Techiyat HaMaitim - המתים תחיית

The Resurrection Of The Dead

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


Introduction. 1

An Example. 4

From the Torah. 5

Judging The Whole Man. 7

The Grave And The Womb. 8

Olam HaBa. 8

In The Beginning. 12

Az Yashir. 13

The Nature of Techiyat HaMaitim.. 15

When?. 18

Where?. 20

Who?. 21

How?. 23

The Dew (Tal) of Resurrection. 23

Why?. 25

The Resurrection of Mashiach. 26

From the Nazarean Codicil 26

Selected Essays. 27

 

Introduction

 

In this paper I would like to explore המתים תחיית, Techiyat HaMaitim, the resurrection of the dead, when the souls and their bodies will be reunited, and the implications of this event. Generally speaking, the entirety of existence is divided into three periods:

 

A. This era, our present reality (Olam Hazeh).

 

B. The Era of Mashiach (Yemot HaMashiach). The seventh millennium. This is the era when Techiyat HaMaitim will occur.

 

C. The World To Come (Olam HaBa).

 

We will be exploring the second era known as The Era of Mashiach, in this paper.

 

It is well known that bodies in the grave will decay and disintegrate. This is a painful, but necessary process. This disintegration enables the recreation of the body as something totally new. All of the old elements have decayed. Techiyat HaMaitim is when that which has disintegrated, lives again as something entirely new. This is the vindication of our emunah (usually mistranslated as ‘faith’), our faithful obedience, and proves that HaShem is the G-d of the living.

 

Passover must fall out in the spring, which the Gemara associates with emunah (Seder Zeraim), because planting demonstrates one’s emunah that it will come to fruition.

 

Emunah was the result of the Passover redemption in the days of Moshe, and it will be the result of the Passover redemption in the days of Mashiach and the Techiyat HaMaitim.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 14:30-31 On that day, G-d saved Israel from the hand of Egypt, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore ... and the people revered G-d, and they had faith in G-d and in Moshe, his servant.

 

Man was formed from the dust of the ground in order that he should learn that this is his end and his beginning. He was formed from dust so that he could understand how to build his emunah.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 And HaShem G-d formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

Avraham said that he was dust and ashes.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes…

 

Avraham was a man who could disintegrate himself and from the dust and ashes he could rebuild himself. Obviously he was not referring directly to his body, he was referring to his emunah. He could so nullify who he was that he could become something entirely new. He could recreate himself with a greater emunah and thus make himself into a new creation. This is the essence of Techiyat HaMaitim. Techiyat HaMaitim is where those who have learned emunah and learned how to build their emunah; these live again as a vindication of their emunah.

 

The great Maggid of Mezritch said:  Before Mashiach comes, the same scene that took place on Mt. Carmel (I Melachim [Kings] 18) will take place once again, with Eliyahu HaNavi and the Baal priests. Whereas eliyahu.jpg (203542 bytes)previously, the fire came down on Eliyahu’s altar, before Mashiach comes, the fire will come down on the altar of the false priests and not on Eliyahu’s altar. And whoever is not fazed by this and continues to believe in Eliyahu HaNavi, will merit to see the coming of Mashiach.

 

This is why Chazal, our Sages, teach that just before the coming of the Mashiach, and the beginning of Techiyat HaMaitim, there will be proof that the Torah path of the Jew is completely false and that the Goyim, Gentiles, were right. If the Jew has not learned emunah, faithfulness and faithful obedience, if he has not learned how to be loyal to that knowledge (daat), then he will be shown to be nothing. If, on the other hand, the Jew has emunah and is loyal to the pathway built on knowledge (daat), then the “proof” that he was completely wrong will become Techiyat HaMaitim, the world of emunah where he will find that this last ordeal has been overcome and he will be completely vindicated.

 

The original man was never intended to die; death was a novelty that arrived in the world not through creation but by the avenue of man’s sin. Man as he was originally created was a glorious creature, too close to spirituality to suffer death, which is primarily a physical experience.

 

What man was to be, is similar to what the earth (dust) was to be. The earth was supposed to reflect the goodness and life of HaShem. The earth was supposed to show the Oneness of HaShem to the extent that there would be nothing besides HaShem. He would be all that there is. To reflect this, the earth needed to reflect life led totally in obedience to HaShem. Every plant, animal, and deed must reflect HaShem. Everything must show HaShem and His Oneness. Anything that shows death or in anyway seems to show parts that are separate from Him, is contrary to what it was supposed to be.

 

Maimonides, in his commentary on the Mishna, compiles what he refers to as the Thirteen Articles of Jewish Faith. The Thirteen Articles of Jewish faith are as follows:

 

1 Belief in the existence of the Creator, be He Blessed, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.

2. The belief in G-d’s absolute and unparalleled unity.

3. The belief in G-d’s noncorporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.

4. The belief in G-d’s eternity.

5. The imperative to worship Him exclusively and no foreign false gods.

6. The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.

7. The belief that the prophecy of Moses our teacher has priority.

8. The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.

9. The belief in the immutability of the Torah.

10.The belief in divine omniscience and providence.

11. The belief in divine reward and retribution.

12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.

13. The belief in the resurrection of the dead.

 

In his Mishne Torah, Maimonides concludes that the one who denies the concept of the resurrection of the dead are among those who have forfeited their share in Olam HaBa.[1] The reason for making such a statement seems hard to grasp. The Talmud also forcefully declares the same message:

 

Sanhedrin 90a CHAPTER XI MISHNAH. ALL ISRAEL HAVE A PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THY PEOPLE ARE ALL RIGHTEOUS; THEY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND FOR EVER, THE BRANCH OF MY PLANTING, THE WORK OF MY HANDS, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED.’ BUT THE FOLLOWING HAVE NO PORTION THEREIN: HE WHO MAINTAINS THAT RESURRECTION IS NOT A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE[2], THE TORAH WAS NOT DIVINELY REVEALED, AND AN EPIKOROS[3].

 

GEMARA. And why such [severity]? — A Tanna taught: Since he denied the resurrection of the dead, therefore he shall not share in that resurrection, for in all the measures [of punishment or reward] taken by the Holy One, blessed be He, the Divine act befits the [human] deed[4].

 

What makes the belief in the resurrection of the dead, a cardinal principle of faith, so much so that if you deny Techiyat HaMaitim, the resurrection of the dead, then you have no share in the Olam HaBa, the world to come?

 

What is so incredibly important about the belief in the resurrection of the dead that our attachment to HaShem depends upon it?

 

Second, the very concept of the resurrection of the dead seems odd. Why is it necessary for a soul that has enjoyed time in Gan Eden for many years, to suddenly be torn from that wonderful place and re-enter a physical body and repeat living on earth? The answer is that Gan Eden is a reward only for the soul and the resurrection is the reward for the body and the soul. We shall look at this concept in greater depth in the section titled, “Judging The Whole Man”.

 

Maimonides tells us that we MUST believe in Techiyat HaMaitim in order that we understand that this resurrection is absolutely essential to our emunah, our faithful obedience to HaShem. In fact all these thirteen articles can be boiled down to emunah. When we don’t see an idyllic world full of life with everything and every action reflecting the will of the creator, then we might lose our emunah. This world and it’s present state is a test of our emunah. Techiyat HaMaitim comes to show us the world as it was supposed to be.

 

Lest we think that Techiyat HaMaitim will just be an idyllic world, let me hasten to suggest that what will live again is that which has already lived, not something entirely new.

 

Let me repeat myself: In Techiyat HaMaitim, that which has lived before will live again.

 

Every person, every thing, every action, every experience which did not reflect what it was supposed to be – that will live again and properly reflect what it was supposed to be. That which lived once incorrectly will live again correctly and thus reflect HaShem and His oneness. This is why belief in Techiyat HaMaitim, resurrection of the dead, is an article of faith such that one who denies it has no share in the Olam HaBa!

 

It is difficult to dispute the fact that the last 5700 years of history have been anything but Paradise. This has prompted many to ask over the millennia, “If HaShem is so perfect, why is His world not?” The answer is, the world IS perfect, that is, perfectly imperfect. We even bless God for this:

 

Blessed are You, Our HaShem, King of the World, Who creates many living things with their deficiencies . . .

 

This is an idea that is implicit in Brit Milah, which requires man to perfect himself spiritually by completing himself physically. Man was purposely and purposefully made incomplete, so that he would have a forum within which to exercise his free will and earn his portion in the Olam HaBa. HaShem made man, and the world within which he lives, but it is man himself who must bring both to fulfillment.

 

After man has earned his reward by perfecting himself and his part of the world, then HaShem will bring Techiyat HaMaitim in order that man should see that this imperfect world is perfect.

 

Lets conclude this section by looking at a couple of pasukim, verses, which forcefully declare the concept of Techiyat HaMaitim lest we fail to build emunah:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26:19 Your dead shall be revived, my corpses shall arise; awaken and sing you who dwell in the dust, for a dew of lights is your dew..

 

Daniel 12:2  Many of them that sleep in the land of dust shall awake..

 

An Example

 

Our Sages teach that every spiritual event has an example for us to study in the physical world. The resurrection from the dead is no exception to this rule. While we can obviously agree that most of us have never seen such an event, we can all agree that such events have been extremely rare even in the Tanakh. So, where do we see an example of the resurrection of the dead?

 

Indeed, the natural world itself demonstrates many parallels of life from lifelessness. Human life is produced from drops of liquid; plant life is rejuvenated every springtime; the planting of “dead” seeds produces abundant floral growth even after lying dormant for hundreds of years; a caterpillar is transformed into a majestic butterfly after “dying” in the cocoon. Only one who does not realize that this is all the Hand of HaShem and only sees “Mother Nature” would deny the eventual miraculous resurrection, miraculous only in the sense that such an event does not regularly occur, but not in the sense that many parallels do not already exist in nature.

 

In truth, this resurrection principle, which entails the return of the soul to the body after death, was already mentioned, in no uncertain terms, by Daniel:

 

Daniel 12:2,13 Thus, he says, `And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. ...’ And the Angel said to Daniel, `But you, go to the end of all flesh and rest; and stand in your lot at the end of the days.’

 

* * *

 

The Talmud teaches that “Even after death the righteous are called living. But the wicked, even during their life they are called dead.”

 

Berachot 18b ‘The son of a living man’: are all other people then the sons of dead men? Rather ‘the son of a living man’ means that even in his death he was called living. ‘From Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds’: this indicates that he gathered [kibbez] numerous workers for the Torah. ‘He smote two altar-hearths of Moab’; this indicates that he did not leave his like either in the first Temple or in the second Temple. ‘He went down and also slew a lion in the midst of a pit in the time of snow’: some say that this indicates that he broke blocks of ice and went down and bathed; others say that he went through the Sifra of the School of Rab on a winter’s day. ‘But the dead know nothing’: These are the wicked who in their lifetime are called dead, as it says. And thou, O wicked one, that art slain, the prince of Israel. Or if you prefer. I can derive it from here: At the mouth of two witnesses shall the dead be put to death. He is still alive! What it means is, he is already counted as dead.

 

From the Torah

 

The Talmud also seeks to see Techiyat HaMaitim in the Torah. The following Talmudic quotes will suffice to show where Chazal found Techiyat HaMaitim in the Torah:

 

Sanhedrin 90b How is resurrection derived from the Torah? — As it is written, And ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the priest[5]. But would Aaron live for ever; he did not even enter Palestine, that terumah should be given him? But it teaches that he would be resurrected, and Israel give him terumah

 

Sanhedrin 90b It has been taught: R. Simai said: Whence do we learn resurrection from the Torah? — From the verse, And I also have established my covenant with them, [sc. the Patriarchs] to give them the land of Canaan[6]: ‘[to give] you’ is not said, but ‘to give them’ [personally]; thus resurrection is proved from the Torah[7].

