26 February 2017

Candidates for Mashiah: Clarification or Confusion?

 30 Shevat 5777
Rosh Hodesh Adar Alef

(compiled by CDG. In case the links above don't work, R' Berland | Meir Ettinger )

[NOTE: The word "candidate" is NOT meant to imply that the office, post, or position of Mashiah is won by election, as are the many democratic countries' heads, whether presidents or prime ministers. Neither is it meant to state that it is a dictatorship that one person succeeds in imposing on his (or her) people.]

To summarize many, many sources as I understand them, Mashiah is a man, 100% a human being, a direct descendant of King David of the tribe of Yehuda (Judah), appointed by haShem and ratified by the Jewish people through a process that has us observe him completely fulfill the qualifications we have been given through our great sages of old. Please let me know if there's anything I've left out. Sanhedrin 20b of the Babylonian Talmud says a king must be appointed before we annihilate Amalek and build the Beit haMiqdash (HaShem's chosen house).

What the word "candidate" refers to in this post is the perception (I can't really say 'reality' yet) that we have at least two people living in Israel who are imminent possibilities for the role of Mashiah the descendant of King David. Both of them have leadership qualities, lead many people in one way or another, and have been in jail or are currently in jail; at least one of them has a name included in a list of King David's descendants' names (I don't know whether the other also does, or not.). And, last, but not least, both are being persecuted because of who the authorities think they might be. There are possibly more candidates; and some people here even claim they know for sure who he is. One, or neither, of the people I am writing about today could be the person the Jewish people have been waiting thousands of years for. But this is as far as it seems to have gotten so far.

No voting, please. We only must want Mashiah, whomever haShem might choose.

I am referring to these two possibilities: Meir Ettinger and Rav Eliezer Berland. I have written about them both, but am not the primary source for either.

Reb Dov Bear bar Leib of the End of Days/Years of Awe blog, commented the following on his blog post, Piercing (Pirtzah) the Darkness that is (Tzarfat) at the End of Days, Part One on learning that the Israeli General Security Services (Shaba"K) officially banned Meir Ettinger from teaching Torah (Hebrew):

 The odds of him being Mashiach ben David just jumped to at least 50%. They are so afraid of him that he is now not allowed to teach Torah.
He explains further, "OMyG-d, they are forbidding him from teaching Torah to talmidim. They are unbelievably afraid of him. This is a siman about whom they at the very least think he is. Would HaShem send Mashiach into the world so that the Yetzer HaRa would prevent him from teaching Torah?? In one way, the answer might be Yes. But if HaShem wants to trick the Satan like He did with David by making him have questionable Yichus because of Ruth's conversion as a Moaviyah, then the answer would be No. So the odds of him being Mashiach are 50/50."

>>UPDATE: Our colleague, Neshama, sent me (and apparently him) a link to the above report, and reported it herself. 

>>UPDATE 2: The Kol haYehudi article linked above has been translated to English by Myrtle Rising. See for yourself.

UPDATE 3: It looks like both of these gentlemen are direct descendants of Melekh David (but then half or more of the Jewish world is; so, haShem has all that many more to choose from.).

Rivka Levy, of Emunaroma, wrote the following concerning R' Berland recently:

...on one side, an ever-growing list of lamed vav Tzaddikim and undisputed leaders of the generation...telling us that Rav Berland is Kodesh kodeshim, completely innocent of any accusation, and that we need to be VERY careful to not even think a bad thought about him...And on the other… a bunch of hardcore, mentally-ill psychos.

As far as righteous people being in jail is concerned, or being constricted so that complete freedom is impossible for them as it is for the rest of us, whether Mashiah-in-waiting or not, this is absolutely a desecration of G-d's Holy Name and clearly evil. I don't have words and I cannot pretend to understand people who knowingly choose this path to give our lowly people breathing space and merit; I can only be grateful that we still have such individuals among us. The order these comments are written in has nothing to do with what I think about these two gentlemen; I have no preference or any special knowledge about these people, and I am not pitting them against one another. It is just what came up in my limited view of the world. But that this sort of thing is happening right now is extremely important. Great efforts are being made to keep effective Torah that could change the world from the masses of Jews in Israel! HaShem Yishmor!

It has been said of us that we are the most traumatized people on the planet. On top of that, like our ancestors in Mitzrayim (Egypt), we are short of breath due to hard work. We may not exactly be slaves nowadays, but most of us work long hours for low salaries and get paid monthly (I was shocked when I found out that, not only management, but EVERY Israeli employee gets paid monthly. In my admittedly limited experience, the "worker bees" get paid bi-weekly. Are Americans spoiled rotten, with the rest of the world getting paid as Israelis do? Or, is there a flaw in the image of Israeli prosperity? I don't have an opinion on it because I honestly don't know.).

So, to get back to the point, since Israel became self-ruling AGAIN in 5708/1948 (we were called Yehuda, or Judea, before, but both names are ours, as far as the world is concerned), we Jews have never had a chance to rest from our enemies and recover from our multiple traumas; and we need all the breathing space we can get and all the merit we can get; but if we are aware that people are taking a lot of our burden for us, we should try to help out, even if only a little. It is hard to think when one is trying to survive in a world where most of it is rooting for us to die; but we must make every effort to have calm, settled minds and never, never, never give up (thanks, Mr. Churchill, for that one).

Let's not be confused. The order of appearance in the post does not indicate anything about my preference because being Mashiah is a matter outside my hands, as it is for all of us; and will be a fact, rather than an opinion. The two do not mix. Either, or neither, could be haShem's choice.

May the chosen Mashiah, King of Israel, succeed at fulfilling all the qualifications, in whatever manner they may be completed, and be revealed and crowned imminently, whoever he may be!


