In the month of Cheshvan we commemorate the passing of two very great people in the history of the Jewish Nation. Rachel our holy and beloved matriarch, and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach our holy and loving singing Rabbi.
The beautiful thing about the Jewish people is that we are all connected. Whether it’s people we are connected to in these times, or whether it’s characters we are connected to over thousands of years ago.
Mama Rachel is one of the most beloved mothers and most talked about figures in the Jewish nation. All of us, men, women, and children take strength and inspiration from her, as individuals and as a whole. We all know of the great sacrifice that Rachel made for her sister Leah, and the ramifications it had in saving the Jewish people as they were led into exile. The stories of Rachel Emeinu tell of her courage and of her ability to see others in pain and to help them out. Whether it was her sister or the Jewish nation, Rachel was always seeking to save her family. We are familiar with the verse;
“Rachel is crying over her sons who were sent into exile…. And Hashem calls out to Rachel and tells her to stop crying since Hashem has heard her cry and He will save her sons.”
There are many “cries” written about in our holy Torah. And yet it’s the “cry” of Rachel our mother that is heard for all times, and it’s her cry which will redeem us, her children, forever. Why is Rachel’s cry so special? What is it in Rachel’s cry that is still heard today? Why will Hashem redeem His children in the merit of Rachel?
A cry automatically is interpreted as something sad; and tears, as pain. A cry can also be a call out of great emotions. Our associations connect the cry with sadness. However that cry and that call of emotions can also be a song. The book of Psalms and the book of the Songs of Songs (Shir Hashirim) are all the songs of great calls to Hashem. They are filled with emotions and messages that are eternal since they are songs. Tears may bring about sadness or despair. However when our cry to Hashem is a song it’s even more powerful since it’s uplifting and eternal.
In our holy Temple there was singing. Our king David sang us the book of Psalms, and his son King Shlomo sang the book of the Song of Songs. Singing comes from our innermost souls. Therefore singing lasts forever. It’s not a moment and it doesn’t pass. Every time you sing that song that comes from the depth of your soul, you are connected once more to a higher source.
King David sings to Hashem and tells him; …that even before G-d saves him he is already rejoicing since he trusts Hashem so much that he will save him.
It’s also written that only in happiness will we be redeemed.
When King Shaul was sad he would ask David HaMelech to play a song for him so that his sadness would be lifted.
When Rachel “cries” to G-d she is actually singing to him from the depths of her soul. She wants her cry to Hashem to be eternal; she wants her cry to give strength to all of her children in every generation, no matter what they are going through. She wants to teach them a secret that is everlasting, and that is the song of the soul.
Mama Rachel passed that singing down to all generations. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, one of her sons, was always trying to save his brothers and sisters from falling into despair. He wanted to teach them the secret of the song that Mother Rachel passed onto him. He lifts the children of Israel very high to this very day, with the gift of the songs of the soul.
Shlomo got his strength to sing so deeply and touch so many, from Rachel Emeinu, our mother. In her cry, she sent strength and courage and belief that Hashem is always there and listening, especially to the cry and song of the soul.
When Rabbi Shlomo passed away he left his songs to all of the nation so that they can call out to G-d at all times and connect and yearn for closeness and for salvation from the One above.
Shlomo knew that through the songs one’s soul can be uplifted and connected forever.
Therefore, it is so fitting that the yarzeits of Mama Rachel and of her “son” Rabbi Carlebach be so close together. Symbolizing the message Rachel passed onto her children. Cry out and sing to Hashem.
G-d is close to those who call Him out in truth. And there is nothing truer than a song and cry from the soul.
May their blessed memories live on within us and give us the strength to sing, until the redemption comes to us all very soon. Amen.