Sunday, October 25, 2009



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

“Phooey! What do you believe that %##@ for?”

For a middle-aged, supposedly religious, Jewish woman, she sounded more like an ex-marine.

It was Friday night. There were eight seminary girls and this salty woman at the Shabbos table. One of the girls mentioned something that she had heard about living outside the Land of Israel.

“If you die outside the Land, your bones are going to have to roll over and over under the ground until you get to Israel. Only then will you be taken up for Judgment.”

That’s when the ex-marine let her have it. “That is totally ridiculous! Absurd! Do you believe everything you hear?” she barked.

I tried to explain:

In all sayings there is a storyline, and a teaching behind that storyline. Sometimes the literal details of the storyline sound so fantastic that you could swear that they are not true. Be careful. Do not throw away a precious jewel just because its wrappings seem strange.

The story about the bones appears way too primitive to be true. It is like a fairy tale that you might tell children when you want to scare them into behaving. But, when you try to understand the teaching behind the physical details of the story, you begin to appreciate the details of the story as well.

There is a tremendous spiritual advantage to living in Israel. It is easier to be spiritually aware here than anywhere else in the world.

The Temple site, in Jerusalem, is the center of the spiritual universe. It was from here, and it will again be from here, that the Torah will spread throughout the world. Yes, there are often more problems living here than in some quiet, faraway country, but the benefits are well worth it.

When you live in a country where the spiritual reality is deeply hidden, you are more likely to have a greater attachment to the physical world. Your interests and loves will tend to be mostly physical.

This is what that story about the bones is trying to show us. All Jewish souls, just like all Jewish prayer, first come to the site of the Holy Temple before they go up. When you live and die away from Israel, your worldly attachments and deeds are going to drag on (pull down) your Judgment. Those physical attachments will affect your Judgment so much, that it will be as if your very bones will have to roll over and over again in the ground that you stayed in, before they finally reach the Holy Site.

We are not obligated to believe the literal details of a metaphor. The details come only to vividly explain the teaching that is behind the metaphor. But, be careful. As it has turned out many times before, many ideas that seem totally fantastic, even impossible, may very well turn out to be literally true.


  1. Complete nonsense. Where in the Tanach does it mention any of these medieval fables?

  2. Shiloh,
    Be careful with your words until you check things out. Look at the Torah, Genesis 47:29 for the source of this teaching, and then read the second Rashi there for the explanation.
    Be well

  3. What are you saying?
    The time for the judgement will be the time of ReLiving of the Dead the Whole world is going to shift into a different Reality as it is now. Therefore all the bones and physical make up is going to its place of origin ie. The Temple mount the place where mans physical make up was originally formed.
    We Beleive in evey word Our Sages Say. Just because you cant see how that reality will come into todays circumstances doesnt mean it wont come. Hashem is great he will do it How and When he Wants.

  4. Gutman, the Torah is quite simple to see in this case. I have a problem with some of the medievel commentaries such as Rashi. Shall we talk about the giant frogs while we are at it. I simply cannot buy it and to be honest, the more I hear of these fables the more it turns me completly off of chasidut. I know it's fine for many and am happy for them. It for sure not my derech haShem.

    All the best.

  5. there you go again, scaring people.

    please stop it!!!!!!!!


Welcome to Mystical Paths comments. Have your say here, but please keep the tone reasonably civil and avoid lashon hara. Due to past commenting problems, all comments are moderated (this may take a few hours.)

Your comments are governed by our Terms of Use, Privacy, and Comments policies. We reserve the right to delete or edit your comments for any reason, or use them in a future article. That said, YOU are responsible for YOUR comments - not us.

Related Posts with Thumbnails