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I saw an interesting thing in a Breslov.co.il forum post, "Anybody who thinks they are mashiach is delusional. The real mashiach doesn't declare himself until it's really time." (Third post from the top)

It was kind of a dated post, so I didn't want to register and get involved there trying to ask about any sources.

Is there such a source that maybe this person was referring to?

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According to the teaching of the Ari z"l as written by Rabbi Chaim Vital, it will be like it was with Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe was born of flesh and blood by a mother and father just like everyone else. So it will be with Moshiach. At the beginning of his life he doesn't even know himself who he is. Through leading a righteous life he will gain greater and greater merit until, like Moshe, he will merit to the perfection of his nefesh, ruach and neshamah.

For Moshe this was completing the tikkun of Hevel (הבל) and Sheth (שת). This was indicated in the written Torah by the burning bush (הלבת אש מתוך הסנה). The burning fire is the letters from the names of Hevel and Sheth. At this point, like Moshe, he will know that he is the actual Redeemer. But most of the Jewish people will not know or recognize this.

Rabbi Vital goes to explain that, like Moshe, after telling the Jewish people that the time of the redemption has come Moshiach will go into hiding, both body and soul. It equates this time period with when Moshe entered the cloud to receive the Torah. It says Moshiach will actually depart this world physically. And when he returns only then will he be revealed completely and all Israel will discern and recognize him.

This is recorded in Sefer Ohr HaChamah, Volume 2, 8b on the Zohar, Shemot 7b. Sefer Ohr HaChamah is the second book of the master commentary on the Zohar called Sefer Kiryat Arba. It was compiled by Rabbi Avraham Azulai, the author of Chesed l'Avraham and the grandfather of the Chida, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai.

  • actually great great grand father IIRC. – mevaqesh Sep 8 '15 at 1:16
  • @mevaqesh On the yichus, I stand corrected. Was writing that from memory. Chida son of Rabbi Yitzchok Zerachia son of Rabbi Yishayahu son of Rabbi Yitzchok son of Rabbi Avraham Azulai. Thanks! – Yaacov Deane Sep 8 '15 at 3:42
  • @YaacovDeane I appreciate your answer, but it doesn't seem to either agree with or disagree with the linked post. – jj2 Sep 20 '15 at 7:32
  • @Hugh from the source I cited it emphasizes that "declaring oneself" to be Moshiach is not relevant. It points this out like with Moshe who was initially rejected. It will be the actions of Moshiach which are the main idea and through them the world will recognize who he is. – Yaacov Deane Sep 20 '15 at 12:49
  • The linked post is more referring to people who appear to be mentally disturbed. It's not really addressing the subject of Moshiach. – Yaacov Deane Sep 20 '15 at 12:52

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