המשורר שאול טשרניחובסקי הפך את אתונו הלבנה של המשיח לגיבורת שירו "שָׁלֹשׁ אֲתוֹנוֹת", שם היא מוצגת מול האתון החומה (המסמנת את הנצרות) והאתון השחורה (המסמנת את האסלאם).
בשנת 1998 פורסם על ידי העיתונאי ספי רכלבסקי ספר בשם "חמורו של משיח", אשר גורס לטענתו כי במשנתו של הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק והשקפת תלמידיו, מייצגים החילונים, את עולם החומר. כאשר הם מכשיר בידי האל והם נועדו להקים את המדינה היהודית ולהניע את תהליך הגאולה, אך לאחר שהמדינה תוקם, יידרשו החילונים לפנות את מקומם לציבור הדתי אשר מיועד להנהיג את המדינה. לפי אנלוגיה זו, החילונים הם "החמור" בעוד הציבור הדתי אשר נועד לתפוס את מקומו הם מעין "משיח" קולקטיבי. הספר עורר מחלוקת בקרב הציבור הישראלי ובעקבות כך החל הביטוי לשמש לעיתים כמייצג דוקטרינה בשיח הפוליטי-דתי. הצגת השקפת הראי"ה בצורה זו אינה מקובלת בקרב מרבית תלמידיו.
In Israel, the phrase "the Messiah's Donkey" can also refer to the controversial political-religious doctrine ascribed to the teachings of Avraham Yitzhak Kook which claims that secular Jews, which represent the material world, are an instrument in the hands of God whose purpose it was to establish the State of Israel and begin the process of redemption, but upon its establishment they would be required to step aside and allow the Religious-Haredi public to govern the state. According to this analogy, the secular Jewish public are the "donkey", while the Religious-Haredi public who would take their place represent a collective quasi-Messianic body. A book called The Messiah's Donkey, which focuses on this issue, was published in 1998 by Seffi Rachlevsky and caused widespread controversy among the Jewish-Israeli public; according to Hassidic teaching the donkey is a symbol of the fact that the Messiah and Messianic age will not oppose the material world, but rather harness it for sacred purposes. Thus, the act of riding upon the donkey is a symbol of the sovereignty of the Messiah over the material world (represented by the donkey).
See also: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-01-19/ty-article-magazine/.highlight/jewish-law-above-all-recordings-reveal-far-right-mks-plan-to-turn-israel-into-theocracy/00000185-cae1-da66-a1bf-fbfb32560000
Rav Yosef, who said that he penetrated the meaning of the verse in Zechariah only through its Aramaic translation, willingly accepted upon himself to witness the “birthpangs of Messiah.” When other sages said, “Let him (Messiah) come, and may I not see him,” it was Rav Yosef who said, “Let him come, and may I merit to sit in the shadow of the dung of his donkey!”...
“The shadow of the dung of his donkey.” The word hamorei (his donkey) by a double entendre, refers to the material (homer). Customarily, devotion to the material affairs of the nation clouds spiritual ascent. Even so, if this movement would not be so audacious as to spread in a way unbecoming Israel, it would be easy to accept. Were it not for its extremism, the movement would not find oppressive the spirit of the Torah, and it would not attack the foundation of Torah, which is tantamount to “blinding the eye of the world.”4 But the “dung," the gross tendencies that are loathsome to all peoples, produce a shadow that dims the pure intellectual lights deriving from Torah.
Nonetheless, Rav Yosef was confident that eventually all these negative manifestations would surrender to the light of Torah and the knowledge of God. Rav Yosef will sit in the shadow of the dung of Messiah’s donkey. In the very midst of the darkness, of the shadow, “rendering like night in the midst of the noonday,” Rav Yosef will light the candle of the commandment and the light of Torah, and a little light dispels much darkness. The evil will be transformed into good, the curse into blessing.
This is the import of the cryptic passage in the Zohar:
The head of the academy in the palace of Messiah said, “Whoever does not transform darkness to light and bitterness to sweetness, may not enter here.”49
The prerequisite for the generation of Messiah is the ability to utilize all forces, even the most coarse, for the sake of good and the singular sanctity with which Israel were crowned.
(Ma’amarei RAYaH I [Jerusalem 5740/1980] pp. 94-99) see
One cannot altogether dismiss the success of the Zionists. Though this is pervaded by many deficiencies, there must also be here a spirit of the Divine, to build souls for the Holy Land. Through all does the Holy One, praised be He, accomplish his mission. Who can discern the mysterious working of God, to fathom why there should be among those who serve this caused people who are so thoroughly tainted by heresy?
Igeret, letter #473
The souls inspired by a destructive zeal reveal themselves especially at the end of days, before the great cataclysm that precedes the emergence of a new and more wondrous level of existence, when the old boundaries expand, just prior to the birth of a norm above the existing norms. In times of redemption insolence is on the increase. A fierce storm rages, more breaches appear, acts of insolence mount continually because they can find no satisfaction in the beneficence offered by the limited light. It does not satisfy all their yearnings, nor does it unravel for them the mystery of existence. They rebel against everything, including also the dimension of the good that could lead them to a great peace and help them rise to great heights. They rebel and they are indignant, they break and they discard; they seek their nourishment in alien pastures, embracing alien ideals and desecrating everything hallowed, but without finding peace....
Truly heroic spirits know that this force is one of the phenomena needed for the perfection of the world, for strengthening the power of the nation, of man and of the world. Initially this force represents the realm of the chaotic, but in the end it will be taken from the wicked and turned over to the hands of the righteous who will show the truth about perfection and construction, in a great resoluteness, inspired by clear perception and a steady and undimmed sense of the practical.
See Souls of Chaos here