I just learned last week an unbelievable story by Reb Shalom Shachna, the
father of the Holy Rizhiner. And it would be too long to tell you all those
names, like — but it’s just a privilege to know that they existed in this world.
He had hundreds of followers, but there were two: one of them had the most
obnoxious wife ever — she was, like, really on his case — it was just —
mamesh he couldn’t live! And each time he comes to the Rebbe, he says,
“Mamash, I have to divorce my wife. I can’t bear it anymore.” He says, “Not
yet, not yet, not yet.”
The other one was a rich man. He had a lot of real estate, but he also owed
a lot of money. But if he would sell the real estate, [with] whatever he has,
he could pay off the bills. And they were mamash also on his tail. [Greeting
a newcomer] Hey [inaudible name]! Good Yontif. So he says, “I want to sell
all I have, to pay off.” And he also tells him, “Not yet, not yet, wait, wait, wait,
wait.” Finally one day, the person who owes so much money couldn’t bear
it any more, he says, “You know, I love my Rebbe, but I can’t do it.” He sold
everything, paid off, and without saying anything bad — same night, he got
(g’ferlach) ill, he’s just about taking off. He says to his best friend, the one
who has this terrible wife, “Run to the Rebbe fast, and tell him I’m dying.”
So Reb Shalom Shachna says — you know, basically, you know, especially in
Rizhin, you don’t say what you know. You know, it’s clear to you and me, all
the people who brag so much, tell you every thing they know, they really know
very little. ‘Cause if you really know, you keep it inside. He says, “Basically,
it’s not my way of telling things, but I have to tell you.”
You know, according to some other religions, you come back 2,000 times.
According to us, you come back three times, maybe four times. Whenever
it doesn’t work, that’s it. He says, “Both of you have been here already four
times. You haven’t fixed it yet. So the Heavenly Court had compassion [on]
you. So they decided to send you back one more time. But it has to be in
such a way that you’re not really alive in this world. So your wife, mamash,
makes you so miserable, that you’re only half a life. And the other person,
he owes so much money, he can’t breathe. It was good for you. I wanted to
keep you alive till you fix what you have to fix. Now, what can I do with him
I’m telling you this story because everybody knows, today and tomorrow
afternoon it’s Pesach Sheni…actually, it’s a holiday of the second chance.
And, um, I mean, just the words, “second chance,” is already like —
unbelievable words, right? That means it’s never too late. You can always fix
it. You can always fix it.
And before we go into details, I want to share with you something important.
Today is also the Yahrzeit of Reb Meir, the Heilige Reb Meir. Everybody
knows, Reb Meir — like, there were two giants in the Talmud, which are
unsurpassed, Reb Meir and Rabbi Akiba. And basically the whole Torah
sh’baal peh — you know, there’s Torah sh’b’ksav — the written Torah. And
the written Torah is so many words, so many letters, and that’s it. Torah
sh’baal peh is first of all the oral tradition, what God told Moshe — not to write
down, but to give over, and also, that everybody can add!
You know, take — let’s say the last parashah, right? Acharei Mos-Kedoshim.
We’re reading the parashah already since Mt. Sinai, 3,700 years. Every year
hundreds of new books are coming out, commentaries on the Bible. And
good ones, gevalt ones, right? And not everything is printed, you know, gevalt
what’s not printed, right? And the masters of adding to the Torah [are] Rebbe
Meir and Rabbi Akiba.
Something else happened Pesach Sheni, which is awesome. Everybody
knows, after we crossed the Red Sea, Amalek came and attacked us. You
know what day Amalek came? Pesach Sheni. Unbelievable. Because the
most anti-Pesach Sheni is Amalek. Amalek, everybody knows, is the nation
who are the greatest enemies of Israel, but also, spiritually, Amalek is the
arch-enemy of God, the anti-God.
Let’s put it this way: you know, I shouldn’t eat a hamburger on Yom Kippur.
