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What is Moshiach?

by Rabbi Mendy Hecht


Library » Philosophy » Messiah | Subscribe | What is RSS?


A. Moshiach (or Messiah in English) means “the anointed one" in Hebrew. Moshiach is a core and fundamental belief in Judaism, next to Torah and G-d Himself. It is Belief #12 of MaimonidesThirteen Principles of Faith. It describes the very purpose and direction of Judaism itself.

B. We were there, and now we’re here. Then, we had sovereignty and our own country, and now we are governed by others, in others’ countries. Then, we had a king anointed by a prophet of G-d, and when we get back there, we’ll have an anointed king again. Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire exiled us from our land, Israel. We’ve been all over since—we’ve even forgotten where we came from and where we’re headed. We’ve been persecuted in a thousand different ways by a thousand different cultures. But we never gave up hope that G-d would send a descendant of King David to lead us out of exile. This is the classic, essential Jewish understanding of Moshiach.

C. However, you don’t have to be Jewish to eat bagels and lox, and neither need you be Jewish for Moshiach to touch your life. For when Moshiach comes, the world will rise to perfection. Moshiach is not only the relocation of Jews from many places to one place; Moshiach is not the eternal domination of one people and the eternal damnation of all others: Moshiach is the concept to end all concepts. Moshiach is Utopia. Moshiach is the answer to “Why are we here?” Moshiach will not just redeem the Jewish people from exile—he will redeem mankind from meaninglessness, and teach the purpose of life to the universe. No more school shootings, no more pain, no more war, no more rat race.

Moshiach will not just redeem the Jewish people from exile?he will redeem mankind from meaninglessness, and teach the purpose of life to the universe
1. The Messiah within

Some things never change: animals, vegetables, minerals. But people do. Change is part of life. People change. Countries change. Societies change. The world changes. Why? Because people reject the status quo. People try to change themselves, things, life. Why? Because people want a better world—don’t you? If we knew there was nothing we could do about this mad world, we couldn’t get up in the morning. But something drives us on. This trait, this will, is the belief in Moshiach—the belief that the world will be better one day. Ultimately, the belief in Moshiach is the belief in ourselves, and in the eternal triumph of good.

2. What can/should I do to help bring Moshiach?

Good is like water collecting in a cup—drop by drop, deed by deed. When the cup is full, it overflows its sides. When we fill this world with enough good, G-d sends Moshiach. G-d gave mankind tools for good—the Torah for Jews, and the Noahide Code for non-Jews. Whatever your spiritual configuration, G-d is waiting for your move—our move. Let’s work together to bring Moshiach, now. Let’s do good.

3. Isn’t the Messiah a Christian belief?

No. It isn’t. Christianity got the idea from Judaism. Because humans are messianic (see above), Judaism is quite messianic, although the very phrase “messianic” scares people, and rightfully so. Judaism does not believe in Jesus in any way, shape or form. Jews know this. The “Jews for Jesus” organization gets around this by employing a smug psychological trap of a title: “you CAN be Jewish and believe in Jesus!” is what is says. “NO, YOU CAN’T!” is the Jewish response—ever heard of a “Christian for Judaism?” How about a “Muslim for Buddhism?” For more on this, visit

TAGS: moshiach


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Posted by: Let's keep it simple and true!, Burbank, Ca on Jan 13, 2007

Now, now. If we would all look at the Tanach a bit closer, we would discover that ALL the messianic prophecies do NOT use the word Moshiach - at all! This should tell us that the subject of Moshiach is infered, alluded to, or derived. And this creates a "double-edge-sword" theology for both jews and christians - if we really want to be honest - and we do!

To say "moshiach will gather the exiles, or bring the 3rd temple, resurect the dead" is to say something the Tanach does NOT say. When Moshiach comes, and he will, we will all be surprised that he did not fit our theologies!! Amen

Editor's Comment

"Moshiach" means "anointed one." It is a term that has become commonly used to refer to the son of David who will come at the end of days to redeem the Jewish people and bring them to Israel and rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and will usher in an era of universal peace. The bible is full of references to such a person (for one see Isaiah 11), even though it does not use the name Moshiach.


Israel » Messiah

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.
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.
Moses son of Maimon, born in Spain in 1135, died in Egypt in 1204. Noted philosopher and authority on Jewish law. Also was an accomplished physician and was the personal doctor for members of the Egyptian royalty. Interred in Tiberius, Israel.
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
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.