I received an email recently asking me to blog about what is going to happen when the moshiach comes. For my non-MOT readers you can intepret moshiach as messiah. I debated about how to respond to this question. I am a lay person with a decent Jewish education, but there are people who are far better suited to answer this question, at least from a scholarly perspective.
But I thought that I would spend some time just sharing a few thoughts and stories and perhaps at a later date I’ll spend some time preparing a more detailed response based upon classical texts and commentary.
When I was younger I can remember listening to tales of what would happen when moshiach comes, the redemption of the Jewish people, the 3rd Temple, the resurrection of the dead etc. And I had a number of thoughts. My initial thought was that if the dead came back to life it would make the freeways even more crowded then they are and what would happen to your home. Would the dead person who lived in it before you get it back.
I remember wondering about whether I should keep going to school. If moshiach comes why should I bother learning about math. What difference would it make whether my grades were A’s, B’s or C’s. And for that matter what kind of job would I have.
As an adult there have been times when this has tested me. I have wondered on many occasions what life will really be like. Will I really be reacquainted with those that have gone before me. Will I still be lactose intolerant. I am serious about that. What will I do to pass the time. How will I survive eternity. Can I pick the body I want. I mean, can I get my 20 year-old body back forever. That guy was a beast. He had an incredible metabolism and didn’t need all that much sleep.
My son and I have discussed this as well. When the topic of heaven first came up he spent a lot of time quizzing me. One of the more important questions was “are there potties in heaven?” This was followed by “Does G-d use toilet paper?” and “If you get lost in heaven who do you ask for help?” That last question made me wonder if he wasn’t secretly watching Albert Brooks movies.
The truth is that I have spent a fair amount of time wondering what olam ha-ba will be like. I wonder about everything I have mentioned and more. But at the same time I can’t spend so much time worrying about the future that I miss out on the present. So I do what I can to live life the best I can and to be the best person I can. That is really all anyone can do.
Good night from Los Angeles.