Getting Ready for Moshiach
If Moshiach were to come right now, while we are at work or grocery shopping, would we run home to change into something a little more conservative?
by Ahava Margaretten
How does a woman prepare to greet Moshiach? After all, we are hoping he will arrive in our generation, with Hashem’s help.
What are we supposed to do to prepare? Some women have a “Moshiach Box,” a box of clothing that is filled with items that were purchased and then the woman decided they weren’t modest enough for her to wear. She made a personal sacrifice to Hashem by tossing these not-so-modest items into the box to hasten Moshiach’s arrival.
It’s a splendid idea, yet there is an additional thing to consider. If Moshiach were to come right now, while we are at work or grocery shopping, would we run home to change into something a little more conservative? It’s a piercing question to ask oneself.
Here is some outstanding advice that a mother once gave to her daughter. She said, “As you are leaving the house, ask yourself this question: ‘Would I feel uncomfortable if right now a great Rabbi or Rebetzen saw me in the street, dressed as I currently am?’ If the answer is “Um, maybe…,’ then it’s a sign that something needs adjustment with your outfit.” Wise advice indeed.
Asking ourselvesthe above question allows us to get in touch with our Good Inclination that Hashem instilled in every Jewish soul. This Good Inclination is there to guide us on the right path. Our soul knows the truth, what is modest and what needs to be changed, we just have to stop and listen to it.
That uneasy feeling nagging at us is actually a very useful tool at improving oneself.
If we feel a slight inner discomfort that something isn’t quite right about our outfit, head-covering, choice of shoes, make-up, whatever, then that’s a feeling we should explore and pay attention to.
The discovery of which item isn’t modest won’t always jump out at us, sometimes it takes thinking and analyzing to figure out what the problem is. However, smothering the Good Inclination’s voice with hasty assurances of “It’s fine, it’s fine!” won’t bring us to inner tranquility or satisfaction. Those wonderful feelings come from listening to the Good Inclination and mending the issue.
Just as we wouldn’t want to be kicking ourselves later on that we didn’t take the time to cash a $1,000,000 check, so too we should ensure that our clothing and head-coverings do justice to the holy soul Hashem placed within us. Our time on earth here is limited, eventually we will all face the Heavenly Court.
Yes, it’s not an easy task with today’s social pressure. That is certain. The secular media is constantly urging us to show off our beauty publicly, and it takes inner strength to go against social pressure. Yet, our forefather Abraham and our foremother Sara blessed their progeny (that’s us) with a superhuman strength to stand up for our beliefs and fight the tide of secular immorality.
We are daughters of the King, and when getting dressed in the morning, we should remind ourselves that the more modest we dress, the more beautiful we are in the King’s eyes. And of course the King is the one we want to impress!
There is a way to strengthen ourselves in this area if we are feeling weak or unsure about modesty. As the Talmud recommends, “Take the Evil Inclination to the House of Study.” In other words, study the area that you are struggling with, and that will reduce the Evil Inclination’s power so you can defeat him.
By picking up a copy of one of the great Jewish books on modesty, a woman can overpower the Evil Inclination’s ploys. Reading even one page a day will strengthen a woman so she can grow in this area. The Chesed L’Alpaim states that modesty is the primary area that a woman is judged on, so enhancing one’s modesty is great preparation for Rosh Hashanah. We should also remember to pray to Hashem for help, so we can be assured of lasting success. May Hashem bless us with an excellent year and may Moshiach come speedily, Amen!