But imagine, I was very hungry, nobody was looking, going into a Doggy
Diner, make sure nobody is there, especially the rabbi isn’t there — hopefully.
On Yom Kippur — and I knock in a little hamburger. So I’m not, let’s say I’m
not a very — very pious Jew, but I cannot say I’m against God, right?
Amalek is anti-God. What’s Amalek saying? Amalek comes and tells you,
“It’s too late. You can’t fix it any more. It’s too late, forget it. It’s not for you.”
And, you see, Amalek is the one who says to you — imagine I decide I want
to do something absolutely beautiful. Amalek says, “I know you for so long.
For you, it’s like a little holiness attack. You’ll do it for three days, and then
you go right back where you came from. Forget it. It’s too late to change.”
Everything is too late.
You know why there’s no peace in the world: ’Cause Amalek is sittin’ there,
right? And [he says,] “Listen, they’re killing each other for so long, and
suddenly they’ll change? Forget it!” Right? I always tell my friends, there’s so
many divorces in the world, and I could swear to it that Brother Amalek was
standing under the chuppah and telling some — “I’d love to see how long this
marriage lasts,” you know? And the vibrations are — [out-breath expletive,
like throat clearing]. I mean, you can see him when anybody starts doing
something good. Right away, Amalek says, “Ahh. It won’t last.” Amalek.
So Amalek came to attack us on Pesach Sheni. And what’s the most anti-
Amalek? Anti-Amalek is, it’s never too late because even if I fail, I have
another chance. I always have another chance. I can always fix it.
And you know, this is really mind-blowing. Why is Reb Meir’s Yahrzeit on
Pesach Sheni? You know who Reb Meir was? You know, I hope you don’t
really take world history too serious[ly] — because they change it always [to
make it] the way they like it. You know, I don’t want to say anything bad, but
us Jewish people, our history doesn’t change. Let me tell you, that year was
Mt. Sinai — it was Mt. Sinai. We don’t have professors every year and try to
change it a little bit.
You know, my zeide told my father — my father had a doctorate in Philosophy
and in History — and my grandfather, he studied also History — he had
a Ph.D. in History, but first in Germany and then in France. He says, “In
France, why do they teach you a different history, right? What’s good for
France. And in Germany they teach you what’s good for [Germany].” So
what is the real truth? You’ll never know, right?
According to World History, Nero, after he burned Rome, he got crazy, and he
killed himself. According to our history, which is more reliable, he saw Rome
burning, and he realized — can’t live like this. He went to Yerushalayim,
converted — became a Jew — and his grandson is Reb Meir [Gittin 56a].
Unbelievable, right? You know what that means? That even the lowest human
being, like Nero, also has a second chance. The world has a second chance.
Whatever the world destroys — remember what Reb Nachman says, if you
believe that you can destroy, why don’t you also believe you can rebuild? And
it’s even deeper than that. God does not let you destroy more than you can
rebuild. Suddenly the destruction stops because if you would go further, you
couldn’t fix it anymore.
Okay, now let’s go down to — again — to the basics. Pesach Sheni is —
you know, we have to bring a Paschal lamb on the 14th day of Nisan, and the
people who carried the coffin of Yosef — if you remember, Yosef HaTzaddik
told the Jews, “Take me with you when you come out of Egypt. I want to be
buried in the Holy Land.” So they were carrying the coffin of Yosef. But when
you carry a dead person, then you cannot go to the Holy Temple. So they
couldn’t bring the Paschal lamb. So they came to Moshe, and they were very
sad. “Lama neegara?” Why weren’t we privileged also to bring the Pesach?
[Numbers 9:7] So Moshe Rabbeinu says, “Wait” — eemdu actually means,
mamash, “Pray hard” — “and I will ask God what to do.” So God says, “I’ll
give them a second chance — four weeks later, on the 14th day of Iyar.”
