In this paper I would like to explore some of the experiences, in this world, which relate to the Olam HaBa, the World-To-Come.

 

How can we “taste”, or experience, the following five things in this world: Gehenom, manna, Olam HaBa, death, and prophesy? Our Sages tell us that we can experience 1/60th of these things, in this world. They tell us the following:

 

Fire is a sixtieth of Gehenom[1];

Honey, of the Manna;

Shabbat, of Olam HaBa;

Sleep, of death;

A dream, of prophesy.

 

The proportion between perfect and imperfect versions of the same entity is embodied in the number sixty. “Sleep is one sixtieth of death.” “Dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy.” “Honey is one sixtieth of manna.[2]” “Shabbat is one sixtieth of the Olam HaBa.” These are but a few of the “sixties” which allude to completion and perfection.

 

The Midrash speaks of these as ‘incomplete’:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XVII:5 R. Hanina [or, Hinena] b. Isaac said: There are three incomplete phenomena: the incomplete experience of death is sleep; an incomplete form of prophecy is the dream; the incomplete form of the next world is the Sabbath. R. Abin added another two: the incomplete form of the heavenly light is the orb of the sun; the incomplete form of the heavenly wisdom is the Torah.

 

Shabbat is described as “meeyn olam haba - a small degree of the experience of the next world.

 

There is an idea that all spiritual realities have at least one tangible counterpart in the physical world so that we can experience them.

 

It would be too difficult to relate to these abstract, spiritual things, if we could never have any direct experience of it. So, sleep is a sixtieth of the death experience; a dream is a sixtieth of prophecy. Shabbat is a sixtieth of the experience of the next world. We have these experiences in order that we should understand those things that HaShem has promised.

 

Why specifically a sixtieth? What is unique about the proportion of one in sixty? One who has sensitive ear will hear something very beautiful here. One in sixty is that proportion which is on the borderline of perception: in the laws of kashrut (permitted and forbidden foods) there is a general rule that forbidden mixtures of foods are in fact forbidden only if the admixture of the prohibited component comprises more than one part in sixty. If a drop of milk accidentally spills into a meat dish that dish would not be forbidden if less than one part in sixty were milk, the milk cannot be tasted in such dilution. The halachic borderline is set at that point where taste can be discerned.

 

The beautiful hint here is that Shabbat is one sixtieth of the intensity of Olam HaBa, it is on the borderline of taste: if one lives Shabbat correctly, one tastes the next world. If not, one will not taste it at all.

 

Gan Eden

 

Ta’anith 10a  The world is one sixtieth of the Garden, the Garden one sixtieth of Eden.

 

The place of spiritual reward for the righteous is often referred to in Hebrew as Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden). Specific descriptions of it vary widely from one source to another. One source says that the peace that one feels when one experiences Shabbat properly is merely one-sixtieth of the pleasure of the Olam HaBa. Other sources compare the bliss of the Olam HaBa to the sharp sense of arrival of sex or the warmth of a sunny day.

 

The joy of the Olam HaBa is the joy of having intensely “arrived”. This is why it is likened to the ecstasy of love, the first hour of a long awaited vacation, or the rest of Shabbat. It is the same kind of joy we experience when we play games or engage in idle conversation. It is the sense of arrival with no requirement to go anywhere. Both of these activities distract us from what we are supposed to be doing in this world, working, in order that we should “arrive” in the Olam HaBa.

 

Sleep is one sixtieth of death.

 

Rashba contends that when one sleeps, one is effectively re-created (the Gemara[3] notes that sleep is considered to be one-sixtieth of death), and thus we wash so as to purify and sanctify our “new” selves:

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 10b At the beginning of the day, when a man rises in the morning, it is his duty to bless his Master as soon as he opens his eyes. The pious men of old used to have by them a cup of water, and when they awoke in the night they washed their hands and rose and occupied themselves in the study of the Torah, having first pronounced the appropriate blessing.

 

Sleep, like death, reflects a withdrawal of life-energy from the body.

 

To explain this further, when we sleep, we are in one-sixtieth of death. Our neshama, our souls, go up to Heaven, where we give an accounting of the day. Of course, we are not aware of this. But as we leave our bodies, an evil spirit comes to rest within our bodies. If HaShem decides to return our souls to us in the morning, and consciousness takes over as we open our eyes, the evil spirit departs from us, but not fully; there is a trace of it that stays on our fingers and toes (this is why we have “dead” nails which represent physically the passing of these dead forces). In order to remove it entirely, we must do a ritual hand-washing after Modeh Ani, which is called “Neggle Vasser”, literally, nail water.

 

In order to remove this dangerous spiritual presence, our holy Hakhamim ordained for us the morning ritual washing of hands. This then is the procedure:


One should have a special laver just for this purpose of the morning hand washing. The laver should be filled with water and then picked up with the right hand. Your right hand passes the full cup of water to your left hand. Then you pour the water over your right hand. You then pass the cup to the right hand and pour the water over the left hand.


This procedure is to be repeated until both right and left hands have been washed in this manner three times.

 

Death requires the ashes of the red heifer and mikveh on the 3rd and 7th day, according to the Torah:

 

Bamidbar (Numbers) 19:9-12 And a man [that is] clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay [them] up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it [is] a purification for sin. And he that gathered the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever. He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.

 

This washing for death, and by intimation for sleep, is also found in:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Mashiach shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

Here we see both heaven and clouds. Heaven is called shamayim in Hebrew. Shamayim is made up of two words:

 

Aish = fire

Mayim = water

 

Passing through the seven heavens is the reality typified by the ashes of the red heifer (red = fire, ashes = the result of fire) which are mixed with water (Mayim) and sprinkled on those who have come in contact with the dead or with a grave. So passing through the seven heavens is the same as being sprinkled by the ashes of the red heifer.

 

Further, the cloud that the righteous are “in” is clearly an allusion to the mikveh (ritual immersion - baptism):

 

I Corinthians 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

 

After the sprinkling with the ashes of the red heifer, the one who came in contact with the dead must be immersed in the mikveh.

 

So, those who have died, according to I Thessalonians 4:16-17, are given the same treatment by HaShem as the Torah required of all who came in contact with the dead.

 

Our Sages[4] have said that sleep is 1/60th of death. Hakham Shaul also put sleep and death together:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Yeshua will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

 

It stands to reason that there must, therefore, be a cleansing for those who sleep.

 

Sleep requires hand washing on each of the seven days, of the week, and Shabbat (the seventh day) is the mikveh for our feet. The mikveh, washing, and Shabbat are our earnest money of the clouds of glory!

 

We should view every night as though we had died and every morning as though we had been resurrected. We must live one day at a time.

 

So, after resurrection we will pass through the cloud which is the mikveh and the shamayim which is the ashes of the red heifer the fire and the water.

 

The loss of consciousness during sleep is “a kind of” dying, which could deepen into complete death, G-d forbid!

 

If we really believe that we are dying each night when we sleep, and resurrecting each morning when we awaken, then there will be great kavanah (intensity of feeling) in our prayers as we express our gratefulness to HaShem. When we awaken from sleep it must be 1/60th of a resurrection.

 

The last words of Mashiach were:

 

Luqas 23:46 And when Yeshua had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

 

The last words of the last prayer (Adon Olam) we pray before we go to sleep, concludes with these words:

 

“… Into His hand I shall entrust my spirit when I go to sleep – and I shall awaken! With my spirit shall my body remain, HaShem is with me, I shall not fear.”

 

A dream is one sixtieth of prophecy.

 

The Midrash[5] tells us that prior to the erection of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle in the wilderness); prophecy existed among all the nations of the world. Once the Tabernacle was built, prophecy was, with rare exception, found only among the Jews. The Talmud[6] relates that from the time of the destruction of the Temple, prophecy was removed from the domain of prophets but was not removed from the domain of the Sages. The Talmud goes on to say that when prophecy was taken from the prophets it was given to children and fools:

 

Baba Bathra 12b  R. Johanan said: Since the Temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken from prophets and given to fools and children. How given to fools? — The case of Mar son of R. Ashi will illustrate. He was one day standing in the manor of Mahuza when he heard a certain lunatic exclaim: The man who is to be elected head of the Academy in Matha Mehasia signs his name Tabiumi. He said to himself: Who among the Rabbis signs his name Tabiumi? I do. This seems to show that my lucky time has come. So he quickly went to Matha Mehasia. When he arrived, he found that the Rabbis had voted to appoint R. Aha of Difti as their head. When they heard of his arrival, they sent a couple of Rabbis to him to consult him. He detained them with him, and they sent another couple of Rabbis. He detained these also, [and so it went on] until the number reached ten. When ten were assembled, he began to discourse and expound the Oral Law and the Scriptures, [having waited so long] because a public discourse [on them] should not be commenced if the audience is less than ten. R. Aha applied to himself the saying: If a man is in disfavour [with Heaven] he does not readily come into favour, and if a man is in favour he does not readily fall into disfavour.

