From the Desk of Rabbi Mordecai Silver, Ph.D.
The current galut (exile) and the road to the Final Redemption appear in our eyes as a swirling upheaval. As we live through our evolving history filled with global turmoil and personal travail, we cannot help but wonder – where is the beautiful picture of the Geulah the Almighty has promised us? Can yet another war, yet another terrorist attack, yet another ailing young mother or father or child be part of the picture?
At this point in our history, we can view the picture only from the back, where utter confusion is all we see. In fact, the Torah has forewarned that this how our world would appear to us as the Geulah is being precisely designed.
By the time Mashiach comes, many will be losing hope of redemption. Rashi explains that the Jewish people will be in such an abysmal state that the darkness of the galut will erode their confidence, leading them to wonder if all their suffering throughout the ages has been in vain.
But we have a glimmer of the dawn. Right now, we cannot see what is on the other side. We are still suffering through the tragedies and sickness that are woven into our present. By strengthening the power of our prayer and the underlying emunah, we can hasten arrival of the moment when the Almighty will turn His Creation around and reveal the glorious masterpiece He has been creating all along.
When we see Yishmael run amok and the nations of the world defend his every dastardly act, we recognize this as the sign that the Ultimate Redemption is at hand. Yishmael’s identity with prayer is intended to make us aware that, indeed, the antidote to fear and terrorism is our sincere prayer.
We will then recognize that what appears to be random is really with purpose. What seems like certain failure is just the reverse image of success. When it appears that the Almighty is not even in the picture, it is the Almighty weaving into the fabric every distinctive minute detail. We will marvel at each stitch, and see clearly how they come together to form a dazzling picture of the Geulah.
POINTS TO PONDER
In the days approaching the Geulah, it seems difficult to understand why our suffering persists.
The Torah warns that the final stage of galut will be the most difficult.
Although from our perspective, the situation looks senseless and chaotic, the Almighty is “weaving” events into a pattern that will reveal itself to be one of perfect beauty.
Genesis 49:18 I wait for Your deliverance, O LORD! (TNK)