Holy Contradictions – from Reb Shlomo Carlebach
There is no holiday in the world that needs so much preparation like Pesach. The truth is that from Purim on, we begin to prepare for Pesach. Like we learn in the Gemara, we go from redemption to redemption.
Now listen to me friends. If I love a girl a little bit and I have a date with her tomorrow night at six, so I prepare one hour before. If I love her a little bit more, I think about it all day, but if I love her the most, I think of it a whole week before.
Now listen to this, and I want you to open your hearts in the deepest way.
Anything which is real is always a contradiction.
Anything that is not a contradiction is not even worth talking about.
If you meet a person and they don’t contradict themselves in anything they are doing, don’t bother talking to them. They are robots. You turn them this way, they go this way. If something is fleishik its fleishik, its milchik its milchik. They either believe in G-d or they don’t believe in G-d. They are Jews, or they are Goyim. Everything is straight, they are robots.
A real human being is composed of everything in the world.
You know friends, take it like this. Is there anything that makes a person more whole than loving someone very much? But on the other hand, is there anything more heart breaking than loving someone very much? It’s the most whole and the most heartbreaking thing in the world. It’s the utmost joy and the utmost pain.
The Zohar Hakadosh says the deepest depths. Anything that has to do with G-d is both. Rebbe Akiva said ‘one side of my heart is filled with laughter and the other side of my heart is filled with tears’, because Rebbe Akiva’s heart was alive. All those big Rebbes on Simchas Torah night, gevalt. There was utmost joy in the air, and yet the tears were flowing. On Purim, gevalt, you’re high drunk, really high. But gevalt, at the same time of the holiness was brokenness… mamesh brokenness.
And here I want to share with you one of the deepest Torahs of the Ishbitser. Every year there are new flowers coming into the world, something new is happening in nature. The most awesome thing is that the beauty of those flowers depend on how us yidden are celebrating Pesach. If we mamesh get out of Egypt, if we mamesh get free and so beautiful, nature picks it up and nature really renews itself in the most beautiful and unbelievable way. If we have a little nebechdika Pesach, so we have a few nebechdika new flowers.
It’s as simple as it is, nature mamesh picks up from us.
Now listen to this. On the one hand, Pesach is beyond my wits. On Pesach everything is beyond me, mamesh beyond me. You know what the world thinks? The world thinks freedom is something you work for. You have a committee and the world decides to be free, ‘freedom now’, it’s all-cute and sweet. But friends, I’m sure you know it. Freedom is a gift from heaven, you can’t just get it. If G-d didn’t give it to you, you don’t have it and if you have it, nobody can take it away from you. Us Jewish people got a gift from G-d, but what kind of freedom did we get? The truth is that we got the type of freedom that the world can put us in gas chambers, they can put us in prison, they can put us in Siberia but we are still free.
Now listen to this. Like we said before, this is the utmost deepest contradiction. The contradiction is that on one hand, getting ready for Pesach is the most preparation, and on the other hand, the deepest depths is that after the whole preparation I realize something so strong, I can’t prepare myself at all… it’s just a gift from heaven.
Now listen to this, let’s go back to what we said before. I love this girl the most and I am busy preparing myself. I get myself a manicure, a haircut, and a new tie. I buy best cologne and I spray myself from all four sides. I’m standing on the corner of the street, waiting for this most beautiful girl in the world to come. And then, she suddenly starts walking my way.
Let me ask you something. Is she really coming my way because I have a new haircut? Is she coming my way because I smell from perfume? Friends, the craziest thing is that I prepare myself because I really love her so much, but after the whole preparation is over I realize that she is coming only as a gift from heaven. And then, only then it becomes clear to me that loving someone is a gift from heaven.
I can be the most handsome man in the world and it’s possible that nobody loves me. It’s possible to be a creep, and I don’t know why people love me… it’s possible. Because you can’t buy love, it’s a gift from heaven, it’s a gift from heaven. Pesach is utmost preparation. It’s the deepest preparation in the world and the deepest non-preparation.
And this friends… this is the utmost freedom.
Holy Contradictions – from Reb Shlomo Carlebach via Shlomo Katz HT Moshe BT