The Good of the Land of Israel - Tuv HaAretz by Rabbi Shapira

This is a Sefer - book that describes many aspects of the spiritual concept of the Land of Israel and what it means both spiritually and physically. It is a series of classes that will be reading from this book and will be quite meaningful to understand on a personal level what it means when a leader of the Jewish People calls on the Jewish Nation to return to the Good Land of Israel.

Tuv HaAretz:

Being Buried in Israel

Chapter Thirteen, Part 1

Kabbalah explains that being buried in Israel sweetens judgmental decrees.

It is known that the Holy Land is referred to "Eretz HaChaim" [Hebrew for "Land of the Living"]. And the soul of he who is buried therein ascends to the "Land of the Living" of the heavenly realms. Yet regarding he who is buried outside Israel, his soul remains outside of that special heavenly abode. This area is known as the World of Meta‑tron. These souls are labeled as "the deceased of outside the land". They are also considered "not living". Obviously they're dead, yet there is an axiom found in the Talmud teaching that a tzadik even in his death is considered alive, whereas a wicked person even in his life is considered dead. This is because the secret of supernal life is not drawn into [the aspect of] "outside the Land [of Israel]" of the heavens. This is because the supernal life is from the aspect of "light of tiferet", which is also called "Etz HaChaim" [Hebrew for "Tree of Life"]. This is also the source of the Torah being a "spring" for the upper wisdom to descend, upon which is mentioned, "And wisdom will be her husband". (Ecclesiastes 7:12) From there it is drawn forth until it reaches the "Land of the Living" which is the malchut. Malchut in the last of the sefirot, yet it is the receptacle and ultimate purpose and vehicle for all of the nine that precede it.

Together the incorporation of the chasadim sweetens the gevurot….

This divine influence is described as incorporating the five chasadim The five chasadim are the expansive qualities of the illuminations that are transferred between sefirot. as well as two others from the yesod Yesod is the catalyst for the transference of all the divine influence from the previous eight sefirot to the malchut. and malchut, altogether seven chasadim. They correspond to the seven Havaya's. It also includes seven gevurot Gevurot are the constricting qualities of the illuminations that are transferred between sefirot. that also correspond to seven Havaya's. Altogether the fourteen Havaya's 14 X 26 = 364 which is the numerical value of "Eretz HaChaim". This is also the numerical value of the "Rachamim b'Din" [Hebrew for "Judgment within Mercy". This is symbolic of the seven Havaya's from the chasadim being joined with the seven of gevura.] Together the incorporation of the chasadim sweetens the gevurot. Therefore they are called "we're all alive". (Deut. 5:3)

chanoch adds: In Kohellet Chapter 3 there are 28 times. Time represents an aspect of Chassadim. These 14 elements of the consciousness that "we are alive" is also related to the consciousness of "we are alive" in the frame of direct light and "we are alive" in the frame of returning light.

This is the secret of the verse that says, "Jacob, Jacob": (Gen. 46:2) the former Jacob is not complete because of the seven gevurot, whereas the latter Jacob is completed from the seven chasadim. The numerical value of "Jacob Jacob" [in Hebrew. "Yaakov, Yaakov"] is 364, which is the exact value of "Rachamim b'Din".

Outside of Israel, there are times when Judgment is allowed to function on its own….

This combination gives rise to tiferet, for the aspect of tiferet gets its nourishment from the combination of chesed and gevura. This combination is also called "Etz HaChaim". This is what is meant by "Eretz HaChaim", the joining of Mercy and Judgment, not just Judgment alone. This is why the Satan doesn't rule in the Land of Israel during the 364 days of the year, and surely not on Yom Kippur. Rather, the "Angel of Death" for the Land of Israel is the angel Gabriel. Yet he [representing gevura] doesn't work alone; he is joined by his friend the angel Michael [who represents Mercy] - again, combining Mercy and Judgment. Yet outside of Israel, there are times when Judgment is allowed to function on its own.

chanoch adds: Reread this paragraph above again and take it into your knowledge base and recognize that we live in America which outside Israel. How does this impact your life.

What has saved them from Purgatory was their burial in Israel….

Yet the full aspect of "Mercy within Judgment", doesn't leave the boundaries of Israel. This is done to prevent the External Forces from deriving benefit from this force. For there, "Around shall walk the wicked" (Psalms 12:9) ["around" referring to around the Holy Land] applies. And that's why the deceased of outside Israel are not alive, meaning they are not receiving the influence from the force of eternal life, the sole reason being that they are the deceased of outside Israel. That state shall last until the Resurrection of the Dead, at which point they will be brought back to Israel.

The Sages taught the following:

Raish Lakish said in the name of Rebbe Eliezer

"The land of Israel is called the "Land of the Living", yet don't people die there as well? Here, "Living" means at the time of the Resurrection of the Dead during the advent of Mashiach, all those buried in Israel will be brought back to life, even Jeroboam son of Navat and his cohorts. Even though they have sinned exceedingly, nonetheless their inequities have been extracted from them. This is known from the words of Rabbi Yehudah Bar Ilai, who says that for seven years the land of Israel will be burnt with fire and sulfur, as is stated, "Sulfur and salt have burnt the entire land." (Deut. 29:22) During those years is when G‑d punishes Jeroboam and his cronies, yet afterwards they will revert to life in the days of Mashiach. What has saved them from Purgatory was their burial in Israel, as is written, "The Land shall atone for His people". (Deut. 32:43) (Pesikta Raba and Yalkut on Psalms, page 126)

Further, our Rabbis have written, "He who lives in Israel and dies on a Friday will not suffer the pains of the grave". (Chesed L'Avraham 5:3) Some learn "or" instead of "and", yet that way of learning undermines all the principles of the specialness of burial in Israel. Rather, "and" seems to be the best way to transmit the statement; that the fact he lived [and is being buried] in Israel, together with the holiness of the day [Friday], they can [together] overpower the forces of "the Pains of the Grave".

This is because the day has become holy in Eretz Yisrael, in which the External Forces have no hold. However, if the day had not become sanctified or he was outside the Land, the External Forces would have overcome and taken hold and judged him detrimentally - even if he had passed away on Friday. You may ask, "If he died on Friday and in Eretz Yisrael, ultimately how will his improper deeds be rectified?" If we say that the merit of Eretz Yisrael diminishes their severity, what shall we say about one without any merit passing away on Friday? We must therefore explain that G‑d caused him to die on Friday in order to save him from the harshness of the grave, because he is not obligated. This explanation still remains difficult; if he is exempt from experiencing harshness of the grave, even if he doesn't die on Friday, he will also be saved. We must therefore explain, like the incident in the Zohar, about the young child who was grabbed by the cherubs and entered the Garden of Eden -improperly; it says there that he was healed only after great suffering. Similarly here.

To Die in Israel

Chapter Fourteen, Part 1

Kabbalah reveals that one who dies in Israel has almost no aspect of impurity.

There is a prohibition against leaving a deceased person overnight without burial in the land of Israel. One of the reasons for this is that it causes impurity to the Holy Land, as is written, "And do not defile your land" (Deut. 21 23).

Impurity has no right to enter the land of Israel in the daytime, only at night….

The depth behind this law is as follows. The spirit of impurity has no right to enter the land of Israel in the daytime, only at night. Even at night the only way that it has permission to enter is if there is a corpse on the ground. Yet if there is no corpse then the spirit of impurity has no right to enter the Land. Even to rest its feet [figuratively] on the ground is prohibited. During the day, even if the land is full of corpses, spirit of impurity has absolutely no permission to enter.

There exists yet a more difficult negative force to contend with, namely the grasp of the External Forces. The Torah is very particular about this, as is stated, "His body you shall not leave…for you shall surely bury him on that day…and you shall not contaminate your land" (ibid.). We learn from this, that relative to the extreme defilement of the External Forces, the deceased in Israel is nearly pure. This is what is meant in the Zohar, which states, "The spirit of contamination has no rule over the Holy place [Israel]" (Teruma 141a).

