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Tuesday
Jun162015

THE GEULA IS IMMINENT

“Ladies and gentlemen, our flight has just landed…” The sound of applause prevented Michael from hearing the rest of the pilot’s message. He looked again and again at the sights out the window and was utterly thrilled. “Eretz Yisroel, the holy land, the land promised to us by Hashem!” he murmured to himself.

Michael lived in New York and had learned about Eretz Yisroel from a young age. He knew that with the Geula, his family would leave his beautiful home and fly on heavenly clouds to the holy land.

Every year, Michael’s family went to the mountains for the summer, but this year, Michael decided that it was time for him to see Eretz Yisroel. After getting his parents’ approval, he joined an organized tour together with other American boys his age. He bubbled over with excitement as he walked on the holy soil and bent and kissed the ground.

The days flew by and Michael and his friends visited many interesting sites and sights, with the holy places as the highlight of the tour. When they went to the Kosel, a chill went down his spine. “Right here is the site of the Mikdash. Here is where the Sh’china dwells!” Jewish life during the time of the Beis HaMikdash came to life as he visited the antiquities museums. His emuna and anticipation for the Geula grew.

But as the tour continued, something went awry. It was a sunny day, as always, and Michael was sitting on the tour bus, involved in a lively conversation with his seatmate. “Do you really think the Geula will come soon?” asked the boy.

“Of course, after so many years, the time has come for it to happen already,” said Michael confidently.

“But you know,” said the friend, sounding a little skeptical, “the years are passing and I don’t see any sign that the Geula is coming.”

“Listen,” Michael tried to convince him, “I would also be happy to see signs of it but even if we don’t see the signs, I believe it will be soon.”

The bus slowly came to a stop. One by one, the passengers got off and rubbed their eyes. “What’s this? Where are we?” they asked the guide.

“This is Sderot,” said the guide. “In recent years, this city has suffered from repeated terrorist attacks and we came to express solidarity with the people who live here.”

They had just started touring the city when it happened. Whoooooooo, went the siren and the group fled for shelter. BOOM! The explosion of the missile could be heard nearby. Michael looked scared for he wasn’t used to situations such as these. He was hunched under an old, little building with his friend from the bus next to him.

“What do you say now?” asked the friend. “How can you see the Geula in the world, huh?”

***

Shneur, who recently celebrated his bar mitzva, had returned from yeshiva a few minutes earlier. Now he was sitting in his air-conditioned room, reading a fascinating book about the life of a Chassid in Soviet Russia. The siren interrupted him just as he was reading an exciting part. After it stopped wailing, he planned on going back to his book. But then he noticed out the window a group of tourists who had come to the area to visit.

“This is a great opportunity for Mivtza T’fillin,” he thought. He quickly put on his new hat and jacket and hurried out to the street while holding a pair of t’fillin.

He went over to the guide and asked permission to say a few words. The guide, who got a kick out of the boy’s audacity, happily obliged. Shneur overcame his bashfulness and said, “The time we are living in is very special.”

The ears of our two friends from the bus perked up. Something in the voice of the Lubavitcher boy made them listen.

“Thousands of years have passed in which the Jewish nation has been in exile, scattered among the nations and looking forward to the Geula. The Lubavitcher Rebbe announced that our generation is the last one of exile and the one which will merit the Geula. We need to be ready to welcome Moshiach. We prepare ourselves by doing more mitzvos and good deeds. I brought a pair of t’fillin with me and whoever wants to, can do this important mitzva.”

Michael thought this would be just the right time to ask the question that had been on his mind. “Let’s see if this boy knows what he’s talking about,” he thought, and waved his hand.

Shneur noticed and said, “Yes, did you want to ask something?”

They all listened as Michael asked, “How can we say the Geula will come in this generation when we don’t see any indication of this happening?”

Shneur was not thrown by this question. Just a short while ago, he had learned a sicha of the Rebbe on this subject.

“We actually do see it,” he said confidently. “Not that many years ago there was a meeting between the presidents of the world super-powers, the US and Russia, and they signed an agreement to destroy nuclear weapons and assign funding for peaceful ventures.”

“Yes, of course, I remember that,” said one of the tourists.

Shneur went on. “Now, maybe someone will ask, what will happen with the weapons like that missile which just fell, after the Geula arrives. After all, there won’t be any more wars and weapons won’t be needed.”

The guide, who was watching from the side, interrupted and said, “There is a verse about that. ‘And they will grind their swords into plowshares’ - the weapons will be transformed into tools to work the ground.”

“That is correct,” said Shneur. “So you can see that even years ago, we started to see the promises and prophecies of the Geula starting to happen. The Rebbe also explained that this is happening because Moshiach is already active in the world. This is why the heads of the super-powers came up with that idea.”

Michael loved these responses and he tapped Shneur on the shoulder and said, “Psssst, that’s super. You can be a big rabbi!”

But Michael’s friend wasn’t fully convinced. “How do you see that Moshiach is operating in the world?”

“You still don’t get it?” asked Michael, as he rolled up his sleeve. Before Shneur could respond, he said, “Who sent Shneur to explain all this to us and to make sure we put on t’fillin? The Rebbe!”

As though it had all been arranged, a mitzva tank appeared with its loudspeaker playing “Boruch Haba Melech HaMoshiach.” The entire group of tourists, with Shneur and Michael in the lead, went on the tank to put on t’fillin and to watch a video of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.

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