On the first day of creation G-d said, “Let there be light in the world.” Later, on Wednesday, G-d created the sun and the moon, so, obviously, we are not talking about the kind of light to see if it’s Coca-Cola or Pepsi Cola. That light was created on Wednesday. We’re talking about a completely different light.
There’s a story about the heilege [holy] Riminover Rebbe. The heilege Riminover obviously could see from one corner of the world to the other. Someone said to him, “Haven’t we learned in the Talmud that after the destruction of the Temple there is no prophesy? How can you tell me that you can see from one corner of the world to the other?”
He said, “Do you really think that when G-d created the world and He created man in His image and He gave us eyes, He meant that we should just see five inches in front of us? The way G-d created us, by our very nature, we can see from one corner of the world to the other. Prophesy, even if I explained it to you, you wouldn’t know what it is, because it’s beyond you.”
You really should be able to see from one corner of the world to the other. It’s obvious. The only sad thing is, our seeing has become so diminished and so small.
You know what the Zohar HaKadosh says? When someone is talking, we only hear ten percent of what they’re saying. But now we come to the even sadder thing: People only express ten percent of what they want to say. So just look at this communication. I can only tell you ten percent of what I want to say, and from this nebuch [pitiful], leftover, ‘shvache’ [weak] ten percent, you can only hear ten percent. It’s a bad scene, right.
Now listen to this, it’s unbelievable. This was only until Mount Sinai. After Mount Sinai… You know that Moshe Rabbenu was stammering until Mount Sinai. It was like Moshe Rabbenu’s tongue refused to move: “If all I could say is ten percent of what I want to say…” Moshe Rabbenu is so perfect, so Godly and so divine, he doesn’t want to say just ten percent.
“Eilu Hadivarim” [These are the words]. After Mount Sinai, Moshe wasn’t stammering anymore. Suddenly he became the greatest speaker in the world because when he said, “Anochi HaShem Elokeichem,” [I am the Lord your G-d]. “Eh, eh, eh, eh, Anochi.” I mean, how would it sound? Someone wants to tell you the Ten Commandments and they go, eh, eh, eh.”
You know that old famous joke: Someone meets Moishele, who stammers, and says, “Hi Moishele.”
“Eh, eh, hellllo.”
“Hey man, what happened?”
“I I I I’m just coming from the radio station.”
“What were you doing at the radio station?”
He says, “Eh, eh, eh, I want to become a radio announcer.”
“So did you get the job?”
He says, “Those anti-Semites, they wouldn’t give me a chance.”
It’s the same as hearing, right? Seeing and hearing have become so diminished. This is all because of the Tree of Knowledge. When someone is talking, am I listening to him, or sitting there and judging? Imagine, my sweetest friend is telling me something. How do I listen? I say, “First of all, do I like her voice or not? Is it a beautiful voice or not?” I’m already judging. Then I think, “Ah, the language. Do I like her language?” I’m so busy listening to everything outside. In the meantime, I’m not listening to what is being said. I only hear a little bit.
But you know, the big chiddush [breakthrough] is that after Mount Sinai, G-d broke down the wall. I want you to know something…. The non-Mount Sinai people… I don’t want to say anything bad. I’m not even angry at them. Forget about anti-Semitism, just on a human level. There were millions of people dying from hunger and the world doesn’t hear it. They write about it in the newspapers but they don’t hear it inside, right? Because we only hear ten percent of what’s really happening. If I were to tell someone, mamash, a million people are dying. They have enough money, they have enough cake, they have enough Coca-Cola to keep them alive.
I don’t want to say anything too bad, but one time there was this really outstanding person, I was talking to him about doing something really gevalt [tremendous]. At that time in San Francisco, in the good old days, in the House of Love and Prayer, we really mamash saved thousands of kids. He said to me, “Anything which has to do with more than ten people, I can’t take.” One of the great Jewish leaders…. He can understand ten people. More doesn’t go in. They don’t hear what someone is saying. Why doesn’t more go in? Why doesn’t he hear? Because he can’t… The distance between them and the other person is too great…
Everybody is talking long-distance today. You know, I don’t want to say something too stupid, you know the old joke: A crazy person came to the therapist and says, “Doctor, can you help me? I’m calling myself long-distance every night and I can’t pay the phone bill.” So the doctor says, “There is no other way, you have to call yourself collect.”
Purifying the Air
Rabbi Nachman says: you know what is so important? The air. Because the air carries the voice. The air carries the voice…. I want you to know something very special and holy. ‘Avir,’ in Hebrew, air, comes from the word ‘ohr,’ [light], and (the Hebrew letter) ‘yud’ of G-d. You can’t live without air, because, basically, the greatest revelation in the world is air. You cannot live without air. You cannot live without a certain amount of light of G-d.
Sometimes you go into a room and it smells so bad. In Chortkov, by the heilege Chortkover, before he walked into a room, they would pour out, I don’t know how many bottles, of the most expensive perfume. Because the Rebbe could not, for one split second, be in a room which didn’t smell gevalt, right.
I have to tell you something. You know, the Kotzker Rebbe, for twenty years, barely walked out of his house. And, he only slept in a bed on Friday night. All week long he would sit by the table, learn, fall asleep, wake up, keep on learning, wake up again. And he only changed his shirt, underwear, socks, once a week. The Rebbe would go to the mikva [ritual bath], take off all the old stuff, and the gabbai [beadle] would put out all the new stuff, right? Do you know something? The gabbai could never know the difference between the old stuff and the new stuff. Because, whatever the Rebbe wore for one week had mamash the fragrance of Paradise. You know, if you wear a shirt for a week, it shows, right? The Kotzker would wear it for a week and there was nothing on it. Unbelievable, right? Just the air….
You know, the closest anybody can get to the Baal Shem Tov was the old Lubavitcher Rebbe. I remember, by the old Lubavitcher Rebbe, when you walked in there… I mean, physically, the air was sweet… Not from perfume or from a deodorizer. It was crazy, for months after the Rebbe left, the air was still filled with this Paradise fragrance.
Rebbe Nachman says: when people love each other, when people really love each other, then the air is so pure. The air is so pure, right?
I want you to know something very deep. When you hate each other…. Hatred smells from murder. You know what hatred is? That if you wouldn’t be in this world, I could also exist. “I don’t understand why G-d created you in the first place. I guess it was a mistake.” It means I am wiping you out from the world. You know how bad that smells? Gevalt does it smell bad. So when people don’t love each other, the whole air is already so bad. They can’t even hear each other. And also, obviously, they can’t see each other. Because the first thing that happens when you hate somebody is that you do not see them anymore.
You know it’s actually in the Torah, what Rebbe Nachman says. It says, “V’lo yachlu dabro l’shalom” [And his brothers hated him]. They couldn’t talk peacefully with him anymore. When you hate somebody, you cannot talk to them. It’s heartbreaking. You can throw words at them, but we’re talking about communication, talking to each other….
You know, a lot of people suggested it: You want to make war? You hate each other? It’s okay with me. Let’s love each other for one week – maybe a month is too long. For one week, let’s love each other. For one week, talk to each other. Just like that. It would be a gevalt, right? Because suddenly we’d realize – he’s a human being like me, the same person, the same thing.
A Spiritual Tornado
Rebbe Nachman says, and this is his deepest Torah in the world: The same way there is physically a tornado, also spiritually, when you hate each other, there is a tornado in the air. Psssss. The voice goes out so loud. A tornado makes a lot of noise. And it doesn’t carry the words anymore. You can mamash feel it physically when you walk into a room where people are fighting.
I remember once, I came to a house. I didn’t believe what I saw. The husband and wife were fighting with each other like… I mean, are you stupid? You invite a guest, behave for five minutes, right? Maybe this was their best behavior. I don’t know how they behave when I am not there! And then, not only that, the way they were talking to the children! I’m mean, today I would have walked out, I’m more strong inside. They were mamash putting the children to shame in front of me. Gevalt, right?
So you know what it is? In that air, you can’t talk, right? Because the tornado is turning everything around.
I’ll tell you something very deep. When people don’t like each other, not only don’t they hear what the other person says, they mamash hear the opposite. You know, imagine, I have a fight with someone and then I say, “You know what? Let’s make peace.” And the other one says, “What? You said you’ll never make peace with me?! What a chutzpah!” And I really said the opposite. What’s a tornado? Turning everything upside-down, right? I say words to you, and it mamash turns them around.
I don’t want to say anything bad. I don’t want to make everything politics, but how can you make peace if someone doesn’t hear what you are saying?
When the Lubavitcher Rebbe first went to America, the first thing he said is, “We need to purify the air, because the air in America is really terrible. You cannot utter one holy word.” It’s really unbelievable. I don’t know if you ever heard the story of the old Rebbe, the Freidiker Rebbe. For years this was the big thing. The joke was that they met this big Chassid in a nightclub and they asked him, “What are you doing here?” He said, “I’m purifying the air!”
Even our Greatest Enemies…
Listen to this. Have you ever noticed, before a storm, that it’s quiet? Awesome. I want you to know, when G-d spoke to us at Mount Sinai, the one second when G-d spoke to us, the whole world was quiet. So what did the world assume? A tornado is coming. They came to Bilam and said, “Is a flood coming, or a tornado, or something?” He said, “Yes, but not a tornado that’s destroying the world, but some kind of tornado that will rebuild the world.”
You know the pasuk [passage], the most famous pasuk, “HaShem oz l’amo yiten” [G-d is giving strength unto His people]. You know who said it? Bilam. Not to be believed. They asked, “What’s happening to the world?” He said, “HaShem oz l’amo yiten” G-d is giving strength onto His people. He was mamash blessing them with peace. G-d was giving them divrei Torah [words of Torah] which would bring peace to the world. You know, even our biggest enemies – there were moments when they knew who we are.
I’m sure you know the story, I don’t want to get into it. One of the big generals who shot 400 people in Krakow at the marketplace…. One person fell down before he was shot. He was lying there, so they thought he was dead. But he heard the general talking. He said, “You know something? If the Furher wouldn’t order us to hate the Jews, I would become a Jew myself.” Gevalt.
I saw an unbelievable story about one of the biggest Rebbes. They arrested the people somewhere in Hungary. They told them to come at 12:00 noon the next day and they will send them to a vacation spot that’s more beautiful. But this was Auschwitz. So everyone was excited, running around. This one Rebbe knew, ‘I only have a few more hours to go.’ It was Shabbos morning. They always sent the Yidden to Auschwitz on Shabbos, yamach shemam.
This Rebbe had a siddur [prayer book] and he was standing in a corner and davening [praying]. Then everybody was pushed into the train. Each time this Rebbe goes up into the train, this one Nazi grabs him and takes him out. The train is leaving and the Rebbe and this Nazi are standing outside. He says, “I want you to know, I watched you. Everybody was taking care of themselves. Their physical needs. And you were standing in a corner and praying. Do you know that when you pray, G-d always answers?” Then he just ran off fast.
The Rebbe said, “I don’t know if it was Eliyahu HaNavi or one of them, but at that moment, it was one of them.” You know, sometimes Eliyahu HaNavi is mislavush [disguises] himself like that.
Whenever you want to talk to a person, you have to tell this person, “There has to be utmost peace between us. Because if there is no peace between us, I am wasting my time, and you are wasting your time.”
I don’t want to get into politics, but this peace conference is a joke. Because what are they doing? They’re not talking about peace, they’re vomiting out their hatred. First of all, the vomiting is terrible. And the smell! As much as everybody, I’m sure is perfuming themselves. The smell!
I don’t want to say anything bad. You know, G-d forbid, when a person dies – and we should all live forever – you know how much it smells, right? The most deadly thing in the world is hatred. The world has been hating us already for 2,000 years. Imagine how that smells. And in that kind of a smell, you can not even talk to them. Because the smell swallows up the words.
Someone Like Me
You know, when the peace conference began, that night, I gave a concert in Vienna. There were maybe five Jews and the rest were non-Jewish people. And I told them, “I’m sure we’re all praying for the peace conference. You know something? I don’t want to say anything bad, but, gevalt, are they wasting their time. If they would have guts, they would invite people like me. The first night has to be a concert, right? Before you talk, you have got to sing. Clean the air a little bit. You take them by the hand, dance a little, ‘Dovid Melech Yisrael Chai V’Kayam’ [David, King of Israel, he lives forever]. It doesn’t go any other way.”
When you talk to somebody, unless there is not anything between you, they do not hear you. And also, something else, they don’t see you. Because you’re too far away, too far away. You know how heartbreaking this is? You can stand next to a person physically, but mentally and spiritually they’re so far away, they don’t see you.
Let me tell you something. When Yakov was walking towards Esav, it says, “He was bowing down seven times, ‘ad gishto ad achiv’ [until he reached his brother].” That means he walked from afar and every few minutes he bowed down. So the world thinks that he was bowing down to Esav. Obviously Yakov was not bowing down to Esav. So the Zohar HaKadosh says, “ad gishto,” [until he got close], “ad achiv” [until his brother]. But it should say, “ad gishto l’achiv” [until he reached his brother]. “Ad gishto ad achiv” – The Zohar HaKadosh says, he was bowing down before GYd. He was praying that when he gets there, he should only talk to his brother. Because Esav was his enemy also, right? So, mamash, Yakov brought down, “I want to talk to him. When we talk to each other, we should just be brothers.”
So for five minutes, they were just brothers. But then it says Esav went right back where he came from. You know, it’s like, for a few minutes in the history of the world, the world was our friend, right, and then they go right back again. But at least it happened for two minutes. So it says, if there can ever be peace in the world, it’s because Yakov and Esav really paved the way so that, eventually, nations could get together.
That’s what the book of Bereshis is all about. Until the parsha [chapter] ‘Vayeshev,’ Yakov is fighting Lavan and Esav. Yakov is paving the way for us to fight off the nations of the world. Then the chapters ‘Vayeshev, Miketz, Vayetze, Vayechi,’ it’s we Yidden fighting amongst ourselves. Oy vey. That’s four parshas. Just take notice: fighting Esav is just maybe twenty pasukim [sentences]. Lavan is one parsha. Yosef, Yehuda and the brothers is four parshas. Meaning to say, it is easier to make peace with the nations of the world than it is possible among ourselves.
You know what the Ishbitzer Rebbe says? “Vayeshev Yakov.” Yakov wants to live peacefully, and then began the sadness of Yosef. So the Ishbitzer says like this: “To fight off the nations is not so hard. Let’s say I want to see what is going on inside with you, right? So I go into your kitchen. See what’s happening over there, inside.
