Dreaming of Moshiach

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Joining the Ranks of the Angels

When Moshiach arrives, a great change will occur to the entire world, even to those still in existence from this world, they will remain physical. Presently the world consists of three categories: impure, pure, and holy; even the "pure" of today is still lacking holiness. In the days of Moshiach, the righteous and the meritorious will be on a higher level than angels, and their bodies will emanate.

The Holy Sparks (nitsotsim), the human soul, and the process of tikun is complicated. To better understand what will occur to the body during resurrection, one has to better understood the concept of the soul and its root within the structure of all human souls, as well as its inter-relationship with other souls from its own root.

The Zohar says that the resurrection will literally occur in the body that suffered with the soul in This World and did not derive any pleasure from the entire Torah and his good deeds. The body that was used the most to learn Torah and to perform mitzvos, with the least amount of worldly benefit for doing so, is the one destined to be resurrected. Nothing purifies the body more than serving G-d for HIS sake, and not for our own sake.

The purpose of resurrection is clear: it is to rebuild the body free of any impurities, when it is more soul-like than body-like. The time of resurrection will vary, one who is rectified earlier from his impurity will die and resurrect earlier. The period of death to resurrection for the entire 'generation' will be long, though, tzaddikim who have died previously will resurrect immediately at the beginning of the period, which will be after forty years of the ingathering of the exiles.

There will be many resurrections over a large period of time, with the first resurrection occurring after forty years of ingathering of exiles, that is, 210 years in advance of Year 6000. The last resurrection will occur towards the end of the 210 years. During that period, some people will have already resurrected, whereas others will still await death, decomposition, and, resurrection. All those who still survive this Olam/World will say 'Holy!' before the righteous who have already arisen during the resurrection. The world will exist on two levels: that of angels and that of man. (Sha'arei Leshem)

In such a spiritually holy environment, it will be impossible to ignore one's own physicality, and, the sooner one dies, the sooner one will be able to join the ranks of the angels.

When we consider the concept of gilgulim/reincarnation; which body resurrects? Reincarnation implies that a single soul can live many lives. Also, in the course of living many lives, he may have had many wives, and she, many husbands-one per lifetime. For whom do we resurrect?

When a person is born, "Nefesh" enters him. If he is adequately rectified through his actions, "Ruach" will enter him at the end of his thirteenth year when he becomes a "complete person." His Neshamah will enter him only when he completes his twentieth year, as it says in the Zohar (Mishpatim 94b). (Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Chapter 2)

This is talking about a person’s first gilgul. However, should a person not progress in this manner, then the following applies—with major ramifications in resurrection:

If he does not completely rectify his Ruach, then the Neshamah will not enter him and he will remain with only his Nefesh and Ruach. Likewise, if he doesn’t completely rectify his Nefesh, then he will remain with only his Nefesh, lacking both his Ruach and Neshamah. The Ruach and Neshamah will remain in a place known to The Holy One, Blessed is He, and there a place will be prepared for each one.

It can and often does take many lifetimes to finally access those higher levels of soul. Depending upon the level of soul a person has "acquired," thus will be his ability to grow spiritually.

If a person does not completely rectify his Nefesh the first time and dies, then his Nefesh will have to reincarnate, perhaps even many times until it is sufficiently rectified. Even after complete rectification is achieved, a Ruach will not enter him since he only achieved tikun through a gilgul. He will have to die and return in order to receive the Ruach. Furthermore, once the Ruach is sufficiently rectified, then he will also have to reincarnate before receiving a Neshamah, as was the case with the Ruach.

After he finally does rectify his Nefesh and dies, only in the next reincarnation will he return with a Nefesh and a Ruach. Once the Ruach is rectified as well, then he will have to die and come back in another gilgul with a Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah.

If the Ruach is not sufficiently rectified, then the Nefesh and the Ruach will have to come back again, perhaps many times until the Ruach is rectified. Once rectification is achieved, then the person will die and his Nefesh and Ruach will come back with the proper Neshamah, until all three are rectified. One this is done, there is no need for any further gilgulim: he has become a "complete person."

