Anticipating the Messianic Age

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The Yahrzeit of┬áReb Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujhel (“Yismach Moshe”) (1759-1841) is commemorated on the 28th of Tammuz. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

Anticipating the Messianic Age

Every day – actually, every hour – Rabbi Moshe was anticipating the Messianic Age.

There was not even a single moment in which his mind wasn’t prophesying about its taking shape and right through his sixties, seventies and beyond he believed that the Holy One of blessing would grant him life, sustain him and enable him to reach this occasion.

If the sound of some noise coming from outside was heard, right away, this Tzaddik asks questions and summons the people of his community:

“Go out and gaze upon what the cause of this sound was!

“Is it possibly a herald coming to the city?”

Every night he set out holiday clothes and his walking stick right next to his bed, so that there would be no delay when he would go forth to encounter the herald’s arrival. In addition, with the people of his house, he would insist that whenever they had a sense that they had heard something, they should interrupt at once.

The very beat of his heart synchronized to the coming of the true redeemer, like someone who waits for his only child to return, expecting him at any time, any moment, and then, behold! He is there, standing and peering through the lattice of the windows. En route! In a moment, the door will open. And so, he immediately rushes there, to check whether or not his son has come.

So was Rabbi Moshe waiting in anticipation at every moment. For Hashem’s salvation is as the wink of an eye!

He used to say:

“Why my teachers, the holy Tzaddikim z’l are silent and not making a racket in the supernal worlds to bring about the Messianic days is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps they have settled in, are in a world filled with great delights and, they are, to such an extent, benefiting from the shine and luster of the Shechinah that they’ve forgotten all the doings of this lowly world, and so, it has seemed to them as though Moshiach has already come.

“But as for me, if I were there in their place and they sought to give me such delights, I would retain my focus and resolve.”

A story: His students came to him and they said to him:

“Rabbeinu, there’s a nice house for sale; it’s next to the Study Hall. And why should Rabbeinu live in a cramped house?”

He said to them:

“My children, why should I buy for myself a house like this in someone else’s land? Behold, our righteous Messiah will soon come and there, on the holy mountain, I will be returning to the inheritance of my ancestors. Why should I spend money on this?”

(Repute of the Great Ones of the Land of Hungary)


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