Reb Shlomo Rosh Hashanah Digest
In this Digest, we share some Gems from Reb Shlomo.
A Rosh Hashanah Blessing from Reb Shlomo ztz"l
Reb Shlomo Inspirational Quotes
There is war in the world and hatred because the world has amnesia and his forgotten what it is to be human.
All year long everyone in his own way is suffering from amnesia. We forgot what a Jew is, we forgot what a human being is, and we forgot who G-d is. Rosh Hashana when we blow the Shofar, we remember everything. On Yom Kippur, we wash up and on Sukkot we move back into our heavenly abode -- to the palace we are meant to live in
The Covid19 Pandemic is actually all over the world. It is as if G-d is reminding us that if true humanity, true belief in G-d has no home in the world yet. Sukkos we are building a new home for G-d, for all of Israel and via Israel for the whole world. Let the New Year be the year we have been waiting for.
Friends, I'm begging you, I'm begging you, don't be angry, not even with yourself. Just lets cleanse our hearts, lets cleanse our thoughts
Reb Nachman says, the Heilage Reb Nachman says, you know why people hate each other? Because deep, deep, deep down they don't really believe that God created them. And they hate each other. If it would be clear to them that there is only one G-d, and G-d created them, they'd love each other.
Rav Kook - The shofar we sound, both during the days of Elul and on Rosh Hashanah, is a call to bring the varied sectors of our nation closer together
How do I begin again ?
My Precious Friends, It's another Rosh Hashanah. It's another year and sometimes we are so old and so much not alive we don't even have vessels for newness anymore. So I want to bless you, myself and all of Israel and the whole world. Because to have vessels for newness is the hardest thing in the world. Because what's really different? It's the same as yesterday. Everything is always the same. So I want to know that beginnings are the greatest gift from Heaven. Our holy rabbis teach us the middle is in my hands but the beginnings are only in G-d's hands. Then, it's up to me what I do with it. How do I begin on Rosh Hashanah? Sadly enough a lot of people think Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, especially Rosh Hashanah is a great time to regret what I did wrong and to promise G-d that I'll be better. All cute and sweet, but don't waste your time with that on Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is not a time for cleaning. Yom Kippur, G-d's cleaning store, is open - Rosh Hashanah is so much deeper. The beginning of all beginnings is connecting the deepest deepest depth of your being to that which is above and above the above of the above. Rosh Hashanah means, the beginning of all beginnings. You know my beautiful friends, if someone says I promised G-d to be good last year and I didn't keep it, it's not my promise that wasn't real. It was my beginning that wasn't real because if I really began then I'm a new person and I have all the strength in the world to fix my whole life. You know we live in such a broken world -marriages break apart, friendships are broker, parents and children can't talk to each other and it's all because they don't know how to begin again. So here out holy rabbis teach us that as long as our hearts are full of anger we don't have vessels for new beginnings. As long as your heart is filled with sadness, there is no way for you to begin and as long as your heart is filled with jealousy, beginnings will never help you. So friends, in these few days we still have left before Rosh Hashanah and on Rosh Hashanah itself, I bless you and me and I'm begging you and begging me - let's get all the anger out of our heart... all the jealousy... all the pettiness. You know if I'm pretty with other people G-d is petty with me. But if I'm big enough, the more I open my heart for other people, the more I open the gates for myself. Friends, the blessing people give each other on Rosh Hashana every person can open gates for another person if you really mean it. I want to bless you and me that we should open the gates for our wives, children and the whole world for Rosh Hashana. Friends, I'm begging you, I'm begging don't be angry not even at yourself. Just let's cleanse our hearts, let's cleanse our thoughts... our holy rabbis teach us - the greatest joy in the world is when you (Fargin) meaning you rejoice when something good happens in another person. Therefore, on Rosh Hashana the acid-test by G-d is how much are you praying for somebody else? And if you follow the Rosh Hashana prayers there is nothing singular, it's all plural. Because Rosh Hashana I'm standing before G-d and I'm saying unless you give life to the whole world, don't give it to me. Unless you make everybody rich I don't want to be the only one. Unless you give peace to the whole world don't give me anything unless you give it to my wife, my children, unless you give it to Yerushalayim. Friends! Let this year be a real beginning, not the beginning of an old series which we go through every year. Let's not begin the same old record over again - let there be a new record. New teachings. New words. New thoughts. Let every breath we take feel like we never breathed before... the holy Sochachover says when we blow the shofar G-d absolutely blows a new soul into us. Let's keep this new soul so holy and so beautiful and let's inscribe each other in the Book of Life.
