Rabbi of Love

Uzi Weingarten


It was true whenever I went to hear Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
perform. No matter how upset I might have felt walking in,
as soon as Shlomo started singing or teaching I felt deep joy.
It was as the light of his spirit reached out and touched mine,
kindling sparks of hope and love. Over the many years that I
continued going to hear Shlomo sing and teach, he always
touched my soul. And I kept wondering how he does it.


Over time I also realized that I was not the only one who
felt that way. Whenever Shlomo started speaking or singing
he created around himself a very powerful field of love,
one that connected to all our hearts. But I still couldn't
figure out how he did it.


And then one day I got it. So the next time I attended his
class, I approached him during the break. "Holy brother,"
he greeted me with a radiant face, just as he would greet
everyone, "you're the greatest." And I shared with him my
discovery.


"Shlomo," I said, "I'm beginning to understand."


"What do you understand?" Shlomo asked eagerly.


"I'm beginning to understand how you affect us so deeply."
Shlomo looked at me intently; this had clearly touched him in
a special place. "So tell me, what do you understand?"


"It has to do with how you love," I said. "You come with complete, total and unconditional love, and with absolutely no judgment. What is more, you see us not as we are now, but as we can be. You touch our highest selves, and that is how you elevate us."Shlomo looked at me for a long moment, taking in what was said. "So since you understand," he replied softly, "please be my friend. Here is my card. Call me when you get a chance."



(For those who wish to read more about Shlomo, a book that I found quite inspirational is titled, "Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach," by Yitta Mandelbaum, Jason Aronson Publishers.)


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