Many years ago a story broke that was quickly buried. It involved a new document from the Catholic Church saying an astounding thing. It first appeared in the New York Times (1/18/02) headlined, “Vatican Says Jews’ Wait for Messiah is Validated by the Old Testament.” It again appeared in New York City’s Jewish Week, headlined, “The Wait Is Over: Jews’ Messiah Now Kosher.” (1/25/02). Years later, for my blog Redemption Watch, I called the Jewish Week to access the story online. They told me, “It’s no longer in the archives.”
Vanished. A mystery!
If you are trying to understand the prophecy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, “The time of your redemption has arrived,” this crack in Vatican theology is significant. The Redemption is a process in which everyone participates, not just the Jewish people. The era of peace, harmony and abundance is for every living thing. Every human being is a “player.”
At the end of this process, the entire world will worship the one G-d, the G-d of Israel.
As the prophet Zephaniah said (3:9): “For then I will turn the peoples to a pure language that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one shoulder.”
How is this to happen? As one friend queried, “Are the nations going to leave their religions?”
Yes they will. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the great sage Maimonides said:
“When the true Messianic king will arise and prove successful, his [position becoming] exalted and uplifted, they will all return and realize that their ancestors endowed them with a false heritage; their prophets and ancestors caused them to err.” Maimonides, Laws of Kings, Chapter 11, paragraph 4, footnote 12.
What the Vatican document essentially says in so many words is that their designated Messiah may not necessarily be the real one. Or to hedge a bit, Jesus is real for the Catholics but the Jews are right to wait for their Messiah.
In practical terms, this is revolutionary. Considering the Crusades, the Inquisition, and many thousands of forced conversions, this is now at an end.
In the words of the ecumenical director for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Eugene Fisher, as quoted in the Jewish Week:
“The Catholic Church will never again sanction an organization devoted to the conversion of the Jews. That is over, on doctrinal, Biblical and pastoral grounds. Finito.”
As emphasized, this story broke and then quietly disappeared. Perhaps it was controversial within the ranks of the Church. It certainly is a departure from Church doctrine.
Do you think the Church does not know about the Rebbe’s prophecy, or that many people, Jews and non-Jews, hold that the Rebbe is the Messiah? I was told that across from the Vatican is a Chabad House with a Moshiach flag.
One of the main teachings of the Rebbe is that the transformation of the world in the era of Redemption has to come from the people themselves.Once the Messiah has announced his prophecy, it is up to the people to make it happen. Of course there is heavenly assistance. But the effort has to come from all of us.
That’s why this breakthrough from the Vatican is so important. It’s a change, something new, a crack that will allow the truth to emerge.
Mrs. Botnick is the president of Geulah Generation, a Jewish women’s organization based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, devoted to learning the talks of Rebbe known as Dvar Malchus and spreading matters of Moshiach and Redemption. For details please visit www.GeulahGeneration.com.