You know, tonight is exactly four weeks after Pesach. And, again, we have
more time later. I just want to tell you fast. The second chance — you’re not
given a second chance just like this. You have to ask for it. If you don’t ask,
you don’t get it. I don’t have to ask God every Pesach, “Please let me make
a Seder.” I mean, I’m asking God, “Let me make a good Seder.” But it’s
Pesach anyway. Pesach Sheni? I have to ask.
You know, I meet my wife, I marry her, and it’s all beautiful. I hurt her
feelings? Ah, I have to ask. Give me another chance. Certain things you
have to ask. And certain things are given to you. So Pesach Sheni is the
holiday of the second chance, but it’s so deep — you know what Torah
sh’ba’al peh is? It’s my doing. Doesn’t come down from Heaven unless I ask.
So this is Reb Meir, right? Torah sh’ba’al peh — mamash asking for it.
And according to all the rabbis in the Talmud, the people who asked for
it were those people who carried the coffin of Nadav and Avihu. If you
remember, on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, when we initiated the Mishkan — the
Holy Temple — Nadav and Avihu walked into the Holy of Holiest, and they
didn’t come out. You know, the High Priest walks into the Holy of Holiest
once a year on Yom Kippur. Basically, you cannot just walk into the Holy of
Holiest. And Nadav and Avihu were not told to go in. They walked in, and
they left their soul there.
And again, I wish we would have all night. But let me tell you something —
anybody here who studies the Bible — sadly enough the English translation
makes it like they did something terrible, and they were punished. God forbid,
God forbid. But why did they go into the Holy of Holiest? And basically,
because of them we have Yom Kippur.
And also — I’ll start from the other side. You know, Moshe Rabbeinu came
down from Heaven because we made the Golden Calf. And he asked for
forgiveness, and on Yom Kippur God gave him the two tablets again. Why
do I have to go into the Holy of Holiest? And if you remember, the High Priest
walked into the Holy of Holiest — didn’t ask for forgiveness — he just walked
in there, didn’t say a word, and he came out.
I’m sure Nehemiah [Polen] was learning it in a million ways — and Brother
Hershele — but let me tell you. There’s two ways of asking for forgiveness.
Imagine I’m yelling at my wife, and I mamesh hurt her feelings; then I say,
“Listen, you know, I just learned that it is forbidden to hurt somebody’s
feelings, and also I read in another book it’s very, very bad — so I want you
to forgive me.” How does it sound to you? “And I want you to know, I have
a Ph.D. in Judaism, and also, really, mamesh, like, you know, it’s really, it’s
against the Torah to yell at your wife.” So my wife just melts away. Unless
she is a shmendrick like me, right?
Let me ask you something — how would it sound to you? Let me ask you —
why doesn’t the Torah ever say you have to love your children? Would be
beautiful. Imagine I walk up to my daughters and say, “Listen to me, I love
you because it says in the Torah, ‘You have to love your children.’” ‘Cause
the Bible says you have to love your children. How does it sound to you?
If I do something because I have to [someone sneezes]-—God bless you —
it’s outside stuff. And you know what it is? And this is not to say I’m not doing
it because — It’s clear to me God wants me to love my children, right? But it’s
not on the level “you have to.” It’s deeper than “you have to,” not less deep.
It’s so much deeper.
You know, I was talking to someone who had a little radio show in New York.
Sometimes they talk about — sadly enough, there’s still people who hit their
children — it’s disgusting. So someone called me up on the radio and says,
“Where does it say in the Torah that you’re not permitted to hit your children?”
I said to him, “Let me ask you something — ” [someone sneezes] God bless
you — “You mean to say you can lift your hand and hit a little baby? Then
you’re not a human being, right? You’re definitely not God’s image, right?”
You know it’s deeper. “D’you mean you could?”
How would it sound to you? I will tell you if the Torah wouldn’t forbid us to kill,
I would walk around with a knife killing everyone. But then I read the Bible
— the Ten Commandments [chuckles]-—and I decided not to kill. Okay, you
know, for some people maybe it’s an emergency. You mean you COULD kill?
