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Lamed Vav

Inspired by Rabbi David Zeller

Andrew S. Bonci, Sr.

Private Practice

Andrew S. Bonci, Jr
“Lamed” meaning “to learn or teach”
“Vav” meaning “to hook or connect”
The Lamed Vav
Connect You to
The Teaching
(Inner Torah)
Rivers of blood have flowed, columns of smoke
have obscured the sky, but surviving all these
dooms, the tradition has remained inviolate down
to our own time.
According to it, the world reposes upon thirty-six
Just Men [and Women], the Lamed-Vav,
indistinguishable from simple mortals; often they
are unaware of their station.
But if just one of them were lacking, the sufferings
of mankind would poison even the souls of the
newborn, and humanity would suffocate with a
single cry.
For the Lamed-Vav are the hearts of the world
multiplied, and into them, as into one receptacle,
pour all our griefs.
Andre Schwarz-Bart
The Last of the Just
Grief is the Gurú
Sanskrit: गगर (gurú)
Ancient Greek: βαρύς (barús)
Germanic: *kuruz
Persian: ‫( گران‏‬gerân)
Latin: grāwis
Old English: greef
Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second
is the remaking of life.
Anne Roiphe
American Novelist
Firstly, grief is about loss.
Loss takes many forms ...
from the loss of life to a loss of an
inner sense of confidence and identity.
Simon and Avi

… and touched the hem of his garment ...

The Well of Grief
Those who will not slip beneath the still surface on
the well of grief, turning down through its black
water to the place we cannot breathe, will never
know the source from which we drink, the secret
water, cold and clear, nor find in the darkness
glimmering, the small round coins, thrown by
those who wished for something else.
David Whyte
The Well of Grief
Secondly, grief is about remaking a life.
The remaking of life is born by the wish for
something different … something more …
something better.
… the loss of proper ...
The loss of wholeness is the experience of grief.
Healing is the process of overcoming loss.
Subluxation is about loss.
Grief, therefore, is the purview of chiropractic.
From Grief to Bliss
The person you consider ignorant and
insignificant is the one who came from God, that
he might learn bliss from grief and knowledge
from gloom.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
“Our exhaustion is often caused not by work, but
by worry, frustration and resentment.” Dale Carnegie
– “Your exhaustion is a form of inner fermentation.”
– Br. David Steindl-Rast

– “I know you are tired, but come. This is the way.”

The Antidote
Is philosophy the antidote to exhaustion?
Is an adjustment the antidote to exhaustion?
Is another technique the antidote to exhaustion?
Is rest the antidote to exhaustion?
The Antidote
DS-R: “You know that the antidote to exhaustion is
not necessarily rest?”
DW: “What is it, then?”
DS-R: “The antidote to exhaustion is
Br. David Steindl-Rast and David Whyte
The most comprehensive formulation of
therapeutic goals is the striving for
wholeheartedness: to be without pretense, to be
emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of
oneself into one's feelings, one's work, one's
Karen Horney, MD
Our inner conflicts: A Constructive theory of neurosis.
I Believe
Credo is a compound of cor (“heart”) and dō
(“I give”) and literally means “I give my heart.”
Br. David Steindl-Rast
Deeper Than Words: Living the Apostles' Creed (p. 24).

"I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

Mark 9:24
How does one move from grief through
exhaustion to embrace the wholehearted life of
their “inner” Lamed Vav?
Humus (L.) the ground
See “exhume”

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem

– Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust
thou shalt return.
Roman Rite
Genesis 3:19f
Vri (Skt) “to choose”

“And you play your part, not withdrawing from the

world when you realize how horrible it is, but
seeing that this horror is simply the foreground of
a wonder: a mysterium tremendum et fascinans.”
~Joseph Campbell~
The Power of Myth
Perdonare (L) to give wholeheartedly

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds

on the heel that has crushed it.” ~Mark Twain~
“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” ~St. Francis of
Compassus (L) Common Suffering

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the

other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human
beings who have learned how to turn our common
suffering into hope for the future.” ~Nelson Mandela~
“One must become a companion to suffering
without becoming the suffering.” ~ASB~
Lubha (Skt) desire

True love is kenotic (εκενωσεν). Philippians 2:7

“... but made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant ...”

“Learning to love is like swimming against the

current of a powerful river.” ~Eknath Easwaran~
“Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling.”
~Oscar Wilde~
Gaudere (L) gladness

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin~

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~Karl Barth~

Libam (PG) to remain, to be left

“Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go.

Find out what it is that remains.” ~Ramana Maharishi~
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you
back.” ~Arthur Rubinstein~
The Lamed Vav are the hidden saints who do their
work with such quiet grace that almost no one is
aware. Their humility, willingness, forgiveness,
compassion, love, joy and life go almost
unnoticed. Yet, their very presence transforms
our lives.
Where are these Lamed Vav to be found?

Is one present among us today?

“A man who is a pillar to
chiropractors, young and
old, yet never built a
monument to himself.”
Dr. Hugo V. Gibson
In a time of false-prophets, self-stylized teachers,
and self-ordained mantles of chiropractic, turn
your gaze to Hugo.
In a time of reckless profiteering, intimidation, and
preying on the weak and confused, turn your gaze
to Hugo.
In a time of deep need for renewal, restoration,
and the reaffirmation of principles, turn your gaze
to Hugo.
In a time when mending hearts and reinvigorating
souls is paramount, turn your gaze to Hugo.
I have this recurring dream …
of being a tree in a forest grove.
My leaves offer shade and protection.
The fruit from my branches feed the hungry.
My roots intermingle with those of the great trees.
For this, I am grateful.
Special Thanks
Andrew S. Bonci, Jr.
Dr. Ragan R. Bonci

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