Manhattan Mystery Machine a Mystery No More

Some might recall my blogging of “the Kabbalah van” in April of 2004 and my befuddlement at such a “vehicular spectacle” — that of an A/C/H/V repairman’s van promoting Kabbalistic study. Well Jewschool reader Iguana just pointed me to NY Times story which gets to the bottom of things, revealing an even more unexpected explaination than I could have previously imagined.

So what is with these mystical messages on a gritty construction van parked with other banged-up service vehicles on busy Manhattan streets?
Its owner, Nelson Cabezas, 58, is just waiting for you to ask, and if you catch him when he is not fixing a walk-in freezer, air-conditioning unit, sushi refrigerator or ice machine, he will offer as much explanation as you want.
Mr. Cabezas is not like most Kabbalah scholars. He is not a rabbi — he is not even Jewish. His parents came from Nicaragua, and he was raised on tough Bronx streets in the 1950’s and 60’s.
He is a refrigerator and air-conditioner mechanic with a theology degree. He is an ordained interfaith minister with a refrigeration engineer’s license, who has spent the past few decades of his life studying refrigeration and the Kabbalah in tandem.


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