A Jew is supposed to regularly make a cheshbon nefesh, a personal reckoning of whether he is living up to the standard of behavior expected of him (albeit only at specifically designated times—see here). Since many of the Rebbe’s most recent and frequently repeated directives to us were related to the belief in the coming of Moshiach, the effort to hasten and prepare for his arrival, and so on, I have compiled below a list of questions to ask oneself in the process of such a cheshbon nefesh.
One who is constantly, fully aware and infused with the passionate conviction that these are indeed literally our last moments in exile will be sure that today is the day, the long-awaited blessed day in which Moshiach will finally come, in which the entire world will reach the purpose for which it was created.
Do I constantly feel that today is the day?
In order to be truly ready for Moshiach, I must bring my thought, speech, and action to conform totally with Torah (Sefer HaSichos 5751, Pinchas).
Am I careful with my every thought, speech, and action?
Right before the holy day of Shabbos, activity intensifies to prepare the home for Shabbos, often at a frantic pace. We are conscious that soon no more preparation will be possible. Likewise, the age of Moshiach is compared to Shabbos, and our current age was granted in order to enable us to prepare for the age of Moshiach, an opportunity that we will no longer have after Moshiach arrives (see HaYom Yom, 3 Av).
Is the pace of my preparation intensifying? Do I sense the value of the time allocated to me in order to prepare?
Only Hashem can decide to send Moshiach. Moshiach is waiting for Hashem to give him the go-ahead. Hashem, the King of all kings, blessed be He, grants me a private audience with Him every day—in fact, thrice daily—during which I am granted the opportunity to plead for my every wish.
Is the coming of Moshiach today on my wish list?
The Rebbe has taught us that in order to prepare for Moshiach, we must bring Jews who are not-yet-observant to undertake the performance of Mitzvos, study topics in Torah related to Moshiach and the Redemption, and teach non-Jews to follow the Noahide laws. The Rebbe has instructed us to increase in Tzedakah and good deeds, in study and dissemination of Chassidus, in acts of love toward our fellow Jew, and issued many more directives, all with the goal of preparing us for the coming of Moshiach.
Am I careful to do the things that are auspicious in bringing Moshiach?
Nowadays we live in a state of spiritual darkness and thick concealment of the absolute Truth that “there is nothing besides Him” (Devarim 4:35). However, when Moshiach comes we will perceive the absolute truth of Hashem’s reality in a tangible manner. One of the main purposes of Tefillah is to foster a desire to behold Hashem’s glory and in order to create a framework in which to express that desire toward Hashem.
Do I davven slowly, carefully, savoring every word, pouring out my heart to Hashem, crying out for the exile to end, with intense yearning to see His revelation when Moshiach comes?