Hope for Moshiach
"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach (the messiah), and though he may tarry, nevertheless I await his coming every day." (In Hebrew: "Ani ma'amin b'emunah shleimah beviat haMashiach, v'af al pi sheyitmameiha, im kol zeh achakeh lo b'chol yom sheyavo.")
Those are the words that Orthodox Jews said and sang throughout the Jewish history of exile and persecution. It was this passage, written by Maimonides and based on ancient Jewish belief, which gave the Jews courage to survive. Forever hoping that at any given second Meshiach will come and redeem the Jewish people to take them to their homeland - Israel.
Orthodox Jews will bless each other "You shall live to see Meshiach". As this was the hope and future of the Jews throughout their hard history. Almost every speech by a Jewish scholar will end with the words "we should be blessed to live to Meshiachs' days".
Importance of Belief
It is a core central belief of Judaism without any disagreement or dispute. As Maimonides writes (Kings 11): "whoever does not believe in him, or does not await his coming, denies not only the other prophets, but also the Torah and of Moshe, our teacher, for the Torah attests to his coming".
Nature of Mashiach
As opposed to Christianity, the Jewish Messiah is not a savior. The Jewish Messiah is not a divine being. The Jewish Messiah will not come to repent us from our sins. All these ideas are dismissed and considered heresy in Judaism.
The word "Mashiach" translates to "the anointed one," as in ancient times when new kings were anointed. Moshiach will be the anointed king at the end of days. In Judaism Mashiach will be a king who will be a descendent of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Jeremiah 23:5), observant of Jewish law (Isaiah 11:2-5), a righteous judge (Jeremiah 33:15), and a great military leader.
What will happen then?
Maimonides writes: He will come in order to establish peace in the world; as the prophecy states (Malachi 3:24), "He will bring back the hearts of the fathers to the children".
When Moshiach comes all Jews will return from exile to Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5); there will be universal acceptance of the Jewish God and the Jewish religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; 66:23; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9); There will be no sin or evil; all Jews will obey the commandments (Zephaniah 3:13; Ezekiel 37:24); the Third and final Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 37:26-27) and the Sanhedrin (Jewish high court of law) will be re-instituted (Maimonides Kings 11:1).
Maimonides explains the verse describing the days of the coming of Moshiach in Yeshayahu (11:6): "The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat," Maimonides explains: this is a parable, meaning that the Jewish people will dwell securely together with their enemies who are likened to wolves and leopards.
There are many more discussions in Jewish texts on how good it will be when Mashiach comes. It has always been the deepest yearning for every Jew to live to see the coming of Moshiach!
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