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A TOUR TO GEHINOM


בס"ד


OREL K IPGEN

The Word itself is often heard and terrifying. Its a realm of the afterlife where unrepentant souls are cleansed of their spiritual impurities before returning to the presence of God. Does a Gehinom has a size? Indeed the Gemara in Masechet Ta'anith 10a answered : “The Sages taught in a baraita: The area of the land of Egypt is four hundred parsa by four hundred parsa. And this is one sixtieth the size of Cush, and Cush itself is one sixtieth the size of the rest of the world. And the world is one sixtieth of the Garden of Eden, and the Garden of Eden is one sixtieth of Eden itself, and Eden is one sixtieth of Gehinom. You find that the entire world is like a pot cover for Gehinom, as Eden which is far larger than the rest of the world, is only one sixtieth the size of Gehinom”. And what is a parsa? It is 4 kilometers, a distance walked by a man in 72 minutes.

Let's do some Mathematics in order to clearly understand how big is Gehinom. If Egypt is 400 Parsa by 400 parsa, then to convert into kilometers is 400 x 4= 1600 kms. Now, Area in Sq.kms = Length x Width, which means 1600 x 1600 = 2,560,000 kms is the Area Sq.kms of Egypt. Likewise Cush is 153,600,000 Area sq.kms, and the world is 9,216,000,000 Area Sq.Kms, and Garden of Eden is 552,960,000,000 Area Sq.kms, and Eden is 33,177,600,000,000 Area Sq.kms, and Gehinom is 1.99065600E+15 Area Sq.kms.

What then is the purpose of being created? The Or HaChaim answer by quoting Talmud, Masechet Pesachim 54a, this is what it says, “the Garden of Eden and Gehinom were created before the world was created, since they are the reward and punishment for the Torah and the commandments”. Which simply means a good man rewards is Garden of Eden whereas a wicked man goes in Gehinom. But it doesn't seem simple as it seems, since we know many good man in this world walked down to Gehinom while a man who seems not so nice and abandon by the world walked in Garden of Eden. Let me explain in short, a person can have no criminal cases but still worship idols, the other person is hatred by being Orthodox or by being hard to convinced to absorbed into Western Culture , which they think is the solution for World Peace. But walked into Garden of Eden since he performed the Torah and Commandments. So, from here it can be derived that the Objective of Creations is solely for the Performance of Torah and its Commandments.

The Midrash Tanchuma, Parashat Chayei Sarah 3:6 expound the time when Gehinom was created. It says, “He created the angels, and the fire of Gehinom on the second day”. And Because he created Gehinom on the second days, the Torah doesn't write “God saw that it was good” which we found on every other days of the creations. To make it more difficult, let's bring another sources from the Baraita in Peaschim 54a which say's, “ Seven phenomena were created before the world was created, and they are: Torah, and repentance, and the Garden of Eden, and Gehinom, and the Throne of Glory, and the Temple, and the name of Messiah”. We might think there is differences of opinion to which days Gehinom was created. Not so, Chazal says , “the pits of Gehinom were created two thousand years before the creation “ which identified the fire of Gehinom and the pits of Gehinom as different creations.(Midrash Tanchuma , Parashat Chayei Sarah 3:6)

In Masechet Eruvin 19a, it says, “Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: Gehinom has seven names, and they are as follows : She’ol, Avadon, Be’er Shaḥat, Bor Shaon, Tit HaYaven, Tzalmavet, and Eretz HaTaḥtit”. From here we derived that there are Seven compartment of Gehinom. Each one goes down according to the level of his impurities. Ben Yehoyada Eruvin 19a explain that even a righteous man suffer to went down into the deepest of Gehinom, in order to pull out those souls of Israel who suffered down there. Since it is said in the verses Proverb 24:16, “ A righteous man fall Seven times and wake up”. They went down all the seven compartment of Gehinom to find and pull out the souls of Israel. And why did Israel merited to be pulled out from Gehinom? Since they accept the Torah, which is divided into Seven books.

May God Save us from the tormentation of Gehinom and bring Messiah speedily in our days. Amen


With Faith and Love,

Orel Kipgen

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