Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Jewish Messiah, Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David according to Jewish Sources.

Here is what MOSHIACH BEN YOSEF is supposed to do, in a nutshell based on Tenakh, Oral Torah, Talmud, Zohar, Midrashim and the teachings of the Sages:

1. be betrayed, rejected, not recognized and scorned by his people
2. be tortured, killed and resurrected
3. die for the sins of mankind
4. G-d will destroy the Temple in Jerusalem
5. G-d usher in an era of exile
6. reach out to the lost tribes scattered among the nations
7. reach out to bring the nations to G-d and Torah
8. G-d will usher in wars, division, separation, concealment
9. G-d will usher in Jewish development to advance throughout the exile
10. prepare the world for Moshiach ben David and the Messianic Era

"In addition, there is a special higher type of suffering that comes to a Tzadik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to bring about the chain of events leading to the ultimate perfection of mankind as a whole."
- Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal)

Peshikta Rabbati 161b “[When He created the Messiah] the Holy One, blessed be He, began to tell him the conditions [of his future mission], and said to him: 'Those who are hidden with you [your generation], their sins will in the future force you into an iron yoke...and because of their sin your tongue will cleave to the roof of your mouth.' [Psalm 22:16(15)] Do you accept this? The Messiah said...'Master of the worlds! With gladness in my soul and with joy in my heart I accept it, so that not a single one of Israel should perish; and not only those who will be alive should be saved in my days, but even the dead who have died from the days of Adam Rishon until now.'"

Abarbanel; Yeshuot Moshicho 1:2:2 “The Moshiach will have to die in order to purify the generation and he will wait in a spiritual state in “heaven” until he rises from the dead, as it says in the Talmud Sanhedrin [98b].”

Zohar; Parashat Balak 203b states that the Moshiach will have to “die,” which means go to a higher spiritual level, and return again with the new level he has attained.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; The Suffering Servant of Isaiah” “And Armilaus will join battle with Messiah, the son of Ephraim, in the East gate...; and Messiah, the son of Ephraim, will die there, and Israel will mourn for him. And afterwards the Holy One will reveal to them Messiah, the son of David, whom Israel will desire to stone, saying, Thou speakest falsely; already is the Messiah slain, and there is non other Messiah to stand up after him: and so they will despise him, as it is written, “Despised and forlorn of men;” but he will turn and hide himself from them, according to the words, “Like one hiding his face from us.”

Talmud Bavli; Sukkah 52a: “Messiah ben Yosef was slain as it is written: And they shall look upon me,because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son” (Zac 12:10).

Talmud Bavli, Sukkah 51a: “Our Rabbis taught, The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to the Messiah ben David (May he reveal himself speedily in our days!), ‘Ask of me anything, and I will give it to thee’, as it is said, I will tell of the decree etc. this day have I begotten thee, ask of me and I will give the nations for thy inheritance. But when he will see that Messiah ben Yosef is slain, he will say to Him: ‘Lord of the Universe, I ask of Thee only the gift of life’, ’As to life’, He would answer him, ‘Your father David has already prophesied this concerning you’, as it is said, He asked life of thee, thou gavest it him [even length of days for ever and ever]”.

Zohar; Balak 340. “And from the hills I behold him” In the Future to Come, when Messiah will come, that higher hill needs to take and bring him inside her wings in order to firm him up and place him in the higher life. From it will emerge on that day, Messiah ben David. 341. That is the secret of: "I will tell of the decree: HaShem has said to me, 'You are My son; this day have I begotten you'" (Tehilim 2:7): I am destined to speak to this place that is called 'decree', and give the good tidings. "HaShem, "has said to me, 'You are My son; this day have I begotten you'", that very day, produces that decree, from under her wings, with much life, with many adornments and many blessings, as is proper. 342. That law, will not remain on its own. Because then, another Messiah [ben Yosef], will be also be included in it. There, he will be fortified, and at no other place, because this is a lower hill, that has no life of its own. That Messiah will die and be killed, and he will remain dead until this hill, will gather life from the higher hill, Then [ben Yosef] will rise.” Notice in Sukka 51a that Ben David sees in the future how ben Yosef dies, ask for him Life, and G-d gives Life to ben David. So this Midrash can be understood as Messiah ben Yosef coming back from death as ben David. Actually Rabbi Haim Vital said in his book: Sefer Chizyonot that Moshiach ben David and Moshiach ben Yosef are two titles of two different functions of the same person (Sefer Chizyonot page 106).

Rabbi Isaac Luria in his comment on Zohar, Parashat Shemot 8b says: “the man destined to be Moshiach births naturally in this world, and to him is given the [whole] spirit of Moshiach from Gan Eden, making him realize he’s the Moshiach, then he shall be hidden, risen to heaven, and then he shall be completely revealed and Israel will recognize him as Moshiach” (Zohar Harakia).

Pesikta Rabbati 146b "Our Sages said, ‘King Messiah is subjected to sufferings in every generation according to the sins of that generation.’ The Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘In that hour of the Redemption I shall resuscitate him - create him a new and he will no longer suffer.’"

HaRafael Pitai "Messiah ben Joseph, also referred to as Messiah ben Ephraim, is killed. Then, Messiah ben David's first act is to bring about the resurrection of Messiah ben of Joseph."

"Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. This is one of the traits of Yosef not only in his own generation, but in every generation, that Moshiach ben Yosef recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him. This is the work of Satan, who hides the characteristics of Moshiach ben Yosef so that the footsteps of the Moshiach are not recognized and are even belittled because of our many sins. Otherwise, our troubles would already have ended. Were Israel to recognize Yosef, that is, the footsteps of ben Yosef the Moshiach which is the ingathering of the exiles etc., then we would already have been redeemed with a complete redemption."
- Kol Hator; Rabbi Hillel Shklover, grand-nephew and disciple of the Vilna Gaon.

"... suffering and pain may be imposed on a Tzadik (righteous person) as an atonement for his entire generation. This Tzadik must then accept this suffering with love for the benefit of his generation, just as he accepts the suffering imposed upon him for his own sake. In doing so, he benefits his generation by atoning for it, and at the same time is himself elevated to a very great degree.

Such suffering also includes cases where a Tzadik suffers because his entire generation deserves great punishments, bordering on annihilation, but is spared via the Tzadik's suffering. In atoning for his generation through his suffering, this Tzadik saves these people in this world and also greatly benefits them in the World-to-Come.

In addition, there is a special higher type of suffering that comes to a Tzadik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to bring about the chain of events leading to the ultimate perfection of mankind as a whole.

... Beyond that, the merit and power of these Tzadikim is also increased because of such suffering, and this gives them even greater ability to rectify the damage of others. They can therefore not only rectify their own generation, but can also correct all the spiritual damage done from the beginning, from the time of the very first sinners."
- Ramchal; Derekh HaShem; pg. 123-125

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