Dreaming of Moshiach

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


After a long illness, I went to a Moshav not far from Pardes Chana to help with my healing process. One late afternoon, I was sitting in the garden and see a horse and carriage coming towards me. A dirty-clothed farmer gets off the carriage, and walks towards me.

"Do me a favor" he said, just like most Israeli speak without any preambles "Come with me, I am performing a Brit for my son not far from here in the Kibbutz and my old father requested I bring a religious man to be the Sandak".

I'm originally from Yerushalayim and the idea to climb onto the wagon did not appeal to me and anyway, the Kibbutz is secular and I'm religious... but it's a Mitzvah.... Against my character, I climbed onto the wagon and held on to my dear life.

The sun was setting and I told the man that we need to do the Brit before sundown but he didn't respond. It was difficult riding on the wagon, I'm not a young man and not used to sitting in a wagon led by a horse. During the whole ride, the man did not utter a word and I wasn't even so sure that his story is true. Where is he taking me? I held on tighter to the bench of the wagon and prayed to HaShem to lead me to safety.

10 minutes before sunset we arrived at the Kibbutz. I inquired the whereabouts of the Brit and the farmer simply replied "here" but there was no shul. I wasn't sure what I was doing here among all these secular people. There was less than 5 minutes until sunset; I asked out loud why the Brit is not starting but no one answered. The "nurse" announced that the baby is ready for the Brit and the father said "okay", nothing else. He went out of the room and I thought he was going to change his dirty farmer clothing and get dressed properly for his son's brit.

The farmer returned in the same dirty clothing with an old man sitting in a wheelchair. I remembered that it was his father who insisted on bringing a religious man to be a Sandak. The newborn baby was placed on my lap and the Mohel, a secular guy with shaven-head, pierced earring, and a paper on his head serving as a Kipa, said a Bracha. I had no clue how he knew the proper blessings and the father of the baby repeated word for word after him. The sun set and the circumcised baby was returned to the "nurse".

I wanted to return to the Moshav but the baby's father said he'll soon be back and left - no Mazal Tov, no thank you "I have to shut off the water taps in the Pardes and I'll be right back to take you" and left.

I was left with the old man in the wheelchair. Having nothing else to do, I walked over to him and wished him Mazal Tov. "Where are you from?" he asked. "Yerushalayim the Holy city", I answered out loud, not sure if he can hear or not. "NO, where are you from?" I didn't understand what he meant and I answered that my father was born in Hevron. "NO, where is your family from?" "My grandfather is from Russia, from Karlin". In my mind I was thinking, what does this man know about Russia or Karlin ...but whatever... The old man jumped out of his wheelchair "are you chassidim?" "Of course", I answered. "Which chassidim?"

'What does he want from me? I just want to get out of the Kibbutz. What good is this conversation? Where's the baby's father? What does this old man understand about chassiddim?' After a short pause, I said "I'm Karlin-Stolin Chassid". The old man stood up and yelled "You are Karlin Chassid? Stolin? Karlin? Now I know why I'm alive, now I know why a voice inside my head demanded that I insist my son bring a religious man to be a Sandak".

I did not understand what is going on.

"Sit down, I have a story to tell you about your Rebbe (zs'l) and you will understand that it is HaShem that brought you here".

At that point, all I wanted to know was a story about my Rebbe.

"Listen my Yerushalayimi friend, Chassid of Karlin. Listen good. You know why you are here? You want to know why my son did a brit for his son? It is all because of your Rebbe - the Karlin Rebbe".

'Is this old man a Karlin Chassid?', I wondered in my mind.

