Abraxas. More accurately termed Abrasax, associated with charmed stones. These Abrasax-stones often bear Hebraic names of God: Iao, Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloai. The name ΙΑΩ, to which ΣΑΒΑΩΘ is sometimes added, is found with this figure even more frequently than ΑΒΡΑΣΑΞ, and they are often combined. Beside an Abrasax figure the following, for instance, is found: IAΩ ABPAΣAΞ AΔΩN ΑΤΑ, “Iao Abrasax, thou art the Lord”. With the Abrasax-shield are also found divine names such as Sabaoth Iao, Iao Abrasax, and Adonai Abrasax.
This is in tribute to Rafa Fredman, about whom I think from time to time, my roommate in second year college, Morganstern dorm, perpetually tanned, long hair in a flip, making leather belts in an entrepreneurial spirit, pre-med from St. Louis of Israeli heritage, prone toward playing Santana’s Abraxas complemented by incense in spare hours of the evening. He was like no one I had ever met before, and heralded a transition from sheltered yeshiva life to less-sheltered Yeshiva life (Gimme Less Shelter). Santana!
Quite a striking album cover, and quite a story behind the cover, Wiki to the rescue. In his own way Rafa was striking, and my image of him merges with the cover. I set him up on a blind date with a friend of a friend, and he bailed. Ironic the things we recall in iconic fashion. When I tried to reconnect with Rafa, so many years onward, I believe I hit a dead end, and will leave it at that, though I would welcome information from anyone reading this who knows of a promising neurosurgeon from Baylor who may have been Rafa before he lost touch, or I lost touch, or both.Though Rafa’s days may be long gone, his spirit lives on in renderings from Abraxas by Dr. Cheeko’s Band at Martell’s on Point Pleasant Beach. Oye como va mi ritmo, bueno pa gosar – mulata.