Thursday, January 7, 2010

My father was a regal man

The most difficult thing for children to understand is that their parents don't live
forever. HaShem created people to live forever. After one's parents pass away it takes a long time to internalize their passing. I'm sorry my father wasn't alive to see all his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

My father was a regal man. He was the type who wouldn't walk to the corner without wearing a tie and jacket, without combing his beard. He was truly a prince from head to toe.

How do most people treat a shlepper? As an inferior, obviously. Whenever a person, any person, even the lowest shlepper, came to see my father, he would first put on a tie and jacket, comb his beard and then greet the person. He would always say, "How wonderful it is to see you!" Once a thief came under the guise of collecting for a yeshiva. My father greeted him in his accustomed manner. After the thief left, I asked my father, "Aren't you overdoing it, treating a known thief in such a manner?" He answered, "All the kavod (honor) in the world is not enough for the lowest person in the world." My father gave so much kavod to everyone. He turned thousands of people onto yiddishkeit, long before the Baal Teshuvah movement began.

Late one Friday night, a man knocked on my father's door and told him: "At midnight tonight, my landlord will evict me, my wife and children from my apartment unless I come up with one hundred dollars. My father could have told him that he couldn't help because he does not handle money on the Sabbath.

Instead my father told my brother to go to our building super and ask him to call the landlord and tell him that Rabbi Carlebach takes full responsibility to pay the hundred dollars and will deliver the money Saturday night. My father asked me to go to a grocery store and make similar arrangements for the man to have food so that no one in his family would, G-d forbid, starve.

The holy Seer of Lubin learned from Reb Elimelech, who sent him to Reb Zusha. Reb Zusha asked him, "How would you make a person repent?" The Lubliner answered, "I'd show you in the Shulhan Aruch where he did wrong." Reb Zusha answered, "I don't think that would work." Do you think that would make the person feel good?" On the contrary, it would make them feel bad. And if they feel bad, they would run away from you. People do wrong because they don't have the strength to do right." The Lubliner asked Reb Zusha, "Heilige Rebbe, how do you do it?" To which Reb Zusha replied, "I shine the light into them, into their hearts, a great light of the love from HaShem."

My father was shining into people light, love and sweetness and it worked wonders on countless numbers. I learned much of what I know from my father. I am so privileged to be his son.

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