Coming of the Messiah continues to retain its hold on Jewish consciousness.
“For thousands of years the Jewish people has longed for messianic deliverance; sustained by this belief the community has endured persecution and suffering, confident that they will ultimately be rescued from earthly travail. Yet with the rise of science and the growth of secularism, this fervent conviction has lost its force for many modern Jews. No longer does it seem conceivable that a divinely appointed redeemer will arise to deliver the Jewish nation and bring about the transformation of history. Nonetheless, for some members of the community the belief in the coming of the Messiah continues to retain its hold on Jewish consciousness.”
(Cohn-Sherbok 2000, xv)
“Jewish State is the ‘beginning of the redemption’, that is, it is paving the way for the advent of the Messiah.”
(Jacob, 1995, 150)
“The general view in the Rabbinic literature is undoubtedly of a personal Messiah… Orthodox Jews continue to believe in the coming of a personal Messiah who will lead all mankind back to God, even while acknowledging, as did Maimonides, that the details must be left to God.” (Jacob 1995, 342)
“The doctrine of the Messiah, who will be sent by God to redeem Israel and usher in a new era in which all mankind will worship the true God, is one of the most distinctive of Judaism’s teachings. With the strongest antecedents in the Bible, the doctrine was developed, elaborated upon, and given a variety of interpretations throughout Jewish history, but its basic affirmation is that human history will find its culmination and fulfilment here on earth.
Ultimately, the doctrine declares, God will not abandon His world to moral chaos. Eventually He will intercede directly in order to call a halt to tyranny, oppression and the pursuit of evil so as to restore mankind to the state of bliss here on earth that is described at the beginning of the book of Genesis, where Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. The whole of human history is seen as reaching from the Paradise Lost of Adam to the Paradise Regained in the Messianic Age.” (Jacobs 1973, 292)
“Redemption Heb. geulah. In Judaism redemption usually denotes the saving of the Jewish people from exile and oppression. The Exodus from Egypt, for example, is called the Egyptian redemption. The final redemption will take place with the advent of the Messiah. It is not, however, quite correct to say that Judaism, unlike Christianity, knows nothing of the idea of the redemption of the individual soul from sin.
Psalm 130 certainly uses redemption in the sense of deliverance from iniquity. The difference between Judaism and Christianity with regard to personal redemption is that, in Judaism, the soul is redeemed from sin by sincere repentance and the power of the Torah to influence human conduct, and God and no other is the Savior. Redemption, in the sense of salvation of the people as a whole, is generally discussed in Judaism under the heading of the coming of the Messiah who will bring Israel’s exile to an end and establish the Kingdom of God upon earth…
In the traditional understanding there is both a severely practical and a numinous approach to redemption.
It is God who redeems Israel and the result of the final redemption is the emergence of a new and higher type of humanity.
The Mizrachi, the party of religious Zionists, wishing to preserve both the practical and numinous aspects in the emergence of the State of Israel, coined the expression athalta degeulah, ‘beginning of the redemption’, as to say, the State of Israel is a state like any other, with normal political, economic and social concerns, and with the evitable faults and shortcomings of any political state. But for the Mizrachin thinkers, the final Messiah dream is yet to be realized and this dream is on the way, at least, to its fulfilment now that the State of Israel has been established.” (Jacob, 1995, 414)