From time to time in recent months I have been asked, “What will the world (or the synagogue) be like in the next century?” Assuming the question was about the distant future (i.e. more than a month down the road), I have to confess that I have no idea.
I am reminded of the story of an Israeli who was out hiking and came upon a Bedouin scout lying flat on the ground with his ear pressed against the sandy earth. Without looking up the Bedouin said: “Jeep… 6-cylinder jeep… man driving jeep… long beard… wearing green shirt… woman in passenger seat… dressed in jeans….” The Israeli was duly impressed. “You can tell all of that just by pressing your ear to the ground?” he asked.
“No,” replied the Bedouin, “The Jeep ran me over twenty minutes ago.”
My understanding of how the world works is hardly sufficient to explain the past, let alone predict the future. And back in Rabbinical School I skipped the elective course “Practical Prophecy 101,” in favor of “Investing for your Retirement.” That makes me as qualified as the pundits to predict the future, so here goes.
Rabbi Tilsen’s Predications for the Year 2100
Assuming we don’t destroy all life or civilization through pollution, war or the successful attempt of physicists to recreate the Big Bang in their particle accelerators, we might expect the following.
Those are my predications. One thing I know for sure is that the future can be whatever we make it. As we sing in the hymn “Lekha Dodi” each Shabbat Evening, “sof ma`asei be-mahshava tehila – what becomes reality begins as thought.” May your future, beginning today, be a happy one.