 

Commenting upon this, the Zohar states that there are times when prophecy occurs in the mouths of children, they prophecy more than an adult prophet:

 

Soncino Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 170a in order that while they fight, Israel may have a period of repose.’ And the young boy remarked: ‘This conflict has already begun, and much blood is being shed in the world.’ Said R. Hiya: ‘How does this young boy know this?’ R. Simeon replied: ‘Prophecy at times is lodged in the mouths of children, so that they prophesy even more than the prophets of old.’ And the boy said: ‘Why do you marvel that children have the spirit of prophecy, seeing that this is clearly foreshadowed in the Scriptures? It is written: “And all thy children shall be taught by the Lord.” And, truly, when they are taught by the Lord they prophesy. Of all peoples it is only Israel of whose children it says that they shall be taught by the Lord, therefore out of them prophecy comes forth.’ Hearing this, R. Simeon came up to the boy and kissed him, saying: ‘I have never heard this idea till now.’

 

This is borne out by the fact that at pivotal moments in many Talmudic accounts, a child would be asked to recite passages he had recently learned. These passages would have prophetic bearing on the situation at hand.

 

The Zohar,[7] in a general overview of the subject, explains: “In earlier times prophecy existed among mankind, which was spiritually aware and focused in order to understand the Upper Glory. Once prophecy ceased to exist, mankind employed the heavenly voice (bat kol). Now that both prophecy and heavenly voice have ceased to exist, mankind employs only dreams. The dream is a lower level, being one-sixtieth of prophecy.”

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 238a R. Jose discoursed on the verse: “And on the vine were three branches, and it was as though it budded and its blossoms shot forth.” ‘How little’, he said, ‘do men care for the glory of their Master or pay heed to the words of the Torah! At first prophecy was vouchsafed to men, and through it they knew the glory of God. When prophecy ceased, they had a bath-kol,[tr.note: t Lit. “daughter of a voice”. According to the Rabbis, on certain occasions during the period of the Second Temple, a voice issued from heaven to give the Jewish people guidance or warning; and this was called by them bath-kol.] but now they have nothing but dreams. Dream is a lower grade, being one-sixtieth of prophecy, and it is vouchsafed to everyone, since it comes from the left side. It comes down in various grades, and is shown even to sinners and even to Gentiles. Sometimes the dream is carried by evil demons who make mock of men and show them false things; and sometimes it is sent to sinners and tells them things of importance. Now this sinner, Pharaoh’s butler, saw a true dream. The vine represented the Community of Israel, which was called by the psalmist “this vine” (Ps. LXXX, 15). The three branches have the same reference as the three flocks of sheep which Jacob saw by the well. (Gen XXIX, 2). Its blossoming typifies the time of Solomon, when the moon was illumined. The buds represent the lower Jerusalem, or, according to another explanation, the grade which is over it and gives sustenance to it.

 

Having said that prophecy ceased to exist in Talmudic times we can look further down the line to the time of Maimonides (12th century) and see a seeming contradiction to this. Says Maimonides:

 

One of the basic foundations of religion is that the Almighty empowers man with the prophetic vision. However, the spirit of prophecy rests only upon the wise man who is distinguished by great wisdom and strong moral character, whose passions never overcome him in anything whatsoever, rather, he is mentally in control over his passions always, and he possesses a broad and sedate mind. When an individual, filled with these characteristics and physically sound, enters the Spiritual Paradise and is continuously immersed in these great and abstruse themes, having the right mind capable of comprehending and grasping them; making himself holy, withdrawing from the ways of the ordinary masses who walk in the obscurities of the times, constantly energizing himself to train his soul not to have any thought at all of the wasteful endeavors and vanities of the age and its intrigues, but his mind is rather always cleared of the extraneous in order to be focused on higher things as though bound beneath the Celestial Throne in order to comprehend the pure and holy forms of the spiritual beings, gazing and contemplating upon the totality of the wisdom of The Holy One Blessed Be He as displayed by His creatures, from the first form to the very center of the Earth, learning from them His greatness, upon such an individual will the Holy Spirit immediately descend.

