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Who Is Moshiach (the Jewish Messiah)?

Who Is Moshiach (the Jewish Messiah)?


The Messianic Redemption will be ushered in by a person, a human leader, a descendant of Kings David and Solomon, who will reinstate the Davidic royal dynasty. According to tradition, Moshiach will be wiser than Solomon, and a prophet around the level of Moses.

Ever since the destruction of the Holy Temple, in every generation there is an individual, a scion of the House of David, who has the potential to be the Moshiach. If at any moment the Jews are worthy of redemption, this person would be directed from Above to assume the role of the redeemer.

In every generation there is a scion of the House of David who has the potential to be the MoshiachDuring the Messianic Era, the Moshiach will serve a dual role. He will be a monarch, ruling over all of humanity with kindness and justice, and upholding the law of the Torah613 commandments for the Jews, and seven for the non-Jews. He will also be the ultimate teacher, the conduit for the deepest and most profound dimensions of the Torah which will then be revealed by G‑d.

How are we to identify the Moshiach?

Moshiach is not identified by his ability to perform earth-shattering miracles. In fact, he isn't required to perform any miracles at all (although the performance of miracles doesn't disqualify him either).

The following are the criteria for identifying the Moshiach, as written by Maimonides:

If we see a Jewish leader who (a) toils in the study of Torah and is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, (b) influences the Jews to follow the ways of the Torah and (c) wages the "battles of G‑d"—such a person is the "presumptive Moshiach."

If the person succeeded in all these endeavors, and then rebuilds the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and facilitates the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel—then we are certain that he is the Moshiach.

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Gilberto del Toro II Naples,FL December 17, 2017

Is the Moshiach in the world already? Peace to Israel and all Jews all over the world. Reply

Jaim November 22, 2017

Halacha I understand that there is also Halacha and signs to identify the mashiach. Am i right? Can you tell me the ones that shuljan aruch mentions? Reply

Reuven Centner Melbourne January 1, 2018
in response to Jaim:

Shulchan Aruch makes no mention of it. The Rambam however writes signs.

see Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, Chapter 11, Halachah 1 Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills October 1, 2017

who is Moshiach actually the lineage runs through Ruth as in The Book of Ruth. And since souls recycle it could be a woman. Why not? In fact in English transliteration there is 'she' in Moshiach. Reply

Harold September 26, 2017

In my opinion...Moshiach should be a leader in many aspects...religious, political, military...otherwise he would not be able to accomplish what is expected from him. How would a military leader be accepted by Orthodox communities? How would you know and prove that he is a descendant of King David? It seems like we might recognize him after he finishes the job and will not be able to support him in the process. Reply

Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum, for Folsom, CA October 4, 2017
in response to Harold:

Moshiach will certainly be a leader in all those respects, and you're right - initially he may not be accepted by the entire Jewish world. And as the Rambam writes, initially he is only presumed to be Moshiach. But certainly after he succeeds in the first steps and actually rebuilds the Temple and gathers the Jewish people to the Holy Land, there will be little room for doubt. Reply

Steve July 22, 2017

Where does the idea that everyone is mashiach come from? Reply

Anonymous Prescott, AR June 22, 2017

I know he is to be a descendent of King David, but where in Tanakh does it say that he must also be son of King Solomon. King David had many sons. Reply

Mendel Adelman June 22, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Hey Anonymous,

Great question! In fact, has an article on this question. You can find it at this link.

The essence of the answer is that there is a verse that says, “Let my lord King David live forever” (I Kings 1:31). That verse, which reaffirms the fact that monarchy will only continue through David's descendants, is used in relation to David appointing Solomon as his heir. From here, we see that kingship will also only come through Solomon. Reply

Bendeguz79 Florida December 26, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

From the tribe Juda, and the line of Jessey.The son of David. Reply

Anonymous Saudi Arab June 3, 2017

Messiah Before we try to find Messiah, we should try to Elijah. Where is Elijah? Reply

Joey Alabama May 18, 2017

Talking about someone to give us guidance to get us all back to our Creator. That brings to mind the great work the Lubavitcher rabbi did with all his emissaries and Chabad houses giving millions guidance in realizing God and our purpose in this world. not trying to say he is the Mashiach because I am not the one to decide, but I would definitely give him my vote if it would count... Reply

david Memphis July 2, 2017
in response to Joey:

he did not rebuild the Temple as described on their own website so please don't go there. he did great things without a doubt and reached a spritual level not done so by most men but that is where it ends. Reply

m meretsky state college pa August 16, 2017
in response to david :

there is a concept called "moshiach vadai" every generation has a person who is able to be moshiach as said in the article above i quote "If we see a Jewish leader who (a) toils in the study of Torah and is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, (b) influences the Jews to follow the ways of the Torah and (c) wages the "battles of G‑d"—such a person is the "presumptive Moshiach." Reply

Jacob May 17, 2017

If Moshiach ben David is going to be King, then who is referred to in Zechariah 14:9?

