The subject of Messiah is one of the greatest subjects and controversies in Judaism today. There is divided thought and opinion concerning this great Torah promise. On one side, the Messianic Jews along with the Christians say the Mashiach has already come. He came as Yeshua HaMashiach, and will return one day to set up his millennial kingdom. On the other side, a great majority of Jews insist that Yeshua is NOT the Messiah, that he was only a Torah teacher, some even say he was a fake, a “sheket”. Without siding with one side or another, what exactly does the Torah say about Messiah? We need to look at the “case for Messiah” from a logical and investigative view, being opened minded. We can take the case of a student who wanted to know something that the Torah taught. He went first to the School of Shammai, and asked Rav Shammai the question. He answered; “It can only be this…” and went on to explain his point. Then the student went to the school of Hillel and asked Rav. Hillel the same question about the Torah. Hillel asked the student; “What did Shammai say?” the student answered; “he said… (this and that)” “OK”, responded Hillel, this is what we think…” and he went on to explain his point of view and understanding on that particular Torah theme. At the end of the discourse, he said to the student; “Now that you have heard both sides, go study the Torah and come to your own conclusion.” When understanding the identity of Mashiach, we need to do the same. We must listen to both sides, understand where both sides are coming from, yet understand what the Torah teaches about Messiah, and come to your own conclusion. So, how can one recognize the Messiah? The word or title “Mashiach” means “anointed one” the first thing we must understand from the Torah is written in Genesis 22:18. He must be of the seed of Abraham. The Torah says through Moshe who wrote it down, inspired by the Ruach Elohim; “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” The second thing is that Messiah must come from the tribe of “Y’hudah. When Jacob was dying, he said “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and until him shall the gathering of the people be” Genesis 49:10. How many Torah teachers have been from the tribe of Judah? Today, can we trace today’s Torah teachers specifically to the tribe of Judah? If we can, are “all” peoples attracted to that person? Even in Israel today, are all the people in Israel following just “one” Torah teacher? Or is there divided opinion? Third, He must be of the House of David. Isaiah 9:7 states; “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with justice and with righteousness.” The messianic Jews state that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah, however, the non-messianic Jews state that this can not be possible, for there is no peace in this world, and the Messiah will bring eternal peace, therefore, Yeshua could not be the promised Messiah. The messianic Jews respond to this saying that the first priority of Messiah was to pay the price of sin, to be the sin atonement for all mankind. This was accomplished through his first coming, it would be in his second coming that he would establish world peace. Fourth, He must be born of a virgin. The prophet Isaiah wrote; “Therefore Adonai himself shall give you a sign; behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) One objection from non-messianic Jews is that the word “almah” does not mean “virgin” that it means “young woman, or maiden”. If that is the case, we must understand that many times, Hebrew words can take on more than one meaning. Also, in cultural context, in ancient Israel, all “young women or maidens” were “virgins”. That was the norm. The title or name “I-man-u-el” means; “G-d with us”. It is interesting to look at this word using gematria and the paleo-Hebrew letters. If we are to look at this name using the ancient Hebrew symbolism, we could see; “insight for the masses (of people who are in chaos) through the all-powerful G-d who leads, they can be connected to life (through Him). Also, the first part of “Imanuel” (I-man-u) is spelled in Hebrew “ayin, mem, nun, vav” these letters have the sum total of 176. When we take the numbers by themselves, 1=Echad, 7=perfect number of G-d, 6=number of man. Could we dare say that this is saying; the G-d who is Echad (one) came as perfect man? Just a thought to ponder on. Another interesting fact is the encoded word in the Torah that starts with the letter “m” (mem) in “almah” starting with this letter “m” and count every letter from right to left, stopping on the 17th letter, doing this 4 times, we get the word “Mashiach” (m+sh+y+ch) mem, sheen, yod, chet. Is this just coincidence? Or was it placed there on purpose? You decide. Fifth, He must be born in Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem) as