 

Sanhedrin 90b Sectarians [minim] asked Rabban Gamaliel: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead? He answered them from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, yet they did not accept it [as conclusive proof]. ‘From the Torah’: for it is written, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers and rise up [again][8]. ‘But perhaps,’ said they to him, ‘[the verse reads], and the people will rise up?’ ‘From the prophets’: as it is written, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out its dead[9]. But perhaps this refers to the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected[10]? ‘From the Hagiographa’: as it is written, And the roof of thy mouth, like the best wine of my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak[11]. But perhaps it means merely that their lips will move, even as R. Johanan said: If a halachah is said in any person’s name in this world, his lips speak in the grave, as it is written, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak? [Thus he did not satisfy them] until he quoted this verse, which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give to them;[12] not to you, but to them is said; hence resurrection is derived from the Torah. Others say that he proved it from this verse, But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your G-d are alive every one of you this day[13]; just as you are all alive to-day, so shall you all live again in the world to come.[14]

 

Sanhedrin 90b Queen Cleopatra asked R. Meir, ‘I know that the dead will revive, for it is written, And they [sc. the righteous] shall [in the distant future] blossom forth out of the city [Jerusalem] like the grass of the earth[15]. But when they arise, shall they arise nude or in their garments?’ — He replied, ‘Thou mayest deduce by an a fortiori argument [the answer] from a wheat grain: if a grain of wheat, which is buried naked, sprouteth forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their raiment!’

 

Pesachim 68a Our Rabbis taught: ‘I kill, and I make alive’: You might say, I kill one person and give life to another, as the world goes on.[16] Therefore it is stated, ‘I have wounded, and I heal’: just as the wounding and the healing [obviously] refer to the same person, so death and life refer to the same person. This refutes those who maintain that resurrection is not intimated in the Torah.[17] Another interpretation: At first what I slay I resurrect[18]; and then, what I wounded I will heal[19].

 

Chazal also taught that the eventual resurrection of the dead could be found in other sources:

 

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 2:6 HaShem killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

 

Sotah 5a R. Eleazar also said: Every man in whom is haughtiness of spirit is fit to be hewn down like an Asherah. It is written here, The high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and elsewhere it is written: And ye shall hew down their Asherim. Further said R. Eleazar, Every man in whom is haughtiness of spirit, his dust will not be disturbed [for the Resurrection]; as it is said: Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust[20] — it is not said ‘ye that lie in the dust’, but, ‘ye that dwell [shokne] in the dust’, i.e., each one who during his lifetime made himself a neighbour [shaken] to the dust [by his humility]. Further said R. Eleazar: Over every man in whom is haughtiness of spirit the Shechinah laments; as it is said: But the haughty he knoweth from afar.

 

Sanhedrin 90a MISHNAH. ALL ISRAEL28 HAVE A PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THY PEOPLE ARE ALL RIGHTEOUS; THEY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND FOR EVER, THE BRANCH OF MY PLANTING, THE WORK OF MY HANDS, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED.’ BUT THE FOLLOWING HAVE NO PORTION THEREIN: HE WHO MAINTAINS THAT RESURRECTION IS NOT A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE, THE TORAH WAS NOT DIVINELY REVEALED, AND AN EPIKOROS. R. AKIBA ADDED: ONE WHO READS UNCANONICAL BOOKS. ALSO ONE WHO WHISPERS [A CHARM] OVER A WOUND AND SAYS, I WILL BRING NONE OF THESE DISEASES UPON THEE WHICH I BROUGHT UPON THE EGYPTIANS: FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.’ ABBA SAUL SAYS: ALSO ONE WHO PRONOUNCES THE DIVINE NAME AS IT IS SPELT.

 

THREE KINGS AND FOUR COMMONERS HAVE NO PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME: THE THREE KINGS ARE JEROBOAM, AHAB, AND MANASSEH. R. JUDAH SAID: MANASSEH HATH A PORTION THEREIN, FOR IT IS WRITTEN, ‘AND HE PRAYED UNTO HIM, AND WAS INTREATED OF HIM, AND HE HEARKENED TO HIS SUPPLICATION AND THEY RESTORED HIM TO JERUSALEM, TO HIS KINGDOM. THEY [THE SAGES] ANSWERED HIM: THEY RESTORED HIM TO HIS KINGDOM, BUT NOT TO [HIS PORTION IN] THE WORLD TO COME. FOUR COMMONERS, VIZ., BALAAM, DOEG, AHITOPHEL, AND GEHAZI.

 

GEMARA. And why such [severity]? — A Tanna taught: Since he denied the resurrection of the dead, therefore he shall not share in that resurrection, for in all the measures [of punishment or reward] taken by the Holy One, blessed be He, the Divine act befits the [human] deed.

 

Judging The Whole Man

 

Man is a soul and a body together. As such, he needs to relate to a future that somehow involved both his soul and his body. Resurrection is the rejoining of the body to the soul in such a way that it can achieve this future.

 

If the Olam HaBa, the World to Come, involved only the soul, would man be willing to give his body’s entire life for a future nothingness? The soul has always been understood to be immortal; it never dies. We comprehend the immortality of the human being, however, through the resurrection of the body. Resurrection signifies that man in his totality, body and soul, is immortal.

 

The relationship of body and soul is like that of a blind man and a lame man, according to the Talmud:

 

Sanhedrin 91b Antoninus said to Rabbi: ‘The body and the soul can both free themselves from judgment. Thus, the body can plead: The soul has sinned, [the proof being] that from the day it left me I lie like a dumb stone in the grave [powerless to do aught]. Whilst the soul can say: The body has sinned, [the proof being] that from the day I departed from it I fly about in the air like a bird [and commit no sin].’ He replied, ‘I will tell thee a parable. To what may this be compared? To a human king who owned a beautiful orchard which contained splendid figs. Now, he appointed two watchmen therein, one lame and the other blind. [One day] the lame man said to the blind, “I see beautiful figs in the orchard. Come and take me upon thy shoulder, that we may procure and eat them.” So the lame bestrode the blind, procured and ate them. Some time after, the owner of the orchard came and inquired of them, “Where are those beautiful figs?” The lame man replied, “Have I then feet to walk with?” The blind man replied, “Have I then eyes to see with?” What did he do? He placed the lame upon the blind and judged them together. So will the Holy One, blessed be He, bring the soul, [re]place it in the body, and judge them together, as it is written, He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people:1 He shall call to the heavens from above-this refers to the soul; and to the earth, that he may judge his people-to the body.’

 

* * *

 

This doctrine of Techiyat HaMaitim was adopted by the Pharisees but emphatically rejected by the Sadducees.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Yeshua answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of G-d. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of G-d in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by G-d, saying, 32 I am the G-d of Abraham, and the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob? G-d is not the G-d of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

 

Marqos (Mark) 12:18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. 24 And Yeshua answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of G-d? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush G-d spake unto him, saying, I am the G-d of Abraham, and the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob? 27 He is not the G-d of the dead, but the G-d of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

 

* * *

 

There is a small bone in the body called the Luz bone (some identify this bone as the coccyx) from which the body will be rebuilt at the time of resurrection.

 

The Grave And The Womb

 

In the Talmud:

 

Berachot 15b R. Tabi further said in the name of R. Josiah: What is meant by the text, There are three things which are never satisfied, . . . the grave and the barren womb?[21] How comes the grave next to the womb? It is to teach you that just as the womb takes in and gives forth again, so the grave takes in and will give forth again. And have we not here a conclusion a fortiori: if the womb which takes in silently gives forth with loud noise[22], does it not stand to reason that the grave which takes in with loud noise[23] will give forth with loud noise? Here is a refutation of those who deny that resurrection is taught in the Torah[24].

 

HaRav Zalman Sorotzkin points out that our Parsha which discussed the death of Yaakov is called Vayechi (and he lived). Similarly, the Parsha dealing with the death of Sarah is called Chayei Sarah (the life of Sarah). The message we are meant to glean is that life and death are not antithetical. In fact, it is to the contrary - death marks the onset of true and everlasting life. A similar idea can be understood by the choice of words used for graveyard and womb. The womb in Hebrew is often referred to as ‘kever’ a word which can mean grave. A graveyard is called ‘bait hachaim’ translated as the house of life . The idea expressed is that a person begins dying as soon as he is born and begins true life only after he has died.

 

In general, tumah arrives after a state of taharah or vice versa. Only at one time do tumah and taharah appear simultaneously—at the moment of birth. On the one hand, the baby represents taharah and new life. On the other hand, at that very moment the yoledet becomes t’meiah. The reason for this is that the baby has already begun to die, as it is one moment closer to its predestined time. (This is why Chazal refer to the womb as “kever, grave” since it is not only the source of life, but the source of death as well.) The Baal HaTurim explains that this is in fact the reason the brit milah is on the eighth day of the child’s life, since we must wait for the seven days of aveilut for the child to pass, as it were.

 

Olam HaBa

 

According to the Torah, any Gentile who keeps the seven Noachide laws, fulfilling his or her mission on planet earth, is rewarded with both Olam HaBa and Techiyat HaMaitim.

 

Sanhedrin 90a       C H A P T E R XI MISHNAH. ALL ISRAEL[25] HAVE A PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME, FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THY PEOPLE ARE ALL RIGHTEOUS; THEY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND FOR EVER, THE BRANCH OF MY PLANTING, THE WORK OF MY HANDS, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED[26].’ BUT THE FOLLOWING HAVE NO PORTION THEREIN: HE WHO MAINTAINS THAT RESURRECTION IS NOT A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE, THE TORAH WAS NOT DIVINELY REVEALED, AND AN EPIKOROS[27].

 

Sanhedrin 90b How is resurrection derived from the Torah? — As it is written, And ye shall give thereof the Lord’s heave offering to Aaron the priest. But would Aaron live for ever; he did not even enter Palestine, that terumah should be given him? But it teaches that he would be resurrected, and Israel give him terumah. Thus resurrection is derived from the Torah. The school of R. Ishmael taught: To Aaron [means to one] like Aaron: just as Aaron was a haber, so his sons must be haberim. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan’s name: Whence do we know that terumah must not be given to a priest and ‘am ha-arez?8 From the verse, Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the Levites, that they might hold fast to the law of the Lord: [thus,] whoever holds fast to the law of the Lord, has a portion; whoever does not, has no portion. R. Aha b. Adda said in Rab Judah’s name: One who gives terumah to an ignorant priest is as though he had placed it before a lion: just as a lion may possibly tear his prey and eat it and possibly not, so is an ignorant priest — he may possibly eat it undefiled and possibly defiled. R. Johanan said: He even causes his [sc. the ignorant priest’s] death, for it is written, and die therefore, if they profane it. The School of R. Eliezer b. Jacob taught: He also embroils him in a sin of general trespass, for it is written, Or suffer them to bear the iniquity of trespass when they eat their holy things.

 

It has been taught: R. Simai said: Whence do we learn resurrection from the Torah? — From the verse, And I also have established my covenant with them, [sc. the Patriarchs] to give them the land of Canaan: ‘[to give] you’ is not said, but ‘to give them’ [personally]; thus resurrection is proved from the Torah.

 

(Mnemonic: Zedek, Gam, Geshem, Kam.) Sectarians [minim] asked Rabban Gamaliel: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead? He answered them from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, yet they did not accept it [as conclusive proof]. ‘From the Torah’: for it is written, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers and rise up [again]. ‘But perhaps,’ said they to him, ‘[the verse reads], and the people will rise up?’ ‘From the prophets’: as it is written, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out its dead. But perhaps this refers to the dead whom Ezekiel resurrected? ‘From the Hagiographa’: as it is written, And the roof of thy mouth, like the best wine of my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. But perhaps it means merely that their lips will move, even as R. Johanan said: If a halachah is said in any person’s name in this world, his lips speak in the grave, as it is written, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak? [Thus he did not satisfy them] until he quoted this verse, which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give to them; not to you, but to them is said; hence resurrection is derived from the Torah. Others say that he proved it from this verse, But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your G-d are alive every one of you this day; just as you are all alive to-day, so shall you all live again in the world to come.

