Since August, 10 months ago, our mikva in Samara has been closed for renovations causing all women who need to use it (including myself) to travel 2 hours each way to our neighboring city Togliatti, to use the mikva there. When we started the renovations we thought it would take 3 months and since then we are working really hard to get it finished so that we can finally use it. And b”h after much hard work, we are really almost there! There are unexpected setbacks, but we are really almost there. The problem is, that my husband knows that we’re almost there, and I know that we’re almost there, because we are involved from up close. But every time a women calls to ask if the mikva is open yet, I feel terrible. How can I tell her once again that no, the mikva is not ready yet. Soon she’s going to stop believing me. But I know the truth! I know that we’re working the whole time and we’re ממש almost there. I just can’t explain all the inside information. But if only they would just take my word for it that I know what I’m talking about and I see that it’s just a few more things and very very soon we’ll be able to open the mikva.
This made me think that maybe in a way this can help us understand a little bit of the Rebbe’s disappointment and frustration every time he told us that we just have to polish our buttons and Moshiach is really here, and we did not respond accordingly. The Rebbe wanted to encourage us that all our efforts really count! We’re ממש there! We just need to do a drop more and we”ll be done!!! Don’t give up! It’s true! It’s real! Maybe we can’t see, but the Rebbe sees from close up and he’s telling us what he sees. Let’s keep going! May it be that מה מקוה מטהר את הטמאים, אף הקב״ה מטהר את ישראל בקרוב ממש with the coming of moshiach as the Rebbe promised, right now!
It is known that the בעש״ט would daven שמונה עשרה for a very long time. His close תלמידים - the chevra kaddisha - would wait patiently for their Rebbe to take his 3 steps back and complete his davening. There were others, though, that couldn’t wait so long. They would sneak out for a short time, run home to eat and come back to find the בעש״ט still standing שמונה עשרה as he had been before they left.
There is a story told that once when the בעש״ט was davening שמונה עשרה for an unusually long time, his close תלמידים themselves couldn’t hold out anymore and decided to run home quickly, eat something and rush back.
But to their disappointment when they returned the Rebbe had already completed his davening and was waiting for a minyan.
One of the תלמידים mustered up the courage and asked the בעש״ט why he finished davening so quickly this time? The Rebbe answered with a משל:
At the top of a tall tree sat a most beautiful bird. A man with a sharp eye caught sight of this magnificent bird and wanted to take it. But he had no ladder. So he asked his few friends around him to help him create a human ladder by standing one on top of the other’s shoulders. And in the merit of these few friends he was able to reach the bird.
“Imagine,” said the בעש״ט, if the man on the bottom of the human ladder would have decided to leave in the middle? Everyone would have tumbled to the ground and not only would the man with the sharp eye not have attained his goal but might have very badly hurt himself as well.
The same is with me. When I daven שמונה עשרה I achieve many high revelations, and I yearn to go up to היכל משיח which is very high. But I cannot reach there without your help.
When you are all standing in shul davening, without your slightest awareness of what is taking place above, I place you one on top of the other and reach the היכל of משיח. Today, when you all left, I fell immediately, and therefore completed my davening very quickly.”
The Rebbe has announced that הגיע זמן גאולתכם what seems to us like so long ago. We are losing our patience and feel like we can’t hold out any longer.
But let’s remember that although we are relying on the Rebbe to reach היכל משיח, the Rebbe is relying on us - his חסידים - to stay put and not lose our patience. We are the ladder through which the Rebbe will be פועל ישועות בקרב הארץ! Let us not underestimate our importance! We can’t even run away to take a short break and come back! We have to be on guard constantly as trustworthy soldiers and may it be so that the Rebbe be revealed now בקרוב ממש and return to us נשמה בגוף smiling and proud of us that we held out till the last minute, may it be right now!
There is a famous story told of the well known chassid of the Besh”t, ר׳ זאב וואלף קיצעס, who very strongly wished to visit ארץ ישראל.
Many times he requested permission and a ברכה from the בעש״ט to make this trip, but each time the בעש״ט refused. At last, after many times, the בעש״ט agreed on one condition: that ר׳ וואלף would think before he spoke, “איר זאלט וויסן וואס צו ענטפערן״.” Reb וואלף happily agreed and was off on his way. In the middle of the long journey, the ship made a short stopover on an island. But being the חסיד that ר׳ וואלף was, he davened מנחה באריכות and did not return at the designated time, missing his ship and remaining stranded alone on the island. In search for some help, ר׳ וואלף found a small house at the other end of the island where an elderly איד greeted him offering him a place to stay overnight till the next ship would arrive to take him to ארץ ישראל. The eldery איד turned out to be very knowledgeable in all areas of תורה, and ר׳ וואלף very much enjoyed their deep discussions and learning all through the night, until his host informed him that the ship had arrived and accompanied him to the port. As ר׳ וואלף bed farewell to his host and began boarding the ship, his host called out, “Oy, ר׳ וואלף, I completely forgot to inquire about the wellbeing of the אידן in Mezibush where you come from. Tell me. How are they?” ר׳ זאב was quite nervous about missing the ship again and without hesitation replied, “ב״ה, ב״ה everything is fine” , and the ship sailed off.....
