A Jew comes home from synagogue and tells his wife: “They say the Messiah is coming any day, and will take us all to Israel.”
The wife becomes hysterical. “Oh no! It would be terrible. It took years till we could finally move into this neighborhood and buy the house we wanted. Now we’ve spent a fortune fixing it up. I don’t want the Messiah to take us away.”
“Okay, okay, don’t worry,” the husband says. “We survived Pharaoh, we survived Haman. With G-d’s help, we’ll survive the Messiah too!”[Another variation: The husband tells the wife, “The Rabbi said that soon we will no longer suffer from the Cossaks, the Messiah is about to come and take us all to Israel.” The wife thinks for a while and says, “Tell the Messiah to leave us alone. Let him take the Cossaks to Israel!”]
Two people waiting at a bus stop, and the bus is taking a long time to come. One person turns to the other and says “We have been waiting so long for this bus! It is like waiting for the Moshiach!”
The other responds, “Not at all! The Messiah will definitely come eventually; as for the bus…”
A man visits a zoo and is taken to the lion’s cage. He witnesses there the literal fulfillment of Isaiah prophecy – a lion and a calf in a cage together.
Amazed, he calls over an attendant. “How long have you had a lion an a calf in a cage together?” “Over a year already.”
“How do you do it?”
“It’s easy. Every morning we put in a new calf.”
According to one medieval folktale, two men arrived in a Yemenite town and told the inhabitants that the Messiah was arriving that night and would transport them all to Israel. The people were instructed to remain on their roofs the entire night, but Moshiach did not come. In the morning, when they went down from the roofs, the strangers were gone — as well as the townspeople’s possessions.
A Rabbi once told his congregants:
When Moshiach comes there will be a long line, with everybody rushing to greet him”.
I, however will not rush. To the contrary, I’ll try to be last on line. “When my turn comes Moshiach will ask me: “R. Mendel! Where were you until now?!” I will reply: “Moshiach, Where were you until now?!
A poor man trudged up and down the steep staircases in the high apartment buildings in his neighborhood. He knocked on doors and asked for charity. At the end of a tiring day, he sat on a park bench and counted the coins people had given him. His mind wandered and he dreamed of better times.
“One day, I will be rich. I will own great fortunes and have a lot of influence in the community.” The poor man rubbed his hands and his forehead became wrinkled as he thought.
“Then,” he thought to himself, “I will make a new law. All new houses which are built will have to be only one or two stories high. My life will be much easier! I will not have to climb all those stairs in order to collect alms!”
His greatest fantasy was to have an easier time while collecting charity! He did not realize that there is more to life than begging. Although he was dreaming of a bright future, he could only imagine it by comparing it to his present conditions. We should not make the same mistake when thinking about Moshiach.
Imagine that you have lived your entire life in a dark tunnel. Your parents and grandparents lived there too, and so did their parents and grandparents. You have grown accustomed to the darkness and developed the necessary skills to survive. You move through life, sometimes staggering in the dark, at other times feeling your way along. You are totally resigned to the fact that this is what life is, and that it will continue to be so.
But you have been told or have read in some ancient books that long ago, your ancestors lived in a very different, well-lighted place. You have heard that there is indeed a light at the end of this tunnel, that you don’t necessarily have to spend your entire life in darkness.
However, you are skeptical after all, this darkness is the only life you know. After so many generations have lived in this tunnel, can you really believe some old tale about the possibility of a life on the outside? And besides, you have learned to cope here, to make yourself comfortable in the darkness, so why would you want to risk changing things?
And yet, something inside tells you that the darkness is just not right for your life. No matter how accustomed you have become to it, you still feel restless and insecure. You realize that although the darkness may be a part of life, it is not life itself. (Follow up for this story)
A rabbi asked his member, “How are you doing?”
“Well, all is well. Business is pretty good” was the response.
“So how are you doing?” he repeats the question
“Well my family is fine”
“Tell me how are you doing?”
“Rabbi I have answered the question twice.”
“No you haven’t. Your wealth and family is what G-d does. Your good deeds are what you do.”
Moshiach is something we need to do and not rely on Hashem for.