Sunday, November 12, 2006

Upstairs, Downstairs

Upstairs, they farbrenged.
Downstairs, they partied.

Upstairs, it was all inclusive.
Downstairs, all exclusive.

Upstairs, the ages didn't matter. A chossid is not bound by time.
Downstairs, only those from the same age group were invited.

Upstairs, they sat in a small circle. Each one could see and feel and connect with one another.
Downstairs, they milled about. One looked but didn't see, one touched but didn't feel. There was no connection.

Upstairs, their voices rose in niggun and broke through the gates of heaven.
Downstairs, their voices rose in nonsense and crashed downwards.

Upstairs, they absentmindedly picked on the food because it was in front of them.
Downstairs they sat near the food so they can attack it with as much gusto as seen fit.

Upstairs, they spoke of Rebbeim and Rebbetzins. Of chassidim and yeshivas. Of the mesiras nefesh of then and of the mesiras nefesh of now.
Downstairs, they spoke of pop stars and idols. Of themselves and their lives. Of shallowness and selfishness.

Upstairs, they didn't feel the cold. Their bodies transcended nature.
Downstairs, they shivered from the cold. They were one with the elements.

Upstairs, minds were flooded, hearts were cracked, souls were ignited.
Downstairs, minds were clogged, hearts were closed, and souls were dimmed.

Upstairs, they farbrenged.
Downstairs, they partied.


the sabra said...

ye can click on the title to hear a niggun that was sung at the melaveh malkas of the baal shem tov.

Chaya said...

that's really profound chava

anonym00kie said...

would you beleive that one of my -first- jewish experiences was EXACTLY as you described..
it was a friday night at a shabbaton, and the crowd was split in two, upstairs the shomer shabos kids and downstairs..the others.. i "belonged" in the downstairs crowd, but found myself continually going up to take a peak..

it was only a small stairway that seperated the two..

but i kept walkig up and down and up and down and up..

it was that weekend, years ago, that i started keeping shabbos..

you described it perfectly

Nemo said...

Wow... the real Sabra is back at it.

I'm kvelling.

{cliche Yiddish... sounds pretty stupid, I know... but I am}.

wandering said...

I GET IT! Finally something I can relate to. It is beautiful Chava. See ya upstairs...

miss said...

Awesome way to share your experience! I envy your ability to capture such moments!!!
on a side note...
In Nashville, our chabad house was downstairs and a pub was upstairs so we would joke "go up for the bud, come down for the bracha!"

aliza said...

we get "invited" to countless such gatherings daily from both upstairs and downstairs. i end up attending some of each.

hope this helps me decline future invites to party in favor of spending more time upstairs.

thanks chav; u da best

Chasidishe Shaigitz said...


Mimi said...

Chava, I love this.

Truly inspiring.

Let's all stay upstairs.

Keep it coming, your neshama is so alive and present when you write like this.

chanie said...

I love it...

Avi said...


(I think, I've come to the end... how depressing, what a ride... I will no doubt - due to my obsessive nature - check back countless times before I realize I've really, really really finished. Till then: thanx a bunch, I really (paste from b4) enjoyed!)