Reb Shlomo’s Thoughts on the Seder
The Alexandra [Rebbe] says `Why doesn’t the Seder begin
there are certain ״ right away with questions...He says
things which are so holy -- don’t ask questions. Just take
them the way they are...because if you ask, you degrade
them, you profane them. So he says, when it comes to
kadesh, don’t ask. Urechatz (washing the hands), don’t
ask. Karpas (dipping a vegetable), don’t ask. Maggid --
then, you can ask. And, he says, the wworld is analyzing
everything in the world, and they don’t know when to stop.
They are destroying everything holy, by asking questions
about things one shouldn’t ask.
It is so clear to me that we adults analyze everything our
children say. Was it clever, was it good, was it stupid?
Then, the child is likely to say, I don’t want to talk to you.
You destroy everything I say. But, Seder night, our children
see that we know when to stop. We don’t tear everything
apart. Our children say, O.K., I want to ask you a question.
Don’t analyze it.
The first fixing, when you come out into freedom is, leave
things whole....Psychology, which analyzes everything and
pulls everything apart has not fixed the world yet....
I’m sure it’s clear to you that our children ask the deepest
questions, and the truth is that we don’t have the answers.
You can read the entire Haggadah, but the queastions are
still questions.... We lose our children because we tell
them we have the answers to everything, Our children
know it’s not true. They don’t want to talk to us. Seder
night, I tell my children, so, I’m a few years older than you.
You think that I know more? Maybe I know the story a
little bit longer, but I don’t know the answer. ...Then, our
״. children feel so close to us
* * *
Lamed Vav: A Collection of the Favorite Stories of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
by Reb Shlomo Carlebach
Good Yom Tov! I bless everyone to have a wonderful Seder.
Seder night can be the highest, the holiest, the deepest and
the most exalted night.
1) KADESH !
Seder night, we begin with Kadesh (Kiddush). Everybody
knows that holiness is the highest level a person can strive
for. It takes a whole lifetime to really become holy. Seder
night, we begin right on top. This is what our holy Rabbis
teach us that even in exile, we can work our way up. Not to
be in exile, to be free, means that I’m not afraid to jump on
top, on the top of the top.
Seder night, our children feel so close to us, they are asking
us all the questions. Why don’t our kids talk to us during
the year? Because, sadly enough, we look at them with
exile eyes. First, you go to cheder, then you go to yeshiva,
then you go to college, then you get one Ph.D., and another
one, and you marry a rich girl, and she pays for your third
Ph.D. - you go slowly, slowly. This is all exile behaviour. The
truth is, every child has it in him to reach right away, from
the first, for the highest, for the deepest. Anyone who is
around children knows that there are times when children
understand more than adults. Children are on the highest
level. So, Seder night, after we call out Kadesh, our kids say,
Okay, if this is the way you look at life, we can talk to you ״
I want you to know a very important thing. You always
think that everything takes a lot of time. But, it doesn’t have
to take time. First, you meet a girl, you’re not sure if you
really like her. You shlep around with her for a year, then
five years, then you get married and you like her a little bit
more, and then finally, after 150 years, you love her. Really,
though, if you love somebody very much, you just love them
from the first moment on.
People who think it takes so long to get rich, when they see
a poor man, they are not inviting him, they think, until this
poor fellow will get rich, it will take so long, why should I
invite him to eat in my home? On Pesach, it takes just one
second. I say, this poor man, maybe he will become rich in
let – ״ Kal dichfin yetai veyaichal ״ just one second, so I say
every poor person come into my house and eat. I say to the
poor man, don’t despair, maybe you’ll be rich tonight, maybe
in just five minutes. A human being has to work himself up
very slowly. It is a gift from heaven that sometimes, in just
one second, I can reach the highest level.
To be in exile means I believe in G-d, but it depends on
me and I have to work hard to get anywhere. Seder night,
everybody knows, Seder night is a different thing. Since it’s
a gift from heaven, why not ask right away for the highest
thing? Begin with the highest, begin with Kadesh.
What is the difference between asking a human being for
a favor and asking G-d for a favor? When I ask a human
being for a favor, I cannot have the chutzpa to ask them for
everything. If I don’t have a single penny, I can’t go to Baron
Rothschild and ask for two billion dollars. But, with the
Ribono Shel Olam, it’s the other way around. When I have
nothing, that’s the time to ask for everything.
When we were slaves in Egypt, and G-d took us out, at that
I, and not an angel, ״ . moment, we reached the highest level
That was the highest, the most glorious ״. I am the Lord
revelation in the world. We treat our children in such a way
that it takes so long for them to mature until we can talk to
them. On Seder night, I know that everything can take just
one split second. Everybody knows, the way we came out
of Egypt was not slowly, slowly but, it was actually in one
from slavery to the highest ,״ avdut lecherut ״ minute from
level of freedom.
Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach