Shlomo Ezagui

In Death our Souls Lives On.

Marek Piwnicki

My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the spice beds, to feed in the gardens, and to gather roses.

This verse is from the legendary Song of Songs by King Solomon. The Rabbis taught that “All the ages (all of time) are not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel; for all the writings are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.”

King Solomon, “the wisest of all men,” captures the special bond and love between God and His people through a metaphor that we can better relate to — the love between a husband and his wife.

The above verse, “My Beloved….” is often quoted when offering comfort to loved ones who experienced the death of a child. The all-merciful God picks the nicest and best from the garden for Himself.

“It is better a whiff of the world to come than all the life of this world.” If anyone were to accumulate all the pleasure and enjoyment in human existence, it would not compare to the delight of just a scent of the world to come.

Nowadays, especially with past life regression hypnosis, it has become easier for many to accept what the great Mystic Rabbi Yitzchak Luria has taught. A person is a soul clothed in his body. We are not our bodies. We are souls which animate and live while we are here in this temporary existence, in a physical body.

With so much being written lately on near-death experiences and the afterlife by people of all backgrounds and disciplines, for anyone with open eyes who is ready to accept reality, it becomes apparent that the soul goes places after it leaves the body. The soul is still very much aware of itself and everything surrounding it.

The Book of Prophets relates how King Saul did the wrong thing out of desperation and consulted a medium to conjure the soul of Samuel. When that happened, the Prophet Samuel said, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

The message is that when someone passes on, they are not dead in the sense of being gone from existence. That is not the end of them. We use “he passed away” rather than “died.” The body returns to its source in the ground, as the Bible tells us, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The soul returns to its source, “to God who granted it,” which is blissful.

Everything is understood in that pure and transparent world, and the soul has no questions or sadness.

In truth, the real pain when someone dear passes away is to those of us who, from our limited perspective, do not see the whole picture. Picking the rose may have saved the rest of the garden. To us, who can only experience the past, present, and future, we never can see the whole picture, and at this moment, the separation hurts. To us mere mortals, the passing of a loved one appears to be a negative occurrence, and we feel that we have unjustly lost something.

That is why the laws of mourning instruct us to cry over losing a loved one. We must recognize the truth from our limited perspective. But even so, the law tells us we must limit our mourning and sadness. At a certain point, we must also recognize the absolute and eternal truth: as far as the soul is concerned, it is in a better place. At a certain point, instead of looking at the temporary separation, we must begin looking forward to the time when all souls will be reunited.

Chapter 142

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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