Newsletter

THE LOCATION OF ETERNITY

Roy Neuberger - Jul. 12, 2019

 
Why is a human corpse the basic source of impurity?

 

Years ago, I drove Rabbi Avraham Halevi Jungreis – the father of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, may their memories be a blessing for us – to a funeral. After letting Rabbi Jungreis off, I went to find a parking spot. When I returned, the funeral chapel was crowded, but I needed to find Rabbi Jungreis inside, so I entered an open door at the back of the building, thinking this would be a way around the crowd. I passed through a room and saw a table covered with a sheet. There was something under the sheet, and then I saw an arm sticking up.

 

I ran! Forget the shortcut!

 

Why are we afraid of the dead?

 

It’s just a body that was alive recently, and now the soul has departed.

 

I am squeamish about dead bodies. For example, if I see a dead bird on the sidewalk, I like to move it out of the way, so I take a stick and push it into the grass. But I don’t even like touching it indirectly.

 

Why is death frightening? And what does this have to do with impurity? Why are we forbidden to enter the Sanctuary after contact with a corpse?

 

I believe the answer goes to the very foundation of our Jewish existence. If our perspective is not eternal, then our priorities are totally confused. Nothing in life makes sense if it is not viewed in the perspective of eternity. This kaveochel (“in a manner of speaking”) is Hashem’s perspective, and the Holy Temple is the place where we as a nation unite with Hashem.

 

“The Rambam … tells us (Introduction to Parshas Teruma) that the unique and unprecedented display of the glory of Hashem that we witnessed when He rested on Mount Sinai did not end [there].… Instead it now came to rest in the Mishkan (“Tabernacle”) … [which] was … the continuation of Mount Sinai.” (Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt”l on Shavuos)

 

As Torah Jews, we are expected to distinguish between our soul and our body. If we do not keep in mind that our soul is eternal, then there is something wrong. The trauma associated with death is the antithesis of all that is represented by the Holy Temple. Death and the Holy Temple cannot mix.

 

At the beginning of our Yom Tov cycle, how do we end the Passover Seder?

 

“Then came Hashem and slew the angel of death!” (Chad Gadya) That is the essence of Torah perspective, and that, it seems to me, is why we are so frightened by death. We see ourselves! I imagine myself – excuse me! – disintegrating in the ground and it frightens me terribly, which I am sure is the result of my spiritual shortcomings.

 

I remember reading that Rabbi Pinchas Scheinberg zt”l once said of death: “It’s like walking from one room into the next.” He was not afraid!

 

May we all soon reach the level in which we are able to see beyond death! May we once again merit to walk upon Temple Mount! May we see the Kohanim at their task, hear the voices of the Leviim and soon see the Holy Temple in its eternal sanctity!

 

Recent Posts


Tags

minyan synagogue Faith prayer book Western Wall shofar purity kinneret G-d terror Aharon Ishmeal idolatry Holiness earthquake Judgement Day Ammon Banias keys United Nations redeemer Solomon Master of the Universe world to come Hagar paradise Teshuva Temple Mount ethics Gog Moshaich Adam Babylonia lights fear heaven Day of Atonement Judaism Boaz exile evolution spies Esther Rebbe Sodom Red Sea evil Zion Tisha b'Av Eglon fragrance persecution Rabbi Akiva Ezekiel holiday Eve Leah Day of Judgement Passover Galil Lot Prophecy tablets Creator Babylon Solar eclipse Exodus Ruth Mount Zion High Holy Days violence Terror Attack in Jerusalem resurrection spiritual King David Pinchas heavenly gates patriarchs Hashem Mordechai 2020 Vision king cholent flood Geula Zion, Angel Ishmael night messiah Samuel barley bird Esau automobiles Benjamin repentance Europe chessed three weeks Noah prophet Second Temple biblical menorah End of Days Temple Chanukah Elul Amalek Sarah Rabbis Jacob liberation redemption logic Achashveirosh fires commandment shield of Abraham Final redemption Egypt self-worship evil inclination mikveh, Sabbath Tu b'Av Torah portion Chol haMoed Maimonides Blame spirituality Moshiach terrorists America shmittah Passover Seder angel Holy Temple plague Haman Garden of Eden Jew ancestors Lunar eclipse prophets Yaakov Sefiras haOmer terrorism Sukkah miracles chaos priests dreams bible esrog salvation Dead Sea Mount Hermon Baku Matisyahu compassion leprosy Zechariah tears Israel heavenly throne Bais Hamikdosh Shechina stars India Tzuk etan Moab Miriam Holocaust Chafetz Chaim moon fault Tu b'Shvat Mount Sinai judgement Red Heifer media Sephardi sanctity Avraham yeshiva Chofetz Chaim Miraglim sacrifices Balak sin Golan Father in Heaven rosh chodesh Malbim matzos Canaan hubris Protective edge Yerushalayim water Ishamael Song of Songs alone Sukkos Greeks Edom cries Maccabeans secret death eternity Jews seder Chanukkah Nation of Israel Golus holy kiddush David culture kesuba murder Holy Ark Children of Israel Earth mitzva deluge brotherhood prayer darkness idol light Raiders of the Lost Ark prophet Samuel Jerusalem locusts Magog Abrahem Zohar Abraham Shabbos Samuel the Prophet miracle Repentence Judah Jeremiah prayers peace Shavuos Purim Shushan eternal Talmud Midrash Jewish People missiles repent Moses Angel of Death Ashkenazi Rachel Pharaoh Psalms New Moon Tallis materialism Rebecca enemies King of the Universe terrorist Ten Commandments Torah Divine presence Matriarchs Rosh Hashana danger Jewish kosher Hebrew soul meraglim stones Amram slaves tremors Macabees blessing siddur Hasmoneans Golden Calf Isaiah Rome Tefillin Sages Holy land Yom Kippur trees angels pray High Priest Moshe incense Torah scholars patriarchs'matriarchs mikveh Land of Israel mitzvos gossip Parsha Rosh Hashanah tabernacle slavery song Genesis Western World Sea of Galilee Isaac Jewish holidays Psalm Bilaam Sabbath Beit Hamikdash Rashi creation rain Jewish festival Heavenly Mercy King Solomon sun God rabbi survival Laban war bris milah forefathers yarmulke Joseph pain

Archive