Monday, August 24, 2009

Déjà Vu

There is so much talk recently about these days being the 'end days', the 'birth pangs of Moshiach', 'minutes before midnight' etc. that I find myself in awe. If what we read, hear, see and feel is correct, I say to myself, how fortunate that we live in the generation which may actually witness the forthcoming amazing and miraculous occurrences! But then I find myself feeling a kind of déjà vu like everyone has at some point in their life. It's a feeling of knowing that not only are we in the generation which may merit to be redeemed, but that we have always been in that generation. The Rabbis teach, (I specifically heard it from Rabbi Lazer Brody although I am not quoting) that we are all (or almost all) 'recycled neshamas' at this point in the history of the world. Our neshamas (souls) have been 'reborn', reincarnated more than once since the beginning of Creation. So in essence, we are not exactly the chosen generation from the viewpoint of personally being in the generation of redemption. We have recurrently had our share in the prospect since time immemorial.

It is said that in every generation a person worthy of becoming Moshiach exists, but if we don't merit his coming, life continues as usual until we do.... or eventually he will arrive on his own. In our past gilgulim (reincarnations), as a collective people, we didn't quite hit the mark. Since we are all responsible for one another, it is time that we helped each other work toward perfecting the world in order to assist in bringing true peace... Moshiach.

On a related subject, and here I am just throwing out my thoughts since no one knows what precisely will occur, (least of all me) but I find the idea of techiyat hameitim, resurrection of the dead, a fascinating topic. "According to the Leshem (as per the Midrash Ne’elam), Resurrection of the Dead begins in 17 years time" (from Rabbi Pinchas Winston's article 'A Step Back'). By then, HaShem willing that I should still be of this world, I will be in my early 70s. Nothing is certain, but my understanding is that the deceased will be revived at the age they died and then healed of any illness or disability they incurred prior to death. My Mother a'h passed away when I was in my mid 30s. I visualize meeting my Mom after all these years of separation. Hugs, kisses and crying aside.... she will be younger than her elderly daughter! How bizarre and shocking! This leads me to believe that our neshamas will play a much greater role in the future than in the world as we know it today and our physical bodies will be secondary.

I know some people think I have 'lost it' in the reality department when it comes to all of this, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I have never had such clarity of mind as I have recently. My age may have caused me to require glasses to see more clearly for reading, but I believe it has had the opposite affect on my spiritual vision.

All I can do is to encourage people to heed the words of the many Rabbanim who tell us that it is time to do serious tshuva (repentance). It is not a laughing matter and when push comes to shove, I pray that all of my friends and family are on the right side of the gate. Now is the perfect time to begin or continue your efforts, the month before Rosh Hashana when we must each face the Judge of Judges to be inscribed for the New Year. We must use this time to make amends with anyone with whom we harbor animosity and with G-d Himself. This is an opportunity for introspection ~ we can look deep within ourselves and change for the better.

If each one of us takes on one more mitzvah, does one extra good deed, is kind, speaks less loshon hora and makes a serious effort to bring a little more light to the world, not only will our neshamas be more fine tuned, but we may even earn the chance to champion in the genuine, everlasting and long awaited peace!


  1. >>My age may have caused me to require glasses to see more clearly for reading, but I believe it has had the opposite affect on my spiritual vision.<<

    Ah, the gift of middle age :-) You are so right. I believe I have been blessed with it as well.

  2. Chaya, like you I agree that this chodesh of Elul is a time to think about what kind of person I have been all year and what kind of person do I want to be. In other words it is time to take charge of yourself and improve.....we all have something that needs improvement. Your comment about greeting your mother who will be young than her elderly daughter is freaky in a good way. In my case, I will be 'older' than my dear father. My husband & I have celebrated more wedding anniversaries than either of our parents did....both fathers passed away at young ages. I don't think you have lost it in the reality department, you are growing in your yiddishkeit and that says so much about you. Keep growing......