We, Am Yisroel, the Nation of Israel have so much strength. “Hachodesh haze lachem” [This month is for you]. That means G-d gave time into our hands. We have power over the past, we have power over the future, and we have power over the present. Time is in our hands. The secret of Am Yisroel is to know exactly when to talk about the past, when to talk about the future, and when to talk about the present. Unfortunately, in the past few years, instead of talking about the present and future, we are always talking about the past.
I know myself why we still have not been able to really get the Torah to penetrate into Am Yisroel. Because we, who are supposedly a little bit Torah scholars, are always talking about the past. The people who are not so religious are fed up already. They want to hear something new.
Bar Mitzva boy, this hour should mamash [really] be “Hachidush haze lachem” [This newness is for you]. That you should mamash say to Am Yisroel what we have never yet heard. Sometimes we need to talk about the past. Obviously we need to be connected with the past. But we also need to say something which never yet was.
I say this teaching all the time, and I know the Bar Mitzva boy knows it, but I want to tell it to you also and bless the Bar Mitzva boy with it. You know, you are just beginning, you are just Bar Mitzva. You have your whole life before you. I want to bless you with good friends. Do you know what a good friend is? Don’t take somebody who tells you when you do wrong. For that you have enemies. Everybody has enemies, thank G-d. Because if we had only friends, friendship would be meaningless. Do you know what a good friend is? A good friend is somebody who gives you courage. A good friend is somebody who gives you gevalt [tremendous] courage.
I want you to know something. I’m sure you know it; the Holy Alexander Rebbe’s teaching. What is called courage?
You know something? I was at an intensive weekend with therapists, and they told me to have courage. That’s sweet, I’m not knocking it, but I need more than that. You need more than that. So here I’m giving over the Alexander Rebbe’s Torah. I was telling it to the Polish people every night I was in Poland. There is a posuk [sentence in Psalms] and it says, “Lehagid Baboker Chasdecha,” to declare Your goodness when the sun is shining. When everything is good, when my life is in order, it is very easy to tell the world, “G-d is good, Judaism is good, the Holy Land is good.” But gevalt, gevalt, “V’emunascha baleylot” [and Your faith at night]. What do you do when the night is so long, when you lost your watch, G-d forbid, and you don’t know what time dawn is breaking? And here the Alexander Rebbe says the deepest Torah: There is one thing, believing in G-d. Hopefully everyone has it, but this will not carry you through the night. You know what will carry you through the night? “V’emunascha” [Your belief]. You know how much G-d believes in us? Gevalt, does G-d believe in us. Gevalt does G-d believe in the world. Gevalt does G-d believe in every Jew! And you know, at night, it is not enough for me to believe in G-d. At night I need to have a taste of how much G-d believes in me.
And you know what a good friend is? Someone who can give you a taste of how much G-d believes in you, and how much the world needs you. I bless the Bar Mitzva boy; you should always have good friends.
You know what Israel needs? If I walk up to the non-religious people and tell them, “Believe in G-d.” It’s sweet, but that is not what Israel needs. I have to walk up to them and tell them, “Gevalt does G-d believe in you, gevalt does G-d believe in you.” And if they get a taste of that, it will be no problem for them to believe in G-d also.
I need mamash gevalt singing and dancing in honor of the Bar Mitzva boy. Mamash, right now, everybody is your best friend.
There is a teaching of the Sokatchover Rebbe. The Sokatchover asks: How did Noah have the strength – one family in the world? The whole world is crazy and they are so holy. How did they have the strength? Not to be believed, right? So he says an unbelievable Torah; every Shabbos, so much holiness is coming down to the world, so much light, and in his generation, nobody picked it up. So Noah picked up Shabbos for the whole world. It says, “Eyle toldos Noah, Noah” Noah is Shabbos. How did Noah have the strength? Every Shabbos, he picked up Shabbos for the whole world.
I want you to know, thank G-d the strongest thing of your father and mother is, they are mamash not only picking up Shabbos for the whole world, they are giving Shabbos to so many people.
I want to bless the Bar Mitzva boy that you should always be like Noah. Mamash pick up Shabbos wherever you go, and mamash give it over to the Yidden [Jews].
THE LIGHT OF THE TORAH
Rebbe Meir Arik was one of the greatest geniuses in the world before the Second World War, and he was a big Tshortkover Chassid. One time he met, without saying anything bad, he met a big genius who was a misnaged [opposer]. They learned Talmud together, and then the misnaged said to him, “You are such a genius, why do you need to go to Tshortkov? Who knows if he knows how to learn? You are such a genius, you don’t need a Rebbe.” But you know, the holy Reb Meir Arik would not talk about the Tshortkover Rebbe unless he put on Shabbos clothes. So he said to him, “Wait a minute.” He went out, put on Shabbos clothes, put on his gartle [traditional belt], put on his shtriemel [traditional fur hat], and then he said, “I swear to you, every word of the Torah is shining before his holy eyes.”
