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Insights - Q&A on Redemption
Question:

There are several places in the books of the Prophets in which Moshiach is called a Nasi. What is the significance of this title?


Answer:

Moshiach will play two roles:

1) The role of leader. In this capacity, Moshiach will induce all the Jewish people of his generation to follow the path of Torah and Mitzvot, will fight the wars of G-d, will rebuild the Holy Temple, gather the dispersed of Israel and bring the entire world to a recognition of the unity of G-d.

The above is a description of the task of Moshiach as king of the Jewish people. As Maimonides defines the role of a king: “His purpose is to elevate the true religion and to fill the world with justice, to break the power of the evil ones and fight the wars of G-d. A king is not crowned except to do justice and wage war.”

Maimonides also writes that “after his kingship is settled and the Jews gather to him, he will ascribe all of them according to the spirit of prophecy.” In other words, as a leader he will also designate who is a Kohen, who is a Levi and who is an Israelite.

2) His role as a Torah authority. Maimonides writes: “Moshiach will arise from the children of David, he will be wiser than King Solomon and a great prophet... He will teach the nation and show them the path of G-d, and all the nations will come to hear from him.” Maimonides also writes, “In that time, the occupation of the entire world will be only to know G-d. Therefore, all the Jews will be great scholars and will grasp the wisdom of their Creator according to human ability, as is written, ‘The world will be filled with knowledge of G-d like water covers the sea.’” It is apparent that Moshiach is the one who will create this worldwide environment and will lead it.

When Moshiach is playing the role of king, he is referred to by our prophets and sages as melech. When he is fulfilling his spiritual role of Torah leader, he is called nasi, similar to the way the heads of Sanhedrin were referred to as nasi.

Mishna Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah, 9:2. Hilchos Sanhedrin, ch. 18. Hilchos Melachim, 11:4, 12:3,5. Likutei Sichos vol. 35, p. 208.

   
 

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