(Rabbi Freeman was asked to respond as briefly as possible to the question, “Do the Jewish people still expect a messiah?”)

As much as a Jew may wrestle to separate himself from his G‑d and his people, the undercurrent of indignation remains endemic to his Jewish psyche, a gnawing conviction that the world is not the way it should be. The Jew aches with expectation, and blatantly demands that the world act according to the beauty it inherently contains.

Yes, there is a way the world is supposed to be. Inherently beautiful, it feigns ugliness; fathomless in wisdom, it acts stupid; like the creation of a master craftsmen brutally dismantled, its parts scattered across a dirt floor; as a philharmonic orchestra tuning up, fragmented into a nightmare of chaos and discord, holding its audience in tortured anticipation.

But we are not the audience; we are the musicians. The instruments are in our hands, such devices to unite humankind as we have never held before: tools to obsolesce ignorance, hunger and need, to plunge the depths of our universe’s wisdom, to know its oneness, the oneness of its Creator.

Do we await a human messiah? The last century left us deeply scarred with a wariness of demagogues, of glorifying any individual beyond all others. So we yearn even more strongly for a truly Jewish messiah—one less about power and more about empathy, less about flair and more about education and insight into life. A leader like an orchestral conductor, directing musicians from their fragmented discordance into a magnificent symphony.

The music is handed to us, each his own part, in his own way, inscribed on parchment with the blood of our ancestors. What’s missing is a singular voice of wisdom, universally respected, a voice for the human soul. A very human, modern-day Moses.

No, we don’t quietly expect a messiah. We want, need and pray in every prayer for Moshiach now!