Imagine that you have lived your entire life in a dark tunnel. Your parents and grandparents lived there too, and so did their parents and grandparents. You have grown accustomed to the darkness and developed the necessary skills to survive. You move through life, sometimes staggering in the dark, at other times feeling your way along. You are totally resigned to the fact that this is what life is, and that it will continue to be so.
But you have been told or have read in some ancient books that long ago, your ancestors lived in a very different, well-lighted place. You have heard that there is indeed a light at the end of this tunnel, that you don’t necessarily have to spend your entire life in darkness.
However, you are skeptical after all, this darkness is the only life you know. After so many generations have lived in this tunnel, can you really believe some old tale about the possibility of a life on the outside? And besides, you have learned to cope here, to make yourself comfortable in the darkness, so why would you want to risk changing things?
And yet, something inside tells you that the darkness is just not right for your life. No matter how accustomed you have become to it, 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 along and feel our way through life, we have all wondered whether we will ever find true happiness. Will we ever find peace within ourselves and lead a truly meaningful life, or are we destined to a life fraught with fear and confusion? Will virtue and kindness really prevail? If not, how can we justify to our children and ourselves the need to adhere to moral and ethical principles?
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: Moshiach. Moshiach is the light at the end of the tunnel. Moshiach is when G-d is telling us that the reason for which He created the universe will indeed be realized – that goodness will prevail and that our lives can be meaningful.
Moshiach is both an integral part of G-d’s plan and an integral part of human life. Without Moshiach, 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.
Rabbi Simon Jacobson is a renowned author, lecturer and scholar. His book Toward a Meaningful Life has sold over 200,000 copies, is in its tenth printing and has been translated into nine languages. Rabbi Jacobson has lectured in 200 cities worldwide and has been interviewed on over 300 radio and TV shows including Larry King Live and the Charlie Rose Show.