Life After Death « Wonders from Your Torah
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Life After Death

There are three ways to deal with enemies: surrender, information pills fight, or make peace by neutralizing the root of their animosity.

The Ba'al Shem Tov told it as a story. Once a king called one of his officers and sent him on a secret mission, saying: I desire to test the loyalty of my subjects. Dress yourself as a king and go from state to state throughout my dominion; try your hardest to persuade and win over the people to rebel against me and accept you as king.

The officer followed the king's orders to the best of his ability. The various states in the dominion of the king reacted in different ways. Some were persuaded that it is for their benefit to rebel against their king and to accept the new figure as king. Some fought the new figure, in loyalty to their king. But there was one state of wise men who possessed the insight to realize that it is all a hoax, and that this new "king" is no more than a servant of the true king, who was sent by him to test their loyalty. They revealed to the officer his true motivation and intentions, which he immediately acknowledged, thus neutralizing his apparent antagonism to the king and making peace with him.

Thus we learn that there are two levels of loyalty to the king, portrayed in this story by the two types of negative reaction to the officer. One is referred to by the prophet as "I [God, the King] love the youth [the youthful spirit] of Israel" ("??? ????? ??????"). The youth of Israel fight back against the temptation of evil (the deceptive king) to rebel against God, putting themselves in danger, ready to die for God, their King. The second is loyalty together with a deep, mature sense of wisdom, the insight necessary to reveal the hoax at the root of the plot and end the story in peace with a joyous lechai'im!

In our day there are some who confuse peace with surrender, who call surrender together with a "peace accord" making peace. Not only has the antagonism of the enemy not been neutralized but it even becomes enhanced in this false version of "peace" (which is no more than submission to evil out of lack of faith in God and the eternal truth of His Word, the Torah).

Israel needs a strong youth (a strong, courageous heart) directed by a mature, adult leadership (a wise, insightful head). The leadership that we are lacking is one that believes in God (and His Torah) and recognizes that all is from God, often intended to test us and thereby strengthen us, for our ultimate good and for the good of all mankind.
Never give up. It's never too late. Apparent irreversible damage is also reversible. Even when it's all over it's not over. Life goes on.

Maybe it will be through messianic genetic engineering. But however it be, more about we believe that the dead will come back to life.

Regarding our present world order, this Rebbe Nachman said that if you believe that you can damage yourself (spiritually, through sin) then believe that you can rectify yourself (through teshuvah, return to God). It's all a function of faith. The original, relatively superficial faith in our ability to cause spiritual damage (to ourselves and others influenced by us) is balanced and overridden by the more profound faith that it is always possible to rectify. In the words of the previous Rebbe of Chabad, "it's never a lost case."

The original faith in our ability to damage derives from the sefirah of hod (acknowledgment), represented in the body by the left kidney and left leg. Our greater faith in our ability to rectify, no matter what, derives from the sefirah of netzach (victory and eternity), represented by the right kidney and right leg. These two sefirot always operate as a pair, and are symbolized in Kabbalah as the two palms of a scale.

If consciousness begins from the left palm of the scale, the faith in our ability to damage, then first we must balance it with the faith in our ability to rectify, and continue to deepen our consciousness of this faith until it weighs down the scale to the right, to our eternal merit, overriding (being victorious over) the initial left.

In this world it's all a challenge of faith. But in the messianic era the faith becomes knowledge; it becomes tangible. In this world, if the damage is physical and irreversible, like loosing a limb of one's body, God forbid, then at best one must accept it as a heavenly decree (a tikun, rectification, on the spiritual plane) and learn how to live and serve God best with it. But perhaps soon with advances in stem cell research it will be able to replace a lost limb (indeed, it's already beginning).
There are three levels of life: Living a healthy life in this world; life after spiritual death (sin); life after physical death.

To live a healthy life in this world means to consciously pursue a good life on both the physical and spiritual planes.

rasha (evil person) is considered dead in this world. The spiritual senses to perceive Divinity with which he was gifted from birth have become dumb, more about silent and inanimate. His heart has become a "heart of stone." But by teshuvah (return to God) he can revive himself. He can experience the word of God speaking to him, erectile "I forgive you, capsule " and thus return to life.

All humans are mortal. They live and they die. But death is not the end. Indeed, it is the beginning of a new, purely spiritual life, the life of the soul in paradise. Ultimately, the soul will return to reunite with the body. The body will resurrect and together with the soul that rectified it in this world experience eternal life in a physical world, whose nature we cannot at present fathom.

These three levels of life correspond to three levels of consciousness: the natural consciousness of the tzadik (righteous person) in this world, the rectified self-consciousness of the rasha who has succeeded in refocusing his consciousness on the Divine, and the natural consciousness of the future (the natural consciousness of the soul in a resurrected body, following the purely Divine consciousness of the soul in paradise).

Three times "life" (68, ????), equals tzadik (204, ????). The complete life cycle of the tzadik includes the intermediate stage of the rasha who has returned to God, "For man cannot be a tzadik on earth who does good and never sins."

The gematria of "life after death" (???? ??? ???? ,728) equals 28 times 26, i.e. "long live" (???) times God ('???)! This surprising gematria teaches us that the phenomenon of life after death reflects the truth that God lives forever, for the Divine soul is "an actual part of God above." "Actual" in relation to the soul means that it is simultaneously a real part of God above and also that it possesses the power to actualize itself by entering and living in a physical body.

2 Responses to “Life After Death”

  1. Yaacov Deane says:

    The concept of “tzadik-rasha-tzadik” relates to a concept discussed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in regard to the concept of truth. He brings from Talmud a discussion about what a “true river” is. He explains that the concept of truth in regard to the river is that its flow is continuous. He goes on to mention that a river which starts as flowing water and has an interruption but then returns to its state of flowing water in the end is also considered a true river. This theme was then woven with the association from the Bahir which equates truth with shalom (peace, completion and perfection). The ultimate completion of the souls purpose for descending into the physical world is the perfection of the physical body which takes place through the resurrection. This is when the body is called נצר מטעי מעשה ידי להתפאר “The branch of My planting, the work of My hands in which I glory” (Isaiah 60:21)

    The gematria you mention in relation life after death has another allusion within it which relates to this concept. That “long live” (יחי) has a gematria of 28 or כח touches on the statement of the Alter Rebbe in the Tanya that “wisdom” חכמה is כח מ”ה. This alludes to the specific permutation of G-d מ”ה, which also relates to “man” אדם, who is similar to the One above אדומה לעליון. Surprisingly מ”ה whose gematria is 45 has another thing associated with it. מנחם מענדל, the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe when including the kollel for the whole name is also 45. And thus, the phrase “life after death” refers explicitly to יחי מנחם מענדל “long live Menachem Mendel”.

  2. theresa says:

    thank you rav, for a very inspiring lesson. you have spiritually strengthened me with this lesson, during these not so easy times. blessings.