ASAY LEMAAN- R’ Shlomo Carlebach Z”L- Nachamu Ami Concert
יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ
אִם לֹא לְמַעֲנֵנוּ
This is an unbelievable thing.
A Rabbi tells me,
I came for the first time to the Holy Land, and I walked down to the Holy Wall.
Like every one of us, you can’t get fast enough to the Holy Wall, right?
Gevalt, you’re waiting, a hundred lifetimes, till you get there.
And you know how hard it is to get to the Holy Wall?
There’s all the poor people and schleppers and schnorrers, and obnoxious people.
Everybody stops you, and you are getting so angry inside, right?
You think, you know, I spent all this money to come here.
I mean, really; I’d be glad to give you some money, but just please…
Don’t be so aggressive and don’t just throw yourself at me, you know, really.
Have Rachmanus, you know, I’m just… what do you want of me, right?
And then, you feel bad that you think that way. But you do it anyway, right?
Ok, this Rabbi makes his way to the Holy Wall. Every second he’s stopped.
He wants to take out the Tallis
and someone puts his hand on his Tallis, give me some money.
Finally, thank G-d, it gets a little more quiet,
and he thinks, right now, I got rid of everyone.
He’s taking out the Tefillin,
and he wants to make the Bracha for the Tefillin Shel Yad,
I mean, give me a fighting chance, right? Another schlepper comes.
At this point, he was at the end. And he yells at this Yiddaleh and he says,
Listen. Do you think I came to the Holy Wall just to give you money?
I mean, really. I don’t know you and I’m not interested in knowing you,
and please leave me in peace.
But let me ask you, sweetest friends. Can you daven after you yell at a Jew?
Can you yell at a Jew who maybe hasn’t eaten in a few days
and you are just coming from the Plaza and had a real big breakfast,
or at least, you’ll have a big breakfast after you Daven? It’s not right.
And you know, sweetest friends, this Yiddaleh dreamt,
my first Davening Shacharis by the Holy Wall, it’ll be so holy, like,
better than any Yom Kippur I ever had. It was like Tisha B’av.
He couldn’t concentrate, he couldn’t Daven, he was broken.
Friends, open your hearts. Mamish, he made a deal with G-d.
He says, please, G-d in Heaven, if I mean anything to you,
if my coming to the Holy Wall has any meaning to you,
can you please give me one sign? I’ll be in Jerusalem 9 more days.
Please, let me meet this holy beggar again.
The Rabbi told me, he came every morning to the Holy Wall,
looked for every schlepper, didn’t find him.
The last morning, on the 9th morning he was here, the poor man didn’t show up.
In the afternoon, he is on a bus going to Meah Shearim to buy some Sefarim, maybe.
He looks around on the bus, behind him… the poor Yiddaleh.
Gevalt!!! You know… He takes out a hundred dollar bill,
and he says, Yiddaleh, really, please forgive me, I insulted you last time.
The Yiddaleh says, let me tell you something, you’re mistaken.
I didn’t want money from you. Don’t you remember me? Don’t you know who I am?
I’m Moishele Cohen from the East Side. We grew up together on Delancey Street.
But you insulted me so much, I took off.
Now listen to this unbelievable story. And here, I’m coming to the end.
Do you know that during the depression, the family of this Rabbi,
his father was absolutely broke. Broke. For years, every Shabbos, the father of this
Moishele Cohen sent food to the house of this Rabbi. But this is not the end.
There’s something Moishele didn’t know; only the Rabbi knew.
The father of Moishele Cohen finally gave a loan of $2,000,
which was a lot of money in those days, and the father of the Rabbi re-established himself,
and the Rabbi knew that his father never paid the money back,
because Moishele Cohen’s father died, and the children just, were not to be found.
So, suddenly it was clear to this Rabbi, that his father must have been praying
so much in Heaven, that his son should come to the Holy Wall,
and find the son of this Yiddaleh whom he owes $2,000, and pay back his debts.
I wanna bless you and me, friends.
We should pay up all our debts, and do a little bit extra…
.יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עִיר קָדְשֶׁךָ
,אִם לֹא לְמַעֲנֵנוּ