It says in Rambam (I'm quoting from another question):

כל מי שאינו מאמין בו, או מי שאינו מחכה לביאתו, לא בשאר נביאים בלבד הוא כופר, אלא בתורה ובמשה רבינו

and whoever doesn't believe in him or doesn't await his arrival denies not only the other prophets but the Torah and Moses our leader

My question is, that what if I do not want Moshiach to come nor await his arrival everyday? I want to learn Torah and gain schar in the next world and if you do learn (End of Brachos) in the next world, you do not get as much schar because you are not in golus and it is much easier.

So my question is: Why should I want Moshiach to come? What if I like making the world a better place down here and getting more schar?

  • 1
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/26908/472 Jul 31, 2014 at 2:06
  • @user6781. Hello. Perhaps the answer to your question can be related to the story of the spies. Some say that their inaccurate report was a reflection of wanting to continue the elevated level of spirituality experienced in the dessert. After conquering, they would be obligated to "work the land" the land and thus be on a seemingly lower spiritual level. In a way, it seems similar to why someone would not want Moshiach to come despite Rambam's Articles of Faith, the spies did not want to enter Israel despite the commandment coming from Hashem through Moshe.
    – JJLL
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:55
  • I can't vouch for the blog but here is an opinion. I did not read it so you have to at your own risk ;-/. curiousjew.blogspot.com/2007/07/i-do-not-want-messiah.html
    – JJLL
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:58
  • Does this apply here?
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2014 at 17:22
  • 1
    @DoubleAA I think the other answers were all mechaven to the updated question, and I coped with it. Bdi'eved I think it is chal. Jul 31, 2014 at 17:26

5 Answers 5


Update for revised question (original is below)

R' Chaim Shmulevitz in the Derech L'Chaim commentary to Derech Hashem addresses this question. He asks, the Rambam writes that all the Nevi'im wanted Moshiach so that they could settle down and focus on learning Torah, but לפום צערא אגרא (the reward is commensurate to the struggle/effort), so why would they want such?

His answer (paraphrased and embellished) is that our actions create the situation that we are in. If you are born into a Torah observant family, then you may not get much reward for putting on Tefillin just as you were raised to do. But if you grew up without that lifestyle, and you begin putting on Tefillin, years later when it is no longer a struggle for you, you still get reward for creating the situation in which you put on Tefillin regularly. This is the idea of mitzvah goreres mitzvah... schar mitzva mitzva (Pirkei Avos 4:2) - that the reward for the mitzvah is the Heavenly assistance to keep more mitzvos, and since you have brought about that Heavenly assistance, it is included in "calculating" your reward.

So with bringing Moshiach, the Nevi'im wanted Moshiach so that they would be able to learn Torah more easily, and it wouldn't have detracted one iota from the reward associated, because the easiness itself would be part of the reward, as a result of their own mitzvos.

Additionally, R' Yaakov Weinberg explained that wanting Moshiach is a reflection of your realization that the world is incomplete without having the full revelation of Hashem's presence. From this perspective, we don't want Moshiach for our own sake - we want it out of a realization that the world we live in is incomplete, and we feel a tangible lack in the current state of existence.

One final point - wanting Moshiach, despite how it may impact our "personal interests" of how much reward we will get, is important because it shows that we have a real relationship with Hashem. If we were to not want Moshiach so that we can get a higher score, it shows that we are doing Mitzvos out of self-interest, not out of love of Hashem. Wanting Moshiach shows that we are doing Mitzvos not as employees but out of a meaningful, selfless, relationship.

If you do not want Moshiach to come, then you violate the 12th principle of the Rambam. No exceptions are made for why one would or wouldn't want Moshiach to come.

The Rambam describes the implications of not accepting any of the principles as follows (postscript to 13 Principles, introduction to Perek Chelek - I don't know which translation this is (I found it online) but Kapach and Shilat have similar sentiments in their translations):

וּכְשֶׁנִּתְקַלְקֵל לאדם יסוד מאלה היסודות – הרי יָצָא מן הכלל וכפר בעיקר. ונקרא "מִין" וְ"אֶפִּיקוֹרוֹס" וְ"קוֹצֵץ בַּנְּטִיעוֹת". וּמִצְוָה לְשׂוֹנְאוֹ וּלְאַבְּדוֹ.

When someone messes up one of these principles, he has departed from the category [of Israelite] and has fundamentally rejected. He is called a heretic, apikorus, and "cuts down saplings", and it is a mitzvah to hate him and destroy him.

So if you don't want Moshiach, you fall into that category.

