There are around 4,200 religions existing in the world today. One of the 4,200 religions is Judaism. Judaism is a monotheistic religion of Jews, which is practiced for over a long period of time. Around 14 million people today practice the religion of Judaism. Just like many of the world’s religions, Judaism has a brave figure of the Messiah. “The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word “Mashiach”, which means, “Anointed.”” (Breslauer 327) The Messiah for Christians is Jesus. Christians think that as Messiah, Jesus was anointed as monarch and protector of the Jews and of humankind. For the Christians, the coming of the Jesus was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. However, The Christian beliefs of Messiah differ drastically from the existing Jewish beliefs. “A totally different concept of redemption determines the attitude to Messianism in Judaism and Christianity; what appears to the one as a proud indication of it’s understanding and a positive achievement of its message is most unequivocally belittled and disputed by the other” (Scholem 1). One of the reasons why the Jews did not believe that the Jesus was the true Messiah was that Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic Prophecies according to the Jews. According to the Bible, The Jesus was suppose to "Build the Third Temple” (Ezekiel 37:26-28), “Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel” (Isaiah 43:5-6), Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4), and Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9). The Jesus fulfilled none of these prophecies and that was the reason why Jews rejected the Jesus as the Messiah. According to the Jews, failing to fulfill even one of these prophecies would lead to the rejection of Jesus as the true Messiah. The Second reason to why Jews did not accept Jesus as the true Messiah was that Jesus did not symbolize the personal qualifications of the Messiah. Jesus came 350 years after prophecy had ended. There were various expectations concerning the character of Messiah. The Christians expected the appearance in the very near future of the Messiah as the king of the Jews, the Messiah as political leader of the world, the Messiah who would reign on earth for one thousand years. “The Jews expected a political Messiah, while the Millenarians were waiting Jesus’ return as political Messiah” (Popkin 164). “He will be descended from King David” (Isaiah 11:1). The Jews were expecting the Messiah to be born of human parents and living a normal life like other people. However, the Christians claimed that the Jesus had no father. This led to the Jews believe that the Jesus has not fulfilled the messianic requirement of being originated from his father’s side from King David. Apart from the two main reasons discussed as to why the Jews rejected the Jesus as the true Messiah, there wee many other prophecies that the Messiah had to fulfill before his death because they believed that there was no “Second Coming” in the Jewish Messiah. The Jews had many other expectations like The Messiah will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2), Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4), There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8), All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19), The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11), He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7), The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55), Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9), He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9), Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33), He will give you all the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4), He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9). Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4), The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23), Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did to Israel (Isaiah 52:13-53:5), He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10), Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9), The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26), All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12), and the whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17). These were the main prophecies that were expected by the Jews to be fulfilled by the Messiah. Over the centuries, the question of why Jews did not and do not accept Jesus as the true Messiah has forced Jewish theologians to respond to Christian claims about Jesus, especially to the Christians that use Jewish belief and the Hebrew bible called “Tanakh” to support their claims. It is believed by the “Maimonides” that the recognition of Christianity and Islam is part of God’s plan to spread the ideals of Torah throughout the world. This idea of spreading the ideals of Torah brings the humanity closer to a perfected state of honesty and toward a greater understanding of God. “While Christianity has had and continues to have a major impact on Jews and Judaism, Jesus is not seen as a major figure in Jewish history” (Scholem 32). However, Jews do not vigorously seek to contradict Christian teachings as Judaism teaches respect for all peoples and their faiths. According to the Talmud, “Hebrew word means “Learning” or “study” and refers to a compilation of rabbinic teachings about various subject according to content” (Breslauer 333), “one of the first questions a Jew is asked on Judgment Day is, “Did you yearn for the arrival of the Messiah?" How can we hasten the coming of the Messiah?”” The best way is to love all humanity generously, to keep the Mitzvot of the Torah as best we can, and to encourage others to do so as well. The world seems to be headed toward redemption. One superficial sign is that the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel and the young Jews are returning to the traditions of Torah. “The Messiah will come at any moment, and it all depends on our actions. God is ready when we are” (Popkin 177). King David says: "Redemption will come today if you hearken to His voice."
* Breslauer S. Daniel “Decoding Religion in the Bible” Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY Sloan Publishing, (2007), pp 327-333 * Popkin, R “Jewish History”, Vol. 6, No. 1/2, The Frank Talmage Memorial Volume (1992), pp. 163- 177 * Scholem. G “The Messianic idea in Judaism: and other essays on Jewish spirituality”-Schocken Books 1971. pp 1-32
* The Bible
* The Talmud
* The Torah