House of Love and Prayer

  What happens if I want to do something very holy very
strong, and the whole world laughs at me? Then I must have
holy chutzpa, azuz d’kdusha, holy arrogance. If the whole
world says I am crazy, how come I am not crazy? When I was
born G-d gave me the holy arrogance to do what I know is
Say for instance, I believe I should wear a yamulke.
I walk into a place, and all the people start laughing, “Are
you crazy? A yarmulke! You’re old fashioned! You’re stupid!
So I say, “Oh, I’m sorry. Oh, you are really right. We are living in a
civilized world. What do I need a yarmulke for?” Reb Nachman asks,
“What am I doing to myself?” It is not that I took off the yarmulke.
That is beside the point. When I do something because people told me
I should, or shouldn’t, or it doesn’t look nice, you know what happens
to me? I make a p’gam, a blemish. I destroy my holy
arrogance. Have you ever seen someone who licks the whole
world for two pennies? Why are they so low? Because they
destroyed their azuz d’kdusha with their own hands.

Reb Nachman says something very sad. If you destroy
holy arrogance which you have, the punishment is that
you become a slave to people. Reb Nachman goes very strong.
He says the question is, are you G-d’s servant, or people’s
servant? There is no in between. G-d says, “Look at yourself.
What are you? You were my servant before.  I gave you
tough chutzpa to do right, and you prefer to listen to people.
Okay, be a slave to them. Make up your mind who is
your master.” If you are G-d’s servant, then you are the
highest person in the world, because you know exactly what is
right. if you know what is right, then you don’t listen to
anybody - just to what the soul of your soul tells you is right.
When I lose my holy arrogance, then I am a slave to
every shmendrik. The moment I am a slave to every shmendrik,
I hate the shmendrik, because he is my master. Have you
seen a slave loving his master? I have no dignity, I have
no spine anymore. I can’t stand people anymore. it is
very strange.  We always think that if we don’t listen to
people tell us to do wrong, that means we will be off
to one side, and we want to be in with the crowd.
Just look at the crowd - do you think they love each
each other. They hate each other. The same thing on your part.

When you listen to people you become their slave, you don’t
love them. Don’t tell me you listen to people because you
love them. Don’t kid yourself. You listen to people because you are
not standing on your own two feet. If you have azuz d’kedusha, this
holy arrogance against people, then you can really love people because
you are not their slave.

  Reb Nachman says something else. What about the relationship
of people to you? If you have holy chutzpa, if you
are strong enough to stand on you own two feet, nothing can
bend you. Then the world really loves you. People mamash
love you. If someone walks in with a yamulke, and everyone
laughs at him, and he still wears it, they can keep on laughing.
You know what the person who is laughing really thinks?
“Gevalt! I respect him so much.” If I wear a yarmulke and
people say, “Take it off - this is not the place!” and I
knock it off, people laughingly say, “Really a strong character,
this person!” You know how people are? When you listen
to them, they spit at you. When you don’t listen to them,
they love you. Craziest thing in the world!

  Can you imagine? Reb Nachman says you must have holy
chutzpa against Tzaddikim, against holy people. It has to be
so strong that if you look deep in your soul, you know what
you have to do, and there is nothing, nobody in the world
that can stop you. You have to be really plugged in - you
have to do it mamash on G-d’s account. Reb Nachman says not
only you must have holy chutzpa against the Tzaddikim, you
even have to have holy chutzpa against G-d! You have to come
to G-d and tell Him, “G-d, I have to be a Jew, I have to he
holy, and I have to be close to You, and You can’t push me
away.” You have to tell G-d, “It is true I started 15,000
times, and I always fell down again, but G-d, I am telling
you the truth. I’ll never leave you, so you better let me
get close.” So to speak, I want to get close to G-d, and He
gives me a little kick, pushes me off. He wants to see how
strong I am. Coming back says, ‘I don’t care. You can kick
me, I will still come back.” It is actually chutzpa against
G-d. Reb Nachman says this is so deep that he can’t explain
it more, but happy is the one who has enough azuz d’kdusha
to get close to G-d.

