Shlomo Carlebach stories
Date: July 06, 2002 01:54AM
I have one of the foremost collections of the rabbis' recordings. As I know members of his family and a lot of his top chasidim I'm aware of about 70 or so unique offerings.
Some of the later recordings feature the stories he used to always tell in concert: Moshele the Water Carrier, Shvartze Wolf, Shniedel the Tailor, Yossele the Holy Miser are just a few.
These stories usually revolve around how the subject of the story is one of the "lamed vov" tzadikkim: one of the 36 hidden, holy people, who although apparent to most people as quite ordinary (sometimes revulsive), are the pillars of the world. If they didn't exist, God would destroy the world.
Some of these stories, like one about a secularist who winds up in the Israeli army and becomes orthodox when he sees his grandfather who was orthodox standing between him and an enemy tank, really push the envelop.
Most of these stories were an attempt to lead people to be more charitable and to see past a person's appearance. But I never took most of these stories literally.
It wasn't until very late in the Rabbi's life that these stories were actually recorded despite the fact that he told these stories very frequently in concert.
Rabbi Carlebach's Chasidic group is very small but his music is very influential in the orthodox mainstream and even people who aren't orthodox know song's like "Am Yisrael Chai", "The People of Israel Live". The question is "what influence will the Rabbi and his recordings have in the long run especially now, almost 8 years after his death on October 20th of '94."