|ANTICIPATING THE REDEMPTION
by Miriam ben Yaacov, May 3, 2002
|In the Haphtorah of this parsha, Yeremiyahu is told to buy a field. In the midst of the defeat of the people of Israel, of their being carried off into captivity, he is told by Hashem to do somethng that only makes sense if the people were living in the Land. Why redeem the field, according to Jewish laws of redemption of family property, if he could not use it and live on it? Yet this is the Word of Hashem to him.
This is one of the most dramatic examples of ACTING in anticipation of the Redemption. Yes, there is a captivity, an exile, but it will NOT be forever. There is a promise of Hashem that Israel will live in the Land, that the Land of Israel belongs to the children of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov forever. This is the promise of the Covenant.
At this time some people in Israel wonder about this promise. Things look bleak, and people of the world, as always, ask about whether Israel has the right to be. We turn our eyes to the UN, who gave Israel the right to exist in today's world. They have questions. They expect Israel to comply with their investigations. It all seems so just, so humane. Yet, WHO really gave Israel the "right" to exist in the Land?
Yeremiyahu understood that the exile was only for a season. We, too, must understand that the turmoil in Israel is but the prophesied birth pains of the Redemption. Like Yeremiyahu, we, too, need to embrace actions that are anticipatory of the Redemption. To do this, we have to understand what our role is in the Redemption.
Israel is the priestly nation, the one who brings healing into the world, the partner of Hashem in restoring the Creation state. As such, we pray for the world. Peace will not come through human means, but through the struggle in the heaven courts, where we are expected to participate. We pray for the Shekinah, lifting our pain in prayer for Her. We pray for peace in the nations by asking that the Klipot that separate the people from Hashem be broken, that the holy sparks in captivity there be released. Just in the manner of our prayers and our words, we bring ourselves into a different place.
Anticipation of Redemption, expressed in actions, as though we were there, is a great mitzvah. We acknowledge our current situation with: "Even so.", knowing we can trust Hashem's promises. By stepping into such actions, our faith is deepened. Even in our sorrows, our trust gives us hope, and in that we have true joy -- joy that brings healing of Redemption into our world.