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Medieval Messiahs (5)

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The Yemenite Messiah

The great Jewish teacher from Andalusia, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon of Córdoba (1135-1204), tells the story of an anonymous Messiah from Yemen, who was preaching repentance. Those who gave their worldly possessions to the poor would gain a treasure in heaven. Not everybody was impressed by his humane teachings, and in 1172 the Muslim authorities had him arrested. His interrogators wanted a sign that he was indeed the Messiah, and the man informed them that he would come to life again after he was beheaded. The authorities allowed the experiment, but unfortunately, the Yemenite Messiah was unable to live up to his claim.

The remarkable aspect of this story is that the idea that the Messiah would rise from the death is not Jewish at all: it is Christian.

Muhammad (570-632)
Abu Isa' al-Isfahani (c. 700)
Moses al-Dar'i (c.1127)
David Alroy (c.1147)
Yemenite Messiah (c.1172)
Abu'lafia (1230-1291)
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