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:

In the Shmoneh Esreh prayers, the eighteen benediction, we say
G-d is Mogen Avraham. What is a shield? A shield is to
prevent an enemy from getting close. What is it that Avraham is
shielding? The Gemora says that Abraham walks around at the gates
of Hell and he doesn’t let anybody in. What does it mean? It means
that Avraham is shielding one deep little corner of our souls, so that
Hell cannot touch it. It means you can corrupt yourself so much, but
when it comes to certain deepest depths of your soul where Avraham
is standing as a shield you can’t get through—Hell cannot touch there.

There is koach, gvurah and adir, all different kinds of strength. The
difference between ordinary strength and majestic strength is
very simple. Even I had muscles strong enough to knock off the
whole world, if a little shmendrikle is sitting next to me his
muscles wont get any stronger. If I am the greatest scholar in the
world and the poorest little ignorant man is sitting next to me, he
can sit next to me for ten thousand years and he won’t become any
more educated. There is one kind of strength, adir, which, if I
have it, I can give to the whole world being in the world. You
know what Avraham Avinu did to the world? He was here. There are
some holy holy people in the world who don’t have to do anything, we
just know they are here. May you be blessed with the holiness of
Avraham Avinu: Give strength to the whole world just by your being.

    Abraham Avinu is called ‘Adam Hagadol’, the great person,
because he was giving without reservation. If my giving to you
depends on something, on whether or not you are worthy, it means I
am a slave to certain things.

by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth