As to the sages’ statement that, “the dead will be brought back to life with all their defects (in place) and then be cured”, that means as follows.
The same body (i.e., self) with its comprehensive ratzon l’kabel will come back to life at the beginning (of the resurrection) without any restrictions whatsoever — meaning to say, it will return just as it had been when it passed through the impure worlds system and before meriting being at all purified by (adherence to) Torah and mitzvot. That’s the meaning of (the idea that it will be brought back to life) “with all its defects”.
Also see 26:2.
(And as to the idea of the dead being “cured”, that’s to be explained thusly.) We’ll then begin to engage in a new form of Divine service, and start to infuse our comprehensive ratzon l’kabel with a tsurah of bestowal, as we’d indicated, and (our body and self) will thus be cured! For it will have attained an affinity (with God).
In short, the idea that the dead will be brought back to life with all their defects in place and then be cured of them comes to this. There’ll come a time when the dead body — and self — will indeed come back to life in full, raw blossom. But not as it is now in our day-to-day experience with its expansive and comprehensive ratzon l’kabel in place. Instead, we’ll begin to rectify that pure and unadulterated ratzon l’kabel then by transforming it into a ratzon l’kabel al m’nat l’hashpia — a willingness to take in, in order to bestow. And that will cure it of its dread disease of alienation from God and will draw us close to Him as we emulate His ways.
(As to the fact that) our sages said that the reason (we’re to be resurrected with all our defects in place) was so as “not to be mistaken for anyone else”, that’s so it couldn’t be said that (the body or self) was of a different form than its original one in the intentions for creation, since the comprehensive ratzon l’kabel would have retained its intent to take in all the goodness (that it was meant to enjoy) in the (original) intention for creation; and that it was set among the husks for the meanwhile until it could be purified. For in the end there simply cannot be a different body. For if it were restrained in any way, it would be a different entity for all intents and purposes, and wouldn’t merit receiving all the goodness (planned for it) in the (original) intentions of creation it (had already) received in the first era.
On an even more arcane level, the idea that the body and self is to come back to life with all its defects — i.e., in full, raw blossom — just “so as not to be mistaken for anyone else”, means to say this. The very same body/self that had been on God’s “mind”, if you will, in the first era when He set out to create the universe, and which He meant to exist in the second (and third) era — with its entire comprehensive ratzon l’kabel in place — is the very one that will be resurrected, none other. It just had to experience this and that before it could be resurrected. And that will be clear; no one would be able to say that another, less ratzon l’kabel-ridden body/self was being resurrected. (Why would that matter? Because it has to be manifest that the very same body and self that was rooted in taking-in could in fact be transformed to one rooted in bestowing.)
(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.
You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).