Ready for Redemption (Around Shabbos Table – Bo)

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The Midrash (Bereishis Raba 100:2) tells us that upon Rav Yirmeyah’s demise he left instructions in his will to be buried dressed in fine white clothes, with his walking stick in hand, sandals on his feet, and next to the road.  What was the reason for this uncommon request? He wanted to be ready to take part in the redemption as soon as it occurred. The intensity of his faith-to be prepared for the geulah even after he leaves this world-is profoundly moving.

Rav Yirmeyah’s perspective reflects the spirit of the injunction concerning the eating of the Pesach offering (Shemos 12:11):  “So you shall eat it: your belts tightened, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; you shall eat it in haste…

One of the essential axioms of the redemption is when it arrives, it will manifest immediately and instantaneously. Thus, we should greet each new second with hope of the geulah. The outlook that the Torah requires of us is-irrepressible, unfailing, continuous optimism-that the ultimate good and light is imminent.

Moreover, there is a direct correlation between the level of preparedness and the level of redemption that he will merit! For instance, when a person orders a taxi, the driver will allow for a reasonable amount of time for his passenger to gather his belongings and don his coat. However, when awaiting a train, there is no leeway. Either you are at the station and prepared to board the train as soon as it arrives, or you will miss it.

The Pesach offering was ordained in order to hasten the redemption. Hence, all the particulars of this Mitzvah-their standing ready to travel, their belts tightened, shoes on their feet, walking stick in hand-engendered hopeful excitement. It was this faith that awaked the merit for the miraculous redemption to occur. May we fill our hearts with faith so that we will merit seeing the final redemption (based on Da’as Torah of Rav Yerucham HaLevi).

Today: Glance outside with the hope of seeing the light of redemption.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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