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Is the World Really Getting Better?

Is the World Really Getting Better?

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Question:

You are always talking about how the world is ready and prepared for the Age of Moshiach. I don't see it. It looks like a pretty awful world to me. Looks like we've got a long way to go.

Answer:

That's because you don't see where it's coming from, what it used to be and how much it changed.

Let me illustrate: Nowadays you can call anywhere from anywhere. Imagine a call to the past. Say you called up your great-grandparents.

"Hi, great-grandma, great-grandpa! This is your great-grandchild calling from a hundred years later!"

"So wonderful to hear from you! How is life in the 21st century? Do you have enough to eat?"

"Well, when I want to eat, I go to my refrigerator. It keeps all the food cold and fresh."

"You only eat cold? Poor thing!"

"No, I stick it in my microwave for a minute and it comes out warm and cooked."

You go on to describe your menu, including produce and packages from every part of the world. And not just food, but people, too: You can take a cute little device out of your pocket and have a conversation with someone anywhere in the world, anytime. And if you need a piece of information, or to study any subject, you have access to millions of computers and many helpful people around the world-without even stepping out the door.

Your home is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. No Cossacks come to burn it down. In fact, the government provides subsidies so your children can study Judaism. Even in Moscow, the government helps build places of worship for Jews, as well as people of all faiths. The people around you teach their children tolerance and love of peace. The world produces enough food to feed each of its six billion citizens. Scientists, rather than challenging faith, point out the mysterious wonders of the universe and its essential oneness. For the first time in history, war is looked down upon and world peace is a value.

To them, you are describing a miraculous world. A world more distant from their world than theirs was from the ancients. They could only reach one conclusion: You must be calling them from the Times of Moshiach.

Yes, you left out a few details. For example, that you still owe the bank for that house. That the food produced is not reaching those who need it. That the information superhighway is often used for trash and pornography rather than for the wisdom it is destined for. That the world is still filled with much evil and suffering. But the point is, the stage is set, all is in place. Never before has the world been anywhere near this position. All that's left is for the curtains to be drawn and the lights to shine on the scene.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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Sandra Uk June 27, 2017

Maybe our modern world with all the wonderful inventions, technology, medical breakthroughs, developments and ideas, good and bad, is just further proof that humankind did indeed evolve, and continues to do so. There is precious little divine goodness and holiness apparent in the real world though Reply

Benzion Waldman Millburn, Nj April 14, 2017

Do not lose hope Rabbi:
You point out modern conveniences. Yes, there have been advancements allowing greater interaction and more comfort. However, one cannot deny that this is a colder less caring world. Many feel helpless for so many different reasons. They are reaching out to Ha'Shem to make their lives better, more meaningful. I believe Ha'Shem hears all the prayers and has sent Moschiach to make the world a better place. Your readers should not despair, as Mochiach's identity will be imminently revealed and everything will be better soon. Reply

shirley Agoura, Ca August 25, 2015

Well Tzvi you may not have thought of the Big Difference. when you see young people everywhere today, there are down skinned ones with white and they don't seem hung up about that. the Jews were a big part of changing that racism so that the youngest people in our world have no problem about it. unless they are fr under developed nations and the struggle for just a bite to eat causes them such pain.
And the other Big One is this: the internet and the media ( as wild as it can be) holds a mirror up to our behavior so that the world whether it wants to or not has to change.
Example: a guy yells at his little soccer team or baseball team. His behavior is awful --and it is live on the internet--all over --going viral!

Next thing you know he has a change of heart--a transformation. He checks himself
he is humiliated by his neighbors friends and family. and he changes.

That mirror reflects back to people. look at this recent horrible website offering help with marital affairs. Reply

joshua September 26, 2013

thank you Very well written article. Reply

john smith fort lauderdale, fl June 20, 2010

the world the world itself has not changed that much, the trees, the animals, the oceans. it is us humans who have changed, tried to change and are changing. it is people who have for some painted themselves into the corner without knowledge of how to get out of the corner without getting paint on their shoes. it is in these days that the test of personal faith in G-d plays the role. it is the ONLY way to not get your feet dirty when trying to get out of the corner that we have either played a role or watched the paint being applied. Reply

Anonymous June 20, 2010

half empty, half full I guess it's how one looks at the glass. As materialism, greed, technology, communication have made the world smaller, things more accessible, evil more profound, people more numb, one could also say that the potential for using all the above for good, as noted by Rabbi Freeman, has grown proportionately. I don't know why an individual reacts, feels, sees from either perspective. There is no room here to write much, it should come quickly, end quickly and may Moshiach lead us home. Reply

Shahid June 20, 2010

Details The details beautifully described in this write up, are usually ignored. Very well described! Thanks for sharing!

