It's really unbelievable, but over the past several years, Mashiach "rumors" have been spreading nonstop. Not only are they coming frequently from different sources, if we take a step back we are probably living in the most densely clustered period in history for such rumors.
No doubt, there must be a reason for this phenomenon.
I've personally witnessed in my own life how Hashem "prepares" a person for upcoming events. For example, I might have "happened" to hear my Rabbi answering a certain Halachic question, which I did not know the answer to; and minutes later have to deal with the same question in my own home. Only now I already know the answer. This is known as "Refuah Lifne Hamaka" - the cure before the affliction (disease) and that is how Hashem runs the world.
It seems clear to me that although these rumors about Mashiach coming on this day or that day have yet to materialize, they are preparing us for his imminent arrival by accomplishing two powerful tasks:
1. Causing us to constantly think about Mashiach and [re]evaluate our lives
2. Causing us to become desensitized, since Mashiach did not arrive on those dates, making us to become more incredulous to each subsequent rumor
These two tasks work together. They bring the "real" believers closer to Hashem and redemption by making them be on their best behavior. They also cause a person to flex his muscles of Emunah, believing that Mashiach will come despite the fact that "x" date or event has passed and Mashiach still did not arrive.
It also creates an environment of disbelief. So many dates and times have passed and Mashiach has not arrived, that when he actually DOES arrive, we may have a hard time believing it. We know that Mashiach will arrive "suddenly" (Pit'om) or as Yaakov Shwekey's song is titled - "Pis'om". We will truthfully not be prepared for Mashiach. Additionally, we will say 'He's here already? It was too fast, we're not ready!'.
Hopefully, some of us will be prepared at least a little. May it be SOON and PEACEFULLY!
(and to all who believe he has come already in one form or another, I sincerely hope and pray that Hashem shows you the correct path, so that you in fact merit to see the REAL Mashiach and do not delay his arrival by your misguided beliefs)
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