Our family had an extraordinary Yom Kippur. We spent Yom Kippur with The Jewish Experience, the organization that I have the merit of working for, as I try to share the beauty of Torah with others. My colleagues Rabbi Danny Wolfe and Rabbi Yisrael Katz had the brilliant idea of bringing world traveler and world renowned Rabbi Yisroel Lashak to inspire the teens and adults over Yom Kippur. And that he did. One of my kids said they have never had a Yom Kippur like this before and during the final hours of Yom Kippur, they felt the incredible presence of God. Rabbi Lashak spoke several times and told many stories. Some true and some metaphoric. The following story had a mind-blowing, game-changing impact on me. It went something like this:
There was a city ruled by a King. In this city lived a man who had many, many health issues. He was so sick that he was unable to work, and therefore, he and his family lived in poverty. To feed and clothe his family, the man would walk the streets of the city each evening collecting the scraps of food and worn clothing put on the side of the road. He did this night after night, and it was difficult and taxing on him.
The King, in his kindness, set aside a day where all of his people could stand in line and one-by-one ask him for ANYTHING they wanted. For this was a very powerful King who had the power to grant them their desires.
The poor, sick man stood in line to speak to the King. When it was finally his turn, the King’s assistant brought him before the King. The King asked him what he wanted. “Your Highness, what I really, really need and want is a wagon to carry the scraps of food and worn clothing. I am too weak to carry them in my hands, and a wagon would really solve my problems.” The Kings assistant started laughing at the man. “Why are you laughing?” the man asked. “Why am I laughing you ask? You are standing before the King. He can grant you anything you want, and you are asking for a wagon! Why don’t you ask him to heal your afflictions? Then you will be able to work and support your family! You can ask for the thing that will solve your problems, and instead all you ask for is a wagon? What a fool!”
Rabbi Lashak then brought the message home. We are asking for “wagons” in the form of health, wealth, good relationships, peace on earth. We should be praying for Moshiach to arrive! For when Moshiach arrives, the Oneness of God will be revealed, ALL human beings on earth will have clarity and we will ALL live in Peace.
This Truth is one of the foundational principles of Judaism.
Some of you know I have a “Moshiach outfit.” It is a special white skirt and beautiful blouse and pretty earrings that I keep hanging on my closet door, ready to don when Moshiach arrives. The only other time I wear it as I await the call of Moshiach’s arrival, is on Yom Kippur. So get this… I was wearing my Moshiach outfit when I was hearing this powerful message!
While I will still likely bring my limited vision “wagon” prayers to God, they will now will be prefaced with a sincere plea for the one thing that I (and all of us) truly need, for Moshiach to arrive speedily in our day.