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Insights - Q&A on Redemption


How does fulfilling mitzvot help usher in the Messianic era?


Although the world might not seem like a very spiritual place, the truth is that G-d created it to be this way for a reason. G-d deliberately concealed Himself when creating the universe. In fact, the Hebrew word for world, Olam, has the same root as "concealment." In the physical world, we view ourselves as well as all physical objects as entities separate from G-d. We don't see the divine energy that brings each thing into being at every moment.

However, G-d did not intend this concealment to be permanent. Our job in this world is to elevate physical matter and reveal the G-dliness concealed in it. For example, when we lay tefillin, we elevate the parchment and leather straps that it is made of, the ink and feather with which it was written, and the arm upon which it is worn. When we eat and drink and use that energy to study Torah, we elevate the food and drink we consumed as well as our physical brain and intellect, and the table and chair where we sit.

When a critical mass of matter has been elevated, the world will be ready for the messianic era. To paraphrase Maimonides: The Moshiach will rebuild the Holy Temple, gather all the Jews to Israel, and usher in an era without hunger, jealousy, war, or illness. Humankind’s sole occupation will be to know G-d, in other words, to perceive His creative force within everything. Thus, through fulfilling mitzvot we have a direct role in removing the layers of concealment that hide G-d from our eyes.



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