The Shomer Emunim (Vol. 1) revealed a secret in the name of the great mekubal Rav Tzvi Aryeh of Alik.
There was once a gathering in Heaven of all souls who had already gone through this world numerous times. Nevertheless, they had yet achieved their tikkun (rectification) to be granted their position in Olam Haba. These souls asked Hashem, “What else can we do? Please give us another chance!” Hashem responded, “When it comes time for the final generation before Mashiah, all of you will be sent back to the world and will have one final opportunity. You will face many tests, especially in emunah, and My Presence will be hidden. If during that time you can retain your emunah and believe that I am behind everything that happens, that will be your ultimate tikkun.”
Our rabbis tell us that we are those souls, and this is the final generation. We live in a world that does not recognize Hashem. We see things that don’t make sense. We hear of tragedies, lo aleinu, of people dying young, of so much suffering. We want to ask why. However, it is all part of Hashem’s Master Plan, with the single goal of bringing everyone to fulfill their ultimate purpose – to live forever with Him in the World to Come.
The Rambam writes that when a child passes away at a young age, it means that his mission in this world has been completed. He is ready to enjoy the delights of Gan Eden. B’ezrat Hashem, these challenges are not going to last much longer. The pasuk in Malachi 3:1 says that the Mashiah is going to come suddenly. And then, as the navi says (Yeshayah 26:19), the dead will emerge from their graves and families will be united. Our enemies will be wiped out and the Jewish people will live in peace and harmony. We have to believe that this could happen at any moment.
What does it mean that Mashiah will come suddenly?
Rav Chaim Volozhiner painted the following picture with his students:
Mashiah will arrive on an ordinary day, like today. We will be involved in our regular routines. I will go home after Shaharit for breakfast and to prepare my shiur as usual. My wife will go to the market as always, and she’ll remind me to keep an eye on the soup so it doesn’t burn. Suddenly, while preparing for the shiur, I’m going to feel the sun shining with unusual brightness and hear the birds singing the most beautiful melodies. The trees will be in full bloom, more beautiful than ever. There’s going to be a lot of commotion in the streets.
I will go outside and see one of the neighbors running.
“What’s going on?” I’ll ask him, and he’ll answer, “Didn’t you hear? Mashiah is here!”
I’ll run to the closet to change into my Shabbat clothes to greet Mashiah.
My wife will come home. “You forgot the soup!” she’ll announce, sniffing. “It’s burning!”
“Don’t worry about the soup!” I’ll joyously respond. “Mashiah is here!”
It’s going to be a joyous times! Until then, out task is to believe that Hashem is running the world, He is here with us. He is causing everything to happen, and He does everything for our benefit. Having emunah in our generation will be our final tikkun, and b’ezrat Hashem, it will bring the Redemption. Chazal tell us (Yalkut Shimoni, Hoshea 519) that we were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of our emunah, and our future Redemption will also come in the merit of emunah.