Dreaming of Moshiach

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Heaven's Judgment: Return

From the recording of shiur of Harav HaGaon Yitzchak Peretz, Shlita.

"I always thought that this can only happen during the era of the Tanaa’im, that a person goes up to Shamayim for judgment and returns to earth. I see that it can also happen in our time.

"About 2 months ago, I met my friend whom I used to learn with in the Yeshiva and this friend tells me, "Do you remember Ploni that learned with us in the Yeshiva? He is very ill". I was saddened to hear this about our mutual friend.

I decided to visit the ill friend; I remember he was tall and very handsome. Instead, I see a person I didn't recognize, immersed in fear. In his eyes sprouted fear and it alarmed me. I sat down with him and asked him 'what happened?’ This is what he told me. "You know I was always healthy, never sick even one day, always strong and courageous. But some time ago, I felt weak and went to the Doctor. The Doctor checked me and said; 'I don't think you have anything but to make certain, go to the emergency room to be tested'. I didn't understand why the Doctor is sending me to the emergency room if I have nothing but when I questioned him, he insisted I do what he strongly advises.

At the hospital emergency room, I had a serious of tests done on me. A heart doctor also checked me thoroughly and said, 'I want to tell you - you have very dangerous cardiac illness and it's extremely fatal. If you listen to my advice, quickly go to the U.S. and have a heart transplant. Do not waste another precious moment'.

I laughed at this doctor - what, me ill with a fatal heart condition? It's a joke! I told the doctor that I'm willing to have a race with him and show him that I'm healthy. But the doctor wasn't laughing; he was serious and gave me severe warnings.

To make a long story short, I went with my wife to the U.S. and had the best doctor check me. The doctor said that 90% of my heart is not functioning! He claimed that I'm a living miracle. He didn't understand how it is that I'm still alive.

Immediately, they operated on my heart. I had an open-heart surgery and in the midst of the operation, my heart had an attack while attached to all sorts of machinery. At that point, the doctor told my wife, 'this is it. He cannot breathe on his own and I doubt that he'll live. He's breathing thru machinery.'

My wife was not able to accept the decree and called all Yeshivot and shuls in Eretz Israel to pray for her husband's health and to return to life. She was even willing to compromise that he be handicapped but not dead. She could not accept that the children will be orphans. But the situation seemed hopeless.

A few weeks later, when we returned to Eretz Israel, I called our mutual friend and told him to come over because I have a story to tell him.

The mutual friend came with his wife Rosh Chodesh Elul, it was Thursday. I was standing on both my legs, b'h, but I saw that my friend was shocked to see me so weak. I told him, 'you know me well, I am not a dreamer, do not have a wild imagination, and do not hallucinate. Now, I am going to tell you the truth which is true, authentic and exists'.

During the operation, while in a coma, the machinery kept me alive and was breathing for me. During this time, my neshama went to Bet Din of Shamayim (Heavenly court). After my judgment, I was placed on some kind of a carousel that goes around and around with 3 other neshamot. The carousel turned around very fast, its speed cannot be described. While laying on the carousel that was turning round and round enormously quick, I was getting tremendously beaten up and was yelling in excruciating pain.

While in pain and yelling, I heard a 'voice' and the 'voice' said, 'Ploni, you are in Bet Din of Shamayim'.
Thru the pain, I yelled, 'But I want to live, I don't want to die, I am young, I want to live'.
The 'voice' said to me, 'Why do you want to live?'
I answered, 'I have a wife and children. I want to live for them'.
The 'voice' said, 'This is not a valid reason to receive life, each person has a family'.
I said, 'I work in the educational department, I educate Jewish children. For the sake of Jewish children, let me live. I have been educating Jewish children over 20 years'.

The 'voice' replied, 'although you work in education, did you ever check the results of your work in the education system? Your work is far from educating children, you have a fancy office and a fancy title, but did you ever go to the schools to see if the students have fear of Heaven? Did you ever check if the students are Shomrei Shabbat? Prior to approving books for the students, did you ever check if the material is suitable for children?'.

I answered, 'No, I never checked but I work hard, I try, I put an effort for over 20 years'.
The 'voice' replied, 'you worked hard when you began 20 years ago. But it's been years since you made an effort. You do your work with deception. You don't put an effort at all.'

I was shown all the sins I committed, and each sin I committed passed thru me to view, and I had to give judgment on each thing. The 'voice' asked me, 'Why did you do this? How can you have done this? How is it you were not afraid? Where was your fear of Heaven?'.

I became very very frightened and felt fear of God. I answered, 'I didn't do it on purpose, it was a mistake, it was an unintentional transgression, I didn't know'.
The 'voice' replied, 'in this Olam there are no excuses! In this Olam, there are no justifications! Why did you sin? How was it you were not afraid? Where was your fear of Heaven?'

I said, 'the public is praying for my health, give me life. In Yeshivot and shuls, people are praying for me'.
The 'voice' replied, 'The general public is praying for you and this is a good reason for you not to die but it's not enough reason for you to receive life. It is possible to live in the lower world and not be dead and not alive'.

I didn't understand what it means, 'not dead and not alive', and all of a sudden, I felt that the carousel I was laying on was standing diagonally, slanted. I see myself hanging between heaven and earth and in-between, a threatening abyss. The fear of God fell on me, and the fear was so overwhelming that I wanted to ask for death. I felt that in the upper world, they don't remove the soul from the physical body till it agrees.

That moment, I decided to agree to death, but when I opened my mouth, the following words escaped my mouth, "But I have an answer - give me a chance to do Teshuva. I want to do Teshuva, give me a chance'.

The 'voice' said, 'Do you really want to do Teshuva? Do you sincerely mean it that you want to correct your ways? We will give you another chance and will see if you sincerely want to correct what needs correction'.

At that moment, I felt the unbearable turning carousel slowly stopping till it completely stopped and I see the other 3 neshamot that were placed in the carousel. Their judgment was death and only I, I don't know in what merit, received judgment to live.

I opened my eyes and shut them again. Around me I heard whispering, 'He is alive, he is alive, he is not dead, it's a miracle!'. All the Doctors and nurses were very excited and very surprised. They kept repeating, he is alive.

A few days later, I began healing and not one of the doctors could understand what happened with me. They were positive that I ceased to live and suddenly, they see me walking, talking and leaving the hospital healthy, and returning to my country, Israel. I left the hospital on my own 2 feet, not on a wheelchair or a stretcher.

Yes my friend, it is a wonderful miracle that cannot be explained. The doctors do not know where I was while they were operating on me. Know this, when I returned from the U.S., and entered my home, the first thing I did was remove the TV. I told my wife that this abomination must be removed from our home.

Thus, started my work to correct my ways, anything I was able to correct, I correct it. I remembered I took books from a local shul and never returned it. Right away, I took the books and returned it to the shul. I found books I borrowed from a friend, I returned them right away. I went over all accounts to see if I owe money to anyone and found all sorts of debts that I never paid back. Immediately, I returned owed money and corrected my ways.

I remembered that when I build this house, 5 years ago, one of my neighbors claimed that I build on their property that belongs to them. I said to my wife I'm willing to destroy half of the house if God forbid I stole someone else's property. I would call the city council daily to find out if my house was build legally on my property. It took a while till they took out the architect's drawings to check my request. I did not want to be responsible for stealing a centimeter that did not belong to me. Baruch HaShem, after the city council carefully checked, it was determined that I did not steal property from my neighbor.

Every day I try to correct my ways. I called all the educational staff I supervise and told them, 'Check all the books that we distribute to our children with a fine toothcomb. If there is anything written in these books that are not educational, it must be removed immediately'. I give them no rest, every day I check, follow thru, to correct what needs correction.

There is a Judge and there is Judgment!!! The world is not ownerless! Every deed a person does, it is written in Shamayim.

Maybe by revealing what happened to me, it will effect Jews to do Teshuva, with sincerity. Maybe in Shamayim, it will be said that it was worth returning me back to life, for helping Jews to do Teshuva."

"This is the story of my friend", concluded Rav Peretz. "My friends, may it be the Will of HaShem that we will all pass the Day of Judgment in peace. May we all merit, b'h, to cleanse our homes and allow entrance for holiness in our home and hearts. How beautiful Shabbat is in the home of a Jew, in a home that is brightly lit with Judaism, where there is light of holiness and light of purity."




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