Everybody is asking that we say Shalom Aleichem and then a second later Tzeischem Leshalom, so what's going on here? I'm sure there a 'shishim ribui' answers. But anyway, I want to tell you that several years ago I put out a tape for the Russian yidden, it was very beautiful. I was talking in Englsih but at the same time someone was translating into Russian right away. So I said to the Russian yidden 'why do we say Tzeischem Lashealom? So I said that I want you to know that our holy tzaddikim who made up these words saw beruach kodsham that there will be a Yid in Russia who can't get out. So for 2000 years we are praying for you Tzeischem Leshalom Malachei Hashalom.
Without mentioning names or cities, I’m coming to a city for Shabbos, so I asked if by any chance there is a mikveh in the city. On a Purim level, I am coming to a city and I ask if they have a mikveh and they say yes. So I asked if I can go before Shabbos, so they say to me that the rabbi has a key and he left for Israel for a year. But this is only one half of the story.
I'm coming to a city and I asked if they have a mikveh, and they say 'yes, we have a mikveh. So they give me the number of the synagogue, and that I should call in the morning and they will tell me when I should come. I am calling up, and I am asking them 'I hear you have a mikveh, is it possible to go to the mikveh today?' So the Yid says ' what'? So I said 'Could I go to the mikveh before Shabbos. So he says 'wait a minute'. Another Yid comes to the phone and he says 'wait a minute'. Another Yid comes and asks 'what do you want', so I said 'I would like to go to the mikveh'. And he says 'what?' And this goes on with maybe ten Yidden, one after the other. So I said 'listen Yiddelach, it's cute and sweet but I don't have so much time to talk to every Yid in the city, what's the problem?' So he says 'the problem is that we built a mikveh twenty years ago and you’re the first Yid who wants to go.'
Anyway, I am coming to that city and there is this, and I'm going to the mikveh in Texas. Before I go into the mikveh I am going on the street, I see mamish a limousine and you could swear he is a goy, mamish... with a cowboy hat. I don't want to say anything bad, but mamish like a ungerfressin de punim, mamish b'chinas dosson ve'aviram. Anyway, he is going to the mikveh. And you know, it says in seforim that you shouldn't talk in the mikveh, so I don't talk to him.
We walked out together and I asked him 'how are you my zise Yid', you know, a Yid goes to the mikveh before Shabbos, nisht a pashut zach. So we walked out of the mikveh and there was a little bench. He says to me 'sit down, I'll talk to you. Look at me, do you think I keep Shabbos? I said 'obviously, if you go Friday to the mikveh then obviously you keep Shabbos'. He says to me, 'do you think I am putting on tefillin in the morning? I mean a Yid that goes to the mikveh hopefully puts on tefillin. He asked me about everything.
'Do you think I keep kosher?’ He says, 'let me tell you something. I am coming from a little shteitele in Vizhnitz. When I was seven years old we left for America. My father said to me since I'm a little boy of seven, with all the pushing by the tisch I would never see anything. So while they were still davening my father put me under the table very close to the Rebbe. 'Here, fall asleep, you'll be okay.' I'm sitting under the table and the Heilige Ziseh Reb Yisrael Viznhizer mamish the whole time gives me challah. The Rebbe mamish mekareved me. Then the Rebbe says Torah. So now mamish, open your hearts friends, this is a moridikeh maiseh. In the middle of the Torah I see the Rebbe stands up, because in Vizhnitz you don't sit while you’re standing. The Rebbe stands up and he says 'there is a Yid who doesn't keep Shabbos, who eats on Yom Kippur, but suddenly he has an urge and wants to do something for G-d. He wants to be a Yid for one minute. So here comes brother Yetzer Hara, the evil voice, and says to him 'I know what you did before, And I know what you will do after, whom are you fooling? Forget it. I could see that mamish the Rebbe is looking right at me. He says 'tell that evil voice leich vaiyter,' leave me alone. Let me be a Yid for one minute. Then the Rebbe sat down, and the Rebbe put his holy hands on my keppele and he says to me 'Vi herst vos ich ben gezukt? (Did you hear what I am saying). From time to time I am putting on tefillin, from time to time I am keeping one Shabbos. I know this is crazy, but suddenly today I had this urge to go to the mikveh. I'll tell you the sad truth , I won't keep this Shabbos. But you know something, obviously I came to the mikveh to meet you. So I told this Yid 'I want you to know, I promise I will tell this story all over the world. It's a moiridikeh maiseh. Besides the ruach hakodesh that the Rebbe knew what would happen to this yingele. What do we know the way Rebbes are mesaken our neshamos forever.
