Rabbi Sacks on Optimism vs. Hope

JInsider (March 2010)

People often confuse optimism and hope. They sound similar. But in fact, they're very different. Optimism is the belief that things are going to get better. Hope is the belief that if we work hard enough together, we can make things better. It needs no courage, just a certain naivety to be an optimist. It needs a great deal of courage to have hope.

No Jew, knowing what we do about history and our own past so often written in tears, can be an optimist. But no Jew, who is a true Jew, can ever give up hope. And that is why Judaism is for me the voice of hope in the conversation of humankind.

And hope is what transforms the human situation.