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The Future

by Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Toward a Meaningful Life - The Wisdom of the Rebbe

  

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We are experiencing a revolution of knowledge and technology. All this is a prelude to the final redemption, when there will be neither famine nor war, neither envy nor strife, because goodness will flow in abundance and all delightful things will be as available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d -- The Rebbe

When the Rebbe first assumed leadership of the Lubavitch movement, in 1951, he declared that the long process of human history was finally coming to fruition. “This generation is the final generation of exile,” he declared, “and the first generation of redemption -- personal redemption and universal redemption, leading to the perfection of society and a world filled with the awareness of G-d. Everything now depends on us.”

Throughout his leadership, this would remain the Rebbe’s essential theme: the role of the current generation in making G-d a reality in our lives, in making this world a welcome place for Him to dwell.

Where are we headed?

Can we expect that our future will be better than our past? Will this world ever become a better place?

Redemption is the belief that this world was created by design, and its purpose will indeed be realized -- that goodness will prevail and that our lives can be meaningful
Imagine that you have lived your entire life in a dark tunnel. Your parents and grandparents lived here too, and so did their parents and grandparents. You have been told that long ago, your ancestors lived in a very different, well-lighted place, but can you really believe some old tale about the possibility of life on the outside?

But no matter how accustomed you have become to the darkness, you still feel restless and insecure. You realize that, although the darkness may be a part of life, it is not life itself.

As we stumble through life, we have all wondered if we will ever find peace within ourselves and lead a truly meaningful life. After all, even though human nature craves a higher purpose, what is the point of working so hard to live a virtuous life if it is not leading anywhere?

The answer to all these questions is just one word: redemption. Redemption is the light at the end of the tunnel. Redemption is the belief that this world was created by design, and its purpose will indeed be realized -- that goodness will prevail and that our lives can be meaningful. Without redemption, our lives would indeed be meaningless -- a never-ending tunnel of darkness, with little awareness of an alternative existence and no hope of ever reaching the light.

How do we get out of the tunnel?

G-d created within each of us a divine spark which, when cultivated, allows us to illuminate the darkness and move on. How does one cultivate this spark? By recognizing the strength within your soul. By rising above your ego and acknowledging an absolute force that is far greater than yourself. And above all, by realizing that, amidst the darkness there is indeed a light to be found, which will instill every act of virtue with infinite meaning. To be redeemed means to be freed from an overbearing employer or a tyrannical regime; to be freed from a dangerous habit or an abusive situation; to be freed from the fear within ourselves and the confusion that clouds our vision.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah

Zohar
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitch
Also known as “Chabad,” Lubavitch is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. “Lubavitch” is the name of the Belarusian city where four of the Chabad Rebbes (leaders) were based. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York, with branches worldwide. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.