How will one man change the world? I find that hard to believe…

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An excerpt from an audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the year 1963


Rebbe: Many people feel unable to accept the idea of Moshiach. They cannot understand with human reason how Moshiach can come and transform the order of things around us, to the extent that all basic aspects of our lives will be different. This notion would be expected to exist many generations ago.


However in our times, so many changes take place in a day, or even in an hour or minute, that this is not difficult to accept [that Moshiach could arrive and change the world]. And maybe even more, not only is it acceptable but it can be believed. If someone makes a momentous discovery or invention he can change things quickly.


To put it more bluntly: If tomorrow morning a more powerful weapon than any other country possesses should be invented, it gives its inventor the power to dictate. He doesn’t have to be afraid he cannot be counterattacked. He can dictate to all governments, and demand certain behaviors and certain rules in their countries and governments. They have no choice: they must accept his conditions, for it is now possible for him to destroy a large section of the earth even without an army on his side.


In other words, if a mighty intellectual should dictate instructions to millions around him, this does not need a miracle, through some electronics or the like. So, if you must understand Messiah in physical terms, he may be great even in electronics and power.


Representative: This is very interesting, understanding the idea of Messiah as a natural concept. You usually hear of Messiah in terms of the supernatural.


Rebbe: I also believe in Messiah as supernatural. But people today find it hard to understand the super-natural. Maybe by understanding it in these terms, this will prepare the way for them to prepare themselves before he comes, and they will save Moshiach the job.


Here is the beginning of the exchange:


Student: Do you think the Moshiach will come when all the Jews become a Kingdom of Priests?


Rebbe: I hope he will come sooner.


Student: What will the Jews achieve when Moshiach comes?


Rebbe: After he comes?


Student: Before he comes.


Rebbe: What must we do to accelerate his coming?


Student: Yes.


Rebbe: To be as much prepared as possible for the order of things after he comes, when there will be justice and peace, we must fulfill the instructions to us and to those around us, in Torah, Prophets and Scriptures. Every act must be in accordance with these instructions, and we must influence others. When you do this, you will do your share to accelerate his coming.


Student: Do you believe that Moshiach will come within the next fifty years?


Rebbe: Much sooner! Don’t postpone it for so long!


Courtesy of: Lubavitch Archives