Temporary escape...or redemption?
So many of our youth are confused (actually not only youth….many mature adults as well). WE are in a very deep galus, a very dark spiritual situation where people are looking for happiness from external sources. People are not happy deep inside. People have lost that enthusiasm and simcha that chassidim have always had. Why is that?
I think mostly because we are still in galut, exile! Jews have had enough of galut. We need redemption.
Society is depressing, full of anxiety, pressures, expenses. People are all looking for an escape route. Perhaps that is why so many young people turn to drugs or alcohol or to movies that are full of imagination. People want an imaginary world that feels happier than the reality of life. people want to forget their problems and worries.
But it is not temporary escapes we need. WE need redemption! A complete escape from galut. And we need to demand the redemption.
We need to cry out to Hashem that galut is no longer serving a productive purpose and should be nullified. It is in fact demoralizing, degrading, humiliating and frustrating. It is time to eliminate galut. We need Moshiach NOW! The Lubavitcher Rebbe foresaw these very dark moments of galut, just before the light of Moshiach. We just have to hang in there and encourage one another and constantly cry out for redemption. The world is ready. And for sure Moshiach is ready.
But for us to really push the matter, we also need to do the most important mitzvah which is connected to redemption, the mitzvah of ahavat yisrael. Love for a fellow Jew. We need to eliminate the reason for galut in the first place, which was sinat chinum, unwarranted hatred. And this is especially appropriate now in these days where we count sefirat haomer. This is the time to refine ourselves and to work on loving another just like we love ourselves. This is what the students of Rabbi Akiva learned when the plague struck , wiping out so many of them during this time period between Pesach and shavuot.
And what statement is Rabbi Akiva famous for? V’ohavta l’reocho kamocha. Love your fellow like yourself.