In one crazy way, Izhbitza is mamish amkus... I don't want to say anything bad but who am I to say it. Remember the Chiddushei HaRim Torah, 'Halleluhu Benevel Vechinor' The Chiddushei HaRim asks 'why was it called nevel, it sounds so good, shemenavel acheirim. After you hear this instrument you can’t hear anything else anymore. Anybody who learns the Izhbitzer than the rest of Chassidus look sweet...but it's not the same, not this kind of amkus.
Anyway, besides being so deep, there is nobody in the world who is melamed zchus on yidden like Izhbitzer, mamish.. there is no such a thing. Mamish, the Mei HaShiloach says all the time, you see a Yid does an aveirah it's not from him, it's from the outside of the world, because the inside of a Yid can't nisht do an aveirah.
Reb Tzadok Hakohen...you’re not even permitted to say it in public. you know the pasuk 'Ve'ata Hashevosa Es Libam Achoranis. Ultimately, I can say 'Ribbono Shel Oylam, it's your fault, why didn't you prevent me from doing it?
You know, when Kayin says to the Ribbono Shel Olam 'Hashomer Achi Anochi?' I am guarding the world? It's you, why didn't you prevent me? So Reb Tzadok Hakohen says from the Heilige Mei Hashiloach that on Yom Kippur, it's not that the Ribbono Shel Oylam forgives us, the Ribbono Shel Oylam takes the whole blame on himself. The Ribbono Shel Olam says 'yidden, it; wasn't your fault, it wasn't your fault, it's all my fault. You cannot say this in public because than a Yid will say to the Ribbono Shel Olam 'if I keep my store opened on Shabbos than it's your fault.' But it's awesome.
You know why we don't kiss the Torah all the time? Because when I look at the Torah I feel bad, all the mitzvos which I don't do, so I feel very bad. But on Simchas Torah when the Torah I’m learning is that it's not my fault, it's not my fault. So I kiss the Torah. You know whom I kiss? Not somebody who makes me feel bad, I only kiss somebody who makes me feel good. Gevalt, does a Yid feel holy on Simchas Torah. On Yom Kippur I don't kiss the Torah so much, because all the time I realize that I am a baa'l aveirah, gevalt, shrei gevalt.
I have to tell you one more thing which I heard in the name of Rav Kook.
I want you to know something. I had the privilege of talking to the son of Rav Kook, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Hakohen. It’s a long story. Before the first world war, Rav Kook was in Switzerland, and he lived in my Zeide's house for a year, it was a gevalt. At that time I had the House of Love and Prayer in San Francisco, I was talking to the drunk generation, I wanted to be mekarev them a little bit to Yiddishkeit. To make it very short, he asks me 'what reaches them the most?' So I said 'I've tried all kinds of Chassidus, without saying anything bad, even maimarim from the Rebbe. There are two Rebbes who mamish do a root canal into their neshamas. Reb Nachman, but the Izhbitzer even more, who am I to say'. He says to me 'I'll tell you that my father Rav Kook told me like this. Everybody knows that the Torah is food and it's also medication. So my father says that all the Chassidshe Rebbes are on the level of food for the neshama; Izhbitser and Breslov is like drugs.' So I said 'it's mamish emesdik, all those heavy drugged up kids come and I start saying a maimer 'Ki Hem Chayeniu Ve'orech yomeinu', they just fall asleep. I hold Mei HaShiloach and I just say a Torah, it's mamish wild....
I want you to know, when I was in Krakov we were about thirty people. It's a long story, but we davened in the Ramah's shul, it was mamish like Yom Kippur...awesome. Bob was standing next to me with the mandolin and I said 'listen, brother Bob, give me B minor, (right now make it E minor) and G-d blessed me with this niggun, the Krakover niggun, and Bob has a cheilek in it…