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Friday, August 6, 2021

Neturei Karta on Messianism

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Some of the closest allies of the Neturei Karta are Islamic fundamentalists who are unlikely to be any the more accepting of the future Messianic state – which anti-Zionist Jews believe will arise – than they are of the current State of Israel. Rabbi Elhanan Beck from the British branch of the Neturei Karta movement responds to a couple of questions concerning this paradox.

Me: You believe that God gave the Land of Israel to Jews then exiled them. When the Messiah arrives he will gather these exiles and establish a sovereign Torah theocracy in Eretz Yisrael.  What would this future state be called? Do you think your Muslim allies would accept this future state?

Rabbi E Beck:  Some people mistakenly think that the messiah will be a Jewish leader who leads the Jews to statehood and forces the non-Jews to comply – similar to Zionism.

However, to know the true Jewish concept of the messiah, we have to look into the Jewish sources – the Bible and Prayer Book. There we see that he will be a spiritual leader who will inspire all Jews to follow the Torah and bring G-d’s message to all Mankind. The world will become a spiritual place, and all the nations of the world will worship G-d together with one heart. There will be no wars; no nation will oppress any other. All will form one organization to do the will of G-d wholeheartedly.

“For then I will change the nations to a clear speech, that all of them will call in the name of G-d, to serve Him with one shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9) “The earth will be full of the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)

“And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the House of G-d will be established as the greatest of mountains, higher than all the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. Many nations will come and they will say, ‘Let us ascend to the mountain of G-d, to the house of the G-d of Jacob, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths, for from Zion Torah will emerge, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem. And he will judge between the nations, and give rebuke to many peoples, and they will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

And the prayer Aleinu, recited by Jews three times a day, says as follows:

Therefore we put our hope in You, L-rd our G-d, to soon see the glory of Your strength, to remove all idols from the Earth, and to completely cut off all false gods; to repair the world, Your holy empire, and for all living flesh to call Your name, and for all the wicked of the Earth to turn to You. May all the world’s inhabitants recognize and know that to You every knee must bend and every tongue must swear loyalty. Before You, L-rd, our G-d, may all bow down, and give honor to Your precious name, and may all take upon themselves the yoke of Your rule. And may You reign over them soon and forever and always. Because all rule is Yours alone, and You will rule in honor forever and ever, as it is written in Your Torah: “The L-rd will reign forever and ever.” And it is said: “The L-rd will be King over the whole Earth; on that day, the L-rd will be One, and His name will be One.”

This is what we are waiting for. We are not permitted to do anything with our own hands to go up from the Exile; everything that will be done will be done by G-d Himself. It will happen with the complete agreement and joy of all nations. It will not be forced upon them, and no land will be stolen from them.

As to your question of what the messiah will call his country, the prophet Isaiah says, “You will be called by a new name which the mouth of G-d will specify” (Isaiah 62:2).

We don’t know what that will be, but it will clearly be a new name, not “Israel”. The reason is probably because the heretics and sinners have adopted the name “Israel” for themselves, and therefore at the redemption the Jewish people will be embarrassed of this name. And possibly the reason why the prophet doesn’t tell us what that new name will be is because he feared that if it were to be known, the Zionists would steal that name as well.

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