Hell’s Judgment

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443) The judgment of the punishments of Hell is to sentence the wicked there. Why are they sentenced in the judgment of Hell? Hell is a fire that burns days and nights, like the wicked, who warm themselves in the fire of the evil inclination to violate the words of Torah. With each warming that they warm themselves in the evil inclination, the fire of Hell burns in them.

444) Once, there was no evil inclination in the world, for it was placed inside an iron ring in a hole of the great deep. The whole of that time, the fire of Hell was out and did not burn at all. When the evil inclination returned to its place and the wicked of the world began to warm themselves in it, the fire of Hell began to burn, as well. This is because the fire of Hell burns only by the heat of the evil inclination of the wicked. In that heat, Hell’s fire burns days and nights and does not sit still.

445) There are seven doors in Hell, and there are seven sections there. There are seven types of wicked: Evil, malicious, sinner, wicked, destroyer, joker, and arrogant. There are sections in Hell corresponding to each of them, each according to what he should have. According to the degree in which the wicked sinned, he is given a section in Hell.

446) In each section there is an angel appointed over that place under the hand of Dumah. There are several thousands and ten thousand angels with him, sentencing the wicked, to each as he deserves in the section where he is.

447) Hell’s fire below comes from Hell’s fire above, from the river Dinur. It comes to Hell below and burns in that awakening of the heat of the wicked, who warm themselves in the evil inclination, and all those sections burn there.

448) There is a place in Hell where the degrees are called “seething feces.” This is the place of the filth of the souls that are made filthy by all the filth of this world. They are whitened and rise, and the filth remains there. These evil degrees that are called “seething feces” are appointed over that filth, and the fire of Hell governs the remaining filth.

449) There are wicked who are always made filthy by their iniquities and are not whitened off them. They die without repentance, they sin, and make others sin. They are always obstinate and do not break before their master in this world. Those are sentenced there in that filth and in that seething feces, and never come out of there. Those who corrupt their ways on earth and have no mercy over their master’s honor in this world, all those are sentenced there for all generations and do not come out of there.

450) On Sabbaths, on beginnings of months, on special days, and on festivals, the fire in that place quiets down and they are not sentenced. However, they do not come out of there as do the rest of the wicked when they have rest. All those who desecrate Sabbaths and occasions, and who have no mercy whatsoever over their master’s honor to keep them, but rather desecrate openly and in public, as they do not keep Sabbaths and occasions in this world, they are not kept in that world and have no rest.

451) In Hell, Sabbaths and occasions are kept by force, against their will. These are the idol-worshippers who were not commanded and do not keep the Sabbath in this world—they keep it there by force. But the wicked, who desecrate Sabbaths, have no rest there.

452) On every beginning of the Sabbath, when the day begins, heralds walk through all those sections of Hell: “Be gone, you judgments of the wicked, for the holy King has come, the day has begun, and He protects everything.” Promptly, the judgments disappear and there is rest for the wicked.

But the fire of Hell never leaves those who do not keep the Sabbath, and all the wicked in Hell ask about them, “Why are they different from all the wicked who are here, that they have no rest?” The litigators reply to them, “These are the wicked who denied the Creator and transgressed the whole of the Torah because they did not keep the Sabbath there, in this world, and one who does not keep the Sabbath is as one who transgresses the whole of Torah. This is why they never have rest.”

453) All those wicked come out of their places and are given permission to go and see them, and an angel named Santriel goes and takes out their bodies, bringing it to Hell before the eyes of the wicked, to see that he is swarming with worms and that their souls have no rest in Hell’s fire.

454) All those wicked who are there circle that body and declare about it, “This is wicked so and so, who did not spare his master’s honor, denied the Creator and denied the whole of the Torah. Woe unto him; it would be better for him if he were not created and would not come to this sentence and to this disgrace.” It is written, “Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me, for their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched, and they will be an abhorrence to all flesh.” “For their worm will not die,” meaning from the body. “And their fire will not be quenched” from the soul. “And they will be an abhorrence to all flesh,” meaning that they will be seen enough, that all the wicked that are there in Hell will say, “Seeing this is enough,” for they will not be able to tolerate.