I just returned from Israel last night. My lungs still full of the air of the Holy Land, my tongue is still covered with the taste of the stones of the Holy Wall and my heart is still bursting with the infinite love and longing for every Jew and every human being. The last few days before Rosh Hashana are like twilight. Every afternoon when the sun sets, out holy rabbis teach us, the sun is red, red with shame that another day passed without Mashiach coming. So, we all are a little bit red and ashamed, that, with all the miracles Hashem showed us this year, I guess we still don't have our act together. On the other hand, we are so proud of Israel, we are so proud of every Jew. Is there a country like ours, are there people like us - the holy ones, the chosen ones, the blessed ones? So, our deepest hope for next year is that we should finally learn how really holy the land is, how really holy every Jew is, and how absolutely holy the whole world is.
Our holy rabbis teach us that when we blow the shofar, G-d is blowing a new soul into us. And aren't we all longing to become new people? How much would we pay to remove our perverseness? To take out all the negativity, the pettiness and the selfishness from our heart? We can make it happen on Rosh Hashana. But still we have a choice. We can tell Hashem, I don't like my new soul, give me back my old kvetchy soul. One can tell Hashem that his greatest joy is telling bad things to people. And the Master of the World says, "Is that what you want? Please do so but write your name in the other book." Woe, woe, woe! Who wants to be in "that" book? I bless you and me to inscribe our names in the Book of Life. It's so good to be alive, so good to be full of joy. It's so important only to say good things to each other.
So, we pray Rosh Hashana night, make me into the head, not a tail. There is a definite need for a tail, but I'd like to be the head. I bless you and me to lift our heads, to lift our spirits, to lift up each other, and to lift up the world. And do you know, my beautiful friends, that physically the higher you fly, the further you get from the earth. But spiritually the higher you are, the closer you are to the earth, the closer you are to every human being, the closer you are to every one of Hashem's creatures.
On Rosh Hashana every second counts. Every person has one moment when they are judged in heaven. Let heaven not catch us faltering at that moment. Is there anything unimportant and unholy at this awesome moment?
I can't wait for us to daven together with tears; a little bit of sadness, but mostly with joy that we have such a great Father in Heaven who will give us hopefully the best year ever.
The first thing we are doing on Rosh Hashanah night is eating apples with honey. The apples, the fruit, these are our children, the next generation. We pray just for their sake that the world be filled with honey. Let the Yiddishkeit that we are teaching them taste as sweet in their mouths.
Much love, Shlomo
Please Help the Carlebach Moshav
In 15 minutes, 40 years of Jewish history on our beloved Moshav Mevo Modiim were destroyed in a raging fire, caused by malicious arson.
This tragedy extends far beyond the residents of our tight-knit community, and the outpouring of love has shown us that the ripples of loss are felt around the globe. Over the years, we have been privileged to welcome into our homes and hearts tens of thousands of people seeking Jewish growth and spirituality.
Our special community of artists, musicians, practitioners of alternative healing and health, and creatives built a true pilgrimage destination where guests are treated to unique and impactful Shabbat and holiday experiences. It has been a tremendous gift to be able to serve the Jewish people in this way, and one for which we remain deeply grateful.
Sadly, today, the majority of our 70 homes are burnt to ashes and the few that remain are damaged and uninhabitable. Parts of the Moshav have been isolated due to toxic gases that remain in the air and much of the infrastructure has been destroyed.
In a matter of minutes, we became three generations (nearly 250 people) displaced and in need of significant support services. Our temporary shelter in a nearby high-school dormitory houses community members aged 2 months to 91 years old.
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD:
We can’t say enough about the generosity that has been shown to us during this painful time, and we are grateful to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews who assisted us in creating a pipeline for donations for immediate disaster relief and the distribution of collected funds.
As we work side by side with the Israeli government to develop a strategic plan to restore our beloved Moshav and care for the victims of this fire, we humbly turn to you today for a different type of support.While the government debates our fate, we need to raise money to pay for a range of social services, public relations assistance, logistical support, other infrastructure and even a political strategy to ensure that we are both well-coordinated in the short-term and smart advocates for the best possible long-term solution.
