Dear Readers,

Until several weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of fidget spinners. Then one day, my daughter came home from school and informed me of this latest fad. Like any good mother, I immediately tried to get a hold of one, but had a hard time because it was sold out in so many stores due to the massive demand.

Since then, I’ve been noticing fidget spinners everywhere. They’re online, in toy stores, even at the supermarket checkout lines. Forbes magazine describes them as “the must-have office toy for 2017.” YouTube has videos showing the cool tricks you can do with them; there are even customizable ones with company or organization logos (including Chabad Friendship Circle). The toys have become so prevalent that some schools are considering banning them because too many of their students become distracted by them. Others are vehemently defending their benefits in helping children with short attention spans focus and in releasing nervous energy. Apparently, this nondescript toy has taken the world by storm!

Catherine A. Hettinger invented an original spinner in the summer of 1993 to keep her daughter occupied while she was suffering from muscle weakness due to an autoimmune disease. She held a patent for eight years, but surrendered it in 2005 because she could not afford the $400 renewal fee. While the current spinner is different than her original design, she might have been a rich woman today if she had kept her patent. In any case, Hettinger says she is just pleased that her idea has evolved into something so popular.

So why does the fidget spinner make me optimistic about Moshiach?

Not long ago, the fidget spinner was completely unknown. But within a very short time, we’ve learned about it, have been exposed to its benefits and want to be a part of this addictive trend. If this is true with something neutral and non-influential like a spinning toy, how much more must this be true for a positive force of goodness that teaches kindness, morality and compassion. While the concept of Moshiach and the Future Redemption may at times seem like a distant and unrealistic dream, the fidget-spinning craze makes me optimistic about how quickly and dramatically our world could change for the better.

Unfortunately, Hettinger didn’t have the money or ability to see her dream materialize into a profitable reality. But Moshiach has been the Jewish people’s dream for centuries and it is a reality that can—and must—be realized.

Let’s hold on to our dream! More importantly, let’s make it the new craze that makes our world spin upside-down—in the most positive way!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW