I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Woman of Zarephath and the Mashiach

There are certain Jewish traditions that associate the Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) with the story of the woman of Zarephath and her Son who Elijah resurrected from the dead in 1 Kings 17. It is interesting that the seventh Lubavitch Rebbe spoke about the significance of Zarephath (France) and that the Chabad movement also speaks about the Mashiach ben Yosef rising from the dead. Besides the Phoenician city of Zarephath, France is also called Zarephath (Tzarefat) and Britian as the Isles of Zarephath. The Rabbis of the middle Ages believed that the mention of the Exile of Zarephath in Obadiah referred to the Exile of the Ten Tribes symbolised by Joseph.

Raphael Patai a Jewish Israeli scholar in his book "The Messiah Texts" mentions in his chapter on the mother of the Messiah the link with the woman or widow of Zarephath and her Son with the Mother of the Messiah and her Son - the Messiah son of Joseph. Patai quotes from Seder Eliyahu Rabba 18 where the Rabbis are discussing from whom Elijah the prophet descends, whether from the seed of Rachel (meaning from the Tribes of Joseph and Benjamin) or from the seed of Leah (from whom Levi and thus Aaron the first High priest descended). Elijah appears to them and states the he is from the seed of Rachel from the lineage of Benjamin. "...Thereupon they said to him:"if you are not a Kohen [priest]. How, then, could you say to the widow [of Zarephath], Make me a little cake first and bring it forth to me [which is the prerogative of a Kohen] and afterwards make for thee and thy son(1kings 17:13)?" He said to them: "That child [the son of the widow]was none other than Messiah ben Joseph, and I wanted to give a signal to the world that first I go down to Babylonia, and thereafter will come the Messiah." We see that here the story of the woman of Zarephath is seen as a sign of the coming Messiah who will appear after the Babylonian Exile. We see that the wheaten cakes allude to the Eucharistic mystery, and the son who rises from the dead after Elijah lays on him in the form of a crucifix is a sign of the Messiah who will rise from the dead.

We also see that in 'Yalkut Hadash, Mashiach par 22' that the Jewish traditions also links this story with that of Jonah who was in the belly of the whale for three days. "The son of the widow of Zarephath was Jonah, and he was Messiah ben Joseph." Thus we see that Jesus' linking of the Messianic Son of Man with the story of Jonah is found also in the orthodox Jewish traditions. In fact the whole account of Elijah in 1 Kings alludes to Eucharistic and Marian themes, which explains why Carmelite tradition associates Elijah with devotion to the Mother of the Messiah as Our Lady of Carmel. Here is concealed that Eucharistic Hidden Child of which the Zohar speaks in connection with Elijah as the old donkey Driver. This hidden child will soon be revealed to all as the crucified and resurrected Mashiach ben Yosef as prophecied in the Book of Zechariah.

“ ... His mother came and said to them, ‘Masters, please look on my son with a good eye.’ They said to her, ‘Happy are you, worthy woman! Singled out from among all women! The Blessed Holy One has selected your portion, raised your banner above all women of the world.’

The Child said, ‘I am not afraid of the evil eye, for I am the son of a great and precious fish, and fish do not fear the evil eye, as it is written, ‘They shall multiply like fish in the midst of the earth’ (Genesis 48:16). This blessing includes protection from the evil eye, for we have learned: ‘Just as fish of the sea are covered by water and are immune to the evil eye etc [so the descendants of Joseph are immune to the evil eye].’ ‘In the midst of the earth,’ indeed ‘among human beings on earth’.

They said, ‘Son, Angel of YHVH! There is no evil eye in us, we do not come from the side of the evil eye. The Blessed Holy One is covering you with His wings.’

They kissed him as before and said: ‘Come, let us bless,’ He said, ‘I will bless, because everything you’ve heard until now was from me, I will fulfill the verse: One whose eye is generous will be blessed. Read it: ‘will bless’. Why? ‘Because he gave of his own bread to the needy’ (Prov. 22:9). From the bread and food of my Torah you have eaten.’

Rabbi Judah said: ‘Son, Beloved of the Blessed Holy One! We have learned: ‘the master of the house breaks bread, and the guest blesses.’

He said to them, ‘I am not master of the house, and you are not guests! But I have found a verse and I will fulfill it, for I am truly generous. Without your asking, I have spoken until now and you have eaten my bread and my food.”

He took the cup of blessing and began to bless. His hands could not hold the cup; they were trembling. When he reached ‘for the land and the food’ he said ‘I raise the cup of salvation and invoke the name, Y~.’ (Psalm 116:13). The cup stood firm and settled in his right hand and he continued blessing. At the end he said, ‘May it be the Will that life be extended to one of these from the Tree of Life on which all depends! May the Blessed Holy One be surety for him. May he find surety below to share his surety with the Holy King.’

Having finished blessing he closed his eyes for a moment. Then he opened them and said, ‘Comrades, Shalom to you from the good Lord who possesses all Shalom! They were amazed, and cried, and blessed him.

They stayed the night. In the morning they rose early and left. When they reached Rabbi Shim’on, they told him what had happened. Rabbi Shim’on was amazed. He said, He is the son of an invincible rock! He deserves this and more than any human can imagine. He is the son of Rav Hamnuna Sava.”
[from the Zohar]

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