Can we get a scaled-down version of Moshiach?
Question: What I've read here about Moshiach excites me, but I'd be happier to get a scaled-down version of Moshiach: Someone who will solve the world's problems, but leave me alone to continue living life as I do today...
Answer: Fear of the disruption of our lives is perhaps the greatest concern that we confront.
You are not alone, many people are resistant to the prospects of Moshiach's coming because they feel they will lose their standing in life. Years of toil, sweat and tears will in their imaginations revert to naught. They think their life's work, will be neutralized. Doctors will no longer be necessary, and all the acquired functions, positions and activities we are all so used to and fond of, will no longer exist. Even more disturbing is that Moshiach will invalidate all that for which they stand. There can be no more daunting consideration than one's own invalidation.
In other words, we should not view the relationship between exile and redemption as an adversarial one, that Geulah is positive and golah is negative. Rather, Golah is the path to Geulah. The thousands of years of the world's existence were not just a time of waiting for a better world, but a time when we created a better world through our actions. When Moshiach will be fully realized, all of the functions of Golah will be seen and felt for what they really are. The exile itself, will be elevated into redemption. All of our activities will continue, but will be more wholesome, more gratifying, more meaningful, because we will see their true value - the aleph, the Oneness of G-d."1
While it is true2 that the ultimate occupation of the world will be only to know G-d. The Rambam states in no uncertain terms that there will be no other activity except the knowing of G-d. How does that reconcile with the reassurance that our lives will not be disrupted?
But knowing the inner wisdom, though not its primary focus, results even in physical delight. When Moshiach will come, we will initially appreciate the revelations of Moshiach on our very primitive, immature level. Then we will grow step by step to the point where we will appreciate the value of knowing G-d itself not just the physical enjoyment generated by it.
In conclusion, when Moshiach will come, he will elevate each one of us, from our respective levels, and introduce us to the Divine revelations, in a way that will be good and satisfying for us. At no point will Moshiach make us feel that we've lost something4.
2. Hilchos Melachim 12:5.
3. Hilchos Teshuvah 10:5; Commentary on Mishnah, Sanhedrin 10:1.
4. See Sefer HaSichos 5751, vol. II p. 520ff.