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"The Midrash of the Messiah"
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МИ РАШ О МЕССИИ (in Russian)
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The dilemma of Midrashic studies.

The first Midrash essay in Israel was done by Myron Bialik Lerner in 1971. In his study about Midrash Ruth he "made an attempt to save one of the principal Midrashim of the Bible". Sten Hidal from Lund challenged the writer with his statement that this Midrash would not be an exception in the Jewish literature, "and where lies its speciality if it has any". The leading authority in Midrashic studies, Jacob Neusner answers to this problem. He gives his characterization of Midrash Ruth: "Our document has only one message, which is expressed in a variety of components but single and cogent - the Messiah out of Moab." "This is the message of the document, and I think, seen as a whole, the principal message, to which all the other messages prove peripheral."

Our author Risto Santala found Midrash Ruth while preparing his two main Hebrew books about the Messiah in the Old and New Testaments in the Light of Rabbinical Writings. Midrash Ruth reveals an eternal perspective on the Messianic banquet similar to the Holy Communion in the New Testament. The concepts as "to eat in this world, and in the Messianic age, and in the World to Come", "the bread of the kingdom", the Messiah, who "was wounded for our transgressions", the Messiah who will "rain down manna" upon his people, the discussion concerning Elijah recording
our good deeds and "the Messiah and the Holy One subscribing and sealing them" provided imposing spectacles for studying other Rabbinical writings. According to Jewish scholars Midrashic studies must be based on the normative Rabbinical sources like the Talmud, the Zohar, Yalkutim, the Jewish prayer literature and Medieval Rashi commentaries. It requires the ability to use freely the above Hebrew sources.
The main dilemma in these studies derives from the difficulty entailed in gaining accessibility to these sources. Prof. Gottlieb Klein complained politely about the "prophet and universal genius" of this trend in research, A. Harnack, from whom he says he had learned the most, that he "was not able to move independently in the area of Rabbinic literature." Our study has corresponded to the aim of Midrash - which according to the definition of Renée Bloch seeks to reinterpret and actualize a given text of the past for present circumstances.