Reb Zalman Estulin, an elderly chasid, told this story many years ago at a chasidic gathering--a farbrengen.
Once, there were two brothers, Avraham and Shlomo, who exhibited unbelievable brotherly love. As children they never fought. They studied Torah together and eventually, after they married fine, Jewish women, they settled down in the same city.
Sad to say, the brothers got into a foolish argument as is bound to happen. Things went from bad to worse until it got to the point where as friendly and loving as the brothers had once been they now hated and abhorred each other.
Years passed in this way until the time came when Reb Avraham was going to marry off his eldest daughter. Despite the fact that they had not spoken for over a decade, Reb Avraham wanted his brother to share in his happiness.
And so, he sent Shlomo a letter of apology for all past wrongs and an invitation to the wedding. When no reply came, Avraham sent a messenger. But the messenger came back with the message that Shlomo would not even consider coming to the wedding.
The evening of the wedding arrived, and though Reb Avraham was happy, his joy was tinged with sadness in knowing that his brother would not attend the wedding.
For his part, Reb Shlomo had scheduled his evening in such a way that feelings of remorse would not get in his way of staying home. He had a huge, seven-course meal, took a long, relaxing bath, got into his pajamas and went to bed early.
The wedding on the other side of town was in full swing when the violinist, an extremely talented musician who could change people's moods through his music, noticed that Avraham's joy was not complete.
The violinist approached Avraham and asked if there was anything he could do: "My reputation will suffer if I can't make the father of the bride happy."
Avraham told the violinist that he was saddened by his brother's absence. "I will go and bring him here," the violinist offered.
And so, the violinist went to Reb Shlomo's house. He stood outside of Shlomo's bedroom window. Half asleep, Shlomo came to the window to see who was playing. He was so intrigued and entranced by the violinist's recital that he opened his door and went outside.
In this manner the violinist and Shlomo walked through the town until they reached the wedding hall.
Slowly, slowly, they approached the wedding until Reb Shlomo found himself in the middle of the dance floor at the wedding hall. He looked around and saw everybody so beautifully dressed. Then, he looked at himself and realized, with quite a bit of embarrassment, that he was hardly dressed as befits the uncle of the bride. Indeed, he was a sorry state in his pajamas!
"Brothers," Rabbi Estulin concluded, "we're all going to be there in the middle of the dance floor when Moshiach comes. Because, as our Sages teach us, the Redemption is like the consummation of the wedding ceremony between G-d and the Jewish people, which took place at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
"The Torah and mitzvot that we do are like the clothing of our souls. It is up to us to come to the wedding dressed as befits the uncle of the bride, and not in our pajamas!"
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