1. This evening begins Erev Tishah BeAv, a time which is very appropriate for the Messianic redemption. Our Sages taught that Tishah BeAv is Mashiach’s birthday, the day on which “his spiritual source of influence (his mazal) shines powerfully.” Accordingly, the preparations for the birthday should began a day earlier, on Tishah BeAv eve.1 The connection of the present day, the eighth of Av, with the redemption, is further emphasized by the relationship between eight and the Sefirah of Binah2 which is also identified with redemption.

Added emphasis to the above comes from the portion of the Torah connected with the present day, the fourth aliyah in Parshas Vaes’chanan. That aliyah includes the reading of the Ten Commandments which begin with the statement: “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d, who took you out of the land of Egypt.” The exodus from Egypt is the source for all future redemptions as emphasized in the blessing Ga’ol Yisrael in the Haggadah which praises G‑d for “redeeming us and our ancestors from Egypt” and concludes with the prayer “so may You bring us to other festivals... [when] we will give thanks with a new song for our redemption,” i.e., the Messianic redemption which will not be followed by another exile. May it come immediately.

There is a further connection. With the exodus from Egypt, the status of the Jews changed and they became, “free men,” who could never be enslaved in a similar manner again.3 Therefore, from the time of the exodus onward, the Jews no longer shared a connection to exile, for that event established their essential nature as “free men.”

The conclusion of the Ten Commandments also is connected with the concept of redemption. The final commandment which forbids the desire of “anything belonging to your fellowman” is related to the commandment, “Love your fellowman as yourself,”4 the mitzvah of ahavas Yisrael and achdus Yisrael. Such activity will negate the cause of the exile (unwonted hatred) and when the cause is nullified, the effect (the exile itself) will also cease to exist and Tishah BeAv will be transformed into a day of happiness and celebration.5

There is a further connection between the Ten Commandments and the Messianic redemption. With the statement, “I am the L‑rd, your G‑d, who took you out of the land of Egypt,” G‑d emphasizes how the Jews became His servants as Rashi comments, “The fact that I took you out of slavery is sufficient for you to become My servants.” Thus, what is the status of the Jews? That of Hebrew servants. In this context, it is worthy to mention the statement of our Sages’, “Whoever acquires a Hebrew servant acquires a master for himself.”

Thus, the Jews become “masters,” as it were, of G‑d, Himself. Therefore, when the Jews call out with all their strength that they want an end to the exile, G‑d is obligated to redeem them. Since, He has acquired Hebrew servants who are His masters, as it were, He is obligated to fulfill their will or to quote another statement of our Sages, “When a righteous man (and “Your nation are all righteous”) decrees, the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfills the decree.”

This is particularly true since our Sages have stated, “All the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have passed and the matter is dependent only on teshuvah.” The Torah itself will testify that we have done teshuvah many times, not only on Yom Kippur, a day singled out as a day of teshuvah, but each and every day, three times a day. In the Shemoneh Esreh, we ask G‑d [to turn us to Him in teshuvah] and then, ask for His forgiveness. Since the Torah promises that immediately after we repent we will be redeemed, the blessing which follows immediately thereafter praises G‑d as “the Redeemer of Israel.” Since this is a blessing which cannot be recited in vain, surely this is the fact.6

Similarly, the beginning of this week’s Torah portion which describes Moshe’s prayers to enter Eretz Yisrael also relates to the Messianic redemption. Each Jew has a spark of the soul of Moshe within his soul (Tanya, Chapter 42). Thus, Moshe’s prayer reflects the prayers of every Jew to enter Eretz Yisrael together with Mashiach. Surely, these prayers will be answered by G‑d.

Our Sages teach, “Deed is most essential.” Similarly, in regard to the Messianic redemption, what is of primary importance is the deed. It is essential for every Jewish man, woman, and child that the redemption come as an actual deed.

In regard to children particularly, the need for actual deed is greater. In regard to halachah, the intention of a child, i.e., his thought, is not significant, while his deeds are halachically significant. The prophet declares, “Israel is a youth, therefore I love him,” i.e., there is a childlike aspect to every Jew.7 Therefore, as children, what is most significant for us is that the redemption be manifest in actual deed.

There is another halachic concept relating to children appropriate in the present context. According to halachah, a child can legally acquire an article, but he cannot transfer ownership of it to others. Since the Messianic redemption is something which he is worthy of receiving, he can acquire it and once he acquires it, there is no way that he can give it up. Even though one might use the most persuasive arguments, they can have no effect because a child cannot give up ownership of something which is rightfully his.

May all of the above hasten the coming of the Messianic redemption and now, on the night preceding the eighth of Av, we will merit fulfillment of the prophecy, “and the night will shine as the day.” This will be hastened by our gifts to tzedakah which “brings close the redemption,” or to quote the Haftorah from Shabbos Chazon, “Zion will be redeemed through judgment (Torah study) and those who return to her through tzedakah.”

This is particularly relevant since we have just completed an aspect of “judgment,” Torah study by reciting the Shema in the evening service. Indeed, the very obligation to study Torah is stated in the Shema. The aspect of tzedakah will then be contributed by the distribution of money to be given to tzedakah.

ושביה, translated as “those who return to her,” can also be rendered as “her captives,” and thus refers to the Jewish people as a whole who are “captives” in the exile. In this context, taking the Jews out of exile can be seen as fulfillment of the mitzvah to redeem captives, a mitzvah of very great importance.8

At this time, it is also worthy to mention the importance of making siyumim, including making siyumim on Tishah BeAv itself. Even though we are hoping that Mashiach will come beforehand, a siyum will be appropriate. Indeed, then Tishah BeAv will be transformed into a great festival and a siyum will be very appropriate.

May Mashiach9 come now and take all of us, men, women, and children to Eretz Yisrael where we will dance in celebration of the redemption. May it come now, immediately.