Doing Our Part to Change the World
Rabbi Y. OliverThere are so many problems in the world, this mind-boggling world of over six billion people.
There are global problems.
Then each country has its own problems.
Jews have their own problems.
Religious Jews have their own problems.
Our own community has its own problems.
And then there are the problems of those in my immediate circle of friends, and then within my family, and finally my own personal problems.
And no matter how much bad news one knows (and by the way, perhaps there are more constructive ways of spending one’s time), it is surely infinitesimal when compared with the problems that one doesn’t know about for whatever reason.
It would seem self-evident that Hashem gives us these problems on all these strata in order that we overcome them.
But overcoming them often seems so hopeless and foolish, so childish and naïve.
When I reflect upon the sheer enormity and seeming impossibility of truly rectifying even one of my own personal problems, attempting to tackle large-scale problems, never mind global ones, seems laughable and preposterous. Come now, what species of deranged megalomaniac would have such pretensions?
There is good news.
I don’t have to totally change the world, the country, frum society, my own community, my friends, or family. I need not even change myself.
Because I can’t.
But there is one little thing I need to do.
I need to dream.
To dream for a time in which everything will change. Everything from the globe to ‘lil ‘ol me.
But how can we reach perfection? Aren’t we stuck in a mire of inherent imperfection?
The answer is that although it seems this way now, this imperfect state of existence is merely a temporary phase. It is setting the stage for something far greater and more amazing and wondrous than anything we can imagine. The world will be soon healed, purified, and elevated to an incomparably higher state of existence. And this will happen because Hashem has promised that He will usher in this era from above, through His redeemer, our righteous Moshiach.
So I need to dream about this time, learn about it, and try my best to visualize it. Once I realize how much suffering and hardship reaching this time would alleviate, I will surely pray for it as well.
And then I need to remind myself: “This time is coming, very soon, sooner than I realize. I need to be as ready as I can be. What can I do practically to improve myself, step by step? And what can I do practically to encourage others in the same direction?”
And every day I need to ask myself this question again.
And when the day is finished, I need to look back and ask myself whether I fulfilled the opportunities given me on that day to fulfill this goal.
And each individual who takes upon himself this mission shows Hashem in the most tangible way possible that he truly believes in the coming of Moshiach, and is awaiting his coming so sincerely and passionately that he is doing his utmost to prepare himself and others for this new age.
And when Hashem sees that we truly want Moshiach now, and he sees the tangible preparations that we have made, He will send Moshiach to finish off the job in a way that we could never accomplish.
May it happen today!