Countdown to Moshiach: A Story
In one of his travels, chassidic master Rabbi Dov Ber of Radoshitz occasioned to stay the night at a wayside inn. In the morning, he sought out the innkeeper.
"The clock," he asked excitedly, "the clock you have hanging in my room -- where is it from? Where did you get that wonderful clock?"
"Why," said the surprised innkeeper, "it's quite an ordinary clock. There are hundreds like it hanging in homes throughout the country."
"No, no," insisted Rabbi Dov Ber. "This is no ordinary clock. You must find out for me where this clock comes from."
If only to humor his guest, the innkeeper made some inquiries, which yielded the information that this clock once belonged to the famed "Seer of Lublin," Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz. An heir of the "Seer" had been forced by poverty to sell all his possessions, and so the clock passed from owner to owner until it came to hang in one of the guestrooms of the inn.
"Of course!" exclaimed Rabbi Dov Ber upon hearing the clock's history. "This clock could only have belonged to the 'Seer of Lublin.' Only the Seer's clock could mark time in such a manner!
"Your standard clock," he explained to his host, "strikes such a mournful tone. 'Another hour of your life has passed you by,' it says. 'You are now one hour closer to the grave.' But this clock proclaims: 'Another hour of galut (exile) has gone by. You are now one hour closer to the coming of Moshiach and the Redemption...'
"All through the night," concluded Rabbi Dov Ber, "whenever this clock sounded the hour, I leapt from my bed and danced for joy."