Among the most exciting moments in this process of Redemption is watching the pieces come together. Anyone can do this. (You don't have to be a prophet!) Just by being an observer of the human scene,...current events, talk radio, internet news and daily experiences,--all this can be eye-opening about how the Rebbe's prophecy is being fulfilled.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

She Yelled & Called Me Names: A Lesson in Goodness & Kindness

Why is the following story so touching? Perhaps we all long to be understanding, forbearing, and healing. We want to be connected and we want to reach out. Actually, the Rebbe pushed us to realize these capabilities when he told a CNN reporter in 1991:
“Moshiach (the Messiah) is ready to come now. It is only from our part to do something additional in the realm of goodness and kindness.” Then the Rebbe added, “At least a little more.” (CNN interview: http://youtu.be/r_sx3PzUtjg)

Suggested by S.B.B.
Printed in Prodigal Magazine
She Yelled and Called Me Names by Susan Basham

Pulling my car into the drive-thru line at Starbucks, I wondered why it was a dozen people deep. It wasn’t raining, yet it seemed everyone was driving through today. I was transporting three dogs to the groomer, and there was no way I could leave two wild Shih-tzus and one crazy Bichon alone while I went inside for my daily dose. Millie, the Bichon, sat on my lap licking the window. As I peeled her away from the glass, I saw the woman. She sat across the parking lot, leaving just enough room for a thoroughfare, as she too was waiting in the Starbucks line. I smiled, and gestured to her. It went something like this: “Are you next, or am I?” Really, I was fine either way. She was not. Thinking I was trying to snag her spot of next up, she gunned her Suburban, rolled down the window, and let out a string of expletives that made me blush. Millie barked back a retort. “Go ahead, please,” I said. “I wasn’t sure who was first.” I pulled Millie back onto my lap, so she could see I had been dog-distracted and truly didn’t know who was next. She didn’t buy it. She continued with the name calling without taking a breath. I won’t write them down here, but the main mantra shared initials with the number one social networking site. Then something really strange happened. Instead of getting mad or yelling back at her, a sense of empathy invaded me. I looked at her again, and this time I saw someone different, someone who wrenched my heart. Her eyes were red and puffy. Her hair was pulled back in a natty ponytail. She held her phone in her palm, glancing down at it every few seconds. And she was driving that big ole’ gas hog of a Suburban, my own car of choice when I had three kids at home and a carpool. Dear God. I was looking at myself ten years ago. Same car, same ponytail. Same frustration. We’ve all been there. Dog vomits on the sofa. Both kids have strep throat. The garbage disposal chooses today to break, when you are trying to disintegrate moldy fridge leftovers.  Husband is mad because you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and he’s going on a business trip. Sound familiar? And by the way, was that him she had been talking to or texting? She gunned forward, just to show me that she could. I left her a wide berth, smiled at her splotchy face. She shot me a sideways scowl, mouthed the mantra again. Pulling up to the loudspeaker behind her, I said “I want to pay for whatever the woman in front of me has ordered. And please tell her I hope she has a better day.” I meant every word. The woman idled in front of me for a good four minutes, talking to the barista who had leaned out the window. She shook her head and handed over a bill. She drove around the side of the building slowly, this time no gunning. Hmmm. “No takers, huh?” I said to the barista as I pulled forward. “Nope. She said she couldn’t believe you wanted to pay for her drink after all the names she called you. She said she couldn’t allow it, and said to tell you she was sorry. She felt really bad.” “Did you tell her I hoped she had a better day?” “Yep. She said thanks— that she already was.” “Good to hear.” I smiled and handed her a dollar to put in the tip jar. As I drove away, I began to cry. Not because I had been called so many terrible names, but because God had answered my very recent prayer—which was that He would allow me to see people as He sees them, not as I see them. That I might be able to see the hurting inside, instead of just the hurtful outside. And maybe a few tears were of gratitude and amazement that He always shows up with an answer when I sincerely ask. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Netanyahu at UN Alludes to the Redemption

"In our time Biblical prophecies are being realized." - Netanyahu, UN speech, October 1, 2013

In his appearance at the UN on October 1, 2013, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu evoked images of the Redemption at the beginning and conclusion of his speech. His intent was to focus on the threat from Iran. However he began by an historical reference to the Persian King Cyrus who permitted the Jewish people to return to their homeland 2500 years ago and rebuild the Holy Temple. Recently the Arab scholars at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem have complained that this is exactly the plan in place now: that with the ingathering of the exiles from Jewish populations across the globe, the Third and final Temple cannot be far behind. Right now Israel has the largest Jewish population in the world: 8 million. And wherever the largest Jewish population is, it is said there is a preponderance of holiness.

Netanyahu concluded his speech saying, "In our time Biblical prophecies are being realized."
Then he painted a picture of Redemption in the words of the prophet Amos, as cited below.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN, 10/1/13

From the Beginning of Netanyahu's speech
"Some 2,500 years ago the great Persian king Cyrus ended the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people. He issued a famous edict in which he proclaimed the right of the Jews to return to the land of Israel and rebuild the Jewish temple in Jerusalem."

At the Conclusion of Netanyahu's Speech
"In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized. As the prophet Amos said, they shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them. They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine. They shall till gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again."
[Repeates paragraph in Hebrew.]
"Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sorrows of the Past Are Done: Jews Sing for Joy.

The music video below is one of hundreds over the last few years that express the joy of being Jewish. Given the scars of the Holocaust, how is this ebullient expression of love for Judaism possible? Unless we are in a whole new era, and the sorrows of the past are done. Lezion Berina, a high school in Israel for boys from the former Soviet Union, produced this video. Its title is: "Learning what it means to be a Jew." Above all it emphasizes the theme of unity,...no matter what the garb and what the appearance, and what path each one takes, the Jewish people are one.

Here are some of the lyrics:

"I am a Jew and that's unique. Simply a Jew."

"My soul is part of an eternal light."

"To repair the world is my essence."

"In the end we are all Jews before the Heavenly Throne."