With the events taking place currently in Israel, and this war which at times feels futile, I hear people suggesting their opinion on how the conflict might be resolved. However, more often than not, people seem absolutely defeated. With the world and public opinion constantly condemning Israel, and the Antisemitism getting out of control in Europe and even now in the United States, world Jewry is beginning to feel helpless. I believe there is only a single, but very obvious solution, and I voice it in my conversations with people. This conflict is too far gone for any other solution. The only thing that can save us from Hamas and terror and world condemnation and Antisemitism at this point… is the coming of Mashiach. And yet, when I say this to people, they look at me like that’s nice, but I’m overly spiritual, like I’m a dreamer, like I’m old fashioned, off my rocker, out of my mind. And they nod perhaps, but they do not believe it. And do you know why? It is because we do not want to think about that option because we are part of a generation that FEARS the redemption. We do not want it. Yes, you have read correctly. I repeat, WE. DO. NOT. WANT. THE. GEULA. We are just too comfortable in our current lifestyles. We are too comfortable picking and choosing. I am including world Jewry in its entirety in this statement, every Jew, every sect, from Ultra Orthodox, to Modern Orthodox, to Conservative, to Reform to whatever kind of Jewish you identify with! Although there are some very pious exceptions out there, YOU are included in this statement. We are just too comfortable, but we would never admit it out loud because we are supposed to want Mashiach to come.
So when we go through the motions of praying for Mashiach to come, and singing Ani Ma’amin Biviat HaMashiach, and Lishana Habaah BiYirushalayim Habnuya, do we really mean it? Stop and think for one moment, if today, right now, this minute, Mashiach came. What would that mean for you? How would you feel? You are going to have to drop everything that you are doing; you are going to have some major readjusting to deal with. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to give up your current lifestyle, whatever that entails? I’m speaking to myself here as much as to everyone else. I’m in the middle of getting my degree at a secular college in America. I have a job here, a home here, and friends here. But let’s even forget being in Chutz La’aretz. Is someone in Israel ready to give up their lifestyle? No more Crack Square on a Thursday night when Mashiach is here, I’m assuming. It would be too close to kedusha. My prediction is Mashiach won’t approve of Tel Aviv, rated the number five club scene in the world as well as beaches, parties, flipping light switches on Shabbat, lying on our tax returns, scheming government systems, not having good middot, speaking lashon hara, not following the halachot of niddah properly, eating dairy out and so on. Do you think any of this is going to be acceptable when Mashiach is here? These little things we do when nobody is watching, but God? Without the Beit Hamikdash, there are no foreseeable consequences to these offenses, whether small or large. But when Mashiach comes, there will be Karet and Skila and Korbanim and Parah Aduma and all sorts of penalties to deal with for committing these transgressions. And so I pose the question, how comfortable are you? Are you comfortable enough to be afraid of the geula; comfortable enough to not really want the coming of Mashiach wholeheartedly?
What is saddest is that as a child I eagerly awaited the coming of Mashiach. I dreamt about it and imagined what it would be like. I had this image in my mind of a glorious white light, and all over the world, we would be lifted from our beds and transported through the sky to Yerushalayim. Now granted, this may not be how it happens, and yet, it was still something I was raised to be eager for and looked forward too. As children, the coming of Mashiach seemed only good in our eyes. Yet now, I am guilty of my own accusations. I am too comfortable, whether in America or in Israel, in my habits, in the way I dress, in the things I do. The coming of Mashiach would disturb the comfortable course of my lifestyle.
We must realize that if we choose to stick with the status quo, and our current lifestyles, then the tragedy will never end. Watching videos of terrorists screaming that they wish to clear Israel off the map, you realize that it is IMPOSSIBLE to change their minds and they are too many to just wipe out and if we did try to wipe them out, we would have the world at our throats. To me this is so obvious. No ceasefires or peace talks will ever solve the problem. If we give the Palestinians the West Bank and Gaza and remove “the settlers,” then the Palestinians will begin to complain about the refugee problem created in the 1948 war and continue to complain and accuse until there is nothing left to “give back” and nobody left to give it. They will always create another problem unless world Jewry commits a mass suicide or is annihilated; there will always be a problem in the eyes of those who hate and persecute us.
So when you are mourning the destruction of the temples and all of the other tragedies of Jewish history and existence this Tisha Biav, and as you pray for Mashiach to come so that next year we might celebrate this day instead of mourning and fasting, think on a personal, individual level, what the coming of Mashiach means to you and your life. Think what changes it will bring about. And when you pray, pray to become a better person, a person willing to accept these changes rather than fearing them, so that you can contribute to the safety and happiness and REDEMPTION of the Jewish people as a whole.