02 Aug DEVARIM
Waiting for Moshiach
A group of people were speaking to the Brisker Rav zt’l about the tzaros the Jewish nation was undergoing at the time. Someone present sighed in desperation, “We need Moshiach to come quickly and save us.”
Another person whispered, “Moshiach isn’t coming so fast.” The Brisker Rav heard this and became very upset. He called this man to another room and said, “How can you say such a thing? How can a Yid say such a thing?”
The Brisker Rav took out a Rambam and read to him, “Whoever doesn’t believe in Moshiach and doesn’t await his arrival, not only doesn’t he believe in the Nevi’im – he doesn’t believe in Moshe Rabbeinu’s Torah as well.”
We must develop a longing and anticipation for Moshiach. Reb Shmuel Wosner zt’l notes that the Rambam begins
his sefer ( החזקה†יד†(with the obliga
tion to believe in Hashem, and he concludes the sefer with our belief in Moshiach, and in between these two beliefs, he writes all the halachos of the Torah. This teaches us that the entire Torah is dependent on these two beliefs.
The Jewish community of Brisk wanted the Beis HaLevi (Reb Yosef Dov Soloveitzik zt’l) to be their rav, but the Beis HaLevi turned down their offer. Representatives from Brisk came to the Beis HaLevi and pleaded, “Twenty-five†thousand†people†live†in†Brisk¨†and†they all want you to come be their rav. Will you turn them all down?” Immediately, the Beis HaLevi agreed to accept the position in Brisk. The Chofetz Chaim zt’l said about this episode, “The Beis HaLevi didn’t want to turn down 25,000 Yidden. If thousands of Yidden will yearn and request for Moshiach, Moshiach will certainly not turn them down.”
The Mourning Left Our Hearts
Rebbe Nachum Chernobyler zt’l once stayed at the home of a simple couple, and at midnight, Reb Nochum cried and mourned for the Churban Beis HaMikdash. The simple man asked Reb Nochum why he was crying so much, and he explained that he was crying over the Churban. “Don’t you also want Moshiach to come and return us to Yerushalayim?” Reb Nochum asked.
The simple man replied, “I’m not certain. I will have to ask my wife about that.” He returned and said that his wife doesn’t want to go to Yerushalayim because who would care for their hens and livestock if they moved to Yerushalayim? Rebbe Nochum told him, “But we suffer from the goyim all the time. Wouldn’t it be better to leave and go to Yerushalayim?” Once again, the simple Yid went to get his wife’s input. He returned and said, “My wife prefers that Hashem take all the goyim to Yerushalayim.” This story reminds us that the mourning has left our hearts, and we don’t even know why we mourn.
The Tiferes Shlomo writes, “To properly mourn for Yerushalayim, think about how much holiness we lack. For we don’t have a Beis HaMikdash and kohanim doing the avodah. We aren’t close to Hashem as we used to be.” Reb Shimshon Pinkus zt’l (Galus v’Nechamah p.147-151) writes, “If someone isn’t able to mourn and cry during Bein HaMetzarim for the Churban Beis HaMikdash and Galus HaShechinah, he should sit on the floor†and†cry†bitterly†about†his†personal churban that he is unable to cry, and doesn’t care, and cannot associate with the mourning over the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash.”
The Yaavatz zt’l (Siddur Beis Yaakov, Tisha b’Av, 6:16) writes, “If our only sin was that we aren’t mourning†sufficiently for Yerushalayim, that would be reason enough to cause the galus to continue. In my opinion, this is the most logical and obvious cause for all the tzaros we encounter in galus. We never have respite from the Goyim, wherever we live. And this is because the mourning has left our hearts.”
Reb Yonoson Eibshitz zt’l (Yaaras Dvash vol.1, p.253) writes, “Someone who doesn’t comprehend, doesn’t feel the distress of the Churban so much. This is how it is (due to our many sins). We don’t feel the Churban. We are like a fool that doesn’t feel his pain. Some tzaddikim had a complete understanding and recognized the dire loss caused by the Churban. If we would understand how much we lost, the lack in our perfection, etc., we wouldn’t want to eat or drink, rather roll in the earth from distress.” Someone from our chaburah who lives in Beit Shemesh is a widower for four years. His sixteen-year-old daughter told him, “I feel bad for my younger siblings. Until mother was niftarah, I was old enough to appreciate her love, and I know what I’m missing now. But the younger siblings hardly know their mother’s love; they don’t know what they are missing.” The father broke out in tears and said he now understands what it is for us in galus. We have lost so much due to the Churban, and we have no idea what we lost!