By COLlive reporter
In the last interview Reb Shlomo Carlebach A”H gave before his passing on October 20, 1994, he spoke about his times in Lubavitch.
On the grave of “The Singing Rabbi” is engraved his days as a Chossid of the sixth Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn and his work for the present Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
By the early 60’s, Carlebach had already left Lubavitch after some of his outreach tactics were seen to be too extreme and not in line with Halacha.
In this interview with Arutz 7 and published this past weekend in the Israeli Sha’ah Tova magazine, Carlebach speaks of that time:
“Trust me, nothing in the world would move me out of the Yeshiva. But although I learned in Lakewood, I was very connected then to the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe – the Rayatz.
“The current Rebbe was also a great and awesome genius. The Rebbe is also deep and well versed until the high heaven. Each and every word of the Torah is shines before his eyes.
“Every time I came from Lakewood, I entered the Lubavitch Headquarters and would talk with the Rebbe about learning. The Rebbe wanted to know what their are studying there, how are the shiurim, what Rambam do they discuss. In a way I was his Shliach.
“Once I went in, after he had become Rebbe. He told me: ‘Listen, I must make a deal with you, I want you to be my Shliach.
“I told him: ‘I learn everyday.” The Rebbe then told me: ‘Forget about yourself a little.’ He really infused me with a new energy, and suddenly I felt responsible for every Jew.”
Did the Rebbe speak about music?
So what happened from then?
“I used to walk in the street and when I met a Jew I started talking with him. When I started Lubavitch was not like it was now – that all its energy is focused on outreach.
“When I used to take the subway I did not leave until I found at least one Jew.
“Once, 2 AM on the eve of Shavous, I was in Lubavitch and returned to Manhattan. I sat there and saw a young man full of joy.
“He looked Jewish. I walked over and asked him why are you so happy. He said, ‘I’m Jewish and thank G-d I’m getting married on Saturday to a non Jew in a Church.’
“I told him: ‘That’s very nice that a Jew is marrying a gentile – to bring peace to the world.’
“Obviously if I would tell him the it’s not right, I would not be able to speak to him at all. So I told him, ‘Its so wonderful. You should get a blessing from the Rebbe.’
“He asked where is the Rebbe, I told him, ‘I’m sure you know tomorrow night is Shavuos. But tonight it is possible.’ I had access to the Rebbe in those days.
“we arrived at Lubavitch Headquarters at 3:30 AM. I knocked on the Rebbe’s door and told him: ‘Holy Rebbe, I brought you a present for Shavuos. A Jew that needs repair.’
“They spoke in the room until 7 AM. I have no idea about what, but I know one thing: the young man left the room with swollen eyes. He never saw her again.”