There Are No Fiery Ovens or Scorching Rods in Purgatory

There Are No Fiery Ovens or Scorching Rods in PurgatoryQuestions I received about distinguishing Kabbalah from religion and belief


Question: I have heard you say that a secular Jew can remain secular and still reach spirituality through Kabbalah.

My Answer: Do you really believe that the entire world and all the nations must become Orthodox Jews?

Question: How do you reconcile this with the Gemara Baba Kama 50, which says that anyone who says that G-d will overlook his sins, his life will be forfeited.

My Answer: Anyone who says that he can avoid correcting all of his egoism, he will not merit the upper life, and will remain spiritually dead.

Question: For example, it is understood that wicked people undergo punishments such as purgatory.

My Answer: Wicked people are egoists, and purgatory is liberation from egoism by the force of the Light. I don’t even understand how you can study the Talmud without understanding Kabbalah. What do you imagine a purgatory to be – fiery ovens and scorching rods?

Question: Furthermore, it has been said in the on line classes that dying is stepping out of one body into another body in order to continue the process of correction. We know, however, that people can be reincarnated into rocks and such for thousands of years, due to their sins. Again, how can we reconcile these contradictory ideas? Would it not make sense that G-d demands both corporeal observance as well as the study of the spiritual?

My Answer: Your logic is based on egoism, which is opposite to the property of the Creator and the Upper World. Believing that people can reincarnate into rocks is idol worship. A rock is the lowest form of egoism, Lev HaEven.

You have to study; otherwise you will remain a self-assured know-it-all, as it is written, “What should we do with children who have grown old?” (Ma Laasot Im Yeladim She Izkinu?). However, time will take care of whatever the mind doesn’t do. So have patience, and eventually egoism will force you to search instead of blindly believing.

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