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 Rapha Fredman, about whom I think from time to time, my roommate in second year undergraduate school at Yeshiva University, 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 Rapha 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 because he could. Rapha was very much his own man. Ironic the things we recall in iconic fashion. When I tried to reconnect with Rapha, so many years onward, I hit a dead end. From what I gather online, apparently he apparently passed away on January 15, 1997. But of that I cannot be certain.