Have you ever dreamed?

About what would a loving relationship be like? How your future family would function and thrive? How your business would grow and prosper?

Assuming that it's been a while, and that you've already encountered real life, please ask yourself:

Do you still dream?

We need to embrace life's (sometimes) hard and cold reality, but we can never stop dreaming.

The Torah recognizes a world fraught with difficulties and pain. The Torah also depicts an eventual perfected existence, the world of Moshiach; that world of peace, harmony and goodness is our vision, our goal, our dream.

And it hasn't been easy to maintain this dream.

Here's a story that's told:

Poor Yankel was the village failure. He couldn't earn a living and his family suffered.

Finally, some friends chipped in to create a job for him: He would be paid two rubles a week to sit in a hut at the edge of town and await the Moshiach. He'd be the one to let everyone in the village know that the Redemption has arrived.

Yankel knew that two rubles a week was barely minimum wage.

"The pay is lousy," he protested.

"Yes," was the reply, "but the job security is excellent."

The story reflects two realities in much of the Jewish world:

a) Judaism maintains a belief in the advent of Moshiach. We'll even pay someone to do the waiting!

b) Our long and painful road has sometimes sucked that dream of its substance and vitality. We "know" that Yankel will keep waiting...

I venture to say that this is a common, if unconscious, attitude. Belief in Moshiach's coming is one of Judaism's Thirteen Principles of Faith. Our anticipation is built into the prayers, thrice daily.

But is the dream really alive?

Or is it a joke?

The Rebbe taught me that we need to keep dreaming.

The Rebbe faced the world's painful existence, and cried with humanity's suffering.

But the Rebbe so obviously believed in the dream of Moshiach.

Moshiach, a perfected world, was more than a dream; it was a vision that animated the Rebbe's life, guided his plans and served as his "North Star."

Because the Rebbe knew that G‑d can deliver. The world can and will change. And if it takes a while, we need to keep dreaming; because the dream breathes soul into our lives, keeping it fresh, hopeful and cynicism-free.

G‑d is reliable when it comes to our relationships, families and businesses too.

Face and deal with reality's harshness.

But never stop dreaming.