Monthly Archives: June 2011

13 Ikkarim 18 – Mashiach

Rambam seems to imply that there are two components to the belief in Mashiach – one is to not calculate the time that he will come, and the other is to wait constantly for him to arrive.

Rambam does not really say much about belief here, he just tells us that even if Mashiach delays we should keep waiting.

We must also believe that Mashiach will be a descendant of both David and Shlomo. Everything else seems like ‘mussar’.

It seems from Hilchot Melachim 12 that nobody knows how Mashiach will happen. Even Chazal had no tradition about it.

See also Hilchot Melachim 11 and Hilchot Teshuva 9:2

Imrei Noam (allegedly from the Vilna Gaon) discusses Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. He has an interesting reading of Rambam vis a vis two Mashiachs, but it doesn’t seem likely that this is the Gra’s reading of Rambam

Rambam brings pesukim to support his Ikar, and someone who denies the Torah is considered a ‘min’ in Hilchot Teshuva 3:11

In Sefer HaMitzvot Negative Mitzvah 362 Rambam says that a king may only be from David. But here (in the Ikarim) and in Igeret HaShmad Rambam also mentions Shlomo explicitly. There is no source in Chazal for this, but perhaps it is to exclude belief in JC who is not from Shlomo (according to Luke, though according to Matthew he is).

It seems that this ‘fundamental of belief’ is more of an existential longing than a specific belief.

Rabbi Triebitz also discusses at length how Rambam can claim that Chazal have no mesorah on Mashaich, yet claim definitively in Hilchot Melachim that nothing will change in the messianic era, which is Shmuel’s opinion.

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Thirteen Ikarim 18
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Thirteen Ikarim 18