 

The Romans asked R. Joshua b. Hananiah: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed He, will resurrect the dead and knows the future? — He replied: Both are deduced from this verse, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up again; and this people shall go a whoring etc. But perhaps ‘will rise up, and go a whoring’? — He replied: Then at least you have the answer to half, viz., that He knows the future. It has been stated likewise: R. Johanan said on the authority of R. Simeon b. Yohai: Whence do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, will resurrect the dead and knoweth the future? From, Behold, Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and . . . rise again etc.

 

It has been taught: R. Eliezer, son of R. Jose, said: In this matter I refuted the books of the sectarians, who maintained that resurrection is not deducible from the Torah. I said to them: You have falsified your Torah, yet it has availed you nothing. For ye maintain that resurrection is not a Biblical doctrine, but it is written, [Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment], that soul shall utterly be cut off [Heb. hikkareth tikkareth]; his iniquity shall be upon him. Now, [seeing that] he shall utterly be cut off in this world, when shall his iniquity be upon him? surely in the next world. R. Papa said to Abaye: Could he not have deduced both [this world, and the next] from he shall be utterly cut off? — They would have replied: The Torah employed human phraseology.

 

This is disputed by Tannaim: That soul shall utterly be cut off [hikkareth] he shall be cut off in this world and [tikkareth] in the next: this is R. Akiba’s view. R. Ishmael said: But the verse has previously stated, he reproacheth the Lord, and that soul shall be cut off are there then three worlds? But [interpret thus]: and [that soul] shall be cut off — in this world: hikkareth, he is to be cut off — in the next; whilst as for [the repetition] tikkareth, that is because the Torah employs human phraseology. How do both R. Ishmael and R. Akiba utilize his iniquity shall be upon him? — For that which has been taught: I might think that [this is so] even if he repented: therefore Scripture saith, his iniquity is upon him: I decreed [that he shall be cut off] only if his iniquity is still in him. Queen Cleopatra asked R. Meir, ‘I know that the dead will revive, for it is written, And they [sc. the righteous] shall [in the distant future] blossom forth out of the city [Jerusalem] like the grass of the earth.34 But when they arise, shall they arise nude or in their garments?’ — He replied, ‘Thou mayest deduce by an a fortiori argument [the answer] from a wheat grain: if a grain of wheat, which is buried naked, sprouteth forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous, who are buried in their raiment!’

 

An emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel: ‘Ye maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?’

 

Sanhedrin 91a Thereupon his [the emperor’s] daughter said to him [the Rabbi]: ‘Let me answer him: In our town there are two potters; one fashions [his products] from water, and the other from clay: who is the more praiseworthy?’ ‘He who fashions them from water, he replied. ‘If he can fashion [man] from water, surely he can do so from clay!’

 

The School of R. Ishmael taught: It can be deduced from glassware: if glassware, which, though made by the breath of human beings, can yet be repaired when broken; then how much more so man, created by the breath of the Holy One, blessed be He.

 

A sectarian [min] said to R. Ammi: ‘Ye maintain that the dead will revive; but they turn to dust, and can dust come to life?’ — He replied: I will tell thee a parable. This may be compared to a human king who commanded his servants to build him a great palace in a place where there was no water or earth [for making bricks]. So they went and built it. But after some time it collapsed, so he commanded them to rebuild it in a place where water and earth was to be found; but they replied, ‘We cannot’. Thereupon he became angry with them and said, ‘If ye could build in a place containing no water or earth, surely ye can where there is!’ ‘Yet,’ [continued R. Ammi], ‘If thou dost not believe, go forth in to the field and see a mouse, which to-day is but part flesh and part dust, and yet by to-morrow has developed and become all flesh. And shouldst thou say, ‘That takes a long time,’ go up to the mountains, where thou wilt see but one snail, whilst by to-morrow the rain has descended and it is covered with snails.’

 

A sectarian [min] said to Gebiha b. Pesisa, ‘Woe to you, ye wicked, who maintain that the dead will revive; if even the living die, shall the dead live!’ He replied, ‘Woe to you, ye wicked, who maintain that the dead will not revive: if what was not,[now] lives, — surely what has lived, will live again!’ ‘Thou hast called me wicked,’ said he, ‘If I stood up I could kick thee and strip thee of thy hump! ‘If thou couldst do that,’ he retorted, ‘thou wouldst be called a great doctor, and command large fees.’

 

Sanhedrin 92a Raba said: Whence is resurrection derived from the Torah? From the verse, Let Reuben live, and not die: meaning, let Reuben live, in this world, and not die, in the next. Rabina said, [it is derived] from this verse, And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. R. Ashi said: From this verse, But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

 

* * *

 

To explain the concept of Techiyat HaMaitim, the Mishna states:

 

Sanhedrin 10:1 “Every Jew has a share in the World to Come.”

 

In this Mishna, the term “World to Come” refers[28] to the “World of Resurrection.” This is indicated by the continuation of the Mishna: “The following do not have a portion in the World to Come: He who says that ‘there is no indication in the Torah that the dead will be resurrected.’ “ The reason [why such an individual is denied a portion in the World to Come,] is, as the Gemara explains:

 

Sanhedrin 90a “He denied the Resurrection of the Dead; therefore he will not have a share in this Resurrection - measure for measure.”

 

Thus, [it is with regard to Techiyat HaMaitim] that it is said: “Every Jew has a share in the World to Come.”

 

Nature and physicality will remain until the time of Techiyat HaMaitim, which will begin no less than forty years after Kibbutz Galiot (Ingathering of the Exiles) as it says in [the section of the Zohar called] Midrash Ne’elam in Parashat Toldot (139a); see 140a there, and Parashat Shemot (10a).[29]

 

Regarding that time it says: There is no difference between This World and Yemot HaMashiach except for the oppression of nations[30]. The world will not begin to change from its present state and leave the zuhama, physicality, and nature completely except from the time of Techiyat HaMaitim onward. And even then little by little and in steps, because the resurrection itself won’t happen at the same moment for everyone, as it says: In the future, tzaddikim will resurrect the dead[31].[32]

 

According to the Leshem (Sha’arei Leshem, page 489), who quotes the Zohar[33], Techiyat HaMaitim, this period of time can begin as early as 2026, 20 years from now, but no later than 2030, 4 years later. In any case, it will continue until the end of history, in Year 6000[34], the designated end of physical Creation as we know it[35].

 

Thus, from this perspective, by the time Techiyat HaMaitim begins, Mashiach Ben David will already have come and finished his work of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth as well. It is important to note that this is not a calculation for the arrival of Mashiach, but a statement of a potential reality based upon the existence of two accepted sources that must, in the end, work hand-in-hand.

 

The Gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger lived in a city which had a very wealthy man who had become exceptionally rich through his usurious dealings. After he died, the community burial society refused to bury him until his sons would pay 2000 silver pieces to the community chest; this was 100 times the going rate. His sons became enraged at the demand made by the burial society and they brought this matter to the attention of the Gaon Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Rabbi Eiger answered that if one deals in usury the Talmud teaches that he will not be resurrected at the time of Techiyat HaMaitim. Since this wealthy man involved himself in usury, he would therefore remain in the ground indefinitely and not get up with the rest of Israel. However, when other Jews acquire burial ground, they lease the plot temporarily because once Mashiach comes and Techiyat HaMaitim begins, they no longer require the plot. Since Techiyat HaMaitim may be just around the corner, one should never be charged an excessive amount for the plot they use. However, when a usurer obtains his plot, it is not a rental, but a lifetime acquisition. A high price is not exorbitant in his case but is actually a fair market valuation for his eternal use of the plot. Rabbi Akiva Eiger told the sons of this usurer that if they object to the price requested by the burial society they should find their own plot and bury their father by themselves.

 

In The Beginning

 

The first hint of Techiyat HaMaitim is found in Bereshit:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 1:9 And G-d said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And G-d called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and G-d saw that it was good.

 

Chazal, our Sages, have taught that the words, “let the dry land appear” are extra words and are not required. They are not required because it is obvious that if the water is gathered together in one place, then obviously the dry land would appear.

 

Chazal also teach that the dry land was the place for man. Without the dry land there was no possibility for man to exist. Dry land is the possibility for man to exist. Once man has a place, then it is possible for man to be. Thus the creation of man is dependent on dry land.

 

In the same way, the re-creation of man in Techiyat HaMaitim is made possible by dry land. Thus we see that the hint to Techiyat HaMaitim is found in the crossing of the Yam Suf:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 14:21 And Moshe stretched out his hand over the sea; and HaShem caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

 

Chazal also teach that the waters of creation agreed to split at the Yam Suf, in the day of creation when they were separated from the dry land. This is also a hint in creation to the splitting of the Yam Suf because of the extra words, “let the dry land appear”.

 

The Midrash suggests a second hint:

 

Rabbi Yehuda said: “When the knife touched Isaac’s neck, his soul flew out of his body. When the Voice emerged from between the cherubim and commanded, “Do not send your hand to hurt the youth...” his soul returned to his body, and Isaac stood up on his feet, and realized that just so would the dead be eventually resuscitated, and he declared, “Blessed are you HaShem, who resuscitates the dead.”[36]

 

These are same words that we recite during the Amidah:

 

You are mighty forever, My Master, You are the Resurrector of the dead, the Powerful One to deliver us. Causer of the wind to blow and the rain to fall. Sustainer of the living with kindliness, Resurrector of the dead with great mercy, Supporter of the fallen, and Healer of the sick and Releaser of the imprisoned and Fulfiller of His faithfulness to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You Master of mighty deeds and who can be compared to You? King Who causes death and restores life and causes deliverance to sprout forth. And you are faithful to restore the dead to life. Blessed are You, Lord, Resurrector of the dead.

 

As the Akeida was not executed to conclusion in the actual world it only managed to establish a connection with the world of Techiyat HaMaitim on the lofty level of spiritual experience. Had it actually gone to its culmination as a real event, it would have connected our world to the world of Techiyat HaMaitim physically and would have abolished the need to die altogether. Thus we see that eternal life and resurrection are associated with the death of His Majesty King Yeshua, whose Akeida was executed to conclusion:

 

Yochanan (John) 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16  For G-d so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17  For G-d sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 27:50 Yeshua, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

 

Az Yashir

 

המתים תחיית, Techiyat HaMaitim, is seen clearly after kyriat Yam Suf, the splitting of the Reed sea. After the Benei Israel crossed the Yam Suf, they sang the song of Moshe:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 15:1 Then Moshe and the children of Israel chose to sing this song to HaShem, and spake, saying, I will sing unto HaShem, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2 HaShem is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my G-d, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s G-d, and I will exalt him. 3 HaShem is a man of war: HaShem is his name. 4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6 Thy right hand, HaShem, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, HaShem, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 11 Who is like unto thee, HaShem, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. 14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. 15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. 16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, HaShem, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. 17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, HaShem, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. 18 HaShem shall reign for ever and ever. 19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and HaShem brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Yisrael went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 15:1 Then Moshe and the children of Israel chose to sing this song to HaShem

 

After kyriat Yam Suf, Moshe sang a song of praise and gratitude to HaShem. But in describing that event, the Torah doesn’t say, “Moses sang,” (shar) but rather, “Moses will sing” (yashir)[37].

 

The verb “to sing” is spelled as yashir, which is the way to write the verb in the future tense according to the rules of Hebrew grammar. The Rabbis found a hint to the resurrection buried in this apparently inappropriate selection of the future tense to describe a past event. Taken literally, the text says that Moses and the children of Israel will sing this song in the future.

 

Chazal, our Sages, interpret this as a prophecy; Moses and the children of Israel actually will sing this song at the time of the resurrection of the dead. Thus the song of our Parsha, a song of thanksgiving to HaShem offered by the Jewish people for having been granted the miracle of the splitting of the sea is actually the song of the resurrection; the very same song that the people experiencing the resurrection will be inspired to sing.[38]

 

‘... the redeemed ones sang’. The fact that six hundred thousand people should sing in unison a song which none of them had ever heard before is amazing. It can only be understood by explaining that they all reached a level of Ruach haKodesh (that HaShem spoke from the mouth of each one of them).

 

The word used here to mean “sing”, Yashir, is in the future tense, indicating that this song will be used again at the time of Techiyat HaMaitim, which will happen along with Mashiach’s coming. The book of Revelation tells us about this tenth song, the song of Moshe:

 

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of G-d. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of G-d. 3 And they sing the song of Moshe the servant of G-d, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord G-d Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

 

From here we can see reference in the Nazarean Codicil to the resurrection of the dead which will take place in the time of redemption. At that time, “Moshe will sing,” once again praises to HaShem.

 

Micah 7:15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Mitzrayim will I shew unto him marvelous things.

 

The prophet Micah tells us that the Exodus was only a preparation for (and a mild example of) the redemption through Mashiach. This leads us to a very sobering idea: In Mitzrayim, 80 percent of the Bne Israel, The Children of Israel, were not interested in leaving Mitzrayim with Moshe. Additionally, the vast majority of the Bne Israel chose to stay in exile in Babylon rather than return with Ezra back to Israel.

 

The Nature of Techiyat HaMaitim

 

Note that in Rambam’s view the Messianic era will not see a setting aside of the laws of nature, but “the world will follow its normal course.. ‘The only difference between the present world and the Messianic days is delivery from servitude to foreign powers’[39].” The prophecies of super-natural events and conditions are to be understood figuratively.[40] Even so, Rambam himself qualifies this view as a personal opinion and interpretation, allowing for the possibility that everything may be quite literal.[41]

 

From Meam Loez:

 

6. Outside the Holy Land a person dies twice. At the time of the Resurrection the soul cannot return to the body unless it is in the Land of Israel. At the time of the Resurrection, G-d will personally open the graves; it will not be done by any angel.[42] This cannot take place outside the Holy Land, since other places are considered unclean.

 

Of course, this does not mean that people buried outside the Holy Land will not be resurrected. Obviously, many great saints are buried in other lands.

 

There is a small bone in man known as the Luz This bone does not decay in the ground, as discussed in the Portion of Bereshit. This bone is like the yeast in a batch of dough; from it the body is reconstructed. The soul, however, cannot be returned to the body except in the Holy Land.

 

* * *

 

There is a tradition that one small bone in the Jewish body is indestructible. Luz is its name, and from it the whole body will be built at the time of Resurrection. References for this tradition can be found in Bereshit Rabba 28:3; Zohar I, 69a and 137a; II 28b; Tosefot on Bava Kama 16b, Mishna Brura, and Booklet 7 of the recently discovered Reshimot of the Rebbe, page 14. Also, in the words of the Midrash (Kohelet Rabba 12:5), “Hadrian once asked Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya: ‘From what will G-d resurrect man in the future world?’”

 

“R. Yehoshua replied, ‘From the luz in the spine.’ Once G-d has softened this bone with the Dew of Resurrection, it will become as yeast is to dough, and from it the body will be built. The same body that decomposed will be reconstructed. This is implied by the verse, ‘Your dead people shall live’ (and not “shall be created”).”

 

As to identifying the luz, some say that it is the coccyx, a small bone at the base of the spine; others say that it is the bone at the back of the skull where the knot of the tefillin shel Rosh is placed.

 

* * *

 

After the bodies are reconstructed, HaShem will provide underground passages through which they can be transported to the Holy Land. Until they reach the Land of Israel, they will remain bodies without souls. Only there will HaShem grant them souls so that they can come to life. This is alluded to in the verse, “[ HaShem] gives a soul to the people in [the land].” (Isaiah 42:5) This indicates that HaShem will provide a soul for the resurrected dead when they are in the Holy Land.

 

According to another opinion, the archangel Gabriel will bring the bones of the dead to the Land of Israel and there they will be resurrected.

 

Furthermore, people buried in the Land of Israel will be resurrected before those buried elsewhere. Others will have to be brought to the Holy Land, and their resurrection will therefore be delayed. This is alluded to in the verse:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26:19 Your dead shall live, my corpses shall rise, awake and sing you who live in the dust.

 

“Your corpses shall rise” refers to those buried elsewhere. They will merely rise and have their bodies reconstructed; then they will be brought to the Holy Land, where they will be given souls that will bring them back to life.

 

There is a tradition that people buried in the Land of Israel will be resurrected forty years before the dead buried elsewhere. If a person buried outside the Holy Land has been concerned with and has supported a relative---either male or female---who is buried in the Holy Land, that relative can see to it that he is resurrected at the same time as the dead in the Holy Land. All reward is measure for measure. This person supported his relative so that he could live in the Holy Land, which is considered the same as ransoming captives. Such a person therefore has very great merit, and he will partake in the resurrection long before the other people buried outside the Holy Land.

 

The reason that people buried in the Holy Land are resurrected before those elsewhere is that they suffer very much during their lives. They undergo many bitter troubles, but steadfastly refuse to leave the Land of Israel. So bitter are their lives they are considered like dead because of the problems, suffering and difficult times that they have. Since they allowed themselves to be as the dead during their lives, they are given an additional period of life before the Resurrection.

 

The reason that they undergo such suffering and do not leave is because living in the Holy Land is considered as great as all the other commandments combined.

 

This shows us that someone buried in the Holy Land has two advantages with regard to the Resurrection. First, he will be brought to life before people buried elsewhere. Second, he avoids the agony of having to travel through the underground passages, which involves great anguish.

 

In the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai teaches that at the time of the Resurrection, the dead will be brought to life in Safed since this is the place where the Mashiach will first appear. From there they will all go to Jerusalem where they will be taught the mysteries of the Torah. In this respect, Safed has an advantage over the rest of the Holy Land. It is at a high altitude, and its air is clear and pure.

 

Our sages say that all these advantages are accrued only by one who lives in the Land of Israel for a while and is then worthy of dying there. However, if a person dies elsewhere and is brought to the Holy Land, he does not enjoy these advantages. If one dies outside the Holy Land, it is not proper to bring him there for burial. Regarding those who do this, it is written:

 

Yeremiyahu (Jeremiah) 2:7 You came and defiled My land.

 

HaShem complained because people came only after they were dead, and a dead body defiles, as it is ritually unclean. (Numbers 19:14)

 

One may immediately raise an objection here. Since Jacob died in Egypt, why did he instruct his children to bury him in Hebron?”

 

It all depends on one’s motive. There are many people who spend all their lives involved in Torah study and good deeds, and they do whatever they can for those who cannot study Torah so that they will be able to do so in peace. All day long they contemplate the commandments, and they are extremely careful not to commit any sins. Such men are considered saints, and even if they die elsewhere, they deserve to be buried in the Holy Land. Regarding such people, the scripture obviously does not say, “They came and defiled My land.”

 

There are, on the other hand, many people who are unconcerned with Judaism and never think about the next world. All their thoughts involve worldly pleasure and enjoyment. Even if they are extraordinarily wealthy, they have no pity on the poor. They are tight-fisted and stingy even though they have no children and know that strangers will share their wealth after they die.

 

Often, such people wait until they are ready to die, and then they write a will leaving a portion of their wealth to charity for the benefit of their souls. This is after not giving anything during their lives. Regarding such people one can fittingly apply the verse, “They came and defiled My land.” They were wicked and uncharitable during their lives, and died outside the Holy Land. If they are then brought to the Land of Israel, not only will it not be beneficial to them, but it can also result in special punishment, since they defile the land.

 

Even if such people immigrate to the Holy Land during their lifetime, one can apply to them the verse, “They came and defiled My land.” If they have behaved improperly outside the Holy Land, they will be no better once they arrive there. One who settles in the Land of Israel must be G-d-fearing and careful with regard to all his deeds. He should not even commit the smallest sin. The Holy Land is not an ordinary place. This was one reason that the people of Sodom were annihilated.

 

Aside from this Jacob’s case was special for another reason. When HaShem told Jacob not to be afraid of going to Egypt (Genesis 46:3), He also promised Jacob that he would be buried in the Holy Land.

 

Therefore, even though Jacob went to Egypt, he had a special advantage. Although he died elsewhere, he could be buried in the Holy Land. Wherever Jacob went, the Divine Presence was always with him. In any place that Jacob lived, the air was considered pure and clean.

 

The situation was very much like that of the Israelites during their forty years in the desert; they offered sacrifices and erected the Tabernacle, even though it is normally forbidden to offer sacrifices outside the Holy Land. Since all Israel was together in the desert, it was considered just the same as the Land of Israel.

 

The same was true here. Since Jacob and his sons, all the progeny of Abraham, were living in Egypt, it was not considered as if Jacob had died outside the Holy Land. The very air that Jacob breathed in Egypt was pure and holy. However, after Israel left Egypt, the holiness left, and the uncleanness returned as it was before. Since Jacob knew that his descendants would eventually leave Egypt, he did not want to be buried there.

 

The particular advantage of the Holy Land only exists in areas where there are communities of observant Jews, such as Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. Although the Jews are a minority and the gentiles a majority, the air in such areas is pure and holy.

 

It is a good custom to take a small amount of earth from the Holy Land and to place it on the eyes of the deceased or on his grave if he has died outside the Land of Israel.

 

Clothed, Healed, and Refined

 

Some sources hold that the dead will be resurrected wearing the shrouds in which they were buried; according to others, they will be resurrected in the clothes which they normally wore in their lifetimes[43].

 

Though physical disabilities will carry over to the time of the Resurrection, they will be healed as soon as the bodies are reconstituted[44].

 

Bodies when resurrected will be as refined as the body of Adam when he was first created - and even more so[45].

 

* * *

 

Traditionally, the learning of Pirke Avot is preceded with the Mishna of “Kal Yisrael yeish lahem cheilek le’Olam HaBa” - “All Israel have a share in the World to Come.” Olam HaBa is the period of the Resurrection which will take place after the coming of Mashiach. It will follow the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash and Kibbutz Galiot - the ingathering of the exiles (Zohar I, 139a, see Igrot Kodesh II p. 65).

 

 

* * *

 

When?

 

Judaism divides our existence in the universe into three time periods:

 

  1. This World (Olam Hazeh),
  2. The Messianic age (1000 years),
  3. The World to Come (Olam Habah).

 

Techiyat HaMaitim will occur in the messianic age. When the Mashiach will come to initiate the perfect world of peace and prosperity, the righteous dead will be brought back to life and given the opportunity to experience the perfected world that their righteousness helped to create. The wicked dead will not be resurrected.

 

Chazal, our Sages, stipulate that forty years after the coming of the Messiah there will be the Techiyat HaMaitim, and all who are lying in dust will rise to new life. Concerning great tzaddikim, righteous men, it is written that they will rise immediately after the Mashiach’s arrival. The redemption will follow this sequence: the building of the Temple, the ingathering of the exiles, and forty years later,  Techiyat HaMaitim.

 

Judaism teaches that the world as we know it will culminate with Techiyat HaMaitim, which will be immediately followed by the Day of Final Judgment. Those who pass Judgment will enter the next world, whereas those who will fail to pass muster will be refused entry and consigned to oblivion; if you are unable to enter the Olam HaBa, you no longer have an alternative world in which to be.

