Resurrection of the Dead
"I bring to death and I bring to life, I have crushed and I will heal and none from my hand shall save". (From Deuteronomy 32:39).
The Talmud in tractate Sanhedrin 91b comments:
"Our Rabbis taught (concerning) 'I will bring to death and I will bring to life'; it might be possible to interpret that he brings death to one and life to another in the way that the world operates. Therefore scripture adds, 'I have crushed and I will heal'. Just as crushing and healing is dealing with one individual, so too, death and life is dealing with one individual. From here is a response to those that say that the resurrection of the dead is not taught in the Torah".
"If now I have found favor in your eyes, please put your hand beneath my thigh and deal with me kindly and truly; please do not bury me in Egypt. But when I sleep with my fathers, then you shall carry me from Egypt and bury me in their burial place..." (From Genesis 47 verses 29 and 30)
Midrash Tanchuma (parshat Vayachi 3) states concerning this:
Why did the Patriarchs so dearly love, burial in the land of Israel? Our rabbis, let their memory be for a blessing, said (about this) two things, one in the name of Rabbi Chalavo. Why did the Patriarchs so dearly love, burial in the land of Israel? For the dead of Israel live first in Messianic days and eat during the days of the Messiah (Eitz Yosef: that is to say that the dead of the land of Israel come to life forty years earlier than the dead outside the land. Furthermore, we have seen an opinion of our sages of blessed memory, that the days of the Messiah are forty years. It turns out that the dead of the land of Israel live first for forty years and "eat" during the years of our Messiah, which are forty years. Not so the dead outside the land).
Rabbi Chananya said, "Whoever dies outside and is buried there, two deaths does he have in his hand. For thus is it written, "Now you Phashchur and the inhabitants of your home will go in to captivity and you will arrive in Babylon; and there you shall die and there you shall be buried" (Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 20:6). That is to say 2 deaths. Therefore Yaakov said, " do not bury me in Egypt".
Rabbi Simone responded, "if so all the righteous who have been buried outside the land have lost. Rather, what does the Holy One Blessed be He do? He makes tunnels in the earth and makes them like these caves and they roll until they reach the land of Israel. When they have reached the land of Israel, the Holy One Blessed be He puts in them, a spirit of life and they arise, for it was stated, 'And I will bring you up from your graves, my nation, and I will bring you to the land of Israel' (Yechezkel/Ezekiel 37:12) and afterwards 'and I will put my spirit among you and you will live'."
Rabbi Shimone Ben Lakish asserted, "It is a full scriptural passage, that when they reach the land of Israel, the Holy One Blessed be He gives them a soul, for it was stated, 'He gives a soul to the nation upon it and a spirit to those that walk within it' (Yishayahu/Isaiah 42:5)."
Upon me was the hand of Hashem and it took me out by the spirit of Hashem and set me down in the midst of the valley and it was full with bones; and he made me cross by them round about and behold, there were very many upon the surface of the valley and behold they were very dry. Now he said to me, 'son of man, will these bones live?' And I said, 'my Master, G-d, you knew it'. Now he said to me, prophesy over these bones and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of Hashem'. Thus says my Master, G-d, to these bones, 'behold I bring into you a spirit and you shall live; and I will put sinews upon you and bring up flesh upon you and cover you with skin and I will bring into you a spirit and you will live and you will know that I am Hashem'. Now I prophesied as I was commanded and there came to be, a sound as I prophesied and behold a rattling and the bones came close together, one bone to its appropriate bone. Now I saw and behold, sinew and flesh rose up upon them and skin covered them from above but a spirit was not among them. And he said to me, 'prophesy unto the spirit prophesy son of man' and say unto the spirit, thus says my Master, G-d, from four directions come O spirit, and blow among these, that were killed and they shall live. Now I prophesied as I was commanded and the spirit came among them and they lived and stood up upon their feet, a very, very, gigantic army. Now he said to me, 'son of man these bones, they are all the house of Israel behold they say our bones are dry and our hope is lost, we are clean cut off'. Therefore prophesy and you shall say to them, "Thus said, my Master, G-d, 'behold I open your graves and I will bring you up from your graves my nation and I will bring you to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am Hashem when I open your graves and when I bring you up from your graves, my nation. And I will put my spirit among you and you will live and I shall place you upon your land and you shall know that I, Hashem, have spoken and I have done it', says Hashem". [Yechezkel/Ezekiel chapter 37 verses 1 to 14]
The Talmud in tractate, Sanhedrin 92b comments:
Thus was it taught. Rabbi Eliezer (son of Hyrcanus) says, 'the dead that Yechezkel brought to life stood up on their feet and said a song of praise and died. What was the song of praise that they said? Hashem causes death by justice and brings to life by mercy'. Rabbi Yehoshua says, "this is the song of praise that they said, 'Hashem brings to death and brings to life, he brings down to the grave and brings up'. (I Samuel 2:6)" Rabbi Yehuda says, "true, it was a parable". Rabbi Nechemia replied to him, "if true, why a parable and if a parable, why true? Rather, in truth it was a parable". Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi of Galilee says, 'the dead that Yechezkel brought to life went up to the land of Israel married women and sons and daughters were born to them'. Rabbi Yehuda son of Bataira rose up on his feet and said, "I am a descendent of them and these are the Tefillin that my father's father left for me from them".
