1. Our Rabbis taught, “Begin with blessing.” Thus, when one Jew meets another Jew, he blesses him, Shalom Aleichem,” and his colleague responds, Aleichem Shalom.” Surely, it is appropriate to extend such greetings when one addresses an entire congregation of Jews.

When G‑d sees Jews joining together in the spirit of unity and blessing each other, He will grant increased blessings. Although He is constantly extending His blessings to us, there are times when the nature of these blessings are increased. This is particularly true in the present year, when the festivals flow directly into Shabbos, thus, creating a three day continuum of holiness. Surely, these blessings will include the ultimate blessing, the coming of Mashiach.

This three day continuum requires us to make an eiruv tavshilin which, based on the principle that everything we see or hear should provide us with a lesson in the service of G‑d, can be interpreted as teaching an important concept. An eiruv tavshilin establishes a connection between Shabbos and the days of the week, adding a measure of the holiness of the Shabbos to those days. This reflects the purpose of our service in this world, to infuse holiness into those elements of existence which are by nature mundane, thus, creating a dwelling for G‑d in this lower world.1

In some communities, the eiruv tavshilin is served to the guests.2 This also contributes a significant lesson, reminding us how we are all “guests” in this world. We are sons of G‑d, as it were, and our true place is in connection with G‑d, above the limitations of a material world.

The Rambam writes that with one positive deed, one can tip the balance of one’s personal scale and that of the entire world and bring about salvation. May the merit of eiruv tavshilin tip the balance of the entire world and bring about the ultimate redemption. This is particularly true in the present year whose name, תשנ"א, a year when, “I will show you wonders.” This refers to the wonders which will accompany the ultimate redemption which will surpass the miracles that accompanied the exodus from Egypt.

2. The above shares a connection to the Haftorah recited today which speaks extensively about the ultimate redemption, mentioning in addition to the involvement of Jews, the involvement of gentiles and particularly, Egypt. This is reflected at present when — although we are living amidst the darkness of exile — we see open signs, particularly, in regard to the conduct of the gentile nations that point to the immanence of Mashiach’s coming. For example, at present, Egypt has opened its doors to allow many people, including some Jews, to take refuge after fleeing from lands where they suffered difficulties.

Similarly, the present situation in the Middle East points to the immanence of Mashiach’s coming as mentioned in the passage from the Yalkut Shimoni cited on several occasions previously. The “King of Persia” mentioned in that passage refers to present day Iraq. The “King of Aram” refers to the world’s super-powers (for Aram is related to the word rom which means “uplifted”). Thus, the passage refers to a conflict between Iraq and all the other nations of the world. [A positive quality possessed by the super-powers results from the fact that one of them is allowing Jews to emigrate and live a life of freedom and, as a result, many Jews have emigrated to Eretz Yisrael.]

The Chassidim used to say: Mashiach’s coming will be written up in the newspapers. Today, since news is communicated through the radio as well, we can understand that when Mashiach comes, his coming will be the prime topic of the news broadcasts.

This is pertinent on the present night as well. Since Mashiach’s coming is also relevant to the gentiles, if Mashiach would come tonight, they would also announce this on the news. The information would also reach the Jews since when passing a policeman, a Jew will ask him about the news. The policeman will tell him that there is a very important happening, [to quote the Yalkut:] Mashiach is standing on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash and announcing, “Humble ones! The time for your redemption has come.”

3. Mashiach’s coming is also related to the ushpiz of the present night, the Patriarch, Yitzchok, for the Talmud emphasizes how of the Patriarchs, he is most closely connected with the coming of Mashiach. Furthermore, Yitzchok is connected with the quality of happiness as Sarah exclaimed when naming him, “All those who hear will rejoice with me,” and when Mashiach comes, “Then, our mouths will be filled with joy.”

The connection to Mashiach’s coming is also reflected in the influence of the Chassidic ushpiz,3 the Maggid of Mezritch. The word Maggid is related to the word Aggadah which is interpreted to mean, “draw after.”4 This draws the hearts of the Jews to their true place, Eretz Yisrael.

The above will be enhanced by the influence of Simchas Beis HaShoeivah. This celebration should begin in this synagogue5 and be extended to the neighboring streets and then to other places. Ultimately, this will lead to the most complete celebration that will accompany the coming of Mashiach. Then our celebrations will not be held here, but rather, in Eretz Yisrael, in Jerusalem, and in the Beis HaMikdash.