Asaf Bartov (ijon) wrote,
Asaf Bartov

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On the true meaning of the name Jabberwocky

At Sternberg's seminar on Alice in Wonderland, I've learned of a book called Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass' Decoded, by one Abraham Ettleson (pub. Philosophical Library (1966)), in which the author purports to unlock the mysteries coded in TtLG by Carroll, through the wisdom of the Kabbalah. You see where this is going, yes?

So, Ettleson teaches us that the name Jabberwocky, the most famous element in the book, is in fact a reference the founder of Hassidic Judaism - Rabbi Israel Baal-Shem-Tov. Really! Observe:

1. Jabberwocky = jabber + wocky
2. reverse both elements: rebbaj + ykcow
3. rebbaj is, clearly, rabbi.
4. ykcow is, obviously, the Hebrew name Yaakov.
5. The Biblical Yaakov (Jacob) received the name Israel after fighting God's angel, hence Yaakov = Israel.
6. Rabbi Israel is what the contemporary disciples called the Baal-Shem-Tov.
7. QED: Jabberwocky = Rabbi Israel Baal-Shem-Tov.

Edifying, isn't it?

Sternberg snarkily added: "Regrettably, the book is out of print and I could not secure a copy for my private study."
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