Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Seven Awesome Reasons To Do T'shuva At Least A Day Before You Die

Since this is cheshbon ha'income time, I figured I'd help ease the tax pain by reporting the G"ra's description of what happens when a person is leaving this world.  Once you see how much preparation is needed just to get to gehinom, you may want to rethink some of your plans to today.  There are seven steps from the moment one takes leave of this world to get to gehinom; of course, after that you are good to go on to olam habah, none the less, the way there may give pause.

First, as one is leaving this world, he is greeted by three malachim.  These guys are not even as cheery as Scrooge's ghost of xmas future.  They are more like your worst nightmare IRS agents doing an audit; not just the last few years, though... your whole life.  The first goes over with you every moment that was spent not doing Ratzon HaShem.  The second has a list of each of your aveiros -- none too big, none too small; he'll be to reviewing each with you.  The third is really scary; he's the one who taught you Torah while you were preparing to come into this world.  He's going to want to know what became of all that good teaching he gave you.

Second, as they are escorting you to the grave, you'll have a contingent wailing, "Woe to this one, who rebelled against his Creator."

As they lay your body into the grave (finally, right?), there will be a beis din convened to decide how to handle your case.  That's step three.

I always thought the worms eating the flesh of the corpse (which Chazal tell us feels the way needles feel to living flesh; nope, no rest for the weary... not yet).  I was wrong; that's five.  Step four is called "chibut ha'kever".  Basically each and every limb and organ is smacked around according to how it participated in the sins already recounted in general in step one.  I guess this is to tenderize the corpse for the worms.

At this point, only the spirit (who has been watching this being done to his physical partner, the body, all this time) is left.  After witnessing the preceding, she gets "kaf ha'kela"/the slingshot.  She gets shot up to the heights of what she could have attained in this world, then brought crashing down to what she actually did accomplish.  And you thought the roller coasters at Six Flags were scary.

Finally... the last level, number seven: gehinom.  This is where the records and analysis from all the above are now open and public to everyone.  Everyone.  What you did, in meticulous detail with each and every limb, each and every moment, each and every aveira.  Everyone.

By the way, I don't have this all memorized; I made a list to keep in my wallet.  I figure it's worth reviewing now and again, as this is the journey that is as certain as death and taxes.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…