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One of Maimonidies 13 principles of faith is believing in the resurrection of the dead wherein the dead will arise from their graves. My question is have chazal provided any guidelines for how we are to survive this zombie apocalypse?

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closed as too localized by msh210 Feb 28 '13 at 18:40

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5 Answers

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Follow the instructions of the Rambam (De'os 1:7):

וההולך בדרך זומביא טובה וברכה לעצמו

One who goes the way of the zombie — good and blessing to him.

There's nothing wrong with being a zombie, so don't try to escape being turned into one. You just need to have a positive attitude about it.

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Wow. Bravo... nice! –  Shalom Feb 13 '13 at 6:53
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@ba, I think you misunderstood the Rambam. This is referring to the health benefits of doing exercise through Zumba. –  Shraga Feb 13 '13 at 14:43
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Well there's one Talmudic sage who rejected his colleague's arguments by stating, "whoever said that has no brains in his head!" Hence just bring in a few skeptical Talmudists and the zombies will conclude there are no brains to be had here.

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Your mistake is in assuming that zombie-tude is the same as resurrection of the dead. Re-animation is not the same as resurrection, as we learn from Ezekiel:

וְרָאִיתִי וְהִנֵּה-עֲלֵיהֶם גִּדִים, וּבָשָׂר עָלָה, וַיִּקְרַם עֲלֵיהֶם עוֹר, מִלְמָעְלָה; וְרוּחַ, אֵין בָּהֶם.

And I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them.

It is only when the prophet follows the divine command to prophesy to them that they have life:

וְהִנַּבֵּאתִי, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּנִי; וַתָּבוֹא בָהֶם הָרוּחַ וַיִּחְיוּ, וַיַּעַמְדוּ עַל-רַגְלֵיהֶם--חַיִל, גָּדוֹל מְאֹד-מְאֹד.

So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great host.

(37:8-10)

Until they have prophecy-induced breath they are mere flesh and not alive. Once they are alive they also know their creator and will turn from their zombie ways, as we know from the fact that Ezekiel lived to tell the tale for 11 more chapters.

Therefore, when the zombie apocalypse comes, you have two choices: (a) smite them, as they are not living people, or (b) read to them from this book and they will turn to your side.

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Hang on @Monica, Ezekiel's previously-dry-bones didn't stand up until after they were alive! How do you address that? –  Monica Cellio Feb 13 '13 at 1:37
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Easy, @Monica -- there is no before or after in torah. Or you might say: that Ezekiel's not-zombies stood up only after breathing doesn't mean that no zombies can move under their own power. Ha! –  Monica Cellio Feb 13 '13 at 1:38
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So, you decided to try those poppy seed hamantashen after all? –  HodofHod Feb 13 '13 at 4:07
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@HodofHod, Pirke Avot says "who is wise? he who learns from everyone". –  Monica Cellio Feb 13 '13 at 4:54
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To answer this question, we must first address a puzzling mishnah (Avos 2:6):

Hilel sees a skull floating in the water. He says to it, "Since you drowned, you were drowned; and your drowner will also be drowned."

  • Why is Hilel talking to a skull, which can't even hear him or understand anything?
  • Why is this at the beginning of the second chapter rather than in the end of the first chapter with Hilel's other catchy phrases (אם אין אני לי מי לי, ודלא מוסיף יסף)?

The answers, respectively, are:

  • This skull was really a zombie.
  • After Hilel addressed instructing living people in the first chapter, he moved on to addressing dead people in the second. This can be proved because of the mishnah that precedes it (2:4) in which Hilel says "Don't believe in yourself until the day of your death."

As it turns out, this specific mishnah spoken to the zombie is a continuation of what preceded it (2:5): "In a place where there are no men, you should try to be a man." Hilel is encouraging the zombie that he too can be a normal man. Contrary to the link quoted in the question, zombies can be reasoned with.


So in summary, the short answer for how to survive the zombie apocalypse: Take public speaking lessons.

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Well played, sir! –  Isaac Moses Feb 13 '13 at 4:31
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Zombies are actually quite problematic, though the problem seems to be with only one female zombie, Kol Haron Api, as Zephania (3:8) said:

כִּי מִשְׁפָּטִי לֶאֱסֹף גּוֹיִם לְקָבְצִי מַמְלָכוֹת, לִשְׁפֹּךְ עֲלֵיהֶם זַעְמִי, כֹּל חֲרוֹן אַפִּי, כִּי בְּאֵשׁ קִנְאָתִי, תֵּאָכֵל כָּל-הָאָרֶץ

Because My judgment is to gather the nations to heap upon them My zombie, Kol Haron Api, because My jealousy is on fire, and she [Kol Haron Api] will eat all the earth.

But fundamentally, Jews shouldn't have to worry about the zombie apocalypse, as is made clear in Isaiah (66:14), zombies will only attack G-d's enemies:

וּרְאִיתֶם וְשָׂשׂ לִבְּכֶם, וְעַצְמוֹתֵיכֶם כַּדֶּשֶׁא תִפְרַחְנָה; וְנוֹדְעָה יַד-ה' אֶת-עֲבָדָיו, וְזָעַם אֶת-אֹיְבָיו

And when you see this, your heart will rejoice, and your bones will flourish like young grass; and the hand of G-d will be known to His servants, and a zombie [will be known] to His enemies.

However, Isaiah (26:19-20) does offer some practical advice while Kol Haron Api is out and about:

יִחְיוּ מֵתֶיךָ, נְבֵלָתִי יְקוּמוּן; הָקִיצוּ וְרַנְּנוּ שֹׁכְנֵי עָפָר, כִּי טַל אוֹרֹת טַלֶּךָ, וָאָרֶץ, רְפָאִים תַּפִּיל. לֵךְ עַמִּי בֹּא בַחֲדָרֶיךָ, וּסְגֹר דְּלָתְךָ בַּעֲדֶךָ; חֲבִי כִמְעַט-רֶגַע, עַד-יַעֲבָר-זָעַם

Your dead will live, my dead bodies will arise; awake and sing, dwellers of ash -- for Your dew is like the dew of light, and Earth, bring to life the ghosts. Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors around you. Hide yourself for a moment until the passing of the zombie.

As far as what to look out for, Shlomo, as usual, has some insight (Mishlei 25:23):

רוּחַ צָפוֹן תְּחוֹלֵל גָּשֶׁם וּפָנִים נִזְעָמִים, לְשׁוֹן סָתֶר

A northern wind creates rain, and the faces of the zombified [have] a hidden tongue.

So anyone with a second tongue is likely a zombie.

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The third source should probably have been the answer by itself, but long-winded-ness, I hear, is the source of wit. –  Charles Koppelman Feb 13 '13 at 6:04
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