Regards. Reply

Celine Bennett Elliot Lake, Canada, Ontario June 15, 2009

-Impressed- I don't watch the secular news on TV anymore for the simple reason that I don't want to be impressed with what the devil is doing. I'd rather get my news about miracles that G-d's doing today. Meditate on what HE has done and will do. I cannot afford to have a thought that is not of His. Anyone can be 15 minutes from discouragement or enthusiasm it depends on what we focus on. G-d has done so much already and is doing and will do. HE is GOOD. Reply

D.A.Levit Signal Hill, CA February 21, 2009

Moshiach coming to a world of madness? I can see where Rabbi Freeman is coming from. Life today does seem better than what it was in the past, for the most part. And yet, the problems today, though fewer, are the same -- in more modern forms. But what I believe *has* changed is mankind's questioning of the status quo. There is a belief in, and not just a longing for, better things to come.
Assuming that life really is what we make it to be, the following words, part of a beautiful and famous monolgue, might apply:

"When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps, to be too practical is madness; to surrender dreams --this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be!"

We could never accept, appreciate nor utilize the Coming of the Moshiach unless we are ready to believe in what He will bring. Sometimes we must look beyond what we see, to what is really there.
Thanks, Reply

Steve Finson West Haven, CT/USA December 10, 2008

coming of moshiach Using the advances in technology and our freedom as reasons that Moshiach is soon to come is misleading. Yes, the telephone and the cellphone and the computer allow us to communicate better, but technology has also allowed us to kill each other more efficiently. Every advance, every freedom that has been given to us, has led to both marvelous and horrible things at the same time. This is our humanity; this is our free will. We have the choice to love each other or to kill each other, like Cain. Don’t we have to earn Moshiach? I know that we are not supposed to ask why, or to understand why things happen, but we cannot continue to be satisfied with the presence of evil because we hope to be redeemed. We need a course correction, and soon. On the other hand, I do have unlimited hope. I have to. Reply

Tzvi Freeman (author) July 11, 2008

Re: is world getting better (anon in England) Since you're British, and I assume you know a little British history, let me ask you one simple question:

Let's say today one million Irishmen were dying of starvation. What would England do? What would the world do?

Now tell me the world hasn't changed in the past 150 years. Reply

anonymous July 9, 2008

is world getting better re tzvi freeman

well you sound elated to me. i dont know where you live but in england: the youth are knifing each other all over the place, people pinch your identity and money on the internet, nobody cares about anybody but themselves, fuel food etc. are astronomically high, the governments wrapping everybody into slavery and dictating everything we should be doing in our lives.

elsewhere, robert mugabe lives in a palace while his people starve and are forced to vote for him at gunpoint, theres war in iraq afganistan darfur etc etc, global warming threatens to wipe everyone out and is now irreversible, americas psychotically paranoid about everthing espcially islam, and has created a holy war with no end in sight, breaking all gods commandments in one killing everywhere. israel and palestine just keep on keeping on with murder, there’s more haves in the world controlling the have nots, poverty fighting extravagance, selfishness resting on laurels.

where is your closeness to the moshiach era? i cant see it... Reply

Mrs. H. NY February 5, 2008

what about abortions? How does the fact that abortions have become legal in the past few decades in the US, fit with 'the world getting better' idea?

Since abortions in the vast majority of cases are forbidden for Jew and non-Jew, it's a great spiritual descent. Even worse, about a million Jewish babies have been killed in the State of Israel through abortion, just as we lost a million and a half Jewish children in the Holocaust.

Explanation? Reply

Anonymous adelaide, australia June 17, 2007

great! Tzvi Freeman, you are a very good author! Reply

Anonymous ny, ny June 3, 2007

Jews may not be suffering in Russia, but they are in Arab countrie. And don't non-jews' suffering count? Reply

H. Hudspeth June 24, 2004

perspectives Sometimes, when I think of the differences in perspectives, I visualize two people standing back to back. One looks at the forest. The other looks at the ocean. The person looking at the forest tries to describe to the other what he sees. He talks of the trees that are right before him, but the other, regardless how hard he looks, does not see a single tree in his ocean.

And that's ok, if it does no harm..... and also, people's perspectives are not always "engraved in stone."

But it matters to me when another person and I, regarding something very important to me, do not stand back to back.

Such is the case here. Reply