The North…is the portal of the source of nourishment for the External Forces….

Nonetheless the impurity from the deceased (and its laws), is no worse than [that of the External Forces outside Israel]. Rather. the grasp of the External Forces outside of Israel is dependent upon the corpses being left unburied overnight. For the night is the time for the powers of the External Forces and all other negative aspects [to flex themselves]. All they need is a vessel to enter, attach themselves and claim their stake. This extra contamination causes much evil to the deceased. It brings punishment for the deceased, and in the heavens he is pestered about the presence of the extra contamination. Yet the mere defilement caused by death itself does not incur any punishment.

From the following, the Zohar brings another proof that the External Forces don't have any grasp in the Holy Land: [At night in the Holy Temple they didn't offer any sacrifices, rather they would ignite the remaining fats and innards of the sacrifices that were brought during the day.] The smoke of the burning remnants would ascend at an angle towards the North, where, which is the portal of the source of nourishment for the External Forces.

So long as his body is not buried, his soul is prevented from ascending….

Also, regarding the verse "His body you shall not leave hanging on the tree for you shall surely bury him on that day…and you shall not contaminate your land" (Deut. 21:23), the Zohar states:

If a deceased is left awaiting burial for twenty-four hours, including both day and night times, the limbs of the chariot are weakened. This also prevents the work of the Holy One Blessed Be He from being accomplished. This could come about if the Holy One Blessed Be He had caused his death with the plan of immediately reincarnating him [for his benefit] on that very day. And so long as his body is not buried, his soul is prevented from ascending before the Holy One Blessed Be He [for judgement], and can not be placed into a new body for reincarnation, for reincarnation is not possible until the burial of the first body. Therefore, the more the body awaits burial, the more the soul is pained. That is coupled by the forces of contamination attaching themselves to him, and defiling his body. Therefore it is incumbent upon us not to let a body go unburied for a night. For the forces of contamination abound a night and they fly around trying to find a body without a soul to inhabit and contaminate exceedingly.

From the above it seems that there are three types of blemishes that are caused by leaving a body unburied overnight:

It blemishes the "Image of G‑d" [Tzelem] of that person

It prevents the rectification of reincarnation

It defiles and contaminates the land

These three are hinted at in the verse, "His body you shall not leave hanging on the tree for you shall surely bury [literally 'bury bury'] him on that day, for a hanging corpse is a curse of G‑d and you shall not contaminate your Land…" (Deut. 21:23)

He can return in a second reincarnation if he is buried on that day….

The message that G‑d is conveying is that he who is buried can be buried a second time, for he can return in a second reincarnation if he is buried on that day. As above, the soul can't be placed into a new body until the first one is buried. This is why the word "bury" is repeated in the verse.

The phrase "…for a hanging corpse is a curse of G‑d" conveys to us that a deceased who is not buried within 24 hours causes a weakening of the limbs of the chariot [i.e. the person] who was created in G‑d's image. This is from the contamination. That is the curse of G‑d. The final part of the verse, "and you shall not contaminate your Land", is best understood in its' simple explanation.

Unique Places in Israel

Chapter Fifteen, Part 1

Unique Places in Israel

Kabbalah identifies the mystical powers of specific locations in Israel.

Most of this material is from the book Kanfei Yona [by Rama'a from Pano a student of students of the Arizal], despite the difficulty of comprehending the content, even for those who are well trained in these areas. Nonetheless I copied them here based on the merits of those passages that were of substance.

Know that 'Yerushalayim' [Hebrew for 'Jerusalem'] in 'small gematria' equals 19 which is the same 'small gematria' as "malchut". The reason for this is that Jerusalem is from the aspect of malchut.

Shechem is from the aspect of yesod, for yesod is a hint for Joseph, That is why Shechem was given to Joseph, who he himself represented yesod.

Divine providence over those that reside in Safed is through the 13 Attributes of Mercy….

