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Do Jews still await a Messiah?

by
22 May 2015

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

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Your answers


Do Jews still await the coming of a Messiah?


Traditional Judaism teaches that the Jewish people in exile will be redeemed by a Messiah who will usher in an age of righteousness and peace.

There are, of course, many references to the coming of the Messiah in the books of the Tanakh (Old Testament) - some cryptic, some more obvious. The books of Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, in particular, discuss visions of a future time after the arrival of the Messiah; these include the expectation that he will be a direct descendant of King David.

The 12th-century Jewish scholar Maimonides identified 13 principles of Jewish faith, one of which is "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, I will nevertheless wait for him." Many devout Jews would argue that one should not just be awaiting but constantly anxious for the coming of the Messiah, and prepared for his arrival.

In progressive forms of Judaism, beliefs about the Messiah vary from the traditional Orthodox stance. Reform Judaism rejects the notion that redemption will arrive through a single, personal, Messiah, but still maintains its belief in a future messianic age of peace.

Within Conservative Judaism, it is accepted that people are free to interpret Jewish texts surrounding the coming of the Messiah as literal or metaphorical, and so, while some may choose to believe in a personal Messiah, others may simply believe in a future "Messianic age" of harmony.


Aron Carr
The Council of Christians and Jews
Collaboration House
London W1


Your questions


A vicar will rush around celebrating parish eucharists with sermon in all three benefice churches, plus an additional sung evensong in one of them on every major festival, even though he has a capable and experienced NS assistant priest, and an active retired priest who do not celebrate the eucharist on those days, and a Reader. His reason is "It is what people expect." Is it likely that they do; and should they?

M. B.


When "Public Worship with Communion by Extension" was introduced in the 2000s, it was helpful to clergy with multiple-church benefices. Officiants were licensed by the bishop for a limited period, but did not need to be Readers. A record was kept of the use, the reason, and the number of participants. Is there any monitoring now of the use of this service? Do many churches use it, and are the officiants licensed specifically, or is it included in the licence for Readers (LLMs)?

W. P.


Last year, you obtained for a reader details of a painting. Could you do the same for me in respect of this painting (above)?

G. W.

 

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