What’s a nice neshamah like that doing in a nasty place like this? Why does a really nice G‑d send a poor innocent neshamah down into the world, knowing full well how messed up she’s going to get? She’s got a one-in-a-million chance of coming out unscathed. Even if she is successful and manages to do some mitzvahs in the end, look at the collateral damage incurred. I mean, is it really worth it?

Must be. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here, right? And the hero of our story is a case in point. Look at what he accomplished. If he had just stayed good and nice his whole life, well, that would have been good and nice. But there’s no way he would be doing mitzvahs with the hyper-energy he’s putting into them now. And where did all that energy come from? From biking, partying, and all the other big-trouble stuff. That’s a kind of energy you just don’t get out of being nice. Only that now all that Big Trouble energy is being channeled into making the world a beautiful place.

In Kabbalah lingo, we call this rescuing the sparks from Tohu. Tohu, you’ll recall from World Puzzle, is that ideal but impossible world that exists before our world can happen. Because everything there is so absolutely ideal, it all shatters and the sparks fall downward. The highest, most powerful sparks fall to the lowest places—like Big Trouble Land. Nice people who are nice their whole lives can’t get to those sparks. Only bikers and other troublemakers who are running away from their neshamahs can get there. Then, when they turn around and break out of the Other Side, they bring all those hyper-sparks with them, reconnecting them back to their power generator in Tohu, and converting them into super-dynamos for healing the planet.

More on Tohu at Fallen Sparks and Tohu Wars.

A few notes about how Big Trouble Meets Small Shofar was made. Although it may look small, this was undoubtedly our biggest project to date. Miri (Nitzeves Freeman) practiced her part for a week or so. She doesn’t yet read, so I had to say the words and she repeated them after me. Then we cut out my voice and sewed hers together. But she sure put a lot of expression into it.

We had to decide whether the hero of the story would be a hero or a heroine. I had originally imagined a heroine, but Pilar pleaded that heroes are so much easier to stick-draw and animate. For that and other reasons, he became a guy. The biker idea came from Pilar, as did the final planet scene. I blew the shofar. We would really like to make this into a storybook. What do you think?

Pilar, anything to add?