Sunday, December 9, 2007

THE BLISS OF SHABBOS

by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, ztk"l

Shabbos is the strongest vitamin.

Shabbos is one day when you can have paradise in your heart.

Unless you are drunk with the sweetness of Shabbos, you won’t really feel it.

On Shabbos, we are fixing the not-so-good and lifting the good up higher.

The whole world is waiting to hear about Shabbos.

Shabbos is something untouched by the rest of the world.

On Shabbos, take a vacation from the world, beyond time and space, beyond labels.

Have pity on yourself. Leave the world of fantasy, of lies, of being asleep.… Our soul comes from such an awesome place, it cannot live without bliss, the bliss of Shabbos.

Shabbos is worth more than the whole world.

If I would have the guts, I would run through all the streets of the world and I would tell the whole world about Shabbos.

Shabbos is the deepest healing of the world.

Our holy Rabbis teach us that a doctor can only heal a foot or a hand; they cannot give you a new one. Shabbos, on a spiritual level, gives you back your hands and your feet. It gives you new brains, new eyes, new ears.

Some people say, in a rushed, muffled, low voice, “Good Shabbos,” and are already pulling away their hand-shake because they are thinking about their chicken soup. If they were ordering herring, they’d say it with more joy! But some people do know how to say “Good Shabbos” in the warmest, sweetest way. “Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos.”

You can’t say it just one time. You have to say, “Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos.”

Did you ever hear the most assimilated Jew saying, “Good Wednesday,” or “Good Thursday,” or, without saying anything bad, a non-Jew saying, “Good Sunday?”

You only have Shabbos if you are longing for it. You have it if you miss it all the time.

The mitzvah of Shabbos is Shabbos itself. When Shabbos comes I am yearning to serve G-d in the most infinite way. During the week, my finite and infinite selves are apart. On Shabbos, my finite and infinite selves are brought together.

The Yid HaKodesh said, “Some people eat fish on Shabbos, and some people eat Shabbos on Shabbos.”

Shabbos is different from all other holidays. The Talmud explains that if there were no Jews in the world, there would be no Jewish holidays, but Shabbos would always exist even if there were no Jews to observe it, because on Shabbos something special happens to the world. G-d opens up the gates and something very holy comes down to us from Heaven. All we have to do is pick it up.

Shabbos is what G-d is doing. The Mishkan [holy Tabernacle] is what man is doing.

Shabbos Shalom [Shabbos is peace]. Shabbos is a name of G-d.

Perhaps in former good days, when a Jew kept Shabbos, he just kept Shabbos. Today, when a Jew keeps Shabbos, he or she is comforting the Jewish People and also comforting G-d.

Shabbos is the day for our souls. All week we care about our physical needs. On Shabbos we care for our spiritual enrichment.

Shabbos is Paradise. Paradise is a place where everything is good, everything is holy, and everything is beautiful.

In Paradise, it’s suddenly clear to me that I can fix all my mistakes. Even more so, everything that I thought was a mistake wasn’t, and every street I thought was the wrong street, was the only way to get to where I was going.

Shabbos has two faces. One is keeping Shabbos holy – the 39 laws of Shabbos, the withdrawing from the mundane world. Then there is the bliss of Shabbos, the inside of Shabbos, which is a gift from Heaven. The bliss of Shabbos is even deeper than Paradise. It is a secret between me and G-d, between me and the people I love so much.

Shabbos is peace, because peace is secrets, secrets of the deepest depths. Secrets are the deepest G-d revelation.

True Shabbos people are people who walk the streets of the world and seem to have a secret with every human being they see, with those they love. It’s the secret of all secrets.

When you don’t keep Shabbos, your heart becomes hard like a stone. You lose your sweetness.

Imagine you have a limp and you hope that one day you won’t be limping anymore. After many years, if you are still limping, you will probably give up hope. But imagine if one day a week you don’t limp, then you might say, “If I don’t limp one day a week, maybe one day I won’t limp at all.” That is what Shabbos is. One day a week we don’t limp. It’s the secret of Jewish survival.

How does G-d pay you for your good deeds? Do you think that G-d looks up to see how much you should get in the Yellow Pages? It is the most individual thing in the world. It cannot be written down.

Every Jew has to put on Tefillin [phylacteries]. Every Jew has to keep Shabbos, everyone has to…. But do you know what the reward is? The reward is the utmost G-d revelation just to you. And this happens on Shabbos.

Every minute of Shabbos, I am waiting for this Shabbos to become the Great Shabbos.
How is Shabbos double? If there is only joy, then there is only joy. If there is only sadness, then there is only sadness. The doubleness of Shabbos is that all those things which I did with sadness, are also full of joy. All those things I did in darkness are also full of light. This is the doubleness of Shabbos.

“You shall keep the Shabboses.” What are the two Shabboses? The holy Beis Yaakov says: there is one Shabbos before creation, and one Shabbos after creation. At the end of the Shabbos before creation, G-d decided to create the world. Then there were six days of ‘work,’ of creation, and then Shabbos.

The Shabbos before creation is on the level that G-d gives you without your asking. The Shabbos after creation is on the level of prayer. That means that you can’t work for it. When do I pray? When I can’t do, or get something on my own. I don’t know how to do or get it. I tried, and tried, for six days, and I am at the end. At that point I begin to pray. This is the second Shabbos.

The whole idea of peace is not to lie. Shabbos is a day of peace. Shabbos is also a day of truth. The Talmud says: even the lowest creature cannot lie on Shabbos. That means that during the week, when there is peace, it is a lying peace. The peace of Shabbos is that I am not lying at all.

On Shabbos new energy comes down from Heaven, but that energy refuses to be received in dirty vessels, so for one second before Shabbos purity and holiness also descend into the world. Happy are those who fill their hearts with it.

Mizmor shir liyom haShabbos. The whole world is waiting to sing the song of Shabbos. And I am also waiting to sing the song of Shabbos.

NEVER GIVE UP!

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When I was young I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.- Abraham Joshua Heschel
The whole world is a very narrow bridge. And the most important thing is to not be afraid.
-Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
"The greatest thing in the world is to do somebody else a favor." - Aish Kodesh
"As you want G*d to give you a chance, give everyone else a chance to also begin again." - Shlomo Carlebach

About Me

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United States
I played violin with Reb Shlomo and studied under him for over nine years at hundreds of concerts and learnings. Shlomo wanted to give me smicha before he passed. Deepest influences: My father,obm, who was a great scientist and human being, and my grandfather, obm, who was a great Torah scholar who was a musmach of the Mir Yeshiva and taught in Slobodka in Russia before WW1, and was also personal friends with the Chafetz Chaim and came to America in 1914. He knew the Talmud by heart! You could stick a pin in a word and he could tell you what word was on the other side! And my mother, Esther bat Baruch, z"l, who was a scholar of classical Hebrew and Tanach and who gave me a love for the language. And her mother, Anna (Sucher) Deutsch, who was born in Horodenka, spoke six languages, and shared her aged wisdom and eternal sweetness with me. I studied at Brandeis, Hebrew College, Pardes as well as seven years at The Metivta/ITJ earning my Advanced Semicha (yoreh yoreh)under Rav Halivni. What's truly amazing is that Shlomo and Rav Halivni each received semicha from Rav Hutner! But my deepest influences of them all are my sweetest sweetest girls who have taught me the most!