“To men of Biblical faith the Kingdom of God will be achieved and our task in life is to help.”
In his sermon “Man Need Not Fail,” Rabbi Olan discusses the “bright vision of a better world” which characterized the early decades of the twentieth century, and which was extinguished by the cataclysms of the following decades. In 1963, the very existence of humankind appeared precarious. Pessimism and failure were the order of the day.
Rabbi Olan takes us back to Biblical times to find parallels: “The Prophetic faith of the Bible is no stranger to doom and pessimism.” But he also answers the pessimists of his day with the wisdom of the Prophets: “[God’s] kingdom of justice and peace may be delayed, it may be overcast by the failures of one generation or several. But God…has given man the ability and the commission to make a better world.”
Thus we have our role to play, assigned to us by “the supreme optimists of history who fashioned their hopes on the anvil of a very bitter and cruel experience. They are still the reservoir from which all hopes for a better day are drawn.”
*Written by Frances Olan.*
(Rabbi Olan quotes Robert Burns, Psalm 22, Psalm 23, Jeremiah 20, Isaiah 2, and Exodus 14.)