The 'small gematria' of 'Teveria' [Hebrew for 'Tiberias'] is 19 which corresponds to hod [i.e. the same numerical value] with the value of its letters and word included. The gist of Tiberias is 'tibur ha'aretz' [literally 'the navel of the land'). The 'land' is the malchut and Tiberias is hod. 'Tibur' in 'small gematria' is 13, which corresponds to the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

The town of Safed hints at netzach, for 'Tzefat' [Hebrew for 'Safed'] in 'small gematria' is 21 (= Eh-yeh +1 for the kolel=22) and netzach is 22. This hints to us that the divine providence over those that reside in Safed is through the 13 Attributes of Mercy that stems from the realm of keter. That's why it's one of the cities of refuge that saves the souls of accidental murderers. Safed also hints at the 22 letters of the Torah, this symbolizes that Safed is conducive for attaining the true depth of the Torah wisdom. It is well known that there is no purer air than that of Safed [as the Talmud states, "The air of Israel wisens"]. Further more, netzach is equal to 'kemach' [Hebrew for 'flour'], this directs us to the adage from the sages "If there is no flour, there is no Torah."

chanoch adds: The above adage is better written for understanding as "if there is no Netzach - eternity, there is no Torah." Also know that in Kabbalah it is a rule of letter substitution to substitute words and letters that have the same gematria. Even gematriot from diffderent systems like Albam and Atbash and all other gematria levels.

Meron hints at tiferet. The Targum translates the word 'tzon' [meaning 'sheep'] as 'merona', and sheep indicate tiferet. That is why the children of Israel are referred to as sheep, as in the verse, "Now you are My sheep of my pasture, you are man" (Ezekiel 34 31). Also the 'small gematria' of 'Meron' is 12, hinting to the sefira of tiferet which is called 'emet' [Hebrew for 'truth'] whose 'small gematria' together with the three letters equals 12. If you take 'emet' with its three letters as well as the kolel altogether you have 13 which represents the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

The Cave of Machpela in Hevron…is a passageway to the earthly Garden of Eden….

The Cave of Machpela in Hebron (may it be speedily rebuilt), is the burial place of the Forefathers. It is well known that this cave is a passageway to the earthly Garden of Eden, for it is stated [in the scriptures when Abraham purchased the cave and field from Efron the Hitite], "ovair lasocher" [literally "currency for the merchant", and "lasocher" has the numerical value of 298, which is also the value of "orach lagan" ["the passageway to the garden"] (keeping in mind that it is written missing the letter vav). That is the same value of "chatzer" [meaning "courtyard"], which hints to us that the Cave of Machpela is the courtyard of the Garden of Eden. The value of "ovair lasocher" is 570 "taka'ah" [meaning "firm" or "planted (deeply)"], which hints to us that all those that live in Hebron are secure. All those that pass away there merit to elevate their souls. For Hebron is that "firm stake" ["yated takuah"] opening a passage to the earthly Garden of Eden without neither hindrance nor protest. This provides a pain free entry to Garden of Eden.

The word "taka'ah" appears three times in the Torah:

"And Jacob firmly planted his tent on the mountain"(Gen. 31:25)

"And Laban planted his brothers at the mount of Gilad" (Gen. 31:25)

"And he imbedded the indent of the thigh of Jacob" (Gen. 32:25)

The first verse implies that Jacob wanted to "plant" his tent (referring to his wife) and himself on the mountain [in Hebron] of Cave of Machpela . For the caves were multi-layered, the upper ones being on the cave of the higher mountain and the lower cave being in the lower mountain. The way he did this was to pray to G‑d with earnest intent that he and his wife should merit burial at this place [the passageway to Garden of Eden]. This was preordained from the six days of Creation.

All those that live in Safed during these times of exile has an advantage over all [those that dwell in] the other cities of Eretz Yisrael….

