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Mashiach - Who?
Shalom Rabbis, Could you please help my ignorance on the subject of the promised Mashiach of Israel? 1. What exactly do the prophets say about the Mashiach? 2. When is he expected and what is he coming to do? 3. Are there signs suggestive of his arrival? 4. What are his prophetic qualifications as Mashiach? 5. Did the prophets say he is coming twice?
The answers to the questions are mentioned in Maimonides' Laws of Kings. 1)The Mashiach- a king descended from King David- gathers in the exiles, fights the wars of Israel, enforces the Torah and rebuilds the Temple (=Beit HaMikdash). 2)The timing of the coming of Mashiach depends on how soon we merit it. If all of Israel does "teshuva" (=repents), it is possible to hasten his coming. The Mashiach will come in any event when the appointed time has come even if by that point our teshuva is still incomplete. 3) The most definitive sign of imminent redemption is when the the Land of Israel again bears fruit after being barren during the millenia of exile. This has occured with the beginning of our present Zionist redemption. 4) The Mashiach needn't demonstrate prophetic abilities in order to be accepted as Mashiach. He must do what I have mentioned in answer to question 1- gather the exiles etc. 5)ABSOLUTELY NOT! The Mashiach is a live human being- not someone resurrected. Thank you for your questions. Shabbat Shalom