The World is Waiting for the Messiah
By Shoshana Jacobs
The Messianic era and the time just before the arrival of the Messiah has been likened to a woman in the throes of childbirth. It might be that when the child to be born has a special type of soul that the whole process of its birth would be particularly difficult. Only if we merited the Messiah's arrival in a supernatural way would it be otherwise.
As we can see we are already going through the "birth pangs" of the Messiah's arrival. I see it to mean that perhaps now those individuals whom we can call the "midwives" have to step in to help the "baby" out of the birth canal and into the world without too much distress to mother and child and whose birth would benefit the world in general and especially the Jewish people.
As we know every child that is born has their own special mission in life and when their mission is carried out as it should be despite their personal difficulties and challenges their individual purpose for being in this world helps to bring to fruition (and to finalise) G-d's plan for the world through His People the Jewish Nation.
In order for the Jewish people to carry out their mission it would be helpful if we were as "one heart" - united!
We are witnessing all around us not only divisiveness amongst the Jewish people, but between communities and between families. If we Jews do not do our bit to help things along in the way we should who on earth will?
Men too can also act as "midwives" in this momentous birth because such a birth has never occurred in the history of mankind.
So, where do we start? It has been suggested that acts of goodness and kindness will help to prepare the world for the immediate arrival of the Messiah. Additional ways of preparing both ourselves and the world for Messiah would be intense and sincere prayers, the giving of more charity, the reciting of psalms daily and intense Torah study.
The most crucial way of course would be that every Jew returns to G-d with an open heart this, as we all know, would bring the Messiah instantly - "If you return for even one day I will bring him before the appointed time". (Shemos Rabbah 25:16) AND "if we return to G-d, He will bring the Messiah immediately and not pay attention to the final time.......(Rav Sa'adyah Gaon in Emunos V'Deos 8:2)
There are additional things we can do and we can start in a small way within our own communities, our families, and most importantly, within ourselves because essentially it is within ourselves that we can start to make changes and thereby through personal example hope to influence and inspire others whoever those others may be.
Suggested steps one can take;
Let us go back to the very beginning and let us read again the first of the Ten Commandments G-d gave to the Jewish Nation through His servant Moses.
"I AM THE LORD YOUR G-D WHO BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT OUT OF THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE"
First and foremost we must recognise G-d. Next, we have to inwardly accept, in our own minds and in our own hearts that G-d is an ever present G-d. He is there with us at all times, as a Nation and with you as an individual. He has not abandoned us, the nation, nor has He abandoned you, the individual. He knows your thoughts and what is in your heart at all times. You cannot fool G-d although you might be able to fool people by "pulling the wool" over their eyes but to fool G-d never! (whoever thinks he can fool G-d must be pretty stupid.)
However, G-d is always there for the penitent and for those who wish to take hold of G-d's outstretched Hand.
...............WHO BROUGHT YOU OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT OUT OF THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE.
We must, at all times, even now in 5769/2008 be grateful to G-d and to show our gratitude by doing as G-d commands, i.e. by keeping all the commandments in the way G-d would wish them to be carried out not in a way that could be termed a "ritual", routine practice, or just a habit (albeit a good one). You should try to put your all into it.
Even a seemingly small act like washing your hands for bread can be turned into a deeply spiritual moment and be a conduit for a very real and deep connection with G-d.
Really think about what you are doing. As you lift your hands to say the appropriate Blessing, and when drying them you should become aware, at that moment, that G-d is there watching you in all that you do and listening to what you are saying.
After a few times carrying out various Mitzvot in this way it will, hopefully, raise you up higher and higher on the ladder of spirituality and with your ascent elevate the physical world in the best possible way imaginable. At the same time it will enable you to really connect with G-d, which is what your Soul is crying out to do. And at the same time you will be performing the Mitzvot with all your heart, with the concentration and intent needed and with the passion and fire required to raise your thoughts, speech and deeds to the very Heavens and, finally, to reach G-d's Holy Throne.
We are told that we were chosen to be "A LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS" - not just to light up our own lamp. To be G-d's "lamp" and "light" we have to put aside our own selfish motives, our own egos, our own aggrandizement, which, of course all adds up to being humble (self-nullification) to G-d to carry out the Mitzvot in the way G-d would wish us to; sincerely and with the right and true feeling towards G-d and man.
How then could G-d possibly ignore our pleas for the Messiah to take us out of this exile and then for us and the whole world to witness the transformation from darkness to light and evil into goodness and eventually see that "The earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as water covering the seabed". (Isaiah 11:9).
from the November 2008 Edition of the Jewish Magazine