Until We Get to the Inn

 “Ribbono shel Olam, if it is not yet time for us to return home, give us a drink to help us until then…"

Singer DOVY MEISELS lives in Williamsburg, where he attends Reb PINKY WEBER’s shiur every morning. At the beginning of the first Covid lockdown, when the community was reeling in shock, and no one knew what the next day would bring, Reb Pinky — a famed top-tier composer and talmid chacham as well — repeated a vertel, a Torah thought, attributed to Rav Meir of Premishlan. When Yaakov Avinu reached the well in Charan and found the shepherds waiting with their flocks, he asked why they had gathered, as it was not yet time to herd the sheep homeward. “Give them to drink and take them to graze,” he told them (they were waiting for all the shepherds to gather to roll the stone off the well). Rebbe Meir would paraphrase this and say, “Ribbono shel Olam, if it is not yet time for us to return home, give us a drink to help us until then… Biz in kretchma darf men oich a trink! [Even though we haven’t yet reached the inn, we still need a drink].” He meant this as a plea for mercy and good news to tide us over until we reach our ultimate destination, greeting Mashiach in rebuilt Yerushalayim.

Meisels was very moved by the idea and asked Reb Pinky if he could write a song based on these words. The resulting single, “KRETCHMA,” was a while in coming, but made its mark. It was released, appropriately, for Shabbos Nachamu of 2021 with magnificent music by Naftali Schnitzler. “Ribbono shel Olam, shel Olam, chotsch di zman hageulah is noch nisht do, ober bizin kretchma darf men oich a trink — at least, if the time for Geulah is not here, give us a ‘drink’ to help us get through the tough galus meanwhile….”

“These have been hard and painful years,” says Meisels. “We pray that until we get relief, we should have health, wealth, and nachas for all Yidden.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 886)

Dovy Meisels