Shabbat Symposium IV: Messiahs and Messianism in Jewish History


Continuing our Shabbat Symposium program this past Saturday, a group of B’nai Emunah-ns stayed after services for about an hour for a presentation and discussion about the concept of messianism in Judaism. We looked at how the messianic idea evolved from a few references in the Torah and Prophets, was greatly expanded and debated by the rabbis of the Talmud, added to by medieval philosophers and Kabbalists, and ultimately redefined in the modern period. Along the way we learned about some of the most (in)famous Jewish messiahs in history, including Shimon Bar Kochba, Shlomo Molcho, Shabbetai Zevi, Jacob Frank, and the last Chabad rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

A list of sources and recommendations for further research is attached here: Messiah References. Please contact Andrew Nusbaum if you would like a full copy of the source sheet.

Many thanks to those who stayed after services for the class. We hope you enjoyed it! (If you did attend and would like to share your reactions or suggestions, please add a comment below.)

B’nai Emunah believes all members of the community have something to teach each other. One way of putting this into practice is through our Shabbat Symposium program, a rotating adult education opportunity happening every fourth Saturday following morning services. Each class is led by a knowledgable community volunteer on a topic of their choice. From holidays to history to religious studies, Shabbat Symposium is a fun chance to learn something new from fellow CBE members. Join us for engaged learning and enthusiastic discussion!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0 thoughts on “Shabbat Symposium IV: Messiahs and Messianism in Jewish History

  • jaclynne (chaya) roberts

    Thank you for your very thorough presentation, with all your many pages of notes and text
    resources for us to take home. You are pretty amazing and committed to our temple.
    Very well done. Chaya Roberts, congregant, participant