There is an important question. According to Maimonides the Messianic Era and the Resurrection Era are two distinct periods. First, Moshiach comes and completes his work. After that the natural order/state of the world ends and the Resurrection Era begins.

But according to another traditional belief mainly based in Zohar, the resurrections of the righteous will occur immediately after Moshiach's arrival. Leshem, I think, shares the same opinion.

So what will happen? Maybe Maimonides believed that the Resurrection of the Righteous won't happen in the Resurrection Era? Will the resurrections will begin immediately after Moshiach's arrival or after an unspecified period of time? Or maybe there will be two resurrection periods, one for the righteous and one other for the rest? Leshem seems to think that the resurrection period will be one but, simply, the righteous will be the first to resurrect in that period. Can someone bring more sources? Thank you.

Is there a middle ground between the holy Zohar and Rambam?


Zohar I, 140a; Chiddushei Ritva on Rosh HaShanah 16b; Responsa of Radvaz, Vol. III, sections 1069, 644; Migdal David, p. 83a; Biurei HaZohar of the Tzemach Tzedek, p. 134. See also Sichos Kodesh 5710 (Kehot), p. 100, and Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 518.

  • Wait...are you only looking for sources that reconcile Rambam with the Zohar? That's kind of like asking about the effects of vaccination, but limiting answers to those which link it to autism. It is a fair question, but guarantees low quality content.
    – mevaqesh
    May 9 '17 at 18:58
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    First of all, welcome to the site, and hopefully the questions don't seem interrogative. The point is to improve the question.
    – mevaqesh
    May 9 '17 at 19:20
  • I edited the clarification into the post. In general, it is best to include your sources of information. For example, you start of by stating "According to Maimonides the Messianic Era and the Resurrection Era are two distinct periods", but then you question this assumption. How did you know it in the first place? Did you see this in a particular text? Hear it somewhere? Letting us know, can help us find an answer. Also consider sourcing the Leshem and Zohar.
    – mevaqesh
    May 9 '17 at 19:24
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    Note that there has historically been diversity of opinion on numerous topics. Even among unquestionably great authorities. Looking for a reconciliation or some sort of middle ground between Zohar and Rambam, will likely lead to flawed understanding, of both.
    – mevaqesh
    May 9 '17 at 19:25
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    Why is it the "holy Zohar" but simply the "Rambam"? May 11 '17 at 11:57

I think the only appropriate answer is from the Rambam himself in הלכות מלכים ומלחמותיהם - פרק שנים עשר who states that we do not have a tradition (handed down from Sinai, from generation to generation) about these things.

All we know is what we can try to deduce from various verses. This results in various opinions, depending on how one interprets the verses since the verses are purposefully vague.

Since these details are not a main aspect of Judaism, once should not spend too much time dealing with this matter.

When they happen we will finally be able to know how to correctly interpret the verses (And see who - if anybody - was correct.)

וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא יֵדַע אָדָם אֵיךְ יִהְיוּ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ. שֶׁדְּבָרִים סְתוּמִין הֵן אֵצֶל הַנְּבִיאִים. גַּם הַחֲכָמִים אֵין לָהֶם קַבָּלָה בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. אֶלָּא לְפִי הֶכְרֵעַ הַפְּסוּקִים. וּלְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לָהֶם מַחְלֹקֶת בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ. וְעַל כָּל פָּנִים אֵין סִדּוּר הֲוָיַת דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ וְלֹא דִּקְדּוּקֵיהֶן עִקָּר בַּדָּת. וּלְעוֹלָם לֹא יִתְעַסֵּק אָדָם בְּדִבְרֵי הַהַגָּדוֹת. וְלֹא יַאֲרִיךְ בַּמִּדְרָשׁוֹת הָאֲמוּרִים בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְלֹא יְשִׂימֵם עִקָּר. שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין לֹא לִידֵי יִרְאָה וְלֹא לִידֵי אַהֲבָה. וְכֵן לֹא יְחַשֵּׁב הַקִּצִּין. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תִּפַּח רוּחָם שֶׁל מְחַשְּׁבֵי הַקִּצִּים. אֶלָּא יְחַכֶּה וְיַאֲמִין בִּכְלַל הַדָּבָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ: ‏

So trying to map out the various opinions - as you seem to try - and seeing if you can reconcile them - by finding a 3rd opinion - is a pointless operation, and may even be forbidden, according to the Rambam.

"Our task is to wait for it to happen and believe in the concepts" as the Rambam concludes.


In his Letter on Resurrection, Maimonides wrote (my emphasis):

ולא יתחייב מזה המאמר שהשם לא יחיה מתים כשירצה ולמי שירצה אם בימי המשיח או לפניו או לאחרי מותו
(Ibn Tibbon translation)

But from this analysis it does not follow that God will not revive the dead by His will and wish when he desires and whomever He desires to resurrect. It will happen in the lifetime of the Messiah, or before him, or after he dies.
(Halkin translation)

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