Friday, April 15, 2005

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Expecting Moshiach

Mirty commented on my post Do You Believe This, "We ALWAYS expect the Moshiach, but to be convinced that he will be here before July 2005 puts the Jewish people in a state of expectation that could be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous, charismatic charlatan. There have been false messiahs in Jewish history."

Yes, sadly that's true. I question, though, whether we have overcompensated. There's an old (and mildy insulting) joke among some hassidim that goes like this, "Moshiach arrives and comes to the beis medrash (learning center) of the Litvish and announces, 'I'm here, Moshiach has arrived'. In response he's told, 'now wait a minute, we haven't finished preparing our pilpul yet, can you come back in a little while'?"

I suspect if Moshiach arrived today, he'd have a hard time convincing us that he was the real thing.

(Just to make it equal opportunity, I suspect many hassidim would, G-d forbid, not accept Moshiach if he wasn't the right flavor of Rebbe.)

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