Never Too Late for Moshiach




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    Never Too Late for Moshiach

    In this week’s Torah reading is found the commandment of “Pesach Sheni.” If a Jew misses making his Pesach Sacrifice in the Holy Temple on Passover, he could make it up a month later on Pesach Sheni. This is not so with any other commandment. If one misses putting on Tefillin one morning, sitting in a Succah on Succoth or hearing the Shofar on Rosh HaShanna those “Mitzvot” are lost forever • Full Article

    By Rabbi Tuvia Bolton, Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim

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    In this week’s Torah reading is found the commandment of “Pesach Sheni.”

    If a Jew misses making his Pesach Sacrifice in the Holy Temple on Passover, he could make it up a month later on Pesach Sheni.

    This is not so with any other commandment. If one misses putting on Tefillin one morning, sitting in a Succah on Succoth or hearing the Shofar on Rosh HaShanna those “Mitzvot” are lost forever.

    Not so the Pesach offering, it can be corrected by Pesach Sheni: the only commandment which corrects a ‘lost’ commandment.

    Why is this Pesach Sheni different?

    To clarify this here is a story that occurred about 300 years ago in the Ukraine.

    Rabbi Dovid and his wife had been married almost twenty years and despite all their efforts, prayers and good deeds they remained childless. They had been to the holy Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem (Baal Shem Tov, or Besh’t for short) time and time again for a blessing, but each time he would bless them with long life, success, health everything but children.

    The Besh’t like his predecessor Moses thousands of years earlier, was an expert at freeing Jews from their problems. But, just as in the days of Moses there were some Jews that couldn’t be helped, it seemed to also be the case with Rav Dovid. Hopeless.

    A normal person would have just given up but not Rav Dovid, exactly the opposite. As our story begins, he is on his way to the Besh’t for the tenth time and this time he swore he wasn’t going to leave the Besht’s room till he got that blessing.

    When his turn came, he boldly entered the Tzaddik’s study, but as soon as he saw holy man’s face, he again burst out weeping and couldn’t say a word.

    The Besh’t just looked at him for several minutes, as though he was looking at something written in the heavens and after he stopped crying, said.

    “Rav Dovid. You will have a child. A son. But you must guard him constantly until he is six years old. Only then will he be out of danger but until the age of six he must never be left alone.”

    Rav Dovid couldn’t believe his ears. He was going to have a child, a boy!! He wanted to yell, to dance, to do a somersault! But the holiness of the room sobered him up and, repeating ‘Thank you” he backed out of the room in humble gratitude.

    He returned home with the joyous news, a month later his wife became pregnant and nine months afterwards it was a boy!!

    Rav Dovid and his wife were ecstatic but the Besht’s warning ringing in their minds, they immediately began their plans for guarding the child.

    At first it was easy, but as the child grew and became more mobile it was not so simple. Nevertheless, Rav Dovid and his wife met the challenge and spared no trouble or money securing babysitters. Everywhere the child went there was someone with him and it seemed everything was going well until….

    It was early one Thursday afternoon. Rav Dovid and his wife weren’t home. The child was being guarded, as usual, by the trusted maid and everything was quiet and peaceful.

    Suddenly, in the distance faint strains of music could be heard. And as it became louder and louder it was, lively music. There was no mistake, …. a circus had come to town!!

    Joy, noise, laughter, children screaming with glee! “What a scene it must be” the maid thought to herself! She really wanted to join. She knew it was forbidden to leave the child but now the Circus was just in front of the house. She wouldn’t go anywhere! There was no problem. It was simple. The child was sleeping, everything would be alright. She had to just step outside and see. She’d keep her hand on the doorknob.

    She slipped out the door, locked it behind her, enjoyed the happy sight but when she turned around ten minutes later, unlocked the door and reentered the back window was open and the child was gone.

    When the boy’s parents arrived home, they were beside themselves with grief. Rav Dovid immediately began looking for clues, footprints some sign of the child, he asked everyone in the area, interrogated all the neighbors, but to no avail; it was as though the child disappeared into thin air.

    Rav Dovid would have rushed to the Baal Shem Tov, but it was impossible; the Besh’t had passed away just months earlier.

    But there was hope. People said that the Besht’s daughter, Aidel, was very attached to her father, perhaps she could help. Rav Dovid had to take the chance. He traveled to Mezubuz, and sure enough the rumors were right; she promised to go to her father’s grave that day and ask for advice.

    Late that afternoon she came back with good news.

    “My father says that your son is still alive. But he said to tell you that the only way you will find him is to wander the highways and ask about him at every inn or tavern you pass. Hashem will help.”

    Rav Dovid wasted no time. He immediately jumped back in his wagon took the reins and began moving. The days passed then turned into weeks, he lived in his wagon sleeping at night and searching by day place-to-place.

    For over three months he traveled and entered every tavern exactly as the Besh’t suggested but with no success. He was tired; the monotonous sound of the horse plodding on didn’t help ….. and he drowsed off.

    Suddenly he opened his eyes. He had a feeling that he had passed an inn and didn’t enter! He stopped the wagon, looked behind him, sure enough, there it was. He tied the horse to a tree and ran back. The place was empty, only the owner was there. Rav Dovid put a silver coin on the table and got straight to the point. “My son is lost. Perhaps you saw him. He’s Jewish, six years old, black hair, green eyes about this tall.”

    Before he could finish the innkeeper began shaking his head yes. “Ahh sure! That must be the Jewish kid the Baron is adopting. Today is supposed to be the conversion, the big priest is coming and everything. Supposed to be a big event. But I’m not going, who’s going to run the tavern?”

