Holy Days 5773 Message
By: Rabbi Carlos Tapiero,
MWU Deputy - Director General & Director of Education
Kfar Maccabiah, Thursday,
September 6, 2012
י"ט אלול תשע"ב
Days 5773 Message
Rabbi Shlomo Carlibach
shared, on one occasion, the following story:
a teacher, truly educating is an unparallel, unique and wonderful
art. Therefore, having good teachers is of fundamental importance. The
question is who is really a good teacher? I would like to now bring the
answer that I have found closer to your hearts. While we tend to believe
that a successful teacher is one who has his/her students disciplined,
this is not the case. That kind of teacher will take the last remnants
of joy from the children that they should be educating. A good teacher
is someone who has “Good Eyes”.
Rabbi Carlibach knew how to
create admiration, reverence, and empathy among those who listened to
his teachings. However, at that time, those around him could not
understand the meaning of his words. Rabbi Carlibach noticed the
perplexity from those who attended his shiur, and decided to
clarify the meaning of his message. His soul was joyous with love
reigning around him. The Rabbi raised his voice, but nevertheless,
creating an atmosphere of intimacy:
"I am going to reveal
something amazing and deep; something I eagerly need to share with you.
You know, dear friends that on Yom Kippur we are asked to forgive. This
is so hard, my beloved children! We have so many scars in our
souls! So many, many scars! Scars left after arguing and fighting with
our spouses; scars made from the screaming at our children; scars as the
product of our friends inconsistencies; scars with our co-workers...
scars and more scars. We ask forgiveness of others and we concede
forgiveness but there are always scars that disfigure our inner self."
A deep anxiety marked the
faces of the crowd that was listening to Rabbi Shlomo. All of them,
without exception, had recognized their scars in their souls: the deeper
still painful ones, and the superficial almost forgotten ones. The Rabbi
realized that people were expecting some light on this issue - a way out
of their pain. Without further delay, Rabbi Shlomo continued: "How can
we erase the scars? Is there any way in which we can remove the marks of
our soul? Yes folks, yes: there is a way. My children: even though you
may believe it is impossible, there is a path that can remove the scars
of the heart. It is simple: the scars can be removed using eyes of
love: “Good Eyes”. We just need one person able to see us with
good eyes, filled with love, to start the process of erasing our scars.
"Until we give love and
receive love from others, until we learn to look at ourselves with good
eyes, we will fail to clean our hearts that keep these ill-feelings. We
will not be able to either condone nor promote forgiveness amongst
others. We must begin to see each other differently. We must change our
severe eyes for good eyes. We should inspire them to be so good, as the
eyes of God. "
The eyes listening to Rabbi
Shlomo filled with tears, and also with love. "There is hope for the
suffering" they thought. "We have to promote to look at ourselves
fondly, with an understanding and with Good Eyes."
We are near the Yamim
Nora'im, the Days of Retrospection, of improvement and change,
forgiveness and atonement, reconciliation and teshuvah. Our souls are
more willing to recognize our success and failures, our virtues and
miseries, our rises and falls, our actions and inactions, and our
expressions and silence. These days awaken in us a spirit of greater
solidarity, based on the humility and recognition of our human frailty,
our imperfections, and our fallibility. We face our failures with
sincerely contrite souls, moved by the solemnity of the Yamim Noraim and
the traditional and heartbreaking melodies that are proper to this
season. We evoke in us wistful memories of times of joy and sorrow,
reflecting what happened in our hearts. Invariably, as if we had no
alternative, we recognize the marks and scars of pain that the
circumstances of life left in us hoping that some redemptive, radical
act would be able to erase them. As those around Rabbi Shlomo Carlibach,
we are eager to discover the formula to remove the scars of our hearts
and from those we love and like them, we are perplexed to hear Rabbi
Shlomo's almost messianic answer: to develop in us good eyes.
What are Good Eyes
are those which look at others with respect, recognize them as beings of
equal value to ours in the Perfect Eyes of our Creator.
Good eyes are
those which appreciate the uniqueness of each person - which leads us to
be concerned for his/her fate and welfare.
Good eyes are
those which prioritize love when we look at others, based on the desire
to build and grow with each other and within one another,
as well as affirming the need for us to share our lives with them.
Good eyes are
those which look at others knowing that everyone makes mistakes,
providing people with empathy, putting ourselves in their place, and
trying to understand their circumstances.
are those that have sincere concern for the problems of others, and
develop within us a genuine solidarity of substance and not of form.
Good eyes are
those which see the good that exists in people beyond their problems and
God expects us to see
others with good eyes, and to be able to receive the good eyes of
others, thus granting forgiveness. This is much more complex than our
kindly search for others ... but it is much more significant because it
involves letting others dig out our marks and scars that have
accumulated over the years.
In the same fashion that we
should look at our neighbors kindly, we must learn to accept the good
eyes of others upon us. We must begin a process where we can learn to
forgive, once and finally, those around us. It is impossible to build a
society of "good eyes" if we are not able to process the pain suffered,
forgive, and put behind what belongs to the past - letting the good eyes
of those who are closest to us lead our hearts and remove the scars
caused by them or others.
What is the use of grudge
and ill-feelings - the most violent type of scars that we have in our
hearts? To where do they lead us? We have to learn how to repair the
scars of our past, and re-build a better future: a future in which
forgiveness will be a real closure to the issues that bring us the
greatest share of our distress and our pain.
In addition to allowing the
healing work of the good eyes of those around us, if we learn to look
with our good eyes at our own hearts, we will then be able to eradicate
some of the scars that live within us on our own. Without complacency
and with kindness, we will embrace our spirits to detect the real causes
of distress that haunt us, and we will work to resolve them by giving
them a closure that will give us back the partially lost peace thus
bringing us back to a brighter future, and a more positive connection to
In these Days of
Introspection, when we ask God to forgive us and to repair our souls
with a sincere teshuvah, we must commit ourselves to improve our ways of
looking towards others to transmit love - not hate; warmness - not
coldness; solidarity - not indifference; and commitment - not distance.
If we succeed, our tomorrow
will be marked by goodness; we will repair the damage - or some of the
damage - in the crying hearts of those around us; love will multiply in
real gestures of affection; we will extract from our dictionaries our
derogatory expressions and merciless criticism, and approach to God and
His Vision - always loving, always merciful - for a better world: a
world in harmony, without traumatic scars.
May God grant that in
5773 we face our loved ones with “Good Eyes”.
May God enlighten us to reach
significantly closer to our families and friends, strengthening our ties
with those whom we love the most,
and who need us so much.
May God grant that this New Year
5773 will be full of blessings for ourselves and for all Humankind.
And may God grant us the
continued joy of seeing the development, growth and strengthening of
everything that we hold dear and value,
the State, the People of Israel,
and our Maccabim all over the world.
With best wishes,
Tovah ticatevu vetechatemu!
May you and
yours be inscribed for a Good Year!
Deputy Director-General &
Director of Education