Read my articles about:

Meir Ettinger:
Free the Jewish Political Prisoners Now! | Meir is Free. But. | Meir Ettinger: Worst Criminal on Earth? | On the freeing of Meir Ettinger... | Repost: More Are With Us than With Them |

R' Eliezer Berland:
"We are Character Witnesses..."

More about R' Berland; also here.

Hodesh Adar mevorah!


LondonMale said...


In the UK, most salaried people are paid monthly.
But a growing number of people are on "zero hours contracts" where no work is guaranteed and so submit invoices on an ad hoc basis.

CDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Thank you for your comment, LondonMale. What you call the "zero hours contracts" I believe (can't be too sure, have been in Israel almost 10 yrs!) go to people who are outsourced from other countries. A lot of new olim get their first jobs that way (and I'm one of them).

Neshama said...

Thank you for the link and clarification.
However, could you not include this Jared Kushner?

Anonymous said...

Why do people think they can decide who MBD will be? MBD is not just a leader but will be Divinely annointed by H'. We do not decide who he is. Of course, he MJST be a descendant of Dovid Hamelech!

mselbit said...

Isn't Meir a Kohen? If so, I don't think he can be ben David but can be ben Yosef.

Myrtle Rising said...

This post makes a great point of Jewish unity under Torah.

Thank you.

CDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Neshama, your link doesn't work; therefore I cannot reply to your comment.

Anon 27/2 @19:18: Don't get me started! ;) Could it be that you, like I, have observed that many people think their rav is Mashiah? This post actually dwells on some of the hints these two are displaying that have been mentioned by our sages previously. I believe it was the Ramba"n who wrote that Mashiah would be accompanied by policemen because he'd been in jail, in reference to the gates of Rome. I don't remember where I saw it.

Mselbit: Meir's Kohenic ancestry stems from his mother, Tova Kahane Ettinger -- making him a Jew with Levi ancestry, but not a Kohen. The name Ettinger suggests (I don't know for certain) that his father makes him a direct descendant of King David, of the tribe of Yehuda. See the list linked to in the post.

MR: Thank you for your key contribution to the post as well!

Dror said...

First of all this post brings in discussion the fundamental question: Who may be the Mashiach? For Am Yisrael its a matter of mission accomplishment, hence fulfilling Hashem's will.
Truly, the title of the post puts the right question, clarification or confusion? The lack of clarification will for sure generate confusion.
One issue recurring is the portrayal of Mashiach as a suffering man. The matter appears in the case of the two candidates as above mentioned. Why Mashiach should suffer? In my view it makes no sense for the Messenger of Hashem to be in jail, to struggle during his mission. The real Mashiach should be victorious all over, no jail, no suffering, no obstacles. As i see it, the two candidates are far from displaying life actions to be regarded as candidates. They may be simply tzaddikim.
The appearance of the true Mashiach will be astonishing, as has happened with Moshe. Who would believe that a man raised and educated in the Pharaoh house will lead the Jewish slaves to freedom? So will be with the Mashiach, surprising, unbelieving, out of any deductive judgement.
Mashiach is truly hidden, he works behind the wall, his identity will be discovered first by Eliyahu, who later on introduces Mashiach to Am Yisrael.
This post has value for keeping the vision alive, but brings no clarification like any others.However people shouldn't fall in confusion. Just wait and see, and follow the requirements for End of Days generation for the purpose of geulah.

CDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Dror, thanks so much for your comment.

I had no intention of declaring anyone Mashiah, just bringing to people's attention that something is going on here.

One thing I do know: If we the nation had been worthy, as a whole, there would have been no obstacles for Mashiah and he would arrive "like one on the clouds of glory." But, since we are not, he is arriving "riding on a donkey." As I understand them, these are prophecies that don't have literal meaning, but indicate that things that would have gone quickly and painlessly, are going slowly and quite painfully for all concerned.

You might recall that Moshe Rabbenu's coming as the first Redeemer was slow and painful, too. He had to run away to avoid capital punishment for killing the Egyptian, and haShem called to him something like 60 years later (at the age of nearly 80, if I recall correctly).

The identification of our righteous Mashiah will be quite astonishing, since it is said that everyone knows him, but no one (or none but a very few) know who he is for certain. I have no qualifications to clarify who Mashiah is, and so I have not tried.

Maybe Eliyahu haNavi will come by and tell us! I think that's what's supposed to happen.

And just in case someone thinks to pop in here and declare Yoshke the mashiah, ubettafuggettabouttit! Mashiah is NOT G-d.

May we merit to see Geulah Shlemah speedily in our days. Amen!

sc said...

Read this today..

In my mind.. as non-Jew... i was thinking of : Jonathan Pollard..


CDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

SC, could be. We'll never know...until it happens, may it be soon and may we see it with our eyes.

Dror said...

Chava, thanks for your response. Although the subject or the matter is beyond our means to solve, the issue here isn't to give a clear response but to keep the vision alive. And this is essential for Am Yisrael. The more such post subjects, the better.
Truly, Moshe has struggled to bring to us the First Redemption, his yworking being in the open. But with Mashiach things are different, particularly he is hidden working behind the walls. That is why I made a distinction between the two Redeemers. Above all Mashiach comes once the Gog uMagog wars are finished. He is the Messenger of peace, doesn't need to struggle as Moshe did in his time. Hence, the Last Redeemer is all victorious. Any guess who may be Mashiach is superfluous. But for the shake of the glorious vision we keep trying.
Other messianic topics would be or a huge interest:
1. Can we envisage how Mashiach works behind the walls?
2. What Mashiach will do once the wars of Gog uMagog are finished?
3. Would there be a gematriah hint in the Mashiach's civic name? He is a human being having name and surname.
The 3 above subjects are humble ideas to expand the matter of Mashiach mission for Am Yisrael and the world.