    “What?! You know where he is?!” exclaimed Dovid “You saw my son!? Thank G-d Thank G-d!! But what is this about a Baron? Conversion? What Baron? What are you talking about?!”

    “Yep, the Baron has no children so he sent his soldiers to kidnap one.” answered the innkeeper. “So a few months ago one came back with a Jewish boy and the Baron is crazy about him, just crazy; everyone knows, it’s no secret. Treats him like a prince.

    “Well,” he continued, “today the bishop is coming to the castle to convert him and do the adoption. But it’s your son, eh? Wow. You must feel terrible! But there’s nothing you can do now. Nothing! That Baron is a real Jew hater, that’s why there’s not one Jew in all this area, not one for miles. Hates ’em like poison. Your only chance is the bishop. He’s also hates Jews, you should hear his Easter sermon! But he’s smart. Maybe you can talk to him. He’ll be coming down this road soon in his coach, you won’t be able to miss him!! Maybe you can stop his carriage and he’ll listen to you.”

    Rav Dovid ran outside, stood in the middle of the road and waited, and he didn’t have to wait very long. After a few minutes he saw a cloud of dust in the distance; a large carriage was approaching. A minute later he saw it. It was the bishop’s.

    He waived his hands like a madman and when the carriage stopped amidst the curses of the driver, he ran around to the carriage window and begged the bishop to hear his plea. The bishop opened his door and Rav Dovid began weeping and pleading his case.

    To Rav Dovid’s surprise the bishop seemed moved and replied. “I don’t know how much I can help; the Baron is a hard man. But I promise you I will try. You just stand by the open gate of the Baron’s castle and look in. I’ll tell the guards to leave it open a bit. I’ll see what I can do.”

    The bishop’s carriage drove off. Rav Dovid jumped in his wagon and followed at a distance. The bishop reached the castle, entered the gate, alighted from his carriage followed by his servants and approached the stage where the Baron was sitting, blessing those to his right and left amidst the blowing of trumpets while the crowd stood in awesome silence.

    Everything was set up for a royal ceremony. The Baron was smiling from ear to ear surrounded by beaming courtiers and stone-faced soldiers standing at attention. The bishop alighted the podium, took his place next to the Baron, signal was given and the boy was brought before the two of them.

    The bishop called for his anointing scepter which was brought on a crimson pillow by one of his servants.

    Meanwhile Rav Dovid was witnessing the entire thing from afar and his heart was breaking.

    Suddenly the Bishop, bent down, took a close look at the boy, stood, gave a loud scoffing laugh and said in a voice loud enough for all to hear. “My dear Baron, I think we are wasting time, energy and, worst of all, holy water.”

    The crowd was astounded, not to mention the Baron. His mouth fell open and he couldn’t believe his ears as the bishop continued.

    “Don’t you see? This child is a Jew! A Jew!! Stiff-necked, stubborn and as selfish as the rest of his wretched people. Why, it’s written all over his face! He is a stubborn, perfidious, ingrate and will return bad for good. Believe me, I know these people!

    “Here just watch this.” The bishop continued. “You have been caring for this boy for over three months, correct? Feeding him, protecting him, giving him love and attention. The best you have to offer. True? Why any normal child would be grateful, correct?

    Well, now just watch this.” The bishop pointed toward the open gate where Rav Dovid was standing and declared, as though in surprise. “Aha! See, there at the gate stands a Jew. See there, my boy, at the gate stands one of your people. Look!”

    As soon as the child saw his father he jumped from the stage, broke through the crowd and ran in his direction while the bishop was yelling “Aha! You see! You see!! You can’t change a leopard’s spots. No matter what you give him, no matter what we do for him, he will NEVER be one of us!”

    Rav Dovid immediately grabbed his son, jumped with him into the wagon and drove off as fast as fast as possible, thanking G-d for the miracle as he sped away, but it wasn’t over.

    Fifteen minutes later as he was still speeding away from the castle he saw in the distance a huge cloud of dust approaching. It was a large ornate carriage pulled by four massive horses surrounded by mounted guards. Rav Dovid pulled off the road to let it pass, and as it did, the driver sounded his trumpet and yelled, ‘Make way for the bishop you fool!!

    Rav Dovid looked inside the carriage and saw …. the bishop!! “Cursed Jew!!” he screamed as they passed. “I’m late to the Baron’s Castle! Out of the way!!

    Some say that the first “bishop” was really Elijah the Prophet.

    This answers the questions we asked about the second Passover.

    Passover expresses the essence of Judaism. Besides being the birthday of the Jewish nation, and the first of the Ten Commandments; I am G-d that took you from Egypt it is the first time an entire nation did a MITZVA. And that commandment was the Pesach offering.

    The word Mitzva means connection. The Jews took A PHYSICAL animal and connected it to the infinite Creator. The physical actually became HIGHER than the spiritual.

    This was the true birth of Judaism and manifested what the Jews were CHOSEN to do; to make this physical world holy.

    And Pesach Sheni means that it is NEVER TOO LATE to do it.

    Namely no matter how “far” from G-d or “unclean” we are, it’s always possible to transform one’s self and the world to reveal the Creator in His creation.

    Just as in the Exodus from Egypt, G-d helped us miraculously via Moses. And just like Rav Dovid in our story, succeeded despite all the obstacles with the help of the Besh’t.

    So also it is NEVER TOO LATE for G-d to help each and every of us via Moshiach.

    And not much is lacking. We are standing on thousands of years of Jewish faith and suffering. Now it could be that just one more good deed, word or even thought can tilt the scales and bring…… Moshiach NOW!!


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