 

* * *

 

There is a tradition from the Sages that Techiyat HaMaitim will take place in Nisan, therefore in Nisan, on the Sabbath during Passover, we read of the dry bones (which will live) in the Haftorah[46] - Ezekiel 37.1-14.

 

* * *

 

Rabbi Pinchas Winston has written the following about when Techiyat HaMaitim will occur:

 

“The Zohar (Midrash Ne’elam - Toldot 140a), says that Techiyat HaMaitim, “Resurrection of the Dead,” will begin no later that 210 years before the year 6000 from creation -- i.e. 5790, corresponding to 2030 CE. Though other predictions have already passed, Kabbalists seem to accept this date as the final and real one. (see “Leshem Shevo v’Achlamah” - Drushei Olam HaTohu, Part 2, Drush 4, Section 12:9)”

 

“The Zohar (Midrash Ne’elam - Toldot 139b) also states that this period will begin after forty years of Kibbutz Galiyot - the “Ingathering of the Exiles” from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel. Thus, according to this calculation, Kibbutz Galiyot began in the year 5750 -- corresponding to 1990, just about the time the Soviet Union “mysteriously” collapsed and allowed one million Jews to finally emigrate after decades of trying.”

 

“Kabbalists say that the Messianic Era must occur in advance of Techiyat HaMaitim, specifically sometime within the forty years of Kibbutz Galiyot. As of this writing, that would mean Mashiach must come and prepare mankind for Resurrection of the Dead, and all Jews must return to Israel -- over the next 28 years. (see Leshem - Drushei Olam HaTohu, Part 2, Drush 4, Section 12:10)”

 

In other words, the end of Jewish history perfectly mirrors the beginning of Jewish history in the time of Moses. We began with 210 years of life in Egypt, meant to bring us back to the level of Adam before the sin (though just the opposite resulted), and then, we “wandered” outside the Land of Israel for forty years. So too, at the end of history, we may experience a process of returning to the land over the course of forty years, followed by a 210-year period necessary to return to the level of Adam before his sin.

 

* * *

 

The Torah Code below reveals the words Techiyat HaMaitim encoded vertically in the Torah. The first letter, a Tav, is from Vayikra 2:1, and the last letter, a Mem, is found in Devarim 7:9. It is significant that the two words are found together, but even more significant is the fact that the date 5790 (including the letter Heh which represents the year 5000: Heh-Tav-Shin-Tzaddi) — as per the opinion of Rebi Yehuda who states Techiyat HaMaitim will begin 210 years before the year 6000 — cuts across the vertical axis with only a skip of -3.

 

 

* * *

 

The first to be resurrected will be the dead who are buried in the land of Israel, after these, the dead of other lands, and finally those who died in the wilderness

 

The tzaddikim will take precedence over other men, and masters in the study of the Torah will take precedence over masters in the performance of the mitzvot, the commandments. They will all be called by name in alphabetical order, except that the first to be resurrected will be those who are humble of spirit, as we read in the Nazarean Codicil:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

* * *

 

On the Shabbat of the intermediate days of the holiday of Passover, in tens of thousands of synagogues around the world, the reading of the Haftorah is from the famous Biblical passage of the “Valley of Dry Bones”:

 

Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 37:12-14 Behold I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the Land of Israel. You shall know that I am G‑d when I open your graves and when I revive you from your graves, My people. I shall put My spirit into you and you will live, and I will place you upon your land, and you will know that I, G‑d, have spoken and done, says G‑d.

 

Because this passage is read on Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach, we can understand that Chazal understood that this even would take place at that time.

 

When HaShem raises the dead during Techiyat HaMaitim, those buried in Eretz Israel will be first to revive. How will those Jews who are buried in other countries be revived? HaShem will burrow underground tunnels. All of the bodies of the dead will roll through these tunnels to Eretz Israel where they will be revived. This trip will be troublesome and painful and should be avoided if possible. Therefore, Yaaqov wanted to avoid this pain by being buried in Eretz Israel.

 

Where?

 

Where will Techiyat HaMaitim take place?

Both for those buried in the land of Israel and for those buried outside the land of Israel (to which the bodies will be brought by the angel Gavriel), the Techiyat HaMaitim will take place in the land of Israel. For since HaShem swore that he would rebuild Jerusalem indestructibly, the soul will enter the body only in a place that will stand forever, so that the soul likewise will live in the body forever. In this context, the Jerusalem is a Pars Pro Toto allusion to the entire land of Israel.

 

Rashi put it this way:

 

do not bury me now in Egypt [Because] its soil is destined to become lice (which will crawl under my body), and because those who die outside the [Holy] Land will not be resurrected except with the pain of rolling through underground passages. [Also] so that the Egyptians will not deify me.[47]

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XCVI:5 BURY ME NOT, I PRAY THEE, IN EGYPT. Why? Because Egypt will eventually be smitten with vermin, which will swarm about my body. Therefore BURY ME NOT, I PRAY THEE, IN EGYPT. Another reason why Jacob did not wish to be buried in Egypt was they should not make him an object of idolatrous worship; for just as idolaters will be punished, so will their deities too be punished, as it says, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments (Ex. XII, 12). You find similarly in the case of Daniel. When he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what is said? Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odours unto him (Dan. II, 46). He indeed commanded that they should offer to him, but Daniel declined it, saying, Just as idolaters will be punished, so will their gods be punished. You find the same in the case of Hiram. When he made himself a god, what is written of him? Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said: I am a god (Ezek. XXVIII, 2). The Holy One, blessed be He, chided him: ‘Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel! (ib. 3). For you find that Nebuchadnezzar wished to make offerings to Daniel, but he declined, yet thou makest thyself a god! ‘ What was his fate? It is written of him, I have cast thee to the ground, I have laid thee before kings, that they may gaze upon thee (ib. 17). But Jacob desired that the Egyptians should not err [by deifying him]. For of Egypt it is written, Whose flesh is as the flesh of asses (ib. XXIII, 20); thus they were likened to asses, while I [Jacob] am likened to a sheep, as it says, Israel[48] is a scattered sheep (Jer. L, 17); furthermore, it is written, And the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb (Ex. XXXIV, 20). [Hence I fear] lest they wish to be redeemed through me.[49] For that reason he said, BURY ME NOT, I PRAY THEE, IN EGYPT.

 

Why were all the Patriarchs so anxious and so desirous for burial in Eretz Israel? Said R. Eleazar: There is a reason for this. R. Hanina said in R. Joshua b. Levi’s name: What did he mean by ‘there is a reason for this’? He alluded to the verse, I shall walk before the Lord in the lands of the living (Ps. CXVI, 9).[50]

 

(Our teachers said two things in R. Helbo’s name: Why did the Patriarchs long for burial in Eretz Israel? Because the dead of Eretz Israel will be the first to be resurrected in the days of the Messiah and to enjoy the years of the Messiah. R. Hanina said: He who dies without the Land and is buried there experiences a twofold death, for so it is written, And thou, Pashhur, and all that dwell in thy house shall go into captivity; and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and there shalt thou be buried (Jer. XX, 6); thus he experiences two deaths.[51] Therefore Jacob said to Joseph: BURY MEN NOT I PRAY THEE, IN EGYPT. If so, said R. Simon, the righteous who are buried without the Land have lost thereby?[52] But what does God do? He makes cavities like channels for them in the earth,[53] and they roll along in them until they reach Eretz Israel, when the Holy One, blessed be He, will infuse into them a spirit of life and they will arise. How do we know this? Because it is written, Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Egypt (Ezek. XXXVII, 12); and after that, I will put My spirit in you, and ye shall live (ib. 14). Resh Lakish said: There is a text explicitly teaching that when they reach Eretz Israel God will put a soul into them, for it says, He giveth a soul unto the people upon it (Isa. XLII, 5).1

 

Kethuboth 111a Thou shalt carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying-place.[54] Karna remarked: [There must be here] some inner meaning. Our father Jacob well knew that he was a righteous man in every way, and, since the dead outside the Land will also be resurrected, why did he trouble his sons?[55] Because he might possibly be unworthy to [roll through] the cavities.[56]

 

Similarly you read in Scripture, And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, [saying....ye shall carry up my bones from hence],[57] and R. Hanina remarked: [There is here] an inner meaning. Joseph well knew himself to be a righteous man in every way, and, since the dead outside the Land[58] will be revived, why did he trouble his brothers [with a journey of] four hundred parasangs? Because he might possibly be unworthy to [roll through] the cavities.[59]

 

Who?

 

The Midrash, in Bereshit Rabbah 13:6, states clearly that Techiyat HaMaitim applies to Israel:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XIII:6 R. Hiyya b. Abba said: It is as important as resurrection. R. Abba, son of R. Hiyya, said: The Sages too inserted it [the prayer for rain] in the blessing of the resurrection of the dead, for ‘hand’ and ‘opening’ are used in connection with both. ‘Hand’ in connection with the one [resurrection]: The hand of the; Lord was upon me (Ezek. XXXVII, 1); and ‘hand’ ‘ in connection with the other [rain]: Thou openest Thy  hand  and satisfiest every living thing with favour (Ps. CXLV, 16). ‘Opening’ in connection with the one [rain]: The Lord will open unto thee His good treasure the heaven to give the rain of thy land  (Deut. XXVIII, 12’.); ‘opening’ in connection with the other [resurrection]: Behold, I will  open your graves  (Ezak. ib. 12). R. Judan said in R. Eleazar’s name: ‘Song’ is mentioned in connection with both. ‘ Song’ in connection with the one:  Let those who dwell in the rock sing (Isa. XLII, 11); ‘song’ in connection with the other [rain]: Thou hast remembered the earth, and watered her... The valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, yea, they sing (Ps. LXV, 10, 14). R. Hiyya b. Ba said: It is greater than resurrection, for whereas resurrection is for man alone, this is for man and beast; again, resurrection is for Israel, whereas this is for Israel and the nations.

 

The commentary entitled Yfei Toar explains that Techiyat HaMaitim includes righteous Gentiles as well. There will be more righteous Gentiles than there are Jews.

 

Zecharia 8:23 ten men of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jewish man.

 

Rashi says that this passage indicates that there will be seven hundred righteous Gentiles for each corner of the garment. For the four corners of the garment there will be two thousand and eight hundred righteous Gentiles!

 

The Zohar implies that the idolatrous nations of the world will not be resurrected[60]:

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 181a R. Simeon said: ‘It is written: “Only he shall not go in unto the veil, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my holy places, because I am the Lord who sanctify them” (Lev. XXI, 23). When the perennial stream releases human souls, and the Female becomes pregnant, they all range themselves within the edifice. Now all those that go forth at the period when the moon is defective by reason of the evil serpent, although pure and holy, become bruised and defective in whatever place they reach, and have to undergo pain and suffering. And these are the souls in whom the Holy One finds delight in spite of their being sad instead of joyful. Esoterically speaking they are a counterpart of something above, the body being impaired and the soul being within after the supernal pattern, each corresponding to each, and these are the souls that require to be renewed with the renewal of the moon, and hence it is written concerning them: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me” (Is. LXVI, 23), the word “all” signifying that these souls will be renewed wholly with the renewal of the moon. For they are partners, as it were, with the defective moon, for which reason she dwells in them always, without leaving them, in allusion to which the Scripture says: “I dwell... with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit... to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. LVII, 15), also: “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart” (Ps. XXXIV, 19). These verses refer to those who are fellow-sufferers with the moon in her defect, and regarding whom it is fitly said, “to revive the heart of the contrite ones”, that is, to make those who participated in the sufferings of the moon also participate in the new life to be bestowed on her in the future. Such sufferings undergone by them are called “sufferings in token of love”. Happy is their portion in this world and in the world to come when they will be privileged to be partners with her, in allusion to which it is written: “For my brethren and companions’ sakes, etc.” (Ibid. CXXII, 8).’

