Monday, August 6, 2012

Mordechai Rosenbaum

With my continued reading of Elie Wiesel's All rivers run to the sea: Elie writes about his mentor "Shushani". His real name according to Wiesel is "Mordechai Rosenbaum". He is a mystery figure, nobody knows much about him, other than he looks like a tramp. Yet he is brilliant, a genuine polymath from science to mathematics but especially the Talmud; of the many Talmud texts he knows many of them off by heart. Elie believes that part of his brilliance was his ability to read and retain word for word what he read. (Interesting this is reminicent of the character Danny Saunders in Chaim Potock's "The Chosen") Yet Elie never seen Rosenbaum read a book!

Rosenbaum's influence was throughout the Jewish disporia after World War Two. Throughout professions scientists, authours, philosophers many professed to to have been touched in some way by him, according to Wiesel. Yet he never wrote or published anything!

He is an interesting character this Rosenbaum; I cannot help think there is an element of the messianic about him. He is undoubtedly 'mysterious', like I find in Jesus. He never spoke about himself, and actually shuned those who asked. He had a profound effect on those who he mentored, like Jesus and his disciples.

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