Exploring Zalman

Exploring Zalman

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlaLDDYdF5s]

Zalman

Words and music by Kobi Oz

℗&©Anana Ltd

Zalman wandered the world confusedAsked himself: “Who am I and what for?I am a farmer I have acres of landAnd I run it allI grow fruit and vegetablesTake care to fertilize and to waterI am the ruler of this piece of the world.”And then a heavenly voice spoke out:Zalman that’s not youLook, it’s the shmitta fallow year (1)The field flourisheswithout your helpYou are not your landYou are justZalman phoned here and thereTold himself “I am the boss of my timeI just make a little callAnd right away all’s fixedI have status around the clockNon-stop career, stocks and sharesI’m always ready for every surprise.”And hop! A heavenly voice spoke out:Zalman that’s not youHere comes the Sabbath BrideNow you’re going to rest (2)Your people are those who prayYour status is not youYour land is not youYouYou are just ZalmanZalman looked at his good wifeLike a protective oak she spreads her shade“Been with her for years, I am her husbandAnd still we sleep spoons in bedWe’ve built a wonderful family togetherAnd she’s a woman of valor, real sexyAnd me, who am I? I’m her husband.”And then a heavenly voice spoke out:Zalman that’s not youThe woman with you isn’t really with youYour wife is now keeping niddah (3)So you’ve gotten it completely wrongYou are not her husbandYou are not your statusYou are not your landYou are justZalman lay back in his salon armchairLooked at the walls and glanced out of the window“My home is my castle, it’s like a kingdom”And again a heavenly voice called out:Zalman that’s not youIt’s sukkot now – go out to your sukkah (4)You nouveau riche, don’t be downLook up at the stars winking through the thatchingYour house is not youYour wife is not youYour status is not youNor is your land youYou are justZalman asked his ailing father“How do I define myself in this world?”“You are my son,” said his wise fatherAnd closed his eyes foreverThe father was buried in the groundAnd Kalman his grandson given his nameAnd Zalman remained with the same questionAnd a heavenly voice called out with the answer:Zalman you are he who questionsHe who always gets mixed upBetween what is yours and who you areBetween your work and the meaning of your worldZalman that’s not youWhen will you finally connect up with yourself?You are not your propertyNot your successYou are not your surroundingsNot even your questionYou are just Zalman…. זַלְמָן הִסְתוֹבֵב בָּעוֹלָם מְבוּלְבָּלשָאַל אֶת עַצְמוֹ “מִי אֲנִי וּבִכְלָל?אֲנִי חַקְלַאי יֵש לִי שֶטַח גָדוֹלוַאֲנִי מְנַהֵל אֶת הַכָּלאֲנִי מְגַדֵּל פֵּירוֹת וִירָקוֹתוּמַקְפִּיד לְדַשֵּן לְעַבֵּד לְהַשְׁקוֹתאֲנִי הַמוֹשֵׁל עַל חֶלְקַת אֲדָמָה.”וְאָז יָצְאָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה“זַלְמָן זֶה לֹא אַתָּההִנֵה תִּרְאֶה, שְׁנַת שְׁמִיטָההַשָׂדֶה מְלַבְלֵב בְּלִי עֶזְרַתְךָאַתָּה לֹא אַדְמַתְךָ  אַתָּה פָּשׁוּט זַלְמָן הִתְקַשֵר לְכָאן וּלְכָאןאָמַר לְעַצְמוֹ “אֲנִי הַבּוֹס שֶל הַזְמָןאֲנִי רַק מֵרִים אֵיזֶה טֵלֵפוֹן קָטָןוּמִיָד מְסוּדָר הַעִנְיָיןיֵש לִי מַעֲמָד מִסָבִיב לַשָעוֹןקַרְיֶירָה נוֹן סְטוֹפּ מְנָיוֹת וּמָמוֹןאֲנִי תָמִיד זָמִין לְכֹל הַפְתָעָה.”