Chayei Sarah: Chapter 10

Dumah brings them into and out of reckoning


The role of Dumah, angel in charge of graveyards, is discussed. The rabbis agree that he is in charge of all bodies - good and wicked - sorting them into graves according to merit, until the Day of Reckoning. Torah interpretation tells us that Abraham's body was granted a special "treasure of peace and great rest." Also, according to various rabbis, people who have kept the Law, studied Torah, and performed acts of great piety, may inherit either 200 or 400 "worlds in the World to Come."


A righteous person is not necessarily one who has attained the same level of spirituality and wisdom as the eminent sages of antiquity or the great Kabbalists cited in the Zohar. We are not expected to reach their level, but we are expected to at least strive for it. Therefore, an individual who consistently endeavors toward high spiritual goals is defined as righteous. More important than the level attained is the degree of change that we achieve through spiritual growth. Hence, we need to awaken loftier aspirations and goals. Moreover, we require inner strength and determination to pursue higher levels of righteousness. These qualities take root within us as we meditatively study this section of Zohar.