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Section: Daas Torah   Category: Postcards From Kotzk
Do We Want Moshiach NOW?

A delegation was sent from Brisk to convince the Bais HaLevi to become their new Rav. After making their presentation, the Bais HaLevi refused to accept the position. No argument would persuade him until one member of the delegation said that 20,000 Jews are waiting for him in Brisk. When the Bais HaLevi heard this he said he cannot disappoint 20,000 Jews and immediately accepted the position. The Chofetz Chaim upon hearing this story burst into tears. He said if this is how a Tzaddik like the Bais HaLevi feels, certainly Moshiach would also come if 20,000 Jews were waiting for him. Apparently there aren't that many.

The Kotzker Rebbe tells a story of a King who banished his son from his palace as a punishment for improper behavior. The son wandered around the kingdom and it didn't take long until the prince turned into a homeless pauper. After a few months when word got back to the King about his son's struggles and his pathetic condition the King sent his trusted advisor to bring his son back to the palace but only if he really wanted to come back. After an exhaustive search the advisor tracked down the prince and when he met up with him he told the prince "your father misses you and loves you. He sent me to help you. What can I do for you?" The prince responded, "I am terribly hungry and cold. My clothes are worn out. Please ask my father to send some food and warm clothing."

When the King heard this he began to cry. "All he had to do was ask to come back to the palace and he would have had all the good in the world. Stupid fool, all he can think about is filling his tummy and warming himself?"

All our lives we struggle just to survive. We daven and plead with Hashem for health and sustenance. When we have financial difficulties we ask Hashem to help us find a way to the golden path. When we have health issues that the Doctors cannot cure we beg Hashem to intervene. When our children don't meet our expectations we cry our tears into a Tehilim. But what if Hashem was with us? There wouldn't be any sickness and poverty only bliss and cleaving to the Shechina. We would be princes in the King's palace.

So of course we want Moshiach why doesn't he come? Ask yourself this painfully honest Kotzker question. If you were waiting days, weeks, or months to participate in a particular event or activity that you enjoyed very much and just as this event is about to begin suddenly there is a commotion and you find out Moshiach has just arrived. What would be your first reaction? I don't know about you but I would probably say, "Moshiach waited 2000 years, can't he wait another two hours? Now out of all times he has to show up?!?" Are you just going to leave your car and home behind just like that? Do you have time to sell it? Should you make a pilot trip to Eretz Yisroel to make sure you can get a decent apartment?

Moshiach is not a superhero coming with suitcases of cash and medicine to bail us out of our troubles. Deep down we all know the truth. The days of Moshiach are about spirituality, about living the ideal torah lives, about yearning for Hashem and about ripping ourselves away from worldly pleasures. Sure when things are not going so good we'll gladly take a double dose of Moshiach just to get us out of our mess. But what about when the going is good, materialistically? Are we ready to give it up so fast? Maybe, but we prefer to get in our last licks, if only Moshiach can wait until the show is over.

On Tisha B'Av ask yourself, "Do you really want Moshiach NOW?"

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Visitor Comments: 2

Anonymous, 2007-07-22 03:55:24
Excellent!
Sa, 2007-07-24 06:19:51
I have been thinking about this for myself for a while. How do I get myself out of this trench of galut? I realise for myself that in trying to survive in galut, i'm not preparing for mashiach, i'm preparing for galut. (and that galut is even if i'm in israel). MASHIACH NOW. Oy Lshchinta, dgaluta

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