וְהוֹפּ יָצְאָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָהזַלְמָן זֶה לֹא אַתָּההִנֵה שַׁבָּת הַמַלְכָּהעַכְשָׁיו תִהְיֶה בִּמְנוּחָהאַתָה אֶחָד מֵהַעָם שֶאוֹמֵר תְפִילָהמַעֲמַדְךָ לֹא אַתָּהאַדְמַתְךָ לֹא אַתָּהאַתָּהאַתָּה פָשׁוּט זַלְמָן”זַלְמָן הִבִּיט בְּאִשְתוֹ הַטוֹבָהכְּאִילָן מְגוֹנֵן הִיא פוֹרֶשֶׂת צִילָה“שָנִים אֲנִי אִיתָהּ, אֲנִי בָּעֲלָהוְעֲדַיִין כַּפִּיוֹת בַּמִיטָההֵקַמְנוּ בְּיַחַד מִשְפָּחָה לְמוֹפֵתוְהִיא אֵשֶׂת חָיִל, סֶקְסִית בֶּאֱמֶתוַאֲנִי, מִי אֲנִי? אֲנִי בַּעֲלָה.”וְאָז יָצְאָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה ” זַלְמָן זֶה לֹא אַתָּההָאִישָׁה שֶׁאִיתְךָ הִיא לֹא בֶּאֱמֶת שֶׁלְךָאִשְׁתְךָ עַכְשָׁיו שׁוֹמֶרֶת נִידָהאָז טָעִיתָ בְּכָֹל קְנֵה מִידָהאַתָּה לֹא בַּעֲלָהאַתָּה לֹא מַעֲמַדְךָאַתָּה לֹא אַדְמַתְךָאַתָּה פָשׁוּט זַלְמָן נִשְכַּב עַל הַכּוּרְסָא בַּסָלוֹןהִבִּיט עַל הַקִירוֹת וְהֵצִיץ מֵהַחַלוֹןבֵּיתִי מִבְצָרִי הוּא כְּמוֹ מַמְלָכָה.”וְשוּב יָצְאָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה“זַלְמָן זֶה לֹא אַתָּהסוּכּוּת עַכְשָׁיו צֵא אֶל הַסוּכָּהנוֹבוֹ רִישׁ אַל תִהְיֶה לִי מְצוּבְרָחהַבֵּט לַכּוֹכָבִים הַקוֹרְצִים מֵהַסְכַךְבֵּיתְךָ לֹא אַתָּהאִישְתְךָ לֹא אַתָּהמַעֲמַדְךָ לֹא אַתָּהגַם אַדְמַתְךָ לֹא אַתָּהאַתָּה פָשׁוּט זַלְמָן שָאַל אֶת אָבִיו הַחוֹלֶה“אֵיךְ אַגְדִיר אֶת עַצְמִי בַּעוֹלָם הַזֶה”“אַתָּה הַבֵּן שֶלִי” אָמַר הָאַב הֶחָכָםוְעָצַם אֶת עֵינַיו לְעוֹלָםהַאַבָּא נִטְמָן בְּחֶלְקַת אַדְמָתוֹלְנֶכְדוֹ קַלְמָן נָתְנוּ אֶת שְמוֹוְזַלְמָן נִשְאָר עִם אוֹתָה שְאֵלָהוְיָצְאָה בַּת קוֹל הַפַּעַם עִם תְשוּבָה זַלְמָן אַתָּה זֶה שֶשוֹאֵלזֶה שֶתָמִיד מִתְבַּלְבֵּלבֵּין מַה שֶשֶלְךָ לְמִי אַתָּהוּבֵין עֲבוֹדַתְךָ לְמָהוּת עוֹלַמְךָזַלְמָן זֶה לֹא אַתָּהמָתַי כְּבָר תְכוֹנֵן יְחָסִים עִם עַצְמְךָ?אַתָּה לֹא רְכוּשְךָ,לֹא הַצְלָחָהאַתָּה לֹא סְבִיבַתְךָאֲפִילוּ לֹא שְׁאֵלַתְךָאַתָּה פָשׁוּט זַלְמָן.” 

To download the full pdf click here.

To follow guided questions online, click here.

  1. Shmitta is the sabbatical year for the land. Every seven years, the land in Israel is left fallow, according to Biblical commandments.
  2. On Shabbat, the Sabbath, observant Jews refrain from work.
  3. Niddah is the custom that dictates a husband and wife refrain from touching during the menstrual period.
  4. For the 7 days of the festival of Sukkot, the family spends its time in a make-shift booth, a Sukkah, whose thatched roof must be open to the stars.

Guiding questions for Zalman

Zalman keeps getting tripped up by identifying himself either by his material possessions of his relation to others.

In what ways do you define yourself?

How do you imagine the heavenly voice might respond to your definition?

Kobi Oz sums up mitzvoth, commandments, as “pilates for the personality”.

Do you relate to mitzvoth in the same way?

Is your Judaism also a form of discipline, or is it an unlimited route to freedom, or something else?

“Your Children are not your Children,” states Khalil Gibran in The Prophet.

If your children are not your children, and your wife not your wife, do we ever own anything?

Does this ecumenical teaching resonate with your understanding of Judaism, or not?

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