How does one convince anybody that the Messiah is not Hashem Tzidkenu יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ?

It seems there are several times our sages seem to be saying that the Messiah is Hashem Tzidkenu, but I refuse to believe that that is possible.

One example, and there are several, is

Eichah Rabbah 1, and one reads the following:

מה שמו של מלך המשיח רבי אבא בר כהנא אמר ה' שמו, שנאמר (ירמיה כג, ו): וזה שמו אשר יקראו ה' צדקנו What is the name of the king Messiah? R' Aba bar Kahana said: the Lord is his name, "... and this is his name that he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness." (Yirmiyahu 23:6)

ו בְּיָמָיו תִּוָּשַׁע יְהוּדָה, וְיִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח; וְזֶה-שְּׁמוֹ אֲשֶׁר-יִקְרְאוֹ, יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ

  • I don't understand the basis for your question -- your quote indicates the opinion is that the Messiah's name is "the Lord" but then you ask about "the Lord is our righteousness." Shouldn't you be asking about "the Lord"? – rosends Mar 13 '18 at 12:31
  • Please show a link to the quote that you cite. – sabbahillel Mar 13 '18 at 12:33
  • 1
    You cite only the opinion of R' Aba bar Kahana. Is his opinion the opinion of everyone? Do the other Sages agree with him? R' Hillel (Sanhedrin 99a) said that there wasn't going to be a Messiah anymore, but we don't agree with him. – ezra Mar 13 '18 at 14:57
  • 1
    I didn't ask what is impossible to believe. I asked why it is impossible to believe. – Alex Mar 14 '18 at 4:23
  • 1
    @ninamag If that is the premise of your question you should edit it into the question. – Alex Mar 16 '18 at 13:44

The text does not say that the Moshiach will be Hashem Tzidkeinu, but that the (characteristic of) righteousness and (the holiness of) G-d’s name will be in Moshiach's name.

The midrash itself say that this refers to Hashem's name not to Hashem himself:

דְּאָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי טָבָא לִמְדִינְתָּא דִּשְׁמָהּ כְּשֵׁם מַלְכָּהּ וְשֵׁם מַלְכָּהּ כְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהֶיהָ. טָבָא לִמְדִינְתָּא דִּשְׁמָהּ כְּשֵׁם מַלְכָּהּ,...וְשֵׁם מַלְכָּהּ כְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהֶיהָ.

Just as the city of Jerusalem will be called Hashem Tzidkeinu (as stated elsewhere in Jeremiah 33:16:

In those days, Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell securely and this is the name that He shall call it, the L-rd is our righteousness.

Metzudat Dovid says that this means Hashem will make us righteous when Jerusalem is reestablished.

We also can derive a lesson from that: Hashem will make us righteous when he (Moshiach) comes.

  • Your answer, therefore, is not based on the Pshat, but on a "derivation"? Also, for this answer that you gave, referencing, Jeremiah 33:16, what is stopping one from using the same reasoning in the answer by Yaacov Deane that "The following posuk in Navi [in this case, Yirmiyahu 33:16] has a Pasek after G-d’s name. And so the proper reading would be, 'and this is the name that G-d will call it, Tzidkeinu.'" – ninamag Mar 13 '18 at 18:47
  • Why do you continue to assume that one should read "Hashem is he" and not "Hashem is his name"? Additionally, the continuation of the midrash (i added) answer your question very well. – Renato Grun Mar 13 '18 at 20:40
  • I am looking for a plain meaning. – ninamag Mar 14 '18 at 6:53
  • The plain meaning is explained in the continuation of the midrash. There it says that it refers Hashem's name, not to Hashem himself. – Renato Grun Mar 14 '18 at 19:22
  • 1
    "why then call somebody HASHEM...." -- the reason is quoted in the answer I already posted. "unless the person is indeed YHWH...." --- Then, giving the name "Tzemach" (a branch) to Moshiach he is required to be a branch?? – Renato Grun Mar 18 '18 at 3:48

The Navi (Yirmiyahu) and the Eicha Rabbati you quote are understood by looking at the posuk which precedes, namely, Yirmiyahu 23:5.

הִנֵּ֨ה יָמִ֤ים בָּאִים֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה וַהֲקִמֹתִ֥י לְדָוִ֖ד צֶ֣מַח צַדִּ֑יק וּמָ֤לַךְ מֶ֙לֶךְ֙ וְהִשְׂכִּ֔יל וְעָשָׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה בָּאָֽרֶץ׃

The reference is to the righteous one which G-d will make sprout from King David’s line. (צֶ֣מַח צַדִּ֑יק) “I will raise up for David a righteous sprout”

The following posuk in Navi (Yirmiyahu 23:6) has a Pasek after G-d’s name. And so the proper reading would be, “and this is the name that G-d will call him, Tzidkeinu.” (Our Righteous one)

The emphasis of Rabbi Abba Bar Kahana in your quoted Midrash is that G-d calls him this name.

  • 3
    As pointed out by @rosends, This does not answer the plain reading of the Eicha Rabba, which is מה שמו של מלך המשיח רבי אבא בר כהנא אמר ה' שמו – ninamag Mar 13 '18 at 16:23
  • @ninamag The language in the Midrash is abbreviated. It lists the response of Rabbi Abba Bar Kahana to the question of what is King Moshiach’s name? G-d says his name, like is found in Yirmiyahu 23:6. Anyone reading otherwise would be ignoring the plain meaning of the text in the Yirmiyahu cited. – Yaacov Deane Mar 13 '18 at 16:31
  • @YaacovDeane You wrote in your last sentence, "The emphasis of Rabbi Abba Bar Kahana in your quoted Midrash is that G-d calls him this name." But the quoted Midrash says Rabbi Abba Bar Kahana referred to the Mashiach's Name as YHWH: מה שמו של מלך המשיח רבי אבא בר כהנא אמר ה' שמו – ninamag Mar 13 '18 at 17:27
  • 3
    This is nice, but is not the plain meaning. In the plain meaning a Psik after a Merkha is not a stronger break than a Tipcha. The reading you describe would be marked וְזֶה־שְּׁמ֧וֹ אֲ‍ֽשֶׁר־יִקְרְא֛וֹ יְהוָ֖ה ׀ צִדְקֵֽנוּ. The Psik here is in all likelihood to ensure God's name isn't mispronounced by being slurred into the next word. – Double AA Mar 13 '18 at 17:40
  • 1
    Would you also read Ex 17:15 as God giving the name? – magicker72 Mar 13 '18 at 17:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .