• Gabbai

Yom Yerushalaim – A Golden Opportunity

The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states that when we face the ultimate judgment there is a series of questions we will need to answer. The first point to which we will have to answer is whether we have dealt in business honestly and with virtue. The second question is whether we incorporated the study of Torah into our schedules. The next challenges is whether we engaged in procreation, helping to populate the world God created. The fourth question is whether we waited in anticipation for the redemption. The last two deal with our pursuit of wisdom and understanding.

In relation to the fourth point, the expectation and anticipation of redemption, the Rambam writes a very powerful statement. “Anyone who doesn’t believe in the coming of the Messiah, or doesn’t await the coming of the Messiah, denies not only the words of our prophets but also stands in defiance of the Torah.”

There is a Midrash that admonishes our state of apathy when it comes to this point. The Midrash describes how God says to the righteous, “It is not good that you adore My Torah and devote yourselves to it, but you do not display the same concern for My kingdom!” In other words, even the righteous are often lacking in this area, becoming comfortable in our state of exile where God’s dominion is secondary. We may pursue the study of Torah, which is vitally important, but we fail to express the same commitment and regard for the state of the world. We are obliged to hope and yearn constantly for the Messianic time.

When I was a child, about 8 or 9 years old, my father returned from a trip to a New York and approached me with a twinkle in his eyes, holding something behind his back. “What do you want most in the whole world?” he asked me. Without hesitation I answered that I wanted Mashiach. “Aside from Mashiach,” my father continued to tease