Awaiting Moshiach in the "Instant" Age
You are waiting for something important a letter, a package, information to include in a report. You are certain it should have already come. The deadline is fast approaching Each time the telephone rings you hope.
Every person who passes through the door could be the messenger-service. The mailman and the UPS truck take on a new importance. You are on edge, waiting and waiting.
Has the above ever happened to you? Or maybe you remember waiting for a new refrigerator to replace the broken one in the midst of a heat-wave... the results of a medical diagnosis... news about promotions or lay-offs... the imminent arrival of a baby... your refund from the IRS.
Jews are especially good at waiting. One of the thirteen fundamental principles of the Jewish faith as formulated by Maimonides is: "I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come." That's a pretty heavy belief for our generation of Jews, most of whom intellectually at least-have more faith in a global nuclear war with no survivors than they have in the Messianic Age. And yet, this belief in Moshiach has stayed with us throughout the millennia.
Every single day, we are supposed to wait for and expect the arrival of Moshiach, much like the impatiently awaited arrival of an important item or event. So why don't we?
Shh, here's a secret. Many of us, before we ever heard or read that Jews believe "with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach" were already very knowledgeable about non-Jewish culture and beliefs. So much so that when we finally learned about Mochiach, the World to Come, the Resurrection of the Dead--from an authentic, Jewish stand-point--they were already ingrained in our minds as being very non-Jewish--treif. Thus, a new-age, non-sectarian, war ultimately destroying the world seems to be so much more a reality than a time of world-peace and complete disarmament, when everyone will believe in G-d, when the wolf will live with the lamb (i.e. the wicked will live peacefully alongside the righteous).
So what's the solution? How do we start believing in Moshiach, let alone avidly awaiting his arrival every day? Simply by starting: by reading, discussing, thinking, asking. By allowing ourselves to be open-minded enough to realize that Moshiach is possible.