 

Abarbanel, however, in Maayanei HaYeshuah, p. 11a, writes that Techiyat HaMaitim will apply to all of mankind. He notes two purposes in this:

 

(1) It would be unfair to all the generations who hoped for the coming of Mashiach if only those who had the good fortune to be alive at that time would be privileged to enjoy the benefits of the redemption. Therefore all the dead will be resurrected - the righteous to enjoy the benefits they merited, and the enemies of Israel in order to witness their own ultimate downfall.

 

(2) The nations then to be resurrected will realize the folly of their beliefs and will acknowledge HaShem’s sovereignty, in the spirit of the prophecy that appears in:

 

Zephaniah 3:9 8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith HaShem, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. 9  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of HaShem, to serve him with one consent.

 

The Nazarean Codicil seems to side also with Arbarbanel. Perhaps we can best understand this dichotomy by seeing two resurrections. The Zohar focuses only on the resurrection of the righteous while Arbarbanel sees both:

 

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua, and for the word of G-d, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Mashiach a thousand years. 5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

 

The Torah uses the crossing of the Yam Suf to picture Techiyat HaMaitim. Those that crossed were both Israel and the erev rav, the mixed multitude:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot men, beside children. 38  And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, very much cattle.

 

Thus we see two groups of people being resurrected:  Israel and the erev rav who had joined themselves to Israel. Interestingly, the waters that resurrected these two groups, at the splitting of the Yam Suf, also destroyed the wicked Egyptians. This suggests three groups of people: The wicked, righteous Gentiles, and Israel.

 

Other authorities, however, hold that only the righteous will merit resurrection.[61]

 

How?

 

Jewish tradition records that with burial, a single bone in the back of the neck never decays. It is from this bone -- called the luz bone -- that the human body will be rebuilt in the future Messianic Era when all the dead will be resurrected. With cremation, that bone can be destroyed, and the resurrection process stymied.

 

The Dew (Tal) of Resurrection

 

The Midrash (Kohelet Rabba) describes the following interaction:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Ecclesiastes XII:5 AND THE ALMOND TREE SHALL BLOSSOM: R. Levi said: It refers to the nut of the spinal column. Hadrian (may his bones rot and his name be obliterated!) asked R. Joshua b. Hananiah ‘Whence will man sprout in the Hereafter?’ He replied, ‘ From the nut (luz) of the spinal column.’ He said to him, ‘Prove it to me.’ He had one brought; he placed it in water but it did not dissolve, in fire but it was not burnt, in a mill but it was not ground. He placed it on an anvil and struck it with a hammer; the anvil split and the hammer was broken but it remained unaffected.

 

Zohar, Shemot, 28b Said R. Hiya: ‘And what is more, from the words, “Thy dead ones will live” (Isa. XXVI, 19), it is evident that not only will there be a new creation, but that the very bodies which were dead will rise, for one bone in the body remains intact, not decaying in the earth, and on the Resurrection Day the Holy One will soften it and make it like leaven in dough, and it will rise and expand on all sides, and the whole body and all its members will be formed from it, and then the Holy One will put spirit into it.’ Said R. Eleazar: ‘Assuredly so. And the bone will be softened by the dew, as it says: “Thy dead ones shall live... for thy dew is the dew of plants” (Ibid.).’

 

At the time of Techiyat HaMaitim, the luz bone will be “soaked” in the tal HaTechiyah, the dew of resurrection, and the body will grow from it.

 

Chazal teach that in the world to come HaShem will resurrect the dead with dew.

 

Shabbath 88b R. Joshua b. Levi also said: At every word which went forth from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, the souls of Israel departed, for it is said, My soul went forth when he spake. But since their souls departed at the first word, how could they receive the second word? — He brought down the dew with which He will resurrect the dead and revived them, as it is said, Thou, O G-d, didst send a plentiful rain, Thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

 

The Tanakh teaches us that the tal, dew, is the tal of resurrection is:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26:19 Your dead will live again; My [people’s] corpses shall arise. Awake and sing, O you who dwell in the dust! For Your tal [dew] is a tal orot [dew of lights], and the earth shall cast forth the dead [who rested in it].

 

In the Amida (Shemoneh Esrei) prayer, the fourth blessing contains the words:

 

You are eternally mighty, my Lord, the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save,

 

And causes the tal (dew) to fall;

 

Or

 

Who makes the wind blow and makes the rain descend;

 

Who sustains the living with kindness, resuscitates the dead with abundant mercy, supports the fallen, heals the sick, releases the confined, and maintains His faith to those asleep in the dust. Who is like You, 0 Master of mighty deeds, and who is comparable to You, 0 King Who causes death and restores life and makes salvation sprout! And You are faithful to resuscitate the dead. Blessed are You, HaShem, Who resuscitates the dead.

 

From the mussaf Amidah of Pesach until the mussaf Amida of Shemini Atzeret, we say “And causes the tal (dew) to fall”.

 

During the rest of the year we say, “Who makes the wind blow and makes the rain descend”, instead.

 

Thus we see that tal, and therefore Techiyat HaMaitim, is associated with Pesach.

 

Additionally, we see that Chazal have the prayer for resurrection as the same prayer for tal.

 

In numerous places in Talmud, Midrash, and Zohar, we see that dew is the catalyst which brings about the Resurrection!

 

Chagigah 12b Dew - tal will be used in the future by the Holy One Blessed be He to bring about Resurrection

 

Shabbat 88b After each of the ten Commandments (the people died when G-d spoke) so (G-d) brought dew on them which will be used in the future to resurrect man, and they came back to life

 

Yerushalmi Berachot 5:2 How do we know that Resurrection will only take place via dew?…

 

Pirke d’Rebbi Eliezer chapter 33 The dead (bones) which Yechezkel brought back to life-- dew from heaven descended upon them.

 

Tanchuma Toldot section 19 Dew is a symbol of resurrection.

 

Zohar, Bereshit, 130b By means of that dew all will rise from the dust, as it says, “for thy dew is as the dew of lights” (Is. XXVI, 19), these being the supernal lights through which the Almighty will in future pour forth life upon the world.

 

Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 83a  Then he said to R. Simeon: ‘Would it please the Master to deign to interpret the whole verse, including the last words, “and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father”?’ R. Simeon then repeated what he had said before, and added that the last words are a reference to Isaac’s blessing, “And G-d give thee of the dew of heaven” (Gen. XXVII, 28), this being “the heritage of Jacob”. Now this blessing wherewith Isaac blessed Jacob was made in regard to that “heaven” of which we have spoken, and in these words he indicated that Jacob’s children will rise again from the dead at the time of the Resurrection, by means of that heavenly dew, at the time when it shall issue forth from the Ancient of Days to the “Small of Countenance”. R. Abba thought for a while, and said: ‘Now everything is clear, and I see that there is even more significance in Isaac’s blessing than I had thought.’

 

* * *

 

Petichat Eliyahu (from the Tikuney Zohar)

 

The Holy One blessed-be-He says [to the Shechinah]: Since the day the earthly Beth HaMikdash [Temple] was destroyed [and Israel was sent into exile], do you think that I have dwelt peacefully in My Abode and Home [the Heavenly Temple and the Heavenly Jerusalem]? No! The fact is that I have not entered there since the day you went into exile.

 

[In order to verify this for you] behold, I give you a sign: “My head is filled with Tal/Dew [and My locks with drops of the night]” (Song of Songs 5:2). [Tal is spelled Tet-Lamed] the numerical value of which is 39. This is exactly equivalent to the numerical value of the first three letters of My Name [when each letter is expanded or spelled out with Aleph’s]: Yod-Vav-Dalet (20), Heh-Aleph (6), Vav-Aleph-Vav (13). This totals Tal [Tet-Lamed = 39]. The fourth letter, spelled Heh-Aleph, equals 6. This represents My Shechinah [Indwelling Presence].

 

When all four letters of the Name are added together [39 + 6], they equal forty-five. When the last letter, Heh-Aleph, is separated from the others [i.e. when the Shechinah is in exile and HaShem’s Presence is hidden from mankind], they equal 39. The final letter, Heh-Aleph, thus represents the Shechinah in exile when She is unable to receive the life-giving Tal/Dew of the first three letters. However, when this Tal/Dew will flow down to fill the Shechinah from the “water flow” of all the Supernal Springs, She will be revived and the Redemption will have arrived.

 

* * *

 

“Resh Lakish contrasted two verses: One verse promises, ‘I will gather them in... among them will be the blind and the lame’ Another verse, however, states: ‘Then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing....’ How [do we resolve the apparent contradiction]? The reply is: They shall rise with their defects and then be healed.”

 

Why?

 

The belief in the resurrection of the dead expresses the absolute truth that the expiration and corrosion of the body is but only a temporary phenomenon. The truth of the matter is that the body is a very sublime entity, in fact an eternal one. The body dies temporarily, only to reawaken to everlasting eternal life.

 

Bava Kama 67a; Succah 30b “Any change that reverts back to its original condition is not considered to be a change at all” .

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 25:6 And in this mountain shall HaShem of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord HaShem will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for HaShem hath spoken it.

 

Maimonides tells us that we MUST believe in Techiyat HaMaitim in order that we understand that this resurrection is absolutely essential to our emunah, our faithful obedience to HaShem. In fact all these thirteen articles can be boiled down to emunah. When we don’t see an idyllic world full of life with everything and every action reflecting the will of the creator, then we might lose our emunah. This world and it’s present state is a test of our emunah. Techiyat HaMaitim comes to show us the world as it was supposed to be.

 

Lest we think that Techiyat HaMaitim will just be an idyllic world, let me hasten to suggest that what will live again is that which has already lived, not something entirely new.

 

Let me repeat myself: In Techiyat HaMaitim, that which has lived before will live again.

 

Every person, every thing, every action, every experience which did not reflect what it was supposed to be – that will live again and properly reflect what it was supposed to be. That which lived once incorrectly will live again correctly and thus reflect HaShem and His oneness. This is why belief in Techiyat HaMaitim, resurrection of the dead, is an article of faith such that one who denies it has no share in the Olam HaBa!

 

The world and everything in it will start to live again. Souls will be reunited with their bodies, but the reconstructed bodies will not have the same low level they now have in This World. Even the physical will have a much more elevated, holier nature to it, as it was before the sin of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

The Resurrection of Mashiach

 

Yeshua, Mashiach ben Yosef, rose at the end of Shabbat. He thus began the formal process of resurrection on Shabbat, the second day of Passover, Nisan 16. (We studied this in depth in the study on Chronology). We are not surprised at this date because we have previously seen that the quintessential verse used to prove Techiyat HaMaitim from the Torah was the splitting of the Yam Suf, the Sea of Reeds. The splitting of the Yam Suf took place on the seventh day of Passover. In addition, we have seen that we read Ezekiel 37 on Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach – The weekly Sabbath during Passover week. This Haftorah speaks about the dry bones coming together, the Techiyat HaMaitim.

 

Thus we expect Techiyat HaMaitim to begin to take place during Passover.

 

The following passage indicated that Mashiach is to be the prototype for Techiyat HaMaitim:

 

I Corinthians 17:12-29 Now if Mashiach be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Mashiach not risen: 14  And if Mashiach be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faithful obedience is also vain. 15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Mashiach: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Mashiach raised: 17  And if Mashiach be not raised, your faithful obedience is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Mashiach are perished. 19  If in this life only we have hope in Mashiach, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Mashiach risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21  For since by man death, by man also the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Mashiach shall all be made alive. 23  But every man in his own order: Mashiach the firstfruits; afterward they that are Mashiach’s at his coming. 24  Then the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26  The last enemy shall be destroyed is death. 27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29  Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

 

From the Nazarean Codicil

 

Luqas (Luke) 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. 13  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

 

Luqas (Luke) 20:34 And Yeshua answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35  But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36  Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of G-d, being the children of the resurrection.

