Expecting The Messiah

An ultra-Orthodox sect says the Redeemer is due to arrive any day now -- and he might be an American

Israeli Jews like to tell an old fable of a Russian Jew who goes to his rabbi in search of a job. The rabbi instructs the man to stand at the village gate each morning and wait there to greet the Messiah when he comes. For this, the rabbi offers the man a ruble a month. "The pay is so low," the man complains. "Yes," says the rabbi, "but the job security is excellent."

That mythological gatekeeper would be scanning the want ads today, according to a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Israeli members of the large and powerful Hasidic movement Habad...