Brief Extracts from Recent Orthodox Jewish Articles on MBY (Messiah son of Joseph)
1. Yosef and Yeravam by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen.
2. The Messianic Process of Modern Israel: The 3 Stages of Shaul, David and Shlomo BY DR. PINCHAS POLONSKY.
3. Brit-Am Note: MBJ will be a Real Person!
1. Yosef and Yeravam
by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen
... The sages and the commentaries tell us that two Messiahs will redeem the Jewish nation: Moshiach ben Yosef (the Messiah from the line of Yosef) and Moshiach ben Dovid (the Messiah from the line of King David). ....
One lesson to be derived from these ideas is that while the spiritual genes that a person inherits do have an effect on him, they need not define him. Each person is judged based on his unique set of characteristics, and how he deals with his challenges. The descendants of Yosef may have had a propensity to sinning in a certain area, but many overcame this and became righteous people. May we all merit to overcome our challenges and reach our own, unique potential.
2. The Messianic Process of Modern Israel:
The 3 Stages of Shaul, David and Shlomo
BY DR. PINCHAS POLONSKY
Traditional Jewish messianism: the challenge of our time
As Maimonides put it, we will only be able to grasp the messianic process fully when we actually experience it firsthand. It is not surprising, therefore, that throughout Jewish history there has been a continuous reinterpretation and refinement of messianic concepts.
According to traditional Jewish sources, the redemption will unfold in two distinct phases linked to two messiahs, Mashiach ben Yosef (the Mashiach the son of Yosef) and Mashiach ben David (the Mashiach the son of David). Mashiach ben Yosef will put in place the material conditions for the redemption, after which he will 'die' and be replaced by Mashiach ben David, who will bring the process of redemption to fruition. According to this traditional approach, the Mashiach will arrive at a particular moment in the future, without distinct stages.
Over the last 250 years, the redemption and the two messiahs were reassessed by leading Jewish thinkers and the founders of Religious Zionism. At the end of the eighteenth century, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, the Vilna Gaon, taught that Mashiach ben Yosef does not refer to a particular person but rather an epoch, a time of change. In the mid-nineteenth century, Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer contended that the messianic era was not the end of days, but a part of ongoing human history, and that the Jewish people were responsible for bringing the messiah themselves.
In the early twentieth century, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook identified the secular Zionist movement with Mashiach ben Yosef. The goal of secular Zionism was to normalize the Jewish people by establishing and then protecting a sovereign Jewish nation like other nations. This goal was similar to that of King Shaul, the first Jewish king and archetypical Mashiach ben Yosef figure. Just as King Shaul's role was to prepare the way for the coming of King David, secular Zionism would prepare the way for Mashiach ben David. Rav Kook's understanding of the messianic process has become the standard view of mainstream Religious Zionism.
MBJ will be a Real Person!
As we understand it no-one said that any historical process is going to necessarily "replace" MBJ! The Historical process rather paves the way and enables the emergence of MBJ who brings the ongoing developments to fruition.