  • I don't really understand the answer to the question, why did the nevim want to have moshiach so that they can learn torah more easily if they lose all the schar?
    – user6781
    Aug 8, 2014 at 16:37
  • And the second part of the answer from R' Yaakov Weinberg I do not see how it answers my question. Jews believe that there is more than this world i.e there are many world. So without the first answer (which see above I do not really understand) if I get more schar in this world לפום צערא אגרא then in this world even if this world is dark and incomplete and when moshiach comes it will become complete, So lichora it is better to live in this world get rich with schar and go to the next world with more schar then I would have if I lived in Moshiach Times. So why want Moshiach?
    – user6781
    Aug 8, 2014 at 16:43
  • @user6781 I think I explained that they do not lose the schar. That was the entire thrust of the answer. When something becomes easier as the result of your own efforts, you still get the full credit. Aug 8, 2014 at 20:24
  • @user6781 and the second answer you also seemed to miss the whole point. You don't want Moshiach because of what's in it for you, namely your schar. That is the basis of your question. You want it because you realize the world is incomplete without realization of Hashem. And your point about "many worlds" is completely lost on me. Aug 8, 2014 at 20:27
  • So your saying that Moshiach is coming as a "result of your own efforts"?
    – user6781
    Aug 8, 2014 at 20:49

I remember discussing this at some length some years ago with a rabbi in Ner Israel (in Baltimore. I don't remember which rabbi it was). We were discussing not whether one is considered a "denier" for not wanting mashiach, which is more your question, but why one should want mashiach if it means the end of all our reward-accrual and growth in spiritual level.

One argument someone put forth, as I recall, is that our reward-accrual is great, but the actual reward is better, and during mashiach's time we'll have more knowledge of God and all be on a higher spiritual level, which is kind of the point of our reward-accrual and spiritual growth anyway, so it makes sense to want that era.

But that was downplayed by our rabbi, who said that the real reason we should want mashiach is that God is now relatively unknown in the world, and we should, for his sake, want kidush hashem, the greater knowledge of God, which will come in mashiach's era.


The Maharal in Netzach Yisroel, in a passage explaining the symbolism of eiruv tavshilin, says that those who fulfilled the mitvot in olam hazeh/galus (this world/exile) continue to earn sechar (merit) in ymot hamoshiach (the messianic age). Not desiring ymot hamoshiach, in light of this idea, would then seem to be essentially a denial (emotionally, if not also intellectually) of what ymot hamoshiach truly are. (Also, I don't notice in the passage you quote the Rambam requiring this awaiting to be daily.)

  • See edits to the question.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2014 at 17:10

An analogy to the way you asked your question can be made to some of the meforshim on the meraglim. There are those that say that the meraglim did not want to have to give up living in the midbar, being protected by the ananei hakavod, eating the man, drinking the miraculous water, being able to learn constantly, and not having to deal with the "real world". That is they originally did not want to have to give up the spriritual life that they led for the "real life" of conquering the land and settling into an actual country.

This was the original rationalization and it led to actual denial of Hashem. We also see in some of the midrashim of Dovid Hamelech that one should not ask to be tested because we never know how it will turn out. Since we know that the mashiach is coming and that it is part of the plan of Hashem, then we should want it to happen. After all, the Bais hamikdash will be rebuilt and we will be able to live on the higher level of those days. Also we will no longer have to suffer the attacks that we are undergoing.

Bimheirah Beyameinu.

  • See edits to the question.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2014 at 17:10
  • @DoubleAA THat is why I referenced the meraglim. Jul 31, 2014 at 20:14

To directly answer your question see סנהדרין צח: we find a list of some of our greatest talmudic heros saying this phrase. ייתי ולא איחמיניה. Artscroll translates 'may he come, but may I not see him'. This was in said due to their fears of the Messianic wars. On the subject of desiring his arrival, here is a list of places which might help clarify the words ציפית & חכה. Concerning ציפיתה לישועה which is in שבת ל׳א ע׳א we see the passuk in ישעיה that the gemara is darshaning from actually starts with והיה אמונת עתיך, meaning our ציפית is having אמונה that there will be the ישועה. It doesn't have anything to do with desire or hope for it. Nor any assumptions about it happening NOW! The phrase חכה לו about משיח is found in ,סנהדרין on daf 'צז: & צח. The word is brought from a passuk in ישעיהו פרק ל פסוק יח. From the context of the passuk and the sugya it seems to mean a delay of an event that is desired to come sooner, but obviously not happening any time soon. We find in רש׳י מגילה יח ע׳ב the word מצפה used to describe the word שומר in the gemara, describing a שומרת יבם. We see the same in :ברכות נה where the twenty two years that יעקב waited for the fulfillment of the dreams of יוסף which the תורה reffered to as ואביו שמר את הדבר, the gemara says לעולם יצפה אדם לחלום טוב עד כ׳ב שנה. Again ציפוי meaning belief in an imminent event, but possibly still far off. In :הרואה חמור בחלום יצפה לישועה .ברכות נו. This one is interesting. If we are supposed to be מצפה לישועה anyways, what does the donkey dream change? From the surrounding dreams and interpretations it wouldbe hard to say its an admonition and a wake up call to be מצפה. This last one may or not be off topic. You decide. In :סנהדרין פא the word חכה means a hook for catching fish. I'm sure there are more, hopefully people will add to the list.

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