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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 20:21:02 -0500 Subject: Simple Torah Origin of the World To Come Howard Gontovnick asks for readings on the "emergence of the world- to-come" in the Torah and Midrashic writings. This was recently extensively discussed on another email group. I offered the following simple points and ideas which clarifies greatly the whole matter: 1) Judaism obligates people to believe in the World to Come 2) Judaism obligates people to believe that this World To Come is a Biblical concept (and not made up by the Rabbis (e.g. to comfort people) So it logically follows that we should be able to find "world to come" quickly and easily someplace in the Torah -- but where. 3) First: I note that many words denoting "muchness" of QUANTITY also denote "increase" in QUALITY (e.g. the word for heavy means honor, the word for big means important, the word for reproducing quantitavely also denotes qualitative improvements (Rabbi = Pru Urvu=multiplying your qualities) 4) Point 3) is general. Let us look at the particular word "long": Long can denote "lengthening"= an increase in length. It can also denote increasing quality of existence (e.g. Aruchah=healing=lengthening and improving quality of life). 5) Continuing the idea of 4) I note that ARCHU *LO* HAYAMIM ( stayed long in a place) uses the indirect object *LO*. According to Radack, a Mideval Grammarian, ARCHU HAYAMIM (long days) (without the indirect object) refers to a "higher quality of life". 6) If points 3,4,5 are too technical think of the following list: GDL= big GDL=important RV= increase RV=Rabbi= Teacher (increases quality vs quantity) ARCH= lengthen ARCH= heal ARCH=lengthy stay ARCH=high quality stay The Radack in the Book of Roots has his way of defending this but I believe the above synopsis is slightly easier to see 7) I then took my idea and checked ALL times that it says to follow Gods will in order to LENGTHEN DAYS=INCREASE QUALITY. I found the list of things that give INCREASED QUALITY to be similar to the idea of the WORLD TO COME: Vis: If you do Mitzvoth, are honest, retell God's miracles then you will have a higher quality of life. Rather than belabor the point I invite each person to use a Konkordance and judge himself. 8) In short I posit that ARCHIUS YAMIM of the BIBLE = WORLD TO COME of the Talmud It is a world where the source of enjoyment is not physical pleasure but the performance of goodness and kindness, honesty and the recounting of God's protection. Because of our physical bodies we can't fully achieve this in this world. I believe the above 8 points summarize all things said in the vast literature on the World to Come and they also derive them from the Bible. I hope this helps people with this important topic Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d; ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu