by Gutman Locks
Shimon the Levi was born and raised in London.
He was a product of his time and as such he reached into everything
available to his generation; cults, drugs, ear-shattering music, the
"mystical East", the "Hippie" West and then the
"Wild West." Finally, here in the Wild West he found what
he was looking for.
It was billed as the largest gathering of Tribal Brothers ever to
have taken place in England. The meadow was leased and the campsites
were prepared. The major attraction was a genuine American Indian
Chief, brought over to guide all of the "brothers" in the
natural art of living on the land: survival as it was and could be
while simply living in a meadow.
The brothers gathered, wearing buckskin loincloths and head bands.
They all had the official braids of hair running down their backs,
bright feathers and tomahawks in their belts. Peace pipes were passed
around most of the day. The chief stood, arms crossed, overseeing
his vast array of white red-men.
Shimon stood next to the Chief hanging on to his every word. "You
see all these men?" The Chief asked. Shimon nodded, expecting
to hear something profound. "They are all lost!" Shimon's
face dropped. The Chief continued: "They don't know what tribe
they come from!"
Shimon was completely confused. Had he heard these words from his
parents or a rabbi, he would have been able to dismiss them, but coming
from the Chief himself, he was left totally defenseless. The Chief
looked Shimon in the eye and asked, "Do you know what tribe you
come from?" Shimon was taken aback, but then he remembered, "My
father is a Levite! He is from the tribe of Levi, so I also am a Levite.
I know my tribe, I am a Levi!"
He turned at that very moment and began his journey to Jerusalem
where he now studies Talmud with side-locks instead of braids, a tallit
instead of a loincloth, a kipah instead of a feather and singing in
Hebrew instead of Sioux or Cherokee. He says he is a very fortunate
[Excerpted from There is One by Gutman Locks, who recently
published his autobiography, Returning to Earth (www.thereisone.com.]
Editor's note: What is not mentioned in the book is that "Shimon"
the Levi lived for many years in Tsfat.
is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and editor of Ascent
Quarterly and the AscentOfSafed.com and KabbalaOnline.org websites. He has hundreds
of published stories to his credit.