Maimonides explains that if a Jewish political leader possesses these three characteristics he has the potential to be the Mashiaḥ. He has to be 1. A ascendent of King David. 2. A role Model in Tora observance and teaching. 3. A man involved militarily in the wars of Israel (see here ).
Now, when would be known for sure that this person is the actual Mashiaḥ? Maimonides says: (MT, Melakhim 11:5) "If he succeeded [in the wars], and he builds the Bet haMiqdash in its place [the Temple mount, Har haBayit] and he brings back to Israel the remnants of the Jewish Diaspora, then we know that he is the actual Mashiaḥ. But, if he did not succeed, or if he died, then we know that he was not the Mashiaḥ but another one of the righteous and good Monarchs of the House of David, who passed away. "
Obviously, and unlike Christianity, we don't believe in a Mashiaḥ that will die and then resurrect. Or that will be a son of God and a human female. (BTW, in the Tora every Jew is explicitly described as a "son of God" . Deut. 14:1 says: banim atem laHaShem Elokekhem , "You are the children of HaShem your God").
Going back to the events which will prove the condition of theMashiaḥ, Maimonides says: (Idem, 11:1). "The torah itself testifies to this Messianic promise when it says (Deut. 30:3-5) "God, will have mercy on you, and gather you [again from all countries where He has scattered you]. Even if you remnants are at the ends of the heavens, HaShem your God will gather you and bring you from there. HaShem your God will bring you to the land that your fathers inherited. You will settle in it again, and He will make you even more prosperous and numerous than than your ancestors"
(to be continued...)
Ping-Pong, 11 years old Estee Ackerman, and a Jewish version of Chariots of Fire.
READ Devotion Wins Out, from the NY Post