Light Fell

December 30, 2007

My friend Evan Fallenberg who is on his way to the States for a publicity tour for his new book ‘Light Fell’ (Soho Press) read from his novel last night to an audience of friends, family and students.  I was delighted to be present. 

The phrase nafal nehora is Aramaic for Light Fell and it was used in the Talmud to describe a sudden overwhelming desire.  It is this very desire that Evan writes about in his intriguing and touching story that opens with a married man experiencing nafal nehora, a tremendous sexual longing for his rabbi. 

When I read this book, I was fascinated by this image of nafal nehora, a spark of heavenly light that opens our eyes to who we really are and what we really want.  In my mind, such a moment of enlightenment is a true blessing and one that I have been privileged to experience in my own personal way and use it to change my life around. 

I feel sure that Evan’s book will have a profound effect on many readers, strip blindfolds off weary eyes and allow for buried truths to surface.

I wish him every success.

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At an interfaith meeting at the beautiful home of my dear friend Rafi Marrache, Christians, Muslims and Jews share insights into their respective holidays – Chanukah, Christmas and Eid al-Adha – that are all celebrated this time of year.

I am eager to learn about other festivals, the slaughering of goats and lambs to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (Ishmael) and the giving of those meats to the poor.  I want to delve into the birth of Jesus and find the deeper meanings behind tinsel and fairy lights down Regents Street.

Alas, none of the explanations move me and I feel disconnected from the group.  It is only when Emunah Witt, disciple of the the late Shlomo Carlebach and mother of fourteen children addresses the crowd that my heart truly opens and I feel the presence of God uniting us.

Quoting Shlomo, Emunah explains; “When a Jew sits in a Succah booth, wherever he may be – in England, Australia or even Alaska – he is actually sitting in Jerusalem and when a Yid lights the Chanukah menorah, he is right there in the holy temple.”