I’d like to start this idea with a question.
How many of you play video games? Temple Run, Angry Birds, Mario Kart- I’m sure you can think of more.
What’s one thing all games with specific goals have in common? When they’re over, they’re over. Every time you play, you’re trying to get to the next level. Trying to beat your score, trying to get to then end.
And you get to the end, and you’re all excited – and you stop playing the game. Why? You can keep on playing. You can still beat your high scores. But it’s no longer fun. Why? Because you know you can do it. There’s no longer any point, because you know you can, if you want to. The end is no longer far away, no longer a surprise.
We all daven for Moshiach. The Bais Hamikdash (Holy Temple), Israel, no more diseases, no more bombings, no more mitzvot…
What! Where did that come from? No more mitzvot?
When Moshiach comes, we will lose our yetzer harah (evil inclination). We will no longer have a desire to do wrong. So, nu, what’s bad about that? No more crazy impatient drivers, or lashon harah (gossip), or immodest clothing, or cheating on tests, or even being yelled at. What does that have to do with mitzvot?
Everything. We are told that the merit for doing a mitzvah is beyond comprehension. We have a 50/50 chance to do right – and we chose to do right. With no yetzer harah, it’s more like a 99.9999/.0001 chance. We cannot mess up. We know we will do the right thing, so…
To go back to the earlier analogy, if we found out we would be paid in real money for every point we got in a game, we would rush to the end! We would play for hours. We need to accumulate as many mitzvot as possible before we ‘cash them in.’
So am I saying that we shouldn’t daven (pray) for Moshiach? G-d forbid! What I am saying, is that we should remember, always – we are so close to times of Moshiach. Any day, any hour…
Yet we live in a world where we are constantly planning in advance. We can’t say- ‘I’d like to schedule a doctor’s appointment for Thursday- if Moshiach doesn’t come first.’ (That would make a lot of confused secretaries.) I confess to doing it too – already, I’m planning my next Yaldah post.
But we need to remember that soon, we will reach ‘the end of the game.’ And it’s up to us to insure that on our way, we rack up as many points as possible. This world, with all its things, and it’s plans for the future, is just a one-way tunnel to the world to come. Why collect stickers when you can collect mitzvot?
(For part two, see my next blog post. I’m hoping that by then, we will be in Z’man Moshiach, במהרה בימינו, אמן!, and I will never need to post it!)