The 19th century play The Seven Beggars by Rabbi Nachman of Braslev -- originally written in Hebrew -- is being performed in Hebrew by Victor Attar June 26-29 at La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York.
Nachman's play describes the seven virtues of the Jewish people in an allegorical tale of seven beggars, each with different disabilities, who save a young boy and a young girl from starvation. Years later the two children marry and the beggars come to the wedding to give the newlyweds the qualities of each beggar's handicap. Though the beggars' disabilities seem like defects individually, together they make a perfect human.
That idea comes from the Kabbalistic doctrine (developed from the Biblical verse that man was created in God's image) which links each external organ with each ten Sefirot or Divine manifestations.
The idea being conveyed in the parable is that people should strive for perfection by recreating themselves in the divine image of God, and by doing so, redeem the world.
Victor Attar will be performing The Seven Beggars as a one-man play. Attar was a member of Tel Aviv's municipal theatre Hakamery and the Khan Theatre in Jerusalem until he moved to New York where he currently works with Geula Jeffet Attar to produce modern Israeli plays and Jewish literature adaptations. For tickets or more information: (212) 475-7710.
-- By Honey Freilich