by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
The Holocaust was unimaginably horrible. The Jewish people barely survived, the Torah world was destroyed. Every single major yeshiva in the world was destroyed, almost every rabbi and student slaughtered. Almost every chassidic group was murdered down to the last chossid, and the rebbe.
Yet from the ashes, literally a few of yeshiva teachers that stepped up to be rosh yeshivas to rebuild, and a few rebbes that survived (or children of rebbes or nephew’s of rebbes) to recreate their chassidus, the Torah world rebuilt. The majority were planted in the United States at the time the United States grew to be a world power and economic powerhouse. The golden medina.
The Jews prospered, the United States prospered, and as discrimination decreased the Jews stepped up to greater and greater levels in American society. It became a golden age for Jewry. And Torah Jewry probably would not have survived and regrown if the soil had not been so fertile.
As it reached it’s peak, one man stood up and said “now is the time to cry out for Moshiach”. Now, when we’re prosperous and successful, now is exactly the moment to realize that as nice as the physical circumstances are we cannot be complete without the Divine Presence and without the Beis HaMikdash.
He stressed we must learn the halachos of the redemption. We must speak of ending the “horrible exile” and returning to Hashem. We must speak of Moshiach, yearn for Moshiach and understand that our current large home with two kosher sinks and a Passover kitchen in the basement is MEANINGLESS without the redemption!
…and people laughed and made fun. They said “why now?” and “who are you, if the gedolim of the previous generations didn’t emphasize this, who are you to do so?” And his chassidim overreacted and said “oh, you mean YOU are Moshiach!”
And the moment to bring the redemption b’kovod in the nicest and most pleasant way for this generation WAS LOST.
We are almost 20 years since then. We WILL cry out for Moshiach and the redemption, the question is how. We could have cried out from our luxury saying “Hashem, we are honored to perform Torah and mitzvot, to support more Torah learning and yeshivot than have ever existed, but it’s all MEANINGLESS without the Divine Presence, without Moshiach tzidkaynu, without the geulah shalayma”, but we didn’t.
So almost a generation later we find the luxury has been taken away, poverty in our communities is becoming a serious percentage. Our schools are struggling to stay open, chesed organizations are failing. Many are unemployed, and the supports and donors of the past are sometimes to be found among them.
In America, if the populace is not turning against us the (federal) government surely is. In Europe, the Muslim immigrants are directly threatening Jewish communities and local or national authorities are too intimidated to do anything about it.
We see the world turning unjustly on Israel, holding her to standards which would allow no country to survive. We see existential threats from Iran and Hezbollah, with other countries happy to offer to help.
Inside Israel we see a portion of secular society, the media and the judiciary, targeting religious Judaism.
Today we have threats and concerns throughout the world as Jews. Economic pressure, political pressure, threats of attacks, war and even worse. Things aren’t terrible (Baruch Hashem), but we’re getting not so subtle not so gentle reminders from all directions that golus (exile) sucks.
Everything Hashem does is for the best, and we’re being given another opportunity right now to recognize every day that something is lacking. The Divine Presence has no home, the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash is ignored every day (though we may not be able to work on actually building the physical structure, there’s a lot of preparation we could be doing).
Here’s a chance with the current circumstances to say “our lives, Jewish life, cannot be complete without the redemption” and to cry out to Hashem, ‘WE WANT MOSHIACH NOW!’ And if the Jewish people are crying out together, we surely will be answered. Let’s not wait, G-d forbid, for additional motivation.
(Illustrative Moshiach Flag photo, from Mt. Kilamanjaro, via TheCoolJew)