“A kohen may walk over coffins… to greet non Jewish kings, so that a distinction will be able to be made between them and Jewish kings when their glory will return to its place.” (Rambam, laws of mourning 3:14)
When seeing the glory of an inauguration or the intensity of a Super Bowl, the natural reaction for a Jew is to long for the return of the splendor and greatness of our own Jewish leaders. To yearn for a return to a time when G-d’s presence was tangible in the mundane and holiness was the going currency.
America is the kindest superpower to have ever existed. Founded in the G-d given rights of every human being, it has become the beacon of light for freedom around the globe.
Although reluctantly at first, we Jews have been allowed to and indeed have been given complete freedom in making this our newest home in the wonderings of the past two millennia. In just a little over seven decades we have established vibrant and flourishing Jewish communities throughout the United States. One can choose a daf yomi shiur in Minnesota, a chassidus shiur in Houston, and chalav yisrael pizza in Atlanta, in addition to the schools, shuls, mikvaos and myriads of Jewish organizations peppered throughout the United States.
Yet something fundamental is missing. Without it, it all feels like a shell. Hollow, like a body without a soul.
“There’s nothing more complete than a broken heart.” The Jewish heart yearns for a moral world. A world free of pain. We don’t feel at peace with ourselves if there’s injustice anywhere in the world.
On a spiritual level, we feel incomplete when our beliefs aren’t self-evident. We are restless as long as there is even one individual who isn’t looking to connect to the source of life, broken by the friction between the creator and the created.
In the past we were “broken” by libels and pogroms. We now produce the “squeezed out pure olive oil” from an internal dichotomy, an internal “squeeze” that we don’t see truth as it is.
Though it’s beautiful to visit the land of Israel – who doesn’t have great memories of their first visit? – the inner Jew won’t feel at home till he’s living at home, with the rest of the family.
In the final chapters of the laws of kings, the Rambam makes clear that we won’t know the details of Moshiach’s arrival till it happens. How he will come, we don’t know. When he will come, we hope very soon! U’bichesed u’birachamim.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,