Moshiach for the Materialist
The Physical World will merge with the Spiritual Worlds –
In Layman's Terms.
Going to work in the morning, taking holidays, visiting the doctor, and eventually ending up in the ground are things we take for granted. They’re an inseparable part of life. Or are they?
Life on Earth wasn't really like that in the beginning. The pending Messianic Times will see the following things return to how they were and should be.
Was Man Meant to Work?
Adam and Eve were the last to be created in the six days of creation, so that everything in the world would be ready for them. The land was “independent” and didn’t require care. Things were so ideal because there was no separation between our physical world and the spiritual worlds above it.
They were meant to focus on spirituality, but they had their eyes on the Tree of Knowledge. They ate from its fruits, and that’s when working hard began.
The Tree of Knowledge divested the material world of its spiritual counterparts. Everything physical started to require work. Effort. Sweat. (Genesis 3:19)
Ever since, man has been possessed with various indulgent materialistic desires for
luxury, far beyond his basic needs. These desires create plenty of “work”:
Physical work, in an attempt to satisfy each desire (look at the multibillion industries born specifically for that purpose), and also
Spiritual work, in overcoming these desires in the quest for spirituality, thereby rectifying the very cause of the whole mess – the eating from the Tree of Knowledge.
“Sweating for Bread” – What a Punishment!
It's a punishment, alright! – But G-d is the Essence of good, so there must be more
Tasting from the “Tree of Knowledge between good and evil” meant that evil would enter man, providing him with understanding (a “taste”, intellectually) of it.
This would bring on challenging struggles left, right and center. Oh boy, would he have to sweat! He would have to separate and remove the “dirt” from within himself and from the world at large, in order to clean up his mess. Isn't that a huge drawback, a big shame?
Actually, it’s not. It was premeditated!
It’s all about connections:
If not for material desires, how else would we connect with the physical world (eat, marry and so on)? Living a totally spiritual life is something G-d could have done by using angels.
To realize the purpose of this world, our material drives are the means through which we interact with, and eventually “conquer” the world, by converting it into a dwelling fit for G-d. This expresses the infinity of G-d, revealing that in reality even forces that appear to oppose G-d have no separate existence from Him.
Additionally, our material drives are more powerful than the G-dly soul, because they originate from a higher spiritual source. By converting them, we will gain all the bonuses associated with the Messianic Age, which were not available originally, when the physical world was unrefined.
Technology is a Scent of Moshiach
What do you know, we are smelling the sabbatical times of Moshiach already. Yes, there are
still traders who sweat for their bread, but with more and more tasks becoming automated, people are increasingly working in a modernized, air conditioned, office environment, where they sit on highly comfortable chairs with sophisticated customizable back supports. Doing what? – Talking on the phone and typing on the keyboard (if this is you, apologies for simplifying your highly professional position), and often suffering from ... lack of physical
exercise! The more conscientious fulfill their “sweating obligation” at lunchtime in the gym! This lifestyle is unprecedented.
Ease is only one thing. What about speed? We send and receive information and money instantly between one end of the world and another. We see and talk with people overseas. And the list goes on. Although now we all take these things for granted, for previous generations this would have been science fiction.
This is nothing but a ramp up (High Tech) to Messianic Times, when our physical world will meet the higher spiritual worlds. Labor will then be in spiritual pursuits only, and everything will happen very quickly.
Why You are Unhappy
Even if you’re content with your physical lot (A huge quality spiritually), you’re still not so happy about many other things, like health, children, companionship and so on – which could all be better. Not to mention spiritual plight which (during exile, specially at its end) is common to everyone and getting progressively worse.
The separation of the physical and spiritual worlds created many needs, enough to make anyone want to seek remedy. And that’s the whole idea of prayer – to close the gap:
What we are really asking in our prayers is for the more collective delivery of the world the Messianic Age for then our world will reunite with the worlds above, restoring the Garden-of-Eden state of things. Then there will be true happiness, with all those needs satisfied.
But prayer is about much more than that (and so too the Messianic Age). Prayer also means connecting to G-d, expressing the love and longing of the soul to its Origin: The Hebrew word for Prayer is תפילה (Tefila) sharing the same root (תפל) as לתפל (Litpol) — to weld (connect).
Connection to G-d is also a need (albeit a spiritual one), and it too will be met in the Messianic Age, when the Holy Presence of G-d will be revealed to all flesh.
So Much! — What For?
We will have everything. No more beseeching.
How? Everything will turn around very quickly, for “In the same day of planting the trees will sprout their fruits.” Yet the size of the produce will only increase, and in scary proportions.
This amazing productivity means everyone will possess great assets, comparable (and even greater than) those acquired in the Exodus from Egypt.
But who needs all that?
You’re right. No one needs all that. (Even though it would be great to have at least some of it during these hard times. A bit like superannuation.) But this plenty is not provided to meet a need, rather it’s just a natural outcome. The reunion of the physical and spiritual worlds will eliminate translation between the two, and foster prosperity: Today, anything that comes from Above has to go through many hoops in order to be finally expressed as a physical outcome, which involves losses in time, quantity and quality. But in the time of Moshiach, when our physical world will be in nexus with the spiritual world, all those losses will be eliminated.
Fit — Without the Gym
Those who swear by the gym will preach that you must look after your body, because physical health affects your general well-being.
That’s sort of obvious, but what may come as a surprise is the direct effect of the soul’s wellbeing on the body.
In fact, the need to exercise the body (which seemingly has nothing to do with the soul) has a deeper intention than mere physical well-being: Exercising not for the sake of it, but by way of observing the commandments, all of which involve physical exercise. We are even commanded to sweat in particular instances.
