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I am looking for the best and most practical suggestion as to what any average person can implement on a daily basis to help bring Moshiach. This could be either a positive action or refraining from a negative action. Please provide sources for why your answer should be effective, and be specific as to why you think your answer is most practical.

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I feel like this is something someone could write a whole book about. –  Double AA May 31 '12 at 22:06
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Duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/9617/759 –  Double AA May 31 '12 at 22:08
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@DoubleAA, nice find. This one has more answers (in fact the only one there is sort-of duplicated here, and by the same answerer) and this question is I think worded better, so I'm closing the other as duplicate. –  msh210 May 31 '12 at 22:11
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@msh210 Fair enough. But FTR my first comment stands. –  Double AA May 31 '12 at 22:16
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What is the meaning of life? –  Seth J May 31 '12 at 22:41
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5 Answers

In short, do Mitzvot. The Rambam writes (Teshuva 3:4):

Accordingly, throughout the entire year, a person should always look at himself as equally balanced between merit and sin and the world as equally balanced between merit and sin. If he performs one sin, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of guilt and brings destruction upon himself.

[On the other hand,] if he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and brings deliverance and salvation to himself and others. This is implied by [Proverbs 10:25] "A righteous man is the foundation of the world," i.e., he who acted righteously, tipped the balance of the entire world to merit and saved it.

This article brings lots of practical suggestions of Mitzvot that are "Particularly Propitious for Hastening the Redemption". It brings sources from our sages about various Mitzvot that were told bring the Redemption.

Here's a bullet point list of some of them, see there for more, as well as explanations and sources:

  • Yearning

    "Even if the Jews have only the yearning for Moshiach, they are worthy of redemption" --Midrash Yalkut Shimoni.

  • Teshuvah (Repentance)

    "If Israel does teshuvah, they will be immediately redeemed." --Talmud (Sanhedrin 97B)

  • Charity

    "Great is charity for it hastens the Redemption" --Talmud, Bava Batra 10a.

  • Love and Kindness

    "Why was the Temple destroyed? Though the Jews were involved in Torah, mitzvot and acts of kindness, they were guilty of harboring baseless hatred towards each other" --Talmud, Yuma 9b.

  • Study Jewish Law

    "The ingathering of all these exiles will be only in the merit of the Mishnah" --Midrash Rabbah, Leviticus 7:3.

  • See (and Thank G-d for) the Miracles

    "G‑d wished King Hezekiah to be the Moshiach. Said the Attribute of Justice to G‑d: 'Hezekiah, for whom You performed so many miracles, has not sung Your praise. You will make him Moshiach?!'" --Talmud, Sanhedrin 94a.

  • Have Children

    ""The Son of David will not come until the heavenly soul repository is emptied" --Talmud, Yevamot 62a.

  • Keep Shabbat (and encourage others to do the same)

  • Learn Torah -- From the Ohr HaChayim HaKadosh quoted in this answer.
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The Baal Shem Tov wrote in a letter to his brother in law that he went up to the spiritual palace of Moshiach and asked him "When will you come?"

Moshiach answered him "When your teachings will be spread out and will become known in the world, and your wellsprings (of what I taught you and what you understand) will be spread out, and everyone will be able to do Yichudim and Alyiyos like you. Then all of the Klipos will be destroyed, and the time will be auspicious for the redemption".

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Be as machmir (stringent) with mitzvos bein adam lechavero (commandments concerning interpersonal relations) as most people are with mitzvos bein adam leMakom (commandments concerning Divine service).

We lost the first Beis HaMikdash because of Avoda Zara (Yoma 9b). Correcting this sin brought us the second Beis HaMikdash.

We lost the second Beis HaMikdash because of Sinas Chinam (ibid). It stands to reason that we must correct this sin to bring the third.

For practical approaches to this, I would personally recommend in-depth study of Likutey Moharan (especially ל״מ א:רפב) and Chofetz Chaim.

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is not true that Herodes also built pagan temples? –  juanora Jun 23 '13 at 12:46
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We are not allowed to "bring Moshiach" or do anything which would "hasten the End", as the Rashbash (Shailos v'tshuvos #2) writes:

אמנם מצוה זו אינה מצוה כוללת לכל ישראל בגלות החל הזה, אבל היא נמנעת כלל כשז"ל בגמרא כתובות פרק האחרון שהיא מכלל שבועות שהשביע הקדוש ב"ה את ישראל לא ימהרו את הקץ ושלא יעלו בחומה, וצא וראה בני אפרים מה קרה להם שמהרו את הקץ

"that we are are not allowed to "hasten the end" and see what happened to the children of Ephraim who hastened the End."

The bnei Ephraim were said to have left Egypt earlier than they were supposed to and were described as דוחקי הקץ, people who forced or hastened the end. (For more info see here)

So our mission is just to keep the Torah and not worry about God's plans for the End; the idea that we should actively attempt to bring about the End is highly problematic.

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Wouldn't all the other answers apply just as well if the question had been asked as "what can we do to avoid impeding Moshiach?" –  yoel Jun 1 '12 at 2:18
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I think there is a difference between what the Bnei Efraim did and "bringing Moshiach". See my answer for several statements of the Sages that explicitly talk about actions that bring Moshiach, the most blatant being "Great is charity for it hastens the Redemption" --Talmud, Bava Batra 10a. The way your answer is presently worded implies that one is forbidden to give Charity, since it would "bring Moshiach". –  Menachem Jun 1 '12 at 2:19
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@Menachem I don't think my answer is worded in such a way to give that impression; it seems clear to me that there is a difference between doing the mitzvah of charity l'shma (for which God may then decide to redeem us), and doing the mitzvah of charity "in order to bring Moshiach", which seems to be forbidden. I understood the original question to be, what can we do "in order to bring Moshiach"? Otherwise, yoel is correct that the question should just be, "What should Jews do? period. –  Curiouser Jun 1 '12 at 2:21
    
What would you do with the story in Bava Metzia 85a, where Rebbi, having found out that R. Chiya and his sons have the power to bring Moshiach, indeed called on them to lead the prayers in an attempt to do so? It is true that the Gemara there continues that Hashem sent Eliyahu to halt the attempt, but the point is that Rebbi wasn't concerned about inappropriately "hastening the end." So I think @Menachem is correct: doing mitzvos (even with that intention in mind) is one thing, a mass movement to leave galus - which is what Rashbash is talking about - is something else. –  Alex Jun 1 '12 at 4:17
    
@Alex I think you will like the tshuva in Mishneh Halachos 11:1, who uses precisely that proof that we can pray for moshiach and the redemption. But, I think you are making my point -- prayers for redemption are part of our tefillah, they are nothing special or beyond what the Torah commands. What the Rashbash is talking about is some sort of action or campaign with the purpose to "bring Moshiach" (like I explained a few times now). Obviously, we should fulfill mitzvos like tefillah. –  Curiouser Jun 1 '12 at 14:49
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Stop lashon hara, stop accepting lashon hara. I'd say this is the #1 thing keeping Moshiach from coming, if we stop lashon hara, we stop senseless hatred, and ahavat yisroel is our biggest motive for bringing Moshiach. Learn Kabbalah, study Chofetz Chaim (laws on lashon hara), Mussar, and give Tzadakah! Make that 10% into 15%. And finally, motivate others to do the same!

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Can you provide a source that Lashon Hara (specifically) is what is holding back Moshiach? –  Shmuel Brin May 31 '12 at 18:18
    
The Chafetz Chaim's hakdamah to the Chafetz Chaim. –  b a Jun 28 '12 at 21:50
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