Martin M. van Brauman

During the beginning of religious services in the synagogue and prior to reading from the Word of God, one of the blessings recited from the Siddur prayer book is the following:

My God, the soul You placed within me is pure. You created it, You fashioned it, You breathed it into me, You safeguard it within me, and eventually You will take it from me, and restore it to me in Time to Come. As long as the soul is within me, I gratefully thank You, my Lord, my God and the God of my forefathers, Master of all works, Lord of all souls. Blessed are You, my Lord, Who restores souls to dead bodies.

Under the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith by Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon, 1138-1204), the Thirteenth Principle concerns the belief that the dead will rise from their graves to live again, the concept of resurrection.  For Maimonides resurrection meant “the world to come,” the eternal spiritual life.  An eternal spiritual life means a resurrection, not of the physical body, but a resurrection of the soul.  Thus, resurrection equates to the immortality of the soul.

Since God is non-corporeal, then the highest form of communion with Him would be in the spiritual. Therefore, the ultimate state of man is spiritual.  For how can a physical body exist for all eternity, since a body is defined as occupying a space and time?  Eternity is outside time altogether.

May Your dead come to life, may my corpses arise. Awake and shout for joy you who rest in the dirt! For Your dew is like the dew that [revives] vegetation. May You topple the lifeless [wicked] to the ground! Isaiah 26:19

A denial of the eternal spiritual life means there is no ultimate reward and thus no chance for salvation.  A faith without eternal spiritual life has no spiritual power, for there is only the one God and no other “rescuer.”

See, now, that I, I am He – and no god is with Me. I put to death and I bring to life, I struck down and I will heal, and there is no rescuer from My hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

The resurrection of the dead must be interpreted to mean that the entire personality and individuality of man shares in God’s eternal righteousness and goodness.  Resurrection demonstrates that God is not bound by the constraints of the natural order of the physical world; for otherwise, such constraints would deny that God is God.

Many of those who sleep in the dusty earth will awaken: these for everlasting life and these for shame, for everlasting abhorrence. The wise will shine like the radiance of the firmament, and those who teach righteousness to the multitudes [will shine] like the stars, forever and ever. As for you, Daniel, obscure the matters and seal the book until the time of the End; let many muse and let knowledge increase. Daniel 12:2-4

The resurrection is an eschatological hope tied to the rebirth of the nation of Israel followed by the Days of the Messiah, when the Kingdom will be restored to Israel for both Jews and Christians.

It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my Witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:7-8.

All of the above is beyond the human mind to comprehend, for these things are beyond the material world and beyond time.  However with God, all things are possible.


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