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A Cobbler's Journey into the Dreamworld and Beyond

THE RIGHTEOUS ONE BY NEIL PERRY GORDON

Introduction

The Kabbalistic concept of the 'tzaddik,' a figure embodying righteousness and spiritual leadership, finds a compelling narrative in Neil Perry Gordon's novel, "The Righteous One." This tale weaves the story of Moshe, a cobbler and tzaddik, with his divine mission to confront the rasha (wicked person) Solomon Blass, set against the backdrop of mystical and earthly realms.


Moshe: The Embodiment of a Tzaddik

In the novel, Moshe represents the quintessential tzaddik. A gentle, saintly Jew in his sixties, he is a character marked by deep spiritual connection and righteousness. His journey illustrates the Kabbalistic belief that a tzaddik acts as a conduit between the divine and the earthly, echoing the traditional traits of humility, wisdom, and selflessness.


The Dual World of the Tzaddik

"Moshe's role in the novel brings to life the Kabbalistic view that a tzaddik navigates both the physical and spiritual worlds. His training with the descendants of an ancient mystical spirit in the dream world prepares him for the impending battle with Solomon, highlighting the tzaddik's role as a spiritual warrior.


The Battle Against Evil

Contrasting with Moshe's righteousness is Solomon Blass, a man who abuses his prophetic dreams for personal gain. This conflict represents the classic Kabbalistic dichotomy between good and evil, righteousness (tzaddik) and wickedness (rasha). Solomon's character demonstrates the consequences of using spiritual gifts for selfish purposes, a deviation from the path of the tzaddik.


Mysticism and Real-World Challenges

"The Righteous One" not only explores mystical experiences but also addresses real-world challenges. The struggle for control over Manhattan, involving business, the police department, and city government, reflects the tzaddik's role in addressing societal issues, resonating with the Kabbalistic idea that a tzaddik influences both the spiritual and material realms.


The Final Confrontation and Moral Choices

As Moshe and Solomon head towards their final confrontation, the novel emphasizes the Kabbalistic theme of free will and moral responsibility. Each character's choices and actions, whether in the dream world or reality, have profound consequences, illustrating the Kabbalistic belief in the interconnectedness of all actions and their impact on the balance of good and evil.


A Journey of Righteousness and Redemption

"The Righteous One" by Neil Perry Gordon offers a rich narrative exploration of the Kabbalistic tzaddik. Through Moshe's journey, the novel brings to life the spiritual depth, challenges, and responsibilities of being a tzaddik, while also portraying the eternal struggle between good and evil. It's a story that not only entertains but also provides profound insights into the journey of spiritual elevation and the impact of righteous living.


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