The Jewish view of Universal Utopia isnâ€™t exclusivist or limited to a small number of redeemed individuals, or even an ideal community, rather it is a vision of redemption that includes the entire world.
You might ask why is this generation any closer to realising this vision? You might ask why previous, more pious generations did not manage to bring about heaven on earth and we are?
To answer this and other questions, it would be useful for us to examine significance of one of the major characteristics of exile, namely that the Jewish people being spread out, throughout the world.
The Sages say that God did us a righteous favour by spreading the Jewish people throughout the world, perhaps to stop us from being annihilated, or perhaps so that we might attract non-Jews into the fold, thus in a small way redeeming the world.
But whatever the reason, Jews now find themselves throughout the world, and we now have Jews from all parts of the world, each Jewish community with itâ€™s own unique customs and traditions that reflect elements and characteristics of the many different host cultures.
It could have theoretically been otherwise, a person can go to a new place and not let go of their accent, their particular way of doing things, instead of acclimatising and adopting the host cultures etiquette. Alternatively one might completely loose touch by embracing every aspect of that culture and thus loosing ones identity altogether.
But the Jewish people have miraculously managed to handle this delicate balance with some flare. They have been able to be Jewish and be completely part of the country they are in.
They are able to express their Judaism within the language and cultural paradigms of their particular culture. So much so that there are uniquely Jewish cultural laws and rituals that are binding on one community and country but not on another.
In so doing a Jew is able to redeem their corner of the Universe, by embracing their host culture using the unique cultural norms of that place to express their Jewishness.
There are of course two different ways to redeem something, from above and from below. Either by the imposition of Authority or from the Grassroots. The bottom up approach is by far the more healthy and successful.
The first approach may be limitedly successful, the people may submit to the authority, change and even become better as a result. However, there is a better approach, where the people themselves, from themselves and by themselves rise up to transform their world.
The Jewish people are part of this Grassroots movement to transform the world and reveal its innate sacredness and divinity, not by imposing their culture on the world, but by embracing each cultural idiosyncrasy and using it as part of their own unique expression of Divine service.
That is why now, when the Jewish people are spread throughout the world, in every corner of the world, in every country, each place worshipping God within the culture that they find themselves that the entire world is closer to being redeemed, now more than at any other time.
Each person revealing the unique Godliness inherent in that particular corner of the world, so that the world itself becomes a source and expression of Godâ€™s revelation, so that we can see that every part of the world, the entire world and every person in it, is a unique expression of Godâ€™s Being.
This is what it means â€˜to make here the land of Israelâ€™ â€“ to reveal the holiness and sacredness of every part of the world, as Abraham said â€˜Bless GodWorld!â€™
This is Moshiach Consciousness!
Adapted from Parshas VaYeShev 5752