I want you to know something awesome, awesome, awesome. The Ishbitzer
says, when G-d spoke to us on Mt. Sinai — God says, “Don’t kill” — what
was engraved on our hearts is not the words, “Don’t kill.” What was engraved
inside of us: how precious life is. [Whispering] Life is so precious. It’s not I
SHOULDN’T kill — that’s forbidden — I CAN’T kill, right?
You know, when God said to us, “Don’t steal,” it’s not all — I saw, I saw
mamash there written on the sky, “Don’t steal.” [A person evidently brings
him something to drink.] What are you bringing me there, darling? You are
cute! L’chaim. [People respond in kind] L’chaim. [Drinks] Thank you. What do
I need my guitar for? [Puts it down]
You hear, friends? Imagine if my little child says to me, “Can you give me
some apple juice?” Am I giving her the apple juice because I have to? It’s the
deepest “I want to,” right? Deepest, deepest, deepest.
You know the difference between serving God and serving idols? It’s very
simple. Serving the living God is “I want to.” Serving a dead idol — by a
lot of people, gevalt, God has become a dead idol. “I have to.” Anybody’s
doing things because he has to — it’s pagan worship. [Whispering] I have to!
Everything is forced. [Normal voice] Sure, when I serve God, I really have to
— gevaldt, it’s the deepest, deepest, like I wanna, I wanna give my children
apple juice. Sure, I have to. But I want to.
The Talmud says, “How did our father Abraham serve God before He gave
us the Torah on Mt. Sinai? How did he know?” And the Gemora says, “It’s
inside.” Inside. The deepest inside. The deepest, deepest inside. So I want
you to know, until we made the Golden Calf, the Torah was so deep in our
hearts. When we made the Golden Calf, something, God forbid, happened to
us. [Whispers] I have to. [Normal voice] You see, when you serve the idol,
even serving God becomes idol worship. I want you to know something. You
know what idol worship is? It means God is dead. Doesn’t move.
I’ll tell you something I just shared with somebody. The first — you know,
when they made Sha’arei Tzedek, so to speak, a Jewish hospital in
Yerushalayim, they took a German-Jewish doctor, very religious, and he was
like an idol-worshipper. When he was praying, he wouldn’t move, even it’s
an emergency. ‘Cause he’d say, “No, when I’m davening, I’m davening.”
What do you mean? Someone is dying! You’d better get your act together
and come out — you’re the doctor, right? What’s his problem? Serving a dead
God. Can’t move, right? He doesn’t know when yes and when no, right?
You know what’s so special about the Torah? There is nothing, nothing, more
alive than the Torah. Even when the Torah says no, maybe tomorrow it’s
yes. You know what it means to be a living person? To be in touch, to know
exactly what does God want of me right now. Remember the children of the
Heilige Strelisker came to the Heilige Rizhiner and [he] asked [them], “What
was the most important thing by your father? And they said, “For him, the
most important is to know what God wants of him right now.” What do you
have to do right now, right?
You know, all those people — they have plans, and they know now already
what they’ll do ten years from now on Shabbos morning 9:20. They’ll be in
the synagogue and they’ll be on page 35. It’s idol worship. How do I know,
right? I hope I’ll be there, but what do I know, right?
I’ll tell you something very deep — not only in doing good. The Heilige
Rizhiner says to the chasidim, “Please, I would like to show you what is a real
human being. Call me somebody in from the street.” They call in somebody,
and he says, “Listen, brother. Imagine you’re walking behind me, and a
thousand rubles are falling out of my pocket. What are you gonna do?” He
says, “The truth? I’ll keep it.” “Thank you so much.” He says, “What a thief!