 

Yochanan (John) 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 

II Luqas (Acts) 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the G-d of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15  And have hope toward G-d, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 5:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Mashiach, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faithful obedience toward G-d, 2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

 

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faithful obedience of Mashiach, the righteousness which is of G-d by faithful obedience: 10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Mashiach Yeshua.

 

I Corinthians 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

 

Selected Essays

 

Parshat Chayei Sarah

MeChaye Sarah

By Rabbi Pinchas Winston


FRIDAY NIGHT:

 

Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, which is Hevron, in the land of Canaan. Avraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her. Avraham arose from before his dead and said to the sons of Chet, “I am a stranger and a resident among you. Let me purchase a burial place from you so that I may bury my dead.” (Bereshit 23:2-4)

 

This week’s Parsha begins with the death and burial of Sarah Imeinu, and provides a good opportunity to talk about a topic that is as much a fact of life as is taxes: death and burial.

 

As we have mentioned before, death is a necessary element of life because the body must dissolve. According to Kabbalah, the Original Snake imparted a spiritual impurity to mankind that is so strong that it cannot be removed from the body, for the most part, except through death and the dissolution of the body.

 

Immediately Adam descended tremendously from his level, and so did the worlds to where they are now . . . They became material, and so did Adam and Chava. Their “clothing” transformed from clothing of light to clothing of skin . . .[62]

 

In the future, the righteous will be dust, as it says, “The dust will return to the land as it was” (Kohelet 12:7), and it says, “You are from dust and to dust you will return” (Bereshit 3:19); (Shabbat 152b). This will occur a moment before Techiyat HaMaitim, when those who are still living will die in order to dissolve the physicality of their bodies in order to transform them from clothing of skin to clothing of light. Death will not be the result of the Angel of Death then, G-d forbid, for that was destroyed completely (Succah 52a) . . . but by The Holy One, Blessed is He, Himself, in order to recreate them anew completely, like the body of Adam before the sin when he entered Gan Eden.[63]

 

I say for the most part because, according to the Talmud, the Jewish people accomplished this when they accepted Torah at Mt. Sinai:

 

When the Snake came to Chava he imparted to her zuhama. When Israel stood at Mt. Sinai, the zuhama ended.[64] And then de-accomplished it when they sinned through the golden calf. And the truth is, even then they had died and were brought back to life again anew, though they did not go through the stage dissolving in the ground.

 

Part of the reason for the dissolution of the body is to rectify the soul. One of the pitfalls of life in this very physical world is that the soul itself can, over time, come to identify with the body. So much so, in fact, that it can mistake the well-being of the body for its own well-being, which often runs contrary to the well-being of the soul. Having to watch the body dissolve in the ground is lesson in the other direction.

 

Indeed, as the body rots, the soul of the person who lived like a body, making materialistic gain his priority in life, the soul believes that it is him, the soul, who is actually disappearing. Gradually, but surely, to the horror of the soul, it watches its end approach with dreaded and fearful anticipation, “kicking and screaming” the whole way, until one day it is all over.

 

“AHHHHHHHH! WE’RE GONE!!!!” it screams out.

 

And then, it realizes, that it cannot be gone and also have a consciousness of not being there. At that time, as the recognition of what must have truly occurred hits the soul, it breathes a great sign of relief as it dawns on the soul that it was the body that went, not it. Alas, it is still alive, and always will be, and after having gone through that stage of Gihennom (there might be others, depending upon the sins done in the lifetimes), it awaits to inhabit a new version of its old body, one that has been created without the effects of the Original Snake.

 

Why all this process? Because, wherever we think we’re headed, ultimately we’re headed for the World-to-Come, and we’re not yet dressed for the occasion. As one can imagine, the World-to-Come is not like anything we have, or can experience in this world.

 

SHABBAT DAY:

 

Yeshayahu 64:2-3 You descended and the mountains melted because of You. [People] have never heard, never observed, no eye had ever seen a god - except for You - that acted for those who trust in him.

 

On the simplest level, this pasuk is talking about the Jewish people’s revelation of G-d at Mt. Sinai in this world. On a deeper level, the pasuk is understood by the Talmud to be talking about the final stage of history, Olam HaBa - the World-to-Come. Thus, the Talmud reads this verse a little differently:

 

Rebi Chiya bar Abba said in the name of Rebi Yochanan, “The glorious future of which all the prophets prophesied is only for him who marries his daughter to a talmid Hakham, for him who does business with a talmid Hakham, and for him who gives of his wealth to a talmid Hakham. But, as for the scholars themselves, ‘No eye has witnessed, G-d, besides You!’ (Yeshayahu 64:3). Happy is he who waits for it.” What is meant by “No eye has witnessed?” Rebi Yehoshua ben Levi said, “This refers to the wine preserved in its grapes since the six days of creation.” Rebi Shmuel bar Nachmeini said, “This refers to Eden which no eye ever saw. And if you will ask, ‘Where did Adam, the first man live?’ It was only in the garden [of Eden]. And if you say that ‘Garden’ and ‘Eden’ are the same, it says, ‘And a river went out of Eden to water the garden’ (Bereshit 2:10), [which shows that] ‘Garden’ and ‘Eden’ are two distinct places.”[65]

 

Not even Moshe Rabbeinu’s eye, because a prophet can only prophesize about what he has seen.[66]

 

Even Adam didn’t experience the level of Gan Eden that we are destined to experience. How could he have had free-will and still be in Olam HaBa? How could there have been a snake still in the world that could act as the yetzer hara? And, even though Moshe ascended Mt. Sinai into Heaven, received Karnei Hod, beams of light, and no longer needed to eat or drink after he returned to the camp, it sill did not come close to the ultimate experience of the World-to-Come.

 

Kesones Ohr, clothing of light, is the goal. And, we’re not talking about the wardrobe in your closest either. Kesones Ohr is what our skin has to become to be able to rise from level to level and to receive the light of HaShem. It’s hard to believe in or relate to such a concept in such a very physical world as the one in which we live, but eventually, it will become difficult to relate to how the world could ever have been so physical and mundane in the first place.

 

Indeed:

 

. . . In Olam HaBa after Yemot HaMashiach, from the seventh millennium onward . . . the bodies will literally be transformed to Nefashot (souls), and there will no longer be any physical eating. (Sha’arei Leshem, p. 502)

 

Difficult as it may be to believe, 5,790 years of history will only have been a pit stop along the way to far more important and internal realities. Though everyone lives in this world like it is all that counts, save a few knowing and righteous individuals, and even though the events of today are so overwhelming frightening and dominating, they mean little in the ultimate scheme of things. In fact, even though Techiyat HaMaitim - Resurrection of the Dead - may be between 210 to 214 years only, a mere 3.5 percent of 6000 years of history, it will make 95 percent of history seem like a passing dream (at times a nightmare) only, something that feels real at the time and to take up much time, but in fact, lasts only moments.

 

Thus, the Rambam made belief in Techiyat HaMaitim the thirteenth of the Thirteen Principles of Faith, and the following will explain why.

 

SEUDOS SHLISHIS:

 

I believe, with perfect faith, that the dead will be revived, at the time that it is the will of the Creator, blessed is His Name . . . (Thirteen Principles of Faith)

 

Even though the Rambam has referred to the resurrection of the dead in the Future Tense, it is not so obvious. Indeed, if one pays close attention to the wording of the Shemoneh Esrei, he will notice that the Men of the Great Assembly, who standardized the prayer service over 2000 years ago, referred to Techiyat HaMaitim in the Present Tense: MeChaye Maitim - He is reviving the dead. Is it a contradiction, or just two different levels of discussion. The Leshem answers this question at length:

 

We see from the rabbis that, among those whom they consider to have no portion in the World-to-Come, are those who do not believe that Techiyat HaMaitim is a Torah concept (Sanhedrin 90a). Thus, the Rambam, with the spirit of G-d that spoke through him, included faith in Techiyat HaMaitim as one of the “Thirteen Principles,” which are the cornerstone of Torah. This seems remarkable! For what reason? As the R”Y Albo asked in his Sefer Ikarim, in his first essay (Chapter 3): “If a person believes in reward and punishment, but that it will be meted out in the World-to-Come and not that we will return in bodies after death, why does this matter so much to the Torah to the extent [that it considers belief in Techiyat HaMaitim] to be one of the fundamentals?” The truth is, because much rides on this, and without Techiyat HaMaitim it would seem that all of creation was only for toiling and misfortune, and for the destruction of the soul of all living beings, G-d forbid. For, if we consider how history has progressed from the time that G-d created man on earth, it has been the pasuk say, “As for man - in glory he shall not rest . . .” (Tehillim 49:13). Adam did not repose in his glory even one night, and all the generations until the Flood in 1656 were destroyed, save for Noach and his family. And, the next ten generations from Noach to Avraham accomplished very little, except for a few select individuals in each generations. Yafet and Shem set up houses of study to teach the way of G-d but were unsuccessful; few followed after them . . . Faith in G-d did not become widespread until Avraham Avinu’s time, once the 2000 years of Tohu came to an end in his fifty-second year, as mentioned in Avodah Zarah (9a). Indeed, the rabbis called it is called “2000 Years of Tohu,” indicating that nothing worthwhile came from those generations. After this, during the 2000 Years of Torah [that followed], only Israel received Torah while the rest of the nations remained in a state of Tohu, without any real purpose. Even the Jewish people [for the next 480 years] did not seem to have fulfilled the full will of G-d, since we see from the Torah that the main objective was to build the Temple. Only it is called the “Menuchah” (repose) and “Nachalah” (inheritance), as the Torah says, “until now you have not come to the repose or the inheritance” (Devarim 12:9), as it says in Zevachim (119a). As the Zohar says, only in Shlomo’s time did the moon reach its completion, after the fifteen generations from Avraham Avinu had been completed. Then Israel was successful to the upper level. Yet, the night that Shlomo completed the work of the Temple, he married the daughter of Pharaoh, and at that moment The Holy One, Blessed is He, thought to destroy Jerusalem . . . (Shabbat 56b). Not even one night passed peacefully, just as the pasuk said, “As for man - in glory he shall not rest . . .” And how much more so has this been the case during this [last period of history called the] “2000 Years of Mashiach,” of which 1,657 have already passed. Still we have yet to been redeemed! Thus we find that from the time of creation until 5658, the world has not merited to reach fulfillment for even a single day! It would appear as if all of creation was for nought. However, belief in Techiyat HaMaitim provides the correct answer. The depth of the matter is that Techiyat HaMaitim is not a hope of man alone, but for every aspect of creation as well from the time it was made until the end of history. All of it, all that every existed at any moment in time, will eventually be renewed and return rectified in Techiyat HaMaitim . . . Every aspect of Techiyat HaMaitim that will come about for man, who is a miniature world unto himself, will come to be for every detail that ever existed throughout history. However, as we know from the Arizal, in truth, Techiyat HaMaitim takes place every moment. For, the Sparks and Broken Pieces from the Original Kings that died and broke, are constantly being elevated into some form in this world. As we see, new things are constantly being created in this world; there is not a moment when some new act is not occurring to some vessel of creation . . . The world is constantly at work to bring its potential into actuality for the sake of man, and in this way it is elevated by becoming attached to man, who is the most important aspect of creation. This is its life. All the potential that comes out in this world is from the Sparks and Broken Pieces that are relevant to Olam Asiyah (our physical world), and when man uses them for his benefit properly, that is, in the service of G-d, causing his soul to ascend to G-d, then his soul ascends with the reality of the Sparks and the Broken Pieces as well, which return to their sources [above]. There they are renewed, and light and blessing is added to them, literally resurrecting them . . . Thus, there is no moment when they are not being rectified and ascend, and that is the reason why they [the rabbis of the Men of the Great Assembly] worded the mention of Techiyat HaMaitim [in Shemoneh Esrei] in the Present Tense . . . (Sha’arei Leshem, p. 505-7)

 

Thus, references to Sparks, Broken Pieces, and Kings aside, the Leshem is revealing that Techiyat HaMaitim is not only a future event, but it is an ongoing process as well. It’s just that we can’t see it. Instead, what we see is just the opposite, waste, death, destruction, even in history as late as 5764. However, as the Rambam points out, you have to know and believe that this will come to an end, and the world will begin anew - physically - with the type of utopian perfection we long for now but won’t taste until later.

