I was active in the fight for human rights in the Soviet Union. I was Jewish, but I didn’t know much about what that meant. Sometimes some Jewish music and other materials were smuggled to us. One night, a friend of mine gave me a bootleg recording saying I might be interested in it. When I played it, I knew that this was something special, but, since I didn’t understand Hebrew, I didn’t understand the words.
A friend of mine understood Hebrew so I gave it to him to listen to. At two in the morning my friend pounded on my door: “This was like nothing I ever heard before! Do you know what you just gave me?” We stayed up together all night listening to the soul stirring songs of Rebbe Shlomo.
I started collecting every recording I could get. They were too precious to lend out so my friends, Jews and non–Jews, would come to my house to listen to the deeply inspiring songs of the “Singing Rabbi.”
Nothing polishes the soul like a song.
The difference between singing and speaking is that when one person speaks, everybody has to be silent, because otherwise they won’t be able to hear the speaker. But the more that people sing together, the more they can hear and the more beautiful it is.
What the world needs most is harmony.
To not pray is to be dead.
You can’t ask G-d, “Give me peace.” You have to ask, “G-d, give the whole world peace.”
I’m quoting this from a passage in the Psalms. It says: “For my brothers and sisters, let there be peace in the world.”
“Because of my brothers and friends… Because of my sisters and friends… Please let me ask, please let me sing, peace to you. This is the House of the L-rd, I wish the best for you.”
Peace in Yerushalayim. Peace in the Holy City. Peace in the Holy Land, let there be peace. Peace in every land. Peace in every city, peace on every street. Let there be peace. Peace in every house, peace at every window, peace at every door. Let there be peace. Just one more day, just one more night, just one more dawn. Let there be peace. Just for my children, just for your children, just for all of G-d’s children, let there be peace.
Return again. Return to the Land of your soul. Return to who you are. Return to what you are. Return to where you were born and be reborn again.
Let every human being know that they are only here to make the world more beautiful.
Let the whole world get together again. Let the whole world be filled with joy again. Let the salvation of the world grow every second.
Most people give up on the dream of ever having peace in the world. So I am begging all those people who are still dreaming of peace, please join me, singing and clapping the Song of King David: “King David, King of Israel, he lives forever.”
Let’s each of us really sing and dance like crazy for two minutes, and maybe the world will change.
From the book Ecstasy for the Soul, by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach