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Why the belief in a human Messiah?

by Rabbi Dovid Dubov

  

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


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Some people believe that the world will “evolve” by itself into a messianic era without a human figurehead. Judaism rejects this belief. Human history has been dominated by empire builders greedy for power.

Some believe in Armageddon – that the world will self-destruct, either by nuclear war or by terrorism. Judaism rejects this view
Others believe in Armageddon – that the world will self-destruct, either by nuclear war or by terrorism. Again Judaism rejects this view.

Our prophets speak of the advent of a human leader, the magnitude of whom the world has not yet experienced. His unique example and leadership will inspire mankind to change direction.


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Human Messiah??

Posted by: David Bruce, Newport News, VA on Jun 02, 2005

Why are his names given in Isaiah 9:6-7 trasnliterated instead of translated in the JPS transaltion? "For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom, That the government may be increased, and of peace there be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it through justice and through righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts doth perform this." If translated, how would you translate el-gibbor into english? Also, what about Micah 5:2? "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,whose origin is from of old,from ancient days." This seems to indicate that the one who is to rule Israel (The Messiah) has an ancient origin?? Is the Messiah not devine?

Editor's Comment

1. These words (from Isaiah 9:5) ARE translated in the JPS edition of the Bible, and a glance at the translation will reveal that these names are NOT being bestowed on a human being. (See http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=15940.) Incidentally, according to Jewish tradition, these verses speak of King Hezekiah of Judah -- not the Messiah. 2. The verse in Micah (5:1) is talking about the Messiah, and it is saying that the Messiah is rooted in ancient days -- i.e. the Davidic dynasty which started in Bethlehem.

hmm

Posted by: Anonymous on Jun 16, 2005

To me that sounds a lot like who Jesus was, God in Human Form... as a Human Being while here on earth.

Editor's Comment

G-d forbid! A cardinal principle of Judaism is that G-d doesn't assume a human (or any) form. The Messiah will be a divinely inspired monarch, akin to Moses or David -- just greater.

Human Messiah??

Posted by: David Bruce, Newport News, VA, 23602 on Jul 01, 2005

I appreciate the Rabbi's response to my earlier question. I now have another. Please explain to me Jeremiah 23:5-6. The righteous branch of David is clearly referring to the Messiah. But then it says his name will be called, The Lord our righteousness. Isn't that an odd name to give to a human?

Editor's Comment

Many Jewish names contain G-d's name as well. For example: Eliezer means "G-d is salvation." Elisha means "G-d hearkens." Chananiah means "G-d is kind." Similarly, the Messiah will be called "G-d makes us righteous," for in his day, indeed G-d will reveal to the entire world the righteousness of those who remained faithful to Him.

Human Messiah??

Posted by: David Bruce, Newport News, VA, 23602 on Jul 18, 2005

I have to respond to the comment made by Annonymous that "G-d forbid! A cardinal principle of Judaism is that G-d doesn't assume a human (or any) form..."

The bottom line for me on this "cardinal doctrine of Judaism" is it's mistaken. That G-d could take on human form as an earthly Messiah should not be difficult to accept -- afterall -- He'd previously supped with Abraham (Gen 18) and He had wrestled with Jacob (Gen 32) while also in human form. Our powerful G-d can manifest Himself in many forms, and why not..is He not All-Powerful? I will grant you, that perhaps, the Trinity is a weak explanation given by humans who have a finite mind and cannot fully grasp the ifinite. Do not let this be a stumbling block to you. There is no need to sub-divide the godhead in attempts to explain "how" He does it. We have One G-d, and He can manifest Himself in any form He chooses. Are you telling me Judaism teaches there is something G-d cannot do?

Editor's Comment

See "What is G-d not?" (http://www.askmoses.com/qa_detail.html?h=419&o=78.

Human Messiah??

Posted by: David Bruce, Newport News, VA, 23602 on Jul 18, 2005

I gather from your response to my last post that you are arguing that it is logically impossible for God to appear in the form of a man because this would somehow make him less than perfect. I obviously don't agree with this line of argument and it doesn't address all that I asked. You failed to address my question about the appearance of God to people in the Hebrew Scriptures in an human form. How did He do this, if to do this in the form of a human messiah is logically impossible?

Editor's Comment

G-d Himself never appeared in human form. Angels supped with Abraham, and an angel, who is sometimes called "Elohim," one of G-d's names, scuffled with Jacob. (See Psalms 95:3; 96:4; 97:7; 97:9).

G-d in earthly form.

Posted by: James Osterhage, Villa Hills, KY on Sep 23, 2005

Right off I must state that I am not Jewish, but I have felt in my soul a desire to become Jewish, and have begun studying Torah and the other writings very intently. I once considered myself to be a very devout Christian, but I always felt there to be something not quite write with the way many Christian churches taught the Word of G-d. I have come to believe that Jesus can not have been the Moshiach. However, it is possible to see him as a kind of "saviour" for he "saved" the Gentiles from breaking the Seven Commandments of G-d's Covenant with Noah. However, G-d is incorporeal, and as such has no physical form, thus Jesus could not have been His embodiement on earth.

Saviour

Posted by: Jeremiah on Nov 11, 2005

"However, it is possible to see him as a kind of "saviour" for he "saved" the Gentiles from breaking the Seven Commandments of G-d's Covenant with Noah."

Not if you consider the idea that Jesus is one third of the Trinity. G-d is one, not three; separating H-s identity creates a pantheon, a violation of the Noachide Laws. Thus, anyone who believes in Jesus's divinity is not saved, but lead astray.

Regards to other questions

Posted by: Fabian, Sydney, NSW, Australia on Mar 05, 2006

Hello Rabbi, just in regards to your questions about how G-d can not form himself as a human form, did not G-d create man in his own image? Did not G-d, with his finger write the commandments (in which I observe including the 4th commandment).

If God can not be in a human form and can never be in a human form? Then what image did God make us in?

Unless if you state that due to sin that due to our diets and sin, we have some how evolved? Or, if we were changed at the tower of Babel?

I apologise if I sounded harsh Rabbi.

Editor's Comment

See "What is the mystical significance of the morning hand-washing?" (http://www.askmoses.com/qa_detail.html?h=286&o=132974)

David Bruce

Posted by: Benyamin Finn on Nov 10, 2006

"Are you telling me Judaism teaches there is something G-d cannot do?"

This is something that really annoys me. How can a G-d fearing man answer this. If we say "yes" then you declare us wrong. And if we say "no" you declare yourself right. This question has no place in a religious discussion. I believe the real question has never been "can He" but has always been "did He" and "would He" When a christian states this it is usually because they are afraid they are wrong. At least in my opinion. Heres my question in response: Could the L-rd turn our heads upsidedown and make us walk on air? Yes of course He could, but why would He bother? G-d can do anything that is not in a discussion anywhere on this site.


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Philosophy » Messiah