Mortality and Premature Death

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui


“My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the spice beds, to feed in the gardens and to gather roses.”

This verse is from the legendary Song of Songs by King Solomon. The Rabbis taught: “All the ages are not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel; for all the writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.”

King Solomon, “the wisest of all men,” captures the special bond and love between G-d and His people through the metaphor and imagery that we can better relate to, and that is, the love between a loving husband and his wife.

The above verse is often quoted when offering comfort to loved ones who experienced the death of a child. (May G-d save us.) The All-Merciful G-d picks the nicest and best from the garden.

“It is better a whiff of the World to Come, than all the life of this world.” If anyone was to accumulate all the pleasure and enjoyment in all of human existence, it would not reach the delight in just a scent of the World to Come.

Nowadays, especially with past life regression hypnosis, it has become easier for many to accept what the great Mystics have been teaching for thousands of years. A person is a soul enclothed in his body. We, are not our bodies. We are souls, which animate and live while we are here in this temporary existence, in a physical body.

With so much being written lately on near-death experiences and the afterlife by people of all backgrounds and disciplines, for anyone with open eyes and ready to accept reality, it becomes pretty apparent that the soul goes places after it leaves the body. The soul is still very much aware of itself and all that is around itself.

The book of Prophets relates how King Saul, out of desperation, did the wrong thing and consulted a medium to bring up the soul of Samuel. When that happened, Samuel the prophet said, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

The message and picture we are forming from the above is that when someone passes on, they are not dead, as in that is the end of them. That is why we use the expression “he passed away,” rather than died. The body returns back to its source in the ground as the Bible tell us, “you are dust and to dust you shall return.” The soul returns back to its source, “to G-d who granted it…” which is all bliss.  In that pure and clear world everything is understood, and to the soul there are no questions or sadness.

In truth, the real pain when someone dear passes away is to those, who from our limited perspective, don’t see the whole picture.  Picking the rose may have saved the rest of the garden. To us, who can only experience past, present, and future, we never can see the whole picture, and at this moment the separation hurts. To us mere mortals it appears like something bad and negative, something unfair, just took place.

That is why the laws of mourning instruct us to cry over the loss of a loved one, and we must recognize the limited truth from our perspective. But even so, the law tells us we must limit our mourning and sadness. At a certain point we must also recognize the real and eternal truth. As far as the soul is concerned, it is in a better place. At a certain point, instead of looking at the temporary separation we must begin looking forward to the time when all souls will be re-united.


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