“וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהוָה, בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא; וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב פֶּתַח-הָאֹהֶל, כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם.”
“And YHVH appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.”
The Zohar explains that “And YHVH appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre” is a secret about the time a person leaves the world. That is the great judgment day when the soul is separated from the body. The person don’t really die until his soul sees the Shechina.
“ וַיֹּאמֶר, לֹא תוּכַל לִרְאֹת אֶת-פָּנָי: כִּי לֹא-יִרְאַנִי הָאָדָם, וָחָי.”
“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.””
When the the soul is of a righteous person, three Archangels come with the Shechinah to receive his soul.
“וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו, וַיַּרְא, וְהִנֵּה שְׁלֹשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים, נִצָּבִים עָלָיו; ”.
“He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. ”
The words “the heat of the day” is the aspect of the day of judgment that is burning like a furnace. The soul must go through fire to separate itself from the body it is dressed with in this world. The desires for the self alone are like a glue on the soul and it can be removed only with fire.
The soul leaves the body and awaits by the gullet. A judgment process is taken above to determine the afterlife process the soul would go through. If the soul is not pure enough to have favorable judgment it may benefit from the merits of the fathers and other souls in the family. The supporting souls may send the soul back to this world, make corrections and earn a better place after passing away.
The soul stands in front of judges. They list all her actions while in the body. The righteous soul is happy at that time because she earned the rewards that come her way. The righteous desires the day he leaves this world that is all vanity of vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The purpose of the righteous in this life is to follow the path of Torah, do only good with others and earn the merit of living in the next world, the Final Redemption and immortality. The temporary state of existence is just a time to work and ‘save’ the earnings for the next world.
Death for righteous people, Tzadikim, is a state of sleep until the Resurrection. That is why we can make good connection with Tzadikim, those who are alive and those who sleep, especially on the day of a full moon, a day before Rosh Chodesh and their death anniversary, Hilluah.
In the second blessing of the silent prayer (Amida) we recite.
“מְכַלְכֵּל חַיִּים בְּחֶסֶד. מְחַיֶּה מֵתִים בְּרַחֲמִים רַבִּים. סומֵךְ נופְלִים. וְרופֵא חולִים וּמַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים. וּמְקַיֵּם אֱמוּנָתו לִישֵׁנֵי עָפָר. מִי כָמוךָ בַּעַל גְּבוּרות וּמִי דומֶה לָּךְ. מֶלֶךְ מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה וּמַצְמִיחַ יְשׁוּעָה: וְנֶאֱמָן אַתָּה לְהַחֲיות מֵתִים:”
“You sustains life with Chessed. bring the dead to life in great mercy. support the falling, heal the sick, release the imprisoned. And keep his faith to those who sleep in the dust (the righteous people). Who is like you of mighty acts and who resembles you. O King who bring death and bring to life, and spring forth salvation. And you are faithful to (your promise) bring the dead to life (Resurrection).”
Bucket list is good for ‘dying’ people (who will not be resurrected), not for those who wish to merit Immortality in the world to come.
Focus on your long future and get yourself to the point of having no fear of death. The only fear we all should have is of not completing our personal Tikkun, not supporting the tikkun of others and not contributing the Tikkun of the entire world.