Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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I Wasn’t Happy

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


A Friend Asked:

     Recently, I attended a concert that was put together by my daughter-in-law for her Chabad House on campus.  Baruch Hashem, everyone enjoyed it--but me. The issue is, the Rebbe said, "We must cry out for Moshiach."  

     It appears to be a contradiction.  To enjoy a concert or any other thing implies an acceptance of the status quo i.e., exile. It is like being satisfied with a sugar candy when what we want/need/deserve is to experience the Source of Happiness with the Redemption.

It is frustrating.  Like the Alte Rebbe said, "I don't want Your Garden of Eden. I don't want Your World to Come. I want You alone."  We want Moshiach-Redemption and, it appears to me that being happy/accepting anything less just prevents us from achieving that goal. Yet there is a mitzvah to Serve Hashem with Joy! 

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Gutman responds:

     If we were to be sad all the time because the Redemption has not come, then we would have been sad since we were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. We are to pray for, and yean for the Redemption with all our heart, but at the same time, we are to be thankful for how close we are coming. Your daughter-in-law has the right idea. Joy brings Jews home, not crying for what we lack. 

      G-d said to be happy, especially when it is Jewish joy. Jewish joy is the joy that comes from doing a mitzvah, and it will be Jewish joy that brings the Redemption, not sorrow.

     “This comes to teach you that the Divine Presence does not come to rest (upon a person) through gloom (while in a state of gloom)… but through the joy associated with a mitzvah. As it is written: “and now, bring for me a musician; and it happened that when the musician played, G-d’s hand rested upon (the prophet Elisha)”[i]

[i] Gemora Shabbos 30b, ll Kings 3:15


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