Rabbi Arnold Saunders
I was in Shul on Acharon Shel Pesach when news filtered through (via the caretaker) that the PM was going to seek a general election. It was just before the Sermon. As Harold Macmillan once said “ Events dear boy, events!”
Needless to say, my planned sermon was ripped up (not literally of course as that would be forbidden on Yom Tov..)
However, it gave me plenty of food (Kosher for Pesach of course) for an alternative sermon! We have a “Fixed-term Parliaments Act which stipulates that a Parliament must last a full 5 years- unless certain conditions are met- such as 66% of the House of Commons voting to dissolve Parliament and thus trigger an early election.
According to traditional sources, there is also a “fixed- term” for the coming of Mashiach. It is not after 5 years but 6 thousand! The six days of the week correspond to the 6 millennia. Shabbat corresponds to the “Yemot Hanmashiach- as the recently- read Haggadah Shel Pesach puts it. Isaiah prophesied “I will hasten it (the coming of Mashiach) in its appointed time. This is seemingly a contradiction. The rabbis resolve this by explaining that if we are worthy it will be hastened- otherwise it will be in its appointed time.
However, just like with the election, the coming of Mashiach can be “triggered” early- particularly if we are deserving of an early dissolution of the “Galut”! In the words of the oft-quoted Chinese proverb, we are certainly living in “interesting times!” There are plenty of trouble spots throughout the world!. Yet the “final redemption” can come in an instant “ The salvation of the L-rd is in the blink of an eye.” As David Steel might have said “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for – Mashiach!”