This weeks lesson is dedicated in loving memory of Rabbi Chaim Gurevitch.
Reb Chaim dedicated his life to the Rebbe’s shlichus with a unique passion to sharing Matzah with his many friends worldwide. He passed away in the midst of distributing Matzah, 3 Nissan 5781.
By his children Rabbi Berel and Rivky Gurevitch
Just as Jerusalem seemed doomed by a massive invasion, matters took a stunning turn. A lesson about hope, vision, and the importance of education.
A. That He’ll Really Come
The importance of anticipating Moshiach’s arrival is reflected in Jewish law:
According to Jewish law, when a person moves into a new home (in the diaspora), he affixes a mezuzah after 30 days of dwelling there (Source 1). This seems to contradict the law regarding community charity-taxes — in that case, the same 30 day ‘trial period’ is in effect, but if a person declares his intention to settle there, he becomes obligated immediately (Source 2). Why isn’t there a similar distinction with regard to mezuzah?
Because we always await the coming of Moshiach, and hope to immediately move to the Land of Israel. Thus, our new home is not truly permanent until we actually dwell there for thirty days.
B. When Moshiach Comes
What will the world be like when Moshiach comes?
The prophet Isaiah says (Source 3) that the ‘wolf will lie with the lamb’ and all existence will live together in peace and harmony in a supernatural way. According to Maimonides (Source 4), these prophecies are metaphors, but according to Nachmanides (Source 5), they will be fulfilled in their literal form.
According to Kabbalah and Chassidism, this is not really an argument. Rather, there are two stages: first, the natural stage in which Jews are no longer subjugated to gentile dominion, and the second, in which these supernatural prophecies will be fulfilled.
This all might bring a person to ask: The world doesn’t seem to be getting any better; the situation deteriorates constantly. Is it really possible for one individual to arrive and change it all? If, in the first stage, the world will remain in its current form, how will Moshiach influence it to change?
C. As I Sleep on My Bed
The answer lies in the story of the Haftorah of Acharon Shel Pesach. The first verse references the story of Sancheriv, who was ready to overrun Jerusalem with a mighty force (Source 6). He even had the spiritual power to do so, and many in Jerusalem indeed thought that the war was suicidal (Source 7).
But in the end, he left without achieving his goal, and King Hezekiah did not need to lift a finger. How was he victorious? With the power of Jewish education which he had spread throughout the land of Israel. He did his spiritual work, and G-d fought his wars for him.
In a single moment, everything changed.
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