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A Breakthrough

We must give credit to the medical field -- it knows how to retract its mistakes. Recently we have been informed that doctors had it all wrong with estrogen replacement therapy. For many years it was considered the wonder cure for menopause, the antidote to old age -- it would protect against thinning bones and heart attacks, not to mention hot flashes and depression. Doctors were prescribing it to just about every woman who reached the age of 50.

However, within the last five years or so, new studies were released showing that estrogen replacement therapy was not such a miracle cure after all. It increased a woman's risk for cancer and heart disease, while not offering much protection from the normal bodily changes of old age. In other words, while trying to "cure" a condition that was natural and expected, physicians had actually increased women's risk of serious, deadly diseases.

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Fortunately, the medical community has the ability to self-correct and change its approach when it is proven not to work. Adhering to a particular therapy when it is proven to be ineffective or even harmful is a recipe for disaster.

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The Torah has a similar "self-correcting" mechanism. Over the course of our history we have been forced to adapt to many different lifestyles as we have become dispersed over the globe. In each location, the Jewish people have been able to resettle, survive and even thrive, because of the exquisite way that halachah, Jewish law, is able to remain faithful to its fundamentals while adjusting to local conditions and circumstances.

Just like in medicine, sometimes in Torah there is a "breakthrough" as well -- a new insight that was never recognized before. Sometimes the time in history is ripe for a new revelation that had never yet been experienced.

Right now we are on the cusp of such an era: the days of Moshiach. The existence of Moshiach has been around since the beginning of time, as the verse states, "And the spirit of G-d was hovering over the face of the waters." Rashi interprets "the spirit of G-d" as "the spirit of Moshiach." It has been here all along, but is just now being recognized.

Very soon we will realize that the tools that helped us adapt and cope with life in exile are no longer sufficient. We will need an entirely new roadmap, a new perception, to experience life in the days of Moshiach. Not that the Torah will change, G-d forbid, but we will understand and appreciate nuances that were not recognized before. We need to prepare ourselves now, through studying the Torah's teachings on Redemption, in order to fully appreciate the life that awaits us.
 

 


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