As soon as ר׳ וואלף sat down, he felt that he did something very very wrong. He suddenly remembered the בעש״ט’s condition and realized that he had obviously not thought before he spoke. At the next stop, ר׳ זאב turned around and returned to his Rebbe to confess and find out what was so terrible about what he did. After hearing his story the בעש״ט explained: “Every day up in shamayim אברהם אבינו begs ה׳ to have רחמנות on his children and bring us משיח already, and ה׳ says soon, soon, it’s not that bad yet. They’re fine the way things are. And אברהםאבינו continues to plead for us. You met אברהם אבינו himself. ה׳ sent him to ask the אידן themselves how they are, if they need משיח desperately yet, or not. אברהם אבינו was so strongly hoping and expecting you to help him in his demand for משיח, but unfortunately you forfeited this opportunity.”
This story always made a deep impression on me. On the one hand we must be grateful and thank Hashem for everything He gives us and be happy with what we have. Yet on the other hand, we must never be complacent and satisfied. We must constantly remind ourselves that we feel a voidness and express that We Want Moshiach Now!! May he come right now before we enter the 3 weeks with the fast tonight, and take us out of golus תיכף ומידממש!!!
(I remember as a 14-15 year old girl standing on President St. at Rebbetzin חיה מושקא’s לויה thinking to myself that life will never be complete again until the coming of משיח. How can things be at their best if the Rebbetzin is not with us?
So קל וחומר a million times now! רצוננו לראות את מלכנו!)
There is a beautiful story of a poor chassid who spent his days learning and davening and serving Hashem with his whole heart. When the time came to marry off his daughters he went to his Rebbe, the אוהב ישראל מאפטא to ask for advice as to where to find money for the weddings. The Rebbe told him to do the first business deal that he is offered and off he went. He stopped off at an inn where a few diamond merchants were trading their goods. The merchants, seeing his interest in their goods asked our chassid if he wants to join their business. Remembering the Rebbe’s advice, the chassid nodded his head in agreement. “How much money do you have?” they asked him. Hearing that he only had one golden coin, the merchants burst out laughing. One of them who especially wanted to have a good time offered our chassid his place in עולם הבא for one golden coin. The chassid being totally devoted to the words of his Rebbe, agreed. Within minutes, the contract was signed and the merchants were mocking and laughing loudly. At that moments this merchant’s wife appeared and hearing that her husband sold his עולם הבאshe got very angry and demanded a גט. She said she refused to live with such a husband. Either he buys his place back or their marriage is over. When the merchant asked our chassid to nullify the contract and take his money back, it was the chassid‘s turn to laugh. He said that no merchant in their right mind sells for the same price that he bought. The merchant offered double, triple, a thousand times more, but our chassid’s price was 10,000 gold coins, the price of 2 weddings. The chassid explained what his Rebbe’s advice was all about and having no choice, the merchant paid 10,000 gold coins to get his עולם הבא back. But now the merchant's wife wanted to meet this special Rebbe. She traveled to the Rebbe told him the whole story and asked, “Rebbe, but knowing my husband is his עולם הבא really worth 10,000 gold coins?” And the Rebbe answered, “When your husband sold his עולם הבאfor one gold coin, his עולם הבא was not even worth that one coin. But now that he helped two poor girls get married, his עולם הבא is worth far more than 10,000 gold coins.”
This beautiful story shows us how precious every מצוה in general, that we are זוכה to do במעשה בפועל is, specifically גמילות חסדים and all the מצוות that includes. Keeping that in mind encourages us to כאפ אריין and do another mitzva and yet another mitzva. Let’s collect more and more mitzvos, but let’s also learn from the ברייטקייטof this chassid to stand strong in our demands! ככה ולא אחרת! We have accumulated the worth of billions and trillions of gold coins by now. But we don’t want gold coins! The Rebbe told us to demand משיח and demand we must מיט די גאנצע ברייטקייט!!!
WE WANT MOSHIACH NOW and we won’t settle for anything less!!!
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