Laban also "planted" his brothers, for Laban understood through his powers of evil what significance this place has. Therefore he attempted to prevent Jacob from meriting burial there. He really wanted to kill Jacob and replace him for his brothers. His brothers refer to Esau and Ishmael, whom have some attachment to the cave through Abraham and Isaac. If Jacob wouldn't be buried there, then none of his descendants would be able to use that passageway. Rather all the nations who are connected to Esau and Ishmael would gain access through their attachment to those that were previously buried there (Abraham and Isaac). This is what is meant when the Sages tell us that "Laban wanted to uproot everything" (Midrash HaGadol 31:22, Haggadah of Pesach, S'mag Positive Commandments 140).

chanoch adds: This is why people of different religions see different personages at the end of the tunnel which is the view of Light. Jews see Abraham; Christians see Jesus; Moslems see Mohammed; This comes from over 35,000 near death experiences recorded that all have similar experiences depending on the religion of that person.

This was the intention of the archangel of Esau attacking Jacob. As it says, "And he imbedded the indent of the thigh of Jacob" (Gen. 32 25). He wanted to make Jacob blemished, in order that he be disqualified from burial in Cave of Machpela together with the Forefathers - and instead replace him with Esau and his wife. Yet his plans were foiled by G‑d's healing of Jacob immediately after their conflagration. As is stated, "And Jacob arrived complete" (Gen. 33 18), which The Sages interpret as being complete in the physical sense.

Likewise "Safed" is also numerically valued at 570/"taka'ah" which implies that all those that live in Safed during these times of exile has an advantage over all [those that dwell in] the other cities of Eretz Yisrael. That being as follows, he who passes away in Safed, because it is an elevated place and its air is the most pure of all places in the land, his soul upon passing away will float and fly to the earthly Garden of Eden and from there ascend to the heavenly Garden of Eden.

chanoch adds: This means that there is another entrance to the earthly garden of Eden other than the Cave of Machpelah. Or is my understanding incorrect?

Kabbalah Prophecies Redemption

Chapter Sixteen, Part 1

Kabbalah says those with Kabbalistic awareness will be spared the tumult of the Messianic era. Most of the following is based on the various writings of Rabbi Chaim Vital, of blessed memory.

chanoch adds: What is the meaning of Kabbalistic awareness?

Know that from the aspect of Atzilut, the Torah is explained in a fashion relative to the sefirot that emanate from it. All concepts of the Torah and its' commentaries are not from the level of Neshama, except for secrets of the Zohar.

chanoch adds: If someone is able to "understand" the secrets of the Zohar it means that their soul level is Neshama which is not usual in people living outside of Israel.

When the Redemption comes…every one remaining shall be completely pure and good….

In the future (hopefully soon) when the Redemption comes, all the kelipot will be voided and the Jewish nation shall have been sorted out, the good extracted from the waste. Every one remaining shall be completely pure and good without any bad. Those that had diligently applied themselves with acts of loving-kindness (performed with the intentions from the realm of secret, most inner, aspect of the Torah, as well as meticulously performing their prayers and other mitzvot) following the manners stemming from the level of secret aspect of the Torah, with purity and cleanliness, they, without doubt, when the secret of the "Tree of life" (the aspect of the soul of Atzilut) bursts through, will not need the "tests" of the End of Days.

The purpose of the tests is for those that connect themselves to the simple, surface aspect of the Torah….

This is because the purpose of the tests is for those that connect themselves to the simple, surface aspect of the Torah, which stems from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This connection indicates that their souls emanate from the realms of Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya. Where, in those worlds applies the verse "In cycles shall travel the evil doers". (Psalms 12:9) They need to be tested for them to ultimately determine for themselves as to where they want to remain connected, to the good or the evil.

Yet those who stem from the Tree of Life, upon them it is written, "And the intellectuals shall shine as the shining of the sky", (Daniel 12:3) which indicates that their souls emanate from the realm of Atzilut. Therefore, the tests of the final redemption will not be as heavy for them, as for the people with inequities.

After the final redemption there will be a great revelation of the secrets of Torah that have been thus far hidden….

