The Degober Rebbe (file photo).

The Degober Rebbe (file photo).

Degobah System, October 26 – The Grand Rabbi of the Degober Hasidim passed away last week, but his followers remain unable to give him a proper funeral because they cannot locate the body.

Reb Yoda, as he insisted on being called, died in his home, but his disciples have been unable to make the proper funeral arrangements since the body’s apparent disappearance. Ritual procedure calls for a Taharah, or purification, to take place before interment, a process that obviously cannot be done in the absence of the deceased.

The Degober Rebbe was one of the most venerable and influential teachers of his time, counting among his disciples two generations of the Himmelwalker family. He published only one work, called Hashovas Vader, a philosophical treatise on confronting evil and bringing it to tikkun, but spoke prolifically on spiritual principles, coining a number of aphorisms that are still quoted frequently by his devotees.

Famously short, the Degober would use his diminutive proportions to remind his followers that physical dimensions give no indication of a person’s greatness, potential, or power. “Size matters not – judge me by my size, do you?” he would say.

On other occasions he would take a sterner tone, admonishing people not to fall prey to artificial distinctions. “No – not different. Only different in your mind,” he was heard to say on a number of occasions. To those unable to assimilate the lesson, their professions of disbelief would be met with a blunt, “That is why you fail.”

Although congenial and warm to all who met him, the Degober Rebbe was known to have little patience for what he deemed corruptions of the True Path, and for those who sought compromise with the Evil Inclination, to which he referred as the Dark Side. “Jew or Jew not; there is no Frei,” he pronounced.

Reb Yoda was born approximately 900 years ago, and was considered a prodigy from the tender age of 100, when he began instructing others. His parents sent him to study at the prestigious academy at Moaisli, Lithuania, where he stood out even among the great minds.There he earned a reputation as an expert in Family Purity, saddling him with a nickname he disliked, Captain Needa. Eventually Reb Yoda had a falling out with Mosaisli, and a disciple would later refer to it as, “a wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

The Degober then earned his Yavin Yavin ordination, which certified him as competent to adjudicate points of Jedish law beyond the authority and expertise of most scholars, including arcane questions regarding the korbanite procedures of the sacrificial service. He weighed in on a property dispute between communities, providing the decisive argument and winning him the Endor-sement of all the leading authorities of the time and the Ewok-Smachos Award.

Reb Yoda’s simple lifestyle won the admiration and emulation of others, and attracted several prominent followers. He instructed one of them, Ben Cohn, to design a simple brown frock with a broad sash, or obi, a style that soon grew popular among Degober Chasidim and became known as the Ben Cohn Obi. However, the materials necessary for the outfit were contraband at certain times, forcing the Hasidim to hire smugglers aboard the Streimelennium Falcon to secure a supply. When Cohn was killed Al Kiddush Hashem on a mission with the ship, his body was similarly unavailable for burial.

The Degober’s popularity brought jealousy from some quarters, and philosophical opposition. In particular, the Palpatiner Chasidim derided the Degober position on the use of Force.

Also prominent among the Degober’s followers was a young man whose father was unknown into the man’s adulthood. The Degober ruled that he must remain single until his parentage was established beyond a doubt, lest he unknowingly marry a woman who turns out to be his sister, and their offspring be rendered mamzerm.

For more of David’s silliness, visit PreOccupied Territory.