Monday, March 29, 2010

The Highest Seder with Reb Shlomo Zts”l 3

2) MAGGID! (Saying the Haggada)

Let me tell you my most favorite Pesach story. After one
Seder with Rav Tzvi Elimelech, the Chassidim got together
Rebbe, there is nobody who makes a Seder like ״ , and said
Let me tell you something. ״ , Rav Tzvi Elimelech said ״. you
Moshele, the water carrier’s Seder was the best Seder, this
year, in the world. I’ll let him tell you tomorrow what he
״. did
The next day, after davening, the Chassidim went up to
The Rebbe wants to ״ , Moshele the water carrier and said
Moishele came before the Rebbe, and he began to ״. see you
Rebbe, I’ll never do it again. I’m so ״ cry bitterly. He said, if
He was crying. The ״. sorry. I don’t know what came over me
״. Listen, Moishele, just tell us what you did ״ , Rebbe said
Now, I always tell my friends that basically we Jews are not
so much into drinking. But, in every city there is one Jew
who drinks for all in that city. Then, there is some kind of
higher drunkard, who drinks for the Jews of that country.
And then, there are some lamed vov drunkards who drink
for all the Jews of that generation. And then, there are some
drunkards who drink for all the Jews from Avraham Avinu
until Moshiach. Anyway, this Moishe, the drunkard, was
a lamed vovnik. His greatest joy in life was drinking. The
saddest thing is, on Pesach you can’t drink whiskey. So, he

Carlebach Haggadah: Seder Night with Reb Shlomo [In English and Hebrew languages]

had a tremendous idea. He’ll stay up the whole night, erev
Pesach, and he’ll be drunk for the rest of Pesach, he’ll be
drunk right thru. Anyway, he drank, and even a drunkard
who is a religious Jew knows that ten minutes after nine,
on Pesach, you stop. He stopped exactly, and he was out.
Seder night, his wife came to wake him up and said,
Moshele, it’s really not fair. Every Jew has a Seder. Every ״
house has a Seder. We have little children, and we don’t have
By then, ״ , And, he said ״? a Seder. So what’s going on here
did I regret that I drank so much at night. Did I regret it! I
would have done anything not to be drunk. But I couldn’t
Please wake me up in an hour. I just can’t get ״ , help it. I said
it together yet.’ Anyway, my wife kept waking me up every
hour, every half-hour. Then, suddenly, she came to me and
Moishele, in five minutes, five minutes, it’s gone. You ״ , said
.״ Gevalt ״ ’. didn’t have anything and the children are waiting
was I broken. Here, my children are so holy and ״ , He said
I am such a lousy father, I didn’t even give them a Seder.
Please, call my children.’ She called ״ , So, I said to my wife
Please, sit very close ״ , the children in and I said to them
to me on my bed. I have to talk to you. I want you to know,
children, that I am so sorry that I drank. I am so sorry that I
am a drunkard. But, I want you to know that if my drinking
can make me not have a Seder with you, then it’s not worth
I swear to you, Seder night, ״ , it.’ So, I said to my children
tonight, that I’ll never drink again. But, right now, it’s Seder
night, I am so sorry, we didn’t eat matza, we didn’t eat maror.
״’. But, let me just tell you the Pesach story, in a nutshell
You know, I was still drunk. ״ , Moishele said to the Rebbe
Children, I want you to know ״ , But, I tried my best. I said
that G-d created heaven and earth in seven days. And, I
want you to know that Adam was thrown out of Paradise
the first day. Then everything went downhill. There was
a flood, there was a tower of Babylon; that was as much
as I knew. Then came Avraham. He began fixing the world
again. Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov and his twelve holy sons.
Then Pharaoh made slaves out of us, and tonight, G-d took
us out from Egypt. And, I said, children, I want you to swear
to me right now, that you’ll always know that the same Gd
who took us out from Egypt is still alive. It’s the same
G-d. Whenever a Jew cries to G-d, G-d always hears our
Rebbe, ״ ״’. prayers and takes us out from all our troubles
I’m so sorry. I couldn’t say anything more because I was
So the ״. still drunk. I turned over and I fell asleep again
heilege (holy) Reb Tzvi Elimelech was crying bitter tears.
Did you hear that? Did you hear ״ , He said to his Chassidim
that? I wish that one time in my life, I should be privileged
to give over Yiddishkeit to my children, the way Moishele
״. the water carrier gave it over to his children Seder night
Gevalt. There is a strong Alexander Torah. It is very deep
and so important for us today. The Holy Alexander asks,
Why doesn’t the Seder begin right away with questions?
The children could ask questions and then we would
He answers that there are certain things which are ״. answer
s-o holy - don’t ask questions. Just take them the way they
are. There are certain things in life you have no right to ask
about because if you ask, you degrade them, you profane
them. So, he says, when it comes to Kadesh (Kiddush),
don’t ask. Urechatz (washing the hands), don’t ask. Karpas
(vegetables), don’t ask. Maggid (saying the Haggada),
then - you can ask. And, he says, the world 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’s 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.
Out children say, Okay, I want to ask you a question. Don’t
analyze it.
Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

The first fixing, when you come out into freedom is, leave
things whole. Imagine, if I tell a girl, I love you so much and
she starts analyzing, how do you love me, when do you
love me? Who wants to talk to her again? She can ask me
what my name is, who my father is, what am I doing? But,
certain things, don’t ask, don’t question. I always think that
is a real exile book. What do ״ Why I am a Jew ״ , the book
you mean, why am I a Jew? Don’t ask questions. Why do
you love Israel? Don’t ask. Don’t touch it. Psychology, which
analyzes everything and pulls everything apart, has not
fixed the world yet. The world is still broken.
When G-d took us out of Egypt, the first thing was, leave
things as they are. Later, you can ask. At a certain point, you
can ask. And, even while you are asking, leave a little bit of
privacy. There are certain inner depths that you don’t ask
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 Haggada, but the questions are still
When somebody asks me a question and I answer, then
basically our relationship is over. But, if someone asks me
a question and I say, you know, I have the same question,
let’s make the question even deeper, then we become so
close to each other.
I have a feeling that when Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the
Tishbi Yitareitz Kushiot Ubaayot ״ Prophet) comes in
he doesn’t say anything. ,״( (He will answer all questions
He walks into the Seder and he doesn’t say anything. He
doesn’t answer. Suddenly, the question is so deep, maybe it
doesn’t need an answer.
We lose our children because we tell them we have the
answers to everything. Our children know that 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. I don’t know the answer. Then, our
children feel so close to us. So close.

Sing My Heart

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