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The Messianic Era—The Basics

The Messianic Era—The Basics

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Paving the Road to Redemption

"Behold I will send to you Elijah the Prophet before the arrival of the great and awesome day of G‑d"—the Prophet Malachi.

Elijah will appear in order to herald the coming of Moshiach, though there's much speculation as to precisely when he will appear. With his arrival, he will also serve several other important functions.

Click here for more about Elijah's arrival, his functions, and why he was chosen for this special mission.

Elijah will appear in order to herald the coming of MoshiachThe prophet Ezekiel describes a climactic war, the Battle of Gog and Magog, that will occur prior to the arrival of the Moshiach. This topic is shrouded in mystery: we are uncertain as to the identity of Gog and Magog, whether Gog and Magog are the names of nations or individuals, whether this battle will be a physical or spiritual battle, and even whether it has already occurred or not.

According to tradition, the central personality in this war is Moshiach ben Yosef—Moshiach of the tribe of Joseph, who will be killed in this battle.

Click here for more about Gog and Magog and Moshiach ben Yosef.

Ingathering of the Exiles and Settling in Israel

One of the most important aspects of the Redemption is the promise of the ingathering of the exiles from the Diaspora, with all Jews settling in their tribal portion of the Holy Land. We are assured that no Jew will be left behind—including the Ten "Lost Tribes." The rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem will be the central focus of all humanity—as Isaiah says, "My home will be considered a 'House of Prayer' for all the nations."

Click here for more about the ingathering of the exiles and the apportionment of the Land of Israel.

Total Immersion in G‑dly Wisdom

The Messianic Era will be one of tremendous prosperity—"delicacies will be commonplace like dust." That will leave humankind with ample free time—and all the nations of the world will be preoccupied with one pursuit: the study of G‑d and the Torah. Moshiach will reveal profound hitherto unknown dimensions of the Torah. The Midrash goes as far as to say that "the Torah which we study in this world is naught in comparison to the Torah of Moshiach."

Furthermore, while our present-day knowledge of G‑d is limited to intellectual perception, when Moshiach will teach about G‑d, we will actually "see" what we are studying.

Click here for more about the Torah of the Messianic Era—its superior nature as well as the radically different way we will grasp the knowledge.

Resumption of Suspended Mitzvot

The mitzvot we do today pale in comparison to those we will perform when we will be returned to the Holy Land. And aside for the greater quality of the mitzvot we will perform then, quantitatively, too, we then will finally be capable of performing so many mitzvot which we are unable to do today. Also, with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, we will resume the Temple service and all the mitzvot that it entails.

Click here for more on the mitzvot we will then once again be able to fulfill.

A Miraculous Era?

Every Jewish soul that ever lived will be resurrected—in the very body in which it lived and died Moshiach will usher in an era of peace and prosperity which will benefit all of mankind. The prophets depicts the Messianic Era as a miraculous one, and the Midrash and Talmud are replete with statements regarding fantastic miracles that will be commonplace during the Messianic Era.

Whether these prophecies are literal or allegoric is the subject of debate amongst the Jewish philosophers, click here for more on this topic.

Resurrection of the Dead

I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when G‑d wills it to happen—13th Principle of Faith.

The Resurrection of the Dead – an era that will last for all eternity – is the second and final stage of the Messianic Era. It will happen forty years after the advent of the Messianic Era—click here for a more precise timeline and more about the resurrection process, and here to read Is the Resurrection Era the Ultimate Reward?

Every Jewish soul that ever lived will be resurrected—in the very body in which it lived and died (and in the case of reincarnated souls, all the bodies will be resurrected). The body and soul are partners in all good deeds performed; they must both be rewarded accordingly. For more on this topic, see Who will be Resurrected?

The Resurrection Era will be a period that will be characterized by radical changes in nature, with miracles becoming the daily norm (see A Miraculous Era?). We will then be treated to a reward that can only be viewed as a gift from Above, for its greatness is such that finite human efforts could never earn such bounty. Click here for more on the mystical significance of the Resurrection Era.

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Naphtali USA May 25, 2016

Where is the basis for this statement in the Torah? Thanks Reply

Sabra Richey Santa Cruz, CA 95062 April 19, 2015

Thank you chabad for making this info available. Though I am not a chabadnik I truly appreciate your service! Chabad's website always adds to my knowledge of judaism. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org May 15, 2014

With regards to why we need a human Moshiach see Who Needs a Human Moshiach? Reply

Anonymous London May 13, 2014

Hi. I have a really obvious question but I can't find an answer. Why do we need a messianic era? Why doesn't הי simply take us into olam ha'ba? Indeed why do we need a human to take us into Eretz Yisrael? Thank you. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org January 16, 2012

The source for this that in the case of reincarnated souls, all the previous bodies will be resurrected is the Shaar Hegilgulim, by Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Arizal, Hakdamah 4, based on the Zohar vol. 1 131a, and Tikunei Zohar Tikun 4.

For more on this see In which body will a reincarnated soul return Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org February 26, 2012

The source for this that in the case of reincarnated souls, all the previous bodies will be resurrected is the Shaar Hegilgulim, by Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Arizal, Hakdamah 4, based on the Zohar vol. 1 131a, and Tikunei Zohar Tikun 4.

For more on this see In which body will a reincarnated soul return Reply

David Los Angeles, CA, USA January 15, 2012

From what source do we learn that "in the case of reincarnated souls, all the bodies will be resurrected?" Reply

rena Tzfat February 1, 2011

The Lubavitcher Rebbe told us that there will be a 40 year period between the two. Reply

Anonymous Ny, , USA December 12, 2010

How do you know the resurrection of the dead occurs 40 years after the Messianic era? Was it revealed by a Rabbi? Reply

sophia ny, ny July 26, 2010

with the third temple attempting to be rebuilt now as we know it, when do you think that this war will break out? i thought the war would come and then the rebuilding of the temple? and as i understood it, moshiach would not arrive until after the war! so is it safe to say that the sign of the temple being rebuilt now means that the rest of prophecy must occur also? Reply

Dvorah Hawley, PA July 14, 2010

I have been pondering for some time how there can be both reincarnation and a resurrection. One possibility seems, at first glance, to negate the other, and as a strong believer in reincarnation I've struggled with the concept of resurrection. This is the first article that helps me make some sense of the apparent contradiction. Thank you. If any readers understand this principle and have some insights to share, please be so kind as to elucidate further. I'll check back! Reply

Anonymous April 11, 2010

THIS IS THE BEST WEBSITE! I have been look all over the internet for information on Moshiach, but was not sure what was true or not. Thank you so much for adding this section to your website Reply