Thursday, January 10, 2013

The 13 Principles of Judaism: #12: Messianic age.

   Previously, we described what the characteristics of the Mashiaḥ are (see this). Today, within the 12th principle, we will touch upon the subject of messianic times, in other words, what do we Jews believe that will happen with us and with the world in the times of the Mashiaḥ?

Maimonides (Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1, written ca. 1160 CE) explains that : "In the messianic age, Jews will regain their independence and all return to the land of Israel. The Messiah will be a great King whose government will be in Zion (=Jerusalem)."  

Besides political independence: "Nothing will change in the Messianic age...Rich and poor,strong and weak, will still exist in the Messianic age.It will be easier for people to make a living, however, and with very little effort they will be able to accomplish very much."  

Maimonides also clarifies why the Jews desire so much the messianic age "We do not hope and long for the messianic age in order that we might have much grain and wealth. We do not want it so that we will be abel to ride horses and indulge in wine and songs, as those with confused ideas believe.... The main benefit of the Messianic age will be that we will no longer be under the subjugation of foreign governments who prevent us from keeping all the commandments."  

In the words of rabbi Hayim Pereira Mendes (written ca. 1905):"The Messiah will be king in the sense of the Hebrew word, which means a "leader," or "guide," or "captain," the head of our government so far as government is required for law and order. He will be identified with the restoration of Palestine to the Hebrews, and the reconstruction of the Hebrew nation, when "the Lord will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people," "will assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isa, xi, 11-12)."

13 suggestions for stopping media bias in the Arab-Israeli conflict.