Elijah the Prophet & the Fisherman (Free Will)

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of the Holy Beggars of the House of Love and Prayer

San Francisco, Iyar 5732

Transcribed by Steven Maimes
Reb Shlomo speaking

... Elijah the prophet took a little walk on the beach of the world,
somewhere where the waves are, where the sand Is waiting, and he
saw a little fisherman. Elijah asked the fisherman, the sweet holy
fisherman, have you studied G-d’s word? Have you studied the five
books of Moses? Have you studied the Prophets? Have you studied
the Talmud? Have you studied all the mysteries of the world? The
eyes of the little fisherman began to shine with tears, and he said,
Elijah, holy Prophet, believe me, I tried, believe me I tried, I have
tried so hard but my mind is not strong enough, the Almighty has not
blessed me with such deep understanding to fathom His holy words.
So Elijah the prophet asked him: Little fisherman, tell me are you a
good fisherman? And suddenly his eyes began to glow with joy, and he
said, “Believe me, Elijah, I’m the best fisherman on the coast.” And
Elijah the prophet began to cry and his tears mingled with the ocean.
He said: “Fisherman. do you know why you are such a good fisherman?
Because you know that life depends on fishing. If you only knew that
your life depends on knowing the word of G-d you could have been the
greatest scholar in the world. And Elijah the prophet is still crying
because is not this world a ocean? Are we not all drowning in this
ocean? We need good fishermen to bring us back to the sand, to the
beach of G-d. So if you want to become a little fisherman, a pure
little fisherman. we need people to study G-d’s word, the truth, words
are full of light. When you meet Elijah the prophet tell him I know
one word. but this one word carries me for a whole lifetime.

G-d gives us signs all the time. We just don’t want them. Remember
the story? Someone came to the holy Baal Shem Tov, and the Baal
Shem Tov told him that divine providence is so strong, whenever a
wind blows, divine providence knows exactly where every leaf has to
fall. Divine providence is on every leaf, knows exactly where this leaf
has to fall. And this leaf has to fall there. So someone says to him, I
can’t believe that! Divine providence? G-d In heaven has plans for
every little leaf? After a hurricane, where every leaf should fall? I
can’t believe that. The Ball Shem Tov says, you can’t believe it? You
don’t want to believe it. So he keeps on saying.- no, I can’t believe it.
The Baal Shem Tov says, “You can’t? You don’t want to.” That was it. So
he walked away. He walks on the highway and there is a little peasant
sitting on top of the hay on his wagon, There he has to make a little
U-turn, he doesn’t make it so good, the whole wagon tips over, the hay
falls down, the horse falls over the wagon, and he is all alone on the
highway. So he sees this man walking and he asks him, will you please
help me turn my wagon over and help my horse up? This great rabbi
thinks, I can not stoop that low to help a little peasant. He says: “No, I
can’t. So the peasant got very angry; he had a whip in his hand. He gave
him a strong whip over his face, and he said: “You can’t? You don’t want to!”

by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth