Exploring Man with a cardboard sign

Exploring Man with a cardboard sign

A man with a cardboard sign

Words and music by Kobi Oz

℗&© Anana Ltd

כָּל בֹּקֶר הוּא נְצִיב שֶׁל מֶלַח מוּלנָתִיב בְּאָיָלוֹןהַתְּנוּעָה תָּמִיד תָּבוֹא נֶגְדּוֹ, וְכָל נֶהָגעוֹשֶׂה פַּרְצוּף טַמְבּוֹןכּוֹבַע נָה נָח נַחְמָ נַחְמָן מְאֻמָּן וְגַםפּוֹנְפּוֹןמַשְׂאַת לִבּוֹ מַחֲזִיק בִּשְׁתֵּי יָדָיו עַללְבָבוֹ בְּשֶׁלֶט מִקַּרְטוֹן וְשָׁם כָּתוּב:“מָשִׁיחַ מָשִׁיחַאֲנִי רוֹצֶה מָשִׁיחַ”וְהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהַגֶּשֶׁם וְהָרוּחַ עַל פָּנָיו“מָשִׁיחַ מָשִׁיחַאֲנִי רוֹצֶה מָשִׁיחַ”וְהַלַּעַג וְהַקֶלֶס מְלַטְּפִים אֶת לְחָיָיו מְכוֹנִיּוֹת קוֹרְצוֹת אֵלָיו בְּצִפְצוּףעָתִידָנִי מְנַצְנְצוֹת מֶטַאלִיהוּא מִצְטַמְצֵם מוּל שְׁלַל שִׁלְטֵיחוּצוֹת בַּיּעָרוֹת שֶׁל מִגְדְלֵי הַפָּאלִיהָאִישׁ הַזֶּה הוּא כַּנִרְאֶה קְצָת OFF,לֹא בָּשָׂר לֹא חָלָב קְצָת מֵטוּרְלָלִיאֲנִי פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת הַחַלּוֹן הַחַשְׁמַלִּי וְשָׁראֵלָיו לְפִי לַחַן שֶׁעָלָה לִי “מָשִׁיחַ מָשִׁיחַאֲנִי רוֹצֶה מָשִׁיחַ”וְהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהַגֶּשֶׁם וְהָרוּחַ עַל פָּנָיו“מָשִׁיחַ מָשִׁיחַאֲנִי רוֹצֶה מָשִׁיחַ”וְהַלַּעַג וְהַקֶּלֶס מְשַׂחֲקִים בְּפֵאוֹתָיו בְּעוֹד אֲנַחְנוּ מְחַכִּים לְפָרָה אֲדֻמָּההוּא מִתְעַקֵּשׁ וְהוּא מַסִּיחַאֶת דַּעְתֵּנוּ לִשְׁנִיָּה מִשְּׁטֻיּוֹת שֶׁל הֲוָיָההוּא מִתְגַּלֶּה מִתּוֹךְ עַרְפִּיחַאֲנִי בָּטוּחַ שֶׁזֶּה הוּא שֶׁעוֹמֵד לְבַדּוֹהוּא הַגּוֹאֵל תּוֹדָה לְאֵל הוּאהַמַּבְטִיחַ  כִּי הַכְּמִיהָה עַצְמָה הִיא הֲכָנָהלְנֶחָמָההַגַּעְגּוּעַ הוּא מָשִׁיחַ    (1) Every morning he is a pillar of salt beside the Ayalon HighwayAlways against the traffic, every driver makes a bumper faceA hat with Na Nach Nachm Nachman Me’Uman and a pompom too(2)  His heart’s mission he holds in both hands on a cardboard sign And there is written:“Moshiach, MessiahI want Messiah”And the sun and the rain and the wind in his face “Moshiach, MessiahI want Messiah”And the mockery and the scorn strokes his cheeks  Cars wink at him with a futuristic shiny metallic honk of the hornHe shrinks back against the swathe of signs in forests of  phallic towers This guy seems to be a bit ‘off’,neither here nor there, a little loopyI open the electric window and sing out to him a tune that comes to me:     Moshiach, MessiahI want Messiah”And the sun and the rain and the wind in his face“Moshiach, MessiahI want Messiah”And the mockery and the scornPlay with his side-curls While we wait around for the holy red heifer (3)he demandsand he draws our attentionFor a second away fromthe trivia of the presentThrough the smog he is revealedI am certain that it isHim standing aloneHe is the savior,thank God, he is the guarantorFor the yearning itselfsets up the solaceIt’s the longing that is Messiah 

To download the full pdf, click here

To follow the guiding questions online, click here

  1. The song is written about a real person who does stand by the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, holding his cardboard sign.
  2. Among the followers of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, there is a belief that this combination of letters and half-words have sacred powers. They are painted on many walls throughout Israel, and decorate many of the white hats Breslavers tend to wear.
  3. It is believed that the birth of an unblemished red heifer (cow), such that would be appropriate for sacrifice at the Temple, is the heavenly sign that the Messiah is due.

Guiding questions for Man with a cardboard sign

  • Is the man holding the cardboard sign crazy? A hero? Both?
  • Have you come across people who insist on proclaiming their beliefs and desires in the face of unanimous opposition?
  • How do you relate to them?

(Do you ‘drive past’? ‘Sing along with them out of the window’? Join them by the side of the ‘road’?)

If you were in the place of the man with the cardboard, holding up a sign that states your most strongly held beliefs in the face of huge opposition, what would be written on it?

Sometimes it feels that the State of Israel is a little bit like the man in the song… standing against the global traffic, challenged by international mockery, a little crazy?

  • How do you see the song as analogous to Israel in the world?

Share this post

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