Vayechi: Looking Forward to Moshiach
Will Moshiach turn the world upside down? The Rambam says that there will be no change in the order or rhythm of creation. So what will be?
by Rabbi Lazer Brody
People think that when Moshiach comes, their troubles will be over. They dream that their credit-card debt and mortgage payments will disappear and that everyone will drive a Ferrari. Sorry to pour cold water on the embers of their enthusiasm but that's not what Moshiach is all about.
The Rambam tells us exactly what the Messianic times hold in store for us (see Rambam, Yad Chazaka, Chapter 12 of Hilchot Melachim). The world will continue as usual – the sun will rise in the morning and set at night. There will be no change in the order or rhythm of creation. Everyone will acknowledge the wisdom of Moshiach and his leadership. There will no longer be war, jealousy, competition or strife and the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem.
What does that mean? How will Moshiach end war, jealousy, competition and strife?
My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a explains that Moshiach will teach the world emuna. He'll teach them that everything comes from Hashem. The world will come to the knowledge and full realization that everything Hashem does is for the very best.
How will that manifest itself?
There will still be bankruptcies, but the bankrupt individuals will use their last dollars to host gala celebrations with the best music and the best food, for the purpose of thanking Hashem for their "good fortune." They'll say, "Now that we don't have to worry about our assets anymore, we can devote our time to Torah learning," and everyone will rejoice for them.
Today, if a bankrupt individual would sing and dance, everyone would pity him, thinking that the poor soul lost his mind in grief. But, when Moshiach comes, those who sing and dance in the face of apparent troubles will be the norm. In fact, caterers and musicians will be doing great business because people will be partying all the time. Everyone will realize how everything in life is the result of Divine Providence and the greatest blessing imaginable, for they'll begin to realize the infinite proportions of Hashem's goodness and mercy.
When Moshiach comes, everyone will have big smiles on their faces, for they'll have genuine emuna. We'll all need a great brand of toothpaste to show off our pearly whites...
Our forefather Jacob looked forward to the Messianic Era with all his heart.
On his deathbed, in the middle of blessing his sons and uttering his final words on earth, he suddenly interrupted himself saying:
"I Long for Your salvation, Hashem!" (Genesis 49:18)
Jacob wasn't merely anticipating his own salvation on earth, but the Geula shlema, the full and complete redemption of all his offspring and all of creation. What's more, in his holy spirit, he knew that one of the first things that the Heavenly Court would be asking him if he eagerly anticipated salvation and redemption (see tractate Shabbat 31a); in other words, Moshiach and the Holy Temple. Jacob therefore makes the above declaration before he leaves the physical earth to show that he surely fulfilled the obligation of looking forward to the Messianic times when all of mankind will be filled with the wonderful knowledge of emuna, when the world will become the truly beautiful realm that Hashem created for us, speedily and in our days, amen!
Rabbi Lazer Brody was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1970, he moved to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces regular army, and served in one of the elite special-forces units. He is a decorated combat veteran of two wars and numerous of counter-insurgence and anti-terrorist missions on both sides of Israel's borders.
Rabbi Brody is the English-language editor of Breslev Israel's highly popular English-language website at www.breslev.co.il, and the founder and director of Emuna Outreach. Between Breslov Israel and Emuna Outreach, he devotes his time to spreading emuna and particularly the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev around the globe.
"Lazer Beams," Rabbi Brody's award-winning daily web journal, has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people around the globe find joy and fulfillment in their lives.