House of Love and Prayer, San Francisco 5732.
Reprinted from the Holy Beggar’s Gazette

Shalom has three letters, shin, lamed, and mem.
The first way to bring peace is to bring two sides together
like the middle of the shin. Lamed in the tallest letter. it
goes from the highest to the lowest. If you want to bring
peace you have to be very high, to stick out. The mem is
closed, with no openings. Shalom has to be complete, like a
little wall. The wall of peace has to be complete. You can’t
say, “I am peaceful, but I have a little opening for get
mad in an emergency.”

    The Maharal lists some of the reasons peace is great. It
says great is peace, because for the sake of peace even G-d
was lying. Great is peace because G-d didn’t find any vessel
which can contain more blessing than peace. Great is peace
because it is the last word of our prayers, “G-d will bless
his people with peace.” Great is peace because that is what
the priests bless us with. Great in peace because if even the
most rotten people got together G-d would be with them because
they were peaceful. Then it says, great is peace because even
the dead need peace. Joseph says, “I am going back to my
parents in peace”. Then it says great is peace because only
the righteous have it and the evil will never get it. Great
is peace because even the angels in heaven need it. Then the
Talmud says if angels, who never fight, need peace, how much
more do people, who do fight, need peace. All the blessings
of the world are like gifts of G-d, but peace is of G-d himself.
If we would have the faintest idea how far we are from
that peace,  we would shiver. We would literally shiver.

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Copyright (C) 1977 Judaic Book Service
Reprinted with permission of
the members of the House of Love and Prayer
and all of the holy beggars everywhere


    The world would really like to have peace, but
they don’t know what it is, and they don’t know
how to get it. Imagine you go into a hardware
store to buy ice cream. They won’t have it, right?
People would like to have peace, but they are always
going to the wrong store. They talk to the
wrong people about it. Peace between people is
not something you can work on. It’s a gift, the
highest gift there is from Heaven. Peace is the
greatest light which can shine from Heaven. I
can ask G-d, “Please make me well, and healthy,
and rich, and give me everything in the world,”
It is possible that one person should be sick, G-d
forbid, and another one well, because health and
riches come from a place where they can be given
to an individual. Peace comes from such a high
place that is not given to one person. I can’t say
to G-d, “Please give me peace. The rest of the
world I don’t care about.” Peace has to be between
me and the world, and between me and
people, and between me and somebody else.
Peace comes from the highest place there is, from
that holy place where the whole world is one.

    There is a prayer for peace which we say three
times a day, and it is very strong. We pray,
“Please G-d, Sim Shalom, You put peace into the
world. Only You can do it.” Then it says Toua
ubracha, ‘Goodness and Blessings’. The world
thinks that if I don’t kill somebody else, and the
other person doesn’t have immediate plans to kill
me, that means there is peace. The world is so far
from peace and goodness. Do you know what
goodness means? It means having good eyes.
Sometimes people look at you without saying
anything, but with their eyes they cut off your
wings, and make you small. Other people can
look at you and not only do they make you as tall
as you are, they make you taller, bigger. That’s
very special. According to Chassidus, having
good eyes means whenever I look at something I
enable it to be more. If someone loves me very
much, when they look at me and just think, “Oy,
I wish him the strength to be more,” then I am
more at that moment, and it gives me strength to
be more after that too.

    How many people sit in one wagon in the subway?
A lot of people, right? If you have a long
ride, from New York to Brooklyn, and if you can
look with good eyes at all the people, do you
know how much you can do? While other people
are reading the New York Times you can create a
whole world. You can do the greatest things.
That is Tova. That is Goodness. Good eyes.

    Then the prayer says Bracha, Blessings. Do
you know what a blessing is? An apple tree can
only have more apples if I bless it, “You have
been a little bit connected to your roots, so you
have a hundred apples. Now I want to connect
you even stronger to your roots, so you will have
millions of apples.” Blessing means to be connected
to the roots. Some people connect you to
your roots, some people cut you off. The greatest
blessing is to be connected to your roots, to the
roots of your own soul.

    Then the prayer says Chaim, Life. Life is even
deeper than blessing, deeper than goodness.
Most people in the world have never even tasted
it for one second. We don’t have vessels yet to
live all the time, but if you live one second, this
one second keeps you going for a long time. The
important thing is to have a safe to keep the one
second; don’t lose it. Life itself is the greatest
medicine, especially against sadness. Sometimes
we are so sad, we have nothing to make us
happy. Suddenly we remember, “Oy! Do you
remember? Once we were alive for one minute!”
Life is so strong that if you just remember it, you
get it again. I can remember that ten years ago I
ate steak somewhere. It won’t help me now if I
am hungry like a dog. If ten years ago 1 was
alive, and I remember it, it gives me life again,
because life is eternity.

