I don't understand this passage in the Talmud:

The righteous outside of Eretz Yisrael will be resurrected and roll [until they reach Eretz Yisrael]… Rabbi Abba Salla Rava strongly objects to this: Rolling entails suffering for the righteous. Abaye said: Tunnels are prepared for them in the ground. Karna said… Our Patriarch Jacob knew that he was completely righteous, and that the dead outside of Eretz Yisrael are resurrected [anyway], so why did he trouble his sons [to bury him in Eretz Yisrael]? Because he thought he may not be worthy of the tunnels. (Ketubot 111a)

If Jacob "knew" he was "completely" righteous, why would he worry that he "may not be worthy of the tunnels"? What's the logic?

  • קטונתי מכל החםסדים ומכל האמת אשר עשית את עבדך
    – Mordechai
    Dec 22, 2020 at 13:54
  • 1
    Nice question. It seems evident from the gemara that being zocheh to mechilos requires something else other than just being a tzadik gammur.
    – The GRAPKE
    Dec 22, 2020 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


See Shlah, Vavei ha'amudim, Amud ha'emes, chapter 23.

So, not going exactly with what he says (since he seems to have a different reading of the gemara), but using some of the ideas there:

I would posit, that in order for someone not to have tzaar when going through the mechilos, they must be on a level where the shechinah rests on their entire body. So this is more than being just a tzadik gamur, it is closer to the madregah of ha'avos hein hein ha'merkavah.

So Yaakov knew he was a tzadik gamur and would be zocheh to techiyas ha'meisim (whether this requires mechilos or whatever) but he did not know if the shechinah rested on his entire body, which is what is required one from tza'ar gilgul mechilos.

  • Why would you posit that?
    – Rafael
    Dec 27, 2020 at 2:50
  • @Rafael Based on the Shlah
    – The GRAPKE
    Dec 28, 2020 at 21:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .