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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Basics of Jewish Faith

Messiah

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar 25, 5772
Question
Isn’t it embarassing that the Jewish people have had the Torah for 3500 years and they’re still not sure who the Messiah will be? Why doesn’t anyone know for sure? What, according to the Scriptures, identifies the Messiah? It’s not right that the followers of the One God can’t agree on who the One Messiah is. Who knows for certain??
Answer
Shalom, It’s not at all embarrassing not to know someone who hasn’t yet arrived (it’s actually pretty logical!). We know that we are in what the ancient rabbis called “Y’mot HaMashiach”, meaning the “Days of Mashiach”, a time period which sees the return of the Jewish Nation to the Land of Israel, the revival of our Holy language, our Holy army, our Holy State, and an unprecedented awakening to Torah (most noticeably, the return of 1,200,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union, who had 0% observance there, and have now “returned to the fold”). The appearance of the mashiach himself, who is a national and military leader (yet doesn’t necessarily have to be a rabbi, Rambam, M’lachim 11, 3) is only the final stage of this period (Megilla 17a), who’s length depends on our spiritual individual and national actions. As opposed to other religions, the mashiach's name, his looks and type of head-covering are extremely unimportant in Judaism, yet what is important is that we prepare ourselves for that national and spiritual mindset and level, by returning to the land and Torah of Israel. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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