15 Kislev 5781 / Tuesday, December 01, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayishlach
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Anticipating Moshiach    

Anticipating Moshiach

With earthquakes cracking the Washington Monument, Irene flooding New York City and rockets still falling on the Negev, shouldn't we be anticipating Moshiach?


Yonah the Prophet had to suffer a tempest at sea and three subsequent days in the belly of a whale before he woke up and returned to Hashem with all his heart. Must we also, Heaven forbid?

As I'm writing this article, flood waters are rising in New York City despite the fact that Hurricane Irene has been degraded to a tropical storm. And, on the other side of the Atlantic, rockets fired from Gaza are still falling in the South of Israel, despite the fact that there's supposed to be a ceasefire.

Despite the fact... Are we starting to understand that we don't run the show? Is anyone foolish enough to see that our fate is not in our own hands?

Hashem is raising the volume in all of our ears, whether we're in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, or Israel: It's time to anticipate Moshiach. Come home, beloved children, don't miss the glorious hour of Redemption!

Why don't we hear Hashem's call to prepare ourselves and to return home to Him with all our hearts?

The Evil Inclination desensitizes us. The EI is a master anesthesiologist - despite the hurricanes, earthquakes, missile attacks, and deaths of tzaddikim, we still don't feel the birth pains of Redemption. That must stop - we must begin preparing ourselves in anticipation of Moshiach right now!

But wait a second: The difference between speculation, that is, predicting the date of Moshiach's arrival, and between anticipation and preparation for Moshiach, is like the difference between light and darkness. The former is forbidden, and the latter is an absolute obligation. The Yetzer Hora, or EI (evil inclination) wants to convince you that they're both the same. He desensitizes us to believe that any mention of Moshiach is forbidden. Why? The arrival of Moshiach marks the beginning of the Yetzer's end.
A Jew begs Hashem three times a day for redemption, Moshiach, and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and that's without birkat hamazon and Kaddish. In Kaddish we say "b'agala u'bzman kariv", in other words, that Hashem's kingdom on earth should be established speedily and in our days. In Aleinu, we beg Hashem to bring down the Divine Monarchy to this earth, and to wipe away all evil. So, after everything an "observant" Jew says every day, if he or she is not eagerly anticipating the Geula (Moshiach, salvation, the building of the Temple, and the establishment of G-d's reign on earth), then they are either totally desensitized by the EI, or else they have no idea what's in their liturgy.
On Shabbat, we all cry out from the bottom of our hearts during Kedusha, "When will You reign in Zion? Speedily in our days, shall You dwell anong us forever!" We yearn for Moshiach, because his arrival marks the beginning of Hashem's reign on earth. So, when a person says Kedusha during the repetition of the Amida, and he's not waiting for Moshiach, he's being downright dishonest to The Almighty. That's pretty cheeky...
The very same Rambam who codified the Gemara's curse against those who speculate on the time of Moshiach's arrival (Hilchot Melachim 12:2), also lists in the thirteen tenets of our faith (see Rambam's commentary on the Mishna, tractate Sanhedrin, 10:1, principle number 12), "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach, and even though he tarries, I'll await him any day (whenever) he may come." Does that make the Rambam a "Moshiach Monger"? If so, I'm happy to be in the Rambam's company…
Movies, TV, and the Web are all agents of the EI's desensitization process. The EI doesn't want you praying, learning Talmud, Rambam, or Shulchan Aruch, and certainly not saying thank-you to Hashem or doing an hour or more of hitbodedut every day. Why? You might discover that when you finish your go-round on this earth, one of the first things the Heavenly Court justices will ask you is (Talmud Bavli, tractate Shabbos, 31a), "Did you anticipate yeshua (salvation, i.e. Moshiach)?" How will you be able to answer that question, especially with all the wakeup calls of late?
Why do we need Moshiach? The Yetzer has so desensitized worldwide Jewry that most don't even feel the spiritual holocaust that's destroying our people all over the world this very minute. We must fight to the finish against the heresy, assimilation, and the 21st Century golden calf - the mad race after materialism - that's killing our nation. So, speculation no, but anticipation and preparation yes! The future of the Jewish people depends on it.
The Yetzer (Evil Inclination) used to employ Cossacks and Nazis to kill our people. Now, he does it with money, toys, and laytzanut - scoffing at our pure faith of old, especially by self-hating Jews. The distance between laytzanut and epikursis (denial of faith) is a short jump. Anticipation of Moshiach demands preparation, namely Torah and Teshuva. With Torah and Tshuva, we will win the war against epikursis and expedite the redemption of our people. If we spiritually stimulate ourselves to return home to Hashem, then we won't need such harsh wake-up calls like the natural disasters that all the meteorologists and geologists are talking about.
It's time to turn off the TV and the computer and open a Gemara or Tehillim (Psalms). A soldier can't prepare himself for battle by playing Monopoly. But, don't take my word for it; listen to the giants of this generation, from Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef to Rabbi Chaim Kanyevski, with the Kabbalist and Chassidic Rebbes concurring, may they all have long and healthy days.
Our esteemed brothers in Chabad coined the term, "Moshiach Now!", but really, every human on earth should be yelling it. All "Moshiach Now" means is "Teshuva, now!!" Teshuva means "returning to Hashem" - for a Jew, it's the big 613 commandments and for a non-Jew, it's the Seven Noahide Mitzvas. Since we don't know exactly when Moshiach will come, we have to be on 24-hour round-the-clock preparedness. That means that we all must return to Hashem this very second.

The instant Moshiach comes - if a person hasn't made Teshuva - then it's too late. To paraphrase the old tuna commercial, he or she will be told, "Sorry, Charley..."
Now's the time to resensitize; for our own welfare and for the future of our offspring for generations to come, this is the moment to come back to Hashem - Jews and non-Jews alike.

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