In asking this question, I assume you are referring to the many obstacles facing Judaism in the 21st century: the high inter­marriage rate . . . assimilation . . . the crisis in the Middle East . . .

But whenever I’m asked about these issues, I turn back the clock seventy years. Imagine this question being asked then. Six million Jews had just been massacred. Our nation was without a homeland. Jews in the West were losing their identity, and Jews in the East were forbidden to practice their religion.

And who would have thought that seventy years later . . .

  • Israel would be a thriving country populated by so many Jews.
  • Communism would fall, allowing Jews the freedom to practice their religion openly.
  • The baal teshuvah (“return to roots”) movement would sweep the world, bringing tens of thousands of Jews back to their heritage.
  • Our cities would be full of kosher Chinese restaurants, luxury mikvahs, and a whole variety of CDs and DVDs with Jewish content.

And so, as I look to the future, I envision more and more Jews rediscovering their religion. I see old synagogues rebuilt in Europe, and state-of-the-art synagogues built in the newest suburbs and developments. I dream about Jews thirsty for inspiration and meaning. And I picture a high-tech world full of Torah—from the Internet to the iPod.

But most of all, I envision the day when all of humanity will live together in peace and harmony. “A nation will not lift up sword against another nation,” because in the days of the messianic era, “the entire world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as water covers the seabed . . .”

Click here for more about the messianic era.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar