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The Three Weeks
When a person arrives before the Beis Din Shel Maala one of the first questions they ask him is "Did you wait in anticipation for the Final Salvation?" A person has to anticipate the Geula whole heartedly and with solid faith in order to be able to answer this question in the affirmative.
The Nevi'im compared the final Geula to a woman about to give birth. Every day that passes brings her closer to the expected time. Thus every day that passes over us brings us closer to the light of the Moshiach. If he delays, we will patiently wait for him, for he is certainly coming. If we look into the history of Klal Yisroel we see that even faint predictions came true: the great Exodus from Mitzrayim, inheritance of Eretz Yisroel, the return from Galus Bavel, and even our very survival among the nations in the present Galus. If that is true about such hints of prophecy certainly the explicit promises made by Hashem Yisborach concerning the future will definitely take place. There is absolutely no doubt that we have an obligation to anticipate the fulfillment of His promise to bring the Geula.
Today we see the Jewish Nation so denigrated and lowly in the eyes of the whole world. One should not be surprised how it could be possible that we will suddenly become the most esteemed people before the entire world. Is there anything impossible for Hashem to perform? Hasn't Hashem always treated us in this wondrous fashion? When was Yitzchak born? When Avraham was 100 years old; an age when according to all the laws of nature there is absolutely no hope of giving birth to a child.
What situation was Yosef in when the moment he was thrown into the position of ruler over Mitzrayim? He was a lowly prisoner imprisoned for 12 years. Yaakov gave birth to the 12 tribes, gained wealth, and victory over an angel - only after having been forced to hand over everything to Eliphaz, and only after having lived with Lavan and working for him like a slave day and night.
Anyone observing the sad situation of Yaakov and Yosef in their poverty and turmoil could have never dreamed of the wonderful future awaiting them. Similarly, if you had been there to observe the little baby Moshe being hidden in the little cradle and drifting in the Nile River - could anyone imagine that little crying child would blossom to become the savior of Klal Yisroel, the receiver of the Torah!? Who would have ever imagined when Yisroel were downtrodden slaves toiling in Egypt that one night Pharaoh would rise up and scream out "Get up, all of you, and leave my people!" These are not isolated incidents. Upon contemplation one will find hundreds and thousands of incidents when Hakadosh Baruch Hu saved his people from situations from which escape was totally impossible. He did all this in order to let everyone know that Hashem is the Lord over the entire Earth. "He impoverishes, and He makes wealthy, He lowers one down, and He raises one up." Nothing can stop Hakadosh Baruch Hu from anything. Therefore we should not give up hope, Heaven forbid, and we should know that for certain "The word of our G-d will stand forever!"
The source for this concept is found in the Midrash: "Who would have expected that the elderly Avraham and Sarah would give birth to a son? Who would have expected that Yaakov who crosses the Jordan River with only his staff would become wealthy? Who would have expected that Yosef who experienced so many tzoros would become King? Who would have expected that Dovid (who was constantly chsed and hunted) would become the head of the lineage of the Jewish Kingdom forever? … Who could imagine that the downtrodden Jews of the Diaspora would rise up to fame and renown? Who could anticipate that the line of royalty of the House of Dovid will eventually rise up to an even greater glory?"
The intent of this Midrash in mentioning specifically these examples is directed towards the prophetic promises regarding the tremendous future wealth that will be Klal Yisroel's, also regarding the actual Geula and coming of the Moshiach. In view of our present situation today it would appear that these promises would be marvelous miracles. Therefore the Midrash brings us a long list of instances which also seems impossible miracles, and yet happened. Don't ask how it is possible that the Moshiach should come today. Who are we? What merit do we have? The Midrash gives us the answer: "In Mitzrayim the Jews said, How are we going to be redeemed? We have no good deeds! Moshe answered them, Since Hashem wants to redeem you, He will not look at your deeds…." (Midrash Rabba Shmos 25). Therefore, one should never give up on the Geula thinking it will never come. The Gemara cites Hashem's promise, "I will bring it 'speedily, in its right time.' If you merit, speedily, and if not, in its right time."
Even though many generations have passed, that contained greater tzaddikim than we and yet the Moshiach has not yet come, this is not cause to give up. Just the opposite. Hakadosh Baruch Hu puts together all our merits together with all the merits of our forefathers. We are like a midget sitting on the shoulders of a giant. In spite of our low stature, we are higher than all of them.
Therefore every Jew must await the Moshiach every day. "Hashem's salvation comes in the blink of an eye."
The Chofetz Chaim added that the Holy Arizal wrote that if when one says the possuk ëé ìéùåòúê ÷åéðå ëì äéåí one directs this toward anticipating his personal salvation from his personal distress, this is a very strong segula for redemption.
Wishing everyone a Gut Shabbos!
Shema Yisrael Torah Network