"Your dead shall come alive."
The Resurrection will take place in stages. According to tradition,
those buried in Israel will be resurrected before those buried outside Israel.
They will be followed by the generation who died in the wilderness.
Last of all will be the Patriarchs:
when they finally rise, their joy at encountering all their righteous descendants will be boundless.
The intervals between the various stages remain uncertain.
The righteous will rise before others,
and masters of Torah learning will rise before those who excel in the observance of mitzvos.
According to one tradition, the dead will be summoned by name in alphabetical order, except that precedence will be given to those who lived their lives in humility.
What of those who will be alive at the time of the Resurrection? Will they live through it, or will they too momentarily die and be immediately resurrected? In support of the latter view, it has been argued that since at that time G-d will remove the worldly impurity that precipitates death, the bodies of those who are then alive will be reconstructed to live forever - and this necessitates a momentary death.
In brief, the answer to this question, too, will have to await the event.
- (Back to text) Yeshayahu 26:19.
- (Back to text) See Jerusalem Talmud, Kilayim 9:3 and Kesubbos 12:3; Zohar I, 113a; Bereishis Rabbah 96:7.
- (Back to text) See ch. 7 above.
- (Back to text) This is the view of R. Yochanan. However, one view in the Zohar (II, 168b) holds that the generation of the wilderness will rise first, and cites the verse (Yeshayahu 26:19), "Your dead shall come alive." Both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds understand this verse as giving precedence to those buried in the Land of Israel.
At any rate, both opinions expressed in the Zohar hold that the generation of the wilderness has a share in the World to Come; i.e., they will be resurrected. This is in keeping with the opinion of R. Eliezer, as against the view of R. Akiva (see Sanhedrin 110b, and Tosafos on Bava Basra 73b). The Rebbe explains this debate in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, p. 248.
Regarding the time of the Resurrection of Moshe Rabbeinu and his generation, see ch. 6 above and footnote 12 there.
- (Back to text) Avkas Rochel 2:4 cites the view of R. Shimon ben Menassiah that the Patriarchs will be the first to be resurrected.
- (Back to text) Ibid.
- (Back to text) Ibid.; Zohar I, 139b; Ibn Ezra on Daniel 12:2; Responsa of Radvaz, Vol. III, p. 644, in the name of Ritva, quoted in Ikrei HaDat at the end of Yoreh Deah. Chesed LeAvraham 3:23 writes of a period of 40 years between the Resurrection of the dead in Israel and the dead of the Diaspora.
- (Back to text) Zohar I, 140a.
- (Back to text) Ibid., p. 182a. See also Biurei HaZohar by the Tzemach Tzedek, p. 134.
- (Back to text) Midrash quoted in Ohev Yisrael - Likkutim, on Parshas Berachah. The Mabit (in Beis Elokim, Shaar HaYesodos, end of sec. 55) points out that according to this view Adam and Abraham will rise first since their names each begin with an alef. Alternatively, he suggests that perhaps the alphabetical order will apply only within each generation, while the Resurrection of each generation will take place in historical order.
- (Back to text) See: Rav Saadiah Gaon, Emunos VeDeios, end of sec. 47; Maavar Yabok 3:3; the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch (R. Sholom Dovber Schneersohn), Toras Shalom (Kehot), p. 211. See also Or HaChamah on Zohar I, 116a, quoting R. Chaim Vital. See also Ben Yehoyada on Sanhedrin 92a regarding tzaddikim who were already resurrected upon the arrival of Mashiach: Will they have to die and be resurrected a second time? See also, in Sefer HaSichos 5718, the third sichah on Purim. See also footnotes to ch. 9 below.
- (Back to text) Zohar II, 108b. See also Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, p. 409, footnote 71. Elsewhere (in Sefer HaSichos 5718, in the third sichah on Purim) the Rebbe explains that the momentary withdrawal will enable those resurrected, after their great thirst for the revelations of the Resurrection, to appreciate the "great light from out of the darkness."