12th PRINCIPLE : what do we know about the messianic times?

Last week we wrote about the penultimate chapter of Mishne Tora, where Maimonides discusses the subject of the Messiah, specifically the person of the Messiah. We explained that the Messiah will be the King of Israel, a descendant of David, who will bring all Jews to Israel, build the Bet haMiqdash and inaugurate the Messianic era (ימות המשיח).


What will happen in the messianic age?


Maimonides says that there is certain information we know about the messianic age, while other themes remain unknown, because we do not have a definitive or agreed tradition on those matters.


Today we will write on what we DO know about the times of the Messiah. And tomorrow, BH, we will explain why we do not have some precise “details” of what will happen in the Messianic era.


Maimonides writes about the messianic age in the last chapter of the Mishne Tora:


1. NATURE: There will be no changes in nature. What the prophet Isaiah (11: 6) says “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb”, HaRambam explains (Hilkhot Melakhim 12: 1) “does not mean that animals will no longer eat each other. It is a metaphor to say that the nation of Israel, the sheep, will no longer be persecuted by the wolf, i.e., the powerful enemies of Israel who seek its destruction. ” In Perush haMishnayot (Sanhedrin 10: 1) Maimonides says that men will remain mortals,  but we will live longer, because we will have fewer worries. The Messiah will not come to change the Tora or replaced it ח”ו. On the contrary: In the Messianic times people will observe the Tora without laziness and enthusiastically.


2. THE WORLD: At the time of the Messiah the world will recognize that there is only one God, and that HaShem is that one and only God. As the prophet Yirmiyahu said (31:33): “Man will not have [the need] to teach his friend or his brother ” HaShem exists” because [in Messianic times] all people will know me, old and young “. Knowledge of God will be as broad as the waters that cover the sea (Yesha’ayahu 11: 9). This knowledge of God will be the tipping point , the most important “life changing” event in the history of humankind.From the moment that humanity will recognize that God exists, and will be no longer discussions about Who is the real God, peace will reign on earth. This time of world-peace will bring abundance. There will be no hunger,  no theft and no corruption. From that moment people will not be occupied in material pursuits more than necessary. Because once humanity will discover that God exists, there will be  nothing more important than getting close to God. No one would want to be distracted from what will be considered the most important objective in life: connecting with God, studying His Tora, and knowing Him as much as we, limited human beings, can do it.


3. THE JEWISH PEOPLE: Anti-Semitism will disappear. All Jews will live in our land, Israel, in peace with our neighbors. Maimonides also says: Why do we want so much to live in the times of the Messiah?. I quote (Hilkhot Melakhim 12: 4): “The people of Israel do not desire the coming of the Messiah to rule over the world [as the antisemites say YB], or to subjugate the peoples of the earth, or to be adored by other nations, or to party, by eating and drinking and be merry. The reason we want so much for the Messiah to come, is our desire to be able to devote ourselves entirely to the Tora and its wisdom, with no one that harasses us, or prevents us from studying it, or observe its commandments” .