I don’t really want to discuss it. I just want to throw it at you; Basically, what is the fight between Yishmael and Yitzchak? Why did Sarah tell Avraham he needs to throw Yishmael out immediately? Immediately! Okay, let’s start from Hagar. It says that Sarah really put a lot of pain on Hagar, right, and so she ran off. So, if you are – and I’m sure none of you are – a little bit stupid, you say, “Most probably Hagar was helping in the kitchen and Sarah asked for a knife and Hagar gave her a small knife and Sarah starts yelling, “No, I want a big knife.” And she gave her a little tea spoon and she said, “No, I want a soup spoon.” You know if you want to, you can drive somebody crazy. Then finally, Hagar couldn’t bear it any longer and she left.”
Does anybody here know who Hagar was? Not so much. Let me tell you. Hagar was the daughter of Pharaoh. And you know, sadly enough, in those days, you don’t give gifts of gold and silver. You gave your children as gifts. So when Sarah left Egypt, Pharaoh, as a gesture, gave her one of his daughters. So Hagar was a princess. Let me ask you. Do you think in the house of Avraham she wasn’t treated as a princess? Do you know how well Avraham Avinu treated his so-called slaves, his servants? Gevalt, right.
Even three thousand years after Avraham, in the Gemora [Talmud] it talks about the maid of Rebbe. Rebbe was the one who put the Mishnayos together. How do you think he treated his maid? Most probably you’d think, he probably drove her crazy. He made her clean the floors, right. You know, there are a lot of stories in the Gemora: that when the Chachomim [Sages] didn’t know a halacha [law], they asked the maid of Rebbe. That means, she was so much a part of the household that she was learning Torah with them.
And there’s the story of Tevi, the so called ‘slave’ of Rabban Gamliel. The Chachomim [Sages] didn’t know all the laws of Succah, so they asked him about sleeping in the Succah, right. Gevalt. I mean, this Rebbe lived four thousand years after Avraham Avinu and our holy mother Sarah.
So I’m just throwing it at you slowly. You know, with lovey lovey, it’s beautiful, but you can’t run the world like this. What’s wrong with Christianity, without getting involved…. Lovey, lovey, right? ‘Somebody hits you on one side, give him the other side.’ Did they ever do it? No. You know what they did? “If you hit me on one side, I kill all of you.” Out of proportion, right. Out of proportion. Because you have to give people a balance. You can not just ‘lovey, lovey.’ It doesn’t work.
I want you to know; Avraham is chessed. Avraham is mamash ultimate love. And Sarah is mamash gevruah [strength], to keep it in balance, right? And I want you to know something. Avraham had the yeshiva [School for Torah study] for men, and Sarah had the yeshiva for women. Sarah was running the yeshiva for women. Because Avraham and Sarah were mamash fixing the world.
The men have to bring chessed in to the world, and the women have to bring, not gevurah by itself, but chessed shebegevurah, [kindness within srength] or gevurah shebechesed [strength within kindness]. It is keeping the love in boundaries.
You know, there is one of the greatest drug dealers in Yerushalayim. Let’s say I had the privilege mamash to meet him. He says to me, “I need to buy a new shipment of drugs, because there is a whole group of two hundred high school kids who are buying my drugs. They’ll take it for half a year, then they’ll all die. I really need ten thousand dollars to buy the shipment.” I ran around like crazy, I really have to get this ten thousand dollars, because this good man wants to buy drugs and kill some more people. You call that love? It’s murder.
You know what the world is all about? They express their love in the most stupid, wrong places! I don’t want to get involved too much, because it hurts too much. You know, the Pope never opened his mouth when they killed six million Jews. You know the first time he opened his mouth? When we were hanging Eichman. He sent a letter to the Israeli government, “Please, don’t hang this man.” Really, so much love.
I’ll tell you something else. When we came out from Auschwitz, broken, did any nation offer us some billions to reestablish ourselves? Not a penny. Not a penny. And look what we did to the country without money. Somebody else, without mentioning names, gave billions (to the Palestinians). And you know what they’re going to do with the billions? You think they’re going to build the country? They want to buy weapons to kill all the Jews. I mean, face it. Sure, you could hang yourself. I’m sure there’s some good people, but this is what’s going to happen. As simple as it is. No two ways about it. Why? Because they always exert their love in the wrong place. Always in the wrong place.
You see, don’t take me wrong. I said it a thousand times. I have nothing against our cousins. I’m sure the little Arab on the street is sweet as sugar. But who talks to him? We only talk to the murderers. We’re not talking to the good people. It’s heartbreaking, right? Why aren’t we talking to the good people? Because the good people are afraid to open their mouths. Do you think they’re only terrorizing the Jews? They’re terrorizing each other more than anything in the world!
Do you know what’s going on in South Africa? Do you think the White people kill Black people? I spoke to a lot of Black people. Bishop Tutu is supposed to be the top man on peace. He’s killed more Black people than all the White governments together. Brother Tutu is so much for peace, if someone doesn’t act exactly the way he wants them to, they’re dead the next morning. No two ways about it.
You know, when I was in South Africa, I had the privilege of staying in the Black hotel. It was so cute, you know, the cutest. They all came to my concert. You know, they couldn’t pronounce my name. The only Jew they know is J.C. So they call me Master J.C. I go in the morning to the restaurant and all the waiters and waitresses say, “Master J.C. has come.”
You know something? Them I would love to help. But, imagine the politicians – they want to send money to South Africa – but it doesn’t reach this poor man, right? It just reaches the top people and they only take the money right away to buy weapons – they don’t want peace. I want you to know something. You think without politics we couldn’t make peace with the Arabs? We could have, a thousand times. But the world thinks – politicians.
Balancing Chessed and Gevurah
But let’s just talk about Hagar and Sarah. Sarah is gevurah shebechessed – holding back. Before you give, ask yourself, “Is it to help people or to destroy people?”
And Hagar, the moment she got married to Avraham, said, “Sarah, you’re fired from being the Rosh Yeshiva [Head of the school]. I’m taking over.”
So Hagar felt badly that she’s not the Rosh Yeshiva. She said, “Now that I’m Avraham’s wife, I want only chessed.” But if you do only chessed without gevurah a little bit, you always end up giving your money to the wrong place. You know, I don’t want to knock off anyone too much, but take the U.J.A. for example. They give billions….
I just want you to realize, you think Hagar was just a little domestic help? You see, if she even thought to become the Rosh Yeshiva, she was on the level, right? Didn’t she have clear prophesy? She spoke to angels. It wasn’t that Avraham brought in a little Filipino girl to help Sarah, because it’s cheaper.
And to be the wife of Avraham, for good or for bad, is not so simple. Without sounding coarse, I want you to know something which is touching the deepest depths. You know the Kotzker Rebbe, when he got married, the first night, his holy wife fainted about five times. Can you imagine how the Kotzker Rebbe prepared himself to be with his wife? How much he prayed, right? She couldn’t take it. It was too much. So then the Chidushei HaRim told the Kotzker Rebbe, “You have to come down to this world, it’s hard for her.”
