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Asking for Redemption

February 6, 2018
Orit Esther Riter
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Chazal teach us to pray with heartfelt intent that Hashem soon rebuild the Beit HaMikdash and hasten the geula. Why does Chazal find the need to emphasize that we ask for the redemption? Shouldn’t it be a given that every Jew pray for it to happen? Unfortunately to many it is not at the top of their request list.

When we find ourselves in the midst of our ‘personal sorrows’ we tend to forget about anything else. There is a Torah teaching that says, “The last of ones problems make a person forget the first of his problems.” The current issues at hand such as looming war, financial strain, marital strife, health and other mounting issues unfortunately take up so much of our brain space that we don’t seem to ‘remember’ the root cause of all difficulty; galut.

Many think, “How can I focus my mind on mourning Yerushalayim and the Beit HaMikdash when there are so many hardships I must cope with right now?” Yet if we delve deeply into this idea we will discover that we are experiencing the ‘symptoms’ associated with exile. As we put our minds and hearts into praying for solutions to personal sorrows we ought to keep in mind that they are offshoots of the real pain at hand. We are not in our ‘true place’ physically, emotionally and spiritually and therefore we are experiencing confusion and pain.

Klal Yisrael is living in a plague of darkness; restless over the present and terrified over the future. “Al Naharot Bavel Shahm Yashavnu… (On the rivers of Babylon there we sat ….)” we sat and wondered, ‘what will be?’ “Gam Bachinu b’Zochreinu et Tzion (Also we cried when we remembered Tzion {the destruction and devastation of Tzion})”. The Chatam Sofer ztk’l writes we were consumed by thoughts over our own devastation, yet we still remembered why they occur; the long and bitter exile and the destruction of Tzion. So too today we must connect all pain and suffering to our exile.

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