Section: Questions Category: Hashkafa
|Hashkafa - mashiach|
|Submitted by shlomo Answered by Rabbi Tzvi Frank|
|Question: it is said that we dont receive the reward for mitzvot in this world, but in the olam ha-bah.
so, if the ultimate reward will be given in the olam ha-ba, why the need for moshiach?
if this world is but a testing ground, we will get our reward in the olam ha-emet, no?
so, why this obsession with mashiach?
all the past generations have lived their lives without mashiach. are they in any way defective?
i have realized that mostly it is the basic factual questions get responses. so i'm not holding my breath. freilichn purim
|Answer: Apparently, you do not feel like you’re in galus if you can ask why we are “obsessed” with moshiach.|
Baruch Hashem we are indeed currently living in a generation of religious tolerance and we are thankful to Him for allowing us to practice our religion and learn Torah in relative peace.
But, there have always been pockets of time throughout our long and painful history where Jews have enjoyed relative calm not unlike the present for a good number of years/decades/centuries and Yiddishkeit flourished. We have sporadically been under the protection of the various monarchies that we found ourselves. We have periodically been elevated in our social status as advisors to rulers and have been respected as a wise and learned nation. Inevitably this has always come to an end and anti-Semitic persecution reared its ugly head once more.
The Ramban writes in Parshas Vayishlach on the pasuk, V’revach tasimu bein eider l’eider, that maaseh avos siman labonim and Yaakov was beseeching Hashem to create a “revach” a calm peaceful existence between tzoro l’tzoro.
This is where we find ourselves at the moment. We are in the revach stage of galus. May Hashem continue this stage until the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
We have been persecuted and downtrodden for thousands of years and you ask why we yearn to return to our homeland and world peace shall reign?
But you don’t even need the history lesson to feel that we’re in galus. Israel’s neighbors want to drive us into the sea. The world seriously expresses the view that Jews in Israel are committing heinous and barbaric crimes against their timid Arab neighbors. Have they lost their mind? Where do you think this viewpoint comes from? Love of the Jewish people? I recently read a poll taken in Europe and Australia and a whopping 35% declared that Jews are the root cause of the current world economic crisis! Where do you think that ridiculous viewpoint stems from? Eisav Sonei L’Yaakov!
I believe the underlying basis for your question is that you are viewing Moshiach as a reward for our actions and therefore you ask is olam haba’a not reward enough?
The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim Ch. 22 and in Hilchos Tshuva Ch. 9 explains why Klal Yisrael, our Neviim and our Gedolim have always yearned for Moshiach. He writes that it was not for physical enjoyment, not so we can dominate others and not for the respect we shall surely earn. Rather, it is simply so we can at last be free of tyrannical rulers who have prevented Klal Yisrael from properly immersing themselves in Torah and Mitzvos. We will finally be able to focus on Torah and flourish, unfettered by shibud malchiyos. Clearly, we are not asking for reward. We are merely asking of Hashem the opportunity to serve Him better.
Two more points to ponder if I may.
If you examine our daily tefilos and even our daily mitzvos we find that we do many things zecher l’mikdash. We are only performing the mitzvos to the best of our ability here in galus without our Beis Hamikdosh. But is this perfection? We are currently serving Him with a watered down version of the real thing! Shouldn’t we yearn for the beis hamikdash to be rebuilt and we can once again be m’kayim the Torah k’tikunah?
Pesach is almost upon us. We will have to make do with pointing at the karah instead of sacrificing and eating the Korban Pesach. We will have to imagine eating the chagiga instead of looking at an egg. We will have to say zecher l’mikdash k’Hillel instead of eating the real thing. We will wash our hands before Karpas to show the children how we used to conduct ourselves when we were makpid on tumah and taharos. The mitzvah of maror is downgraded to a D’Rabanon without the Pesach. Is it any wonder that we invoke Tisha B’Av on this exalted day of cheiros by eating a mourner’s egg dipped in saltwater?
True, the tzadikim of previous generations were great people and served Him to the best of their ability and received olam haba’ah. But think of it like an exiled king who escapes together with his servant and the servant faithfully attends to the king’s needs to the best of his abilities. The servant will be rewarded too for his dedication and service. Would he not serve his king better were he back in the palace? Would it not upset the king were the servant to intimate that the current arrangement is just fine and why should he yearn to restore the monarchy?
Which brings us to our last point.
Hashem, our King is in galus too. We long for moshiach to bring back Kvod Malchus Shomayim like it says in Yeshayahu, Vayimalu ha’aretz deah es Hashem. Tikun Ha’olam, the purpose of creation will finally be upon us when everyone recognizes Hashem as creator of the universe, follows His word and serves Him faithfully.
Nissan is the zman of Ge’ulah. We truly want Moshiach now.