Our Mitzvos are the fuel, Moshiach will set the fire

Why is The World Not Getting Better and Better?

Bonus to Principle #7: If indeed with every mitzvah the world is progressing towards the Geulah, why then isn’t it visible? We should see the world improving with every mitzvah? Shouldn’t there be an Aliyas Hadoros – the generations becoming better with time, not the opposite which we see so much more of?

If indeed with every mitzvah the world is progressing towards the Geulah, why then isn’t it visible? We should see the world improving with every mitzvah? Shouldn’t there be an Aliyas Hadoros – the generations becoming better with time, not the opposite which we see so much more of?

This question is even more striking when we study about the simanei hageualah (the signs of redemption — see Principle #9) which will take place prior to Moshiach’s arrival; the clear majority of these signs — many of them taking place before our eyes — tell us of a world which is so spiritually desensitized. How does this fit in with a world which is getting more refined with every passing mitzvah?

There are several answers to this question:

  1. When we say the world is becoming more refined, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it must be apparent (despite the fact that some aspects of it are — see below). What we see is only on the surface level, there are much deeper processes going on which more refined people can observe. A company may be at work making money, but it only releases the financial reports to the public at the end of the fiscal year, only the insiders know what is going on. Chassidus teaches that all the spiritual accomplishments done in this world are “stored in a chest” in the world of Atzilus and will come down to the world when the time is right. A person may look perfectly healthy on the outside and inside him, G-d forbid, a deadly disease is breeding; a person may look externally ill, but inside he is doing excellent and healing rapidly. It takes a good physician to tell what’s going on inside, and if a physician tells us to persist with a certain treatment because it’s doing good for us on the inside, we should follow and trust him that change is indeed happening.
  1. For it to become visible, Moshiach must come. Let’s imaging a large bonfire to which more and more lighter fluid is added. Until a burning match is applied to the fire all that flammable material is invisible, but when the match will touch the bonfire, its effect will be apparent to all. Similarly, while we are each a spark of Moshiach by contributing to preparing the world for Geulah, the general Moshiach will apply that match which will use our mitzvos to light up the world.
  2. The assumption that the world is worse-off now isn’t entirely true. In many ways, we are actually doing much better. Let’s take freedom of religion for example. Virtually all Jews today live in countries where one is free to live as a Jew with no one bothering him. Even the negative sides associated with this liberal spirit which allows this is a reaction of a world adjusting to a new reality. Sometimes the end of a surgery seems to be the messiest and ugliest sight, but the reality is that the patient is doing much better than the way he came here.
  3. The darkest part of night is before dawn. Indeed, there are some areas in which our generation is very low, but it is purposely arranged by Hashem that way so the light of Moshiach can be better appreciated when it comes on the backdrop of the darkest dark.
  4. The mess is because everything is now coming together. Did you ever walk into a house right before Shabbos? Did you ever see a stage right before the performance? The moments before showtime are often the most chaotic because that’s when all the strings are being pulled together. The spiritual mess in our world now is the process of everything that we as a nation worked on for centuries coming together.

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