It's been an intense couple of weeks for everyone. I've been trying to carve spaces for myself, personally, to play "emotional catch-up". Part of that process I decided to put down here.
I think Moshiach might actually be coming. I've thought that before, so I'm wary of allowing myself to emotionally "go there" again. But I'm a Jew, and Ani Maamin, I believe Moshiach can come every day. So here I am.
My understanding is that there are “soft spots”, or times that are ripe for Moshiach, if only we take the right steps. I don’t want to miss out on Moshiach coming if there's any chance of his arrival right now, and have this hugely painful time be “just another” in Jewish history. Please, let this be the end of the pain!
What is unique now? Several factors I have noticed over the past 1.5 weeks are unique and I believe critical in ushering in Moshiach’s arrival.
The first is the breakdown of Jewish reliance on an Israeli Sate and Government. That breakdown began several months ago, and was solidified on Simchas Torah. We need melech hamoshiach and the beis hamikdash, with Hashem and Torah as the guiding force, not Binyamin Netanyahu nor the Knesset nor degel yisrael. And people across the spectrum of Judaism are recognizing that.
Second is the world’s perception of the Jewish people. Hamas publicized their own actions, and now people around the world are verbalizing their awareness of the kindness, honesty, and integrity that characterize their Jewish friends. Jews are being portrayed by a SMALL amount of people/groups as evil, occupiers, equally cruel in our treatment of Gaza, etc. But majority of people around the world are acknowledging that Jews are amazing and standing behind us. This media campaign was spearheaded in a way by Hamas themselves!
Third is our contending with our public perception versus our values. The Jewish people want to be perceived as good in order to be safe from persecution. Given our long history of persecution, this makes sense. We want to be seen as good in the eyes of the world, just like any child wants his parents to view him as good. No other nation puts public perception ahead of their own values like this. As I heard said in past attacks from Hamas, if New Jersey were to shoot a rocket into New York today, there would be no more New Jersey tomorrow. And no one would blink. The Jewish people are taking the current situation seriously and are not willing to bend, at this point, for the sake of public perception, and that is being recognized and appreciated by some people around the world. It is being recognized by various people and groups that Israel needs to protect itself without caring about a “proportionate” response or about taking care of the humanitarian needs of the country attacking us. We need to protect our people and our values regardless of what anyone thinks about it. Of course global support is important in order to support our efforts, that is undeniable. And we do not need to make our choices based on that factor alone. Just like a child who grew up with parents who were critical or demanding wants to meet the parents’ expectations, but ultimately hopefully learns that their behavior should be dictated by their own values.
Fourth is our ability to look Amalek in the face and want to destroy him, letting go of “woke” liberalism that taught Jews to love indiscriminately, like Shaul Hamelech. We need to learn to differentiate that which needs to be uprooted, and this made it clear for us. Even so, Jews and non-Jews around the world do not grasp this, and that is another example of Hashem shaking the rope hard in the final days, to see who, again, from both Jews and non-Jews, can hold on tight to what is truly Hashem’s light in this world.
Fifth is Jews leaving Israel. Hashem is shaking that rope. Who is falling off and who is clinging close? Where is true safety? Many people will run to other countries, feeling unsafe and unprotected in Israel. Hopefully people understand, however, that they can just as easily get shot or die of cancer in Lakewood as in Israel. Again, the shaking of the rope is real. What defines true safety?
Sixth is the public recognition of Torah as the fuel for the army. This ties together with the recognition of Torah and mitzvos as the real insurance policy, demonstrated by several situations of shmiras Shabbos being protective. Young women are increasing their tznius in recognition of the privilege of tznius in the wake of the rape and desecration of women’s bodies. Soldiers are asking for tzitzis as their true bullet-proof vests. Klal yisroel is stepping up their game in terms of tehillim, Torah learning, and mitzvos specifically for our soldiers. The entire klal, as well as the world at large, are seeing this connection being made and are absorbing this concept of Torah as fuel for success.
Seventh is our willingness to step out of the victim role and to take responsibility for our land and our people. Predominantly, I hear Jews asking what can we do rather than pointing fingers. Hamas does a great job of pointing fingers. That is not what is going on amongst the Jewish people in general. There has been an issue in recent years of alienation within families. Often a young adult will choose to cut off ties with their parents, citing verbal abuse and emotional dysfunction as the reasons they cannot maintain a relationship with them. Now, we are not seeking the approval of the world. We don’t need any external validation. We can choose what is most effective for us rather than react as victims. We are not victims; we are masters of our own choices. This is the nature of the purpose of creation - to have room for freedom of choice, and to fully and actively choose Hashem in a world that is unclear. We can only fully step into that choice when we are fully in charge of our own choices. The time to do that is now. Let go of the excuses of how terrible life has been to you and step into what you actually want, which is a real relationship with Hashem. This is paralleled in the issue of family alienation - people want healthy relationships, and those relationships do not happen through cutting people off. Those relationships come through sitting through the discomfort and choosing to be in it regardless because it is worth it. Hashem is worth it.
Eighth, I learned this week that when Yaakov Avinu was on his deathbed, he blessed Serach bas Asher with a long life. He knew she would be the only one still alive at the time of yetzias Mitzrayim and told her that when the true redeemer arrives, he will use the words פקוד פקדתי. When Moshe Rabbeinu arrived, he told the z'keinim that Hashem told him פקוד פקדתי. They took these words to Serach who confirmed that these words are accurate and signify that geula has arrived. The words פקוד פקדתי are b'gematria תשפ״ד. I checked.
I think we are at a crossroads right now, where the option for Moshiach’s arrival is very realistic. Are you holding on to that shaking rope? Are you crying the final tears? Are you building the final bricks? Are you in His army, regardless of the discomfort that involves? Are you distracted by trying to convince every academic that Israel is “right” and Hamas is really a terrorist organization, or do you recognize that some will just not understand, that being a Jew means you are separate and different, and it’s your responsibility to focus on continuing to make a kiddush Hashem? Are you seizing these final moments before Moshiach’s arrival to make sure you’re fighting in the army of Hashem for the cause of bringing the Shechina into this world?