I heard Rabbi David Wolpe say in a debate something like:

The Talmud says 'You assume that the sages are in paradise but it is not so. In fact, paradise is in the sages.'

Could someone tell me more about that?

How are we to understand that Paradise is within us?

  • reference to the story (in which there is still mention of heaven) with no actual source madonnamagazine.com.au/articles/summer06/gleeson.html in this source it is referred to as a "joke" forums.compuserve.com/discussions/The_Religion_Forum/…
    – rosends
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:08
  • 1
    book excerpt, no source books.google.com/…
    – rosends
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:40
  • If you try to understand this sentence, you can ask yourself if the role of the space notion is not the key
    – kouty
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:41
  • If you could provide some link to the debate (assuming that is available) that could be very helpful.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 23, 2016 at 1:33
  • @mevaqesh Quote: Talmud says, for example, you assume that the sages are in paradise but it is not so, in fact paradise is in the sages. Rabbi David Wolpe
    – Aigle
    Aug 27, 2016 at 12:02

3 Answers 3


Perhaps the Mishna in Pirkei Avot: "One hour of good deeds in this world is greater than all of the next world".

This is brought out in the Shaar haBitachon by Rabeinu Bachye:

If he is among a crowd of people, he will long for nothing else than to do His will, and yearn only to come near to Him. His joy in his love of G-d will distract him from the pleasures worldly people have for this world, and even from the joy of souls in the next world.

Marpe Lenefesh commentary there: His joy in love of G-d is greater than the pleasure of the living in reaching their desires and even greater than the pleasures of the dead in the next world, as our sages said (Avot 4:17): 'One hour of teshuva and good deeds in this world is better than all of the life of the next world."


Whether this is a talmudic source or not, maybe you have not yet understood the wordplay here:

"There are no sages in Paradise because Pardes is within the sages".


It sounds like this rabbi was listening to his Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album...

We were talking about the space between us all. And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion never glimpse the truth. Then it's far too late, when they pass away.

We were talking about the love we all could share. When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love. With our love, we could save the world. If they only knew.

Try to realise it's all within yourself. No one else can make you change. And to see you're really only very small. And life flows on within you and without you.

We were talking about the love that's gone so cold, And the people who gain the world and lose their soul. They don't know. They can't see. Are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you.

Background on 'Within you and without you'.

Are you smiling yet?

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