During the spring of 1987, I saw an intriguing sign hanging on a lamp post at the corner of King George and Hillel streets that said that the Messiah was coming in three weeks and would be revealed at Zion Square.
My mind was abuzz with questions. I began interviewing people about the sign and the possibility that it could be true, for a journalism class I was taking. I asked what it would take for them to believe anyone who claims to be the “anointed one” the Jewish people have hoped, prayed and been waiting for thousands of years. Back in 1987, posters on lamp posts didn’t seem like an outlandish way to publicize it, especially if they were on a budget.
There’s a midrash that the Messiah is present in every generation but is not allowed to reveal himself to the world, unless the time and circumstances are right. What if this was the case? Would all it take for the Messiah to succeed was for people to show up at this event? What if just a little action needed to be taken, a little show of faith, like when Nachshon ben Aminadav walked into the sea before it split.