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Insights - Q&A on Redemption

Question:


What will the stature of Moshiach be in relation to other great resurrected figures from our past, like Abraham or Moses?

Answer:

Moshiach will be in a separate category, different than any other individual of the past. His soul will have a source above that of any other soul, and even that of angels. On the verse in Isaiah (52:13), "Behold My servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and he shall be very high," the Yalkut Shimoni writes: "He shall be exalted above Abraham, and lifted up above Moses, and even higher than the angels of Heaven." In the writings of the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria) it is written that Moshiach will be on a higher level even than Adam before his sin.

However, there are aspects in which other individuals might be of a greater stature than Moshiach. For example, it is not clear who is considered a greater prophet, Moshiach or Moses. Maimonides writes on Moshiach that he is "a great prophet, close to the level of Moses." It appears from this that Moses will be on a higher level of prophecy than Moshiach. Midrash Tanchuma, on the other hand, writes that Moshiach will be a greater prophet than Moses.

Regarding Abraham, the founder of Judaism, the Yalkut Shimoni writes: "In the future, G-d will seat Moshiach to His right and Abraham to His left. Abraham's face fell and he said, 'My descendant will sit to the right and I will sit to the left?' G-d appeased him and said, 'Your descendant will be on your right, and I will be on your right.'" Chassidic teachings explain that the qualities of Moshiach all accrue to Abraham, since they are all in his merit.

Moreover, Abraham is described as one who can draw out intense rays of G-dliness, greater than the ones that can be drawn down by Moshiach. However, the G-dly lights revealed by Abraham remain in the upper worlds. Only Moshiach can succeed in drawing down these revelations below, into the lowest, physical world.

Yalkut Shimoni Isaiah 476, Tehillim 869. Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Toldos. Hilchos Teshuvah, Maimonides, 9:2. Likutei Torah, Arizal, Parshat Tisa. See also Sefer Maamarim, 5711, p. 8. Torah Or, 38a. Yahel Or, p. 426
 

 


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