Friday, November 07, 2008

Moshiach & Obama

No, he’s not the Moshiach, if that’s what you thought I meant. Sorry.

I’ll be honest, this time last year I had no idea who Barack Obama was. In January I heard a speaker predict that Illinois Senator Obama would be the next president of the United States. I went home to Google his name, doubtful that I would ever need to remember it.

Incredibly, here’s a man who went from near-obscurity to the most powerful position in the world overnight.

As Jews, we need to look for the lesson in stories that touch our lives or capture our imaginations.

The Rambam writes that every person has the capacity to change the whole world. “Nice theory,” we all think. Well, we have now seen: “Yes we can!”

People often ask me if I really believe that one day a religious Jew (read: Moshiach) will suddenly emerge as the unchallenged leader of the world. Well, an African American did it in a country that sits on a deep racial rift, despite all claims to the contrary.

Did Hashem push Obama to win so he would pull America out of economic turmoil and war?

I don’t know.

Did He put him there because he’d look after Israel’s interests?

I have my doubts.

Maybe, He wanted to ease us into accepting that leaders can emerge from nowhere, so that when the Ultimate Leader suddenly appears and promises true peace and prosperity- we are not taken by surprise.

May Hashem send us that leader we’ve always dreamed of- now.