You know, holy Bar Mitzva boy, there are a lot of people who know every word of the Torah. It’s sweet, I wish I would know it so much, but this is not what G-d needs, and this is not what all of Israel needs. I want to bless you that every word of the Torah should shine before you. You know what the difference between knowing the Torah or the Torah shining into me is? It’s very simple. Imagine you know the whole Torah, and next to you is someone who doesn’t know anything. The person walks away and he still doesn’t know anything. But if the Torah is shining into you and someone is sitting next to you who doesn’t know one word, then, gevalt, gevalt, when he walks away, mamash the Torah is shining into him. I want to bless you that the Torah should shine into you, every word. And I bless you that you should shine the Torah into every Yid, into the whole world.
I always tell my chevre [friends], the Yeshiva bochurim [Torah students] in America: Why is it that sometimes a Yeshiva bochur walks in the street, and a non-religious person thinks, ‘Ah, disgusting.’ Sometimes a Yeshiva bochur walks in the street and a non-religious person thinks, ‘Oy gevalt is this beautiful. Oy oy oy, I wish my son would go to yeshiva [school of Jewish studies]. I wish my daughter would go to yeshiva.’ So what’s the difference? It’s very simple. If you just learn the Torah, he thinks, ‘Who needs it?’ But if you learn the Torah on the level of shining, and this non-religious Yiddele mamash catches your light, then he says, “Oy gevalt is that beautiful, gevalt is that beautiful.”
I want you to know friends, it was such a kiddush HaShem [sanctification of G-d’s Name], you cannot imagine. Because someone like the Bar Mitzva boy and someone like his father have not been in Poland for fifty years. And we walked in the streets of Poland. We were on Polish television at the concerts a few times everyday.
HEART FOR THE WHOLE WORLD
I want to bless the Bar Mitzva boy: There are many Yidden who think of Yidden, but their heart is not big enough for the whole world. I want you to know something: Seder night [Passover] Eliyahu HaNavi is coming and he is telling us the good news that Mashiach is coming. And this is the Torah from the heilege Beis Yakov on the Hagadah. He says, “You know why we are in exile? Because we are so petty. We are such misers. We don’t give to each other, and we definitely are not giving to the world. Ah, Pesach, when G-d takes me out of the exile of pettiness, and suddenly, ‘Kol diyichfin yeysey viyeychol’ [Anyone who is hungry come and eat]. I have enough space for every hungry Yid. Then I open the door, and Eliyahu HaNavi is coming, and I have enough heart for the whole world.”
Mamash, I am so proud of the Bar Mitzva boy, I am so proud of his father and his mother. There are a lot of religious people in Israel; they don’t have enough heart for the whole world, for the whole world mamash….
I want to say a fast Torah, not in honor of the Bar Mitzva boy, but just in honor of the peyos [side locks] of the Bar Mitzva boy. There is a Slonimer Teaching: Where do the peyos begin? Until the end of the jawbone, near the ear, is the head – the mind. Below that begins the heart. He says, this is where Yakov [Jacob] and Esav [Esau] part. Esav would mamash cut everything off here (the side locks) because he didn’t want his heart and his head to connect. Yakov Avinu would mamash not cut off anything. And it is so true because, have you ever seen the Nazis? The first thing they brought into the world is, you cut off here. And sadly enough, I don’t want to say anything bad, but those heavy rock kids cut off here. It means their heart and their mind are not together. You know what the thing is? There are so many people, so many holy people, but nebuch [pity,] their heart and their head are not together.
So I want to bless you that your peyos, since they are so long, should be for all of Israel. That means you should have peyos for all of Israel. And just on account of you, everyone should get their act together.
I want to say one more thing. I want you to know, the Ribbono Shel Olam [Master of the world] put you into a very heavy place, because you are mamash a Chassidishe Yid [A Chassidic Jew], you want to be a Chassidishe Yid, and it is so easy, even amongst Chassidishe Yidden, to shut off your heart. Very, very easy. You know, it’s so easy to just look at the book, page thirty five – and even if it’s the holiest book in the world – and to forget about the heart.
You know when someone would ask the Kuzimer Rebbe what to do, he would look at his hands, and he would then tell him what to do. Someone asked him, “Rebbe, why are you looking at your hands?” He said, “V’al yedey avodecha haNiveam kosuv leyomor” [And by the hands of your servants the Prophets it is written, saying…]. The Gemora [Talmud] says, “The hands are the wings of the heart.” I want to bless you; whenever you do something, you should look at your hands, look at your peyos. And remember, Yakov Avinu is mamash a big heart, a big heart.
I want to bless you; every Jew should exist for you, every human being should exist for you.
I want you to know, G-d is opening the gates for the whole world, and the saddest thing is, most people don’t even go through the gates. They are trying to close the gates. So I bless you: You should be one of the people who keep the gates wide open. Mamash, “Pischu li Sharey Tzedek” [Open for me, the gates of righteousness].
I bless you with, “Ze haShaar laHaShem” [This is the gate to G-d]. I bless you that you should always know that this is the only way to G-d, there is no other gate. And the most important thing; I bless you, “Ze hayom asa HaShem” [This is the day that G-d created]. Mamash, today is your day, and this day should go with you till the end – till the beginning. Mazal Tov.