"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

The Walking Dead – Acharei

April 7, 2014

in Judaism:


by Rabbi Yossi


It is interesting to observe people who are consumed with their physical being to the exclusion of all else. They fail to recognize the affect that their obsession has on the spiritual component that is within them. The same problem applies to those who are so involved with the spirit and soul that they disregard their physical being. Both are extreme forms of behavior. Yet the idea of balance cannot exist unless there are extremes that exist to counter each other. That being stated, it does not make either one ideal.

Establishing and maintaining a balanced path can be frustrating. That which is considered to be the middle road and balanced in one society can be viewed as being totally out of balance in another. People who believe that they have established balance often find that it is often so only in relationship to their current surroundings. When they venture forth beyond those personal boundaries they find that they are no longer in sync with the middle flow.

It is interesting to observe the way society relates to life and death. The birth of a child is something that is celebrated. At that time little thought is given to the potential suffering that this new child is going to have to go through in his/her life. We do not overly consider our responsibility in this issue when we bring children into a world of pain and suffering. It is true that human life only continues with birth, which can be exciting. However how many of us wonder if the cost of suffering and destruction caused by human beings is truly worth the effort.

Most of society mourns over death. Yet, as death is the time when physical suffering ceases it can be considered a joyful occasion. No longer will that person have to suffer and deal with the issues of this world. If so, the mourning is for the benefit of the people who are attached and will suffer the loss of the person in this existence. How many will follow the spirit of the person and be happy for the deceased?

Consider the amount of people who see life as a temporary experience, and at the same time are connected with the spirit and soul life that is eternal. There are many who believe that only by dying for the sake of their belief system can they achieve their optimum connection. This is an extension that was not intended as it denies the notion of the importance of the Creator’s placement of us in this existence. We were not placed here to be victims who are used as stepping stones by design of death to the elevation of others.

The story of Aharon’s sons (Leviticus 10) is one of desiring to connect with God. Their souls left their bodies and Aharon was silent. In Leviticus 16:1 it says, “After they died … and they died.”  The death was a double death. They did not understand the reason they were born into the physical. They did not recognize it as a space where the Divine resides. Thus they looked to connect with the Divine in a space that was beyond the physical. That space was not balanced with the physical world. Therefore they could no longer exist when they went zealously forth into that connection. This is one lesson from the word “dead” being stated more than once.

From the above we learn that there is a physical and spiritual form of death. Physical death results in mourning over the body when a person dies. Yet the spiritual death can and does often occur to during a person’s lifetime. This form of death is actually deeper than physical death as it separates the person from his/her relationship with the Creator. A person who is living in a body who is unable to be open and balanced with his/her inner spirit is reflective of a form of death. The tremendous amount of abuse that goes on in relationships and raising families often strips individuals of the ability to develop their unique personality and shine. Society has dealt with this issue in a very limited scale.

Judgements and harsh actions often extinguish the lives of those who they were intended to save. Death means that one has been disconnected from life. Yet many people who are physically alive are disconnected from their inner selves. They are actually dead despite the fact that their bodies continue to function. Society sees them as being alive since they are part of its physical structure. Sadly, in their own hearts they are dead. These are the people for whom we must truly mourn. If we pause in order to do so, perhaps we will recognize what it is that must be done to bring them back. When we see those who are in balance and flow with an open heart we should be full of joy and praise.

So many persons are disconnected from themselves. They have love and compassion in specific ways but cannot generate that love where it is most needed. Societies that kill animals in a cruel way for food, display stunted compassion that leads to acceptability of cutting up people in similar fashion. It becomes established that it is okay to treat enemies in an inhumanemanner.

Once another person’s beliefs don’t coincide with one’s own, they are considered to be misguided, or even evil. The idea of interfaith groups was to establish groups of people who co-exist and have respect for each other’s beliefs. However some of those groups are corrupt, as many join with an agenda that includes converting others to their belief system. Those people think that it is their mission to save others from a way of life that differs from their own. All of this is destructive.

How can you have “interfaith dialogue” if your goal is to convince others to believe what you believe? One cannot practice interfaith if he/she believes that his/her religion will control or be the savior of the world.

A person’s living consciousness is part of the physical and soul existence of a person. When it leaves the body the person is physically dead. When in your physical life your consciousness becomes controlled by others, part of you is already dead. When you allow a corrupted person(s) to program your behavior and thought, you are just a breathing robot with minimal consciousness.

It is time we re-evaluated ourselves, our thinking and our emotional expressions. The world around us is a mirror that allows us to realize that we still have many ways in which we need to improve. As long as the world is not balanced, we too are lacking balance.

Let us use our time here wisely as we constantly strive to improve ourselves and accept and help others to achieve their optimum expression in life. The world, and we as benefactors, will be the recipients of the gifts as they emerge from those who no longer fear to reveal them.


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