455) The Sabbath corresponds to the whole of the Torah, and the Torah is fire. Because they violated the fire of the Torah, the fire of Hell burns them and never quiets down from atop them.

456) Afterwards, when the Sabbath ends, Angel Santriel comes out and returns that body to its grave, and both are sentenced, each in its own. All this is while the body is still existing, since because the body has already decayed, the body does not have all those judgments, and it is written about it that the Creator “Did not arouse all His wrath.”

457) The body and spirit of all the wicked in the world are sentenced while the body is whole with all its organs in the grave, each with its fitting judgment. When the body is consumed, the judgment of the spirit quiets down. Those who need to come out of Hell come out; those who need to have rest, have rest; and those who need to be fire and dust under the feet of the righteous become that. Once he is rid of Hell’s judgment, it is done to each as it should be done.

458) For this reason, how happy are they—whether righteous or wicked—whose bodies are attached to the earth so it will decay in the dust shortly, and will not prolong its existence, so the body, the soul, and the spirit are sentenced for a long time: always. It is so because there is not one righteous in the world who does not have the judgment of the grave, since that angel who is appointed over the graves stands over the body and sentences it each day. If it is so for the righteous, it is even more so for the wicked.

459) While the body is consumed and decays in the dust, the judgment is quieted from all of them, from spirit and soul, as well. The exception are those pious, pillars of the world, who do not have the judgment of the grave and are permitted to be buried in a coffin, for they are worthy of elevating their souls to the high place that befits them right away. Yet, they are few in the world.

460) All the dead in the world die by the sabotaging angel, except for those who die in the holy land, who do not die by him but by an angel of mercy who governs in the land.

461) What is the praise for Moses, for Aaron, and for Miriam, of whom it is written that they died by the Creator? It is to teach that they did not die by this sabotaging angel. But you say that the whole world, which dies in the land of Israel, does not die by him?

462) Indeed, the praise of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam was more than all the people in the world because they died outside the holy land, and all but Moses, Aaron, and Miriam—who died only by the Creator—died by a saboteur. But those who die in the holy land do not die by a saboteur because the holy land does not stand under another authority, but only under the Creator’s domain.

463) This is why it is written, “Your dead shall live, my corpses shall rise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust.” “Your dead shall live” are those who die in the holy land, who are the dead of the Creator, and not by another, for the Sitra Achra does not govern there at all. This is why it is written, “Your dead,” the Creator’s. “My corpses shall rise” are those who died by that saboteur in a foreign land.

464) This is why they are called “corpses,” for it is written about them, “My corpses shall rise,” for as a corpse defiles when carried, those who die outside the holy land defile when carried. This is why they are corpses. Each slaughter that has been disqualified is called a “corpse” because the slaughtering is from the Sitra Achra, for as soon as it is disqualified, the Sitra Achra is on her. And because it is his and he is on it, it is called a “corpse.” It is written, “Naval, for as his name is, so is he: Naval is his name and Nevela [a corpse] is with him,” meaning that the Sitra Achra is on him.

465) For this reason, wherever the Sitra Achra is present, the place is called a “corpse,” since this villain is present only in a faulty place. This is why a slaughter that has been disqualified is his, and is called by his name. This is why the dead who are outside the holy land, under another domain, and the Sitra Achra is on them, are called a “corpse.”

466) “Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust.” Dwellers means sleeping dwellers, not dead. Who are they? It is those who sleep in Hebron, who are not dead, but are asleep. This is why dying is written in regard to them, as one who is dying but has the strength to shake up. These four sleeping couples of Hebron are also sleeping and not dead, and all maintain their existence in their bodies, knowing more hidden secrets than the rest of the people. Their bodies are hidden in the door of the Garden of Eden, since the Cave of Machpelah is the door of the Garden of Eden, and those are the dwellers of the dust. Hence, all those whose soul departed in the holy land, it does not depart through that saboteur, who does not govern there, but through an angel of mercy, that the holy land stands in his lot.

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