I Spoke and the Shabbas Patrol Ran in Utter Fear

I Told a Chassidic Shabbas Patrol What I Am and What I Can Do and They Turned and Ran

“Shabbas! Death penalty for violating Shabbas!” The two Chassidic guys had been yelling into the door of the Ethiopian place I was eating at for about three or four minutes now. The owner was talking to them in an effort to get them to go and returned inside as the two continued their disturbance in the name of God. “Jews must keep Shabbas! Death penalty for those who violate Shabbas!”

It had gone on long enough and was disturbing my solitary meal. I’ve never dealt with the Jerusalem Shabbas patrol before but somehow I knew exactly what to do and I knew I would get the to leave.

I stood up and walked up to the door. I stepped outside with the presence of authority I’d had when I’d worked security after the army. I knew that I was in charge of this situation.

I gently closed the door behind me and said, “How you doin, guys?”

“Shabbas!” the one closest to me exclaimed in a much lower volume than they’d been using.

“Yeah, we know. It’s Shabbas. How you doin?” I was looking at him right in the eyes and speaking quietly enough to show him he had to listen to me but loud enough to show him I didn’t need to yell.

“I’m doing ok,” he said.

“Look,” I said to them, looking the far one in the eyes then the one closest. “I’m of the ones called schizophrenic. Do you know what that is?”

“Shabbas,” one tried calling out but it only sheepishly left his mouth in a near whisper.

“I’m of the ones called schizophrenics. Do you know what that is?”

I was looking in their eyes. The nodded their heads from side to side. I looked at each one in the eyes again and I spoke a bit softer to them than I had, as if reveling a secret to them.

“I hear things,” I said, “voices.” I was looking back and forth but directly in their eyes. “I see things,” I was lowering my head a bit and kept looking back and forth in each of their eyes, “I see angels,” and then, pointing to the ground and straightening back up I paused and looked only into the eyes of the one next to me and said as if I was the only one in the world who had the authority to say such a thing, “I can see sheidim (demons).”

The one farthest from me literally jumped back. “You know,” I said looking into the eyes of the one who jumped as he stood a bit further than he had “from down there.” Then I perked up and pointed up exclaiming only slightly louder like a proud child to his father, “I even hear God! I talk with him. He talks to me.”

Looking at the one next to me whose eyes were now wide open under his fur round hat I said, “I’m of the ones called ‘shotim.’ (It says in the Talmud that in these times prophecy is given to children and shotim). “You know,” I said looking into his eyes then his friends then back to him, “shotim,” and then I made a crazy motion to my forehead, “the crazies,” I said in a whisper as I smiled. I whispered again, “They call us,” and I paused as they both listened, eyes wide and still as stone, “sick. They catch us and commit us.” I paused again. “But then we get out. I hear things. I see sheidim. And I talk to God. God talks to me. Shotim.”

They both stared silent. “Shotim are exempt from keeping Shabbas,” I said. “I have an exemption from keeping Shabbas.”

“Who gave you an exemption!?” the one closest to me said as if someone had challenged all rules of reality.

And then I became the authority again and spoke softly but with purpose. “God did,” I said. “He told me I have enough on my plate and I’m exempt. I talk with God.”

And they both backed up, turned and nearly ran. The one who’d scared at the first mention of sheidim yelled back, “If you don’t want to be sick keep Shabbas!”

I called back, “But I’m exempt! God said so when he talked to me!” And then I went back inside.

As I walked towards my table customers excitedly asked, “What did you do? What did you say. to them? How’d you get them to. leave?” They were asking as if I’d done something deemed impossible. I made them run.

I stopped and said to the customers, “I told them I’m of the ones called schizophrenic. I see sheidim and angels and hear God and talk with him. Not right now. But I can. They are scared shitless of us. We scare them to death.”

The customers looked stunned and then one said, “Thank you.”

Another woman asked in the next room and I repeated the explanation. She just looked at me. “You know what schizophrenics are?” I asked. She nodded. “They’re scared shitless of us. We can see things.” She also thanked me and walked away.

At home I was thinking about what I said. I was wondering why I was saying “I’m of the ones called,” when describing myself. And then I remembered. There is so much of the years I was seeing and hearing and learning and my memory was seriously impaired by the meds I was forced to take for nearly two years (I’m now off them) but it comes back to me and when it does it’s like I’m gaining my life back.

I remember perfectly talking to spirits of ancient peoples I didn’t know and I asked them, “What people are you?” And no matter the people, they always answered me with, “We are of the ones called,” and I do not remember all the names of peoples and tribes. But it’s all there in my head somewhere.

I have no idea how or why but I knew they would be scared shitlless of me. I knew exactly how to feed them information on who I am, what I am, what I can do and how to. do it. It’s like all my security and army training and observing and everything I learned from the angels and ancient Egyptian spirits and the sheidim I’d spoken with about what scares the people who steal from God that I should remember was just there and I’d done this before like a boss.

it was the first time I’ve spoken to a Chassidim Shabbas patrol and I knew they would run. I don’t know how I knew but I knew.

And the doctors told me I am not capable of understanding reality and my mind cannot be trusted.

The Chassids looked like they believed every word I said was the truth.

“I’m of the ones called Mitzrim (ancient Egyptians).” God said I am. He said he was bringing us back and the Kabbalah people wouldn’t be able to touch us and the rabbis would be scared of us. Then God said I was a Jew. Then a Muslim. Then a Mitzri. I had to learn to be everything.

I just knew exactly what to do. God hates bullies.

And I think I remember hearing God say he likes loyal, unsuspecting and undesirable outcasts doing his dirty work with bullies who claim authority in matters of God and Torah because the loyal ones don’t care what the rabbis say. They listen to God. It’ll all come back to me. It already is.

About the Author
Greg Tepper moved to Israel in 1997 from the United States. He served in an IDF combat unit and completed approximately 15 years of reserve duty until he was discharged at 38. He used to write news for the Times of Israel and other publications and is now focusing on fiction inspired by his experiences in a schizophrenic psychosis in Jerusalem for the duration of a year.
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