gee-LEE m’-OD bat tzi-YON ha-REE-ee BAT y’-ru-sha-LA-im hi-NAY mal-KAYCH ya-VO LAKH tza-DIK v’-no-SHA HU a-NEE v’-ro-KHAYV al kha-MOR v’-al A-yir ben a-to-NOT
9:9 Yet humble, riding on an ass
Zecharya describes the arrival in Yerushalayim of Israel’s king Mashiach, to the cheers of the people after having defeated Israel’s enemies. Though returning in miraculous victory, the Messiah will not enter the gates of Jerusalem on a glorious military steed. Instead, the Mashiach will ride on a humble donkey. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, explains that a ‘donkey’ in Hebrew is chamor (חמור) which is similar to chomer (חומר) which means ‘materialism.’ This verse teaches that the Mashiach, who represents spirituality, will ride upon the donkey of materialism, for he will usher in a world where these two contrasting values will be fused together in the service of Hashem.