 

And when the Holy Spirit rests upon him his soul will mingle with the exalted angels called Ishim and he will become a different person and he will realize that he is not the same as he was, rather he has been exalted above other wise men, as it is written concerning Saul:

 

I Shmuel (Samuel) 10:6 And you shall prophecy with them, and you shall be turned into another man.[8]

 

Maimonides further states[9]: 

 

“As you are aware, our Rabbis state that a dream is one sixtieth of prophecy; and you know, that it is inappropriate to make comparisons between two unrelated concepts or things...and they repeated this idea in Midrash Bereshit Rabbah and said, ‘the buds of prophecy are dreams’.  This is indeed a wonderful metaphor, for just as a bud is the actual fruit itself that has not yet developed fully; similarly, the power of the imagination at the time of sleep is exactly that which operates at the time of prophecy, in an incomplete and unperfected state.”

 

It is clear from Maimonides that man is capable of prophecy today.

 

I believe that we can resolve this difficulty. What the Talmud and Zohar meant by the fact that prophecy ceased was that it was a two-stage cessation from the general masses, but not from worthy individuals. The first stage of the cessation was a cessation of prophecy coming “out of the blue” to members of the general masses. This was accompanied by a relegation of prophecy to children and fools. Then, even this type of prophecy ceased. But, prophecy never ceased from worthy individuals who could attain it (albeit, not easily) in the way described by Maimonides. That type of prophecy, I believe, did exist in the days of the second Temple with His Majesty King Yeshua and Yochanan the Baptist, and it could exist among worthy individuals today.

 

* * *

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 183a the Shechinah also went into exile. It is true that the exile was really the consequence of a divine decree; yet the proximate cause was the coat of many colours which he made for him specially. AND JOSEPH DREAMED A DREAM, ETC. On the subject of dreams, R. Hiya discoursed on the text: And he said: Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord do make myself known unto him in a vision, I do speak with him in a dream (Num. XII, 6). ‘God’, he said, ‘has brought into existence a series of grades, one higher than the other, one drawing sustenance from the other, some on the right, others on the left, all arranged in a perfect hierarchy. Now all the prophets drew their inspiration from one side, from the midst of two certain grades which they beheld in a “dull mirror”, as it says: “I do make myself known unto him in a vision”, the word “vision” denoting, as has been explained, a medium reflecting a variety of colours; and this is the “dull mirror”. The dream, on the other hand, is a sixtieth part of prophecy, and so forms the sixth grade removed from prophecy, which is the grade of Gabriel, the supervisor of dreams. Now a normal dream proceeds from that grade, and hence there is not a dream that has not intermingled with it some spurious matter, so that it is a mixture of truth and falsehood. Hence it is that all dreams follow their interpretation, as it is written: “And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was” (Gen. XLI, 13); for since the dream contains both falsehood and truth, the word has power over it, and therefore it is advisable that every dream should be interpreted in a good sense.’

* * *

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 238a R. Jose discoursed on the verse: “And on the vine were three branches, and it was as though it budded and its blossoms shot forth.” ‘How little’, he said, ‘do men care for the glory of their Master or pay heed to the words of the Torah! At first prophecy was vouchsafed to men, and through it they knew the glory of God. When prophecy ceased, they had a bath-kol,[tr.note: t Lit. “daughter of a voice”. According to the Rabbis, on certain occasions during the period of the Second Temple, a voice issued from heaven to give the Jewish people guidance or warning; and this was called by them bath-kol.] but now they have nothing but dreams. Dream is a lower grade, being one-sixtieth of prophecy, and it is vouchsafed to everyone, since it comes from the left side. It comes down in various grades, and is shown even to sinners and even to Gentiles. Sometimes the dream is carried by evil demons who make mock of men and show them false things; and sometimes it is sent to sinners and tells them things of importance. Now this sinner, Pharaoh’s butler, saw a true dream. The vine represented the Community of Israel, which was called by the psalmist “this vine” (Ps. LXXX, 15). The three branches have the same reference as the three flocks of sheep which Jacob saw by the well. (Gen XXIX, 2). Its blossoming typifies the time of Solomon, when the moon was illumined. The buds represent the lower Jerusalem, or, according to another explanation, the grade which is over it and gives sustenance to it.

