Q. I heard in a shi’ur that the sages say, “The son of David will not come until money disappears from pockets”. Could this mean that the current global financial crisis* is the lead-up to the Messiah?
A. The passage is from the Talmud, Sanhedrin 97a. It may be that the Messiah is around the corner, but possibly not for that reason. The sages in the Talmud could be saying that so long as money is the main concern of human beings the redemption will be delayed because money creates selfishness and dissension, and both are obstacles to messianic fulfilment.
Naturally we all hope the economic downturn will come to an end before long and that human beings will have learnt about helping each other and not idolising money. If so, it will be the change in attitude that will bring Mashi’ach.