What will Israel look like in 2068?

Visions of Israel 2068: A dream of peace

Lining Rehov Rupin and all over the park were flowers in great profusion. (photo credit: PXFUEL)
Lining Rehov Rupin and all over the park were flowers in great profusion.
(photo credit: PXFUEL)
I woke up smiling, wisps of the dream tugging at my consciousness. I tried to capture the elusive images, but they kept slipping away. Dreams are like that... it takes an enormous effort of will to recall the details.
But now I remember. I wrote down the memories as they emerged over the next few days, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle slowly coming together to make a picture. And such a picture!
I was walking through Jerusalem. Somehow I knew the year was 2068, corresponding to the Hebrew year of 5828. Even in my dream, I realized I was some sort of visitor, my subconscious logic telling me I couldn’t possibly still be alive at such an advanced age. The streets I walked down were familiar, but something was different.
“Everything is so clean,” I marveled out loud. A young lady must have overheard me. “It’s our mayor” she enthused. “He is so conscientious. He oversees everything himself – no deputy mayors at all. Every week we have a day when all the citizens, from school children to pensioners, have a ‘keep the city clean’ day. You won’t find even a scrap of paper on the sidewalks. And, of course, dog owners clean up immediately after their pets, or they’d face an enormous fine.”
She fell into step beside me. “The air is so fresh – it’s like champagne,” I commented. “Well, of course; nobody has smoked for 30 years, and the cars are electric now so the pollution has gone. Even from first grade we teach our children how to be kind to the environment. It’s even reversed global warming.”
By now we had arrived at Sacher Park. I gasped. Lining Ruppin Street and all over the park were flowers in great profusion. Their color and perfume sent my senses reeling. My companion smiled. “It must be a long time since you visited. The European Union sends us thousands of bulbs and seedlings every year: tulips from Holland, daffodils from England, mignonette from France, edelweiss from Switzerland... They all compete to see who can send us the most.”
“But why?”
“They admire us, of course. We are the world’s model in science, in hi-tech, in agriculture, in medicine, in the arts. And we are ‘a light unto the nations.’”
“Even with enemies on every border?”
She laughed. “No more enemies. All the mothers in the Middle East banded together to save their children. They refused to let them become suicide bombers or terrorists. They finally agreed that they all wanted to become grandmothers, so they took the children’s education into their own hands. Men were not allowed to interfere.”
“Why that’s wonderful.” I look at the lighthearted young people walking past us carrying book bags. “Where are the soldiers?” I asked.
“Soldiers! What for? We don’t need an army any more. They are all going to the Hebrew University. Mt. Scopus got overcrowded, so they’ve enlarged the Givat Ram campus.”
I sat down on a park bench – it was all too much for me to comprehend.
“I can see lots of Arabs too” I whispered. “Is it safe?”
Again she laughed. “They are our friends now. Our children even play together. And you should see Gaza, what they’ve done with it. They invited all the Jews who used to live in Gush Katif to show them how to return it to the agricultural marvel it was before the Disengagement. Now they have greenhouses, orchards, a multi-million dollar export industry of vegetables, fruit and flowers. They all have work now, and during our shmita year, they provide our fruit and vegetables. They have their own thriving neighborhoods. We often visit the market in Jericho – it’s a wonderful place to buy unusual gifts such as old pewter or silver bracelets.”
“But how did this come about?” I asked in bewilderment.
“The Messiah came,” she answered quietly.
“How did we bring him?” My voice was a whisper.
“It was simple really. We mounted an enormous PR campaign to all the Jews worldwide. We persuaded them to keep Shabbat for two consecutive weeks. The first week they found it strange and a bit difficult, but the second week they were surprised to find they enjoyed it. No telephones, no radio, no computer, no handling money, no television, no cars. For the first time, they relaxed completely. They talked to each other, sang songs, read books, walked around God’s beautiful country, ate delicious Shabbat meals. Most of them decided it was a gift they wanted to give themselves every week. So the Messiah, from the House of David, came riding into Jerusalem on his white donkey, and we all went to meet him.”
My companion rose. “I must go now. It is time to do my chessed – my act of loving-kindness for the day.”
“You already have” I wanted to tell her, but she had vanished... just like my dream!
The writer is the author of 14 books. Her latest novel is Searching for Sarah.
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