|Reb Shlomo zt”l: Always Asking For One Thing|
|Written by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach zt"l|
There is such a beautiful passage in the psalms. It says “Achas Sha'alti Me’eis Hashem,” there’s one thing, one thing I am asking of G-d. We are asking a lot of things of G-d, but there is obviously this one thing which I am mamesh always asking for… let’s put it this way.
Our thoughts are on all kinds of levels. Let’s say that (sadly enough) every
few months I have to go to the barber. I am only thinking of it when I have
to go. It’s outside, outside of my thoughts. Now let’s say that every day I
have to put on tefilin. So this thought is already closer to me, it is more
regular in my head.
Then there is a kind of a thought, which I am always thinking about even if I
am not actually thinking. When you eat something wrong it's not so bad, so
you vomit it out. You might get a little bit sick, but you don’t lose your mind
over it. When you live in the wrong place it can absolutely drive you out of
your mind, because the connection of the house to your soul is the deepest, deepest, deepest connection.
For instance, when you are walking into somebody’s house you are
literally walking into somebody’s soul, unless they have no soul, which is
also possible. They might have a soul, but gevalt are they are keeping it in
the bank, not in their house. There are people like this. There are also
people who have their soul in the business, not in the house. When you
walk into their house it’s like a cemetery, and you don’t know why. It's
beautiful, it’s clean, but there’s no soul there. But I want to share with you
something, I want to talk to you about it tonight, but just right now I am
beginning to think of it.
Basically we are all living in two worlds. On a certain level we are living in a
world where I have to do what everybody else is doing. Everybody goes to
sleep, I go to sleep; everybody wakes up, hopefully I will wake up.
Everybody makes a few rubles, I try to make a few rubles. But then there is
something else, the deepest, deepest depths of me –where it's just “I",
nobody else in the world.
And you see, the deepest secret of life is to know exactly when I have to
do what everybody else is doing, and when I have to be just “I”.
On a general level the difference is between the street and the house.
On the street I am like everybody else. The house is the one place just “I".
When you love somebody very much you want to go to their house. When
two people love each other they build a house, what does it mean?
The more you love somebody the more my special “I” hooks up to your
special “I”, so we can build a house.
So this passage says there is one thing I am asking of G-d and I am
asking it all the time. Please G-d, let my house be the house of G-d. This
has millions of meanings but the question is where am I most G-d like,
where am I most infinite? So you would say that you are infinite in that part
of you which is like everybody else, right? No. That part of me which is like
everybody else? The most G-d like part of me is that part which is just “I".
I’ll tell you something very deep.
When you love somebody on a finite level, a little bit; that means you
haven’t yet hit that deepest depths of them, which is just them. So you feel
they’re finite; sure, you only touched their finite part. When you love
somebody on an infinite level that means that G-d blessed you and gave
you the privilege to taste that part of them which is just them; just them.
So I say please G-d, let my house be the house of G-d. You know friends,
again bare with me; I have seen a lot of people; especially young people.
The moment they come into their parent’s home gevalt do they shrink…
they become so small. I have seen husbands coming home to their wives
and they shrink; or wives coming home to their husbands and they shrink.
Do you know what that means? It’s not the house of G-d. I cannot be
infinite in this place; I’m a slave in this place.
You know friends, as far as I am concerned I think the world is growing up
in the most unbelievable way.
There was a time when people could live not in the house of G- d. There
was a time when if I had a roof over my head; I eat and I sleep and nobody
bothers me; and that was enough for me. Today the world really wants to
be infinite in their houses and if I fear the place I live in and fear the person
I am living with, I cannot be infinite.
So this is the passage, such a holy passage. Before Rosh Hashonna,
before the new year, we are singing it twice a day: this one thing I am
asking of you G-d, because otherwise I can’t live in this world.
I can cut my wings off and still be on the street. There has to be one place
where I can fly. There has to be somewhere, a little place in this world. My
house'ele. Let it be G-d’s house.
Anyway, let’s sing it very strong once again and please join me. Give me
Achas Sha'alti Me'eis Hashem Osa Avakesh
Shivti Beveis Hashem Kol Yemei Chayay