Answer: Hell is a state when a spiritually elevated person falls into egoism. This is called hell. A person burns with shame because of his egoism. This is the fire of hell and punishment.
And when, on the contrary, one rises to the property of love and bestowal, one feels that one is higher than this world. One experiences the state of eternity, perfection, and infinity. This state is called paradise, heaven.
We sense these two states—heaven or hell—during our spiritual ascents or descents back into this world. Only Kabbalists are able to feel both states. They are not at all connected with the corporeal life or death.
Our bodies are just animals that are given to us only to serve as the basis of our physical existence. Based on this framework, our spiritual advancement is possible.
The wisdom of Kabbalah speaks solely of our spiritual development. If we do not advance spiritually during our lifetime, we die as any other animal and that’s it for us.
There is no target of getting somewhere after our bodily death. After death nothing changes. But it is possible to attain the upper world during our lifetimes.
The purpose of Kabbalah is to achieve the sensation of heaven during our current lifetime. And then,our animal existence isn’t an obstacle. In other words, the body can die, but we are already in the upper world. This is exactly what needs to be done: develop our soul.
Each of us is given an animate body in this material realm. At the same time, we have a point, the embryo of the soul. If we develop this embryo, we begin sensing spiritual life through it. Then, the death of our body doesn’t matter! We start sensing the next level of universe in the subsequent dimension.
At the same time, if we don’t develop the point in the heart, nothing will happen after our physical death. The point in the heart, the embryo of the soul, will be born again in a new animal body, thus giving us another chance to advance with the help of Kabbalah.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/27/15