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Above The Next World

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 3/8/2019

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  Above The Next World

R’ Akiva said אין להם חלק לעולם הבא דור המדבר; the people of the generation of the wilderness have no share in the World to Come.[1] This seems problematic since Chazal talk uniquely about how great they were which we don’t find by others. Some examples are the following: The Zohar[2] tells us there was never anything like the דור המדבר prior to them and there will be nothing like them until the coming of Moshiach, as they saw the revelations of Hashem at the sea more than what the prophets saw.[3] Also, the seven רקיעים; firmaments were opened at Har Sinai and all merited to seeאין עוד מלבדו בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת; there is none other besides Him in heaven above and on the earth below… Each one was like 1,000 men.[4] So, how can it be said they have no share in the World to Come?[5] The Rema Mipano[6] writes the intention of R’ Akiva wasn’t that they have no portion in the World to Come rather they don’t have a need for it. We have a need for that world since we don’t merit in this world that which the Gemara[7] tells us on ואמר ביום ההוא...; He shall say on that day, Behold! This is our God, we hoped for Him and He saved us…,[8] that in the future Hashem will make a circle of the righteous people and He will sit among them in the Garden of Eden and each one will point with his finger זה ה' קוינו לו; we hoped to Hashem. So, although we don’t merit this in this world, theדור המדבר did, when Hashem revealed Himself at the Yam Suf and each one would point to Him with a finger and say זה א-לי ואנוהו. Even a slave-woman saw at the sea what the prophets didn’t. Consequently, they have no need for עולם הבא.[9]  

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance. 

[1] Sanhedrin 108a

[2] Shelach, pg 168b

[3] Shemos 15:2, Rashi s.v. זה א-לי

[4] Asara Maamaros, Maamar Chikur HaDin 2:32

[5] See the Shelah in ח"ג, תורה שבעל פה, כלל פה קדוש

[6] Asara Maamaros, Maamar Chikur HaDin 2:8

[7] Taanis 31a

[8] Yeshaya 25:9

[9] אוצר פלאות התורה, Bamidbar, pgs 523-5

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