Day 2: GEULAH CORNER
Updated: May 31, 2020
After the passing of Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch in 1772, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok led a group of talmidim to settle in Eretz Yisroel.
One day, a somewhat deluded individual climbed the Har Hazeisim in Yerushalayim and sounded a shofar. Soon, the rumor spread that Moshiach had arrived, setting off a great commotion in the street. Rabbi Mendel went to his window and sniffed the air. “No,” he said, “unfortunately, Moshiach has not yet arrived.”
Why did Reb Mendel need to go to the window to sniff for the presence of Moshiach? If he was on such an exalted level that he could physically sense the difference between golus and Geulah, why did it matter where he was standing?
It is natural to think of Geulah in cosmic terms: Everything will be perfect. Everyone will be healthy and happy. There will be world peace. All of humanity’s problems will be solved. Hashem’s presence will be revealed for all. And until that glorious day, we wait. We daven. We cry. We yearn. We dream. But we remain in golus.
Reb Mendel understood that the Geulah Klolis is a culmination of many individual journeys, the efforts of each and every neshama toward Geulah Protis. The Meor Einayim (end of Parshas Pinchos), quoting the Baal Shem Tov, teaches: “It is the duty of every individual Yid to perfect and prepare that part of the spiritual stature of Mashiach to which his neshama is related.” Within every one of us there is a spark of the neshama of Moshiach that allows us to experience the reality of Geulah on a personal level. Though surrounded by a world of pain and suffering, selfishness and discord, we are each capable of living with a Geulah mindset. We can choose to serve Hashem with true Emunah, Yiras Hashem and dveikus, as if we could already perceive Hashem’s Glory in His Bais Hamikdash. We can choose to embrace our fellow Yidden with true ahavas Yisroel, and bring shalom into our homes and communities as if Moshiach were already here. We can choose simcha, even though the Ultimate Good is not yet fully apparent in our physical reality. No matter what is going on around us, we have the power to choose a life of Personal Geulah every moment of every day.
Reb Menachem Mendel of Horodok walked to the window to sniff for the transformation which Moshiach’s coming would effect in the world - for within his own home, it has been said – the light of Moshiach already shone.