Orthodox Judaism/resurrection


QUESTION: How is the resurrection of the dead different from
Thank you very much for your help.

ANSWER: Hi Jennifer

As you have probably guessed, this is a complex, involved topic.

The short answer is that souls reincarnate into different bodies over the course of history in order to progress spiritually and/or complete spiritual missions. Each subsequent resurrection helps the soul's growth in Heaven.

Resurrection happens in the Messianic Age, where the soul returns to a human body and lives in spiritual bliss, as a human on earth, not as a soul in heaven.

There is some debate as to which body is resurrected, considering that the soul would have reincarnated into multiple bodies. Perhaps the easiest explanation is that a soul is compared in Scripture to a candle. Just as a candle can ignite other candles, without losing any of its original flame, likewise, one soul can "ignite" a whole new body and life, without the original soul actually entering into and living in that body.

I know this may all sound a little confusing, so please let me know if you need any further clarity.

Kind regards,

Rabbi Shishler

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response, and yes I still need clarity.

When the soul is resurrected during the Messianic Age, how is that
different than the soul being reincarnated during previous ages?

Does it have something to do with an eternal body that doesn't die?

Thanks very much for your help.

Hi Jennifer

The concept of reincarnation is that one soul dies and ignites a new soul that lives in a new body. The life experiences of this second soul can also work to benefit the original soul.

Resurrection is when the original soul comes back to live again in its original body.

I hope that helps clarify the distinction. Please feel free to keep the questions coming.

Kind regards,

Rabbi Shishler

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Rabbi Ari Shishler


I am a rabbi who loves teaching, through writing and speaking. In 1999, my wife and I started our own Chabad House and it's grown exponentially. I'm also the learning director at Chabad House of Johannesburg, a high school teacher and the father of young children. As you can imagine, I get to answer lots of questions every day. I'd be glad to answer your questions on Judaism, Jewish spirituality and practice.


I have been a practicing Orthodox rabbi since 1997 and have headed my own community since 1999. I teach Talmud at a religious high school in Johannesburg and give daily lectures to adults on Jewish practice, spiritualty, Chassidic philosophy and Kabbalah. I'm the campus rabbi at our two major universities in Johannesburg.

Chabad-Lubavitch South African Rabbinical Association.

Monthly column in Jewish Life magazine, South Africa. Jewish Tradition, South Africa. Jewish Report, South Africa. South African Union of Jewish Students annual Holiday guide. Jewish Observer, South Africa. Nshei Chabad Newsletter, NY. Jewish Online Magazine. www.chabad.org

After completing high scool, I spent six years studying in Rabbinical seminaries in South Africa, Israel and New York.

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www.chabad.org www.askmoses.com ChaiFM (www.chaifm.com) Jewish Life magazine

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