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

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

Archive