By Mort Laitner
I studied the background of the Chabad’s Facebook page. A white-washed wall announced my reading. On that wall, in bold, black, hand-written, capital letters the word, “MIRACLES” bounced off the page.
I thought Simon and Garfunkel (“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls,,,”) but went to Wiki to learn more about writing on walls.
“The writing on the wall” is an idiomatic expression that suggests a portent of doom or misfortune, based on the story of Belshazzar’s feast in the book of Daniel.”
Questions appeared chalked on the blackboard of my mind.
Was my lecture to be a portent of doom or misfortune?
What was the story of Belshazzar’s feast about?
Who the hell was this dude Belshazzar?
Was it time for me to open my bible and study the Book of Daniel?
Not yet. Wiki and Google refreshed my latent Hebrew school memories.
“Belshazzar and his nobles blasphemously drink from sacred Jewish temple vessels, offering praise to inanimate gods, until a hand mysteriously appears and writes upon the wall. The horrified king summons Daniel, who upbraids him for his lack of humility before God and interprets the message: Belshazzar’s kingdom will be given to the Medes and Persians. Belshazzar rewards Daniel and raises him to be third in the kingdom, and that very night Belshazzar is slain and Darius the Mede takes the kingdom.”
I think how often Hashem has written clues on my wall and I was not smart enough to connect the dots, translate the messages and had to suffer the fate of the blind.
“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.”
מנא, מנא, תקל, ופרסין
A new mystery. Whose “human” hand wrote on that wall?
The Almighty’s, an angel’s, a saint’s, a prophet’s, a magician’s or an early Israelite graffiti artist.
The story does not give us a clue.
But on September 16, 2016, we shall have a Shabbat feast,—well a dinner is like a small feast— we shall drink wine—- but not out of sacred Jewish temple vessels and we shall praise the Almighty.
I know because it is written on my Facebook wall.
What a miracle! And you’re invited. Hope to see you there.
Friday 7:30 pm at the Downtown Jewish Center Chabad 900 East Broward Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301