When I was only a few months old, my mother took me to a concert given by Rebbe Shlomo. During the intermission, Rebbe Shlomo wandered through the audience in order to greet everyone, as was his habit. My mother was holding me over her shoulder. Suddenly I saw his smiling face. The image of this smiling, bearded face was so strong in my mind that I never forgot it. As I was growing up, whenever I was going through hard times, I would remember that smiling, nameless face, and it would carry me through the crisis.
When I was around twenty years old I was at the home of a friend and, hanging on the wall, I saw a picture of that smiling man! I asked him, “Who is that?!”
He answered, “Rebbe Shlomo Carlebach.”
I wanted to meet him right away, and asked where I could find him. My friend said that it would be best if I went to Israel to see him. My parents were opposed to this, and it took me a few months to finally arrange the trip.
As soon as I arrived in Israel I asked people, “Where is Rebbe Shlomo?”
They told me, “Don’t you know? He just died.”
Sometimes you meet a person, and you forget about him immediately. When you meet someone who is real, you remember him forever.
If I meet a friend after ten years and they still remember me, I blow my mind. Unbelievable. You mean I reached you so deeply that you still remember me?
There are two kinds of ‘missing.’ There is the missing you feel for the friends you have met, and there is the missing you feel for friends you haven’t met yet.
The missing for the friends you have met is a deeper kind of missing. The missing for the friends you haven’t met yet is a higher kind of missing.
Some people ask you, “What are you?” Some people ask you, “Who are you?”
The person who asks you, “What are you?” hates you. But the person who asks you, “Who are you?” loves you.
Some people ask G-d, “What are You?” and He doesn’t answer. But if someone asks G-d, “Who are You?” He always answers.