Interesting time to be alive if the Talmud itself suggests a Messianic era two thousand years in length was expected to start about two thousand years ago? Consider around an ending of a Sanhedrin 97a and see a 1st footnote for a Sanhedrin 97b?

"He should have come at the beginning of the last two thousand years; the delay is due to our sins." What if there wasn't a delay and yet people wrongly expected Messiah to come in like a violent ruling conqueror asap? That might actually be in conflict with stuff like Hosea 6:1-3, Isaiah 53&54, Zechariah 12:10, and Daniel 9:24-27. Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for May 22, 2017
in response to Jacob:

The verse in Zechariah 14:9 is referring to G-d as king of the universe. Moshiach is king of the Jews. Reply

Daniel Bravo Colombia May 24, 2017
in response to Jacob:

..and, if I might add, prophet Haggai's message about the Second Temple: that the glory of that Temple was going to be greater than the first one. The context is very interesting because that message is also related to the coming of the Messiah.

"And I will shake kol Goyim, and the Chemdat kol HaGoyim [desired of all nations; i.e., Moshiach, Shmuel Alef 9:20, Malachi 3:1] shall come: and I will fill this Beis [HaMikdash] with kavod, saith Hashem Tzva’os.The kesef is Mine, and the zahav is Mine, saith Hashem Tzva’os.The kavod of this latter Beis shall be greater than of the former, saith Hashem Tzva’os: and in this place will I give shalom, saith Hashem Tzva’os."

Was this prophecy fulfilled? Reply

Jacob May 25, 2017
in response to Eliezer Zalmanov:

Do you think Moshiach is referred to anywhere in Zechariah 14? Reply

Jacob May 26, 2017
in response to Eliezer Zalmanov:

Do you think Moshiach is referred to anywhere in Zechariah 14? Reply

Jacob May 26, 2017
in response to Daniel Bravo:

Do you think Haggai refers to a third Temple? Reply

Daniel Bravo Colombia June 19, 2017
in response to Jacob:

Thanks for replying.

No, because the text does not give reasons to think so. The reference points directly to the second Temple. It was directed to the leaders just after that Temple was built. The message was for them. Hence my question about the fulfilling of this prophecy.

"Speak now to Zerubavel ben Sh’altiel, Governor of Yehudah, and to Yehoshua ben Yehotzadak, the Kohen HaGadol, and to the she’erit HaAm, saying,

Who is left among you that saw this Beis [Hamikdash] in her kavod harishon? And how do ye see it now? In comparison to it, is it not in your eyes as nothing?

Yet now chazak (be strong), O Zerubavel, saith Hashem; and chazak (be strong), O Yehoshua ben Yehotzadak, Kohen HaGadol; and chazak (be strong), kol Am Ha’Aretz, saith Hashem, and work; for I am with you, saith Hashem Tzva’os." Reply

Jacob June 21, 2017
in response to Daniel Bravo:

Do you associate Haggai with Mashiach? How so, if so? Reply

Anonymous Israel April 30, 2017

I pray the Moshiaj comes now as we all need his guidance to get us all back to our Creator which is why we were created to begin with which is to praise Him and only Him the Holy One of Yisrael. Just like we needed to be saved when we were in Egypt so too now we need to be saved because this world is run by man and all the temptations of the materialistic. We must all really want to be ruled by our Creator and His laws for Moshiaj to come. Reply

Mordecai Bar Brooklyn, NYC. October 2, 2016

I've been reading the Rambams qualifications for Moshiach in The Laws of Kings. My request is if someone could give me or direct me to where I could find his sources for his requirements. I realize some are in the Talmud and some in the Tanach. I was some for specific references to the requirements he gives.
Thanks Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for September 7, 2016

Re: The Maschiach is already among us As soon as the time is right for the Moshiach to reveal himself and redeem us, G-d will make sure that it will happen, one way or another. Our job should be focusing on convincing G-d that the time is indeed right and that we are ready/ Reply

Benzion Waldman September 6, 2016

The Maschiach is already among us My problem is not believing that the Maschiach already exists, my question is what does the individual have to do be discovered? Perhaps he is trying to get noticed but no one hears his voice. Are we truly listening or is our bias of who the Maschiach is supposed to be blocking his recognition! Reply

Christopher Los Angeles July 4, 2017
in response to Benzion Waldman:

You are a smart man you are correct Reply

IM December 1, 2017
in response to Benzion Waldman:

Add a comment...Over 40 years now and counting. Reply

Anonymous marshfield hills, ma July 23, 2016

knowledge I think yes, probably there is one who knows and the truth is smallness within that allness and probably a realization G-d is everything, that everyone being One has got to be integral to movement forward being moved obviously from within, or a Story so determined would not be possible, nor Moses. The Egyptians had to be integral to Exodus and so all stories. This is deep: that a greater consciousness is responsible for All Creation and is ongoing in our lives bringing a story so wrought with Joy and the Oy or oil within. How a candle burns. And maybe such a heavy responsibility and knowledge, to carry darkness into the light, to bring what we call redemption is not an easy burden. Moses was human and he said then, choose another. Prophets have not been happy as a Story is written, and great people experience as we all do, ongoing sadness and pain. within the darkness a white dove. she rhymes with love. Love, a poetry of soul rising, rise up and sing has got to bring the great see. Reply

Jessica Singleton Abilene November 14, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I thoroughly believe what you have said and believe it to be true... Thank you my Anonymous friend :) Reply

yitzchakchaim July 22, 2016

Re does mashiach know he is mashiach? Yes, He must know. G-d has a reputation for giving our leaders adequate warning in order to condition them to answer thier calling.
King David was anointed as king by Samuel 40 years before his replacing Saul.
Joseph was raised with the knowledge the he was special and above his brothers, years before his leadership in Egypt.
No matter how much of a tzadik one may be, we all have a slave mentality simply by living in this world. When hashem spoke to Moses, Moses could not believe that he could be such a leader. Gd did the miracle of the snake not to show Pharoah His power but Moses. Reply

Jumanji Switzerland April 24, 2016

Does Moshiach know He is Moshiach? Reply

Anonymous April 9, 2017
in response to Jumanji:

The Chasam Sofer says he will not know who he is, comparing Moshiach to Moses as per Exodus 3:11.

I agree with the comparison as per the Zohar, but disagree with the lesson being learned from the verse as "Who am I" in this context has always been explained to me that Moses was humble, not that he didn't know who he was. It's quite a far-fetch assessment considering there's other verses such as "Where are you?"

According to what is taught by Rabbi Chaim Vital, Moshiach will become aware that he is Moshiach at the time that he merits prophecy.

I agree with this logic, as someone with access to prophecy would have access to such information. But as a savvy Kabbalist, I will add my own note: There are various levels of prophecy, and thus whatever level you consider him enlightened would be around the same level that he would know he is Moshiach. In other words, degree of truth applies here. Consider "is this water hot?" Sure a boolean yes/no exists, but at what point does it change? Reply

Anonymous April 3, 2016

messenger of god we are all messengers from god, I just happen to be his favorite Reply

Anonymous Montreal, Quebec via March 17, 2016

Dear Anonymous CA Amen to what you said!

Just to point out the Chazal in Perek Chelek of Sanhedrin says otherwise and even Rambam says specifically when he is "killed" that is what will disqualify him. At any rate, a great Tzaddik in this generation who was well versed in all of Chazal etc. had no problem calling his father-in -law the Moshiach of the generation.
The key thing here is that a Tzaddik's life is not like ours [see Tanya Iggeres Hakodesh 27] when we see a Tzaddik who is very active in this world via shluchim etc
I think it is only positive and will encourage our performance of Torah and Mitzvos including encouraging others, when we know that there is someone still leading this generation [albeit not as visible as before] Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for March 17, 2016

Re: Who is Moshiach Actually, this description that "Moshiach will be wiser than Solomon, and a prophet around the level of Moses," is a direct quote from the Rambam himself. It can be found in Hilchot Teshuvah 9:2 Reply

Avraham Foxbrunner March 16, 2016

Who is Moshiach Which "tradition" says that Moshiach will be "wiser than Solomon and a prophet around the level of Moses." You rely on the Rambam (as did the late Rebbe) for much of your information about Moshiach, but this is not part of his description. Perhaps you found this in some Midrash, but the Rambam himself says that midrashim are not to be relied on in this matter. Reply