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The rambam writes that one of the principles of faith is "Ani Maamin...B'Biyat Hamashiach, Af Al Pi Shehitmamya, Im Kol Zeh Achake Lo"

I beleive in the coming of the Messiah, even though he tarries, i wait for him

Is this a General Belief? or must I Believe he is coming now? or now? or now?

  • 1
    That wording is not the Rambam's. It's merely based on his writings. – msh210 May 19 '15 at 12:35
  • בְּכָל יוֹם שֶׁיָּבוֹא – rosends May 19 '15 at 12:46
  • Regarding who wrote the phrase: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/26434/… – Yishai May 19 '15 at 13:18
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/40760/… – Yishai May 19 '15 at 13:20
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    I recall a Hasidic story that suggested that we should be prepared for Moshiach's immediate arrival at all times. The story relates that a Hasid heard that the Moshiach was at the town center and he should hurry to greet him. The Hasid went to put on his best clothes, but noticed that they were in need of repair. By the time he made himself presentable, the Moshiach had gone on to another town. Sorry I can't remember the source. – Bruce James May 19 '15 at 13:27
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There is a question asked, to which I have heard two answers:

Chazal teach us that there are many times when Moshiach will not come, such as on Shabbos or Yom Tov (Eruvin 43b). So how can one expect that Moshiach will come at any time?

I have heard quoted, but do not know the exact citation of, a teshuva of the Nodeh B'Yehuda (R' Yechezkel Landau) who was asked this question, and he responded that indeed one must expect Moshiach to arrive even on Shabbos, and when he gets here, he'll explain why it all works out. The assumption being that yes, at every moment one must be expecting Moshiach to come. (I have heard the same point quoted from the Yismach Moshe)

R' Yaakov Weinberg understood, based on this question, that the "at every moment"1 of waiting for Moshiach coming is not modifying the "that he will come," but rather the "I shall wait for him." In other words, one must at all moments be eagerly looking forward to his arrival, although there may be intervals during which his arrival is unexpected. (Source for R' Weinberg - recorded shiurim)

[It should be noted that the actual language of the Rambam in introduction to Chelek (Kapach translation) is:

והיסוד השנים עשר ימות המשיח והוא להאמין ולאמת שיבא ואין לומר שנתאחר, אם יתמהמה חכה לו

The 12th principle is the days of Mashiach, and that is to believe and to authenticate that he will come and not to say that he has been delayed, "If he tarries wait for him"

and the Rambam actually makes no mention of "every day" or "any moment." Nonetheless, the question of when we are supposed to expect him to come is still a valid one]

1These words are not a quote of the Rambam, who says no such language, but just an elucidatory phrase borrowed from the "Ani Maamin"

2

Some additional sources on this question: R. David Cohen in his Ha-Emunah ha-Ne'emanah, p. 300-301, argues that it is incorrect to declare that Mashiach will come today:

יש להעיר שמה שאומרים בתקיפות "שמשיח יבא היום" אי"ז נכון ויתכן דמימרא כזו הוי דבר שאין רוח חכמים נוחים ממנה שהרמב"ם הביא דברי חז"ל שאמרו תפח רוחן של מחשבי קצין וגם כתב שלא ישים לו זמן, והסברה היא שעל ידי זה מתרשל באמונה שיתכן לו שיבא ושמחכים עבורו, ואם כן כשאומרים שודאי יבא הלא מתרשלים באמונה הנ"ל כיון שהרי לא בא ודו"ק... נראה שאם נדקדק בלשון בעל אני מאמין אין כוונתו לומר שיש להאמין שמשיח יבא בכל יום אלא שיש לצפות בכל יום שיבא באיזה זמן שהוא דלא קאמר אחכה לו שיבא בכל יום אלא אחכה לו בכל יום שיבא ודו"ק. וראיה לדבר שבעירובין מג,ב יש צד לומר שאינו בא בשבת...

(See also Masat Kapai vol. 3, p. 68.) R. Yehuda Herzl Henkin in his Bnei Banim, vol. 3, says that same thing, and argues with the Brisker Rav who is reported to have held differently. R. Moshe Mordechai Shulsinger in his Mishmar Halevi - Zevachim argues stridently for the view that we must believe Mashiach will come each moment.

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