Call in somebody else.” The next person comes in, and he asks him, “What
would you do?” He says, “Rebbe, I’d give it right back to you.” “Oy,” he says,
“What an idiot!” [Crowd cracks up — even Shlomo laughs] He says, “Call in
somebody else.” [They] call in the third person. He says, “Rebbe, I don’t
know. It depends what mood I am in.” “Ah, that’s the real one!” Right?
You know what it means, “the living God?” Not only that God is alive — I’m
also alive! I don’t know what I’ll think tomorrow. I’ll just hope. I hope I won’t
steal. But what do I know, right? You know, if someone says to you, “Are
you keeping next Shabbos?” All I can say, “I hope.” I hope. What do I know,
So in a nutshell, Nadav and Avihu were so afraid. So here we build a
mishkan, and again the mishkan, God told us, “Build a mishkan” — again we
did it because we have to (as much as we did it because we want to). They
wanted to do one thing — nobody told me — nobody told me — “shelo y’tsivu
HaShem” [paraphrase of Lev. 10:1]. I want to do it because I love God so
much. I want to be so close to Him. I want to run into the Holy of Holiest.
Oh, this is so deep.
You know, if my whole Yiddishkeit — my whole connection to God is
because “I have to,” it’s a bad — it’s a bad connection. But then I want you to
know something deeper. When do I ever have the privilege to do something
with my whole heart — with my whole heart. You know what holy is? I’m
doing it. Sure, I’m doing it good. Even if one corner of my heart is not so
much with it, it’s still holy. You know what the Holy of Holiest is? “V’chol adam
lo y’hiyeh b’ol mo-ed” [Lev. 16:17]. There’s nothing left in my heart which
doesn’t want to do it. There is not one billionth’l, zillionth’l ounce in my heart
left which doesn’t want to serve God. But this is not so simple.
You know, what’s “establishment”? What’s bugging us about the so-called
religious establishment? They know now that in fifty years from now, Kol
Nidre night, it starts 6:50. They know exactly ten minutes after eight the rabbi
will make the Kol Nidre appeal. And about — approximately ten minutes
after nine they’ll announce how much everybody gave. And approximately
nine minutes before ten — will be the closing prayer. It’s all beautiful. No.
[Whispering] It can’t be. It can’t be.
You know, imagine I get married, and I get myself a paperback book on
marriage, and then I see exactly in the morning — ah ha, page 35, I know
what to do. Then, after breakfast, I see my way in the reading, I need to turn
the page, page 37, let’s see what I have to do. It’s all cute and sweet.
I have to tell you something. There are two stories which are actually the
same. Reb Hanoch of Alexander — one of the biggest rebbes — there are
two famous stories of him. But I’ll tell you this one. He told the story: There
was this idiot. And every morning when he — you know, when he undressed,
he did not remember where he put his socks, where he put his shirt, where he
put his pants. So he decided, mamash, one night he’ll write down everything.
So he wrote down, “My pants are under the bed. My socks are next to the
bed. And I am in my bed.” Next morning he wakes up. “Ah, my pants —
under the bed. My socks are here.” And then he sees, “And I am in my
bed.” He looks in the bed, and he’s not there. He begins to cry. So he
says, “Master of the world, where am I?” Gevaldt, is that deep, right? Gevaldt,
is that deep. But where are you? Where are you? Right.
You know, friends, it is possible to do everything, but you never found yourself
— completely disconnected from yourself. What do you really want? What do
you really want?
You know what Aharon HaKohen, when he walked into the Holy of Holiest?
You know what he brought back to us? Just the inside of us. Remember,
we were learning it a lot of times — maybe not every person is holy. But
every person is the Holy of Holiest. We have something so holy inside, so
awesomely holy inside, right? But we’re so disconnected from it.
So the High Priest, when he walked into the Holy of Holiest — and here,
I want to share with you something I was learning yesterday, and that
actually, it’s the same thing. You know, my beautiful friends, let’s again
take a husband and wife. I hurt my wife’s feelings. And then I ask her
for forgiveness. So she says, “Okay, I forgive you.” But you know what
it is? Yeah, she forgives me, but sadly enough, those scars. Scars. Aye
gevaldt. You know how many people hurt our feelings and we forgive them?