In the Messianic Age, our souls will be super-healthy, and so our bodies will be healthy as well. This also means everyone will be healed , including the disabled.
While men have to bear the sweat of making a livelihood as a result of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, women were punished with a triple burden of pain (Genesis 3:16):
And while men are working increasingly less hard these days (maybe that’s why it’s now prevalent for women to join the workforce), women still carry their triple burdened pain. But this will change:
The gestation period for humans will shrink from nine months to nine hours (it has to be nine), because when the world is on a higher level, time will be more “effective” making things happen quicker, as with all other things in that time. The spiritual and physical worlds will be closer together, requiring less “translation”.
Similarly, childbirth will be smooth and painless, and raising kids will be a ball.
Your Favorite Menu
You are happy with your favorite restaurant’s menu, but it will still be superseded.
Brand new fruits will appear in the market as barren trees start producing fruits. But that’s still no big deal in comparison with the more spiritual foods that will become physically available, like the “Bread (Manna) from Heaven” and “The Tree of Life”.
Will Physical Pleasures Remain
That’s the bottom line for us material people, because physical (“real”) enjoyment, entertainment, and fun is what our lives are all about.
With the great abundance of materialism in Messianic Times, we can’t possibly be deprived of our favorite pleasures. But this begs the question: Will it still be fun? Or a scarier question: Will we remain materialistic people?
As with everything in Judaism, the answer is complex: No and Yes.
Food is the most basic form of pleasure, so we’ll stick with that and the reader is invited to use his or her imagination to understand how it applies to other forms of pleasure.
Why is it Fun?
Why do we eat? We have a physical drive for food, which is made up of the following two components:
The taste – It is our instinctual animalistic desire to satisfy our taste buds. However, indulgence in physical taste is not good for the person’s spiritual side. Food eaten for taste only pulls the person down to the level of that food.
The nourishment – restocking energy is something our common sense tells us we need to do. That is the purpose for being drawn to food. We need the energy to do all the constructive things we need to do. This elevates the food to become part of the “Human” domain, and subsequently transforms it into G-dliness when performing a Mitzvah using its energy.
So today we eat in order to elevate the world. But why are we so dependent on food?
Why is Food a Must?
Partaking of food for the right reason (nourishment), not only elevates it, but also reveals the reason that it is able to nourish and sustain the human being – because the origin of food in the spiritual worlds is higher than that of humans. The higher the origin, the lower the worldly level to which it descends. For this reason, the higher creatures in the world depend on the lower creatures for their sustenance.
The origin of everything will be uncovered in Messianic Times. The physical attraction to food we have today will be superseded by an innate appreciation of the loftiness of food's spiritual aspect, and of the material world at large.
What could be more certain than death and taxes?
Well, even that is up for change...
But realistically, what is the purpose of death?
Adam was commanded (Genesis 2:16-17): “You can partake from all the fruits of the Garden, only from the Tree of Knowledge of good and bad you shall not partake...”
But after Adam did partake from the Tree of Knowledge, G-d said (Genesis 3:22): “And now, lest he also take from the Tree of Life and live forever.” Originally, he was allowed to
eat from the Tree of Life, so what changed?
Eating from the Tree of Knowledge caused evil to became mixed with good. If Adam would now live forever, evil would also exist eternally. And we certainly don’t want that! Ever since, all physical things contain some element of bad, and therefore have a limited life span.
But when that bad is finally refined and eliminated from the world, death will cease: “Death shall be swallowed up forever and G-d shall wipe the tears from every face.” (Isaiah 25:8)
Man created last so that everything is ready for him: See Midrash Bereshit Rabba, Ch 13:3.
Eating from the Tree of Knowledge was premeditated: See Torat Chayim, discourse beginning Veyiten L'cha.
To be content with your physical lot is a huge quality: Hayom Yom 30 Sivan (p66).
In our prayers we ask for the collective delivery of the world (Messianic Age): Hence the messianic theme is found in almost every prayer or blessing we make.
Prayer = connect (same root): In the lexicon of the Mishna - Kelim 3:5.
In the same day of planting the trees will sprout their fruits: End of Talmud, Ketubot.
The size of fruit in the Messianic Age: See Talmud Ketubot 111b.
Greater than the assets taken from Egypt: Sefer Hamaamarim Melukat Pt.5 p251. The assets acquired from Egypt included 90 Lubian donkeys with each individual, packed with the gold and silver of Egypt. (Talmud Bechorot 5b).
Losses in time, quality and quantity will be eliminated in the Messianic Age: Likutei Sichot Pt.37 p.83.
We are commanded to sweat: Like in preparation for the Shabbath, and generally in the observance of every Mitzvah, the sweat of which cleans one’s sins - see for example Sefer Kavanot Yashan brought in the Ben Ish Hai (Second Year Lech Lecha 4).
The bodies will be healthy because the souls will be healthy, in the Messianic Age: “But unto you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 3:20).
Everyone will be healed in the Messianic Age: Midrash Bereshit Rabba 20:5.
All disabled people will be healed in the Messianic Age: “The eyes of the blind shall be clear-sighted, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened. The lame shall leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6).
Pregnancy (human gestation) will reduce from 9 months to 9 hours in the Messianic Age: Sefer Halikutim; Ibur.
Spiritual and Physical worlds will be closer together in the Messianic Age, requiring less translation: Likutei Sichot, Ibid p.79.
All trees will produce fruits in the Messianic Age: Talmud, end of Ketubot.
Manna and fruits from the Tree of Life will be available in the Messianic Age: The Rema (Rabbi Menachem Azaria) from Pano in his book 'מאמר שבתות ה, Part 2.