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The Belief

The Purpose Of Creation

The World To Come: Why A Bodily Resurrection?


Who Will Rise?

When Will The Resurrection Take Place?

Where Will The Resurrection Take Place?

Who Will Rise First?

In What Manner Will The Resurrection Take Place?

Life After The Resurrection

Mitzvos After The Resurrection Eternity Of Torah And Mitzvos

Halachic Considerations

Prayers And Customs

The Concept Of Resurrection In Avodas Hashem

"To Understand The Concept Of Techiyas Hameisim, The Resurrection Of The Dead"

"All Israel Have A Share In The World To Come"

To Live And Live Again
An Overview of Techiyas Hameisim
Based On The Classical Sources And On The Teachings Of Chabad Chassidism

Chapter 12
Halachic Considerations

by Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov
edited by Uri Kaploun

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  Mitzvos After The Resurrection Eternity Of Torah And MitzvosPrayers And Customs  

A Blessing To Recite

One of our daily expressions of praise is,[352] "Blessed are You... Who resurrects the dead." When the time comes, will the resurrected dead recite this blessing?

Let us consider comparable situations. Speaking of the Prophet Yechezkel's vision of the Valley of Dry Bones,[353] the Talmud[354] records varying views as to which song of praise was sung at that time. Speaking of the Binding of Yitzchak,[355] the Midrash[356] teaches that Yitzchak's soul flew from his body at the touch of the knife on his neck, and when his soul returned, he declared: "Blessed are You... Who resurrects the dead." The Zohar[357] teaches that at the time of the future Resurrection, the dead when revived will express their praise by singing,[358] "G-d, Who is like You?" Indeed, even when one sees a good friend after a mere 12-month interval, the Talmud[359] requires that one bless Him Who resurrects the dead.

Considering these sources, some halachic authorities hold that this blessing will indeed be recited at the time of the future Resurrection.[360]

Purification From Ritual Impurity

The men of Alexandria once asked R. Yehoshua ben Chananyah...:[361] "Will the resurrected dead need to be sprinkled [with the purifying waters of the Red Heifer[362]] on the third and seventh day, or not?" He replied: "When they are resurrected we shall go into the matter." Others say [that he replied]: "When Moshe Rabbeinu[363] will come with them."[364]

The Maharsha paraphrases the above question as follows: Since many people were ritually unclean at the time of death, not having undergone purification when alive, will this state continue when they are resurrected? And he understands the reply of R. Yehoshua ben Chananyah to imply that once the original body has dissolved, no uncleanliness is transferred to the new body; hence no purification is required.

This discussion has wider implications. Anyone wishing to enter the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash must be ritually clean. How, then, can Mashiach build the Beis HaMikdash and dedicate it if he is a person living today and has presumably come into contact with other people who are ritually unclean?

As one possible solution, one could rely on the principle that if the majority of the community is ritually impure, they are permitted to enter the Beis HaMikdash in order to consecrate it. This was the case with the Hasmoneans in the Chanukah story.[365]

Alternatively, there is the opinion that Moshe and Aharon will be resurrected with the coming of Mashiach, and Aharon himself will sprinkle the waters of purification. This solution presupposes that a person who was ritually pure and then died and was later resurrected is not defiled by the transient state of death. (This assumption is explained by the above words of the Maharsha, that the resurrected body is not the same as the previous body.) However, what of those tzaddikim whose bodies do not decompose in the grave? Do their bodies not become ritually impure upon death? The Halachah establishes that the righteous upon death do not impart ritual impurity. Indeed, there are halachic authorities[366] who therefore allow Kohanim to pray at the graveside of great tzaddikim.

Others hold that the Prophet Eliyahu will sprinkle the cleansing waters, and that this is the meaning of the teaching in the Talmud[367] that "Resurrection comes through Eliyahu."[368]

The Status Of Kohanim

Will those Kohanim who were anointed with olive oil in the times of the First Beis HaMikdash[369] require anointing afresh upon their Resurrection? Some sources state[370] that only Aharon and his sons will not require anointing. Others hold[371] that all Kohanim will have to be re-anointed since the body is new. By way of possible compromise, it has been suggested that the tzaddikim whose bodies did not decompose will not require anointing, whereas all other Kohanim will.

Outstanding Sacrifices

Will a person who in his lifetime did not offer an obligatory sacrifice in expiation of his sin be required to discharge this obligation after Resurrection? The AriZal is evidently of the opinion that the sacrifice must still be offered, but the question remains unresolved.[372]

Marriage Forever

Will a man and his wife when newly resurrected need to be remarried, or does the original marriage bond continue? Some authorities suggest that a new marriage will have to be contracted.[373]

A Woman With Two Husbands

A divorcee who remarries will remain married to her second husband upon Resurrection.[374] There is a difference of opinion as to the status of a widow who remarries.[375]

The Honor Due To Parents

Though the body dissolves and upon Resurrection is reconstituted, the obligation to honor one's parents will continue to apply.[376]



  1. (Back to text) Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 52.

  2. (Back to text) Yechezkel 37:1-15; see also ch. 14 below.

