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Is it true that the Messiah will be born (or was born) on Tishah b'Av?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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The Midrash1 relates that on the same day the Holy Temple was destroyed, Moshiach was born. The Midrash goes so far to tell us his name: Menachem.

Traditionally this is understood to mean that indeed Moshiach was born on that day, and had the Jews of that generation merited redemption, Menachem would have been revealed as Moshiach and immediately redeemed the Jews from exile.2

On a deeper level the Midrash is relating that the concepts of Moshiach and Redemption were "born" on Tishah b'Av; as soon as the Holy Temple was destroyed, redemption became a possibility. For if the Jews would have properly repented immediately, Moshiach would have been revealed at that moment.

In the teachings of Chassidut it is explained that the inner purpose of the destruction was so that we should be able to reach much higher spiritual levels with the coming of Moshiach - and this only became possible on Tishah b'Av.

So while today we view Tishah b'Av as a sad and tragic day, in the Messianic Era we will celebrate this day as the "birthday" of the ultimate salvation.3

Footnotes

  • 1. Midrash Eicha Rabba 1:51
  • 2. In every generation there is a person who can be Moshiach if that generation so merits. (See R. Ovadiah of Bartenura, Commentary on Ruth). For more about the personality of Moshiach see http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/101679/jewish/The-Personality-of-Mashiach.htm
  • 3. Sources: See for example Likutei Sichos vol. 29 pp. 9-17

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah
Israel » Messiah

Moshiach
The Messiah. Moshiach is the person who will usher in an era of peace and tranquility for all of humanity when there will be no jealousy or hate, wars or famine. This is a fundamental Jewish belief.
Chassidut
The teachings of the Chassidic masters. Chassidut takes mystical concepts such as G-d, the soul, and Torah, and makes them understandable, applicable and practical.
Midrash
(Pl. Midrashim). Non-legal material of anecdotal or allegorical nature, designed either to clarify historical material, or to teach a moral point. The Midrashim were compiled by the sages who authored the Mishna and Talmud (200 BCE-500 CE).
Av
The fifth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to July-August. The saddest month of the year due to the destruction of the Temples, and the many other tragedies which befell the Jews in this month.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.