Should we trust that Moshiach is coming soon? Or should we continue planting anyhow?
Now what you mean by planting, I don’t know. If you mean planting in your garden, go ahead. Do you mean building institutions? Go ahead! I recall, almost forty-five years ago, I was at a banquet in Boston and a Mizrachi gadol was speaking there – it happened to be my business to be there; I couldn’t help it. One of the biggest leaders of the Mizrachi was speaking; I won’t mention his name because he’s long dead. And he said, “You American Jews are making a great error by building big synagogues and yeshivos in America. Go to Eretz Yisroel and build,” he said. “That’s the only place that has any future.”
That was forty-five years ago. In those days there was no Lakewood yet. There was no Chaim Berlin, no Mirrer Yeshiva, no Torah Vodaas, no Tiferes Yerushalayim – there was nothing except for YU. And he was telling the world then that it doesn’t pay to build in America. It’s so silly what he said! During those years, from then till now, a whole generation grew up of beis yaakovs and yeshivos; a glorious young generation.
So even if Moshiach will come tomorrow, you start tonight building a yeshiva or contributing to a yeshiva – don’t worry about what will happen. Don’t worry what will happen! You’ll get reward for your good intentions anyhow.
So Moshiach has nothing to do with our plans; we have to go ahead with all of our plans. And not only plans to build a yeshiva; even plans to make a nice garden. Springtime is coming; it’s a good idea, go make a nice garden in your backyard. If Moshiach will come before the garden has a time to develop, so what! You’ll still go to Eretz Yisroel b’rinah, with singing. Who cares what will happen — we’ll sing in Eretz Yisroel; there are good gardens there too.
You can paint your homes in America too. Of course, don’t go all out and spend all your money in beautifying your homes, but you can have decent homes. You can make a good living and you can enjoy life too. Don’t worry about it; if Moshiach comes it won’t be held against you.
TAPE # 308 (April 1980)