Can you imagine, Avraham Avinu, when he was with his wife…? Davening [praying] with Avraham is a public thing, and this is the most private thing in the world. And Hagar was his wife, right? I mean, she had vessels for the holiest. She had vessels for the holiest. The only thing is, her mistake was, she thought you could run the world just with love, without gevurah. You can’t.
Okay, so the angel said to her, “You have to go back. I know it’s painful for you because you want to teach chessed to the women, but that’s not what women are for. Women are there to balance their husbands.” Not against, but balance. Put it in the right framework, right. Today, most marriages, if they are “good,” the husband and wife have very little to do with each other. They don’t balance each other, they just tolerate each other, love each other. They need to balance each other.
Yishmael is a heavy story. What was the final straw? Why did Sarah tell Avraham that you have to throw Yishmael out immediately? Immediately!
You remember that before Yitzchak was born, Avimelech wanted to rape Sarah. He kidnapped her and took her to his palace. An angel came, and Avimelech mamash couldn’t touch her: he got sick right away. Not only did Avimelech get sick, but as long as Sarah was in the palace of Avimelech, no children were born throughout the Land of the Philistines.
Now listen to this. Avimelech said to Avraham Avinu, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know she was your wife.” So Avraham and Sarah prayed. Listen to this awesome deepest depths. Avraham and Sarah prayed so hard for the Philistines, because all the children in Philistine stopped getting born because Avimelech had taken Sarah. Avraham and Sarah prayed so hard for other people that they should have children again, but, gevalt, inside they were crying for themselves, “Master of the World, why don’t we have children?” So it was at that very moment, when their prayer reached Heaven. And the Philistines had their children, and Avraham and Sarah had their child. You see, if you only pray for yourself, you have trouble. The Gemora says: “If you need something, pray for someone else who needs it also.”
OK. So what did the world say when Yitzchak was born? They said, “Sarah lived with Avraham so long, and they didn’t have children, most probably it’s not true that Avimelech did not rape her. He probably did, and Yitzchak is the son of Avimelech. It’s obvious.” OK, forget it.
One day Sarah overhears Yishmael talking to Yitzchak. And Yishmael says to Yitzchak, “Listen brother, I was there. I was already born. You are not the son of Avraham, you are the son of Avimelech.” What is that? That is murder. Telling Yitzchak, “You are not the son of Avraham.” You know, Yitzchak is the holiest of holiest. Can you imagine how broken Yitzchak was? Tssss. ‘He’s a mamzer, he is a bastard.’ If you rape a married woman, the child is a bastard. Yitzchak wanted to be the holiest person in the world. Yishmael tells him, “You are a nothing, you’re a garbage pail.” Hey… Sarah says, “Brother, that you can’t do. A murderer I can not tolerate in my house.” And you see, again, Avraham is chessed… G-d says to him, “Whatever Sarah says, you have to do.” You know how clear it was to Avraham? He didn’t wait a second. Yishmael was sick, but Avraham said, “Get them out of the house.”
You see what it is? It is still in the air; they want to take everything away from us. They say it’s not our Land. It’s not even our Land. The Germans, it was their slogan: “Jews go to Palestine.” That is your Land, don’t stay in Germany. That means that the Nazis admitted that Israel belongs to us. And the new thing now: Even that doesn’t belong to us. “Jerusalem is occupied territory, Jerusalem does not belong to us. It’s clear to me.” What do you mean, “Jerusalem does not belong to us?” The holiness of Jerusalem is because of David HaMelech [King David], It’s David HaMelech’s City!
You know something else. In the Koran it says mamash “mefurash” [explicitly] that Jerusalem does not belong to the Moslems. It says so: “Our city is Mecca.” That’s it.
You know, there is a famous professor of History and Archeology, his name is Dr. Lena. He had a debate with some Arabs on television. He said to them, “What are you talking nonsense? It says in the Koran,” and he is like an expert in all religions, “It says that Jerusalem… that brother Mohammed said to the Moslems, ‘Don’t bother with Jerusalem, it is not your city’.” They started krechtsing [moaning] around, “It’s our Land.”
You know what the biggest joke in the world is? If war can take away land from people, then now it’s ours, right. If war can not take away, then it belongs to us from 2000 years ago. A war can not change ownership. So it belongs to us for 2000 years, which really is true. You know when war can change ownership? If it belongs to you because you conquered it. But if you have it because G-d gave it to you, nothing changes it, nothing can change it.
I want you to know something, I want to make one thing clear to you; The fight is not between them and us. They are puppets in G-d’s hands. Let it be clear to you that anyone who says that, “Israel does not belong to the Jews,” is against G-d.
It is very clear G-d wants us to be here: G-d says after 2000 years to come back. Gevalt. Do you need more proof than that that there is one G-d? But if I hate GYd, and I want to make sure that there is no living proof that G-d exists, so I say, “Some band of terrorists came back and they conquered the Land, occupied the Land, but it’s not really their Land.” The best proof.
I don’t want to get involved, and don’t even argue with me. In Bethlehem, the Christians, when they saw the Palestinian flag, got wild with simcha [joy]; “Baruch HaShem [Thank G-d], now we have living proof that the Jews are not the Chosen People anymore.” What bothers the Pope the most? That Israel is the Chosen People, because G-d says, “I am giving the Land of Israel to my People.” Hang yourself, together with J.C. But if it’s not true, then for them it’s a gevalt, right. Heartbreaking.
Have you ever seen any Christians coming and saying, “I’m so glad you are in Israel?” Yea, again, I’m not talking about little Christians, simple people. You see, what’s going on in the world? The distance between the little people in the street who are not into politics, and the big knockers in politics. You know, we were hoping, when we have the Land of Israel, that the people who run the country will be connected to the people. But the saddest thing in the world is that they are not.
What bothers me so much about Rabbis… Some are good. You know what a Rebbe is? The word Rebbe comes from the word Rav plus the letter yud. Yud is GYd’s light. A person who gives you a lot of light. Not someone who sits in his office raising funds for his shul [synagogue].
Sometimes I talk to Rabbis, I mean there are some good Rabbis in the world, but in general…. Do you know every Yid in your city? Do you know every Yid on the street? If you don’t, you are not a good Rabbi. You know, a doctor has to wait till you come to his office. If a Rabbi sits and waits for you to come to his office, it’s no good.
I’ll tell you something. I have the privilege of seeing mamash good Rabbis. The Ponevicher Rav, when he walked on the street, he hugged every Yid on the street. He knew their names, the names of their children.
I want you to know, the heilege Alexanderer Rebbe had 400,000 Chassidim before the war. Ger had around 500,000, Bobov must have had maybe 200,000, and Belz also had about 200,000.
Erev Rosh HaShanah, when people gave kevitlach [a note with the names of people to pray for] in Alexander, thousands and thousands… I mean, not all the 400,000 came for Rosh HaShanah. Let’s say 50,000 came. And a Yiddele – (I heard this from an eyewitness) – A Yid gives the Rebbe a kvitel with the names of his eleven children. And you know, you don’t want to bother the Rebbe so much, you just write the nicknames of the children. So by one girl he wrote just Devorale. The Rebbe said to him, “Why didn’t you write Devorah Leah?” That means the Rebbe remembered the names of every child of the 400,000 Chassidim. There was no distance between him and those people. Unbelievable.
