Or: The case for Jewish futurism
Considering the climate crisis, 2240 seems about right for the final exit of humanity.
Fantastic post. I love the thought that "Judaism is already thinking in the deep-historical terms that futurists have only recently begun to normalize." I once heard in a shiur that some kabbalists (probably the Arizal, but I don't remember) say that the world doesn't become static after Olam Haba, but continue to transform and grow, just in ways that we currently can't fathom. I also remember reading in piece of Rav Kook on the hagadah that the Torah of mashiach will be at an incomprehensibly higher level than the Torah we have today. Maybe ideas like these could be used to help form a narrative of Jewish futurism?
Bravo. Well said.
Yesterday I read a post called The Change Merchants.
Its main point:
→ “Of course, narrative doesn’t actually determine reality, a fact that is always likely to prove a disagreeable buzzkill for thinking classes. Pareto noted that it was typical for the destabilization produced by the rule of Foxes to delegitimize regimes to the extent that they would collapse and be replaced, usually by Lion-like men on horseback. Philosopher kings, it turns out, often philosophize themselves out of existence.
The historical cycle that Pareto observed suggests that, one way or another, our era of hyper-rapid change won’t last forever. A limit exists to how much change and instability most people can tolerate in a short span of time. At some point, they might just collectively stop buying it, and we can all enjoy the respite of a long-overdue change recession.” ←
This is by N. S. Lyons, a pseudonym for a writer who has become popular among conservative Catholics (and Christians). I mention it here because your post is all about reframing the Jewish narrative so that we see ourselves not near the end of our Story but much closer to its beginning. Lots more narrative to come...
Put another way: Narratives are all about change--but those "Lions on horseback" periodically lose patience with a (Jewish) story that refuses to stand still, or to recognize that the Story's climax arrived 2,000 years ago. (For some reason, "Lions on horseback" make me think about Cossacks.)
I love your general argument about a new Jewish futurism. But we also have to read the room, and right now there seems to be a growing impatience--an anger, really--with narratives that never stop.
And that, I fear, is not good for the Jews.