Schneersohn, Menachem Mendel (1904–1994).
The latest messianic figure in Judaism. Rebbe Schneersohn lead the Lubavitch movement (HaBaD) in America for decades following World War II and oversaw its impressive growth in ranks and Jewish outreach activity. In the early 1990s, there was intense speculation in the Lubavitch community about the messianic status of the Rebbe, which Schneersohn himself did nothing to quiet. When he died, the Lubavitch movement was split between those who maintain that he was/is the messiah and those who do not. Schneersohn, having no sons, left the Lubavitch community without an heir apparent. Shimon son of Yochai, Rabbi (c. 2nd century C.E.) was one of the leading students of Rabbi Akiva. After Akiva’s death, he fled to Babylonia. He is the reputed author of the Zohar, the major text of medieval Kabbalah. His yahrtzeit (“anniversary of death”) is celebrated on LaG b’Omer by thousands making pilgrimage to his reputed gravesite on Mount Meron in northern Israel.
Courtesy: Professor Shai Cherry