You see what it is, right now, the Rebbes have a chance; because, you know why most people are so broken? Because they realize that, “The leader of my country is not connected to me.” The mitnachlim [Jewish Settlers], nebuch, heilege Yidden [holy Jews]… they realize that on the contrary, not only the government is not connected to them, it doesn’t give a damn about them. It’s not a democracy. Democracy means that the leaders are connected to the people.
Yishmael did Teshuva
You know why the Arabs are a little bit better? Because the Gemora says that when Avraham Avinu died, Yishmael did teshuva [repentance]. It says, “Vayikvor oso Yitzchak VeYishmael.” [Yitzchak and Yishmael buried him]. Yishmael was older than Yitzchak, but yet he gave kavod [honor] to Yitzchak; Yitzchak went first. From that, the Gemora says Yishmael did teshuva. I want you to know something, in a certain very deep way, the Arabs give us more kavod than the Christians do. Besides the hatred, which I don’t want to get involved with now.
You know, in Spain, as long as it was a Moslem country, there was a golden era for us Jews. The Jews had the highest positions, and the learning was the highest, because they had mamash respect for the Jews. Because since Yishmael did teshuva in the end, what he left is: You have to have respect before a Jew.
The Convention for Peace
There was a big convention to bring peace to the world. It’s a gevalt. Mamash a gevalt. I wish we could pull off such a convention. Anyway, the first night every religion had ten minutes to introduce their religion to the people. There were representatives for Hinduism, Shintuism, I mean, anything that ends with an ‘m’ has a chance, right.
The one in charge was the head Sufi. OK obviously he gave a lot of kavod to the Moslems. The Moslems had a long time, singing and dancing, telling their “Torahs.”
There were more than 2,500 people there, and out of the 2,500 people, there were 2,500 people who were Jews. Heartbreaking. Every Jew there belonged to another religion.
I was sure that I was to remain sitting in the corner and nothing would happen. It was supposed to be over by 12:00 midnight, and it was already 11:40. Forget it. What can I do? Suddenly, I hear the head Sufi on the microphone. He said, “I want you to know, the Jews are the heart of GYd, and Jerusalem is the heart of the world. Is it possible that GYd should not give Jerusalem to the Jews? It’s theirs.”
You know, it was such a Kiddush HaShem [sanctification of GYd’s name] for the Jews, because they thought they have to apologize for being Jewish. It was one of the highest moments of my life. You know what I did? I began singing, “Uvechen ten kavod HaShem le’amecha” [Give honor, O GYd to your nation]. And the harmony… was awesome.
“I Don’t Fight GYd.”
I want to tell one more story. During the Six Day War, a good friend of mine, nebuch, a tankist…. They were fighting like lions. Suddenly his tank got stuck on the way to the Suez, in the middle of an Arab village, in the market place. There was no way of fixing it from inside; he had to go out and fix it from outside. So he tells himself, “The moment I go out, they shoot me anyway. The question is, should I just die in the tank, or should I go out and be shot?” He decides, “I better go out.”
He goes out and a young Arab comes up to him and says, “I am an engineer. Can I help you?” Tssss. Maybe it was Eliyahu HaNavi, I don’t know. He said to the Arab, “Aren’t you supposed to be my enemy?”
He answered, “I’ll tell you. If it’s a fight between Jews and Arabs, I am an Arab. But the fight is not against the Jews, the fight is against GYd. I don’t fight GYd.”
I want you to know, in a certain deep way, the Arabs, the good Arabs, give us much more respect than the Christians do. Again, there are good Christians also, you know.
Don’t Be Silent
You know what is heartbreaking? 90% of the world is good. 90% of the world doesn’t want killing. The problem is, they are silent. Not to be believed, right? Do you think that in Germany every German wanted to kill the Jews? They were afraid. But it happened, because they didn’t say anything. Nothing.
I have to share something with you. You know, lately I’m giving a lot of concerts in Germany. This is a really good story to remember. The wife of a very very outstanding person, without mentioning names, came to me and said, “I have to tell you something: Thirty years ago my father died. [Obviously this was during the Second World War.] A few minutes before he died, he said to me, “I have to tell you something. I couldn’t tell you this any other time, but now, before I leave this world, I have to tell you. I am so afraid to stand before GYd, because GYd will tell me, “Why were you silent?” She cried mamash for three hours when she told me. She said to me, “I want you to know, I am the daughter of a good man, but he was silent.”
But you know what the saddest thing in the world is? What’s going on? Why are we silent? Why are we Yidden silent!? Nothing. You know, I was in Hadera on Motzei Shabbos. I played for, nebuch, the wounded soldiers. You know, one has no hand, one has no foot, and one has no ears. So I walked up to a table, and I said, “You know what war is, why are you silent?” They said, “What can we do?” I said, “This was not your spirit when you fought in the war.” So one Yid says, “I don’t have strength anymore.” There is a passage that says, “Harem kashofar kolecha.” You have to raise your voice like a shofar.
Love the World
You see what it is, the hardest thing is to be a Jew. Because on one hand, I see how much the world persecutes us, and I am so angry at the world. But anyway, on a very high, deep, deep level, I have to know; it’s my fault, because, I have to love them first. Because if I wait till they love me, it will never happen. We always have to do it first. We were the first to believe in GYd, we are the first to have to go out to the world. It takes a lot of strength.
I have to tell over a Torah from a black brother, a taxi driver. He said to me, “You know something? If I could, I would become a Jew.” I said, “I’m sure you are the best man without being a Jew, but why do you want to become a Jew?” He said, “Because, you know, I am a black man, and I hate the white man. You Jews are persecuted for so long, and you have not learned yet how to hate.” Gevalt.
The Yom Kippur War
I can tell you as an eyewitness; if you remember, during the Yom Kippur War, the Egyptian 2nd army was completely surrounded by Yidden, and they were dying from thirst and from hunger. Israel mamash gave them food and water and everything. The craziest thing is, even that was not enough.
I was playing for the soldiers. I was flown by helicopter, and every three hours, we stopped in another place.
The Egyptian soldiers would give themselves up. OK we were singing Am Yisroel Chai. In the middle, suddenly we see nine Arabs coming, holding up their hands. They were dying from thirst. What was the reaction of the soldiers? It’s a war, right? The first thing is, you tie their hands and feet, right? They are prisoners of war. What do you do with prisoners? You tie them up. What did our holy soldiers do? You know, in the desert, there is no Howard Johnson ice cream and no Coca-Cola. Every soldier gets a certain amount of water or Coca Cola to keep himself alive. All the soldiers went to their tents and brought out all their Coca-Cola to give them something to drink.
There was a doctor there and he started looking at them, “Are you sick? Are you burnt from the sun?” He already began doing his doctor business. And nobody had chained them yet. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Someone asked them in Arabic, “Why are you fighting us?” One of them said,” Because we want to kill all the Jews!”
Imagine; I would be in the American Army and a Vietnamese prisoner of war says to an American soldier, “We are planing to kill all the Americans.” What’s he going to do with him? Knock him off! He is not going to kill him?
I’ll never forget it. This is children of Avraham Avinu. The soldier who asked him was 19, and the Arab boy was 17. You know what he did? He said, “I am so sorry you hate me. We could be the best friends.” This is us Yidden, right? Ahhh, something else. We have different ingredients than the whole world, believe me.
