Rabbi Mordecai Silver, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
THE END OF DAYS
Right now, in the midst of an illusory “normalcy,” we are living through the most dramatic chapter in our history – the final chapter. History’s chapters occur in real time, sometimes over the course of decades, even centuries. Our epoch, which traverses earth-shattering world wars and monumental social changes, may not appear “historic” as we pursue the day-to-day concerns of our lives. Nevertheless, beneath the surface of everyday life, the wheels of history continue to turn.
Crises emerge and then ebb. The events we witness are the foreshadowing, the occasional flashes of shocking reality that are quickly subsumed by the relatively normal life to which most are able to return.
Only when the last chapter is written and sealed will we see its true progression, as political events, natural disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, and personal tests all combine and reveal themselves as our destiny. Only then will we clearly perceive the role we play each day, as we respond with faith and prayer to the challenges facing us and thereby write the script of our destiny.
Jewish writings speak of ikvesa d’Meshicha, “the footsteps of Mashiach,” which is the final period of exile before the coming of Mashiach. It describes a chaotic society characterized by irrelevance and immorality so prevalent that no one bothers to hide it. One need only study the course of modern-day events to see the actualization of Rashi’s (Jewish Rabbi) words: “There will be no rebuke, as one man will be unable to approach another, because all men will be immoral. When a sinner is admonished, he will simply respond, ‘You are no better than I.’”
The turbulent times in which we live conform precisely to the description of our Sages and Prophets regarding the final push toward the end. However, we are not defenseless against its perils, for throughout Biblical history tefillah (prayer) has saved us from the greatest threats.
We can take comfort in the fact that we need not be frightened or bewildered by the unfolding of events, for they are our signal to provide the final push toward redemption – through prayer. We can come to understand that the long-awaited final exile will arrive when the prayers coming from Biblical Israel clearly affirms our unshakable reliance on Hashem.
In all of the chaos and confusion, there is but one message of hope, the message that Moshiach is coming and we need to be ready to meet Him.
POINTS TO PONDER
The turbulent times we live in conform precisely to this being the final push toward the final redemption.
The redemption will come when our tefillah-prayer affirms our unshakable reliance on Hashem.
The rabbis stressed that Klal Yisrael can rely only on our Father in heaven.
Psalm 7:10 Let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; he who probes the mind and conscience is God the righteous. 11 I look to God to shield me; the deliverer of the upright. 12 God vindicates the righteous; God pronounces doom each day. 13 If one does not turn back, but whets his sword, bends his bow and aims it, 14 then against himself he readies deadly weapons, and makes his arrows sharp. (TNK)