  3. (Back to text) Sanhedrin 92b.

  4. (Back to text) Bereishis 22:1-19.

  5. (Back to text) Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer, sec. 31.

  6. (Back to text) III, 267b.

  7. (Back to text) Tehillim 35:10; Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 168.

  8. (Back to text) Berachos 58b.

  9. (Back to text) See Emunas HaTechiyah.

  10. (Back to text) Niddah 69b.

  11. (Back to text) Bamidbar 19:1-22.

  12. (Back to text) Cf. Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Chukas, sec. 10; Zohar I, 113b; ibid. II, 157a; ibid. III, 168b.

  13. (Back to text) For a detailed analysis of this passage see Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, p. 239-252; the Responsa entitled Chasam Sofer on Yoreh Deah, sec. 337. See, however, Aruch LaNer; Aruch HaShulchan HeAsid, Hilchos Tumas HaMes 9:5. See also Or HaTorah by the Tzemach Tzedek on Bamidbar, sec. 409 and 636-7.

  14. (Back to text) See R. Sh. Y. Zevin, HaMoadim BaHalachah (in English: The Festivals in Halachah, Vol. II, p. 52).

  15. (Back to text) See Sdei Chemed; Aseifas Dinim, s.v. Eretz Yisrael; Shaarei Halachah U'Minhag (pub. by Heichal Menachem), Vol. III, p. 395.

  16. (Back to text) Sotah 49b (lower margin).

  17. (Back to text) The Chasam Sofer (in his Chiddushim on Sotah 49b) rejects the view that Eliyahu HaNavi will be ritually pure; rather, G-d Himself will cleanse us. The Chida, however, points out (in Midbar Kdeimos, Maareches Alef, sec. 26) that since the AriZal was cleansed by the waters of the parah adumah by Eliyahu HaNavi, this implies that the latter was ritually pure.

    The Rebbe explains (in Sichos Kodesh 5720, erev Shavuos, sec. 7) that "Resurrection comes through Eliyahu" because he refined his own materiality to such an extent that he entered heaven with his body: he transmuted it and permeated it with Divinity - and this, essentially, is the state of Resurrection.

  18. (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchos Klei HaMikdash 1:7. (There was no sanctified oil in the Second Beis HaMikdash; see Rambam, Hilchos Beis HaBechirah 4:1.)

  19. (Back to text) Toras Kohanim, Parshas Tzav, sec. 18; Midrash Rabbah, Parshas Naso, sec. 14.

  20. (Back to text) Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvos, Shoresh 3; Rashbatz in Zohar HaRakia, quoted in the Responsa entitled Rav Pe'alim, Vol. II, Sod Yesharim, sec. 2; Kli Chemdah on the end of Bereishis.

  21. (Back to text) See Lev Chaim, Vol. I, sec. 31; the Chida in Pnei David on Parshas Vayikra, quoting the AriZal; the Responsa entitled Rav Pe'alim, loc. cit. The Chida cites the Gemara (in Yoma 80a) as evidence that no sacrifice is required after death.

  22. (Back to text) See the Ben Ish Chai in the Responsa entitled Rav Pe'alim, loc. cit.

    The poskim debate the case of a person who died momentarily and was immediately resurrected (cf. the case cited in Kesubbos 62b, and the incident involving Rabbah and R. Zeira in Megillah 7b). See Knesses HaGedolah, cited in Baer Heitev on Even HaEzer 17:1; Birkei Yosef on the same source; Siach HaSadeh, Vol. II: Likkutim, sec. 4; the Responsa entitled Chessed LeAvraham (Mahadura Tinyana), sec. 14; Shoel U'Meishiv, Vol. II, sec. 131; Beis Yitzchak on Even HaEzer, Vol. I, 6:14; Avnei Nezer on Even HaEzer, end of sec. 56.

    On the related question as to whether there will be procreation after the Resurrection, Rambam answers affirmatively (in Iggeres Teiman, cited in Chiddushei Yad Rama on Sanhedrin, beginning of Perek Cheilek). See, however, ch. 10 above.

  23. (Back to text) The Responsa entitled Rav Pe'alim, loc. cit.; Anaf Yosef on Sanhedrin (beginning of Perek Cheilek), in the name of Sefer HaNitzachon; Yad Shaul on Yoreh Deah 366:3.

  24. (Back to text) The author of Rav Pe'alim holds that she will return to her first husband; the author of Sefer HaNitzachon holds that she will return to the second. The author of Piskei Teshuvah (sec. 124) first cites the reply of Sefer HaTechiyah of R. Saadiah Gaon - that this question will be resolved by Moshe Rabbeinu upon his resurrection - and then proceeds to cite the Zohar (I, 21b) as evidence that a woman in this situation will return to her first husband. (The question of where a remarried widow should be buried is discussed in Gesher HaChaim, Vol. I, ch. 27, sec. 7:3.)

  25. (Back to text) The Responsa entitled Rav Pe'alim, loc. cit. See, however, Toras Moshe (by the Chasam Sofer) on Shmos 4:26.

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