The very special Shlomo Katz visited our neighborhood tonight with Pey Dalid as his last stop in America on the way back to Israel. He shared songs and stories. He gave over melodies (niggunim) from R' Shlomo Carlebach. He brought down words of Torah in the name of the Alter Rebbe, Rav Weinberger, the Izhbitzer Rebbe and more.
Thank you Lisa and Michael Wachs for opening your home and bringing Shlomo to town. Thanks also to Ben Weitz Photography for allowing WholePhamily to post your photos of this special evening. Not only is Shlomo musically talented, but he is good friends with our very good friends (all former Bronx residents). So there is no more apt place than to share what we enjoyed tonight than on WholePhamily. We are all connected.
Ganse mishpucha mamish!
Shlomo talked about the idea of repentence - tshuva, the theme of the month of Elul leading up to Rosh haShana which is in just a couple of weeks.
He said that the Alter Rebbe said that choosing to have compassion on your own soul (neshama) is the first step towards tshuva.
Shlomo then talked about his own rebbe - Reb Shlomo Carlebach. He said in his name that Reb Shlomo gave over a Torah in the name of the Izhbitzer (yeah, a lot of giving props there). All year I am fixing the things that I did wrong, but in Elul I am doing tshuva for all the things I did right but I could have done so much better.
He continued on the idea that I'm already keeping shabbat, I'm already eating kosher food, I'm already sending my children to Jewish schools. But the idea is that you could be even more plugged in and going deeper and doing things with more meaning.
This is the idea of "Bina" which has the same gematria (Hebrew letter numerical equivalent: Jewish numerology) as the name of this month : Elul.
Shlomo said that this gematria is 67, and my add is ...1967 was an important year in our history. This was the summer of love, the summer of be-ins, psychedelia, and the birth of the modern day hippy. This connection is so relevant because, ultimately, Shlomo Katz was playing inside a room of many Jewish hippies, both young and old.
The dream of the 60s is alive and well.
Well, a little more polished, and the free love thing didn't really work out, but the ethos is here.
Well, at least the music is, and really the music is what is at the core.
He then continued with some Torah from Rav Kook. When you have compassion for yourself and start doing tshuva you start to lose the fear of death. Rav Kook also stated once that he is Rebbe Nachman. Pshhhhhhhh. What is THAT all about???
Last but not least is a short video I took.
Shlomo said he felt totally welcomed and at home at the Wachs family home.
I couldn't agree more!
Feeling pretty grateful that this happened, that Stango was able to make it after a long day hard at work, that I met some lovely people and saw some friends from the hood, and that I made the effort to slap it all here on to this corner of the Internet.
Time for a Tweezer Reprise, if you ask me!