Dreaming of Moshiach

Friday, October 13, 2006

End of Evil

At what stage will the Resurrection of the Dead take place?
The Redemption will follow this sequence: [+/-] show/hide text
the building of the Beis HaMikdash, the Ingathering of the Exiles, and - forty years later - the Resurrection of the Dead. Until the era of the Resurrection, the world will remain unchanged and the laws of Nature will continue their course.
Where will the Resurrection take place?
Both for those buried in Eretz Yisrael and for those buried outside the Land (to which the bodies will be brought by the angel Gavriel), the Resurrection will take place in Eretz Yisrael. For since G-d 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 entire Land of Israel is subsumed in Jerusalem.)

Who will arise at the Resurrection of the Dead?
All of Israel, without exception, have a share in the World to Come (i.e., the Resurrection of the Dead). Even as to those of whom the Sages said that they do not have a share in the World to Come, this means that:
(a) their body will decompose, while the Divine soul, which is eternal, will be resurrected in a different body, and
(b) they have no known and separate share, but they do derive benefit and sustenance from the storehouse of charitable bequests which are hidden away for those who were not found worthy of entering the World to Come.

In what manner will the body be resurrected?
As a person leaves [dies], so will he come - whether blind, deaf, clothed, or whatever; as G-d says, "Let them arise as they left, and I shall heal them." Some understand "clothed" as referring to the shrouds in which a person was buried, others understand it as referring to the clothes he was accustomed to wear.

Will the entire Jewish people be resurrected simultaneously?
The first to be resurrected will be the dead of the Land of Israel, after them the dead of other lands, and then those who died in the wilderness (or, according to other views, the Patriarchs). Some hold that the order will be: the dead of the Land of Israel, after them the dead of other lands, and then "those who slumber in Hebron" (i.e., the Patriarchs) in order that the fathers of the Jewish people should awaken in joy, when they behold their offspring who have arisen from their graves, in a world filled with righteous and pious folk.

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 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.

What of the people who will be alive at the time of the Resurrection?
They too will die, and G-d will immediately resurrect them, in order that no trace whatever should remain of the defilement of this world - so that there will be a new world, G-d's handiwork.

[This should not be a matter of concern: Imagine you see everyone lying down for a moment -- and then 'wake up' completely refreshed. Would you hesitate to do the same?]

This process is necessary due to the curse given to Adam (Genesis 3:19), "For dust you are, and to dust shall you return". Only those who are extremely humble (and have spiritually "returned to dust" through self-nullification), will be able to avoid this experience.

How will the body be rebuilt?
One bone of the body remains. (Some hold that it is part of the spine: some say at the nape of the neck where the knot of the tefillin is placed, and others say that it is the lowest bone of the spine.) At the time of the Resurrection G-d softens this bone with the Dew of the Resurrection: it serves as yeast to dough, and from it the entire body is reconstituted.

Will there be trial and judgment after the Resurrection?
There are those who hold that following the Resurrection there will come the great Day of Judgment on which every man will be judged according to his deeds. Others hold that every man is judged immediately after his death, so that there is no reason for a further trial; these understand the future Day of Judgment as referring to a time of punishment and vengeance. Yet others hold that the Day of Judgment refers only to the nations of the world, not to Israel.

How will life be after the Resurrection?
In the World to Come (the World of the Resurrection) there will be neither eating nor drinking, neither reproduction nor commerce, neither envy nor hatred nor competition; rather, the righteous will sit with crowns on their heads, and bask in the radiance of the Divine Presence. They will not return to their dust, but will live forever.

In the case of a soul which descended to this world more than once, in which body will it be resurrected?
A body relates only to that part of the soul which was rectified when the body was alive, and the parts of the soul which have been rectified during its various lifecycles will descend into their respective bodies.

There is no problem in saying that a man has only "part" of a soul, for each part of the soul incorporates all of its components, which together constitute the stature of a complete soul.

(The above questions and answers are a mere synopsis of an extensive responsum by the Rebbe which is fully documented and closely argued; see Teshuvos U'Biurim by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zs'l, sec. 1142)

What Will Happen When Moshiach Comes?
With the coming of Moshiach, Maimonides a'h, one of the greatest Jewish authorities of all time, writes there will be no more jealousy, no more hate, no more conflict between peoples, no more wars among nations, no more friction between the different races and ethnic groups. People will find peace and harmony not only with others but also within themselves. No more inner turmoil.
All the negativity that we associate with the human condition is not the real us; they are a result of all the external influences, including the suffering and hardship we endure. All of this conceals the innate goodness which comes from within. When Moshiach will come G-d will enable us to remove the external cover so that our true inner goodness will be allowed to surface. Hate, jealousy, laziness; arrogance, anger among all other human frailties which are in essence mere additions to our core of humanity will disappear as we are given opportunity to express our real essence.

G-d will likewise eliminate illness and hunger, all the inherent goodness in nature will surface in all areas of life, in fact the world will realize the ultimate reason for which it was created, any sensible person believes that G-d's world was not indented for all the pain and suffering which we've experienced is the past, and indeed Judaism has taught us that what has transpired from creation until the present, is all part of a process. As the student who goes to school, stays up all night studying, takes the exams, and all this while trying to cope emotionally and socially with life, for the ultimate purpose of getting a degree, which will enable the graduate to make it in life, similarly all the suffering now, is only part of a process which will become clear when Moshiach comes.

The peace and harmony we will experience then, is a manifestation of a more godly state which will prevail. All of mankind will recognize that G-d is the creator who put all of us in this universe to fulfill his or her purpose. And then we will have the ability to appreciate, and have the desire to fulfill, that purpose. And there could be no greater feeling of achievement and fulfillment, then the knowledge that one is living up to the purpose for which he or she was created. There can be no more profound feeling of satisfaction then one's own legitimization -- that I belong, that I have a purpose, and that I live up to that purpose. The hope for Moshiach is the hope to realize our G-d given potential. And that is the hope of all hopes.

More at http://moshiach.com/




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו