KADURI’S PORTRAYAL OF THE MESSIAH
A few months before Kaduri died at the age of 108, he surprised his followers when he told them that he met the Messiah. Kaduri gave a message in his synagogue on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, teaching how to recognize the Messiah. He also mentioned that the Messiah would appear to Israel after Ariel Sharon’s death. (The former prime minister is still in a coma after suffering a massive stroke more than a year ago.)
Other rabbis predict the same, including Rabbi Haim Cohen, kabbalist Nir Ben Artzi and the wife of Rabbi Haim Kneiveskzy.
Kaduri’s grandson, Rabbi Yosef Kaduri, said his grandfather spoke many times during his last days about the coming of the Messiah and redemption through the Messiah.
His spiritual portrayals of the Messiah—reminiscent of New Testament accounts—were published on the websites Kaduri.net and Nfc:
“It is hard for many good people in society to understand the person of the Messiah. The leadership and order of a Messiah of flesh and blood is hard to accept for many in the nation. As leader, the Messiah will not hold any office, but will be among the people and use the media to communicate. His reign will be pure and without personal or political desire. During his dominion, only righteousness and truth will reign.
“Will all believe in the Messiah right away? No, in the beginning some of us will believe in him and some not. It will be easier for non-religious people to follow the Messiah than for Orthodox people.
“The revelation of the Messiah will be fullled in two stages: First, he will actively confirm his position as Messiah without knowing himself that he is the Messiah. Then he will reveal himself to some Jews, not necessarily to wise Torah scholars. It can be even simple people. Only then he will reveal himself to the whole nation. The people will wonder and say: ‘What, that’s the Messiah?’ Many have known his name but have not believed that he is the Messiah.”
FAREWELL TO A ‘TSADIK’
Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri was known for his photographic memory and his memorization of the Bible, the Talmud, Rashi and other Jewish writings. He knew Jewish sages and celebrities of the last century and rabbis who lived in the Holy Land and kept the faith alive before the State of Israel was born.
Kaduri was not only highly esteemed because of his age of 108. He was charismatic and wise, and chief rabbis looked up to him as a Tsadik, a righteous man or saint. He would give advice and blessings to everyone who asked. Thousands visited him to ask for counsel or healing. His followers speak of many miracles and his students say that he predicted many disasters.
When he died, more than 200,000 people joined the funeral procession on the streets of Jerusalem to pay their respects as he was taken to hisfinal resting place.
“When he comes, the Messiah will rescue Jerusalem from foreign religions that want to rule the city,” Kaduri once said. “They will not succeed for they will fight against one another.”
THE RABBI’S FOLLOWERS REACT
In an interview with Israel Today, Rabbi David Kaduri, the 80-year-old son of the late Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, denied that his father left a note with the name Yeshua just before he died.
“It’s not his writing,” he said when we showed him a copy of the note.
During a nighttime meeting in the Nahalat Yitzhak Yeshiva in Jerusalem, books with the elder Kaduri’s handwriting from 80 years ago were presented to us in an attempt to prove that the Messiah note was not authentic.
When we told Rabbi Kaduri that his father’s official website (www.kaduri.net) had mentioned the Messiah note, he was shocked. “Oh no! That’s blasphemy. The people could understand that my father pointed to him [the Messiah of the Christians].”
David Kaduri confirmed, however, that in his last year, his father had talked and dreamed almost exclusively about the Messiah and his coming. “My father has met the Messiah in a vision,” he said, “and told us that he would come soon.”
Israel Today was given access to many of the rabbi’s manuscripts, written in his own hand for the exclusive use of his students. Most striking were the cross-like symbols painted by Kaduri all over the pages. In the Jewish tradition, one does not use crosses. In fact, even the use of a plus sign is discouraged because it might be mistaken for a cross.
But there they were, scribbled in the rabbi’s own hand. When we asked what those symbols meant, Rabbi David Kaduri said they were “signs of the angel." Pressed further about the meaning of the “signs of the angel," he said he had no idea. Rabbi David Kaduri went on to explain that only his father had had a spiritual relationship with God and had met the Messiah in his dreams.
Orthodox Jews around the Nahalat Yitzhak Yeshiva told Israel Today a few weeks later that the story about the secret note of Rabbi Kaduri should never have come out, and that it had damaged the name the revered old sage.