחָד קְדִימוֹן שֵׁנִי קְדֻשָּׁה   

To download the full pdf guide, click here

To explore guided questions online, click here

  1. Kobi is short for Yaakov – the Hebrew name for Jacob. Here Kobi is playing with the Biblical tale of Jacob’s ladder. In Genesis 28:11-19 we read: “Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
  2. “Enlightened” – Here the word is being used in its European historical context, not in the context of Eastern philosophy! Referring to the period of the Enlightenment, the ‘enlightened’ angel is wedded to the rational, the provable, the material.

Guiding questions for Escalator

In his dream, Kobi would seem to be faced with a choice: Either commit to the world of the spiritual (“seen the light”), or commit to the world of the avowed materialist (“enlightened”). In the end no real choice is offered, as the layers and layers of unreality folds in on themselves leaving Kobi awake once more with his empty water bottle. 

The angel ‘seeing the light’, the angel of faith, is presented as slightly threatening, even violent.

  • Is it your experience that the spiritual ‘miracle-believing’ side of religion is threatening or coercive?
  • Have you ever asked an Israeli the same question?
  • What do you imagine might be their answer?

 In the dream Kobi is paralyzed by this angel. When you meet advocates of this approach to religion, are you paralyzed, or energized?

 The angel of the Enlightenment would seem to be the enemy of beautiful illusions.

 Is it your experience that the more materialist one’s approach to life, the less beauty plays a role?

 Kobi teaches that the two opposing angels are, for him, also representative of two religious approaches in Israel. There are, on the one hand, the followers of R. Ovadia Yosef, who is famed for his rational, legalistic, practical approaches to halacha and religious interpretation. On the other hand are the followers of the traditions of R. Kaduri, which places far more of an emphasis on kabbalah, lucky charms, and grave-side miracles.

 Does your Judaism present you with such a dichotomy between the practical and the spiritual?

 Are you, like Kobi, left stuck in between, lacking inspiration?

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Close Menu