Outside the door of the Tzemach Tzedek’s study stood his little grandson, a boy of four or five years old, who would grow up to be the Rebbe Rashab. He was waiting for yechidus to receive a blessing in honor of his birthday, Chof Cheshvan (the twentieth day of Cheshvan).

As the door opened and the little boy walked in, he burst into tears. The Tzemach Tzedek lovingly calmed his grandson and asked him, “Why are you crying, my child?”

Trying to muffle his sobs, the boy confided in the Rebbe. “Zeide,” he cried, “I just learned in cheder that HaShem appeared to Avraham Avinu. Why doesn’t He appear to us, too?”

Gentle, wise eyes gazed deeply into the child and comforted his burdened little heart. “My dear grandson,” explained the Tzemach Tzedek, “When a ninety-nine year old Yid, a tzaddik, decides to circumcise himself, then he deserves to have HaShem appear to him.”

Children often burst into tears when they do not get what they want. But are those things really worth crying about?

We can see from this story what a Jewish child should insist upon, and what could bring him to the point of tears. Every Jew has a neshamah which is part of HaShem. Because of that neshamah, a Jew, and especially a Jewish child, wants to actually see holiness, not only to be told about it. The Rashab’s example teaches every child to desire and ask for this.

This is especially true today when there are so many signs that Mashiach is coming soon. When the geulah comes, we will be able to see HaShem’s holiness all around us. Just like the Rebbe Rashab cried for something he really wanted, we should cry out to HaShem and insist that He bring the geulah now.

When we cry out and demand the geulah, we may have tears in our eyes, but these are not tears of sorrow or sadness. We are crying in determination, because we want it very much. But we have a happy feeling in our hearts, because we know that it is coming very soon.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Vayeira, 5752)