Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Day of Seven Judgments

The days of our lives are seventy years, if with special strength, eighty years; most of them are troubled, and then they are cut.....  [Psalms 90:10]

The day of one's death is one's personal Day of Judgment, when one's deeds, both good and evil, are scrutinized. The Zohar [II, 199b] teaches that it is a day of seven judgments:

1. The actual death

2. Announcement of one's deeds, whether good or evil

3. Placement in the grave

4. The judgment of the grave

5. The decaying of the body

6. Gehennom

7. The interval before the soul is completely purified

The Arizal teaches that these various judgments are not intended as punishments so much as they are meant to cleanse a person from sin. Thus, Gehennom - and reincarnation, when it is imposed - are means by which one's sins are purged. Death, too, is an integral part of this cleansing process.

The accounting system which G-d uses when drawing up our final balance sheet is far beyond the level of man's understanding. In His unfathomable mercy, G-d adds to the credit column all mitigating circumstances - one's upbringing, environment, financial resources and so on. Nevertheless, the judgment is real: we are held fully accountable. The main question that we must answer is : Have I tried hard enough?

Reb Nosson writes that a person's most important advocate for mercy on the day of judgment is the "will factor", the degree to which he or she wanted spirituality. If our will was strong throughout life, even if we were remiss, our credit is greatly increased. This does not imply that a weak effort can suffice. "I just couldn't do it" is not an acceptable excuse. Reb Nosson's "will factor" involves making every possible effort. If our efforts prove unsuccessful, then what are we to do? We must try again and again and again. As Rebbe Nachman used to say: "Gevalt! Never give up!"

Source: from the writings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
adapted by Chaim Kramer


Fangyu said...

A person must have something to lose in the Creation in order to do good in this world, because human nature is to do damage, and we are here to fix it either before or after the damage is done.

Anonymous said...

Fangyu wrote: A person must have something to lose in the Creation in order to do good in this world, because human nature is to do damage, and we are here to fix it either before or after the damage is done.

Devorah said...

I had to cut and paste your comment Fangyu, because Google deleted it before it could be moderated. It seems that when someone leaves more than one comment at a time, one of those comments gets deleted before it can be moderated.
Just a glitch in the system, I hope they fix it soon.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (Arp 24, o4:40 PM) writes:

".... because human nature is to do damage".

Now let's realize that Hashem gave us Torah and Mitzvos as an anti-dote to over-power our 'animalistic instinct' or what he calls "human nature to destroy"...

One must do everything within his/her power, with tremendous WILL[power] to OVERCOME his
'human-nature' and to reverse it.
How? By studying Torah and by doing Mitzvos...

Thank you, Devorah for posting this from Rebbe Nachman.
Doesn't it make you 'quake'?

Huvs said...

It is taught that when there is judgment down here there's no judgment up there which means that if a person does a daily personal accounting and regrets any wrongdoing, requests for help to do the things one finds difficult to do, that day will not be mentioned in the big judgment day of one's death. That page will simply be missing from your book. That is why Rav Nachman urged that we do 1 hr of hitbodedut (our personal daily meeting with G-d) a day. During this meeting (a break from the rat race) one has the time to reflect on the last 24 hrs to remember where one went wrong as well as to thank for the good things and to make our requests.

Anonymous said...

Shalom everyone,
Since no one talked about tsheva. Allow me to tell you what I learned from Rabbi Mizrachi, series on tsheva. Everyone sins. There was only 4 people in the whole Jewish bible who did not sin. You need to cry 15 minutes or mre and try to remember your sins, if you have millions ask Hashem to help you. I ask if I cannot be a serious baal tsheva then take my soul back. There is no reason to live 82 years of age and have trillions of sins if you do NOT do tsheva. Tsheva is the most important thing a Jew can do. Yes, learning Torah and performing mitzvot is top. But if you sinned you MUST do tsheva to save your eternity.
Every Jew is born with a ticket to eternity but your sins take you away from your eternity. You must know that a sin can weight millions of pounds. Each sin is separate. Do not think that a sin equal to a mitzvah. Each one is different and can weigh differntly. Ex: a sin of relations with a non Jew is weighs millions of pounds. Abraham stands at the gate of Gehinnom and saves Jews who have not commited sexual relations with a non Jew. It is that important. Annon 101

Anonymous said...

Fangyu wrote: To Devorah: Thank you for the fixing, I will be more careful.


Devorah said...

It's not your fault, and in fact both of your last comments never made it to the Google moderation page, I had to cut and paste again from my email.

I have no idea why, but I know it's nothing that you're doing, it's just a Blogger issue.