    Then we pray for something very important,
Chen, meaning grace, like charm. In Chassidus
there are two kinds of charm, Chen d’Kdusha,
holy charm, and Chen d’Klipa, the charm of the
other side. Don’t kid yourself; the evil side also
has a certain very magnetic charm. The
difference is very simple. With unholy charm, the
second time is less magnetic. The third time, even
less. By the fourth time, you wish you could get
away from it. Holiness is very soft. First it is a
little magnetic. The second time it’s stronger.
Then it will grab you. It gets stronger all the

    Then we pray for Chesed, unreserved love. If I
love someone because of a reason, I haven’t yet
reached the level of real love. If someone asks me
a favor and I answer him back, “Listen, 1 just
did you a favor yesterday,” then it is sweet, but
it isn’t sweet enough, because I still have
reservations. You pray to G-d all the time. Have you
ever heard G-d answer, “Listen, you prayed to
me yesterday. Will you please leave me alone?
Let me go, leave me in peace! Sometimes I need a
weekend off from you.”

    Then we pray for Rachamim, for Compassion.
The Gemara says, “Even if the sword is on your
neck, don’t refrain from Rachamim. ” This is
usually interpreted, “Don’t stop praying, asking G-d
for compassion.” Reb Berish Aushpitziner interpreted
it differently, “What do you do at the last minute if
the sword is on your neck? At that moment the only
thing you can do is have compassion on somebody
else. Then you open gates in Heaven for compassion, and it can come to you
too. Have Rachamim, don’t ask for it.”

    Chaim, Chen and Chesed you can have without
the level of prophecy. Rachamim is on the level of
prophecy. If I have compassion on somebody
who is in bad shape, then I have a vision of how
that person could be. I compare what he is to
what he could be and I say, “Oy Vey, I have to
help you to get there.” This is very important for
peace, because sometimes we don’t want to make
peace with someone because we lost the vision of
how that person could be. The highest peace
between people is when they know how each other
could be, and how they will be. A person has to
live in two worlds. We have to live in a world
where there is evil and we are fighting it, and we
have to live in a world where there is no evil, like
after Meshiach has come. The highest combination
of these two worlds is Rachamim. That means I
see you the way you are, but I also know
how you could be on the Meshiach level.

    When someone has pain, and I feel that pain,
that means I love the person. If someone hurts
himself and has a little bit of pain, deep down it
brings back all the pain he ever went through. If
you are connected to him on the level of
Rachamim then you feel with him all the pain he
ever felt, in this lifetime and in other lifetimes. If
you feel that pain, you have to make peace with
the other person, and you also know how to do it.

    So when we pray for peace, we say, “Please
G-d, give us all these beautiful things. First
Toua, Goodness, the real goodness of good eyes.
Bracha, Blessings, to be connected to our roots.
Chaim, Life. Life itself. Chen, holy charm.
Chesed, unreserved love, Rachamim, the prophetic
vision of compassion.

    These are the ingredients of Peace.

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Biala, Poland 5749.
Transcribed by Sam Intrator for Connections Magazine

Rabbeinu speaking:

You know, my friends, peace is not going to come
from the peace negotiators or the politicians. Only the
common people, schleppers and thieves are the ones who
can make peace. Our leaders are too busy talking about
peace to have the time to really do something about it.
In order to make peace you have to use your hands and
feet. In one corner of the world a parent wakes up full
of anger and yells at a child. The child goes to school
full of anger and the negative vibrations continue. In
another corner of the world, a happy parent greets a
child in the morning with a loving kiss. The child goes
to school infused with love and joy and a stream of
peace flows forth. Generating the currents of peace is
therefore a task that every human being can perform
all day long.

Peace begins at home.

Sadly, sadly enough, most children do not have parents who
tell them how special and beautiful they are. A girl once
told me that when she gets back home her mother serves
her breakfast by telling her how bad she was as a child.
For lunch her mother tells her how bad she is now. And for
dinner, her mother turns prophetic and tells her how bad she
will be in the future. You know, G-d could wake us up every
morning with a thunder clap and tell us all He did and is
doing for us and then criticize everything we did wrong.

A husband madly in love with his
wife and a wife madly in love with her husband are both
teaching their children what love is. Children raised in love
will not grow up to kill people and make war. They will not
have to negotiate peace—they will live peace.


Sikh Center, New Mexico
June 5747

Transcribed by Sam Intrator for Connections Magazine

You know why there is no peace in the world? Because there
is no true joy in the world. Imagine. My arch enemy. My whole
life I am searching for him to kill him in the most brutal way
I know how. But I can’t find him. So I go along with life with
my wife and my two daughters. What can I do. Then one day
G-d blesses me and I marry off my elder daughter. Well at her
wedding I dance with all my energy. My joy is to seventh
heaven. I get up on the table and dance with her. Suddenly,
the door opens and in walks my arch enemy. I quickly jump
down and grab him. I say to him, “Where were you?” I’ve been
waiting all my life to dance with you.” I grab him and lift him
up to the table and I am dancing with my worst arch enemy.
My daughter’s joy, my friend’s joy brings peace to the world.
Not some sad politicians negotiating. The world needs happy
people to speak joyously with each other. Then there is peace.

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Evil talk, even just hearing it, is the beginning of all hatred
among people and wars among the nations.


by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth