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  • Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier

The ultimate castle in the sky

Vayeshev

During the 1883 Reichstag (Parliament meeting) in Pressburg, it was decided that Jews would be granted complete emancipation. The Jewish activists were extremely grateful for this, and suggested to the Chasam Sofer that he give an official thank-you to the government during his next public address. At the end of his sermon that Shabbos, the Chasam Sofer told a story: There was a king who had an only child whom he hoped would eventually succeed him. The prince was overindulged by his parents and gradually became uncontrollable. All efforts to educate and refine the prince failed. Without an alternative, the king sent him to a distant land where he would be forced to live on a small stipend, far away from his beloved father and the luxuries of the palace. After a few years, the king saw progress in his son, and ordered that a castle be built for him in the distant land. At first, the prince was overjoyed with this reward, but when it became clear that his father planned to keep him there indefinitely, he wrote an emotional letter begging his father to bring him back home already.

“Due to our sins we were exiled from our Father’s table,” the Chasam Sofer thundered. “Of course we are thankful for all the comforts we have but we are not happy here, we want to go back home!” The Chasam Sofer became very emotional, “I can’t contain myself and I must speak inappropriately to Hashem. Master of the world! What do you gain by keeping us in galus?! We want You to bring us back home!” Davening for Moshiach can be seen as a desperate cry to end our pain and suffering. But if so, what about those of us living relatively good lives in free countries with all the comforts money can buy? What should motivate us to ask for Moshiach? As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, we are indeed reminded of all the kindness we experience in this great country. But at the same time we must remember that although this “castle” was built for us by Hashem, it is still far away from home. Tatteh, our King, we want to come home. Gut Shabbos, Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier



The Flint family l’zecher nishmas Reb Avraham Michoel ben Yaakov Shimon Halevi a"h

The Moshe Group Moshe and Rivky Majeski