Reb Shlomo Carlebach zt"l
Parsha Meikeitz & Shabbos Chanukah
(Via Stuie Wax)
Sweetest friends, I want you to know that harmony is the greatest thing in the world. I always say that harmony is the one thing you can't do yourself. You can sing a song by yourself, but harmony is always with others. I want to tell you something, friends. At the time when Yaakov Avinu sent his children back to Egypt, Yosef HaTzaddik was ruler of Egypt. So Yaakov told his sons to bring him some gifts. And the words he used are just so beautiful, "K'chu mizimras ha'artez." Bereishis 43:11, take from the spices of the land.
Reb Nachman says something so strong which is based on the Zohar HaKadosh(Likutei Moharan 2, Torah63). Yaakov Avinu told his sons, "When you go down to Yosef Hatzaddik, you have to sing him a song. Teach him only holy songs from the Holy Land, And then he'll know who you are and he'll also know who he is. After all this, how can he be so cruel to you?"
So listen to this most unbelievable thing. According to our tradition, the brothers of Yosef came to Egypt on a Friday. That Shabbos, Yosef HaTzaddik invited them for Shaleshudes,( Sudah Shlishit) he invited them for the third meal of Shabbos. You know what the third meal of Shabbos is? It's when it's getting dark, but a different kind of darkness.
Can you imagine the way the holy tribes were singing, the way they were harmonizing? Now listen to this, it's mamaesh the saddest thing in the world. I'm sure Yosef Hatsaddik was singing to himself all the time, but he has not heard his brothers singing Shabbos melodies for so long. It had been the longest time since he had had some good harmony. At that moment he decided, "I can't go on like this, I have to tell them who I am." So early next morning the holy tribes left, but Yosef HaTzaddik brought them back and told them, "I am your brother." (Bereishes 45:4)
You know friends, there is a kind of darkness where you are afraid of the person sitting next to you. And there is a kind of holy darkness here you give your hand to a person sitting next to you. You don't even ask who it is. This is a holy kind of darkness, a darkness which is so full.
You see what it is, during the three days of darkness during the plague in Egypt, nobody saw each other. It was the same darkness, but for Israel it was light. So the ordinary meaning is that for Egypt it was dark, and for the Yiddelach there was light. But the real deeper meaning is, in Egypt it was dark. They didn't see anybody else. But us Yiddelach What do we do when it is dark? We look for somebody else.
And here I want to tell you something so deep. When there is light you don't feel so lonesome. When it’s dark, you mamaesh need someone. What do we Yiddelach do when it's dark? We walk around looking for people who are lonesome, You know what the holiest thing is before Mashiach comes? It's a little bit dark , but suddenly we are aware - who knows? Maybe somebody else is in even more darkness.
Anyways, I just want to wish all of you that whenever you're living in a little bit of darkness, there should always be someone sitting next to you, singing a holy niggun - a melody to harmonize with to take you out of darkness.