 

* * *

 

Parsha Vayeitzei begins with a dream and ends with one. It starts with Jacob’s famous dream, at Beit El, in which he sees a ladder reaching from earth to heaven and the angels going up and down. Toward the end of the parsha, Lavan, who was pursuing Jacob and his family, has a dream in which HaShem warns him not to harm Jacob.

 

According to the Talmud,[10] dreams may contain a vision of things to come (“one sixtieth of prophecy”). They also include “words of nonsense.” The Talmud states that most dreams originate from a person’s thoughts during the day.

 

In Talmudic time it was customary to fast the day after one had a bad dream. According to the Talmud, one was even allowed to fast on Shabbat to atone for a bad dream which one had Friday night. The Talmud further states that the dream’s interpretation helps determine the outcome of the dream. Therefore, says the Talmud, when one has a disturbing dream, three friends should declare to him, “You have seen a good dream, it is good and may it become good and may the Merciful One transform it to the good...”

 

Someone who had a bad dream can recite a special prayer called “Hatavat Chalom” (amelioration of a dream), which is said in the presence of three people. On the festivals, the Kohanim (priests) bless the people. During their blessing, the congregation says a special prayer concerning dreams; “Master of the Universe, I am Yours and my dreams are Yours. I have dreamed a dream but I do not know what it indicates. May it be your will, my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, that all my dreams about myself and about all of Israel be good ones, those I have dreamed about myself, those I have dreamed about others and those which others dreamed about me. If they are good, strengthen them and fortify them... But if they require healing, heal them... And just as you transformed the curse of the wicked Bilaam from a curse to a blessing, so may you transform all of my dreams.. for goodness...”

 

The reason that we recite this prayer at the time of the blessings of the Kohanim is as follows. In:

 

Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) 3:7-8 “The bed of Shlomo [King Solomon] had sixty mighty ones surrounding it, of the mighty ones of Israel. All holding on to the sword, learned in warfare, each with his sword on his thigh from [King Solomon’s] fear in the nights”.

 

The Midrash explains that the “sixty mighty ones” refers to the sixty letters of the Birchat Kohanim - “Priestly blessing” The priestly blessings gave King Solomon peace of mind from his bad dreams at night. Therefore, at the time of the priestly blessing, we too pray that bad dreams should be turned into good ones.

 

The Talmud tells the following story. A woman once came to Rabbi Eliezer to interpret her dream. “In my dream I saw that the ceiling of my house caved in, “ she told Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Eliezer said to her, “You will give birth to a boy.” Indeed, Rabbi Eliezer’s interpretation came true. A while later, the woman again came to Rabbi Eliezer to interpret her dream. This time however, Rabbi Eliezer was not there. Instead, she told Rabbi Eliezer’s students her dream, “I again dreamed that the ceiling of my house caved in.” The students said to her, “Your dream means that your husband will die and be buried!”

 

When Rabbi Eliezer returned, the students told him about the dream and their interpretation of it. Rabbi Eliezer angrily told his students, “You made her lose her husband! For the outcome of the dream depends on its interpretation!”

 

Shabbat is one sixtieth of the pleasure of the

Olam HaBa.[11]

 

“It is good to thank G-d” -- you better believe it! As Adam and mankind have learned the hard way:

 

Because Adam blamed Chava for breaking the command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and, in the process, denied the good that HaShem had done for him, the decree of expulsion resulted. Expulsion from Gan Eden was the first ever exile of mankind, and the “root” of all exiles and oppression to follow, especially for the Jewish people. Therefore showing HaShem gratitude is a crucial key to ending this exile.

 

This is why Shabbat is likened to one-sixtieth of the Olam HaBa, a time when we shall be able to fully appreciate HaShem’s gift of life to us. On Shabbat, by abstaining from certain “creative activities”, we are compelled to sit back and look at all that HaShem does to keep us going, and if we don’t do that, then we deny both the opportunity of Shabbat and HaShem’s good, just as Adam did.