After the final redemption there will be a great revelation of the secrets of Torah that have been thus far hidden from all. This revelation will even be for those that didn't make efforts to understand Torah on its deeper, mystical level (called "sod"). They will be privy to that revelation since they toiled to understand the simple levels of Torah. At that point in time, both groups will study the Torah and Mishna and Halacha on the mystical level.

That doesn't mean that, G‑d forbid, the Torah and Jewish Law as we understand them now will change. Rather, the intention behind them as well as the environment in which we will fulfill them will change, as in the desert with the Manna. That form of sustenance had the ability to assume the flavor and characteristics of any food. Therefore, the laws of Meat and Milk weren't applicable to the Generation of the [Sinai] Desert. This was also true regarding the laws of prohibited fats and blood, the laws of slaughtering and inspection etc. In this fashion the rest of the laws of what is forbidden or permissible were lessened, out of practicality. The same went for some of the laws of impurity and purity etc.

In that fashion, in the Future, the Jews will derive sustenance from the Manna, which is also rooted in the Tree of Life. Yet the ignoramuses will not share that type of existence, rather they will dine on bread and flesh, which is derived from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And for them, all the laws will be pertinent.

chanoch adds: Many people who study Kabbalah are told that it is unnecessary to study Halacha. This paragraph teaches us that it is necessary as well as the other 8 levels of Torah + Halacha and Zohar. This is why included in the parasha web page is included the Chok Israel study material.

This will leave the people one choice, to trust in G‑d alone….

Now I shall explain more. Know that the future redemption will be with the help of G‑ds' relationship of "the left side pushing away". In other words, the salvation shall be pushed off or extended for six months, from Tishrei (which is the aspect of Judgment, implying the left side) until the month of Nissan (which represents "the right-side drawing in", hence the first exodus started in this month). For during these six months there will be poverty, trials, tribulations and purification, as will be explained. The purpose of this period is to prepare everyone to merit the redemption; this will be accomplished through the trials and tribulations. As is stated, "And I shall leave amongst you of the nation, poverty and destitution, and you will yearn for, and trust in G‑d". (Zephaniah 3:12)

chanoch adds: From my personal experience the period of homelessness i experienced taught me the most aspects of being able to see HaShem working within the physical aspects of our world and lives.

The benefit derived from this approach is that if they would be redeemed through the secrets of strict gevura, then, G‑d forbid, there would be a vast reduction in the population of Jews. For, from the side of strict judgment, there will be decimation via the enemies of the Jews and those remaining will be held in high esteem. Yet this is not G‑d's intention. Rather His intention is that they all repent and merit the Redemption. For if there is a reduction, G‑d forbid, that would result in a reduction of G‑d's honor, as well as in a diminishment of the supernal sources. For "with the majority and masses of the nation is the splendor of the King". (Proverbs 14:28) For the Sages tell us that the Shechina will not dwell upon a group of less than 600,000. Therefore the world shall remain full till the time of the Redemption, without a reduction of that minimum measure of people. All those shall merit the Redemption, and will increase they glory and honor of G‑d as well as making abundant the supernal sources.

chanoch adds: The 600,000 number refers to a minimum of souls - meaning male and female unified together. No one knows how many individual human beings living today make up one soul. Rabbi Shimon is quoted in the Zohar as indicating that at his lifetime there were approximately 300,000 souls that had completed their tikune.

Know that the redemption has two "times". Firstly, "in its' set preordained time" [literally, "its' time"], (Isaiah 60:22) "a time for laughter"; (Ecclesiastes 3:4) that scenario will only be merited by those completely righteous, i.e. "Only one from a city or two from a family". (Jeremiah 3:14) Yet there is another time when "a pauper will be oppressed by his poverty" (Job 36:15) and will repent and merit redemption. That will be for the multitudes.

This will come about through excruciating travails, the likes of which have yet to be seen. The people will feel that all they are is just their bare essential body, nothing more. That self-assessment can only be arrived at through ultimate destitution. This will be accompanied by immense suffering and abundant wailing, thus softening the hardened hearts. This will leave the people one choice, to trust in G‑d alone.

