It's written in Midrash tehilim
*In this world, when a person goes to gather figs on Shabbos, the fig says nothing. But in the Time to come, if a person goes to gather a fig on Shabbos, it will cry out and say It is Shabbos today!*
The last few months the entire world has been thrown into a silent turmoil.
We are feeling the confusion, frustration, anxiety and pain.
Yet those are just the how's and when's, we are asking but not hearing👂🏻 the why's?
When Moshiach comes, not only will we understand G-dly matters, but the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d *כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת יְהוָה כַּמַּיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים.* This means that even worldly matters, such as one's personal mundane affairs, must be permeated with G-dly awareness.
We must come to see how Torah and G-dliness are relevant in every aspect of our lives.
We are truly living in עקבתא דמשיחא, every second the clock🕰️ is ticking closer to the ultimate redemption, and very soon when we talk to the world, the world will talk back to us!
May that time come right now!
In the last 17 years I've been asked countless times, why did you come davka to Siberia? What's your connection to this place? We all end up where the Aibishter wants us to be, but why Irkutsk?
Two weeks ago I found a long lost cousin and when I told her that I live in Irkutsk, she was lost for words, flabbergasted, to the point of disbelief. Her grandfather Yosef, (my grandfather's cousin) was sent here, to the Irkutsk region to exile for opposing the Soviet regime! Yosef suffered horrible years in the cold dungeons of Siberia but despite all odds he survived, married and had a family. He passed away, but his legacy of strength and determination, never forgetting that he's a Jew, continue and carry on in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Pharaoh sent and summoned Yoseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon... And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you in charge over all the land of Egypt" (Gen. 41:14-41) The Jewish people are presently in the dungeon of a harsh and bitter exile; for many years we have been bound and fettered by its shackles. But just as Joseph went directly from confinement to rulership, so, too, our whole nation will speedily leave the prison of exile and simultaneously ascend to the status of royalty with the full and Final Redemption.
(The Rebbe, 28 Kislev, 5750)
This morning at 5am I saw on my whatsapp that Sara wrote to me reminding me that its my turn to write the Moshiach thought, and honestly my first thought was, hmmm... I'm on a road trip, not in my usual comfortable house, not with my computer, I'll just tell her that I can't do it this week.
But then, it dawned on me that this 2400km seemingly endless road trip is in way a reflection of the history of our people. Along the way, I kept on searching for internet service, to connect! And every time we entered a town or village, and the little 4G symbol came up on my phone, I felt that spark of excitement, it was reminding me that we are getting closer to our destination. We all started at one point, a exodus but with a clear destination, the time of Moshiach and geulah.
The trip is long and seems endless, but along the way, the Aibishter constantly gave us those uplifting moments, times when the Jewish nation bloomed and we knew that the final destination is just ahead. And when we stopped yesterday at the Shul in the town of Achinsk, in a remote corner of Siberia and saw that the Yidden never gave up hope, they always knew that they must keep the flame burning because the end point of the journey is so close, that in itself gave the future generation strength to continue.
We are now only 350km from Gorni Altaisk, where we will meet up with shluchim's families from all over Siberia, each family will travel it's personal journey, on long and seemingly never ending roads but with a single firm destination in mind.
So too, I'm sure that the Jewish nation's seemingly long and endless journey is about to end, and we will all meet up together in Yerushalaim! שָׁב ד' אֱ־לֹקֶיךָ אֶת שְׁבוּתְךָ וְרִחֲמֶךָ וְשָׁב וְקִבֶּצְךָ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים... אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִםמִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ ד' אֱ־לֹקֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ
Very often my sister calls me to chat on her way to work. And because of the time difference, this works out to be the most practical time.
So this morning I filled her in on my new genealogical discoveries and mentioned the name Stopler. Of course she had no clue who that is but said that she’s heard the name mentioned in Israel. I told her he’s a Rov and our third cousin, and promptly looked up some information for her.
Google offered me an article Rabbi Pinchos Stopler wrote for Aish Hatorah, and after hanging up the phone, I started reading.
In the first two paragraphs he brings a story that I’d like to share:
A story is told that in the 1930s, the world-renowned tzaddik, the Chofetz Chaim, received a letter from a Jewish soldier who had been drafted into the Polish army. The soldier related that he was assigned to a remote base where there were no Jewish soldiers, no religious services, no kosher food and where it was impossible to keep Shabbat or any mitzvah at all. His question to the Chofetz Chaim: "How do I survive as an observant Jew in this forsaken place?"
The reply of the Chofetz Chaim is awesome: "If it is impossible for you to keep Shabbat, kashrut, or to pray or to keep mitzvot, don't be discouraged. There is one thing you can and must do. Whenever you have a free moment, speak to God, and whenever you speak to God, face east. Why face east? Because you will be directing your thoughts to Jerusalem. In so doing, you will reunite yourself with the Jewish People and with God. In fact, whenever a Jew faces Jerusalem in prayer -- he or she is in Jerusalem." The Jew may not be in Jerusalem -- but Jerusalem is always in him.
I won’t rewrite the entire article but the story itself made me realize that every day when we read the Moshiach thought, we are directing our thoughts towards Moshiach and Geulah, and in doing so we are connecting ourselves to the geulah and maybe we aren’t there yet physically, but in that moment our neshama is definitely there.
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