Issue 7.3: Mashiah


Editor’s Thoughts: What Do We Mean When We Say “Next Year in Jerusalem?”

The first figure in Jewish history to lead the Jewish people from exile to redemption is Moshe. When God tasks him with taking the Jews out of Egypt, he initially tries to shirk his mission by claiming that the Jewish people would not believe him.[i] When Moshe finally appears before Bnei ... Read more →

Oblique References to the Philistines in the Story of the Ark’s Relocation to Jerusalem

In the second book of Samuel, King David capitalizes on a period of (temporary) calm by arranging for the relocation of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. There are many independent elements to this narrative, many of them puzzling, and each deserving attention in its own right. Let us begin ... Read more →

A Double Book Review: A Comparison and a Contrast

  Two books in English about the history and current issues facing Israel have recently appeared.  Both Yossi Klein Halevi’s “Like Dreamers” and Ari Shavit’s “My Promised Land” have received enthusiastic reviews.  While both books share a panoramic ... Read more →

Who Has the Last Word on God’s Word? “Not in Heaven” and the Oral Law

One of the most fundamental axioms of the rabbinic tradition in Judaism is that of the preeminence of the Oral Law over its Written counterpart. The halakhic system codified in the Talmud often makes little or no effort to reconcile its conclusions with the plain meanings of the Pentateuchal ... Read more →

Shattering Rock: Contemporary Approaches to Midrash

  The first midrash in Bereshit Rabbah begins somewhat unexpectedly with multiple explanations of a word in Proverbs.   R. Hoshaya began: “I was with Him as an amon[i] a source of delight every day, rejoicing before Him at all times.”[ii] The word amon means a “tutor.” Amon ... Read more →

Mashiah in Judaism and Christianity: First Base vs. Home Plate

Imagine a handsome teenager traveling home for a well-deserved vacation. After rushing through the airport, being hassled by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about his tefillin, and making it to the gate just in time, he finally settles into his seat. Looking forward to a few ... Read more →

A Closer Look at the Legacy of Shabbetai Tzvi

On September 14th, 1666, a man named Shabbetai Tzvi was arrested and subsequently thrown into prison by the Turkish Sultan. The most infamous false Messiah of the middle ages, and possibly in all of Jewish history, Shabbetai Tzvi was widely believed by many Jews to be the chosen Messiah. ... Read more →

An Interview with Ruth Guggenheim, Executive Director Jews for Judaism

Ruth Guggenheim serves as the executive director for Jews for Judaism, an anti-missionary organization active on college campuses and in the wider Jewish community AS: Can you tell us a little about the history and mission of Jews for Judaism? RG: Jews for Judaism was founded 30 years ago and ... Read more →

Zionism and Israel, Exile and Redemption in the Thought and Deed of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

The dawn of Jewish history was not characterized by a philosophical imperative or ordinary deed. Instead, our beginnings were characterized by a destination. God’s first commandment to Avraham is a charge to travel, to “Go forth for yourself from your land, to the land which I shall show ... Read more →

The Art of Hope

Imagine someone who lived a century ago receiving a postcard from Jerusalem. She would probably receive that card with all the delight of one who has touched on the exotic, as one who has come as close as she may ever to Jerusalem.  In that moment, the postcard represents the extent of her ... Read more →