One in Messiah Congregation
To the Jew the Messiah would be a stumbling block
Isa.49[ 7] Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
Isa.53[ 3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa.8[ 14] And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
This verse and its interpretation are given of the Messiah in the Talmud:
Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 38a
yet she1 did conceive standing.2 Another interpretation: Shealtiel, because God obtained3 [of the Heavenly court] absolution from His oath.4 Zerubbabel [was so called] because he was sown in Babylon.5 But [his real name was] Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
Judah and Hezekiah, the sons6 of R. Hiyya, once sat at table with Rabbi and uttered not a word. Whereupon he said: Give the young men plenty of strong wine,7 so that they may say something. When the wine took effect, they began by saying: The son of David ( Messiah ) 8 cannot appear ere the two ruling houses in Israel shall have come to an end, viz., the Exilarchate, in Babylon and the Patriarchate in Palestine, for it is written,
And he ( Messiah ) shall be for a Sanctuary, for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both houses of Israel .
(8) I.e., the Messiah.
In the Soncino edition of the Talmud the footnote refers to Isaiah 8:14 and the reference given for the Son of David is the Messiah. The rabbis agree that as the cornerstone of the Temple is symbolic of the Messiah, it is the Messiah that is to be our foundation of faith. To remove the cornerstone is to remove the Messiah out of our life.
Isa.28[ 16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
As has been established, this stone, the Messiah of Isaiah, was prophesied to be rejected.
Psalms has the same story:
Pss.118 [22 ] The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Even Rashi in his commentaries accepted these two preceding verses as relating to the Messiah. Even though he denied that Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah, he never denied that there is a personal Messiah.
We took note that Rashi (Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, 1040-1105 AD) set forth the view that the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is Israel and not the Messiah. This was not the accepted traditional view. The majority of the rabbis prior to and following Rashi rejected his view.
The Talmud is clear that the Suffering Messiah is an individual. In tractate Sanhedrin 98b one of the names of the Messiah is identified as "Shiloh." The reference is Genesis 49:10. Another Rabbi said, "His name is the leper scholar as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted." The reference is given to Isaiah 53:4.
Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 98b
Ulla said; Let him [The Messiah] come, but let me not see him.4 Rabbah said likewise: Let him come, but let me not see him. R. Joseph said: Let him come, and may I be worthy of sitting in the shadow of his ass's saddle.5 Abaye enquired of Rabbah: What is your reason [for not wishing to see him]? Shall we say, because of the birth pangs [preceding the advent] of the Messiah?6 But it has been taught, R. Eleazar's disciples asked him: What must a man do to be spared the pangs of the Messiah? [He answered,] Let him engage in study and benevolence; and you Master do both. He replied: [I fear] lest sin cause it,7 in accordance with [the teaching of] R. Jacob b. Idi, who opposed [two verses] [viz.,] it is written, And, Behold, I am with thee, and will guard thee in all places whither thou goest:8 but it is written, Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed9 He was afraid that sin might cause [the nullification of God's promise]. Even as it was taught, Till thy people pass over, O Lord.10 this refers to the first entry [into Palestine]; till thy people pass over, which thou hast purchased:11 this refers to their second entry. Hence you may reason: The Israelites were as worthy of a miracle being wrought for them at the second entry as at the first, but that sin caused it [not to happen].
R. Johanan said likewise: Let him come, and let me not see him. Resh Lakish said to him: Why so? Shall we say, because it is written, As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him?12 But come, and I will shew you its like even in this world. When one goes out into the field and meets a bailiff,13 it is as though he had met a lion. When he enters the town, and is accosted by a tax-collector, it is as though he had met a bear. On entering his house and finding his sons and daughters in the throes of hunger, it is as though he were bitten by a serpent!14 But [his unwillingness to see the Messiah] is because it is written, Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man [geber]15 with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?16 What is meant by wherefore do I see every geber? Raba b. Isaac said in Rab's name: it refers to Him to whom all geburah17 [strength] belongs.18 And what is the meaning of and all faces are turned into paleness? R. Johanan said: [This refers to God's] heavenly family [I.e., the angels] and his earthly family [I.e., Israel,] when God says, These [the Gentiles] are my handiwork, and so are these [the Jews]; how shall I destroy the former on account of the latter?19 R. Papa said: Thus men say, When the ox runs and falls, the horse is put into his stall.20
R. Giddal said in Rab's name: The Jews are destined to eat [their fill] in the days of the Messiah.21 R. Joseph demurred: is this not obvious; who else then should eat Hilek and Bilek?22 This was said in opposition to R. Hillel, who maintained that there will be no Messiah for Israel, since they have already enjoyed him during the reign of Hezekiah.23
Rab said: The world was created only on David's account .24 Samuel said: On Moses account;25 R. Johanan said: For the sake of the Messiah. What is his [the Messiah's] name? The School of R. Shila said: His name is Shiloh, for it is written, until Shiloh come .26 The School of R. Yannai said: His name is Yinnon, for it is written, His name shall endure for ever :27 e'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon.28 The School of R. Haninah maintained: His name is Haninah, as it is written, Where I will not give you Haninah.29 Others say: His name is Menahem the son of Hezekiah,for it is written, Because Menahem [the comforter ], that would relieve my soul, is far.30 The Rabbis said: His name is the leper scholar, as it is written, Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God, and afflicted.
The Zohar, a book of Jewish mysticism which is accepted as Talmud Torah, supports the fact of the Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53. The Zohar purports to be a record of discourses between Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai and his contemporaries of the second century.
The Zohar makes some interesting statements concerning the Suffering Messiah:
"...In the Garden of Eden there is a hall which is called the Hall of the Sons of Illness. The Messiah enters that Hall and summons all the diseases and all the pains and all the sufferings of Israel that they should come upon him, and all of them came upon him. And would he not thus bring ease to Israel and take their sufferings upon himself, no man could endure the sufferings Israel has to undergo because they neglected. the Torah" (Zohar 2:212a).
"Then shall pangs and travail overtake Israel, and all nations' and their kings shall furiously rage together and take counsel against her. Thereupon a pillar of fire will be suspended from heaven to earth for forty days, visible to all nations. Then the Messiah will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called 'The Bird's Nest.' He will arise in the land of Galilee...he shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land the desolation first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first..." (Zohar 3:7b-8a).
The Zohar then describes that a star shall come from the East and proceed the Messiah:
"...And the Messiah shall have manifested himself, a star shall come forth from the East variegated in hue and shining brilliantly, and seven other stars shall surround it and make war on it from all sides, three times a day for seventy days, before the eyes of the whole world. The one star shall fight against the seven with rays of fire flashing on every side, and it shall smite them until they are extinguished, evening after evening' (Zohar 3:7b, 8a).
The Zohar continues and explains that when this star would disappear Messiah would go into hiding. Some very interesting things will then occur. Let's see what they are.
"After the seventy days the one star shall vanish. Also the Messiah shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against the world" (Zohar III, Shemoth 7b 8a).
Kabbalah teaches that one cannot know God, who is the Ein Sof, the unknowable God, by the simple content of the Scriptures but only by way of the mystical interpretation. It teaches that man atones for his own sin and can even eradicate his sin nature.
The teaching of the "traditions of the elders" is a Kabbalistic teaching from the Zohar that has been incorporated into the second chapter of the Shulhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It teaches that when one goes to sleep, the holy soul departs from his body and an unclean spirit descends upon him. When rising from sleep, the unclean spirit departs from his body except from his finger tips. One is not permitted to walk six feet until he ritually washes his hands alternately three times with water from a vessel. If he touches his eyes or any orifice, the evil spirit will enter back into the body. Also, the water must not be thrown away where an animal or person may drink it, for if they did they would become contaminated or possessed by the evil spirit. After the use of the rest room and before eating bread a similar washing is performed. This is not a Biblical teaching. One can't get rid of evil by washing the hands ritually. This is still practiced today by the religious Orthodox Jew.
The origin of the Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah is Babylonian. During the Babylonian captivity Judaism absorbed much occult influence from her captors such as reincarnation, necromancy, conjuration, astral projection, astrology, numerology and the use of charms. Eventually Babylon became the center of Talmudic learning.
The Zohar and other Jewish mystical books are full of false doctrine and deception. They must be avoided.