foretold by the prophet Micah; “But thou, Bethlehem, Efratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel”. Some non-Messianic Jews will say, “was king David born in Bethlehem? And he came ruler in Israel? Yes? The answer is of course, “yes” however, Micah came after David, and he writes in the future tense “shall come forth”. So this is a prophecy that would take place in the future, when Micah HaNavi wrote it. Sixth, He must be G-d. Isaiah clearly states that when he wrote: “His name shall be called…the Mighty G-d, the everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) Staying in the book of Isaiah, the most famous chapter and a chapter of much controversy is 53. Messianic Jews and Christians state that this chapter speaks of Messiah Yeshua, but another great part of Judaism states that this speaks of the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. So, who do we believe, as always, what does the Torah say? The chapter begins with “to whom is the arm of HaShem revealed, for HE shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground…” So what is the “arm?” yet it says “HE” so the “arm” is a “he”. Does HaShem really have an arm? Or is G-d a spiritual being? If spiritual, why does it say “arm?” Interesting question. But it is talking about someone who has a deep connection with G-d. Many Jews say it is Israel, the arm of the L-RD. But it says HE, and many times, we refer to Israel as “Bat Zion” (daughter of Zion). When we read the whole chapter, we read that “he was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows…”but wait a minute, it says a “man of sorrows” yet Israel is a nation! Could this be “Jacob, who was later called Israel? Did Jacob/Israel suffer? I think in part yes, his sons caused him grief. But later on we read that “he carried our sorrows” he was bruised for our iniquities, and by HIS stripes we are healed” Has Israel, the people and the nation suffered? Yes, has Israel been despised and rejected? Yes, indeed, history accounts for that. But how are we healed by the suffering of Israel? When we continue to read, it says “he was cut off from the land of the living” In other words, killed, murdered, died, is the nation of Israel dead? (The prophet Daniel has something to say about that) “for the transgression of my people he was stricken” “thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” “my righteous servant justifies many, for he shall bear their iniquities, “and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” these are important statements in this chapter. When we think back to Yom Kippur, an innocent, blameless animal was sacrificed for the sins of Israel. It had to be an innocent animal, because all mankind is sinful. If we say that Israel was sacrificed for Israel? How can that be? How can a nation that was sinful, pay the price for their own sin? It is like one criminal taking the sentence of another. But what if an innocent man took the prison sentence for a criminal? Yes, that might work. But here is another clue, a clue that is encoded in the original Hebrew text. In verse 10 it says; “Yet it pleased HaShem to bruise him; and he hath put him to grief when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days.” The word “Ya’arikh” (prolong) (yod, Alef, resh, yod, kaph sofit) has two “yods”. Take the second “yod” and go up the page of the text, going left to right, counting every 20 letters x 7, we get the two-word sentence; “Y’shua Shmi” (yod, sheen, vav, ayin, sheen, mem, yod) “Yeshua is my name” could that just happen to be there by chance? You decide. Finally, we have “Daniel HaNavi” (Daniel the Prophet) who is a recognize Jewish prophet, by Rashi and by many more scholars. In Chapter nine, he writes about the “cutting off of Messiah” when would this happen? In verses 25, 26, and 27 he writes that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Yerushalayim unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks. A “week” is “Shavua” a multiple of “sevens” or about 490 years, from the time King Artaxerxes of Persia gave the writ to rebuild Jerusalem in 445 BCE. Giving this account, we can count 173,880 days, 69 x 7 x 360. March 14th, 445 BCE to April 6th, 32 CE. This was the time of Pesach, when the lambs were sacrificed, and when, Yeshua, was nailed to the ution stake. Just coincidence? In verse 26, starting with the “yod” in the word (v’hayir) (vav, hey, ayin, yod, resh) count from left to right 3 times, counting every 26th letter, we get “yod, sheen, vav, ayin” (Y’shua) again, coincidence? Or was this placed here by G-d himself through Daniel the Prophet? You decide. So, in conclusion, did Messiah come? Will he come back? Did he not come yet? Is it Yeshua from Beit-Lechem? Or is it someone else? Taking in all the evidence, come to your own conclusion as Hillel would say.