 

Yet, explains the Leshem, that does not mean that Techiyat HaMaitim is not already occurring. It is, on the spiritual level that is, beyond the range of our physical eyes to see. And even that’s not entirely true, for the constant newness of things in creation for the benefit of man used in the service of G-d is something we can see, and is very much a part of the process of Techiyat HaMaitim.

 

That is why many of the blessings of Shemoneh Esrei, including the building of Jerusalem and the ingathering of the exiles is written in Present Tense form. Until Mashiach comes, they are taking place, but on a spiritual plane, in spite of what our physical eyes and mind tell us.

 

However, after Yemot HaMashiach, then Techiyat HaMaitim will take place on ALL levels, for all (good) aspects of creation. And then, as the pasuk says, G-d will finally be happy with His creation, and creation will shine in its full glory.

 

MELAVE MALKAH:

 

Your children will recognize and know that their rest comes from You, and through their rest they will sanctify Your Name. (Mincha, Shabbat)

 

These words from the Shemoneh Esrei of Shabbat afternoon are interesting. The “rest” to which they refer, obviously, is that of Shabbat. We ask G-d for a perfect rest, one that brings with it a sense of security and tranquility, and then we end off with the above words about the Children of Israel recognizing who their source of rest really is, and about the great sanctification of G-d’s Name the rest creates. Why?

 

The reference to Shabbat is both general and specific. Shabbat is not only the seventh day of rest for Klal Israel, but it also represents the Jewish people’s willingness to rely upon G-d, and His willingness to take care of all of our needs, especially when we rely upon Him so openly, no matter day of the week it is.

 

At the end of Parashat Beshalach, the nation of Amalek officially enters the history of the Jewish people for the first time. As to why, Rashi provides an elaborate explanation, providing an analogy about a father, son, and a dog; the father, of course represents G-d, the son, the Jewish people, and the dog always symbolizes Amalek. The father, who had been carrying the son on his shoulders, placed him down on the ground, at which time the dog but him. But why would a father do that?

 

Because, explains Rashi, to teach the son a lesson. Having become accustomed to living above it all on his father’s shoulders, the son forgot that it was his father that was carrying him. To remind him of this fact, he lowered his son into the world below, and as a result, the son became vulnerable to the attack of the dog.

 

Likewise, explains Rashi, when the Jewish people asked Moshe, “Is G-d with us our not?” it was as if they had forgotten that G-d had been carrying them until that point. It was as if they had forgotten how easily they had overcome and left Egypt, how easily their food and water was acquired, and how miraculously they had crossed the sea and watched the pursing Egyptians drown. I short, they had become accustomed to living in the safe supernatural reality of being on G-d’s shoulders.

 

So, G-d let them down into the world of Amalek, the very physical world of Amalek, and all of a sudden, the dog came and took a bite. This necessitated the appointment of a 3,000-man army, and a war fought with far more conventional means than they had had to employ until that time. Even Moshe Rabeinu had to fend off exhaustion do his part to win the war.

 

But this had not been a punishment, but a lesson. It was meant as a reminder of just who it really was who took care of the needs of the Jewish people. It was to remind them of just how miraculous their existence had been until then, and was meant to be. It had been designed to inspire the Jewish people to want to return to their Father’s shoulders once again, and get out of Amalek’s reality once and for all.

 

Just as the rotting of the body teaches the soul that it is a soul and not a body, so too was the attack of Amalek, and any other nation for that matter, was designed to teach the Jewish people that they don’t belong in the everyday mundane reality of the nations of the world. If we exist and survive and succeed, it is because G-d made it happen, and not the nations of the world.

 

Remember the Durban Conference? Remember how the Arab world tried to hijack that conference and make Zionism racism, and how appalled we were as well as other western nations? Did we ever imagine back then that 60 percent of Europe would find Israel the greatest threat to world peace, or that anti-Semitism would reach pre-1939 levels, and so quickly?

 

Not I. But it has, and Israel and Jews around the world face a level of isolation we have not known for decades. Gradually at first, and now quite quickly, those things that we Jews have attributed to our success and sense of security amongst the family of nations, if you can call it a family, have been taken away from us. The body around us is rotting, and with it, we feel as if we are dying and are in danger of death.

 

As G-d told Avraham, and we know from the prophecies, the time will come when the body of the Western world will dissolve completely, and like the confused soul, we will awaken to see that we have remained behind. Then, we will realize that our “rest” and “security” did not come from the nations of the world, but that G-d had been carrying is all along. And, we’ll understand that all the anti-Semitism we experienced - the biting dog - was all because we doubted the Presence of G-d amongst us.

 

G-d willing, that time will come sooner than later.

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

 


 

 

Kibbiutz Galiot                                   Techiyat HaMaitim                            Yemot HaMashiach

(Ingathering of the Exiles)                 (Resurrection of the Dead)                 (Days of Mashiach)        

40 Years                                              210 Years                                            1000 Years

Tishri 1, 5751                                     Tishri 1, 5790                                     Tishri 1, 6000

 

 


* * *

 


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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[1] Mishne Torah Hilkhot Teshuva 3:6

[2] Lit., ‘that resurrection is not intimated in the Torah.’ The doctrine of resurrection was denied by the Sadducees and the Samaritans. It was to oppose these that the doctrine was emphatically asserted in the second of the Eighteen Benedictions (v. W.O. Oesterley. The Jewish Background of Christian Liturgy, Oxford, 1925, 60ff.). According to the present text, however, the reference is not to one who denies the fact of resurrection, but that it is intimated in the Torah. (On the importance of conceding the Biblical origin of this tenet, v. p. 604, n. 12.) But D.S. omits the phrase as interpolated, and he is supported by the Tosef. XIII, 5.

[3] One who subscribes to the watchmaker theory of HaShem and His world.

[4] Lit., ‘Measure for measure’

[5] Num. XVIII, 28.

[6] Ex. VI, 4.

[7] The promise could be literally fulfilled only by the Patriarchs’ resurrection.

[8] Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:16.

[9] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 26:19.

[10] V. Ezekiel 27.

[11] Cant. VII, 9. As the entire Song is interpreted by the Rabbis as a dialogue between G-d and Israel, the last phrase is understood to refer to the dead, whom G-d will cause to speak again.

[12] Deut. XI, 21.

[13] Ibid. IV, 4.

[14] This is deduced from ‘this day’, which is superfluous.

[15] Ps. LXXII, 16: the bracketed addition gives the sense according to Rabbinic interpretation; v. Keth. 111a.

[16] People dying and others being born.

[17] V. Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 601, n. 5 and p. 604, n. 12.

[18] I.e., in the same state.

[19] After their resurrection I will heal them of the blemishes they possessed in their former life.

[20] Isa. XXVI, 19. ‘Ye that lie in the dust’ would apply to all mortals.

[21] Prov. XXX, 15, 16

[22] The crying of the child.

[23] The wailing of the mourners.

[24] V. Sanh. 92a.

[25] This is not a dogmatic assertion that only Israel has a portion in the world to come, but is closely connected with the preceding chapters, and asserts that even those who were executed by Beth din are not shut out from the future world, as is stated in VI, 2.

[26] Isa. LX, 22.

[27] In the first place, the word denotes an adherent of the Epicurean philosophy, and then, one who lives a licentious and dissolute life. The word has also been derived from the Hebrew “to be unbridled”, and it is frequently used as a synonym of min (q.v. p. 604, n. 12), heretic. The Gemara defines it as one who speaks disparagingly of the Bible and its disciples.

[28] Bartenura (and other commentaries) on Sanhedrin, ibid.; Midrash Shmuel, beginning of Pirke Avot

[29] In other words, according to the Zohar, the period of time during which bodies will be resurrected and brought back to life will begin at least FORTY years from the time that the Jewish exiles are brought back to Eretz Israel.

[30] Berachot 34b

[31] Pesachim 68a

[32] See Midrash Ne’elam Vayaira 114b

[33] Midrash Ne’elam, Toldot 140a

[34] Sha’arei Leshem, page 492

[35] Sanhedrin 97a

[36] Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer, 30

[37] Exodus 15:1, Mechilta. Rashi. Perek Shira in Torah Shleimah

[38] See Mechilta, Beshalach as quoted by Rashi

[39] Berachot 34b

[40] Hilchot Melachim 12:1-2; and cf. Hilchot Teshuva 9:2

[41] Ma’amar Techiyat HaMaitim, sect. 6. Cf. Hilchot Melachim 12:2 that no one is in a position to know the details of the events to occur until they have come to pass etc.

[42] Ezekiel 37:13

[43] Niddah 61b; Jerusalem Talmud, Ketubbot 12:3 (and the comment of Yefei Mareh there); Tosefot (and Gilyon HaShas of R. Akiva Eger and the comment of Rashash) on Ketubbot 111b; Maharsha on Shabbat 114b; Radvaz on Rambam, Hilchot Avel 14:24; Radal on Pirke deRabbi Eliezer 33:77; Sefer Emunat HaTechiyah, ch. 4.

[44] Sanhedrin 91b; Bereshit Rabbah, sec. 95; Zohar I, 199b, and II, 91a. Thus, too, the Zohar (I, 203b) - and so too the Gemara (in Nedarim 8b) - writes that in time to come G-d will take the sun out of its sheath and heal the righteous. (Cf. footnote 259 for contrasting views.) Margaliyos HaYam on Sanhedrin 91b lists further sources. See also ch. 1 above, footnote 28.

[45] It is explained in Sefer HaMaamarim 5659, p. 415, and in Sefer HaMaamarim 5711, p. 209, that the body of Adam was susceptible to the sin of the Tree of Knowledge whereas after the Resurrection there will be no sin. Indeed, even in the Messianic era, bodies will be far more refined than they are now (see Sefer HaMaamarim 5637.)

[46] Tur Oruch Haim section 490, see Otzar Hagaonim Meggilah pg 64

[47] from Gen. Rabbah 96:5, Keth. 111a

[48] Which the Midrash now refers to the Patriarch Israel, not the nation.

[49] And so deify me.

[50] Eretz Israel is The land of the living, as the passage appended in the text from cur. edd. explains.

[51]  I.e. as though the burial counts as an additional death when it is without the Land.

[52] Surely not.

[53] The channels are in the earth, and therefore like long caves stretching to Eretz Israel.

[54] Gen. XLVII, 30.

[55] To carry him to Canaan?

[56] Var. lec., ‘because he did not accept the suffering of the pain of rolling through the cavities’ (Yalkut and יעקב עין).

[57] Gen. L, 25.

[58] Of Israel.

[59] V. p.717, n. 19.

[60] See also Rabbeinu Bachye, Parshat Noach 6:12, 11:10

[61] see: R. Saadiah Gaon, Emunot VeDeot, ch. 7; Rambam, Peirush HaMishnayot, Sanhedrin, ch. 10; Ramban, Shaar HaGemul, sec. 11

[62] Sha’arei Leshem, p. 344-345

[63] Sha’arei Leshem, p. 489

[64] Shabbat 146a

[65] Berachot 34b

[66] Maharal, Gevurot HaShem