We're almost there - this was so uplifting that I had to publish it; being reminded by a friend re my blog that I have been neglecting lately...from today's Hakhel email
FROM THE SEFER YEARNING WITH FIRE: “Being metzapim l’yeshuah is not only mandatory, but especially essential now, because, as the Chofetz Chaim and the Michtav MeiEliyahu write, ‘all the signs pointing to Mashiach’s arrival have already been fulfilled’. We are like people coming to the end of a long journey, who are told, “Go over the bridge, pass two sets of traffic lights, and just keep going until you see the sign that says ‘Entrance.’ Then you’re there.” Would a person travel the entire way and then, just when he must start looking for the “Entrance” sign, give up the effort? We have come so far, the Chofetz Chaim and Michtav MeiEliyahu are telling us. Now, more than ever, we must indeed keep our eyes focused on the horizon, trying to catch a glimpse of the rapidly approaching Mashiach.” Hakhel Note: How is one metzpeh l’yeshuah? That is what Yearning with Fire is about! 89 Day, 5 Minute Lesson-A-Day Program. We once again urge you to being the Program--it is extremely enriching--and we hope you will see the Yeshua before its completion!
Special Note One: We continue with our study of the Nineteen Brachos of Shemone Esrei. This week we focus on the Tenth Bracha of Shemone Esrei--Kibutz Galios--Gathering in our Exiles! HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, points out that the bakashos in Shemone Esrei until this point were essentially personal bakashos for ourselves--and are only requested in the plural because we join our brothers together with us. Beginning with Tekah B’Shofar, we begin a series of brachos on behalf of all of K’lal Yisrael as a Tzibbur. HaRav Friedlander emphasizes that we must recognize that to us redemption means not merely the physical redemption from the lands of the 70 nations and the return of us all to Eretz Yisrael (in and of itself a great accomplishment), but also our spiritual redemption--an unfathomable lifting of our spirits in Avodas Hashem. Our physical redemption, and our tribulations and sufferings will end because the spiritual redemption has occurred. HaRav Friedlander explains that the Shofar blast to occur at the outset of our Geulah is more than a physical sound--it is a symbol (as it is on Rosh Hashanah) of the weakening and downward fall of the Yetzer Hara within every member of K’lal Yisrael. Indeed, the Shofar Gadol at that time will have a greater impact and affect upon us even than the unrelenting Shofar blast at Har Sinai--for it will effect a Nitzachon Gamur over the Yetzer Hara. This is the meaning of Tekah B’Shofar Gadol L’Cheiruseinu--to be freed, this time entirely--from the Yetzer Hara’s misplaced drives, animal-driven desires and core antagonism towards Avodas Hashem. Hakhel Note: It would seem that the blast will be a Tekiyah sound only--representing no weakness, no let up, and no staggered or slow approach--but rather a strong, unrelenting and decisive victory. The Kavannah we have when reciting the words Tekah B’Shofar Gadol L’Cheiruseinu may be telling as to how sincerely we want to attain this great and lofty moment--victory, at last!