It seems to me more and more that the 'birth-pangs of Moshiach' are bearing down on us pretty fast at the moment, so here is what the late Rav Yehuda Zev, who was the head of the lamed vav, or 36 hidden tzaddikim, instructed Rav Arush: (You can see the full article HERE)
"My esteemed teacher and rabbi, the concealed tzaddik Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz, may his memory protect us and all of Israel amen, left his last will and testament with a promise that anyone who heeds it will be saved from the war of Gog and Magog and from the birth pangs of Moshiach. In his will, he instructs us to strengthen ourselves in the observance of the following things everywhere – at home, in public and at work. These are the four things:
- To have mercy on others
- To give in to others
- To help others
- And most important: don't yell at anyone.
AKA: All the sinat chinam stuff Rav Ofer Erez was talking about, a little while ago. (If you go to the top right hand side of this blog and plug in 'Azamra' in the search box, it'll bring up a whole bunch of interesting articles about this subject.)
It's so hard to judge other people favorably and not get all angry and hate-filled about them.
Case in point: I was re-reading some old emails yesterday and come across one that was really horrible, by someone who made a lot of teshuva and turned everything around. Yet re-reading that horrible email got me really angry at that person again - even though they fixed it up!
I was sitting here fuming for a few minutes, until God reminded me that EVERYTHING is coming from Him, to test my middot. That person had their test of middot, and I had mine. I breathed out, forgave them again, and let go of my anger and hakpada.
(In case you think I'm making this sound too easy, let's be clear that it took me 12 years to forgive them the first time around, so this 'secondary forgiveness' is a piece of cake, by comparison.)
There's so much hakpada - angry judgement against everyone else - flying around at the moment.
- This person is acting so selfishly!!!!
- That person is being so thoughtless!!!!
- This person is being so stingy and rude!!!!
And all of it's probably true - but it doesn't matter!
What matters is that we try - very hard - to do the four things described above as much as possible, as that's what's going to get us through in one piece. And as Rav Arush writes, if you haven't got real emuna, a real, deep belief in God running the show, you'll find all four of those things extremely difficult to do.
But keep going anyway! Keep trying! Because emuna doesn't sprout in one shot, it gently grows over time, and every little bit you add will save you so much suffering when the world really start to go crazy. (Or, craziER).
So cut this out, and stick it on your fridge. This, and believing in the true tzaddikim of the generation, is the key to redemption.