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Thursday
Jun202013

EVERY JEW WANTS MOSHIACH NOW!

The papers were distributed and the rabbi read and explained, the way R’ Schmerling knows how. Everyone visualized themselves joining the dancing in the Beis HaMikdash.

R’ Nechemia SchmerlingIn the sicha for Chukas 5746, the Rebbe quotes the Rambam in the Laws of the Red Heifer where he says that the tenth cow will be prepared by Moshiach, may he be revealed speedily, amen, may it be His will.

The Rebbe asks, since the Mishna Torah is a book of Halacha, why does the Rambam offer a prayer here for the Geula? It seems out of place.

The Rebbe explains that from this we learn another Halacha: that every Jew yearns for Moshiach. As soon as he hears just a mention of Moshiach, he immediately utters a prayer for his immediate coming. That is what the Rambam himself did, and thus he alludes to us that this is the Halacha regarding what we should do every time the Geula is mentioned.

I think every Lubavitcher ought to know this sicha by heart and be able to quote it even if woken up in the middle of the night.

THE PRINCIPAL WHO YEARNED FOR MOSHIACH

For the benefit of our readers, I will quote a portion of a talk that the principal of a school in Beit Shaan, where I am the rabbi, gave to his students. The principal is not a Lubavitcher in the narrow sense of the term, but we can still learn about yearning for Moshiach from him. This is what the principal said towards the end of the year:

As you know, my daughter attends Yale University, a world-renowned university. In this university, the professors treat each student as though he or she will be the future president of the United States or Justice of the Supreme Court. In fact, some US presidents attended this university where they encourage the students to attain excellence in all areas.

Like Yale, I also have expectations of my students. Do you know what I expect of you? I expect that perhaps one of my students will be Moshiach! It says that in every generation, there is someone worthy of being Moshiach, so why not from our school? I think you are the best students there are, and maybe one of you will be Moshiach.

You can ask the rav of the school about the many conversations I’ve had with him about Moshiach, and we all know that Moshiach can come at any time, perhaps in a day or two, “I await his coming every day.” But I especially wait for him because I hope that maybe Moshiach will be my student, a graduate of our school.

***

You may have heard the song about the shoemaker who looks forward to offering shoes to Moshiach or the carpenter who wants to build a table for Moshiach. Well, here is a principal of a school whose ultimate dream is that his school should produce the one worthy of being Moshiach.

TOP OF THE HOUR: MOSHIACH

R’ Ro’i Tor, shliach to the kibbutzim in the Beit Shaan Valley, tells about Eitan, one of his students from Kibbutz Kfar Rupin, who became a baal t’shuva. Eitan would regularly attend his shiurim and listen attentively each time he spoke about Moshiach and Geula. He loved listening and asking questions on the subject.

R’ Tor once asked Eitan why he was so interested in this topic. After all, excitement about the Geula is not something one often encounters in a kibbutznik.

Eitan smiled and began to talk about his grandfather, a religious man. On the hour, as the news was about to be broadcast, his grandfather would raise the volume on the radio. He would ask his grandfather why he did this each time, and his grandfather said he wanted to hear it better; maybe on the news they would say that Moshiach had come.

This made an impression on him and he too began to look forward to Moshiach’s coming. Twenty years later, when Eitan attended R’ Tor’s shiurim and heard about Moshiach who is about to come, and about “living with Moshiach” in daily life, it resonated with him.

MOSHIACH’S HEAVY WEAPONS

R’ Nechemia Schmerling, shliach in Kfar Yona, serves in the IDF Reserves now and then, and uses the time to be mekarev people and to spread Inyanei Moshiach and Geula.

During the Second Lebanon War, R’ Schmerling was called up to the Reserves and he joined a new artillery unit that the army had put together with soldiers from various units.

The soldiers got acquainted and went off for combat training. Among his new friends, R’ Schmerling discovered some people with not very religious ideas who laughed whenever Moshiach was mentioned in conversation. They said Moshiach is not realistic and is just some foolish belief, etc.

Then the big guns came on the scene. Or to be more precise, said R’ Schmerling, we arrived at an abandoned field within an army camp where, among the thorns, were old, neglected artillery pieces. Some soldiers tried to deal with them and restore them to life so they could be used.

Then an argument broke out among the soldiers as to whether they would be able to get the weapons working again. I suddenly heard the same soldier, the one who had previously said that Moshiach is not realistic, say that “if they manage to fix up these artillery guns and get them working, it would really be Yemos HaMoshiach.”

