Monday, June 12, 2006

You're Not Jewish, Are You?

TV show Frasier (I didn't watch it or anything....). Scene: Frasier walks into a shiva house for someone he didn't know, wanting to find out something about the guy's death. His actions keep prompting the question, "You're not Jewish, are you?" from the family. At last he talks to the wife, who asks, "why did this happen?" He says he doesn't know, there is no good answer...

Frasier: We just have to concentrate on the little surprises in happinesses in life, and not concentrate on death."
Wife: You're not Jewish, are you?

As Rabbi Wolicki said in a shiur this year (Parashas Emor), you'd think that Judaism is all about death, right? I mean, look at the things that even non-religious people do: burial, shiva and aveilus (mourning), kaddish, yartzheit, and yizkor.
I don't remember the entire shiur, but basically, it went that no, pum fakhert (yiddush - just the opposite)! It's all about life! That's why we can't be tamei (impure) in the Beis HaMikdash (Temple). Why not? we can't have death on the mind. We have to be totally separated from it. Which is what kedusha (holiness) is: separating from stuff, even from things that are ok, as it says in [I think] the Gemara, "Qadeish atzmecha b'mutar lach--holify yourself in that which is permitted to you." Kohanim have to be qadosh, holy, separated from death, before they can serve HaShem, the Ultimate Lifegiver.
Death isn't even what it seems like if you think about what. What is death? Death is when our soul leaves our bodies, and goes to the next world, called Olam Haba, or, Olam HaEmes (World of Truth). We sit and take in the Glory of God. That's why we're here. We do everything, to try to get to that place, to just take in God's Glory. So, death isn't really bad at all, in fact it's better than living. I don't know about you, I would love to take in Glory from the Ultimate Goodness. That is to say of course, we shouldn't kill ourselves to hurry the process, but do as much as we can in this world, before we do that. So it's not even really dying, it's living PLUS.
But we still gotta separate from it.

(I think I gave over the main point correctly. If not, Rabbi, say something.)


Blogger R2K said...

: )

Tue Jun 13, 12:24:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoa completely didnt understand the hava mina, Why would anyone think that Judaism is all about death? burial/availos/kadish are only a handful of the big 613.

Wed Jun 14, 04:44:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Stairmompeg said...

Dear Tonny, I am still digesting parts of this blog, but it is beautiful. In a way, I wish you could've been with Abba and me, when Reni's, A"H, neshama left her body. Abba sat at her bedside and read Tehillim the whole time, and I told her it was okay for her to 'let go' and go be with our parents and grandparents now. I assured her that we are all okay (I went through all of our names) and once she was assured that it really was 'okay,' she just stopped breathing. Just like that. As sad and painful as it was for us, it was truly beautiful to momish almost see the Hand of Hashem at second, the body and soul are one...breathing, alive...and then, the exact second that Hashem wants the neshama to leave that body, there is total peace. I went through it with my Dad the same way. It is very sad, and I do not wish it on anyone, but it is so beautiful to be part of Hashem's Plan. I'm rambling. Sorry.

Mon Jun 19, 05:55:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shmulie said...

Can I just say that the usage of the word "holify" as a translation of "kadesh" is an absolutely godly choice!

Thu Jun 29, 07:50:00 AM 2006  

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