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Kabbalist for Christ?

Staying with Israel, a report on WorldNetDaily:

A controversy is raging in Israel, in evangelical circles in the U.S. and on kabbalah web forums worldwide following the posthumous release of what a revered Sephardic rabbi claimed to be the name of the Messiah.

The rabbi was Yitzchak Kaduri, kabbalist and ideologue of the Israeli religious right (Kaduri favoured a monarchical rule in Israel, and complained that Sharon’s compromises amounted to the country being run by a “fascist regime”). He died last year, around the age of 108, leaving an enigma behind him:

Before Kaduri died, he reportedly wrote the name of the Messiah on a small note, requesting it remained sealed for one year after his death. The note revealed the name of the Messiah as “Yehoshua” or “Yeshua” – or the Hebrew name Jesus.

The note – in which the name is spelt out in an acrostic – was actually released in February. Kaduri’s son believes it to be a forgery. Others, however, have different explanations: that Kaduri was a secret Christian all along, or that he was deceived by Satan:

Kaduri was also quoted as saying the imminent arrival of the Messiah will “save Jerusalem from Islam and Christianity that wish to take Jerusalem from the Jewish Nation – but they will not succeed, and they will fight each other.”

Statements like that have some Christians wondering if Kaduri might be talking about another Yeshua – perhaps even a miracle-performing “false Christ” many evangelicals believe will precede the return of Jesus.

This, of course, accords with the late Jerry Falwell’s claim that the anti-Christ is alive and Jewish; apparently, while criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic, suggesting that Jews will manifest and be seduced into venerating the embodiment of Satanic evil is just fine.

WND adds:

A few months before his death, Kaduri gave a Yom Kippur address in which he gave clues as to how to recognize the Messiah. He told those gathered for the Day of Atonement in his synagogue the Messiah would not come until former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies.

That’s a bit different from earlier reports on the supposed “prophecy”. According Arutz Sheva around the time:

Rabbi Kaduri has told his students that the current government will be the last one of the “old era.” He is on record as saying that Sharon will be the last prime minister in Israel, and that the new government will already have leadership of the Messianic era.

(I blogged on this here) For some reason, though, the idea that Ehud Olmert might be the messiah hasn’t caught on, and it looks as though the mystic prediction has been revised.

So, if Kaduri wasn’t a Christian, just whom did he have in mind for the Messiah role? Kaduri claimed to have met the person concerned, and that the nation would call on him to lead them. Possibly he had in mind Yosef Dayan, an Israeli far-rightist who claims to be the legitimate King of Israel. But perhaps he was thinking of the man who was most likely to succeed Sharon at the time?