I know, I know. According to the Jewish calendar, it’s 5774. But my son Izzy told me I have to “shock and awe” in order to get your attention, so I’m trying.
Now, if only I can keep it. (Izzy also suggests I shorten things.)
The biggest news story of 2013 is that…
I got Facebook.
Seriously. I’m just looking back at my world, where my getting Facebook truly shocked and awed.
I railed against it for years, unnerved by the all too frequent experience of walking by the computer as one of my kids was scrolling through someone’s pictures, usually from a wedding.
Me: Whose wedding is that?
Rudolph kid: I dunno. (Rudolph kids aren’t from the enunciators.)
Me: (very, very loudly) I don’t understand it! Why in the world are you wasting your time looking at pictures of someone you don’t even know??
This phenomenon continues to mystify me.
But sure enough, this week I have found myself more than once on Facebook, scrolling through pictures (only occasionally of people I don’t know), and I have already rationalized that my time “wasted” is offset by the uplifting fact that I am now more connected to more people than I was before I had Facebook.
Because this whole new “connectedness,” this through-the-roof technology transformation, is part of Moshiach’s back story, and it’s a thrill to watch it unfold. (How Mark Zuckerberg’s making billions figures into all this I’m not sure, but soon we’ll all know.)
Now for the back story.
Did you ever wonder why people lived essentially the same way for thousands of years before the right key opened the knowledge door to an industrial age, opening it consistently wider for two hundred years, and now, just in the last ten years, technology has flung it open so wide that everyone’s head is spinning?
The times we are living in now were actually predicted in the Zohar, the compilation of Judaism’s mystical teachings, authored mainly by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai nearly two thousand years ago. It refers to the sixth hundredth year of the sixth millenium (the year 1840 as long as we’re talking in Gregorian terms), and the opening of “the supernal gates of wisdom and the lower wellsprings of wisdom.”
This outpouring of spirituality from Above (surprise, surprise) were the mystical teachings of Chassidus that were revealing secrets of the soul everywhere by that time, corresponding to the buzz and whir of the burgeoning industrial age that had started to propel the physical world in a new way as well.
But towards what end, you may ask.
According to the Zohar, these simultaneous developments are the harbingers of the arrival of Moshiach, leading to a time when, according to the prophet Isaiah, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d.”
The idea that the earth is filled with knowledge can be understood in new ways every day. Just about everything we could know about everything and everyone is at our fingertips. Everything except G-d, that is. It’s Moshiach’s job to take care of that.
It’s all part of the Divine plan. The fact that things are moving so fast down here means there’s a corresponding tumult up there. Which means that Moshiach’s arrival is very, very close.
So now I’m on Facebook, ready with all my friends to get the big news that he’s finally here.
Why won’t G-d just hit send?