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    Mashi’ach: Dream or reality – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Is the Messiah simply a nice dream or will it really happen?

    A. The word Mashi’ach means “anointed”. Biblical kings were anointed. They formed a dynasty with David as their ancestor and role model.

    Messiah was a king descended from David and fulfilling the role of a political liberator who would bring the people back from exile and restore the dynasty. With the restoration would come peace and prosperity. By extension the Messiah would bring redemption to the whole of humanity.

    This role is described in the prophetic books – especially Isaiah – in lyrical, inspiring terms.

    Christianity tended to see the Biblical prophecies as fulfilled in Jesus, whilst Judaism was adamant that the Messiah was yet to come.

    The sages said that Messiah’s coming would be when all the world was blameworthy – or blameless: in a terrible or a terrific state. Rav Kook said these descriptions would not be alternatives but partners. It would be the best of times and the worst of times.

    Rav Kook is right when we look at our generation with its breathtaking achievements – and its colossal failures. People live better and healthier and less troubled lives today than in the past – but they also have gigantic problems when all seems lost.

    Whether this is the messianic age or not, people need hope and faith and have the means of bringing utopia to be.

    Mashi’ach is not yet here but we can make the world ready for him.

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