Questions and Answers
Question: I would like to know from what we learned about Shalom and some of the other writings, what we can do today. How do I learn to love my government, let alone my supposed enemy?
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: You don’t have to love the government. I promise you, you don’t have to. If Brother Rabin will do teshuva [repent] one day, and call you up, “I want to come over for Shabbos in Efrat” then give him some vegetarian cholent.
Question: I want to go out and start a silent vigil for peace when the next Jew gets killed. And when the next Arab gets killed, I want the same people out there showing, “We are sorry for every loss of life.”
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Right now is not the time for that because they are killing us. For murderers we don’t do a vigil. If someone would mamash point out to me, “This Arab was a good man, he was killed,” I would be sad. But you don’t know.
Question: But they are killing Arabs who they claim are collaborators. Or even when an angry settler just shoots whoever he gets. He is not necessarily shooting somebody who is a terrorist, it’s just as random a choice as is sometimes happening with Arabs.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Right now is not the time to cry for them, because we are so busy crying over our own. The Gemora [Talmud] says, “Oy lerasha, v’oy leshcheno.” [Woe unto the wicked, and woe unto his neighbor]. If he is really a good Arab, he should step forward. They have to step forward, they know they are killing us. If I am silent when somebody is being killed, that is also bad.
Question: What I am wondering is, I am convinced that 95% of them want peace, but they are afraid to say anything.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Rabin made one mistake. He should have said, “Brother Arafat, lets take a walk in Gaza and say hello to every person. Make a Melave Malka in Gaza. You take hundreds of your students and I take hundreds of my students.” It has to be between people. You can not make peace with territories. Rabbi Nachman talks about it all the time. “Peace is not between ideas, it’s between people. This is all there is to it. You know, I have no idea what to do at this point.
Pray for Peace
The Holy Reb Dovid Lulover came to a city, and they told him, “The fighting between Yidden in this city is geferlach [terrible].” He went and he davened Mincha [prayed the afternoon service]. Then he said ‘Alenu,’ then he said ‘Kaddish.’ And at the end, when it comes to saying, “Ose Shalom Bimromav, Hu yaase Shalom alenu,” [He who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace upon us], he stretched out a long “Ose Shalom bimromav.” Then he prepared to leave. People said, “But you came here to make peace in the city.” He said, “I could smell that there is nothing I can do. The only thing I can do is pray, Ose Shalom Bimromav.”
At this point there is nothing much you and I can do, but we have no right to stop praying for it. Right now the suituation is mamash bad.
I’ll tell you something very special. I met a lot of Arabs from other countries. They are a little bit like princes, they have a little pride. The Arabs in Israel do not, because it is not their Land. They are completely misplaced. Their place is not Israel. They don’t belong here. They walk around with dark faces. And it’s not because we oppress them. It’s because they are not in the right place. This is not their country!
I’ll tell you something very deep. Imagine I would walk into – without sounding coarse – you know the bathrooms. There is the men’s side and the women’s, right? If I walk into the women’s side, and say, “Who cares?” what is going to happen to me? They will throw me out for real, right? Because I am in the wrong place. I’ll say, “What do you mean? Last week I went to a kosher restaurant, and by mistake I went to a vegetarian restaurant. They told me, ‘This is not the place.’ There was no tumult. Why is there such a tumult when you are not in the right place?” Because sometimes you are not in the right place, but sometimes you are mamash in the wrong place.
The Zohar HaKadosh says, “When someone by mistake walks into my dining room, I tell him to leave. When someone by mistake walks into my bedroom, I say, ‘Get out of here!’” It’s awesome. It’s even too awesome to pronounce it. The Zohar HaKadosh says, “Eretz Yisroel [Israel] is GYd’s bedroom.” You know what a bedroom is? Where you have secrets with your wife. This is the place where GYd has secrets with us Yidden [Jews]. Just us and GYd. They don’t belong here. And they know it also.
OK we gave them permission to be here because they live here, good, but now that they want to take over, no.
Question: How come so many Jews do not feel at home?
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: How many Russian Jews feel like leaving the next minute, right?
Hear GYd’s Call
I’ll tell you something awesome. There is a sefer [holy book] from the Kotsker Rebbe’s grandson. I wish someone would translate it into English. He says something unbelievable: When GYd gave the Land to Avraham, GYd Says to Avraham, “Go to the Land, which I will show you.” Here the Kotsker Rebbe’s grandson says something awesome: There is no mitzva in the world, which is so unclear like the mitzva of living in Israel. Because GYd says to Avraham, “Go to the Land which I will show you.” That means that you can only go to Israel when GYd shows it to you.
Israel is given to the people whom GYd calls. GYd is calling them, but until you hear it, you don’t feel at home. You need a special privilege to hear it.
You know, sometimes you see a Yid with a shtreimel in Boro Park, right? He doesn’t go to Israel. And you see a Yiddele who eats shrimp on Yom Kippur, and he is crazy about Israel. That means, mamash GYd told him, “Go.” I mean, that he heard it. You need a special privilege to hear it. You know, basically there should be a big sign in Lod Airport, “If you heard from GYd, then you can come.”
I met this stewardess on Northwest Airlines, and she told me, “What’s wrong with you Jews? GYd gave you the Land, why don’t you go there? If I ever convert, and I am thinking about it, if I ever convert, I convert in the morning, and that same night I move to Israel. Because if I am a Jew, I don’t want to live anywhere else.” She began coming to us for Shabbos, and then suddenly she was stationed from New York to somewhere else, and I lost contact with her.
It was mamash reaching me very deep. I said to the Chevre, “Why is it that we Jews have so much trouble staying in Israel, and here is a convert, and she says she is staying? Because we were there when the spies [who spoke against the Land of Israel] came. You see, the [souls of the] converts were only on Mount Sinai. After that they left. They are coming…. They were born later on. We Jews were there when the Meraglim [spies] were there. It contaminated us so much.
I’ll tell you an awesome story. The Holy Reb Dovid Moshe Chortkover, all his life, he wanted to go to Israel. All his life. And he was already mamash old. Each time that he tried to go something happened that prevented him from going. One day he said, “GYd, please take me to Israel, I promise you, I won’t say anything bad.” You know what that means? The urge of saying something bad about Israel is so strong, that a Tzaddik, who mamash wiped out his own evil from a thousand ways, was so afraid; ‘Maybe that one evil I won’t be able to conquer; saying bad things about Israel.’
Living in the Right Place
I want you to know something else; this is a Torah from the Alter Rebbe. A person needs three things: food, clothing, and shelter. What is the closest to my heart? I would say food, right, because it gets into you. No. If I eat the wrong food, I vomit it out, take a little Pepto Bismo, and I’m OK. If I wear the wrong shirt, OK I take it off and take another shirt. When I am living in the wrong place, it could drive me crazy. Gevalt is that strong.
Question: What is our part in bringing about peace? Because it does not help to shout peace as loud as we can. If right here between the two of us, between the twenty of us, we break through that and create an atmosphere, people will hear that and will start joining.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach:
“Yishmau rechokim veyavou” [Those far away will hear and come]. You see, it’s again the same thing which you know and I know. If we Yidden… Imagine if right now we could mamash get all the Yidden together, right now, mamash loving each other like crazy…. There is no way of wiping out hatred unless we love each other. That does not mean I have to love Arafat and give him the country. But that is the way it is without gevurah.
