So, I just saw a news article purporting that Rabbi Yaakov Zissholtz, labelled by the article as Israel's "top rabbi", claims to know members of the Thirty Six Tzaddikim as well as the Messiah, and that he claims the Messiah will be revealed shortly.
This seems dubious to me, but I'm not Jewish. What I want to know is if this guy and his claims are considered credible by the typical Jewish person. Is he a crank running some minor cult-like sub-group, or is he actually a high-ranking rabbi who is widely respected by a major denomination of Jews? To use an allegory, is he more like Jim Jones or the Pope?
Moving on from the man himself, have his claims garnered any significant backlash or criticism, or are they widely accepted among practicing Jews?