Nine Questions About 'Moshiach'

by Rabbi Isreal Rubin

1)Isn't the "Messiah" a Christian idea?
Moshiach originates in the Jewish Torah and Prophets. The concept was later borrowed and changed by others.

2)How important is Moshiach to Judaism?

Very. It's one of the 13 Fundamental Jewish Principles. "I believe in the coming of the Moshiach each day, and even if he will tarry, I wait for him.

3)Isn't belief in Moshiach an escape from reality?
No. We don't live out of suitcases. Judaism is realistic, down-to-earth and lives in the here and now. We plan ahead normally, even while knowing that our current situation is waiting for Moshiach to arrive imminently.

4)Isn't "Messiah" just a euphemism for a utopian peace on Earth?
It isn't just a wishful thinking or fantasy, but an oft - repeated Divine promise that a specific person and events will change the world for good.

5)Who will be the Moshiach?
A human descendant of King David, committed to all the Torah, will gather all Jews to Israel, rebuild the Temple and bring universal peace.

6)Why do we eagerly anticipate Moshiach?
Besides bringing peace to Israel and wiping out misery throughout the world, all of creation will be brought to fulfillment. However comfortable we may presently seem, our world remains incomplete, to say the least.

7)Will our world change drastically?
Initially, the world will continue its natural course, later ascending to a supernatural state, including the Resurrection of the dead. (Maimonides)

8)Is now the time?
We certainly hope so. It can happen anytime, but the earlier the better. Events indicate that the time is ripe, and we should try to realize the potential.

9)What can I do about it?
Do more Mitzvos - each Mitzva brings the Redemption closer. Learn Torah for greater Moshiach awareness - so that Redemption is in popular demand. May it come speedily in our days!