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Are you afraid to die?

by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow


Library » Philosophy » Afterlife | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Heaven is a different sort of place than what we have here on earth. In Heaven everything is much more real and acute than in this world. The rewards are more pleasing and the punishments more painful. It is a realm that exists beyond time and space as we know it. Reward in Heaven is to bask in the presence of G-d and to see G-d in a most revealed fashion.

Death is hard on family and friends because they are left behind by their loved one. Their loved one's soul is in heaven, in a very good place but because family and friends don't see it they feel the loss. Of course the fact that the loved one is not here is painful regardless of the fact that s/he is in a better place.

It is only in this life that we can serve G-d through the freedom of our choice. It is only in this life that we can perform the Mitzvahs – so I want to live
I don't know if I am afraid to die. I suspect I won't know until I stare death in the face. I know that I want to live for selfish reasons and for G-dly reasons. It is only in this life that we can serve G-d through the freedom of our choice. It is only in this life that we can perform the Mitzvahs – so I want to live. Am I afraid to die? Knowing and believing that death is not the end but the beginning of a glorious eternity, actually the continuation of eternity on a higher level is comforting but I don't know that I am not afraid to die. We'll have to find out if and when I stare death in the face.

I wish more people knew that about death. I don't know if they would not be afraid to die but I do know that it would help them cope with their fear. In a sense it may not help them in death, but it may help them live the right way.


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Afraid to die?

Posted by: Steve Daugherty, Cary, NC on Jun 29, 2006

Heaven is a "much more real" place? Earth is marginally real? I would challenge this, and submit that our perceptions are marginal- but the place created and called good "in the beginning", and temporarily marred by sin, death and rebellion- is real. If not, then we can't be sure which parts of our lives matter, and which parts are filler. I agree that things are pure in the presence of G-d, and will forever be in the Olam Haba- but this, the earth, is the reality for which we were intentionally made to work in and enjoy. Forever. Why would we want to leave, if it's set right?

Earth is our home. Heaven is the abode of G-d and His angels. It's all real, or it's not. This doesn't change from what I can tell. Only the condition of death will someday be removed.


Editor's Comment

Rabbi Gurkow respondes: This world is indeed a real world in as much as the Torah tells us that G-d created earth. yet we must remember that the earth we know and see, the earth that we are required by Torah to accept, is by definition an illusion. An illusion cased by the lack of true vision. By the lack of divine perception. Every created being is a consequence of G-d continuous infusion of creative power. Should G-d choose, for even one moment, to stop infusing our world with his creative power, all of the world would simply cease to be. What we see as the sun and the moon is no less than G-d creative energy reaching into the stratasphere to create the sun and moon. Our vision of the sun is thus, but an illusion of the sun's true reality, the hand of G-d. It is only in this sense that I meant that the world to come is the only "true" world because it is in that world that we perceive reality as it truly is.


Life Cycle » Death » Afterlife
Life Cycle » Death » Passing On

It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.