DONATE TODAY to the Moshav Mevo Modi’im Fire Relief Fund - click here
ALSO give to individual Moshav family funds - click here
Please consider contributing to the Official Moshav Mevo Modi’im Fire Relief Fund that has been set up to provide the support necessary to begin rebuilding our community. All donations are tax-deductible and carefully supervised by the Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) global accounting firm. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and look forward to sharing a beautiful future together in our rebuilt Moshav. Amen.
Elul – Opening the Gates
Every time I do a mitzva every time I do something good, G-d opens the gates for me to do another mitzva. Why don’t’ I go in? I never do. The Tanakh writes that wicked people are always walking around, always circling, never going in. On the first Shabbos of Elul we always read Shoftim. "Appoint judges and officers in all your gates." What is Elul all about? Doing good. G-d is opening all of the gates.
I want you to know that the Teshuva of Elul is not Teshuva for sins. That is for the ten days between Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur. In Elul the important thing is, I am doing Teshuva for all the gates that were open to me and that I didn’t enter.
Let me say something very deep. Can you image what kind of gate G-d opened to us on Mt Sinai? The deepest gate in the world. The gate was so wide open, the Gemora says, that there was no longer any death in the world. We could have gone straight into Eretz Yisroel. We could have fixed the entire world. But instead what did we do? We made the Golden Calf. We said to G-d, we are not interested in Your gates. Gevald! How could we do that? How could we do that to G-d? So Moshe had to go again to Mt Sinai to re-open all the gates.
In former good days, every city was closed with gates. When they were opened, they blew the shofar. In Elul we blow the shofar to let the world know, to let ourselves know, G-d is opening all the gates, G-d is re-opening all the gates. And we are saying "Appoint judges and officers in all your gates which G-d gave you.
THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF ROSH HASHANNAH
The following is quoted from one of Reb Shlomo’s teachings, which was delivered in Ellul 5745, 17 years ago:
"I want you to know something very deep. What was the downfall of the world? How did the downfall begin? The first person who did something wrong was our mother Eve. The Kotsker Rebbe said that he wished that one time in his life he would stand before G-d in so much holiness, on Yom Kippur, like Eve did when she stood before G-d after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. The downfall of the world was when G-d said to Adam: "Why did you eat the fruit?" and he answered, "It is Chava’s fault." Is this how he loved his wife? We are created in the image of G-d! Is this what you think G-d is all about? He should have said: "It's all my fault." He should have covered up for her.
If G-d forbid, my child would do something wrong and someone will come and ask: "Who did that?" I will say, "I did." When I love somebody, I cover for them.
We see the influence of the Tree of Knowledge. We are not permitted to lie. We have to tell the truth. So, when G-d asked Adam what happened, he blamed it all on Eve. He didn’t cover for his wife. He did not act like a mensch. That’s why G-d said to him: “Get out of my Paradise.
I want you to know the deepest depths of Rosh Hashanah is that we cover for each other. We each say to G-d, "It's all my fault."... According to the Tree of Knowledge there is no such thing as covering for someone. If somebody did something wrong, let them fix it themselves.
Why is 'lashon harah' [evil talk] such a sin? According to the Tree of Knowledge, 'lashon harah' is not a sin. If you saw somebody do something why not tell? You are telling the truth. The moment Adam and Chava ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they didn't cover for each other.
Why is the Temple the deepest fixing? Because Aharon Hacohen is coming again...
We have a Gomorrah [Talmud] on almost everything. But we have no 'masechta' [volume] for loving each other, none for doing 'Teshuva'. Why not? Because this is the Torah of Mashiach, the Torah of the Third Temple, the Torah of Aharon, of covering for each other.
How does Aharon cure the one who speaks 'lashon harah'? Aharon comes and says, "Ribbono Shel Olam, it’s all my fault." The person who speaks lashon hara can only be cured when it is clear to him that there is only one way to live in this world--to cover for each other...
I want to wish everyone of us a Good Year, a year in which we shall cover for each other, and we shall all be forgiven.
OPEN YOUR HEART
Reb Shlomo zt"l would often say to us "open your heart"; when he wanted us to hear something deep when he wanted us to open up to receive holy teachings that reach our hearts before our minds.
he would sing with us
to open our hearts to Hashem and to one another
for such holy words can be received only
with open and loving hearts
and so he would say again and again
'chevre- let's open our hearts
to the deepest and sweetest Torah'
I imagine that this is how the holy Baal Shem Tov taught Torah