Jews believe that the Messiah has not yet come yet; we see that most of the Jews of the world have already gathered in a geography which they claim to be Israel, so the exile has practically ended. They have constructed a nation and named it Israel. So does that mean that the first prime minister(Head) of the current Israel could be the awaited Messiah the succeeding ministers being the successor of the Messiah ?
No. See the following list from the Rambam of what Mashiach will/must do:
In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel.
Then, in his days, the observance of all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer sacrifices, observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all their particulars as described by the Torah.
- Israel didn't re-institute kings of the Davidic dynasty.
- Israel didn't rebuild the Temple, nor did it gather the dispersed of Israel (less than 50% of known Jews live in Israel.
- Unfortunately, we don't have "the observance of all the statutes will return to their previous state" (if anything, it's much worse now than ever before).
- We have no sacrifices, Shmitta or Yovel (at least the latter of which requires that we know which tribes one come from).
Similarly, with regard to the cities of refuge, Deuteronomy 19:8-9 states: 'When God will expand your borders... you must add three more cities.' This command was never fulfilled. Surely, God did not give this command in vain.
- We didn't conquer Transjordan, so we didn't make any cities of refuge there.
If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach.
- Unfortunately, Israel does none of the above.
If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach.
- Unfortunately, Israel does none of the above.
He will then improve the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as Tzephaniah 3:9 states: 'I will transform the peoples to a purer language that they all will call upon the name of God and serve Him with one purpose.'
- Unfortunately, Israel does none of the above.
If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died. God caused him to arise only to test the many, as Daniel 11:35 states: 'And some of the wise men will stumble, to try them, to refine, and to clarify until the appointed time, because the set time is in the future.'
- Unfortunately, Israel doesn't even try.
Jesus of Nazareth who aspired to be the Mashiach and was executed by the court was also alluded to in Daniel's prophecies, as ibid. 11:14 states: 'The vulgar among your people shall exalt themselves in an attempt to fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.'
Can there be a greater stumbling block than Christianity? All the prophets spoke of Mashiach as the redeemer of Israel and their savior who would gather their dispersed and strengthen their observance of the mitzvot. In contrast, Christianity caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnants to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered, and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord.
When the true Messianic king will arise and prove successful, his position becoming exalted and uplifted, they will all return and realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage and their prophets and ancestors caused them to err.
No, and I'll explain why: First, as per this list, only 42.5% of world Jewry was in Israel in 2010, so "most" of the Jews are not in Israel.
Second, the exile is a function of lost spirituality, not just physical presence. The return to Zion will end the exile when god decides we are on the spiritual level for the proper return. Simply moving there, while efficacious towards many ends, is not a way to jump over our current spiritual status.
Third, the nation constructed is a modern political entity, not a theocratic kingdom of Israel. Had the messiah already come via the first prime minister, we would have a religious state, not a secular one with aspects of religiosity. (and other aspects of religion would infuse all mankind).
Fourth, the first prime minister was not the messiah because all of the messianic prophecies were not fulfilled through him or during his tenure. Judaism doesn't have a notion of a succession of messiahs who will effect the messianic age. This is to say nothing of the issue of the prime minister's (current or past) personal qualifications towards being the messiah.
There are many who believe that the State of Israel is the "beginning of the sprouting of the redemption [ie, the very beginning of the Messianic era]," and there are those who believe that the State is a sign that we're much further along in the process. At the very least one could make a strong argument that the "Exile" is over, even if the Messianic era itself has not arrived.
Reason to believe that the State is a sign of the Messianic era, if not the era itself, is based on the following sources:
When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and take you back in love. He will bring you together again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.
Talmud, Berakhot 34b
Samuel said: There is no difference between this world and the days of the Messiah except [that in the latter there will be no] bondage of foreign powers
Rambam, Laws of Repentance, 9:2
The Messianic age will be [life within the context of] this world, with the world following its natural pattern except that sovereignty will return to Israel.
R. Tzadok ha-Kohen, “Divrei Soferim”
Yishuv means living in tranquility… that is, as masters of the Land… Only if they are living in the Land in tranquility and domination, for that is called “yishuv.” This was the case in the time that the Temple stood. But once the Temple was destroyed, even though they did not all go out into exile, even those who lived there were not called "yoshvim of the Land." And they had no “yeshiva” there, since they were slaves to the kings of the nations who ruled there, like us who live outside the Land of Israel. This is not called yishuv, but merely sojourning, and there is no fulfillment of "And you shall settle it (vishavtem)."
R. Yisrael Yehoshua of Kutna, “Yeshu'ot Malko”
The essence of the mitzva involves taking possession [of the land] and settling in it like a person on his own property, to conquer the Land of Israel that it be in our possession, and not the empty arrival of today… Nevertheless settlement certainly involves a great mitzva… And there is no doubt that it is a great mitzva, because the ingathering [from the exile] is the beginning of the redemption.
Jews have been gathered from the four corners of the Earth to the Land of Israel; they possess the land (are sovereign over it); and are currently more prosperous and numerous there than they have been in thousands of years. Thus it would appear that this criteria have been fulfilled.
More information can be found at:
Not quite, but maybe.
First, some corrections. The exile is by no means a function of lost spirituality. Imagine if all Jews lived in Israel, but they were always sinning and otherwise "lost" in spirituality - would you actually say that they are in exile, despite all living in Israel? Indeed, this was the condition of the Jews throughout much of Biblical/Prophetic history, before the first or second exile. Would you say that they were in exile, before an exile had occurred? Granted, it was sin that led them to become exiled, but exile itself is the condition of being forced out or otherwise incapable of living in one's homeland - and has nothing to do with spirituality.
Secondly, although only about 50% of Jews currently live in Israel, basically 100% could easily live in Israel if they wanted to. The political and even financial barriers that were up for almost 2000 years are now down, in the way that our ancestors literally prayed for. Today, when we pray for ingathering of the exiles, God probably laughs - He's done all He needs to, its time we just bought a plane ticket.
Also, 100% residence should never be our standard for saying the exile is over - what, we can't have any expats, or people living away for school/business? So, I'm not saying that the exile is officially over, but one can make a very easy argument that it is.
Next: What's wrong with a state being a "modern political entity"? (Isn't that, by definition, what any state would be today - even a theocratic one?) If the claim is that the Messiah couldn't have come if Israel is still a democracy which respects human rights and personal liberties . . . is that the kind of Messiah you are waiting for? The halakhot as to what a Messianic state should look like are, by their nature, undeveloped and not settled. And mind you, Tanakh is extremely explicit in its skepticism of kings and monarchies. So, yes, I think we could easily have a Messianic state that functions like a liberal democracy.
That said, I don't think Prime Ministers (or the first) can count as the Messiah. We are missing a number of critical components in the Messianic vision. First - and most important - Jews must live in peace, a condition that the State of Israel has yet to attain. Second, there must be at least some consummation of the hope of a Third Temple being built. (I prefer more liberal versions of this, that don't envision an actual re-hashing of animal smoke offerings. But still, that hope most be consummated in some sense.) Third, there must be some kind of "new recognition" of the moral teachings of God/Israel, in a way that allows for a more moral, peaceful, fruitful world order.
None of these three things have yet to be reached.