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(Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket IV, p. 177ff)

By the Grace of G‑d

Shabbos Parshas Acharei,
Mevorchim HaChodesh Iyar,

“Every Jew has a share in the World to Come.”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?


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.

Mishnah, Sanhedrin, 10:1.
R. Ovadiah of Bartenura (and others) on Sanhedrin, ibid.; Midrash Shmuel, beginning of Pirkei Avos.
Sanhedrin, ibid. (90a).
[Although the Garden of Eden refers to a physical place on this earth as reflected in the narrative of creation, the term is also used, in a figurative sense, to refer to the abode of incorporate souls in the spiritual realms.]
Tehillim 24:3-4.
See the discourse Ki Yishalcha, cited in the note that follows. See also the series of discourses entitled BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, the beginning of ch. 379 (conclusion of p. 779).
Note also Chagigah 15b which states that were it not for the prayers of R. Meir, Achar would not have entered Gan Eden (i.e., even the lower level of Gan Eden).
Ki Yishalcha 5679 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5679 conclusion of p. 351ff) and Ki Yishalcha 5700 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5700 end of p. 44ff).
This follows the opinion of the Ramban, conclusion of Shaar HaGemul (Edition Schavel — p. 309) [in contrast to the statements of the Rambam in the Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah, chs. 8, 9). [The Ramban’s opinion is echoed] in the conclusive decision of Chassidus — See Likkutei Torah, Tzav 15c, Derushim leShabbos Shuvah 65d; Sefer HaMitzvos of the Tzemach Tzedek, Mitzvas Tzitzis (Derech Mitz­vosecha 14b); Or HaTorah, Chukas (end of p. 809; ibid., Vol. V, p. 1637). Signifi­cantly, in his discourses, the Alter Rebbe mentions only the opinion of the Ramban.
Ki Yishalcha 5654 (Sefer HaMaamarim 5654 p. 220). BeShaah SheHikdimu 5672, loc. cit. (beginning of p. 780). Sefer HaMaamarim Kuntreisim II, p. 412a, et al.
See Bereishis Rabbah 24:5; Koheles Rabbah 3:11 (2).
See at length in Sefer HaMaamarim 5679 p. 415; Sefer HaMaamarim 5711 p. 209. [These sources explain] that since [in the Era of Resurrection] the body will be formed by G‑d through the “dew of resurrection,” the body will be on a level com­parable to the body of Adam HaRishon, which was formed by G‑d’s own hands.
Vayikra Rabbah 20:2; conclusion of Midrash Mishlei. See also Introduction of Tikkunei Zohar (10b). Examine also Bava Basra 58a.
Sefer HaMaamarim 5679 and 5711, loc. cit., states: “His body was as refined and pure as light ... his body was like matter to form, i.e., the soul, for they were compa­rable one to another.”
See Sefer HaMaamarim 5679 and 5711, loc. cit.
Also noteworthy is the description, cited above in fn. 12, that Adam HaRishon’s body (and so, too, the body in the Era of Resurrection) was as “matter to form.” We understand from this that even when the body is totally refined, “form” is still loftier than “matter.”
Spiritual entities are also subject to [the limitations of] time and space [as these characteristics exist in a spiritual sense. These limitations, however,] stem from the fact that such entities can be considered as “physical” in comparison to absolute spirituality. It is worth noting Tanya ch. 48 (p. 67b): “In spiritual matters, the characteristic of space is in no way applicable.” And there the intent is space as it exists in spiritual terms.
[An Aramaic term meaning “river of fire.” By immersing itself in this river, the soul burns away all vestiges of material consciousness.]
Zohar I, 201a; see also Ki Yishalcha 5679, sec. 1 (Sefer HaMaamarim, ibid., p. 352; Ki Yishalcha 5700, sec. 1 (Sefer HaMaamarim, ibid., p. 45). See also, Lehavin Inyan Techiyas HaMeisim 5746, sec. 5 (Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket III, p. 36) and the sources cited there. [Publisher’s Note: The latter maamar is translated beginning on page 15 of this volume.]
. Ibid.
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