Do you remember a time when there was something new going on in your life? Attending a different school, getting married, having a baby, moving to a new neighborhood, redecorating your house?
If you’re like most people, this new aspect of your life was all-consuming, at least for awhile.
I can relate. We recently moved. “It has a lot of potential,” the real estate agent had said with a smile when he showed us the house for the first time. Seven months later, with workers still leaving their power drills out for my children to find and with the fumes and sounds of work going on around me as I try to concentrate on my work, I can relate.
“All-consuming” meant that wherever I went and with whomever I spoke, eventually (sooner more often than later) I would somehow bring “the house” into the conversation. It was always on my mind. Not that I ever planned to blab about it to total strangers while waiting in line at the supermarket or bore my friends who were sick of hearing about it. But I was so involved with choosing paint colors (did you ever realize how many shades of white there are?) and light fixtures and sending out change of address notifications and packing boxes that I was literally consumed by “the house.”
Which doesn’t mean that I didn’t work on L’Chaim (the author is editor of L’chaim Magazine – ed.) and cook supper and organize monthly women’s programs. But now everything was colored by my involvement with – on a constant basis – fixing up, moving into and unpacking “the house.”
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that my obsession with the house was a glimpse of what the Rebbe meant when he said that everything we do should be infused with the intention of bringing Moshiach and the awareness that we are on the threshold of the Redemption.
Through studying Torah in general and topics connected with Moshiach and the Redemption in particular, the Rebbe said we hasten the Redemption – an era of inner harmony and international peace, an end to poverty and sickness, and unbounded knowledge. But even more, we actually begin to “live with Moshiach.” The desire for the Redemption would take up much of our head-space and bubble over into our conversations.
This fixation with Moshiach (or in my case, “the house”) does not mean that we disengage ourselves from any healthy pursuits in which we currently participate. On the contrary, we should continue our activities and infuse them with thoughts and talk about Moshiach and the Redemption. “Mei-siach”-“from talking” has the same Hebrew letters as “Moshiach.” By studying and then sharing what we’ve learned with others about Moshiach, we live, breathe, sleep and think the hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people for the past two thousand years.