It can take many lifetimes to rectify even a single level of soul. As we experience first hand every day, there is so much temptation to pursue the material world, usually at the cost of the spirituality, and so little strength within many to resist. This is what the Torah means when it says: God said, "I will never again curse the land because of mankind, because the inclination of the heart of man is evil from his youth." (Bereishit 8:21)

The Talmud says that if God doesn’t help man fend off his yetzer hara, it will consume him in an instant. Apparently, it already has for trillions of people throughout the ages. This is why a person must always pray to God for help against his yetzer hara (evil inclination).

If the Nefesh became perfected only after living through at least two gilgulim, which body comes back in resurrection? And, if it takes even more gilgulim to rectify the Ruach and Neshamah, then what happens to all the previous bodies of that soul?

Rabbi Chaim Vital, zs'l: It seems to me that all levels of rectification are really the fulfillment of mitzvos which are dependent upon the "limbs" of the Nefesh, and that all blemishes result from violating Negative Mitzvos. Positive Mitzvos which require a person to actively do something cause tikun to the Nefesh, whereas the transgression of Negative Mitzvos blemishes the Nefesh.
The completion of the entry for the rectification of the Nefesh into the body is only through the mitzvos. Even though sins blemish the Nefesh, they do not prevent its sparks from entering. However, there are two other aspects regarding this matter. If, during the first life he only received his Nefesh and didn’t merit to completely rectify it and he dies, at the time of Resurrection of the Dead only the specific sections that were rectified return. This is because the first body did not complete the tikun of all levels of Nefesh.

In other words, a particular reincarnation will resurrect and receive only those sparks that were rectified through it, while the other parts of the Nefesh will return to the bodies in which they were rectified. Thus, we learn a new principle: souls can subdivide into different bodies during resurrection, and the division is proportional based up the amount of sparks that were rectified during a particular body’s lifetime.

Therefore, when this Nefesh reincarnates into another body to complete its tikun and it achieves its NR"N (i.e., Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah), then all the parts of the Nefesh that were rectified in the second body, together with the Ruach and Neshamah, belong to the second body at the time of the resurrection. The first body has no portion in the Ruach and Nefesh, but does have a share in part of the Nefesh, according to that which was rectified with it. The rest of the parts belong to the second body.

It turns out that, not only do our souls have different sections, but those sections have sections—many of them—all of which are called "Holy Sparks" (Nitzutzei Kedushah). And, what is even more remarkable is that they seem to have a certain independence of their own, able to sustain their own bodies in resurrection.

The main source of pleasure in the Time-to-Come, though, is on the level of Ruach and Neshamah . . . He (the resurrected body lacking its Ruach and Neshamah) will be there in the World-to-Come and have some pleasure, but not the main pleasure since it will lack the appropriate levels of soul—Ruach and Neshamah—to sense and enjoy it.

During Moshiach time, there will still be seven days of the week, but each one itself will be holy. There are six different types of holy light of the holidays: Pesach, Shavuot, Succot, Shemini Atzeres, Rosh Hashanah and Rosh Chodesh—the secret of the root of the six days of the week.
Sunday, level of Chesed, would have the holiness of Pesach;
Monday would be Rosh Hashanah;
Tuesday: Shavuot;
Wednesday: Rosh Chodesh, since it is also called "Moed";
Thursday: Succot, side of Gevurot;
Friday: Shemini Atzeres, because Day Six corresponds to Yesod . . .

All holidays will be annulled in the future, except Purim (and some say Hanukah) for they will divide up among the days of the week, all of which will have the holiness of the holidays. From Moshiach's arrival and resurrection and onward, the world will be "a day that is completely Shabbat." The entire "time" will be on the level of the holiness of the holidays.

This is just a glimpse of the direction creation has been moving now for almost 6000 years. Knowing a little about what to expect when history is all said and done should make it a little easier to put into perspective one’s spiritual priorities, and that, really, is what it is all about, isn’t it?




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