Are the Jews still today waiting for the promised Messiah to come? If so, then what kind of Messiah are they expecting right now? When do they expect him to come?
It is clear to the Jewish people that the Messiah has not yet come. For the Messiah to have come there would have to be, also a Messianic Era. The sure signs of the Messianic Era, among other things, are:
- With the coming of the Messiah will be the physical ingathering of Judah from the four corners of the earth ( Isa. 11:12, 27:12-13);
- That ingathering will include the righteous souls who died in previous years (Isa. 26:19);
- Also with coming of the Messiah will be the reestablishment of the Holy Temple (Micah 4:1);
- In addition the Messianic age will be one of world-wide peace (Isa. 2:4, 11:6, Micah 4:3); and, finally,
- In the Messianic age the entire world will believe in G-d (Isa. 11:9, 40:5; Zephaniah 3:9).
See also, Maimonides, Laws of the Kings 11:4.
To my knowledge none of these things exist today, especially not world-wide peace or world-wide belief in G-d.
The Messiah figure will be human and must be Jewish (see Deut. 17:15; Numb. 24:17), and must be descended from Judah (Gen. 49:10) and Solomon (numerous places, but see I Chron 22:9-10). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). Tradition holds, also, that a messiah is born in every generation and that whether or not his identity is revealed is dependent upon whether we merit his coming. R. Ovadiah of Bartenura, Commentary on Ruth. Moreover, the mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).
Whether we get a Messiah who will fight wars with us in the prophesied War of Gog and Magog, or one who will lead us to the Messianic Era without war (this is the conflicting ideas of the Messiah ben David versus the Messiah ben Joseph, respectively) depends upon us. If we are worthy of the Messianic Era before the End of Days, then we will get there without war. If we can't make ourselves worthy by then, then we will experience war and the bitter loss of life that the Talmud compared to the refinement of ore into precious metal that will purify us for the Messianic Era (Babyl. Talmud Kesuvos 112b).
Are the Jews still today waiting for the promised Messiah to come?
Yes - central to our prayers which we say 3 times per day is a prayer for the quick arrival of the Moshiach and the restoration of the Jewish monarchy, the House of Dovid. See also the Rambam (Maimonides) 13 principles of belief: "I believe completely in the advent of the Moshiach and I wait for him fervently every day."
If so, then what kind of Messiah are they expecting right now? Moshiach is a human being, not a god or a demi-god, who will become the King of our nation and unite all of us, win wars against our enemies (these may be ideological wars) and restore our people to the Land of Israel.
Note well: He is a human being, (an advanced person certainly, wise, humble and good) but in no way whatsoever is he deserving of worship. If anyone attempts to worship him that would be a travesty. Jewish Kings lead their people to deeper connection and attachment to the One.
When do they expect him to come? His arrival date is unknown. However, there are signs that we are very close, the main one being the miraculous return of the Jews to the Land, the capture of Jerusalem, the Land responding and making the desert bloom, the "Teshuva" (repentance) movement of the last 25 years which has seen many Jews leave their secular and assimilated ways and return to cleave to Torah Judaism.