  Reb Nachman asks what it is to talk to a good friend.
It is to take the little friend and instill into him the
chutzpa which gives him strength to know how to do what is right.

  What is evil in the world? Imagine a person wants to
learn, a person wants to do something holy. Evil doesn’t
say that is bad. You know how the devil, so to speak, gets
to you? The devil puts himself on the face of a friend and
he talks to you, and he wants to take away your holy chutzpa.
Evil comes and says, “Listen to me. I’ve known you so long,
I know you very well. You be holy? You be a Jew? You be
learned? Whom are you fooling? You won’t be able to do it.
I know you.” He tells you, “Listen, you have to be realistic,
and you have to know the world, and this, and that, be
sensible, see a psychiatrist… ” and he gives himself the
mask of a great friend. So Reb Nachman says to beware of
devils who look like friends.

What do you do then? You have to tell your evil, “Cut it out! I
am not even listening to G-d if He kicks me. I am not listening
to you, even if it is true. I am not listening to anyone. G-d is only
testing you. G-d wants you to become strong. When Yaakov
Avinu wrestled with the angel he was wrestling with G-d. What does
it mean? G-d sends you a little evil in your heart in order to make you
stronger. Each time you wrestle with G-d your soul muscles get stronger.

    Reb Nachman says all Yiddishkeit, all service of G-d,
depends on how much holy chutzpa you have within you. He
says you must have holy chutzpa against your physical desires,
against your spiritual desires, and you must have holy
chutzpa against even the holiest dreams you have, and just
do exactly what you know G-d wants you to do at the moment.

  Then he says that the truth is, all the holy Tzaddikim
reached so high, not because they knew more, or because
their souls were holier, but they got there only because
they had this holy chutzpa. The people who didn’t get there
did not have enough azuz d’kdusha.

  Reb Nachman says the people who have this holy
arrogance are the most humble people in the world. The real
humble people. Their arrogance is not because of “I am”;
it is because “this is right” - this gives them strength.
If I am doing a thing because I think it is right, or because
you think it is right, then I am not humble anymore.
If I wear a yarmulke is it because I want to, because I
believe in yarmulkes? It is because G-d wants me to wear a,
yamulke. I am a Jew. I want the world to know I am a Jew.
I am drawing my strength not from my stupidity or my genius.
It has nothing to do with me. It is just that I know a Jew
has to wear a yarmulke, and I am a grandchild of Abraham.
This is holy arrogance, to do it just because the thing has
to be done. For instance, I walk on the street and I see
someone beating someone up. I walk up, and I knock them off.
I am doing it because that thing is right, not because of “I”. It
has nothing to do with me. The holy arrogant people have no “I”. The
not-so-holy arrogant also, but it is such a big “I” that it is so
disgusting, it smells so bad, that nobody can have any thing to do with it.

  Then Reb Nachman warns you must be very careful. You
must have a good nose to know what is arrogance of holiness
and what is arrogance of non-holiness. A lot of people preach this
kind of chutzpa, but it is really for the destruction of the world,
for your destruction. You have to know exactly what is holiness and what is not.

  Deep down we ask the question, when am I supposed to
love, and when am I supposed to hate? When am I supposed
to be arrogant, and when am I supposed to be bashful? When
am I supposed to speak up, and when am I supposed to be
silent? Reb Nachman says if I could get to the roots of loving,
to own the roots of my soul… My body is one body, but
it is not completely one, because my head doesn’t look like
my foot, right? God’s oneness is not really in my body
because there are still differences, Even one finger doesn’t
look like another finger. My soul is more oneness because
it is one piece. My soul also hears, but for my soul hearing,
seeing, doing, thinking and feeling are all the same.
A human being feels with heart, thinks with his head, walks
with his feet. Although he is one, he has different organs.
The soul is all one, If I an not on the level of one,
then to love is one department, to hate is another department,
and I don’t know which one to use. If I am on the level of my soul,
of complete oneness, then I know exactly when to love and when
to hate, when to be humble, and when to use my azuz d’kdusha.

