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Why will Elijah the Prophet herald the Messiah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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Chassidut explains that Elijah was the exact opposite of Moses:

When Moses was born, the Torah tells us that the house became full of light. This is because his soul was so powerful that his body couldn't conceal its light. In fact, Moses' body was quite irrelevant; it was merely a vehicle through which his unbelievable soul was able to communicate with this world. There was no reason for Moses to have to "work" with his body; his body and animal soul were never in the position to put up a struggle against the immense powers of his soul. That's why Moses' mother was only pregnant with him for six months, because his body, and its desires, were never fully developed - the soul was of prime importance. In Chassidut this is referred to as an "oved Hashem binishmaso," one who serves G-d with his soul.

the whole point of the redemption is the culmination of the transformation of this physical world into G-dliness - something which Elijah epitomized.
On the other hand, our sages tell us that Elijah's gestation period was longer than full term! This is because his body and Yetzer Hara were fully developed. In fact, the name "Eliyahu" (Elijah) has the same Gematriah as the word "behayma" (animal)! Elijah was someone who struggled with his body for his entire life - that was his focus. Elijah succeeded to such a great extent, that his body actually became pure, holy and spiritual and was able to physically ascend to the spiritual worlds. This is something which even Moses was unable to accomplish, because he never really had to deal to much with his physical body. In Chassidut this is referred to as an "oved Hashem bigufo" (one who serves G-d with his body).

This is also why Elijah is the one who will announce the redemption, for the whole point of the redemption is the culmination of the transformation of this physical world into G-dliness - something which Elijah epitomized.

2. Elijah's purpose is to come and tell everyone their lineage, which tribe they are from, etc. Who better to do this job than someone who was at the circumcision of every Jewish child and therefore knows everyone’s exact lineage?

TAGS: elijah

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah
Israel » Messiah

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
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.
Yetzer Hara
Evil inclination. Found in the heart of all humans, and also known as the "Animal Soul"; its purpose is to deter a person from following a life of spirituality and selflessness.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Hashem
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
Elijah
A legendary prophet who lived in the 8th century BCE, and saved the Jewish religion from being corrupted by the pagan worship of Baal. He never died, he was taken to heaven alive. According to Jewish tradition, he visits every circumcision and every Passover Seder table.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.