Gershon Ben-Avraham – Spinning

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Chaim began spinning early Tuesday morning while reciting the Morning Blessings. He had just finished saying “who releases the bound” when the spinning began.  It was a slow, graceful, counterclockwise spin, carving a beautiful arc in the semidarkness of his bedroom. His wife awoke, washed her hands, and wished him “Good Morning.” She descended the stairs to begin her daily chores.

At noon, friends stopped by to see Chaim. “Heʼs upstairs,” his wife said, pointing the way with the knife she was using to prepare his lunch. Soon they returned. “He seems busy,” they said. “Perhaps another time.”

In the middle of the afternoon, seeing his still uneaten lunch on the kitchen table, Chaimʼs wife went upstairs. Standing outside their half-open bedroom door, she asked “Chaim, are you hungry? Thirsty?” Receiving no answer, she returned to her work.

In the evening, she ate dinner, washed the dishes, and put everything away. She entered their bedroom. Chaim was still spinning. She prepared for bed and lay down to sleep, her back to him. “Good night Chaim,” she said.

The room was quiet except for the soft sounds of Chaimʼs prayer shawl beating against the night air. At midnight, his feet left the floor. No longer encumbered by the floor’s resistance, the rate of Chaimʼs spinning increased. Then, slowly at first, beginning at the edges, Chaim came undone. Soon, nothing remained except a small blue flame which flickered out at dawn.

In the morning, when Chaimʼs wife awoke, she saw that Chaimʼs side of their bed had not been slept on. She walked around the bed and plopped herself down in Chaimʼs place. It was then she noticed three small round tears on Chaimʼs side table. Gingerly, she felt one and brought her fingers to her lips.

“How odd,” she said. By noon, the tears were gone. Nothing remained except a light white residue, and Chaimʼs prayer shawl.

Gershon Ben-Avraham

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