First let me say I initially used this concept in reply to a critic of the Jewish Talmud/Oral Law. Sometimes it’s more effective to show the beauty within rather than challenging or debating it’s opponents.
A midrash is discussing how Torah has a verse that (in original Hebrew) seems to literally say the days of Yaakov (Jacob) were coming to an end.
Okay, so he was near death…what’s the big deal?
Because it says the DAYS are going to die/end, not Yaakov! So the midrash/talmud asks, answers and concludes yes, that’s literally correct. It’s not that our soul dies upon death of our body, rather it’s the DAYS for our soul that die! The days died and the time ran out, not the soul, not life. Beautiful point!
On this topic he also says:
The body is not is living thing….the soul gives it life.
The soul is MORE alive when it leaves the body, because when it’s in the body it has to schlepp this thing around!
The soul is “life”. Life can’t die and death can’t live.
What does life mean? Life means feelings, sensitivity. Life means knowledge. How much knowledge can a soul have when it has to work thru a little brain? It’s limited! How much sensitivity can a soul experience when it has to experience it in an insensative body? It’s limited. How much emotion can a soul feel when it has to feel emotion thru a tiny human heart? It’s limited.
When the soul leaves the body it is more free and less limited!
Evil is not eternal. Only good is eternal.
Every word, every phrase in Torah are given by our Creator and are Holy (christians agree), but to fully understand them takes study. Our sages have done much of the work for us. Thru them we are able to go deeper, get closer and ascend higher, not to mention fall into a true and lasting love of G-d. Their study and discussions (in order to be sure their interpretations agree with G-d and Torah) are priceless. However, we should never forget that we are reading discussions, not always conclusions and not always laws (but it’s nice to know they’ve given all the laws so much thought!)
So please be careful not to fall for tired, age old criticisms of Talmud, nor the ideas of the cherry-pickers who pull verses out of context. To dismiss Talmud is to miss valuable and fulfilling concepts by spiritual giants….it’s a beautiful thing.
There’s many more wonderful things taught in this video by Rabbi Friedman. Check it out here