Bais Av, 5774 /July, 2014 B’H
We are living through a very difficult, very painful historical period. We are witness to chasdei Hashem, with the Iron Dome intercepting and destroying numerous missiles. We acknowledge the heightened sense of achdus that unites all of Klal YIsrael, here and in Eretz Yisrael. However, we mourn the loss of young lives; we weep copious tears together with their families. We feel deeply for those communities whose lives have been disrupted by the barrage of missiles fired from Gaza.
A dear friend just called minutes ago. She is in the process of doing much needed renovations in her home in order to accommodate her kh growing family. Right now she is homeless, wandering from apartment to apartment, anxiously waiting for the renovations to be completed. I thought to myself, “She is a ‘golus yid. She is in exile.” Truthfully, we’re all in exile, even if for the most part, we’re oblivious to the fact. It seems that every so often we need a reminder. My, what a reminder we’re getting right now.
Rabbi Pinchus Lipschutz, in a recent editorial in the Yated, discusses Reb Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin’s dire situation, in prison for the 7th year. Hashem yerachem! Each spring, when the weather would turn warm and he would once again be permitted to walk around an outdoor area, he would recall his outings with his dear children. This year however, he could no longer remember those outings. In place of those memories, were the memories of the year before, as he walked alone around the perimeter of the bare courtyard. One can say an incredible analogy. Our souls originated in the Heavenly Spheres, in an environment of extreme holiness. Upon birth, our souls yearned to connect with their place of origin; our souls desired to attain that exalted level of holiness once again. But as the years go by, our souls, ourselves, we became acclimated to this world and no longer yearned for the Ultimate. We find ourselves so distant that we can no longer relate to that world.
If I may take that a step further…. We are here in our exile for so long, that we are having a hard time connecting to the reality that was our Bais Hamikdash. We find it difficult to picture the Avodah, to grasp the presence of Hakadosh Boruch Hu in our lives. We don’t even know what we should be yearning for. It seems so far removed from us.
I have a serious question for you, my dear readers. At this point in time, how can we not believe that Moshiach is on his way? How else will peace ever be achieved in the Middle East? Will Hamas ever become a peace loving society? Will the lions ever sit peacefully with the lambs? Our nation has been journeying for centuries….soon, very soon, please G-d, we will reach our final destination
Never before have our prayers been so timely, so relevant. To quote several passages from our Shmoneh Esrei;
“Behold our affliction, take up our grievance and redeem us…Sound the great shofar for our freedom, …. Restore our judges…remove f rom us sorrow and groan and reign over us…with kindness and compassion… And to Yerushalayim, Your city, may You return in compassion…. Be favorable..toward Your people and their prayer and return the service…May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in compassion.. Establish peace, goodness, blessing, graciousness, kindness and compassion upon us….” Each sentence cries out to us and demands our attention, particularly given the dire situation today.
Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, in a recent article in the Ami, shares with us a beautiful Maharal. The Maharal discusses the difficulty people have with transitions. The word for change, ‘shinui’, is significant. It alludes to the term ‘shnaim’, two. Why are transitions difficult? We’re comparing the two situations, the two arenas. We’re balancing both as we segue from one to the other. Says the Rabbanit, if we begin transitioning now to the Yemos Hamashiach, the transition will be easier for us as that era swiftly approaches.
Visualization has become popular today. We have to begin seeing the Yemos Hamashiach as a reality. It’s not foreign and it’s not distant from us. We’re almost there. My dear friend Raizy mourned when her father passed away. Raizy cried to me, “My father was so sure he would be here to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu. I can’t believe he passed away unable to fulfill his most fervent, desired wish.” We have to live that dream. We have to propel ourselves into that mindset.
The Yated last week ran a remarkable letter, telling us of a woman who lived with this dream. When she would leave her home, she would tell her children, if Moshiach should arrive before I get home, I’ll meet you in the back of the Kosel plaza, by the sinks. This same woman had a tambourine hanging on her kitchen wall. When Moshiach would come, she would easily be able to grab her tambourine, and join Miriam Haneviah in singing tribute to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.
May I share an interesting concept with you; At the moment of Krias Yam Suf, when the entire nation witnessed the hand of G-d first hand, the angels wanted to sing tribute. They were forbidden to do so. How could they sing tribute when G-d’s handiwork was drowning in the sea? Yet, we see that the Jews did sing. ‘Az yashir Moshe u’Bnei Yisrael…’ Our sages expound on this. The angels, dwelling above, experience the presence of Hashem intimately; they don’t need the extra dose of inspiration and encouragement. We however, limited to this world, need all the encouragement and inspiration we can get. Hence, we, mere mortals, were permitted to sing tribute. Such is the power of music. And such is the frailty and neediness of mankind.
I have always felt the power of music; music possesses a language of its own. When I hear beautiful music, the melody works its magic on me, the words inspire me. Poetry, rather than prose, has always moved me. Our songs, when sung with intent and mindfulness, can be prayers; can be blessings. The tambourine, the music anticipated, thus represents the heart and soul of a people.
Are we ready for the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu? How shall we prepare ourselves? How can we not ready ourselves?!!! My friend Rosie would tell us of her grandmother, who had a special garment set aside that she would wear in order to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
I just ordered 5 tambourines. I admit; that’s the easiest preparation. Now let me prepare my soul; that’s a lot tougher.
In the merit of righteous women, we were redeemed from Mitzrayim. And in the merit of righteous women, we will be redeemed in the future. It’s up to us!!
Metzapim l’yeshua… Awaiting salvation……