On Monday evening, March 12, Mr. Charlie Harary, well-known speaker and author, wowed an overflow crowd at the Beth Gavriel Center in Forest Hills with his captivating shiur that was hosted by Chazaq. Mr. Yaniv Meirov, Operations Manager of Chazaq, pointed out that this was Mr. Harary’s first official book tour event for his brand new book, Unlocking Greatness.
Mr. Gabi Malakov, a fan of Mr. Harary’s book, greeted everyone and stated his feelings about the book. “Charlie Harary’s book is the most comprehensive guide to greatness ever created. I mean it with all sincerity,” he said, “Study it. Put it into action. Your life will suddenly take a different trajectory.”
Mr. Harary, in his dramatic, passionate way, conveyed his message to the audience of how to reveal the greatness inside of us. “We are entering a time when Hashem is telling us to stop settling. Push for something big. This holiday (Pesach) is the holiday of big,” he imparted. “A mistake we make,” he shared, “is looking at holidays as events that took place in the past. “One of the greatest misconceptions we have is that Judaism is commemorative,” he stated. He elaborated on this idea: “It is wrong to view Judaism as static, not dynamic, and based on past events. This is all wrong,” he emphasized. He then explained how the above is a misconception and what Judaism is really all about. He taught: “What we want out of life is a certain experience. We want to feel like we are living a great life. We desire,” he pointed out, “a certain life feeling, a bounce in our step, a feeling of being empowered. This is a deep feeling, inside, of greatness.” So, what really drives us is an intangible thing called soul. The greatest moments in our lives are moments when we sacrificed the physical and then felt something spiritual. He stated that parents feel this way when they sacrifice for their child. Something comes alive inside and the parent experiences the intangible feeling of greatness. What stops us, he noted, is feeling that we can’t live a great life, that we are not good enough.
He taught that most people think greatness is a goal to reach that is outside of themselves. They think, he explained, “it’s there (something to reach towards), and this is wrong.” In fact, it is inside of you. You are born with so much greatness. You are created in the image of G-d. e H He noted, “The great thing we are is a piece of the Creator,” he imparted. “The game of life is not getting greatness, it’s unlocking greatness.”
He then explained how the goal for Jewish holidays is for us to plug into something bigger, so our life becomes bigger and everything we do is greater. We should attach our soul to the energy of the holiday. What stops us is the constraints we feel. To plug into the energy of Pesach we must free ourselves from constraints. To do this we need to understand that the first Seder was celebrated when the Jews were still in Egypt on the night before they left. He pointed out that the fact that they were still in Egypt teaches us that they were free before they left Egypt. Tied in with this, he cited a famous study in the 1960s, performed by Dr. Robert Rosenthal, who proved that when teachers believe that certain students are smart and will succeed, then those students live up to the teacher’s expectations. This has practical application for us, Mr. Harary taught. “Beliefs shape reality, so, in fact, what you believe and what you perceive, in terms of what is possible for you, will shape what happens to you.”
In the Rosenthal experiment, the students who achieved the highest scores in every subject were not the smartest students. However, the teachers’ expectations of their achievement caused them to achieve on a high level.
Connected to this, Mr. Harary taught that one of the greatest misconceptions is that people judge people by what they do. Mr. Harary explained that we live with the principle of “do, have, be.” Meaning, we do something to have something and thus to be something. He explained that this is a flawed formula. “The way to become greater is ‘be, do, have.’” In other words, what you are and what you do are not the same thing. He taught, “You are a soul and you change who you are when you are committed to being someone different.”
He then taught how change happens. “You say, this is who I am going to be. When you do this, something shifts inside you.” He went on to point out that “the life we want is the life we have.”
He concluded that Pesach teaches us that G-d wants us to be free and that freedom is in our brain. It must do with our attitude. Pesach teaches us to seize the moment because G-d moved the Jews out of Egypt in a moment. He exhorted everyone, “Don’t mosey through life.”
By Susie Garber