Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Origins: A Stone Inscription


Palestinian archaeologists who dug up a mound not far from Har HaBayis in a harebrained attempt to prove the absence of a Jewish presence in Yerushalayim were dumbstruck.

Here was what they dreaded the most; an engraved stone panel that, while worn, was clearly a list of prices for takeout food from a kosher butcher. Stymied in their attempt to disprove the Jewish connection to Yerushalayim, they hurriedly covered the mound and returned to their bomb making workshop in Abou Qalb, where in due time they obliterated any traces of themselves in a work accident.

But the hastily covered over mound attracted the attention of none other than Creedmoorer stalwart Boylish Krechtz, the famous kanoi of garbage can burning fame. As Krechtz, born Boaz Kramer, was a former Hebrew University student become kanoi "baal tshuva" (who was actually on the payroll of both the ShaBaK and the Admou"r who in any case may well be collaborating with one another), he recognized the mound as an archaeological dig similar to one he had participated in before his conversion (which was said to be a way of escaping cocaine and Ecstacy charges stemming from a number of rave parties he organized for his fellow students).

Knowing he could resell anything he found there to any number of museums under the guise of getting it out of Zionist hands and therefore aiding his beloved Palestinian cause, Krechtz uncovered the mound and found a stone panel with the words:

"Pat d'kokosh. 11 dinar"
"Basar d'flanken 31 dinar"
"Chamar 18 dinar litra"
"Kigel d'Karta 17 dinar"

In other words, he had found the window banner from a take out shop that had existed on this very spot centuries earlier.

And then his curiosity became even greater when he saw the slab of stone was seemingly vandalized with words that looked like "Cherem d'BaDatz Sanhedrin Yerushalayim".

He called his beloved Rebbe, who thanked him profusely, and asked him to decipher any other words which he could manage to read.

The only other word not destroyed by time contained the letters nun, beis, lamed - novol or perhaps nevela.

It took the Admou"r only one second to realize that his chossid had found the menu of his ancestor's Shabbos take out store, which had been put in cherem by the "BaDaTz Sanhedrin Yerushalayim" for selling nevelos.

And when his ancestor Todros escaped Yerushalayim years before the churban, after being banished by that very beis din which put him in cherem, he would bring with him a title deed to the second Beis HaMikdash. Of course, it was forged in the same stone workshop where he had printed his Shabbos take out menus.

And the most distinguished descendant of Todros the carrion vendor was his grandson, known as "Don Yedidya Teodoro Nebela," the Don in this case being a similar honorific to that used by the fictitious Don Vito Corleone. After a series of expulsions and banishments for various and sundry defalcations, he went on to settle in a town that became known as "Montres," a short version of its full name of "Monte de las Tres Cartas," or mountain of the three cards. While two of the three cards were said to be the shnei luchois habris, or at least the smashed luchois that Don Teodoro claimed he possessed and would sell time and time again to Jewish travelers, it was not known what the third card represented until very recent times when welfare cheques were replaced with EBT cards.

Indeed, it was here that a card game would be invented that would bring the first Nebelas a great deal of money and cement their nefarious reputation. That card game, the simplest of sleight of hand tricks, would later make its way to the New World with a stowaway on the Columbus ship "Pinta". And among English speaking arrivals to what had been Nieuw Amsterdam, the game became known as Three Card Monty, in honor of the town of origin of the family which had introduced it to the colonies.

The Nebelas of Montres would establish themselves quite nicely with the proceeds from their game, their resale of the luchois habris, and of course the ancestral trade of carrion butchery.

They also amassed many a cherem and were more than once sentenced to banishment, but this hardly mattered to them. Even then, the Nebelas were kanoim who despised the official rabbanim and negidim of Spain as "just a bunch of koifrim and tzioinim" and they soon established their own independent kehilla.

Soon, an even more extinguished descendant of Todros the take out man would go one step further and essentially establish his own kingdom, or at least his own currency.

He was Don Vital Haim Nebela, who would be renamed Don Vital Haim de Menubal, the de prefix indicating a royal favor, or in this case, well, a royal pain in the posterior.

(Next Post: From Nebela to de Menubal: Knighted for Running His Own Mint)

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