(Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket IV, p. 177ff)

By the Grace of G‑d

Shabbos Parshas Acharei,
Mevorchim HaChodesh Iyar,
5733

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

In this mishnah, the term “the World to Come” refers to the Era of Resurrection,2 as indicated by the continuation of the mishnah which states, “And these individuals do not have a portion in the World to Come: He who denies that the concept of the resurrec­tion has a source in the Torah.”

Why is such a person not granted [a portion in the World to Come]? Because, as the Gemara goes on to explain:3 “He denied the resurrection of the dead; he therefore will not have a share in this resurrection — measure for measure.”

Thus [the Era of Resurrection] is the intent in the expression “Every Jew has a share in the World to Come.” [Indeed, there is also no alternative to this explanation. In other contexts, the term “the World to Come” is used to refer to] Gan Eden, [the Garden of Eden, the abode of the souls in the spiritual realms.4 We cannot say that every Jew has a share in Gan Eden, for entry to Gan Eden is restricted,] as it is written,5 “Who may ascend the mount of the L-rd ...? He who has clean hands and a pure heart....” I.e., there are many requirements for entering Gan Eden, even the lower level of Gan Eden.6 [No such restrictions apply regarding] the Era of Resurrection. [On the contrary,] “Every Jew has a share in the World to Come.”7

This surely requires explanation, for the revelation that will characterize the Era of Resurrection will far surpass those of Gan Eden.8 [This applies] even regarding the revelations within the higher level of Gan Eden — and indeed, those of the most sublime levels of Gan Eden.

{The concept [that the revelation that will characterize the Era of Resurrection is vastly superior to even the most lofty levels of Gan Eden] can be appreciated by the very fact that, at that time, all the Jews will be resurrected. This will include even those souls who have been in Gan Eden for many thousands of years and who thrice daily are elevated to higher levels [of Gan Eden]. Nevertheless, they too will be clothed in bodies in the World to Come. [And they will eagerly desire to do so, because] the revelation that will characterize the Era of Resurrection is vastly superior to the revelation of — even the most sublime level of — Gan Eden.9}

[The question is thus reinforced]: Why is it that the lower rung, the level of Gan Eden, has many prerequisites which must be met to merit its revelations, while the [far superior level, the] revelation of the Era of Resurrection is the portion of all Jews?

II

The above [question] can be resolved through a broader explanation of the concept that the revelation that will characterize the Era of Resurrection will far surpass the revelations of Gan Eden.

Seemingly, [the opposite should be true]. Gan Eden refers to the world of the souls (where the soul’s perception is not limited by a physical body). In the Era of Resurrection, by contrast, the souls will [again] be clothed in bodies. Why then will there be an even greater degree of revelation in the Era of Resurrection, when souls will be clothed in bodies, than there is in Gan Eden?

It is true that in the Era of Resurrection, the body will be purified to the utmost, to the extent that it will resemble the body of [the first man], Adam HaRishon, ([who was] formed10 by G‑d’s own hands)11 [and whose refinement was so great] that [he] “obscured the orb of the sun.”12 Indeed, in the Era of Resurrection, the body will attain a state of perfection greater even than that of Adam HaRishon.13

[The extreme level of refinement that will characterize the body] can explain why in the Era of Resurrection, the souls vested in bodies will be fit vessels to receive a degree of revelation that is higher than the level which is presently received by souls in an incorporate state [in the spiritual realms]. This, however, does not explain why the revelation in the Era of Resurrection will be appreciated by souls as they are clothed within bodies. [Seemingly, since the body restricts the extent of the revelation the soul can perceive, it would be preferable for the souls to receive these revelations without being encumbered by the body.]

Even in the Era of Resurrection, when the body will attain a state of absolute perfection, it will still be a physical body — and the inherent limitations of a physical entity are greater than that of a spiritual entity.14 These include the limitations of time and space, characteristics that apply (primarily) to physical entities.15 Nevertheless, in order for the soul to be able to receive the revelation of the Era of Resurrection, it must again be vested within a physical body.

[Indeed, there is a fundamental difference in the approach taken to receive the revelations of Gan Eden and the approach taken to the revelation that will characterize the Era of Resurrection]: In order to receive the revelations of Gan Eden, the soul must first divest itself of [all] material consciousness. [This implies a departure of the soul from the body, i.e., death. Afterwards,] the soul must immerse itself in the River Dinur,16 in order that it be unable to recall any images of this world.17

{Similarly, in regard to the subsequent ascents [of the soul] within Gan Eden itself: As the soul ascends to a higher level, it must forget the [framework of] reference and the pleasure it experienced on the lower level.}18

[In contrast to this thrust to ascent,] an opposite movement is necessary [for the soul] to receive the revelation of the Era of Resurrection. [The soul descends and] enclothes itself within a physical body.