Sunday, October 24, 2010

How Shlomo Carlebach got Me to Wash for Melava Malka - Guest Post by Dovid Friedman

Li’iluy nishmas Reb Shlomo ben Naftali Carlebach z’l

I just thought of this while eating Melava Malka and thought I should share it since it’s his yarzeit. I always enjoyed his stories, but there was one that that really had an effect on me. I was in a friend’s car (S.P. if you don’t remember) in the Catskills over 15 years ago and he was playing a Shlomo Carlebach Melava Malka album. On it he told the following story:

Someone came to a certain Rebbe (the recording was unclear so I couldn’t make out the name) and said his friend was sent to Siberia; could the Rebbe get a yeshua for his friend. The Rebbe said if you’re friend will do whatever I tell him, he will be able to get out of Siberia. He said of course. Soon enough, the friend was released from Siberia and came to the Rebbe. He asked what he needs to do. The Rebbe told him “wash for Melava Malka every Motzei Shabbos”. He said: “that’s all”? The Rebbe said: “I promised Dovid Hamelech that you would wash for his seuda of Melava Malka and that’s how you got out of Siberia”.

When I heard this, I thought to myself that if washing for Melava Malka can get someone out of Siberia, imagine how many smaller things it can do. Of course there are many reasons to wash but this is what got me to wash for Melava Malka. From then or shortly after, as far as I can remember, I have washed for Melava Malka every single Motzei Shabbos except for one time 8 years ago when I felt so sick that I had to go straight into bed Motzei Shabbos and woke up the next morning. If anyone doesn’t wash yet, I would encourage them to start. There are many good reasons to do so besides this story. Because of Shlomo Carlebach, I have been washing for Melava Malka so many years now. May this be a zechus for his neshama.

Video courtesy of Gruntig.

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