It's been a strange year so far. Obviously, things started off very badly with a horrific invasion of the south leading to a deadly war on multiple fronts with the real threat of more fronts opening every day. And now we have learned that at least 31 of the hostages are dead. Yet, this winter, we have received an abundance of rain, which, I think, the last time I saw, was around 19 years ago. And not just any rain, but good rain, with some breaks in between to allow the ground to soak in every drop. We are only in the beginning of February, and most places in the country have already received more than they usually receive all year.
So, on one hand, we have a curse and the other hand, we have a blessing.
It's hard to make out exactly what Hashem is trying to tell us. Perhaps it's simply a sign, that despite the hardships we are going through, Hashem is still with us and watching over us for the good? Perhaps it's in the merit of those religious soldiers, who despite the daily combat they face, they still find time for Torah and mitzvos? Perhaps, it's in the merit of some of the non-religious who have taken upon themselves to strengthen themselves in Torah and mitzvos? Maybe everything and more? Who knows? Either way, it's strange and wonderful at the same time.
"And the Feast of the Harvest (Shavous), of the first fruits of your work, of what you sow in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkos) at the end of the year, when you gather in the results of your work from the field" (Shemos 23:16).
Rav Shlomo HaKohen from Vilna wrote that from here, we see hints toward the future redemption.
It is known that there are two possible outcomes that will bring Moshiach: When we reach the end (the famous 6000 years) or possibly earlier if and when the Jewish nation does proper teshuvah.
It is also known that this world is called a "field to be planted" and the world to come is a "field to be reaped."
This pasuk is teaching us that the "feast of the harvest" can come "at the end of the year," being at the end of time. Alternatively, it can come "when you gather the result of your hard work," when the Jewish nation gathers in their many mitzvos and good deeds.
So, we see hints here, all in one pasuk, that tell us how Moshiach came come. We could "wait it out" until the end, or we can take control, and bring him ourselves.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!