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What is the significance of the year 6000 in the Jewish calendar?

What is the significance of the year 6000 in the Jewish calendar?

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Question:

I heard from a rabbi that the year 6000 will be the last year, the year when Moshiach will arrive and usher in the redemption. I thought we do not know when the "last" year will be, so why this prediction?

Answer:

The Talmud tells us that this world, as we know it, will last for six thousand years, with the seventh millennium ushering in the cosmic Shabbat, the Messianic Era. Six days a week we work, and on the Shabbat we rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor; the same is true with millenniums.

However, it is certainly possible for Moshiach to come earlier. And we believe, hope, and pray each day that this is the day when Moshiach will come. This is also analogous to the weekly Shabbat, which we have the prerogative of ushering in early on Friday afternoon (click here for more on this topic).

So yes, we don't know exactly when Moshiach will come, but we do know that it will be before the year 6000. (Currently, as I write this response, we are in the year 5768 [2007-8].)

I would only like to add that the anticipation of Moshiach's arrival at any moment has considerably heightened in recent years in light of the pronouncement by the Lubavitcher Rebbe that Moshiach's arrival is very very imminent!

Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson is a writer who lives with his family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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Anonymous Irvine August 4, 2016

Is the Jewish Year 5776 actually accurate? Is there argument amongst the Rabbi's whether the year 5776 is accurate? I thought I read somewhere that it could be off by 125 years? Reply

Anonymous June 20, 2016

Dangerous Prediction The guaranteed statement that Moschiach will arrive in the year 6000 or before, seems to me to be a dangerous one...the problem of course is, should it not come true, it leaves open the argument that everything else in the Talmud is false as well, and that would be devastating and tragic, especially for all those who over the millennia have unquestioning believed everything they were told, read, and practice...truly devastating, and more awful for those alive at the time when it is supposed to happen and never see it come to pass...very difficult to rationalize away the predicament Reply

Mac Texas May 7, 2015

In response to the questions at the bottom of these comments about what if the year 6,000 comes and Moshiach does not come... Take a look back at all the prophesies in the Torah, most all of them have come to pass exactly as written and promised by G-d. Do you think G-d will allow this most precious promise, of the Moshiach, to come and go without being fulfilled? Our lives and faith is all based on this promise and so all the Prophets looked for His coming tool.

Moshiach may come early, but He will come as G-d spoke it through His Prophets. Reply

Anonymous mumbai November 16, 2011

fight till death Moshiach will surely come if the almighty has promised. He NEVER fails to fulfill his promise. Whether Moshiach comes or not we will fight till death, meaning not fighting in a war with weapons but doing good deeds and undoing bad deeds as much as there is strength in our bodies, encouraging others in behaving the same. Heaven is here itself if all of us learn to live in peace and harmony. I know it is difficult but if we all crush our arrogance and pride and love humility and compassion then nothing is unachievable. Everything is possible if we strive to remove negative emotions from our life. Reply

Baruch S. Davidson Brooklyn January 4, 2010

Re: Talmud reference The source of the Talmudic statement quoted is Rosh Hashana 31a and Sanhedrin 97a. Reply

Mr. S Berger January 4, 2010

Talmud reference "The Talmud tells us that this world, as we know it, will last for six thousand years, with the seventh millennium ushering in the cosmic Shabbat, the Messianic Era."

Just out of curiosity: Where in would the Talmud would that be? Reply

Anonymous February 17, 2009

Temple I remember hearing that Israel has the bricks and all the materials and plans and people and clothes and instruments to rebuilt the temple in under a year working 24/6.

So it can be very, very soon.

Who knows what will happen.. Reply

flori prishtina, Kosovo October 29, 2008

Moshiach Anonymous in 231 yrs you wouldn`t know and you know why!

so let us pray now and let us do the mitzvos then perhaps he will come before the prediction

Regards, Reply

Michael Montreal, QC October 29, 2008

The year 6,000 If Moshiach doesn't come in the next 231 years I will stop believing in all of this. Reply

Anonymous Selma , CA October 28, 2008

6,000 years Uh I don't mean to sound mean anything but I think we're all forgetting something? Messiah will appear when the Temple gets rebuilt ! Well actually when Elijah walks up to the steps of the Temple and Hasidic Jews bless Him that's when Messiah appears in all His glory ! Reply

Anonymous Winnipeg, Canada October 28, 2008

What if it doesn't happen? If Mashiach doesn't come within the next 231 years or so, does that mean our understanding was wrong, or does that invalidate Judaism, or some other alternative? Basically, what would be the reaction should this promise not come to pass? Reply

B Davidson July 7, 2008

re: 50,000 Jubilee cycles The Talmudic statement about six thousand years refer to the maximum time of the world preceding the Messianic era. The fifty thousand jubilees refer to the Messianic era and beyond. Reply

Ross London, UK June 24, 2008

A further question What about the sages references to 50,000 jubilee cycles? Does this not contradict R. Katina's "Y6K" teaching? Reply

Kelly Rae Sydney, AU via cbdchabad.com December 15, 2007

On the writing of Torah I think of the writing down of Torah by men in this way: Say there was a president of a company and he had an important letter to be written. He would call in his best secretary and have that person take down what he wanted to say through dictation. Then, the secretary would write or type up that letter for the president. Of course, before signing or authorising the letter, the President would make sure that it was accurately written and that his point had gotten across correctly.

It makes sense to me this way. It is what my Papa told me when I was very young and asked how Ha'Shem had written all those words.

Does this simple answer, given to a child many years ago, make sense to you as well?

I believe that every word in Torah was inspired by our Almighty G-d. Reply

Andrew Brooke Toronto, Canada December 10, 2007

Response to Robert Thanks for your response but I should say that I *do* believe that the Torah was written by G-d. I also used to think it was written by man but then after studying it and working with various rabbis, I have to understand that it simply could not have been written by men. (The Talmud was *written down* by men but also came from G-d in the form of the Oral law.)

This, of course, is a separate and very complex discussion. If you have not already, I would encourage you to discuss your doubts with a Rabbi with whom you feel comfortable.

If after studying it and discusing it with a Rabbi, you still think it was written by men, then fair enough.

In Judaism, actions are more important than faith, anyway. Better to be an atheist and treat others well than believe in G-d and treat others poorly.

Happy Chanukah! Reply

Robert December 9, 2007

Agree with Andrew I agree, Andrew.

I'm not basing my faith in Judaism or the Torah on the Talmud, which was written by Rabbis, not G-d.

And if and when 6,000 comes and goes without maschiach (hopefully not), people will think Judaism is false simply because the Rabbis in the Talmud wrote it... Reply

Andrew Toronto, Canada December 7, 2007

Question for the Rabbi This sounds great, but the year 6,000 is only about 240 years away, which is not very long in the scheme of things.

What will happen if the year 6,000 comes and goes and the moshiach still has not come? Wouldn't that discredit Judaism entirely? It seems very risky to bet all of Judaism on something that may not happen! Reply