Monday, May 20, 2024

Does Eliyahu Precede Moshiach?

There is a tradition that Eliyahu [Elijah the Prophet] will come before Moshiach, to inform the world of the advent of Moshiach. Is this showing of Eliyahu a mandatory pre-requisite for Moshiach?

The Talmud relates:1

Once, Rabbi Joshua met Moshiach and asked him: ‘When are you going to come?’ Moshiach replied: ‘Today!’

Rabbi Joshua then met Eliyahu, who asked him: ‘What did he [Moshiach] tell you?’ Said Rabbi Joshua: ‘He lied to me, for he told me that he is coming today, but he didn’t come!’

Said Eliyahu: ‘He didn’t lie, but this is what he really meant: He will come “Today, if you hearken to the voice of G‑d.”2

Maharsha explains that if Moshiach comes today, we assume that Eliyahu came yesterday to the Supreme Beth Din [in Tiberias].

Another explanation is that if we merit, and Moshiach comes sooner (before the appointed time), he may then come on his own before the revelation of Eliyahu. This is presented in Krayti U’playti [by Rabbi Yonason Eibschutz]:3

Rambam posits4 that it is not a certainty that Eliyahu must come before Moshiach. Although some Sages maintain that before the advent of Moshiach, Eliyahu will appear, yet, there is no definite basis for this.

This poses a difficulty, inasmuch as the Talmud states5 that Eliyahu will come first, and as is seen in Tanach,6 “Behold I send unto you Eliyahu the Prophet.” How do we reconcile these two statements re: the coming of Eliyahu?

The answer is seen in the timing of Moshiach, as the Talmud cites the verse:7 “In its time will I hasten it” — If Jews do not merit, Moshiach will come in his appointed time; but if they merit, then Moshiach will come sooner, in haste.

Rambam holds that there is an order to the coming of Moshiach, that Eliyahu comes first to foretell of his coming. This, however, is effective only when Moshiach comes in his appointed time. But when Jews merit and the redemption is hastened, as expressed in,8 “He is leaping over the mountains, skipping over the hills” — G‑d then changes the order, as a sign of His love for Jewish merits and good deeds. This is expressed in the Rambam’s concise words.

The Sages note that Eliyahu comes first, to convey the news of Moshiach; yet, this is not definite. For, perhaps G‑d will have mercy and bestow His holy spirit upon the Jews to serve Him with a full heart; then He will swiftly bring Moshiach without the need for Eliyahu’s message.9


1. Sanhedrin 98a, Rashi
2. Psalms 95:7
3. Yoreh Deah 110, Bais Hasafek/end
4. Hilchos Melachim 12:2
5. Eiruvin 43b

  Source Sichos in English - Lubavitcher Rebbe


Anonymous said...

Since we are b’itoh and obviously past achishena, this means that Eliyahu Hanavi will share the amazing news with us right before Moshiach arrives soon?


ל.ל. said...

Many years ago I saw a video of rabbanit Iris Eliashiv where she talks about coming of mashiach, it says in yalkut shemoni that if jewish people will not merit the coming of Eliahu, a woman named Chefziba comes to proclaim coming of mashiach...Chefziba means My (G-d's) Will in her, Chefziba was a daughter of Ishayahu ha navi, and then she becomes a wife of King Hizkiau. She is very connected to potential mashiach, she is the mother or someone very close to him, do not remember. May be I'll have a chance to find this video. She says exact pasuk where it is written...Good day to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Dear G-d, can you do your beloved children a favor already? Would you keep your promise of bringing Moshiach and ending all suffering?


Your 15 million children

Anonymous said...

HaShem keeps
All promises and Mashiach will come at its right time when HaShem says so not us . the onus is on us to do Tshuvah. B”H

Anonymous said...

Even if everything is ready for the geula and we merit it, the geula comes only through tefilla and crying out for it. Rabeinu Bachya zatzal. Anon 4.05 is completely correct. It's only when Bnei Yisrael cried out in Mitzrayim that their redemption started. And of course the incredible, searing pain of our fellow Jews should move us, like said Anon.

Yes, shabbat, tsedaka, teshuva, etc, etc. But we still have to cry out for the geula and persuade Hashem to bring it. Nitzchuni banai. My children overcame Me. Yisrael means to struggle with Gd. Aliya, despite being an unpopular concept around here, is also central to the geula. Hashem has sent the most horrendous wave of global antisemitism, 'sparked' by Oct 7 atrocities. Even sane non Jews cannot fathom how ludicrous it is. Yet the Jews in galut are being gaslighted by both the world and their own leaders. It didn't happen there, it's not happening here, it's not that bad, but in any case your job is to ignore it and stay put.

We want and anticipate the geula today berachamim, Be"D, and until it actually happens we have to read the signs that have real life consequences and take action towards it.

This might not be a popular opinion around here, but it's the truth.

Only Moshiach Now