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Who is the Messiah?

My Christian friends seem to enjoy the idea that their Messiah has already come (and waiting to return). What does Judaism say about the Messiah – who is he and what will he accomplish?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The Bible says that the Messiah 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)

It is clear that no previous historical figure has fulfilled these requirements (and there is no tradition for any "second coming").

Furthermore, Jewish sources say that the messiah will be a regular human being, born naturally to husband and wife. He is not a god, nor born of a 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 God alone is to be worshiped, 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.

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