Sunday, February 05, 2006

The War On Idealism

Ever since I returned to America after my two year seminary stint in Israel, the majority of my spiritual searching has led me to one conclusion:

I am an idealist.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not mean it in an unreal, schizophrenic, deluded way. I mean it in a beautiful, hopeful, believer sort of way. But what never fails to burst a small bubble inside me is that idealism is perceived as a somewhat dirty word. "Oh, you're an idealist," a skeptic will sneer. "Yeah, that may work in an ideal world, but..." another will contest. What happened to hope for a better world? What happened to absolute belief and faith in something more perfect than the life we lead today? What happened to the childlike wonder of possibility that is true idealism. What happened to the Jew?

Jews are meant to be idealistic. "I believe with complete faith in the coming of Mashiach, and even though he may delay, despite this, I will wait every day for him to come." After thousands of years of waiting, we still wait. Why? Because we are waiting for a better world -not a fantasy world, but a world of giluy shechina, a world of global awareness of G-d, a world of peace and hope. A world worth waiting for. Even for thousands of years.

Despite my pink-cheeked enthusiasm for a greater good, I am no saint. My struggles all too often overtake me, and without the mercy of G-d I'd be without hope for redemption. But no matter the extent of the blackness of my soul, I am joyful in the recognition and constant devotion to G-d, His Torah, His world. The Ideal.

We all strive in life for something. Why not strive in life for something more?


Josh said...

There is no truer idealist than the one who lives in the "real world."

Keep up the good work OJ, and I hope to hear a lot more from you!

Okee said...

Thanks Josh!

Although sometimes it does get a little confusing as to what exactly what the "real world" is!