Menachem Bluming Muses: Jewish Mourning

We are taught to be the masters of acceptance. All that G-d does is for the best, Judaism teaches us repeatedly.

Yet we do not become comfortable with death, internally we do not accept it. When Jacob was faced with the tragic death of his precious son Joseph, the Torah tells us, “Vayimaen lihisnachem” (Breishis 37), he refused to be comforted.

Some understand that to mean that he had an inkling that his son was really alive, and he was indeed right. Others say that this is a general rule for the Jewish approach to refuse to be comforted or to accept the “reality” of death, because our loved ones are never really dead.

Yes, the body is buried and that is very tragic and painful. Yet if we used 3 words to describe our departed loved one it would rarely describe their body. Kindness, thoughtfulness or happiness are not properties of the body they are expressions of the soul. The soul doesn’t die when the body is buried and we instinctively know that and therefore refuse to accept that the person is truly gone.

Ultimately that is the greatest comfort that our loved ones continue with us… whenever we let them in.

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming

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