[Someone sneezes] God bless you. Yeah, we forgave them. [Whispering] But
the scar. It’s heartbreaking, right?
I want you to know — I was learning it yesterday — the scar you cannot fix
from outside; on the skin there’s a scar. You can only fix it from [whispering] inside, behind the skin. [Normal voice] You know, from the holy to the Holy of
Holiest was a perochos, right? Okay, so God forgave us for making the Golden
Calf. But humanly speaking, there was a big scar, humanly speaking, even
on God’s heart. How do you — how do you get rid of the scar? Ah — the
Holy of Holiest. Deepest. From behind the curtain.
You know, when I hurt somebody’s feelings, and I ask them for forgiveness,
we’re still far from each other, still long distance. How many people make
up, then forgive each other? — But oy gevaldt, there’s still long distance.
Do you know, you can stand next to a person and be billions of miles away.
Listen, God is everywhere, and how far are we from God, right? All those long
distance calls. Holy of Holiest is — so close. It’s just so deep, it’s so deep.
Suddenly, there are no more scars. Because it’s this deepest revelation.
Gevaldt, am I one with you. I mean, if I did something wrong it was only my
outside; it was never my inside. Deepest, deepest inside, right?
I want you to know something — everybody’s asking. Basically, if I cannot
do something good — it was not in my hand — it is considered in Heaven
like I did it. Ma aleh alav hakasuv k’ilu asah-oh [Berachot 6a]. So everybody’s
asking, why are they krechtsing about Pesach Sheni? They couldn’t do it,
right? Because they were tamei ha-mes. If you touch a coffin you cannot go
into the Holy of Holies. It was not their fault, right? But the answer is very
simple. If all you’re interested in [is] doing it because the Torah says you
have to do it, so I did it, right? I REALLY wanna do it.
Imagine Neshama says to me, “Can you give me apple juice?” And then
I would say, “You know, I’ll just — I’m so sorry — I’m just — I have a long
distance call to Israel.” So I really, I can’t give her the apple juice, right? But
then I say, “Neshama, you know something — ” She says, “Yeah, I forgive
you. I understand. You couldn’t.” “I’m so broken that I didn’t give you the
apple juice.” I didn’t do it, right? Nobody blames you. But I still didn’t do it.
And here I want you to know something very deep. This is mamash very
important to know, friends. Anybody who knows a little about Shabbos — you
know, in Belz, the way they made Kiddush — ah, gevaldt. Gevaldt Kiddush,
right? Bobover Rebbe — makes a different Kiddush; Satmar Rebbe —
another Kiddush. So you would say, “Everybody makes Kiddush, everybody
says the same blessing.” Yeah, but the way they’re saying it — everybody
has their own individual way of saying it, right? Maybe on the outside it’s all
You know, take Yom Kippur, right? You know, sadly enough, there are some
synagogues, the same service at 2000 synagogues, it’s all the same because
there’s nothing inside in it, because the moment you put your inside — it
cannot be that — two people don’t do it the same way, right? It comes from
inside. So they say, “Okay, so we won’t be blamed for not doing it; we did it.
But what we did, it’s like all of Israel did it, right? But it was not my doing, my
Korban Pesach, right? Ah, you know, the way I bring Korban Pesach? The
way I sing and dance when I bring the Paschal lamb, gevaldt!” Ssss.
You know what Amalek does? You know what the greatest evil in the world
is? When someone says to you, “Your own addition doesn’t count. Whatever
you do special is unimportant. Just do it!” I want you to know something. I
watch sometimes — you know, in my neighborhood, a lot of homeless people
— and Baruch HaShem, one of my greatest privileges is really, I’m very close
to — I would say, to 98% of them. Okay, our chevra, mamash, you know,
they know how to give a dollar to a poor man, right? You don’t just take out
the dollar, look to the other side, here, you know. Sometimes I watch my
chevra, you know? Everybody’s doing it in a sweeter way, right? In a special
way, right? [Whispers] This is so special.
