At the end of the laws pertaining to the red heifer, the Rambam writes, “Nine red heifers were offered from the time that they were commanded to fulfill this mitzvah until the time when the Temple was destroyed a second time. The first was brought by Moses our teacher. The second was brought by Ezra. Seven others were offered until the destruction of the Second Temple. And the tenth will be brought by the king Moshiach; may he speedily be revealed. Amein, so may it be G‑d’s will.”
At first glance, this comment seems out of place. The sefer is a book of laws, not prayers, yet here, and only here, the Rambam – in what seems to be uncontrolled emotion – offers a prayer for the coming redemption?
In the laws of kings the Rambam writes that it isn’t enough to believe that Moshiach will come one day, one must anticipate his arrival.
Perhaps then here in the laws of the red heifer, the Rambam wanted to show us the halachic guidelines of this anticipation. It is such that when one mentions or hears of the future redemption it brings forth a longing and a prayer that it be personally experienced.
50 years ago a miraculous victory was accomplished in the Holy Land. It was clear to all the nations of the world that “Hiney lo yonum, v’lo yishan, shomer Yisrael – the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” What began as a defensive war turned into a gift from above consisting of additional portions of our land being returned to descendants of its original inhabitants. It created an awakening in Jews throughout the globe, the effects of which are still felt throughout the world over.
We salute the fighters who fought, were injured, or gave up their lives to give us this victory, and we hope we honor them in the way we run our daily lives.
Specific mention should of course be made regarding the old city of Yerushalayim. Banned from davening there throughout the Jordanian occupation, modern Jewry was at last reunited with a remnant of the Har Habayis and a time of spiritual greatness.
We are humbled and give thanks for the great miracles that happened then, yet our focus and prayers are for the future. A future when there shall be no more hunger, sadness, or pain. When no nation shall lift a sword against another. And when all the nations of the world will live in peace.
May it happen speedily and in our days.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,