(by Rabbi Eh'bed Baw'naw)
Though the Tanach, the Mishna, the Gemera, the Tanya, and the Zohar all pay witness to only one person in all of history as being Messiah, Judaism has said several individuals are the foretold Messiah ben Yoseph or Messiah ben David. The list includes Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Menahem ben Judah, Simon bar Kokhba, Moses of Crete, Ishak ben Ya'kub Obadiah Abu, David Alroy, Nissim ben Abraham, Moses Botarel of Cisneros, Asher Lammlein, David Reubeni, Sabbatai Zevi, Jacob Querido, Miguel Cardoso, Lobele Prossnitz, Jacob Joseph Frank, and Menachem Mendle Schneerson.
Yet only one has fulfilled any of the Messianic prophecies in Judaism. Including the prophecies of Micah 5:2, Genesis 3:15, Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 11:10, Genesis 18:18, Genesis 49:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Deuteronomy 18:19, Isaiah 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Isaiah 9:6, Zechariah 12:10-11, Psalm 72:10, Daniel 9:24-27, Isaiah 35:5-7, Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 53:10-11, Isaiah 59:16-20, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 110:1, Psalm 110:4, Isaiah 59:16, Isaiah 9:506, Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 49:1-8, Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 40:3, Isaiah 9:1-2, Isaiah 53:3, Daniel 9:24-26, Isaiah 53:8, Isiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:12, Psalm 34:20-21, Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Isaiah 61:1-2, Isaiah 6:9-10, Isaiah 49:6, Psalm 110:4, Amos 8:9-10 and many many more found below the surface and recorded in Torah She Be'al Peh (Oral Torah). This Messiah is Yeshua of Nazareth.
Yet at the same time, the followers of bar Kokhba, and most notably Scheerson are considered “fully Jewish” by all sects of Judaism and Chabad still maintains that Scheerson, is indeed Messiah and will rise again in a resurrection that they have waited 21 years to happen.
Talmudic tractates including, Avodah Zara 3b and 9a, as well as Baba Batrah 15b and 75b, Baba Mitzea 33a, Barachot 4b, 6a, 7a, 12a, 17b, 20b, 28b, 32b, 34b, 34b, 57a, 57b, and 63a, Chagigah 14a, Cholin 44 and 60b, Hagigah 14b and 15a, Kidushin 72b, Megilah 3a, Minchot 3a, Moed Katan 28b, Nedarim 22b, Nidah 30b, Pesachim 54a, Sanhedrin 98a, 31a, 91b, 93b, 94a, 96b, and 99a Shabbat 30a, 88b, 118a, 119b, 127b, 139b, 151b, Sotah 26a, Sukkah 26a, 28a and 52a, Tannit 30b, and Yoma 72b all speak of Yeshua of Nazareth as being Messiah and the way these prophecies are to be fulfilled. Scheerson....fulfilled none of these prophecies.
Schneerson is even disqualified at birth, because he was born April 18th 1902 in the Black Sea port of Nikolaev in the Russian empire. Yet, Micah 5:1-2, and all the Jewish commentary in the Mishna and Gemera, all the sages agree that Messiah would have to be born in Bethlehem because of Micah 5. So at the moment of birth even, Schneerson is disqualified as Messiah. Yet, Chabad said that Schneerson could not be replaced as the Lubavitcher Rebbe because he is Messiah and he shall return and he is still considered their Rebbe.
The thing I find fascinating about this are the unequal weights and measures when it comes to who is allowed to be considered Jewish and who is not in the orthodox circles. The reform sects in modern day Judaism allow lesbian rabbis, conservative judaism pushes for “gay rights”, many in these sects don't even keep the kosher laws of the written or oral torah yet they are considered authentically jewish.
It is also interesting that in the early 1st Century till the 4th Century the Notzri Jews were considered authentically Jewish, the Jewish leaders had no issue whatsoever with the Notzri's position on Yeshua being the Messiah. What they did take issue with is when around 300AD the Notzri voted against the rest of Judaism to not go to war, then the Notzri were expelled from the Jewish society, not because of the belief of Yeshua being the Messiah but rather because we refused to go to war at that time. This is when the prayer known as the Bikat HaMinim was added to the Shemoneh Esrei as the 12th prayer. It is the prayer against the “heretics” who are the Notzri. This is why in the schul we do not recite this particular prayer of the Shemoneh Esrei. We see further evidence of this history as well in the book of Acts, where we see the Guf HaMachiach convening in the Beit Shoftim and engaging in Midrash with the other sects and passing halacha. In today's time, this would not happen, because after 300AD the Notzri were refereed to as heretics. Many, who do not know the history, in today's culture see the issue of us not being accepted in the orthodox world being because of our belief in Yeshua. In the modern times this is true yes, but it is because of a growing animosity within Judaism that has snowballed over time, from the times of Constantine's sword and the crusades, to the Spanish Inquisition, and the Holocaust, Christians have given the orthodox world good reason to push back when someone proclaims Yeshua as Messiah. It also doesn't help the emergence of Anti-Semitism through conspiracy theory that is within the Hebrew Roots Movement as well as Christianity in various degrees. This is where we are at in history at this point.
Now it is also important that we do not take away from the accomplishments of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, he had accomplished great things in his life, he preached a very similar message to that of Messiah Yeshua which was a message of G'milut Chasidim, he helped many unfortunate people all over the world by pushing the mitzvos of tzedakah. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, no one can dismiss the fact that he was indeed a tzaddik. There is no question about that. In fact his theology was so amazingly parallel to the theology of the Notzri that if you read his books “From Exile to Redemption Volumes 1 & 2” it reads exactly like Iggaret Rominin (The letter to the Romans by R' Sha'ul), modern Hasidicism from the time of the Baal Shem Tov and his grandson Rebbe Nachman is in many ways like a rebirth of the Notzri considering the theologies are so amazingly similar it is unreal, to the point I would dare say that Notzri Judaism is the original Hasidic Judaism.
Now based on the history of Judaism, and the many supposed “messiahs” that have come through the ages that we listed at the beginning of this article it seems rather hypocritical for Chabad to maintain that Schneerson is the Messiah of the Jews, yet not fulfilling the prophecies in the written and oral torah, yet the Notzri are considered the heretics and are considered not to be Jewish in modern times because we maintain the belief that Yeshua is our Melech and Mashiach. So I would lend this charge to Chabad.....you strip your Jewish title and use equal weights and measures, refer to yourselves as goyim or gerim and we will do the same. Lets see to which side the scale tips. Will Chabad ever do this? Of course they won't. But if they want to say the Notzri or Messianics are not Jewish because we believe in Yeshua then I would have to say that Chabad is even less Jewish because their Messiah didn't fulfill ANY of the prophecies foretold in the written and oral torah.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah at Beit Geulah in Morganton, NC (www.BeitGeulah.com)