Let My People Know

"We must abandon the Jewish interdenominational quarrels"

“When we speak about the coming of Moshiach (the Messiah), we speak about a mega-event, a major phenomenon that changes everything.

We may not be fully prepared and we don’t know the how, what, or when of this event, but we are talking about major changes.

One of the consequences of this statement is that, if we are expecting things to change in a major way, we will have to make major changes, too.

And one of these changes is that we have to cast away a huge number of petty quarrels and petty issues, insignificant clashes that are not just vicious and unprofitable, but ludicrous.

Next to the truly momentous changes we are anticipating, all of our trivial arguments shrink into trifles; our disputes are comic, not just painful.

I am not speaking about personal quarrels only, but about the whole notion of political trappings that you deal with in this country and that we deal with in Israel, my country.

Many of the things that people fight about are the sheerest, shallowest nonsense, especially if we compare these quarrels to the establishment of an entirely different order.

In that sense, whether Party A of Party B will have a particular right or a particular authority seems ridiculous.

Who will remember all these foolish people who were fighting about such things?

When the tsunami is about the envelop the world, no one will remember if my shop was on the west side of the street or the east side; everything will be moved.

So, the coming of Moshiach means, among other things, the casting away of internal fights.

We must talk to people about what Moshiach means.

We must abandon, for example, the Jewish interdenominational quarrels, many of which are associated with small, short-term calculations and evaluations:

What will be better for my organization, for my little group, for my little thing in the next two, three, or five years?

How will I gain a little bit more support from this rich man or the other rich man?

How can I maneuver in another little way to be written up in one newspaper or another?

Again, compared to the big things, all these are nonsensical.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From a speech delivered by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.March 11, 2002