Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seven Days without a Dream


Not only the Talmud but already the Torah has a wider section on dreams. Just look at the dreams of Yaakov, the dream interpretations of Yosef and Paraoh’s dream. All those Torah portions we read during the month of Kislev (December / January) and, in a kabbalistic sense, KISLEV is the month of sleep and dreams. The Talmud Tractate Berachot is providing us numerous dream interpretations. 

The same tractate, Daf 14, teaches that Rabbi Yonah said in the name of Rabbi Ze’ira: 

“Anyone who sleeps for seven days without having a dream is called “evil”. 

What does this statement mean and why am I an evil person when I don’t dream for seven days ? 
Is it my fault not to have a dream ? 

The Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu ben Zalman Kremer (1720 – 1797) gives us an answer where he compares the seven dreamless days to the seven days throughout a week when a person doesn’t necessarily think about his purpose in this world. When someone is too busy realizing that our entire existence is only temporarily. The Vilna Gaon said that this world is like a dream because it doesn’t last. Instead of wasting his time with unnecessary things, a person should try concentrating on getting an appropriate place in Olam HaBah (the world to come). Those people who rush through the six work days of a week do have an excuse because they are busy earning their living. On Shabbat, however, the person should try to grow spiritually. People not realizing their purpose of existence and just wasting their lives can be called “evil” because they, in a way, ignore creation. This is why the Vilna Gaon uses these two comparisons. Nothing is eternal and this world can be like a dream with our life vanishing within a second.


  1. If this world is so unimportant then what makes him think that the next world is imbued with importance?

  2. B"H

    Because the next world is the eternal world (of souls).

  3. B'H

    But to merit our Olom HaBo, we need to invest time and energy in our Avodah in this Olom Hazeh. One does not go without the other.

  4. B"H

    I would love to know from G - d how He considers people like me who have to work a lot ? I don't have too much Avodah but work all the time. Besides, you need a life, enjoy your free moments and also sleep.

    When it comes to my Avodah account, there is much less than a woman staying at home or any person not working. They have time to pray, concentrate on spiritual matters or think about Mitzvot.

    I think it was Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev trying to be an advocate of a worker who didn't have time for Avodah. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak said to G - d that while working, the guy would serve Him.

    Maybe this is the key and an answer for me.:-)

  5. "Because the next world is the eternal world (of souls)."

    How does that make it important?

  6. B"H

    According to many commentators and the Talmud (Sanhedrin), this is the place where your soul goes after one dies. Therefore it is important what you do in this world in order to get a good place in the World to Come.

  7. What's the difference between a good place and a bad place and why does it matter?

  8. This is living for the day you die.

  9. B"H

    Its not living for the day to die but we cannot forget that we all have a task in this life, and our goal should be to fulfill it. Besides that each individual has his own task in his life, Jews, for instance, have a mutual goal to cause a TIKUN OLAM, a rectification of this world. Through keeping Mitzvot, we are causing something in this world which otherwise would not exist.

    Life is not only endless pleasure but we have to realize who created us and why.

    Commentators state that a good place means when the soul gets closer to G - d.

  10. Forgive me but your post is not about tikkun olam hazeh.Rather it states that this world has no importance and you should focus solely on the next (after death) world.

    Is it like a big Friday night meal with G-d at the head of the table and the god people closest to him? Like a tisch?

  11. B"H

    Of course, this world is of importance. In order to get to the World to Come we have to fulfill certain tasks in this world. Such as keeping Mitzvot and thus causing a Tikun (perfectioning this world).

    How it is to have once soul close to G - d ? I don't think that anyone has a specific answer to this. Let put it this way: G - d created all souls and the soul itself always has a desire to go back to its source (G - d). At least according to the ZOHAR.