This could only come about through a most intensive destitution. For even if someone suffers pain, yet they are comforted being that they have food. Or if they have no food, yet they have drink. Or if they have no drink, yet they have some financial resources to put to some use etc. Those situations are likened to "I shall be a source of comfort at your times of travail". (Psalms 9:10) Therefore the suffering at the end of time must be all encompassing, availing no consolation. Wailing in poverty - no bread, no clothing, no comfort, no dwelling place, no house, no city, "no garment in the cold". All that one will remain with is his body, nothing else - in the aspect captivity, death, and slaughter - and G‑d exchanges for them death in poverty [for life].

Those that can't endure will try to return to the nations and assimilate...

This is what is meant by the forty-five days that the Jews will be exiled from Jerusalem to the Judean desert. Then they will seek refuge in caves and search for water and shrubs to survive. This will be similar to Lot and his daughters escaping Sodom to the nearby mountainous caves, for they hadn't even taken with themselves a small morsel of bread. Those remaining will be spread out throughout the desert. All the sufferings the Jews had endured throughout the centuries won't compare to this experience.

That will last until Moses [i.e. the Mashiach] reveals himself to them. He will cry with them, as he came to cry with them by the banks of the rivers of Babylon, during the beginning of the First Exile. They will then count 45 days in concurrence with the aspect of Moses - being "Mah" [= 45]. All that they will eat there is bitter roots of the shrubs, for which they'll have to scavenge. In that situation, they will completely repent.

Those that can't endure will try to return to the nations and assimilate. They will be cutting themselves off. The rest will have to bear with the situation, each in accordance to that which is necessary to affect the cleansing of the effects of his transgressions.

The righteous ones will eat these bitter salty roots and will be blessed through them, as if consuming Manna. This will fortify their strength and trust in G‑d. The mediocre ones will repent. And the evil ones will either be cast off or suffer a difficult penance.

Yet the only function Moses will have is to cry with us. Through this time of crying, penance and self-introspection, we'll be guided through the process of returning to G‑d [i.e. repentance].

After that stage, the deceased shall rise from the desert. And redemption and freedom shall sprout forth. Then we will proceed to Jerusalem, having been redeemed. And will witness the rebuilt city, with the rebuilt Temple, and the Shechina returning to dwell there within. Then they receive flags as they did upon the exodus from Egypt. Then G‑d will grasp the corners of the world and shake off all the evildoers. All this will occur whilst the Jews will only be existing with just their bodies, no other possessions.

After that they will be granted immense wealth. This will be as a result of the many treasures of the sea being spewn out of the ocean at Jaffa. They will also benefit from the spoils of the war of Gog and Magog. Yet none of this will give us any pleasure in comparison to the rebuilt Holy Temple. As is written, "This is the day G‑d has made, let us rejoice and revel in Him." (Psalms 118:24)

chanoch adds: After reading these prophecies all of which come from the Book of Prophets, do you think that we are close to the redemption? This section puts the prophecies in an order. Remember that negative prophecies do not have to manifest. It is very possible that we are witnessing some of the above descriptions in our modern world as the pressures existing in Israel from the other nations of the world. This is especially true, in my opinion, in the idea that Israel depends on America instead of turning to HaShem. This is a test as described above, perhaps.

In Israel for the Messianic Age

Chapter Seventeen, Part 1

Kabbalah praises those who dwell in Israel at the time of Mashiach.

We have a tradition that when Mashiach arrives together with the Jews of the diaspora, there will be wondrous occurrences. The very day of their arrival, they will find six (or seven) thousand Jews who live in the Holy Land. On that very day the Resurrection of the Dead will occur. That same day, the walls of Jerusalem will be replaced. It will also be the day of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, which will be built from exquisite stones and gems.

chanoch adds: How does this paragraph mesh with what is said in the previous section?