And here, I want to add something awesome. It was the people who carried
the coffin of Yosef, who came to Moshe, and they said, “We need a second
chance.” How did they know? I was learning it yesterday, and it really blew
my mind — myself. Everybody knows the story of Rachel and Leah, right?
Rachel is engaged to Yaakov, and Yaakav and Rochel have a secret sign
because they knew that Lavan — Laban — will put Lee-ah under it — under
— under the wedding canopy. So in the last moment Rachel saw — “Oh, my
sister will be put to shame.” She gave her over the secret sign.
So Yaakov didn’t know it’s Lee-ah; he thought it’s Rachel, right? You know
what that means? Rachel gave up her husband. Rachel gave up this world
and the coming world because it was clear to her, “If I don’t marry Yaakov, I
have to marry Esau.” Because everybody was saying, “Yaakov and Esau —
and Lavan has two daughters — one is for Yaakov, one is for Esau,” right?
Do you know what it means to be the wife of Esau? Don’t have to tell you.
Not this world, not the coming world. Give everything up, for what?
Lemme ask you something: imagine this young lady stands under the
chuppah, and then suddenly the groom says, “I don’t want you,” and she’ll
be put to shame. She’ll get over it! A few years later she’ll meet somebody
else, she’ll get married, right? But you know what? [Whispering] The scar.
The scar. You know what Rachel did? She gave up her life for the scar of
Leah. Ah, that is awesome. “I don’t want any scars on my sister’s heart.” So
here they come to — Yosef, the son of Rochel — they come to Moshe, and
say, “You know something? Unless we do Pesach Sheni, there’ll always be
a scar on my heart — why I didn’t have this Pesach. Why didn’t I have the
privilege to do this?”
[Normal voice] So someone says to me, “You know, it’s okay. You’ll still
go to Paradise.” I’m not asking you about Paradise or Hell — [whispers] I want so much to do it! [Normal voice] You know, friends, when you want
to do something for your best friend, for God, and you don’t do it — there’s
this deep scar on your heart. And if it was the coffin of Nadav and Avihu,
obviously it’s even easier. You know what’s Nadav and Avihu? Kodesh
Kedoshim. And Kodesh Kedoshim is only when I mamash do it, with all my
heart, with all my soul.
So you hear, my beautiful friends, today is a holiday when it’s clear to us —
it is never too late. Not only it’s never too late; it’s never too late even to fix
even the scars.
Do you know something? I can be angry at someone for a thousand year —
[End of tape]
Transcribed by Reuven Goldfarb in Tzfat, the first week of Iyar, 5761.
Completed 8 Iyar, 5761/May 1, 2001.
I owe special thanks to my wife Yehudit for her expert editorial advice and
to Yankel Shames, Meir Glaser, David Friedman, and Yitzchak of Sanz,
my neighbors in the Holy City of Tsfat, for their invaluable assistance in
deciphering Shlomo’s rapidly spoken Hebrew phrases and identifying their
respective sources — and Matt Hirschhorn and Osher for asking about and
Gavriel Bellino, Michael Bernet, and Michael ben Aryeh, all from the Shlomo
list, for identifying, the source of the Nero story. Any remaining inaccuracies
or errors of judgment are mine alone.
Most of all, of course, I have Betsalel Edwards to thank for sending me the
tape — the first such recording I’ve ever transcribed without having been
present at the original event.
Note: Needless to say, this work-in-progress has the legal status of a
privately circulated manuscript, conferring no publication rights on any
recipient. It is my hope that at some not-too-distant time, the Shlomo
Carlebach Foundation will begin to publish collections of Shlomo’s teachings
and stories, and that such work as this will find a place there. — RG