Jun 25, 2013

Yearning for Galus

Compare this quote:

"In the next world, it will be umol'a ha'aretz de'ah, the world will be full of wisdom of understanding, but it'll be too late. Then people will look back and say, "Oh, for the good old days when there was darkness in the world," when it was a test and a trial and it was difficult. That's why it says (Koheles 12:1), u'zechor es Borecho, remember your Creator ... v'hegiu shanim, before the time comes, asher tomar ein li bahem chefetz, when I don't have any desire to live.

The Gemara says, when are those days when you say there is no use in living? Ailu Yemos haMoshiach, because then it'll all be over, there won’t be any struggle. The struggle is right now, that's why it pays to live right now. The darkness is what makes life worthwhile."

to this quote:

“When Moshiach will come, speedily in our days amen, all will yearn for the days of galus.  Then we will truly feel distress at our having neglected working at avoda; then will we indeed feel the deep pain caused by our lack of avoda. These days of exile are the days of avoda, to prepare ourselves for the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our time, amen.”

Is there a difference in the message or are they saying the same thing? Perhaps I see it as different messages because I know who articulated each message.  One was a Litvishe rav and the other, a Chassidic Rebbe.

In the first case, he is expressing the idea that we will rue the day that we did not take advantage of galus as a time to gain credit for Olam Haba.  There will no longer be free choice as we know it, so reward and punishment in the next world will no longer be factors to contend with, and what a loss that will be.

In the second case, he is expressing a feeling of inadequacy.  Like showing up for a test and realizing that you studied the wrong material.  Or being in the midst of a trip when you realize that you forgot to pack some essential items.  That feeling of being unprepared.  Of wishing one had taken better care in advance.

Do you think the quotes express the same idea?

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