 

Hence, the Sages are telling us that, as much as Shabbat is like the Olam HaBa (and it is), still, the experience is so minimal that it is as if it is not there at all? In other words, even if Shabbat is the most wonderful experience, still, the Olam HaBa will become infinitely better.

 

Visiting a sick person takes away

one-sixtieth of his suffering.[12]

 

It says in the Tractate Berachot in the Ninth Chapter, One who visits the sick takes away one sixtieth of his sickness from him. The Vilna Gaon shows through Gematria (numerical equivalence), how we can find that principle in practice. When Joseph is told that his father Jacob is sick, it says “Behold your father is sick”.[13] The word for behold in Hebrew is Henei, formed by the letters: Hay, Nun, and Hay. This, in Gematria, is valued at sixty. In the next sentence, when Jacob heard that his son Joseph had come to visit him, it says, “And Yisrael (Jacob’s other name) strengthened and sat on the bed.” The word for on the bed, in Hebrew, is Hamitah: Hay, Mem, Tet, Hay. This, in Gematria, has the value of 59. This, according to the Vilna Gaon, shows the principle from the Gemara. If someone goes to visit the sick, they will help relieve one sixtieth of his sickness.

 

Bikkurim is One Sixtieth of the crop

 

The Sages advised farmers to give one-sixtieth of their crops as Bikkurim,[14] farmers gave according to their means.

 

The Mishna specifies that while there is no upward limit to the mitzva of pe’ah (the unharvested edge), there is a floor: no less than one-sixtieth of the crop may be given.[15]

 

* * *

 

Although, as the Mishna tells us, the Torah does not specify a value for the mitzva of Bikkurim, the Rabbanan instituted a statutory minimum: one sixtieth of one’s entire crop of any of the seven species.[16] Rashi explains that the Mishna does not list Terumah as a mitzva for which no value was mentioned in the Torah since its value is hinted at in the Torah. This implies that no such hint in the words of the Torah can be found for the value of Bikkurim.

 

* * *

 

The fourth day of creation produced the sun, the moon, and the stars. These heavenly spheres were not actually fashioned on this day; they were created on the first day, and merely were assigned their places in the heavens on the fourth. At first the sun and the moon enjoyed equal powers and prerogatives.

 

The moon spoke to God, and said: “O Lord, why didst Thou create the world with the letter Bet?”

 

God replied: “That it might be made known unto My creatures that there are two worlds.”

 

The moon: “O Lord: which of the two worlds is the larger, this world or the world to come?”

 

God: “The world to come is the larger.”

 

The moon: “O Lord, Thou didst create two worlds, a greater and a lesser world; Thou didst create the heaven and the earth, the heaven exceeding the earth; Thou didst create fire and water, the water stronger than the fire, because it can quench the fire; and now Thou hast created the sun and the moon, and it is becoming that one of them should be greater than the other.”

 

Then spake God to the moon: “I know well, thou wouldst have me make Thee greater than the sun. As a punishment I decree that thou mayest keep but one-sixtieth of thy light.”

 

The moon made supplication: “Shall I be punished so severely for having spoken a single word?”

 

God relented: “In the future world I will restore thy light, so that thy light may again be as the light of the sun.”

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 

 

 



[1] Berachot 57b

[2] Rashi Commentary for: Shemot (Exod.) 16:35 forty years Now were not thirty days missing? The manna first fell on the fifteenth of Iyar, and on the fifteenth of Nissan it stopped, as it is said: “And the manna ceased on the morrow” (Josh. 5:12). Rather [this] tells [us] that in the cakes the Israelites took out of Egypt they tasted the flavor of manna.-[from Kid. 38a]. Author’s comments:  This suggests that the matza that they ate for the first thirty days also had the same qualities as the manna.

[3] Berachot 57b

[4] Berachot 57b

[5] Vayikra Rabbah

[6] Baba Bathra 12a

[7] Vayechi 238a

[8] Maimonides (Rambam): Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 7

[9] Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed 2:36

[10] Berachot 57b

[11] Shabbat 57b

[12] Nedarim 39b

[13] Bereshit (Genesis) 48:1

[14] Bikkurim = ‘first fruits’.

[15] Peah 1:1-2

[16] Yerushalmi Bikkurim 3:1; Rambam Bikkurim 2:17