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  1. My teacher and friend Richard Hirsh has written a lovely and thought-provoking piece. As a frequent user of the Kol Haneshamah siddur, I have to confess, however, that the quoted lines from Judy Chicago (“And then all will live in harmony with each other and with the earth. And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.”) have always seemed to me an appropriate contemporary English gloss on the last line of the Aleinu (“.וְהָיָה יְיָ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה יְהוָה אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹ אֶחָד”). In other words, putting to the side the question of the quality of the English poetry here, both texts seem to me to be expressing “optimism about” an ideal, Messianic state. Actually, I would be comfortable replacing “optimism about” with “hope for” in the preceding sentence. I am curious about what others think about this issue.

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