You see, the first person who is buried in Israel is our holy mother Sarah. Gevalt, right? Because Eretz Yisrael, if you want to keep Eretz Yisrael, you need a lot of gevurah.
Avraham Avinu is not the first person who bought something that belongs to him, right? And the Torah gives over the details of the purchase of Ma’arat HaMachpela [The Tomb of our Patriarchs] a hundred times. Even by Yakov, when he is buried, it repeats the whole event that he bought it from Efron and paid for it.
Here the Ishbitser Rebbe says: To be buried means, it’s completely not in my hands. If a person is dead, there is nothing left in their hands, right? My connection to Israel is beyond choice. That’s what our holy mother Sarah brought down.
I Don’t Know What to Do
And I’ll tell you something else. Where does it say that you always have to know what you have to do? I don’t have the faintest idea… [what to do]. You know it says, “Lehagid baboker chasdecha ve’emunascha baleylot” [To relate Your kindness in the dawn and Your faith in the nights]. “Tov lehodot laHaShem ulezamer leshimcha elyon” [It is good to thank HaShem and to sing praises to Your Name, O Exalted One]. He says: When I know what GYd wants, then it’s good. “Ulezamer leshimcha elyon.” – When GYd is so high, and I don’t know what He wants, I’m still holding on.
There are some Yidden who think that we have to apologize to the world that we have the Land. Because people think so little of themselves, so disconnected from GYd. For them it doesn’t mean anything that “GYd promised me.”
Rabin is excusing himself all the time that we are still here.
I met a big Bishop, and he said to me, “What is your excuse for not believing in J.C.?” You know something? Thank GYd, we are living in a world where we Jews don’t have to excuse ourselves anymore. I said, “You have to excuse yourself; how come you still believe in J.C. after what you did to the world?” He said, “OK, you are right.” Mazal Tov.
I’ll tell you the cutest thing. I’m sitting on the plane from New York to Boston. Next to me is sitting this top Bishop, and he talks… For fire and for water, I should convert and enlighten. I’ll tell you the truth, I was half-asleep. I was snoring away. He didn’t even notice.
Finally, finally, we are arriving in Boston. They announce “Fasten your tzitzis – seatbelts.” And I have to say something to him. You can not just leave. I say, “OK I heard what you said. Thank you so much for trying to enlighten me, but let me tell you: Basically the difference between you and me is only one thing. According to you, he was here. According to me, when we arrive now in Boston, it is possible that the Messiah has arrived. The difference between me and you is, according to you, he comes for the second time, and for me, he comes for the first time. Regardless, he has to come, right? According to me, it’s possible that by the time we arrive in Boston, he is there. What about you? Can you envision that you arrive in Boston and they say, “Brother J.C. has come back?” (Ha, Ha.) He looks around. He says, “He is not coming back.” I said, “Brother, you made a forty-five minute speech and you don’t believe it yourself?!” He said, “He ain’t coming back.” (Ha, Ha.)
The Last Three Hours
The Bobover Rebbe said: “Hosha’ana, shalosh shaot, Hosha’ana” [Master of the World, help us during three hours]. These are the last three hours before Mashiach is coming. It doesn’t mean three hours on the watch. In the last three hours it will be so hard, because when you know what to do, then you’ll find a way to do it. But what if you mamash don’t know what to do? In the last three hours before Mashiach is coming we will be just completely knocked out. No idea what to do. So we say, “Hoshanna shalosh Shaos Hoshana. Master of the world… save us.” The last three hours before Mashiach is coming, there will be a period that it will appear clear to us that we made a mistake, and that everything is a lie: “There is no GYd, there is no Torah, there is no Israel, there is no Mashiach. It was just an illusion.” To keep on believing will be as hard as walking up a wall, a straight wall. Remember it.
Someone asked the Rebbe, “So what good is it that you are telling it to us?” He said, “I’m telling it to you to let you know that you have to prepare yourself, and hang on to your faith so strong. Because those three hours will knock you off.”
I have no idea. I have no idea what GYd wants of us. To tell you the truth, I have no idea. You see, on the one hand, I also would talk to Arafat. That doesn’t mean I would give him the Land, but I would talk to him. Rabbi Yochanan spoke to the Roman general, right? Because GYd gave him the mouth to talk.
But you know… Tsss… ignoring Yidden…. It’s not only that they are giving them the Land. The saddest thing is, people who killed Jews are out free, and two Jews who wanted to kill an Arab are sitting in prison for 12 years. This can’t be. It’s crazy.
On the day that they let out 3000 murderers from prison, Rabin was there and the government greeted them. And they came out. On the same day, they killed two of our soldiers, and nobody in the government sent anybody to their funeral. Why are you sending people to greet terrorists when they come out from prison for killing? Since the government has so much chessed. And two young soldiers were killed and you don’t go to the funeral? Rabin should have gone to the funeral, crying his eyes out, asking them for forgiveness. Why didn’t he go to the Lapids’ funeral? Why didn’t he ask them for forgiveness? What’s going on here? He’s sitting there drinking away, “shikoring” away. It just can’t be. He is not a person who represents Israel. That’s all. I’m sure Rabin was celebrating Christmas. Gevalt.
I don’t want to mention names, but I saw written in a Jewish newspaper, “It’s so timely now the whole thing, because this was brother J.C’s dream; peace in Israel.” It was his dream? And without him we never heard the word “peace?” Yishaya [Isaiah the Prophet] is no good?
I was once in a reform synagogue. I was playing there on the Saturday night, so I was also there for Friday night. The organizer said, “It’s a very exciting Friday night because I have my young people from the National Federation, they will be giving over quotes about peace.”
I had the privilege of listening for one hour to young teenagers quote. Not one of them quoted one Jew. Not one quoted one word from the Torah.
Sure, I mean, the first time I heard about peace was from Arafat. I didn’t even know it existed beforehand, right? Another time, I want you to know, I once read a speech from Hitler “yemach shemo” [may his name be blotted out], who also said the word “peace.” It touched me.
What’s going on with us? Are we completely crazy? You know what it is? For us Jews, Jewish Blood is still nothing, worth even less than water. Because, what’s going on here? As long as they are killing us, we have nothing to do with them! As simple as it is. Who cares what their title is? Is it Dr. Murderer, or Mister Murderer? If it’s P.A. Murderer or Hamas brothers, or Arabs who want to give us part of their Land. Only when you stop killing us. That’s it.
If you can stop killing for half a year we will talk to each other again. They need to have derech eretz [decent manners] in dealing with us. He is sitting there, his tongue hanging out. What’s going on here? Heartbreaking.
And then they spread rumors; “Yea, we are killing them, but they are killing us.” What do they mean, “We are killing them?” What kind of talk is that? The mitnachlim [Jewish Settlers] just go out and kill? What kind of chutzpah [audacity] is that?! It’s not true!
Someone asked me, “If someone would come, GYd forbid, and I am standing with my two daughters, and he wants to kill them. Will I shoot everyone who’s there?” One hundred percent! I’ll let my kids be in danger?
There’s a father named Lapid with 14 children, He should say, “Listen Mister Arab, tell me the truth; do you love me or not? If you do, thank you. You can also kill me, as long as you love me.” What’s going on here? Meshugana chevre [crazy people]!
