San Francisco, Nisan 5734.

Copyright (C) 1974 by Holy Beggars’ Gazette
Reprinted by permission.

Transcribed by (Rabbi) Elana Rappaport (Schachter),
Reb Shlomo speaking.

1) Story of Holy Sister Yehudit

        The Greeks had a law that when a Jewish woman got married she had to
spend the first night with Greek soldier. The Greeks couldn’t stand the holiness
of the Jewish homes. They wanted to tear out the holiness which is the
foundation of Israel. So what happened? People either got married secretly, or
they were afraid to get married at all. Finally Yehudit, the sister of Judah the
Maccabee, was supposed to got married. Thev wanted to marry secretly, but
even if the wedding was secret, they still had to be prepared, because, G-d forbid,
something might happen. It was especially hard to keep Yehudit’s wedding
secret. because her father was the Cohein Gadol, the High Priest, and word got
around that the High Priest’s daughter was getting married. In the middle of the
wedding the Greek soldiers come to take her away. They saw the Greeks coming,
and, since they were just a little family and a few friends, they were afraid and
everyone wanted to run away. Yehudit was dressed in her bridal garments, but
suddenly she lifted her dress and showed everyone that she was dressed in
armor underneath. She took a sword and a shield, and said, “I’m going to
protect myself. I’m sorry that my brothers are cowards, but I’m not.” Suddenly,
Judah the Maccabee realized, “Why am I such a coward that I can’t protect my
own sister?” When the Greeks came they thought they could take away the
bride and that’s it. They weren’t even prepared to fight. Yehudit was very
beautiful, and the top Greek officer had been celebrating all day in anticipation,
but when he came to steal Yehudit away, Judah the Maccabee took out his sword
and knocked his head off in one second! All the Greeks ran away. It all started
because of Yehudit’s courage.


3) The Power of our Holy Mothers’ Belief

  According to Chassidus the mother teaches the baby belief and
the father teaches the baby truth. How do I know the truth? Unless I
believe, I’ll never get to the truth. Reb Nachman says the whole world
is operating on the basis of belief. A child goes to school and the
teacher teaches him the ABC, and the child completely believes the
teacher. Imagine if the child would be an intellectual. “How do you
know this A is an A and this B is a B?” Thank G-d we teach kids the
alphabet while they still believe. The whole world is based on
alphabets. The mother teaches the alphabet, which is the utmost of
belief and the utmost of truth: this is really an alef, this really is a beit.

    The Rambam says that G-d’s providence is on you as much as you are aware
of G-d. G-d’s providence is over the whole world, but the more you are aware
of G-d, the more His providence is particularly evident in your life. For
instance, there were Tzaddiqim, holy people, who would open to the exact page
they wanted, every time they opened a book, because they were so aware of
G-d that He was guarding every step of their lives.

    Everybody likes G-d to do miracles, but the question is, are you a miracle? If
you are living on the level of miracles, if you trust in G-d on the level of a
miracle, then miracles happen to you. If you are not living your life on that
level, then miracles don’t happen to you.

    The women were so holy while we were slaves in Egypt that not one Egyptian
man was able to get close to a Jewish woman. The men also believed in G-d, but
they were not on the level of miracles. The Midrash says that although a woman
can’t usually have a baby alone, since the women were afraid to have their babies
in the cities, they went out in the fields, and they had faith that G-d would take
care of them and their babies. The Midrash says that G-d Himself was helping
the babies to be born. Then angels would come and bring food for the mothers.
Everything would happen in the fields, and they would stay there until the baby
wasn’t crying much anymore.

    At the Red Sea, the children of Israel sang, “This is my G-d and I will exalt Him,
the G-d of my father and I will make Him great. The Midrash asks, “Who said ‘This is my
G-d?’ How did you recognize Him?” If I saw someone before then I can identify
him again. But when did they see G-d before, so that they could say, “This is my
G-d?” The Midrash says, these were the children who were born in Egypt. They
saw G-d before, because G-d was really delivering them into the world. So
those kids were saying, “This is my G-d and I will exalt Him.”

3) The Power of Our Mothers’ Prayers

    The only one of the three fathers who ever got angry was Yaakov.
Yaakov got angry with Rachel when she said to him, “If I don’t have
children I will die. ” Yaakov got angry at her and said, “Am I G-d
that I am not giving you children?” So everyone says that if a woman
is crying because she has no children, even a low rotten creature
shouldn’t get angry at her. Certainly Yaakov, who was the pillar of
compassion, rachmanus, definitely had pity on Rachel, his own wife.
The truth according to Chassidus, is this: Yaakov didn’t really get
angry, but he realized that Rachel wasn’t praying yet because she
thought, “I have such a holy husband, he will pray for me.” So
Yaakov pretended to be angry so she would say, “Oy Vey! I can’t
even depend on Yaakov anymore.” The fact is, after she wasn’t
relying on Yaakov anymore, she prayed herself, and her prayer was


4) The Belzer Rebbetzn

    Reb Shalom Belzer said, “It’s my wife who made me into a
mensch, because a tailor was living across the street, and he woke up
every morning at four o’clock to start working. My wife Malkele
would wake me up and she would say, ‘Shalom! The tailor is working
on his pants and you’re not working on G-d’s work? You better get


5) Why Our Holy Sisters are So Beautiful
    The talmud asks why women are more beautiful than men. Man
was created out of the dust, but woman was created out of a human
being, so it was a higher level of creation. The tolmud also asks why
it is that a woman has a sweeter voice than a man, and she can sing
higher? The g’mora answers that if you knock on dust you get no
sound. Woman was also created last, closest to Shabbos.


6) On Women’s Liberation

    When G-d created Adam and Eve, they were equal. Then
something happened with the apple. We don’t know what happened
on that day, but Eve lost her place. Two hundred years ago, before
anyone talked about women’s liberation, the Baal Shem Tov said that
before Messiah comes a great thing will happen and Eve will regain
her place, and women will play an even stronger role in Jewish life
than men. The fact is, women are getting their place back. I don’t
know why they were prevented all this time, because there were
always some holy soul women who were already like after Messiah.
The Belzer Rebbitzin, Malka, was a great woman, and the Alter
Rebbe had a daughter who knew more Chassidus than the Mittler
Rebbe. He got many letters from his father which he didn’t
understand, and he would send them to his sister and say, “Please
enlighten me”.

    I’m not questioning what happened, I just know what we have to
do today. I’m not interested in proving that everything that
happened a hundred years ago was wrong, I know it was wrong, and I
don’t care why. Right now we have to change it. Women’s Liberation is a
very holy thing, but most women’s libbers talk about it, but they are
still yentes.

    What is equality? Do you want to be like a man, like a dopey
man? There is no equality, because man doesn’t have his place either.
The whole world is degraded, and nobody has his place. G-d has no
place in this world. Right now, before Messiah is coming, something
is happening to the whole world. People will know where they are
supposed to be. Woe to the woman who is equal to a man now,
because the man is the biggest shmendrik in the world. What’s so good
about him? What’s so good about being equal to a man who works
like a dog and then comes home, watches television and snores?

    The whole world is displaced. Not only Israel is in exile; the whole
world is in exile. Exile means that I can’t show outside what I feel
inside. I am sure that women were in exile all the time. They
couldn’t show the world who they were.

by  Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Posted in: Personal Growth