Daily Zohar # 2063 – Vayakhel – Escort the dead for life
31. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר, אִם כָּךְ, טוֹב לוֹ לָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא יְלַוֶּה אֶת הַמֵּת. אָמַר לוֹ, לֹא, שֶׁהֲרֵי אָדָם שֶׁנִּשְׁמָר כְּמוֹ זֶה, רָאוּי לַאֲרִיכוּת יָמִים, וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.
32. בֹּא וּרְאֵה, לֹא לְחִנָּם תִּקְּנוּ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שׁוֹפָר לִמְשֹׁךְ מֵת מֵהַבַּיִת לְבֵית הַקְּבָרוֹת. וְאִם תֹּאמַר שֶׁעַל הַמֵּת וּכְבוֹדוֹ לְבַד זֶה – לֹא! אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְהָגֵן עַל הַחַיִּים שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁלֹט עֲלֵיהֶם מַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת לְהַסְטִין לְמַעְלָה וְיִשָּׁמְרוּ מִמֶּנּוּ.
Continued from previous DZ
Rabbi Elazar challenges his father’s teaching and says that if there was a risk of death when people escort the dead then why doing it at all. Rabbi Shimon answered that a person who protected himself from the angel of death while escorting the dead earned merits for a long life and the world to come.
The Zohar teaches that in earlier times they used to blow the Shofar when taking the dead from his home to the cemetery. It wasn’t just for the honor of the dead but also to protect the living from the Angel of Death.
The sages teach us that escorting the dead on his last trip is a great mitzvah. It is rewarded in this world and the world to come. We support and respect the soul in anyway we can because the heavens are opened to receive the soul and we can connect to that opening, not the death aspect that is below. This is true even when old remains of a dead are brought from another place.
When we hear about a death of a person we say “Baruch Dayan Emet”, which means, “Blessed the judge in truth”. We recognize that death is a judgment and God always judges in truth.
Death is a process of returning the soul back to its creator and to true life. The soul is released from the prison and limitation of the body. For a corrected soul death is a blessing and a reward for finishing the hard work.
When we escort the dead we honor the soul and show appreciation to the process of correction that benefits us.
It is as important to honor guests and escort them on their way out of our home.