Monday, September 15, 2008

Bringing the Redemption

Every year between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Sukkos, three distinguished chassidim would stay with Rav Sinai of Zmarmrad, zt”l.
They didn’t waste a second of their time and would learn with tremendous intensity the entire night and most of the day. They would fast until midday every day, and all day long on Mondays and Thursdays. The group spent much time in heartfelt prayer and each man worked to refine his character and come closer to his Creator.
Once, the eldest chassid said to the Rebbe, “If I may ask, were there greater avodos then what we are doing right here in exile when the Beis Hamikdash stood?” (He meant could it be that anything else needs to be improved upon to bring the final redemption?)
The Rebbe replied, “Do you think that when the Beis Hamikdash stood people only excelled in their learning and davening? The main thing when the Beis Hamikdash stood was the joy of the mitzvos, and this attitude would naturally lead people to help those less fortunate then themselves. People would feed the poor and help them to rejoice. They were not only concerned with their own spiritual growth; they were concerned for those less fortunate!”
When the Rebbe’s son would tell this story, he would add, “...My father was telling his chassidim that they were far indeed from bringing the ultimate redemption!”

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