You know, I don't think there is anyone who will say that we aren't in a very significant moment in history. As I have said in the past, I do not like to make predictions, and the main reason is because predictions for the near future look rather silly when they do not come true. I honestly think that what is currently going on is heading in a certain direction, and it doesn't take a genius to see. If I am right, it is truly the time for us to start doing more than just talk. It is rather easy to jump from one blog to another and find something to buzz the brain and be excited about. And while it is nice, and I'm sure Hashem is happy that we are looking forward to Moshiach, Hashem wants action. I'm sorry to say this, but it's not worth too much when we sit around for an hour and check every news source to see if Obama is going to be Gog. It's just not. What is worth something is actually doing something.
Well, you say, it is hard to do something, after all, what can I do? I am just a little Jew, I may not really know too much, can't really learn too well. Well, I tried the daf a bunch of times. That didn't go. I tried out your podcast too, Ari. That was cute. But what can I really do? Come on now, does my little mitzvah really make a difference? Anyway, I'm inconsistent, and the one time I try just won't cut it. Why bother?
This is how the yetzer hara talks. He convinces us to give up before we have even tried. Now I'm quite sure that I have may have lost you by now, because I stopped talking about Moshiach, but guess what, this has everything to do with Moshiach. Moshiach can not come until we get ourselves together. And the main people who need to do that is us - because we know better. The Satan has nothing to say about people who aren't frum, because they just don't know. It is we who are stopping Moshiach from coming. It is we, with our petty שנאת חינם, believing that we are better than every other person who isn't as frum as us, doesn't learn as much as us, doesn't daven as long as us, hasn't been to the right Yeshivas, doesn't have the yichus we have, doesn't live in Israel, doesn't want to live in Israel, and on and on and on. We are so full of pride - we are Gog. Yes, we are the most prideful individuals that exist in the world, and we hate anyone who isn't like us. We are holding up the show, and a lot of people can die because of our pathetic outlook on life. Is it any wonder that the entire world hates us so much? It's middah k'negged middah, because we hate each other. They hate us for no reason, because we hate each other for no reason.
But it doesn't have to stay that way. We can learn to love. And I'm going to ask you to make a small investment right now. Please, please download the following two parts (each split in two) of a speech about Lashon Hara by Rav Mendel Kessin. You may have heard it before, or you may not have. Either way, this is the time to listen to it. You will get a different perspective that will make you want to be more careful about this mitzvah, and it will help you love your fellow more.
After listening to the shiur, please, please click on the last link and purchase the Chofetz Chaim's lesson a day, or go out to your local seforim store to buy it, and take a minute each day to learn a halacha. Maybe even read that halacha a few times until you have it memorized. This is a concrete effort than anyone can do that will bring Moshiach in a more merciful way.
I apologize if I came off too strong, and the truth is that I am speaking to myself as I write this as well.
If it is too much to listen to all at once, you can come back later, or right click and choose download to listen later on your computer or mp3 player. But I have a feeling that once you start, it will actually be hard to stop listening.
I will do this bl'n, and I hope you will too.
Here is the link to the book, which is about $17 + shipping.
One last thing. If this is powerful enough for you to copy, paste and send to someone you know, please don't send it to that person who 'really should be hearing it,' but rather to someone you care about who will appreciate your love for them, and will truly bring about an increase in ahavas Yisrael and diminish שנאת חינם.