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Jewish View of the Messiah
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Question

I'm interested in what exactly is the Jewish understanding of who the Messiah is, what his credentials are and what he is to do among the children of Israel.

Answer

What is the Messiah (Mashiach) supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

1) Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

2) Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

3) Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

4) Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

The messiah will be a regular human being, born naturally to husband and wife. He is not to be a god, nor a man born of supernatural or virgin birth. The very idea that God would take on human form is repulsive to Jews because it contradicts our concept of God as being above and beyond the limitations of the human body and situation. Jews believe that G-d ALONE is to be worshipped, and not a being who is His creation, be he angel, saint, or even the messiah himself.

To learn more, read "The Real Messiah" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, published by the National Conference of Synagogue Youth.

With blessings from Jerusalem,

Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Aish.com

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