Antoninus said to Rebbe (Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi):The body and the soul can exempt themselves from judgment. How? The body states, "the soul has sinned, for from the day that it left me, I am stretched out like a still stone in the grave"; and the soul states, "the body sinned, for on the day that I left it, behold I fly through the atmosphere like a bird".He (Rebbe) responded, "I will make for you a parable. To what can this be compared"?To a king of flesh and blood, who had an orchard that contained beautiful, ripe figs. He set within it two guards, one a lame man and the other a blind man. The lame man said to the blind man, I see beautiful, ripe figs in the orchard, come lift me up upon you and we will bring them and eat them.
The lame man "riding" upon the blind man brought them and they ate them.
After some time the owner of the orchard came and said to them, "the beautiful, ripe figs, where are they"? The lame man responded, "do I have the legs to walk by them"? The blind man responded, "do I have the eyes to see"?
What did he do? He put the lame man upon the body of the blind man and judged them as one.
So too, the Holy One Blessed be He, brings a soul and tosses it into the body and judges them as one, for it was stated, "he will call unto the heaven above and unto the earth to judge his nation" (Psalms 50:4). "Unto the heaven above" - this is the soul, "unto the earth to judge his nation" - this is the body.
Rabbi Yosi says:If you desire to know the reward of the righteous, go forth and learn (it) from the first man (Adam), who was commanded only one prohibitive command and he transgressed against it; see how many deaths were fined upon him and his (future) generations. Now which attribute is greater, that of goodness or that of punishment? I would say the attribute of goodness. If the attribute of punishment which is the lesser, see now how many deaths he and his (future) generations were fined with, if so then the greater attribute of goodness (for one) who abstains from sacrifices that have the status of "piggul" and from sacrifices that are left beyond their legal time limit and one who fasts on the Day of Atonement, how much more so will it be for his benefit and for his generations and for all succeeding generations until the end of all generations.Rabbi Akiva says:Behold, it states, "at the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, etc..." (Deuteronomy 17:6). If the testimony is established by two, why does Scripture specify three? Only to include the third, making it stringent upon him and making his law (punishment) similar to that of these (i.e., of the other two) in reference to the punishment of witnesses that were proven to be absent from the place of their testimony. If thus does Scripture punish one who joins those that commit sin the same as those that (themselves) commit sin, how much more so will He pay a good reward to one who joins those that perform (His) commands the same as those that actually perform the commands.Rabbi Elazar son of Azariah says:(In Deuteronomy 24:19 it states) "When you reap your grain harvest and forget a sheaf in the field..." there it (also) states, "that he may bless you, etc..."(From Rashi's commentary, on Leviticus 5:17)
Scripture has set a blessing to one through whom a good deed came about without knowing (it) (i.e., he forgot to remove the sheaf from the field), say now from this - if there was a Sela (a coin) tied in the corner of his garment and it fell from it and a poor man found it and gained his monetary needs through it, then the Holy One Blessed be He will assign to him a blessing
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