by Akiva at Mystical Paths
The Midrash comments (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 5:2) comments: "The congregation of Israel says to G-d, 'Master of the Universe, I slumber in my performance of mitzvot, but my heart is awake to acts of kindness; I slumber when it comes to pondering the time when the exile will end, but my heart is awake to the redemption; I slumber too deeply to think about the redemption, but G-d's "heart" is alert to my redemption.'"...
In times of exile Jews feel humiliated, for 'slaves rule us' (Eicha 5:8). Even the "lowest of the low" laugh and scoff at those who are G-d fearing. However, Jews possess the quality of mesirus nefesh (self sacrifice) [and with this power are able to overcome all obstacles.]
The Talmud comments (Kesuvos 67a): "A camel is loaded according to his capacity to bear." During ikvesa deMeshicha (the birth pangs of the Messianic time) the power of mesirus nefesh (self sacrifice) is even greater than it was during the time of the Beis HaMikdash's existance. The parable that helps us understand how this is so is that it is easier to immerse one's heel in hot water than one's head.
-- Sefer HaMaamarim, Maamar 1, Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok of Lubavitch
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