Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is There Any Hope for Humanity?

Reading the daily news headlines can easily lead a person to hopelessness. The economy remains in shambles, a large segment of the world is at war with the West, and there is a genocidal regime on the precipice of becoming a nuclear power. It is almost as if the entire world is upside down. Just take the recent cover of Time Magazine, for example. As their leading story, they invoke anti-Semitic stereotypes in claiming that Israelis don't care about peace. To add insult to injury, world leaders have decided yet again to impose the "peace process" on Israel (i.e. guaranteed outbursts of violence by those who will never recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state). So what exactly is there left to hope for? Well, in both the macro and micro realms of life, there actually are better days ahead - as long as we rely on God and not world leaders.

First, let's deal with a macro example. We just commemorated the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While 9/11 served as a tragic wake up call for the United States to be more proactive when it comes to radical Islamic terrorism, Osama bin Laden has yet to be killed or captured. This might lead one to believe that there may never be justice served for the thousands of innocent people whose blood he has on his hands. But this will not be so. There was a Torah Code found about 9/11 that might be letting us know that there is indeed hope for the future. In it, bin Laden is named as the agent of destruction and Mashiach (Messiah) as the one who will take revenge. Exactly what this revenge entails, who Mashiach is, and when this will take place is not yet known. However, these two men are more than just individuals - they represent life vs. death and good vs. evil. Perhaps God is providing us with a preview of coming attractions, hinting that evil will have its comeuppance and goodness will reign on earth.

Now, let's consider a micro example. All of us have to deal with people in our day to day lives. Some of these individuals are friendly, while others drive us nuts. Yet, even if you get along with someone, you will eventually be disappointed if you overly trust in them. Unfortunately, human nature is fickle and unreliable. However, you will always have peace-of-mind if you trust in God. As two very instructive verses state: "Cursed is the man that trusts in man" (Jeremiah 17:5); "Blessed is the man that trusts in God" (Jeremiah 17:7). Especially during the High Holidays, it's important to remember that God is the ultimate just and merciful being, and He judges us the way we judge other people. If we generally give others the benefit of the doubt, God will do the same for us. Thus, while it's extremely important to be kind toward other people, our hope and trust should only be in God.

Properly-placed hope is a key element in becoming a good person, as well as a way of producing more optimism in a world that easily creates pessimism:

Being more optimistic will also help in the goal of Jewish unity. If we simply write this off as a dream that can't be realized, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if we each focus on improving our own interpersonal conduct, it might just happen after all.

And with regard to combating hopelessness due to all of today's problems, take solace from four of the greatest words in the English language:

This too shall pass.

1 comment:

  1. i was born in russia right after the end of sovet union times. my father was very concerned about politics-jews in russia was in a diffuclt situation, as you know. every day we got bunch of depressing and scary news from our tv screen. when i grew up i stopped watching tv. and now i can say-when i read news and watch tv life looks scary and future is not clear. when i dont-i just live my happy everyday life without additional stress)Gd will help us anyway.