I think in metaphors. It’s just the way my brain works. My newest insight is that of the pickle jar.
I and many others are desperately awaiting the arrival of the Messiah, that person who will be able to illuminate the world with the Truth. We are very close. Jewish sources tell us that we are on the heels of the Messiah.
I even have my outfit picked out that I will wear when this glorious day arrives. It is hanging on the door of my closet. I try to live each day as the 12th of Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith states “I believe by complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he tarry in waiting, in spite of that, I will still wait expectantly for him each day that he will come.”
But what will it take for us to get there? Last, my then 11 year old son Zvi were talking on Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning for the loss of the Holy Temple (due to baseless hatred) and the countless other losses and tragedies that the Jewish people have experienced on that day over the course of Jewish history. I said to him “Zvi, God willing, next year, Moshiach will have already arrived and we will be dancing and eating instead of crying and fasting on Tisha B’Av.” Without skipping a beat, Zvi said to me “Mommy, I don’t think it is ‘God Willing” but ‘Us Willing.'”
I think Zvi is right. Judaism understands that God created humans with free choice. The ability to choose between good and evil, between caring and apathy, between baseless respect and baseless hatred, between life and death. Can God override our choices, of course….its God we are talking about. Perhaps, however, God wants us to make a choice to bring the Messiah. God is willing, but are we?
Here is where the pickle jar comes in. I was thinking the other day how it often takes several people to open the pickle jar. One person tries and after futile attempts asks someone else to try. They try but it doesn’t budge. So the next person tries and boom….it opens. And that person seems like they are the strong one that was able to open the jar. Really though, it was each person putting in their effort that contributed to the pickle jar finally opening. It took everyone’s contribution to make it work.
For Moshiach to come it will take ALL OF US. No matter where a person falls on the spectrum of Judaism, we are all part of the whole that is needed to bring True enlightenment, world peace, clarity. Don’t we all want that? Don’t we all want a world where we put our energy into love rather than hate, seeing the commonalities rather than the differences, working together rather than feeling that others are a threat? Jewish sources tell us that when the second Holy Temple was destroyed, the Shechina “Divine Presence” left and went inside each person. Look inside. Ask yourself “How can I contribute to peace on earth? How can I grow just a little bit in the direction of clarity and Truth? What can I do to make this happen?” Perhaps we all need to willing, and together we can allow Moshiach to “open the jar,” please God, may it be very very soon.