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The End of an Era Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

The Death of Shimon Peres In Jewish belief, there are two Messiahs expected. The first will be “Messiah Ben Joseph”, the suffering servant Messiah who will usher in the final “Messiah Ben David”. This last Messiah is expected to overcome all of Israel’s enemies and bring peace to the world.

Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, delivered the eulogy at Theodor Herzl’s funeral, the founder of modern Zionism. In it, he referred to Herzl, a secular Jew, as the “beginnings of Messiah Ben Joseph” and likened the State of Israel to “Messiah Ben Joseph”, noting the similarities between Israel and the Biblical character of Joseph.

“Joseph was the provider sent by God to save many from starvation, who sustained Jacob and his sons materially when they came to Egypt looking for grain, so in future generations, the descendants of Joseph would develop the material side of Jewish national existence.” 

Rabbi Kook envisioned Israel in its beginnings as “Messiah Ben Joseph”, a secular nation with a Jewish identity that would eventually usher in “Messiah Ben David”, the conquering King. Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, a prominent Jewish educator, in building on this analogy, believes that the two stages (two Messiahs) of Israel’s redemption have been marked by specific events. The “Messiah Ben Joseph” stage was the establishment of Israel that commenced with Theodor Herzl, the secular founder of modern Zionism. The next stage of “Messiah Ben David”, he believes, has now begun with the burial of Shimon Peres, symbolizing the end of the process of creating the State of Israel.

Shimon Peres was considered to be the last living link with the heroic generation that founded modern-day Israel. Even though he was not yet born when many of the founding fathers were actively pursuing Zionistic goals at the turn of the century, he immigrated to Palestine (Israel) before WWII and joined an armed underground movement under the direction of David Ben-Gurion who became Peres’ political mentor and Israel’s first Prime Minister.”

Rabbi Apisdorf said, “This is an unmistakable historic shift, and, remarkably, it was as if the whole world acknowledged this by running to Jerusalem to be present for that Messianic shift [Shimon Peres’ funeral just before Rosh HaShanah].

As such, the New Year [5777] began the period of “Messiah Ben David”, ending the transition period. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) following a “Jubilee” year (this year, October 11, 2016), all of the debts of the Israelites were to be canceled, all of the Israelites who had become enslaved were to be set free, and all of the land belonging to the Israelites was to be returned to its rightful Israelite owner. It is the time for the reclamation of all the land the L-rd promised by a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as is depicted in the flag of Israel. The stripe at the top and bottom were said to represent all the land between the River of Egypt and the Great River (Genesis 15:18) that was promised to Israel by God.

Next year, November 2017 will mark the 70th year since the United Nations passed the Resolution to partition Palestine between the Jews and Arabs. On Iyar 28, 5777 (May 24, 2017), Israel will celebrate 50 years from the day Jerusalem was reunified on Iyar 28, 5727 (June 7, 1967).

The rabbis taught that there would be 120 Jubilees (50 X 120 = 6000 years) before the Messiah would come to rule and reign in the earth for a 1000-year Sabbath Day of Rest. The 120 Jubilees were broken down into 50 Jubilees from Creation to the Exodus (50 X 50 = 2500 years) and 70 Jubilees from the Exodus to the Final Jubilee (70 X 50 = 3,500). Based upon a prophecy by Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel who lived in the 13th Century, the year 2017 will mark the conclusion of the Final Jubilee. 

In AD 1217, Ben Samuel gave a very specific prediction, centuries before its fulfillment.

“When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul, Turkey), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”

Amazingly, in March of 2014, the Russians seized the Crimean Peninsula and are currently at a diplomatic impasse with Turkey. 

During the 18th century, Rabbi Eliyahu, known as the Gaon of Vilna, a respected rabbinical authority, prophesied that the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem, which was built during his day, would be destroyed and rebuilt twice, and that when the Hurva was completed for the third time, construction on the Third Temple would begin.

The Hurva Synagogue was first destroyed by Muslims shortly after its initial construction. The synagogue was rebuilt a hundred years later and became the most important Jewish house of worship in the Holy Land, only to be blown to pieces by Jordanian troops during Israel's 1948 War of Independence. It was recently rebuilt and rededicated on March 15, 2010.

If the “Ariel Sharon Prophecy” of a 108 year-old rabbi is true, it is further proof that the time clock has started for the coming of the Messiah.

When Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was still in office, healthy and in command of his faculties, a respected rabbi, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, claimed he had met the Messiah and predicted He would not come until after Sharon’s death. Kaduri died shortly after Sharon suffered a stroke that put him in a coma in 2006. Ariel Sharon died eight years later on January 11, 2014. 

Another renowned rabbi of current history, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, made a prediction that seemed impossible at the time. American-born Jonathan Pollard was imprisoned 30 years ago for spying for Israel and sentenced to life in prison. But Rabbi Eliyahu foresaw his release and instructed Pollard’s wife Esther to tell her husband the following.-

“You are a cosmic key to the redemption of the Jewish people. Your release is synonymous with the release of the Shechinah [the Divine presence] from galut [exile]. Your release is tied up with the Moshiach Ben David’s [Messiah son of David’s] return to the Land. Your release is bound to the redemption of the land and people of Israel.”

Pollard was released on parole on November 20, 2015, but has not been permitted to return to Israel. 

Based upon the aforementioned events, a timeline can be established.

The “Messiah Ben Joseph” Era began when Theodore Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress…

           1897 – First Zionist Congress of Theodor Herzl

          +  50 years to November 1947 – United Nations resolution to partition Palestine

          +  70 years to June 1967 – Reunification of Jerusalem & retaking Temple Mount

          +120 years to 2017  – the completion of 120 Jubilees to coming of “Messiah Ben David”

Prophetic proclamations are fulfilled concerning the coming of Messiah during  the transition period leading to “Messiah Ben David” Era…

     March 2010 – Hurva Synagogue rebuilt

     January 2014 – Death of Ariel Sharon

     March 2014 – Russia seized Crimean Peninsula

     November 2015 – Pollard released from prison

     September 2016 – Death of Shimon Peres and the end of the “Messiah Ben Joseph” Era

Parallel to this move of G-d to resurrect Israel, another move of G-d also began at the turn of the 20th Century – the Messianic Jewish Movement. Many Jews began to question the teachings of the Talmud and believed the Messiah had to have come within the time period outline in Daniel, chapter 9. 

Part II of this article will follow the Messianic Jewish Movement from its origins to its current continued existence, coming full circle from the Apostles to Israel’s Messianic Movement today.

1 Jewish Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, Rabbi Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman (1720-1797)


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