Printed from
Even if one is judged at the time of death, still there can be more judgments and punishments to follow.

Judgment After Death

Judgment After Death

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Two, Section 2

Beginner Beginner

We find explicitly stated in Midrash Ne’elam of the Zohar on the verse, "For all the good that G‑d did for David and Israel his people" (Kings I 8:66), that David stayed in the world-to-come seven years after his death before they allowed him to enter the upper Jerusalem [the upper level of paradise].

David stayed in the world-to-come seven years after his death before they allowed him to enter upper Jerusalem.

We also find this with respect to Samuel the prophet, who is considered equal to Moses and Aaron, (Psalms 99:6) when Saul raised him [from the dead] using Ob…

One of the ancient and forbidden methods of sorcery, using bones done to raise up the dead and communicate with them. (Lev. 19:31).

…as it says, "Why did you disturb me to raise me up?" (Samuel I 28:15). The Sages say, "He [Samuel] was afraid that it was the great day of judgment." (Vayikra Raba 26:7)

So would it seem that even if one is judged at the time of death, still there are more judgments and punishments to follow.

Even Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai, "who did not miss one verse or mishna" cried at the time of his death, as it says in Brachot (28b). [So his students asked him,] "What will be with the other righteous people who are not like you, and how much more so those people whose sins are many?"

In other words, if he was worried about judgment after death, then what about the rest of us who don’t come close to him in deed?

However, it is not now the place to elaborate.

Because of a certain sin he committed, he was reincarnated into this rock.

On many occasions I walked with my teacher through a field, and he would say to me, "This person was called such-and-such, and though he was a righteous person and Torah scholar, because of a certain sin he committed he was reincarnated into this rock, or this plant, etc." Even though he never knew the person nor inquired about him after his death, we always found that he was right. If we discussed this in depth, this book would never end!

Sometimes, he would look from a distance of five hundred amot [cubits, about 1000 feet] at a certain grave that was among twenty thousand others, and he would see the nefesh of the person buried there standing on the grave. He would say to us, "In that grave is buried so-and-so, and they gave him such-and-such a punishment for such-and-such a sin." We would then investigate the person’s life and find his words to be true. There are many great stories like this one.

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Start a Discussion
1000 characters remaining

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.