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It’s Rosh Chodesh Nissan and Pesach is just two weeks away and tonight I teach. I sit reviewing Shlomo Torah on Pesach. I have collected more than 75 pages. It’s like he’s sitting right here, giving it over and the feeling returns with enhanced potency, that he knows ‘what I mean’ and ‘what I see’ and ‘what I feel’ and therefore I can relax. I can hear him telling me, “It’s not you, Moishe’le. You’re sane. Listen to this Torah’le: Reb Shlomo speaking:
“The beginning of Yiddishkeit, Judaism, everybody knows, is Seder, night, That is the night when Avraham Aveinu sits in the doorway of his tent, when the angels come to tell him he will have a son. Do you know what a covenant is? It is that I am receiving G-d the way G-d is. We Jews did not write books on theology, books proving that there is one G-d. Because then we would be lowering G-d to the level of mathematical proof. That is Tree of Knowledge talk. For us G-d is something else.
In exile, we shrink, everything shrinks. What is Exile all about? What is a slave? A slave is somebody who appears to be half his real size. He does everything, but really nothing. Where did it all begin? The lshbitzer says “, . . and he sent Judah before him” Yosef the Tzaddik, the doer of mitzvot, sent Judah, who represents the blessing on the mitzvot, before him. You make the blessing before you do the mitzva. So, Judah is the blessing before the mitzva, and Yosef is the mitzva itself Yosef is the person who just wants to do the mitzva. Yehuda (Judah) wants more. He is like Haninah ben Dosa. When he is performing a mitzva, he wants to be connected to G-d. “Make me holy with Your mitzvot.” Every mitzva is holy. What does this mean? You can do a mitzva, but where is the heavenly mitzva? Where is the great light shining from heaven when you do a mitzva? Yosef the tzaddik wants to do everything right. He does everything right. But Judah wants more. He wants something deeper, more heavenly.
Yaakov thought that Yosef was Mashiach. He bought him the colourful garment. You know what Judah did? He dipped the garment in blood. He said: “My dear brother, just by doing everything right, you don’t redeem the world. You have to go through so much pain, until it’s clear to you that you need much more. When do we realize that we need more? When we realize that whatever we have is not enough. You know, sometimes you are such good friends with somebody, and it doesn’t work. You know what the problem is? You have to be so much better, so much deeper, so much more.
Seder night, one night a year, one night a year. We live in a world where we have to work our way up slowly, until we can come up to kedusha (holiness). Seder night I am ready for everything. I want the whole thing.
You know why we lose touch with our kids? We think, they are little, so we will give than a little. But, they want the whole thing. Seder night we give them the whole thing.
I saw in a Midrash that when “Judah approached him” “vayigash eilav Yehuda” this was on Seder night. “Eilav” means “to him”, to the very depths of him.”
I hear Shlomo reminding me of the hardest truth: It’s not your fault. This is the way HaShem wants and needs you to be. Someone has to be connected to the pain and therefore reach for more and inspire others to reach for more.
I have been working for the last month+ with the New Sanhedrin in Jerusalem as a consultant for its think tank. We are working on awesome projects connected with assisting conscious community, communal self-reliance and an organic communal partnership in communal well-being. For anyone whom this strikes a cord, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings for all things good and sweet.
I will be conducting a Pesach Seder in the spirit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach in Jerusalem. Anyone interested in participating, please send me an e-mail to email@example.com. There will be both a veggie and non-veggie menu. It will be a ‘leave your watch at home’ seder, probably commencing between somewhere between 8:30-9:00pm and hopefully will go till dawn. Lots of singing, lots of joy, lots of laughter, lots of deep, holy Torah. All participants receive a 74-page Reb Shlomo Hagaddah Guide. PLACES ARE LIMITED – do not tarry in being in touch.