203. "And it came to pass, when Yisrael dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine, and Yisrael heard of it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve" (Beresheet 35:22-23). Rabbi Elazar said, "when Yisrael dwelt (Heb. shkon) in that land," REFERS TO THE SHECHINAH CALLED 'LAND,' for at that time when Leah and Rachel died, THE SHECHINAH became mistress of the house.
204. HE ASKS, Could you possibly think that Reuben lay with Bilhah? HE ANSWERS, As long as Leah and Rachel were ALIVE, the Shechinah hovered over them; once they died, the Shechinah never departed from the house, but dwelt in Bilhah's abode. HE ASKS, Although it was appropriate that the Shechinah should be mistress of the house, THAT IS, BE UNITED WITH JACOB AFTER RACHEL'S DEATH, WHY WAS IT SAID THAT THE SHECHINAH DWELT WITH BILHAH? HE ANSWERS, She would not hover openly about the house if Jacob had not formed a union of male and female. Therefore, the Shechinah was to be found in Bilhah's tent, WHERE THERE WAS A UNION OF MALE AND FEMALE.
205. When Reuben saw that Bilhah had inherited his mother's place, he upset JACOB'S bed BY TAKING IT AWAY. As the Shechinah was upon it, it is written as if he "lay with Bilhah." Rabbi Yesa said that he slept on the same bed, thus showing disrespect for the Shechinah. FOR THAT REASON, THE VERSE INTIMATES THAT IT WAS AS IF HE LAY WITH HER. But because HE DID NOT SIN, he was not excluded from the TWELVE tribes. Therefore scripture does the reckoning, SAYING, "NOW THE SONS OF JACOB WERE TWELVE," and then, "Reuben, Jacob's first-born," thus appointing him head of all the tribes.
206. Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion with the verse, "For the ways of Hashem are right, and the just do walk in them: but the transgressors shall stumble in them" (Hoshea 14:10). All the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, are right and His paths are true, but the people in the world do not know or care what they are based upon. "The just do walk in them," because they know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, and study the Torah. Whoever is occupied in the study of the Torah is familiar with them and treads THE WAYS OF THE TORAH, never deviating right or left.
207. "But the transgressors shall stumble in them." These words refer to the wicked, who do not study the Torah or care for the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He, or know where they are going. Because they do not know how to observe, and do not deal with the Torah, they stumble in this world and in the World to Come.
208. Come and behold, when a man who studies the Torah passes away, his soul ascends through the roads and ways of the Torah, which are known to those who follow the ways of the Torah in this world. After they die, they tread these pathes in the other world.
209. When those who do not study the Torah in this world, those who are not familiar with its roads and ways, leave this world, they do not know which way to go and they stumble. Because they choose ways that are not of the Torah, many judgments are raised against them, and they are punished.
210. Of he who studies the Torah, it is written, "When you lie down, it shall watch over you; when you wake, it shall talk to you" (Mishlei 6:22). "When you lie down" in the grave, the Torah shall watch over you from the Judgment of that world; "when you wake" refers to the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise spirits and souls that will resurrect the dead. Then, "it shall talk to you," being an advocate for the body, so that the bodies who studied the Torah shall rise in a proper manner. These are those who will rise first to everlasting life, as it is written, "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life" (Daniel 12:2). Those who deal in everlasting life, the Torah, will awake to everlasting life.
211. Come and behold, the bodies of all the students of the Torah will be preserved, and the Torah shall protect them. The reason is that the Holy One, blessed be He, will arouse a wind, comprised of four winds, CHOCHMAH, BINAH, TIFERET, AND MALCHUT. That wind appears before those who studied the Torah and revives them to everlasting life.
212. You may say that it is written OF THE DEAD THAT EZEKIEL WAS RESURRECTED, "Come from the four winds, O breath (also: 'wind')" (Yechezkel 37:9). Why, then, did they die again, DERIVING NO BENEFIT FROM THAT WIND - WHICH COMPRISES THE FOUR WINDS - BY LIVING FOREVER? HE ANSWERS, Come and behold. When the Holy One, blessed be He, revived the dead through Ezekiel, that wind, although it did include the four winds, did not descend IN THE FIRST PLACE in order to revive them forever, but only to show how the Holy One, blessed be He, will in the future resurrect in the same way the dead and revive them by that wind included "OF FOUR WINDS." And although the bones returned to what they were, the Holy One, blessed be He, only wanted to show the world that He will raise the dead in the future. And when He will, it will be for a perfect existence in this world. The Torah will THEN stand as an advocate before the Holy One, blessed be He, for those who strove in the Torah.