Once those who were buried in Eretz Yisrael are resurrected, they will transform into new entities of the loftiest spiritual nature….

Once those who were buried in Eretz Yisrael are resurrected, they will transform into new entities of the loftiest spiritual nature. The same transformation will happen to those six (or seven) thousand Jews who remained alive in Eretz Yisrael. Their bodies will resemble that of First Man's [i.e. Adam's] original body before the sin [a garment of light, as opposed to mere skin. Their bodies will be similar, as well, to the body of our master Moses [who was able to survive on Mount Sinai three times for forty day periods without food drink nor sleep]. This change will enable them all to float in mid-air, and fly as eagles. This will be extremely astounding to the redeemed exiles.

Upon witnessing this, the Diaspora Jews will be worried, and they will complain to Mashiach saying, "Are we not Jews just the same as they? From where do they merit to fly and exist in an elevated spiritual state, while we don't?"

Mashiach will respond to them the following: "It is well known that all of G‑d's ways work measure for measure. Those that lived in the diaspora, yet made efforts and sacrifices to elevate themselves to dwell in the Holy Land with intention of meriting a purity of soul - they were not so concerned about their finances and health. They traveled over vast lands and crossed seas. Not paying attention to the possibilities of drowning, being robbed on the way, nor being taken captives by some strange foreign ruler. Being that they placed priority of their spirit over their materialism and physicality, they merit, measure for measure, to be elevated to this lofty spiritual stature. Yet you, whom have had the opportunities to go up to Israel as well, yet were hesitant and reluctant, being that you were enamored with your materialistic stature. You prioritized the material and left the spiritual pursuits as secondary. Therefore you remain physical, measure for measure. Yet as far as your desire for wealth, G‑d has taken care of that as well. He will grant you wealth beyond your wildest dreams. For soon all the treasures that were ever sunken will arrive. For, all seas have been sworn to produce these items at the shores of Jaffa."

At that time, the shore will be filled with all the treasures from the beginning of time. Mashiach will then distribute it all to each righteous person according to his needs. That is what is meant in the verse "…for the bounty of the seas shall be cleansed" (Deut. 33:19).

Likewise, all the treasure buried in the earth shall be brought to Israel. As is written, "…and the hidden treasure of the sand" (ibid.). This will be distributed as well. This will be their consolation [for those who had prioritize materialism]. Yet those who prioritized their Neshama, they will be transformed into supernal beings and will be led into the earthly Gan Eden.

chanoch adds: This implies that the consciousness to be in Israel while physically in the exile is not considered as an option. Yet this may or may not be true.

Resurrection in Israel

Chapter Eighteen, Part 1

In Israel, Resurrection of the Dead will occur 40 years before the rest of the world.

We have a tradition that the Resurrection of the Dead in Israel will proceed the Resurrection of the Dead of the rest of the world by a span of forty years.

Nonetheless, anyone who had passed away (and was buried) outside of Israel and has merely one family member (the type for whom one would have to sit shiva) who resides in Israel at the time of Mashiach - that Israeli relative has the power to revive all his relatives who were buried abroad.

This concept is founded upon the Talmud in Pesachim (68a), which states: "In the future the righteous ones will resurrect the dead". The Talmud derives that from the verses "Thus says G‑d, 'Yet have the elders of Jerusalem to return each holding their walking sticks'" (Zechariah 8:4) and from "I shall place my walking stick upon the lad and resurrect him" (Kings II 4 29).

The terms "righteous" and "elders" are associated with resurrection. This hints to us the idea that all those that live in Israel are called "righteous". This is also seen by the association in the verse "And your nation is completely righteous, they will forever inherit the land". (Isaiah 60:21) Yet the main power of the ability to perform the Resurrection lays in the hands of those who are called "elders", the Torah scholars, as is implied by the verse "And you shall respect the faces of the elders". Upon that verse the Talmud has explained that "an elder is one who has acquired wisdom" (Kiddushin 32b).

chanoch adds: There is much to contemplate in this Book especially the last 3 sections.