I realized the story of ‘Fire and Furry’ is a tale about the Return to Eden. So, I will cut the comedy, and……… go directly to the chase!
Rena might have been afraid I would take back what I gave her – a glimpse of Heaven and Eden. This might have entailed a vision of I coming as Death in my Ford truck, to revoke her life. So, she rushes into the sheriff’s office in Bozeman, and empties my shredded letter on the desk. This is the Kabbala Puzzle, the Word Tree, which she has memorized – along with her letter to me. This experience was a glimpse into the Olam Ha-Ba. Since I already died, saw heaven, and came back, I knew the end of my earthly life was going to be very difficult because I own this experience, while most of us, do not. How I lived my life since my fall on the rocks in 1967, can now be told, because, my Sanity Test……….is over.
Jon ‘The Nazarite’
About ten this evening I put on my slippers and went to get my mail. I pulled a bundle out and noticed your letter nestled in a packet. On the walk back to my apartment I took a peek and noticed the beautiful handwriting, and the name “Rosemond”. There was this energy pouring from the envelope and flowing up my arm. When I opened it and saw the name “Bozeman” I began to cry. For several minutes I sobbed, let go tears of great relief as if you were my child who had been kidnapped, or lost, for all these years. And, now…..you are found.
In the history of letter writing, and receiving, I don’t think anyone was ever so moved. Then, I opened the envelope and read; “Here I am”.
If these were the only words this letter contained, then I had way more then enough to read for the rest of my days. My cup runneth over.
Before I discuss the content, I found something when I read your letter the second time. In the white-out on page one there was the faintest speck of green glitter. It sparkled at me like a distant star. It was the essence of you to go with “Here I am!” It went with the date the letter was written – Christmas Eve. I saw the star making its way from your tree, to the snow in your poem, and then to me. It was so full of life. It was the promise of a completely happy life that has eluded you and I since we can remember.
|The holy Zohar opens with the image of the Jewish nation likened to a beloved rose with 13 petals and 5 sepals.|
Rabbi Chezkiah opened [his discourse] and said: “It is written: ‘As a rose among the thorns, so is my beloved amongst the daughters‘. (Songs 2:2) Who is the rose? This refers to ‘Knesset Yisrael‘ – the Collective soul roots of Israel, malchut. (For there is one level of a rose and there is another level of a rose.) Just as a rose, which is found amidst the thorns, has within it the colors red and white, also Knesset Yisrael has within her both judgment and loving kindness. Just as a rose has in it thirteen petals, so too Knesset Yisrael has within her thirteen paths of mercy which surround her from all her sides. (Zohar I, Intro. pg 1) All the things that G‑d creates in the lower realm…are expressions of their spiritual roots, forces, and divine archetypes in the upper realms…
It is a fundamental principle of the Kabbala that all the things G‑d creates in the lower realm, i.e. this physical existence, are expressions of their spiritual roots, forces, and divine archetypes in the upper realms. Therefore, to the extent that it is possible, we may see and use parts of the physical world as a parable for different aspects of divinity.
In its opening discourse, the Holy Zohar explains how the Shechina (otherwise known as the Divine Presence, referred to as Knesset Yisrael, the “Community of Israel”) is compared to a rose that has the two colors, white and red, within it. In addition, the rose has thirteen petals and five sepals surrounding her to protect from the thorns. Similarly, the Shechina possesses two general qualities: loving kindness and judgment corresponding to white and red, respectively.
She receives thirteen qualities of mercy from above (channeled from G‑d in a way which will be explained), represented by the thirteen petals and also five loving-kindnesses represented by the five sepals, which guard her from the dark forces, represented by the thorns. So here we see the Zohar unlocking the secret to a supernal root with the reflective key of the rose.
HaOlam HaBa, or “the world to come”, is an important part of Jewish eschatology, although Judaism concentrates on the importance of HaOlam HaZeh (“this world”). The afterlife is known as Olam haBa, Gan Eden (the Heavenly Garden of Eden) and Gehinom. According to the Talmud, any non-Jew who lives according to the Seven Laws of Noah is regarded as a Ger toshav (righteous gentile), and is assured of a place in the world to come, the final reward of the righteous.
Yes. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 105a; Rosh Hashanah 17a; See also Tosefos on Sanhedrin 13b) states that the wicked people of all nations will go to Gehenom (Hell), and that righteous people of all nations, Jew and non-Jew alike, will got to Gan Eden (Heaven).
The Rambam (Maimonides) writes that anyone who has acquired knowledge of God and follows the Sheva Mitzvot B’nei Noach (7 Noahide Laws) is considered “righteous,” and will go to Heaven. (Hilkhot M’lakhim 8:14; Hilkhot Teshuva 3:5)
Rav Yisrael Lipschutz, the Tiferet Yisrael, writes that even the average among the gentiles makes it to Heaven. (Yakhin, Sanhedrin 10:2) As he says,
Even without the holy words of our sages who told us this [i.e., that pious gentiles merit olam ha-ba], we would know this from our intellect because “God is just in all His ways and benevolent in all His deeds.” We see that many pious gentiles recognize the Creator, believe in the divinity of Scripture, act compassionately toward Israel, and some have done great things for entire world.
Could you imagine that these great deeds will not be rewarded in olam ha-ba? God does not withhold the reward of any creature. Even if you say that these pious ones who keep the seven Noachide commandments would not have the status of a ger toshav (resident alien) because they never made a formal acceptance before a court or because we do not accept gerei toshav in our day, since they do not act like Esau, they have a portion in olam ha-ba. (Translated by Rav Yitzchak Blau)
For an extended an in-depth treatment of this topic, please see this article by R’ Gil Student.
Are there non-Jews in Olam Haba (the world to come), either in Gehenom (Hell) or Gan Eden (Heaven)?
ʿolam ha-ba, (Hebrew: “the world to come”) in Jewish theology, either “the world after death” or the new creation or restoration of the world that is to follow the messianic millennium. Because this latter interpretation stemmed from the teachings and exhortations of the prophets, it was especially prevalent during the period of the Second Temple of Jerusalem (516 bc–ad 70). Whatever the interpretation of ʿolam ha-ba, it meant for Jews the end of uncertainty, miseries, and strife.
Jewish literature contrasts ʿolam ha-ba with ʿolam ha-ze (“this world”). The latter is a time to prove oneself worthy of participating in “the world to come.”