"Listen and pay attention. I was born in Germany. My family left the Jewish religion even before I was born. One evening, Friday nite, my friends and I were hanging out and the conversation led to an anonymous out-of-town "Rebbe" visiting a local shul. I was curious to see a "Rebbe", having never seen one. I told my friend 'let's go see him. Let's see what a "rabbi" looks like'. My friend agreed and we went to the shul. I felt an urge to look thru the window of the shul becuz I dared not enter. We climbed up to look thru the big window and we saw the "rebbe", he was sitting at the head table and some beardless men sitting around the head table and heard them singing. All of a sudden, it became silent. The Rebbe began talking and my friend wanted to leave. But something pulled me closer to the window and could not leave. My friend left me hanging onto the window. I tried to put my ear closer to the window to hear the words of the Rebbe.

"The Rebbe's words till today are engraved in my heart and soon you will understand, my young Karlin Chassidic friend from Yerushalayim. The holy words of the Rebbe stays with me till I die".

"This Shabbat is Parshat Kedoshim", said the Rebbe "It says in the Torah, 'Be Kadosh (holy) since Kadosh I Am, HaShem... respect and fear your father and mother... keep my Shabbat... I am HaShem...!' and the Rebbe said there is a question here - what is the connection between Kadosh and honoring parents? And how do these connect with Shabbat?"

The Rebbe took a deep breath and the pain was clear to see. The Rebbe said "Listen and hear, when I sit in Karlin with my Chassidim, the Jews are burning with Emunah and I call them to be Kedoshim and to continue to be careful with the Mitzvot, to be pure and do Avodat HaShem.
When I go out of my city, Karlin, and meet communities that have cooled off from Avodat HaShem, I cannot call to them "Be Kedoshim" so I announce to them 'If you cannot be Kadosh, be respectful to your parents', continue to go in the path of your parents and 'don't stretch the rope' too long.

The Rebbe stopped, it was obvious that his strength was diminishing. All of a sudden, his face became like FIRE and said very loudly...

"But when I am very very far from Karlin Jews, and arrive at a very far place, far from Yiddishkeit, I cannot even say "respect and fear your parents" - and there is no way I can remind them to be Kedoshim so I beg them: Jews, if you will not be holy, and you do not respect and fear your parents, at least keep HaShem's holy Shabbat - do not open your business and work on the holy Shabbat".

Again the Rebbe stopped and took a deep breath and with a crying pleading voice, he turned his head towards the people and in a voice that tears the heart, pleaded "but when I'm so very far from Chassidic Karlin, and find I'm in Germany, what can I speak about - not about respecting parents, not about the holy Shabbat..."

The Rebbe got up and in a loud shaking great voice, yelled: "One thing I ask from you, my Jewish brothers, I AM HASHEM! Don't forget Hakadosh Baruch Hu - don't forget the Almighty HaShem, don't forget the Creator!"

The Rebbe turned towards the window where I was hiding behind, and I saw his holy eyes piercing right thru me and he was begging me directly: "Listen good Jewish children, I AM HASHEM! If not holiness, if not Torah, if not Shabbat -remember - I AM HASHEM - DON'T MARRY NON-JEWS. DO NOT IMPURE YOURSELVES - DO NOT MINGLE WITH THE GOYIM!

The old man wiped the tears that escaped his eyes and said "Now, do you understand why you were brought here to be the Sandak of my grandson and enter him into the Brit of Avraham Avinu? Because the Rebbe screamed "DO NOT INTERMARRY". I understood that if I stay in Berlin, I'd marry a non-Jew. I came to Israel and build this Kibbutz. In this Kibbutz, I got married to a daughter of Israel. And my son married a daughter of Israel and here, my first grandson was born, and he too, is Jewish... "DO NOT INTERMARRY", the Rebbe said!"

"It is all because of what the Karlin Rebbe said and it penetrated deep inside my heart".

"My entire family was murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and I'm the only survivor. I merited to see 3rd generation of continued Jewish blood. Now I can close my eyes and die in peace."

May the zchut of the Harav HaKadosh Rebbe Yisrael Perlov of Karlin-Stolin, zs'l, protect us all and help us to be Kedoshim, Amen.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו