Yesterday, I asked you what you would do differently today if I told you that Moshiach was coming tomorrow. Rav Yisroel Salanter had a unique perspective on the coming of Moshiach. I have found it more helpful than some other approaches.
He used to say: “Everyone asks, “When will Moshiach come already?” I say, “Lest Moshiach arrive today… Am I ready? Have I prepared myself? Once he comes, I can no longer work on myself. Free choice will be limited and I won’t have the opportunity to do a free-willed Teshuvah.”
This is a radically different approach than we are used to hearing. Rav Yisroel is not saying he does not want Moshiach to come. He is saying, I have to prepare myself for his arrival.
And so, if you were to ask me, “What would I do differently if I were to know Moshiach were to come tomorrow?” I would simply say, “I am going to try to take advantage of the time I have remaining. I am going to try to improve and better myself in every realm of avodat Hashem [service of G-d].
And so, as I have encouraged myself, I’ll encourage you as well to try to better ourselves in our avodat Hashem. One way or another, whether Moshiach comes tomorrow, or whether he tarries longer, it will position us better to welcome his coming.
1/9/2023 06:30:30 pm
Thank yyou for being you
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Rabbi Avi Stewart
Rav of the Westwood Kehilla.