Together with 15% of the world's population (that's about 1 billion people), I just watched the last miner being freed from the Chilean copper mine that was his home, together with 32 fellow miners, for the past 69 days.

During the first 17 days after the mine collapsed, the miners had no idea if people knew where they were or that they were alive. When, with 48 hours worth of food rations remaining, contact was finally established, they learned that they would have to wait several weeks until they could be brought to the surface. They survived thanks to the supplies rescue workers lowered to them.

I watched as the last miner entered the capsule and emerged aboveground 15 minutes later to welcoming applause, whistles and sirens and the embraces of family, friends, co-workers and the president of Chile, the culmination of rescue efforts costing some 22 million dollars.

As I watched, I thought to myself, what lesson can I learn from this episode?

Then I remembered a metaphor I heard as a child describing the reality we live in. The images I saw before me brought that metaphor to life.

Imagine for a moment that the miners had not been rescued, but were given the food and supplies necessary to continue living comfortably underground. Imagine that they weren't miners, but families that rappelled down the chute on a vacation trip and suddenly found themselves condemned to live in the mine for the foreseeable future.

Imagine that, as years pass, children are born in the mine who have never been aboveground — their experience of "working for a living" being nothing more than opening a box that comes down the chute everyday...

Once a year, the parents mark yet another anniversary of the day they came to this place, and cry and talk about returning to a very different life in a place called "home." A place where there are things called sunshine, wind, snow, meadows, rivers, showers, seashore, palm trees, horses, billions of human beings.... Where food comes up from the earth, not down a chute in a box....

The children listen with disbelief. What are these old geezers talking about? They must be fantasizing. The children ask questions --"Daddy, why does a year have 365 days? What are seasons? What is a sun?"-- and their parents answer. Their parents have all the answers to their constant questions and seem convinced that they are right. But the children are still skeptical. It all seems so unreal.

Now imagine the original parents pass on, and now a second and third generation of mine dwellers replace them. The older generation transmits to the younger what they heard from their elders, the immigrants, but they cannot answer the many questions, nor "prove" the information they received from their parents, since they have never seen any world other than the underground mine.

One day a capsule comes down the chute, and the native mine dwellers are told that they should enter it in order to finally be freed.

What do you think their reaction would be?

Now, before you laugh at the silly mine dwellers, think for a moment. How different are we from them?

We, too, live a life very different from what it's like at "home."

What do I mean by "home" you ask?

You see? That is a good example of what I am talking about. We are so used to the lifestyle we are living that we don't even know where "home" is.

"Home" is where we come from. "Home" is where we aspire to be. "Home" is where things are the way they should be.

"Home" is not so much a place as a condition.

"Home" is where our maximum, rather than minimum, potential can be expressed. "Home" is where we can behave as we really are.

"Home" is the world the way it was meant to be, where we can live as we were meant to live.

"Home" is the world the way G‑d intended it to be. "Home" is the way life will be once Moshiach is here.

Sometimes we get so comfortable in our underground mine that we dread leaving its "security." We do not fully trust the capsule – the teachings of the Torah, especially as it has been taught to our generation by the Rebbe – that has "invaded" the security of our lifestyle in order to free us from it.

The miners, who had been underground for just 69 days, already needed special sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sudden exposure to light as they exited the capsule.

This week's Parshah begins with G‑d telling Abraham to leave his "land, birthplace and parents' home" and to go to "the land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1).

Our sages point out that the words used by G‑d, "lech-lecha," can be understood to mean "go to yourself," and the Hebrew terms for "your land, birthplace and parents' home" can be understood to mean "your personal desires, habits and ideas." In other words, G‑d was teaching Abraham, and through him, all of us, that in order to reach your true, essential self, you must first be free from your comfortable, superficial self.

Once we recognize this, we are well on our way to freedom.

But in order to leave our underground reality, we have to want to leave.

We need to want Moshiach now in order for him to come and bring us home.