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A Taste of Moshiach

by Rabbi Manis Friedman


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


Perfect Faith...

One of the most poignant Jewish proclamations has always been "I believe with perfect faith (emunah shlaima) in the coming of Moshiach." What is meant by perfect faith?

Perhaps this faith can be compared to trust and faith we have in life. No matter what happens to us, we never stop believing that life is good and that it is worthwhile.

This faith is not conditional, not withstanding the litany of difficulties one may encounter in a lifetime. There have always been starvation, inquisitions and holocausts. There has always been senseless murder and rape. Yet have we ever concluded that life is no good? G-d forbid. Have we ever concluded that life is not worth living? Never.

It is inherent in human nature that life has purpose and meaning. It is an absolute premise that remains intact in spite of challenges, trials, and tribulations.

...In the Coming of Moshiach

So too, the axiom, "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach" for the same reason that we believe with perfect faith that life is worth living. Because it is worth living. No matter what the newspapers tell us and no matter what we see on television and no matter what we personally experience.

Similarly, we believe with perfect faith that Moshiach is coming, because Moshiach must come. Not he might come, not I suppose he'll come, not "OK, if you say so I believe you." Perfect faith means Moshiach is coming. Whether we deserve it or not, he's coming.

It makes sense that when life becomes unbearable, and you don't know if you will live to see the morning light - that you would want Moshiach to come
The fact that he didn't come yesterday doesn't weaken our faith because he has to come. He's already a week late? For sure he's coming now. He's a month late? Of course he's coming. Two thousand years late? He has to be here any minute - how late can a person be?

What We've Been Waiting For

How can we be so sure?

The Torah tells us that life is good, that this world really is worth living in, that Moshiach will come, that the Galut (exile) will end, that holiness will prevail, and that as a result of all this G-d's purpose in the creation of heaven and earth will finally be fulfilled.

If Moshiach never came (G-d forbid) then G-d's ultimate purpose would never be fulfilled and all the suffering that has gone on for the past five thousand years has been totally and completely without meaning and purpose. This is impossible and we know it to the depths of our souls. The Torah, the Prophets and our own Sages and Tzaddikim guarantee it. Our souls guarantee it. It is, as we say, the Emes, the truth. Actually, today we are much closer to the Messianic Era than ever before.

Past and Present Belief

If we were to ask the average Jew today, "Do you think you look forward to the coming of Moshiach as intensely, as truly, as deeply as your grandparents in Poland during the war?" The answer would obviously be no. Our grandparents in Poland desperately wanted Moshiach. Us, we want Moshiach. We're looking forward to Moshiach. We're curious about Moshiach. But desperate? We're not desperate. So you'd think that Moshiach would have come for them. And if he hasn't come for them why would he come for us?

When things are very, very bad, when life is terrible, then human nature dictates that you try to find the light at the end of the tunnel. When things are so bad that you can't see how you are going to get out of it you grasp at straws. It makes sense that when life becomes unbearable, and you don't know if you will live to see the morning light - that you would want Moshiach to come. Of course. Who wouldn't? But Jews have never been as comfortable as we are today. We have never been so safe, doing so well. In many ways life has never been better. Yet the whole world is talking about Moshiach. Why? Because it is happening.


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Philosophy » 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.
Traditionally translated to mean exile. It refers to the state of the Jewish people until the coming of the Messiah.
Plural form of Tzaddik. A Tzaddik is a saint, or righteous person.
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.