In New York, you know, those so called peace lickers, they don’t want peace, they don’t care for peace. They care to show the Goyim [non-Jews] that they are giving them something. They want to be accepted by the Goyim. Let the Goyim worry about being accepted by us! Disgusting!
I can’t understand Yidden. GYd gave us so much strength, so much energy, so much pride. We have it, but the Government doesn’t have it.
I mean, was it so Gevalt that brother Clinton was standing there, chessed shebechessed [kindness within kindness], with Brother A. yemach shemo and Brother Rabin, shaking hands? If he would not shake hands, and say to Arafat, because the whole world was listening that moment, “Listen brother, as long as you’re killing us, then I’m not shaking hands. As long as you don’t condemn it with all your heart, and as long as they are killing Jews, they just can’t be in our country. If you don’t like our country, tell all your brothers to leave.” Because it says in the Gemora; “If someone is in the city, and he doesn’t like it, he has to leave, he can’t tell the city to leave.” Because they don’t like us, we have to leave? What a chutzpah!
And who started the war with us? Listen, until 1967, they had their country. They kept shooting at us, so we had to make a war. We got it back. So now… What do you want now? You lost. Can you play chess with someone who cannot stomach to loose? That’s the game of life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.
This situation can’t be, you know, it just can’t be!
Anybody who was not in Shechem… Shechem was fire. You know what it is to be by the kever [tomb] of Yosef HaTzaddik?! And then they want to kill us because we went to the grave of Yosef HaTzaddik! We cannot bring a sefer Torah to the grave of Yosef HaTzaddik?! What’s going on here?! You know when Yosef HaTzaddik left the world? 3,700 years ago. The heilege [holy] Yosef HaTzaddik… and any murderer that doesn’t like it can kill me, and I have to apologize. ‘I really have to apologize, and I feel so bad.’
We are Stronger Than the Whole World
You know, imagine we put it all on a scale: The whole world is one ounce and we Yidden are 10 billion tons. We are stronger than the whole world. We just don’t do it. You know Yakov and Esav… The Torah says that Esav came with 400 people. Just remember that Yakov is there with his four wives and eleven children, and the cattle, and most probably a few servants. Esav comes with 400 men, which is a lot, right? You know what the Gemora says? It was not 400 people, it was 400 generals, and every general had 400,000 people under him. Not to be believed. One Yiddele with his wife and children…. How many people is that? 400 times 400,000? I don’t want to make it hard on you, because one opinion is that each general had 400 people under him. How much is that? It’s also a lot. But this is not the end. Yakov was praying that he shouldn’t have to kill Esav. You know how strong we were?
Why was Pharoh so angry at Yosef? The new Pharoh later on? Because the new Pharoh was the grandson of the old Pharoh, who made Yosef into a king. And he was in love with Osnat, Yosef HaTzaddik’s wife. She was awesomely beautiful. So he decided, “I have got to do something.” Every afternoon, Osnat would go out to the forest for a little walk. So he organized that at a certain time one afternoon, he will come with soldiers, and he will grab Osnat and do what he wants to do.
He came with a few thousand soldiers; he was afraid of Yosef. On that day min haShomayim [by Divine providence] Binyamin went with his sister-in-law. Binyamin, one Yid…. He knocked off the whole contingent! And he tied Pharoh, the future Pharoh, he tied him down. And according to Egyptian law, Yosef had the right to kill him because he had wanted to attack his wife. Wait. Listen to this. We Yidden… What did Yosef HaTzaddik do? Yosef HaTzaddik said to the current Pharoh, “Listen, it’s your grandson, I don’t want to kill him. But I want him to live in the house of Binyamin. Maybe he will learn a little bit of humanity there.” So he grew up in the house of Binyamin. But he was so full of poison, the moment he became the Pharoh of Egypt, he said, “I want to knock off all the Jews.” Not so simple. Heartbreaking.
You know, the joke goes: During the six-Day War, 5,000 Egyptian soldiers were running like crazy. A general stops them and asks them, “Why are you running?” They say, “One Israeli soldier is on our tail.” He says, “What? 5,000 Egyptians running away from one Israeli soldier?” They said, “No, It was really two Israeli soldiers.”
But I’ll tell you the best joke: During the war at night, the Egyptians don’t fight. So at night they are just a few inches away. Here are the Jews, and here are the Egyptians. Suddenly an Israeli says, “Hey, is that you Mohammed?” Two of them hold up their hands, “Yeah it’s me, Mohammed.” Bang, bang, bang. It’s only a joke, but it shows their mentality. An hour later, “Is it you Achmed?” “Yeah.” Bang, bang, bang. Five minutes later, one of the Egyptians calls, “Is that you Moshe?” No answer. (Ha, ha.)
You know what I mean to tell you? They are so far behind us mentally. And we would be ready to teach them in the sweetest way. I want you to know, that when Israel took over, they had no schools. You know that only 9% of the people in Jordan go to school? You know, I told you, I spoke to Palestinians many times; “Why don’t we become friends? You don’t teach your own teenagers. You don’t teach your teenagers….”
Question: How do we take that anger that you are expressing and that frustration, and….
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: I don’t hate them. I hate the murderers, I don’t hate them. I never hate them. GYd forbid.
Question: But still…
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: We can not permit that. We can not permit murderers to take, GYd forbid, Israel. We can’t. That doesn’t mean we hate them. Would you let a few snakes run around wild when your children are there?
Question: I would like to end on a positive note here….
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: The positive note is: I firmly believe, if we could reach the good people…. There is no other way. I said it to you, and I said it in the newspapers; the problem is, we are not talking to the good people. In these forty years, we couldn’t reach some good people?
Comment: Many Arabs were killed by the P.L.O.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Maybe we should have given them more support. Imagine if there are 200 Arabs who want to come over on our side. OK “Move into Haifa this minute. You will be protected.” I don’t know, there must have been a way. I don’t know.
Comment: Maybe this whole process is so that the old system will fall and this old government will fall, and a new government, or a new system could….
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Oy, oy, oy. I see what you are saying. In the end I’m sure everything will be good. I’m sure we are learning a lot from this, but you know, like the Baal Shem Tov says, “Rebono Shel Olam [Master of the World], I know You are helping, but, gevalt, until You help, Could You also help?” Until we learn everything, we need a crash course. I have no idea.
Comment: We are not occupying their Land. They are occupying our Land.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: It’s the biggest chutzpah. You are 100% right.
It’s too late. I was begging the government, right after the six-day war; we have to give concerts in every Arab school, in every Arab kindergarten. And talk to them. Tell them, “We are cousins, we are good friends.” We never tried really to reach the young people there. What can I do?
Question: How are we going to clear the air?
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: The way I can clear the air is: I am not talking to Arafat, but every person I talk to, I try to clear the air.
Question: But right now… we have to start here. We need to create an atmosphere… I’ll send an invitation to Rabin and Arafat, I don’t know if they will come. Maybe we created so much distance between us that they couldn’t come.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: No. You see what it is; if they would walk in here right now, we would greet them very sweetly. The facts of life.
You know why the binding of Yitzchak was so hard? Because it was against everything that Avraham believed in. And here suddenly it comes to a point; I really want to make peace with them, right, and yet it can’t be, because they want to kill us. It just makes it so hard. Heartbreaking. It is not so simple. How do I get the hatred out of them? I have no idea.