Wednesday, February 3, 2016

About dying and afterlife

I wanted to elaborate more about death. Please see my previous post about it. Today, I would like to concentrate on what Torah says about dying and afterlife. Let's take a look:
YLT Gn 25:8 and Abraham expireth, and dieth in a good old age, aged and satisfied, and is gathered unto his people. 
YLT Gn 25:17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years; and he expireth, and dieth, and is gathered unto his people;
YLT Gn 35:29 and Isaac expireth, and dieth, and is gathered unto his people, aged and satisfied with days; and bury him do Esau and Jacob his sons.
YLT Gn 49:33 And Jacob finisheth commanding his sons, and gathereth up his feet unto the bed, and expireth, and is gathered unto his people. 
YLT Num 20:29 and all the company see that Aaron hath expired, and they bewail Aaron thirty days--all the house of Israel.
YLT Dt 31:16 And Jehovah saith unto Moses,  'Lo, thou art lying down with thy fathers, and this people hath risen, and gone a-whoring after the gods of the stranger of the land into the midst of which it hath entered, and forsaken Me, and broken My covenant which I made with it; 
YLT Dt 32:50 and die in the mount whither thou art going up, and be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother hath died in the mount Hor, and is gathered unto his people
These verses all use the word "gawvah", which means "to breathe out". So basically, you "breathe out" first (make you last exhalation), then you die and then you are "gathered (or added) to your people". You are "lying with your fathers"(Dt 31:16) so to speak.

There are absolutely no references to afterlife or heaven(as in a place) in the Written Torah. Once you die- that is it. Lights out! ;) 

For that reason Torah makes emphasis on choosing life (God and Torah) so that one may live long and well, so as to delay the inevitable day of death. See Deuteronomy 6:1-3, Deut 30:15, Deut 30:19-20, Deut 32:40, Deut 32:47.
YLT Dt 14:1 'Sons ye are to Jehovah your God; ye do not cut yourselves, nor make baldness between your eyes for the dead;
Torah says, DO NOT grieve too long for the dead as they do not care and there is no way to dring them back. Grieve a month and move on with your life. Celebrate life!

However, it is interesting to note that in Genesis 5:24 it seems that Enoch did not die like others(i.e Gen 5:20) but rather became "no more" as God took him for his righteousness before Him(Gen 5:22).

As far as I understand, after you die, you begin to live your life all over again in the same body and under the same circumstances. Since we have free will, perhaps it means that sometimes it is possible to change the outcome of one's life. But regardless, you are you forever. And the only time when you will mean anything is while you are alive. This is why Torah tell us to treasure every second and choose life over death.

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