MANY Jerusalem residents believe not only that the Messiah will return, but that his arrival is imminent – so imminent they have taken legal precautions to ensure they can return to Jerusalem immediately upon his return.
Many Jerusalem rental contracts now include the unusual stipulation that if and when the Messiah arrives, tenants must move out so the landlord can move in and enjoy the ensuing paradise.
In apartment contracts around the city, there are clauses stipulating what will happen to the apartment if or when the Jewish Messiah, or mashiach, comes. The owners, generally religious Jews living abroad, are concerned that he will arrive, build a third temple, and turn Israel into paradise – and they will be stuck waiting for their apartment tenants’ contracts to run out before they can move back.
It is prophesied in the Jewish scriptures that there will be no more war, murder, or theft, the Jerusalem Temple will be rebuilt (all that remains today is the Western Wall), and all the Jews will return to the land of Israel upon his arrival. This period is known as Olam Haba, or the World to Come.
Because rental contracts are handled privately, rather than by the municipality, there is no count of how many leases in Jerusalem contain such a clause. But although not standard, the Messiah clause is requested enough that every Jerusalem property manager and real estate lawyer contacted by The Christian Science Monitor had heard of it, and all except one had dealt with it firsthand.