Despite what many have maintained, the assertion that if a proposed candidate for Mashiach “dies” before he fulfills the necessary and sufficient conditions to complete his mission, only to “return from the dead” to finish them , he can no longer be “The Redeemer” is not according to Judaism (“Fusion of Faiths,” June 21). And any protestations to the contrary are not based on facts but on fiction, possibly for fear that it is only Christians — and now Lubavitchers — who believe so.
As any serious student of the Talmud (both the Babylonian and Jerusalem editions) knows, Mashiach can come from the “living” or the “dead.” According to the Laws of Kings, it is only if he is “killed,” as was the case with Bar Kochba whom all of the sages of his generation deemed to be the “Anointed One,” that all assurances are off. In the second chapter of Brachos in the Jerusalem Talmud, there is a discussion among the Sages, some 1,100 years after his “death, that King David was and still is the Messiah; even though he had yet finished the job.
In the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, it is stated that if he is “from those who are alive today” it is Rebbe; if “from those who have already died, it is Daniel.” Similarly, Menachem ben Chiskia was named the Moshiach therein, and even now being in Gan Eden, he retains his Messianic status — he, like the others, can be among the resurrected.
So, too, in our time, it should come as no surprise then that according to Jewish Law, as was the case with what the Lubavitcher Rebbe held about the previous Rebbe still being Mashiach after his apparent death: Our … rebbe will be the “Final Redeemer.”