MIVTZA MATZA
April 29, 2015
Boruch Merkur in #971, Tzivos Hashem

Hi there, it’s me Berel, writing again. This time, I’d like to tell you a story that happened with my cousin, Yechiel, who lives in New York. I heard the story from him on Chol HaMoed Pesach. This is what my cousin told me:

A few days before Pesach, my father said to me, “Yechiel, I want to give you an important job.”

I tensed up. My father is a shliach of the Rebbe. Among his jobs, he looks after Jews who are in prison in the New York area. By the beginning of Nissan he had sent matzos to all the Jewish inmates. Despite having done this already, I guessed that the job he had in mind for me had to do with his outreach in prisons and I was curious about how I could be of help.

My father looked at me with a serious look on his face and asked, “Can I rely on you?”

“I think so,” I said.

My father was happy with this answer and said, “I just found out that there is a Jewish inmate who has no matzos. I arranged for all the necessary paperwork and now he needs the matzos delivered to him.”

“You want me to bring the matzos to him?” I exclaimed. “Of course I’d like to bring matzos to a Jew in prison!”

My father gave me exact directions to the prison and I set out. Most of the trip was by subway. If I was able to meet with the man in jail, I planned on telling him the Rebbe’s prophecy of “hinei zeh Moshiach ba,” and that he had to be ready to get out of prison and welcome Moshiach.

I finally arrived. The high walls surrounding the prison were in front of me and I quickened my pace. It all seemed so simple; I had no idea what awaited me. I was thinking about the fate of Jews who had to be in jail when I concluded that all of us live in a sort of jail. This long galus is like a prison which closes us in and prevents us from serving Hashem in the most perfect way.

“Hey, kid, what do you need?”

I saw a prison guard and said, “Excuse me, I would like to meet with the man in charge of this prison. I have to give him a package for one of the inmates.”

“Who do you need?” the guard said mockingly. “Do you think this is a sports field? Run home and stop bothering me.”

What was going on here? Why didn’t the guard understand that I had to deliver a package?

“Uh, I’m sorry but maybe you didn’t understand. I came here especially in order to deliver a package of food to a Jewish inmate who won’t eat anything else.”

“Kiddo, I told you to scram,” said the guard in a raised voice.

I didn’t know what to do. If the Jewish inmate did not receive his matzos, he wouldn’t have what to eat on Pesach and he wouldn’t be able to perform the mitzva. I had no choice, I decided. I had to stay until I successfully got the matzos inside. It was clear to me that I could do nothing else and that I could not return home with the matzos.

I remembered the cell phone my father had given me before I left the house. “If you run into any problems, call me,” he had said. I took out the phone and dialed my father’s phone number. After a few rings he answered and I started to say, “I have a problem. The guard …”

There was silence on the line and then I heard a short beep that indicated that the phone had no more power. Of all times for this to happen!

What should I do now? I thought it through again and again. I looked around. Nobody was there. There was nobody I could ask to borrow their cell phone. I almost gave up but then I decided I had to persist. The matzos had to reach their destination.

I remained at a safe distance from the nasty guard and in my mind I asked the Rebbe to help me. Then, when it seemed I couldn’t stay there any longer, I heard the gate creak open and a tall man came out. I looked him over and could tell from what he wore that he was an important person.

I went over to him and he said, “How can I help you?”

I explained why I had come and he said, “Give me the package and I’ll give it to the inmate. In addition, the guard will be censured for his behavior.”

I thanked him warmly, for my shlichus had ended successfully and I headed back home.

***

That’s the story my cousin told me. It was on 14 Iyar, Pesach Sheini, the day that teaches us that nothing goes lost and you can always correct and make up for things. We were told about the mitzva of Pesach Sheini thanks to Jews who were impure and who insisted that they did not want to miss out on bringing the korban Pesach. A similar thing happened with my cousin who, thanks to his persistence, succeeded in his mission.

What I learned from the story has to do with our shlichus, the shlichus of the soldiers in Tzivos Hashem, to bring Moshiach. We have to consider it absolutely unacceptable that the galus continue. If we persist and insist and don’t give up, surely we will succeed in bringing Moshiach!

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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