Yankel, the town beggar, got up one day in shul, banged on the bimah, and warned that anyone who invested with Moshe, the town magnate, should withdraw their investment! The congregants looked on with pity; what did Yankel know about money?
A week passed and the town was thrown into an uproar—Moshe the town magnate had gone bankrupt and fled the country. Hundreds of people lost their investment, but one man became an instant hero: Yankel the beggar. How did he know the secret of Moshe’s false financial empire?
A few weeks before, Yankel asked Moshe for a loan of a few hundred rubles, but he kept changing the subject. He got flustered and started lamenting the state of the Jewish nation, and the overall poverty. He asked Yankel what the Rabbis are predicting regarding the time of Moshiach’s arrival.
“And that’s when it hit me,” Yankel the beggar continued. “If a guy like Moshe the magnate, who hardly ever comes to shul or to study and has no time for everything religious, but now he’s suddenly worrying about Moshiach—things must be really bad for him!”
Jacob called for his sons and said, "Gather and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days. Rashi, a famous commentator on the Torah, says that Jacob attempted to reveal the time of Moshiach’s coming, but G-d prevented him from doing so. Jacob wanted to tell his children when Moshiach would be arriving, to remind them that their mission now is to work hard to hasten his arrival.
And that’s the job of each one of us. We must do all we can to add in Torah and Mitzvot, to make the world a place fitting for Moshiach’s arrival, may it be now!
Candle lighting time in NYC: before 4:25 PM