Reprinted with permission of the Holy Beggars’ Gazette Vol 2 No 3

Not for commercial redistribution without consent
from the Estate of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

House of Love and Prayer, San Francisco CA, 5734
Rabbeinu speaking:

  There are thirty-six holy people who are really the foundation of the world.
The world would not exist if there are not at least thirty-six holy people, but
those thirty-six holy people are completely hidden. They are watercarriers, or
shoemakers, or tailors, nobody knows who they are. They don’t even want to be
known. The Mezritcher Maggid was a little sick, so every night one of his holy
pupils would sit in the Bais Midrash to wait on him if he needed anything. They
were told that if people come in at night and put wood on the fire in the stove,
not to talk to them unless they spoke to the pupil first. The reason was that the
thirty-six Tzaddikim would come to put wood on the fire. You see, we don’t
know what warm means. Anything which isn’t really cold we think is warm,
because we are not in tune with warmth, but the Mezritcher Maggid really knew
what warmth is. You can imagine that if one of the thrity-six hidden holy people
put a little wood on the fire it would be really warm. So every night one of the
Tzaddikim would come to the Mezritcher Maggid to warm him when he was
sick. The thirty-six Tzaddikim don’t talk to anyone unless he is on the level. If
you are on the level, they talk to you. It is a little test.

    One night the Alter Rebbe was sitting in the shul, and he saw two people
come in. He knew they were two of the thirty-six, wood choppers. He watched
them tending the fire, and then they were sitting and watching the fire. It was
Thursday night of the week of the Torah portion Va’era, and they were
discussing the portion. One said to the other, “I can’t understand what was so
great about Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac. If I would hear G-d’s voice telling
me to sacrifice my son wouldn’t I run out right that very minute and bring him
as a sacrifice?” The other one answered, “Hah! Do you know why you would do
it? Because you had a father, Abraham who taught you to do it.”

  So the truth is, if there is such a thing as really sacrificing something for G-d,
it is because Abraham taught us about it.

by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth