Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the messianic redemption is on the lips of millions of people today. And thanks to social media, the traditional Jewish blessings that will be said upon the arrival of the messiah are being discussed with renewed interest.
In Jewish thought, Moshiach (the Jewish messiah), is, in the words of Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff of Jerusalem, “a Torah scholar descended from Dovid HaMelech (King David) who will reestablish the halachic Jewish monarchy in Eretz Yisroel (Israel) and influence the entire Jewish people to observe halacha (Jewish law) meticulously to the finest detail.
“He will be wiser than his ancestor Shelomoh HaMelech (King Solomon), a prophet almost as great as Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses), will teach the entire people how to serve Hashem (God), and his advice will be sought by all the nations of the world.
“He will gather the Jews who are presently scattered to all ends of the world, expand Jewish territory more than ever before, and rebuild the Beis HaMikdash (the Temple in Jerusalem).
“After Moshiach establishes his dominion, there will be no more wars, famine, jealousy, or competition since the entire world will be filled with only one desire: to know Hashem and draw close to Him,” wrote Kaganoff in an essay called When Moshiach Comes.
There is a series of blessings which rabbis have established to be recited when the long-awaited Messiah reveals himself in the world.
Here are the blessings, first in transliterated Hebrew and then in English. Note: There are some minor differences of opinion about which blessings are to be said at which point.
These two blessings are said when we first hear, from a reliable source, that Moshiach has arrived:
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, haTov v’haMayteev.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who is good and does good.
Comment: This blessing is commonly used whenever Jews hear good news that is beneficial to others.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, ga’al Yisrael.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who redeemed Israel.
When seeing at least 600,000 Jews gathered in one place to greet Moshiach:
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam chacham harazim.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who knows all secrets.
Comment: The wording of this blessing emphasizes that only God knows the secrets of each of these 600,000+ people.
When seeing the Third Temple in Jerusalem rebuilt:
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, matziv gvul almanah.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who reestablishes a widow to her border.
Comment: This blessing refers to the restoration of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and also to the reestablishment of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. We don’t recite it today because, although the Jewish people have come back to Israel, we are not yet free of worry about our enemies.
When actually seeing the Moshiach:
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, she’chalak m’kvodo l’rei’av.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has granted His honour to those who fear Him.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, she’chalak me’chach-ma-toe l’rei’av.
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has granted of His wisdom to those who fear Him.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, shehechianu v’kiyemanu v’higeeyahu l’zman ha-ze
Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe who has given us life and sustained us and allowed us to reach this occasion.
Comment: This last blessing is commonly used when Jews enjoy good news that is primarily beneficial to themselves, such as buying a new house or new clothes. According to at least one rabbinic opinion, the day of Moshiach’s arrival will be declared a festive holiday and we will also recite this last blessing on the annual anniversary of Moshiach’s arrival, in order to commemorate the miracle.
Familiarizing oneself with these blessings now can help engrave the imminent arrival of the messianic redeemer into our consciousness.