  How can you know whether your arrogance is holy or not?
The only thing I can tell you is Reb Nachman says, “Don’t be
a shlemazl.” That means you have to know in your heart
whether you are a shlemazl or not. Ultimately it is up to your
own nose. You know very well deep down.

The world is bad not because they don’t know enough.
It is bad because they don’t do enough. What is teshuva?
What does it mean to repent? Why did I sin basically?
Because I wasn’t strong enough, right? I didn’t have holy
arrogance against my own self! To repent, to do teshuva, to
return to G-d means to correct the holy arrogance
within me. Who is Messiach? What will Messiach do? How will he
get us out of exile. How will he get us out of slavery? He will
reach the utmost level of not being a slave to people, of
not listening to anybody, not even to his own stupid self.
He will be mamash a servant of G-d completely. He will have
the holy chutzpa to get the whole world out of exile. Why
aren’t we on the level to get people out of exile, the world
out of exile? Sadly enough, we don’t have the holy arrogance.
We really don’t. We listen to ten thousand people.  Maybe we
listen to ourselves at the wrong moment. We do everything wrong.

  At the end of days, or maybe tomorrow, there will be
two Messiachs, a Messiach who will be the son of Yosef, and
a Messiach ben David, from the tribe of Yehuda. Yehuda was
the one who did everything wrong. If you remember, Yehuda
was the one who told his brothers, “Let’s sell Yosef.”
According to this theory, in the deepest depths, the whole
exile began on account of him. He should have given up then.
He gets married, and two of his children die. G-d is letting
him know he is wrong. Everything goes wrong. He takes the
guarantee for Benjamin, and Benjamin gets caught. What should
he do? He does not give up. Yehuda is the holy Yidele
who doesn’t give up even at the very last second. He doesn’t
give up. He knew if Benjamin didn’t come back he would lose
his share in the coming world. What does he do? Yehuda says,
“I don’t care. Even if I don’t have a share in the coming
world, you can’t knock me out.” The Zohar Kodesh on Vayigash
explains that Yehuda spoke to Yosef, but really he was talking
to G-d. He was pouring out his heart. He was saying,
“You know, we have an old father,” as if he were telling
Yosef about Jacob, but actually he was saying to G-d, “You
are my old Father. You were my Father since: I was born. I
am just a little boy. I am nothing.” It is tremendous the
way the Zohar interprets every word. This is Yehuda.

    The world needs two Messiachs, because it is a
combination of billions of little things. Yosef is the one who has
such holy chutzpa that he never did wrong. You know how much
strength it takes never to do wrong? Certain parts of us are
on the level of Messiach ben Yosef; in certain parts we never
did wrong. We have, thank G-d, the chutzpa, the strength
that we never did wrong. Other parts of us are completely
destroyed.  For these we need Messiach ben David. Yehuda has
the holy strength to do everything wrong, and still want to
come back. Between the two they correct the whole world.

According to the Bais Yaakov, before the story of Yosef,
Yosef was holier than Yehuda. When did Yebuda become holy?
After he sold his brother Yosef into slavery, after he started
doing wrong, then he became so strong, so whole. In Bereshit
says, “mi teref bni alisa” which isusually translated,
“from the prey, my son, thou art gone up”. The Bais Yaakov
translates.- “from tearing away my son you became great
and holy”. The meaning is, when did Yehuda really become
Yehuda? When did he pull out his holy chutzpa. his holy
soul which is the hoiness of Yehuda? After he sold Yosef
into slavery. That is why his father favored him. The level the
children were on then, Yosef was really the king. There
could be only one Messiach, the son of Yosef. But after
Yehuda sold Yosef, and didn’t give up, then suddenly Yaakov
realized Yehuda was even stronger. So you see, we need
both. We need someone who gives us the strength not to destroy
the holy things we still have and someone to teach us
that even with all the things we have destroyed already, we
should not give up, we should come back.

by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth