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Olam HaBa and the days of meshiach


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Av 1, 5776
Shalom dear Rabbi, could you please help me clarify the following People/Souls who have merited Olam HaBa and who are no longer alive, are in Olam HaBa. However at the time of Meshiach when there will be a resurrection of the dead, those souls will return to the world that we live in. Am I correct to assume that they will join the ’regular’ people who are alive at that time (people who were living at the time right before the dead were revived?) When the revival of the dead has already taken place, will people still die? I also wanted to ask if there will be an Olam HaBa in the sense that people merited it enjoyed/enjoy? (for example, someone who died a long time ago and merited Olam HaBa and who is now in Olam HaBa). If there is a revival of dead, will there still be Olam HaBa in that sense? Or will, after the revival of the dead, Olam HaBa and Olam HaSe "merge" and all people will live in a world that has both characteristics of the spirtual Olam HaBa and the physical world that we are living in at the moment? Thank you in advance
In general, Judaism stresses this world and striving to choose well and destine our fate as individuals, nations, mankind, and universe, and accordingly, what should concern us is the present, not curiosity about fore coming worlds. Nevertheless, according to Jewish tradition, there are 2 different stages: the World of the Souls (often called: Heaven) where our souls presently go after we die, as opposed to the later stage of Revival of the Dead (sometimes called: Resurrection). In Heaven, there is no element of time, work, or physical, only spiritual pleasure and improvement. After that spiritual “seminar”, our improved souls will return to our physical bodies (renewed with total health) in a physical world, receiving and giving altruistically, just like God, but there will be such a clarity, that free will is going to be very limited there. According to the mainstream opinion, the revival of the dead is the final stage after which there is no longer death (and follows the messianic age). Those revived apparently will join the ’regular’ people who are alive at that time, although there are sources that infer that there will be a “break” period, when there is temporarily no physical world. I don’t want to confuse the issue, but despite the aforementioned tradition, the Rambam opines that there is death after resurrection, and the final stage is to return to Heaven.
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