“What did you say?” I asked him. “Do you hear what you just said? Suddenly, Moshiach is something realistic. You just have to deal with the cannons and you’ll be in Yemos HaMoshiach!”

From then on, the conversations resumed among the soldiers and nobody made fun. They were all united on this point; this achdus continues to this day as we will see in the following story.

AN UNUSUAL CHUPPA

Some years later, one of the soldiers from the Artillery Corps called R’ Schmerling with news and a request. The news was that he was going to get married in a few weeks. His request was that R’ Schmerling be the officiating rabbi at his wedding. R’ Schmerling is used to these requests and he happily marked down the date.

Then the chassan called and said that he and his girl friend were on a trip abroad and had gotten into an accident. The kalla was seriously injured and was in the hospital, in a cast, and would not be able to walk around the groom seven times under the chuppa. They had canceled the wedding and made a small chuppa with ten kosher Jews, in the hopes that the kalla would recover and then they’d have a big bash in a hall with hundreds of guests at a later point.

A few months later the phone rang again and the chassan told him that a date had been arranged in a nice hall. There was a photographer, a DJ, and now he wanted to know if the rabbi would come to arrange chuppa and kiddushin. R’ Schmerling explained that they couldn’t make a chuppa as they were already married. But he invited the couple to come to his home for a talk, “to see what could be done.”

When he spoke to them in person, he explained that we don’t make fake chuppas, but instead of a chuppa they could do something interesting and nice that would be no less moving and joyous.

“Like what?” they asked.

“What date did you pick?” asked R’ Schmerling.

“Chol HaMoed Sukkos,” they said.

R’ Schmerling took out a Meseches Sukka from the bookcase and began reading the description of the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva in the Beis HaMikdash. About the giant candelabra that illuminated all of Yerushalayim, Chassidim dancing with torches, the Ruach HaKodesh, the songs and music. Then he explained that instead of a chuppa, he would describe the scene in the Beis HaMikdash to everyone and they would all “live Moshiach.”

The first miracle was that the couple agreed to this creative idea. The second miracle was how it was implemented. R’ Schmerling photocopied pages from the Gemara about the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva and when the chassan and kalla were under the chuppa, he explained that the chuppa had already taken place, but now it was Sukkos and he invited everyone to close their eyes and to imagine the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva that took place in the Beis HaMikdash each year on the nights of Sukkos.

The papers were distributed and the rabbi read and explained, the way R’ Schmerling knows how. Everyone visualized themselves joining the dancing in the Beis HaMikdash.

Some religious friends who were present went over to the rabbi afterward and thanked him profusely. “We’ve attended many weddings and have seen many rabbis and many moving scenes, but were never in the Beis HaMikdash until today. Today, we were there! Thank you. We felt like we were in Yemos HaMoshiach!”

MOSHIACH IN THE GROCERY AND PHARMACY

R’ Schmerling spreads the message of Geula not only in the army but also in the grocery and pharmacy, not to mention at shiurim. Every encounter he has with people is an opportunity for him to talk to them about Moshiach.

When R’ Schmerling goes to the drugstore, he asks for aspirin and ear drops. When the druggist asks if he wants anything else, he says, “Yes, can you bring Moshiach?”

A conversation ensues between the rabbi, the druggist and whomever is standing around. “Amen, may he come already!” “If only I could bring him,” and then it’s R’ Schmerling’s turn to explain that we can bring him, just come to the shiur on Tuesday, and just light Shabbos candles …

Or in the grocery store: He goes in and the woman asks, “How can I help you?”

He says, “Bring Moshiach.”

She smiles and says, “I can’t do that.”

He says, “Yes, you can.”

“How?”

He explains.

He continues to use every opportunity until the day when Moshiach will finally come.

MOSHIACH GETS YOU A BREAK ON THE RENT

A final story from R’ Schmerling:

Some years ago, R’ Schmerling rented a store on the second floor in the business district of Kfar Yona and opened a Chabad house. This is where the davening, shiurim and the sale of Jewish religious items took place.

After a year, R’ Schmerling went over to the managers of the mall and asked for a reduction in the rent. They asked him why they should do this. He said, “You know that Moshiach is coming soon and then all the Jewish people will go en masse to Yerushalayim. There will be millions of people and the shuls from all over the world will land there with clouds and even your mall will land there. Thanks to our shul on the second floor, all the millions of people who come from all over the world will shop in your mall. Isn’t that a good reason for a reduction?”

“The rabbi is right,” they said, and they reduced the rent by $100 a month from then on.

 

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