Of Bicycles and Messiah

Pretend you’re 8 years old.

You come home from school one day and nobody’s home. A minute later the phone rings.
“Hi, honey”.
“Hi, Mom. Where are you?”
“Remember that bicycle you’ve always said you wanted?”
“Yeh.”
“Well, I just bought it from Toys R Us. I’ll be home in 20 minutes.”

So for the next 20 minutes, there you are - glued to the front window. Every car that passes, your heart skips a beat. Is that Mom? No she drives a white car, that one is black. Is that her? Maybe that’s her? You stand there watching and waiting with hope and anticipation. You’ve wanted that bicycle for so long and now it’s only minutes away.

Now pretend you’re a grown up.

The Hebrew month of Nisan (corresponding to portions of March and April) represents the time of our freedom. 3,322 years ago we were redeemed from the slavery of Egypt to become a free nation on the 15th of Nisan on the holiday of Passover. Since that time, history has not been that kind to us. First the Amalekites attacked us, then the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Poles, the Russians and the Germans and many more in between. In every generation, at least one nation rises up to try to destroy us.

And in every generation, our forebears cried out to Gd for the coming of the Messiah. This Jewish Messiah will bring universal peace, not just for the Jewish people but for all nations. He will also cause the ingathering of the Jewish people to live in our own land of Israel. And for this, our ancestors cried, “When will he appear and bring us to the final redemption? He seems so far away. We’ve waited for him for so long and now, perhaps, he is only minutes away.”

Our Sages tell us that the Messiah will be born on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (the day the First and Second Temples were destroyed plus a few other terrible tragedies) and will redeem us in Nisan (that is, after he’s a few years old already). When this month comes, we need to expect him. As we sit in the waning days of this special month we need to wait as every moment passes the same way an eight year old waits for a bicycle for he is surely coming.

We conclude our Passover Seder each year by saying - Next year in Jerusalem! We need Messiah NOW because, after all, at least for most of us, we can’t exactly ride our bicycles to Jerusalem!

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Posted in: Jewish Holidays
by   Max Anteby


Comments icon April 9, 2010

YOUR THOUGHTS

By devorah on April 11, 2010 -- 10:54am

beautiful! i love the metaphor—makes it very realistic! thank you!

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