Monday, May 27, 2013

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Good Years

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths

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     I was waiting for maariv (evening prayers) when this nice man sitting next to me asked what time we would begin. I told him, and then mentioned that even though I knew that he lived in America, I see him at the Kotel several times a year.

     “Four times a year,” He corrected me, and then added, “You used to see me with my wife, but she passed away.”

     I told him how truly sorry I was for his loss.

     He thanked me and said, “She was a teenage mother. We were together for 44 years.”

     I could see him looking back, and I did not want him to experience even more sorrow over his loss, so I quickly said, “Thank G-d you had so many years with her.”

     “Good years!” he emphasized.

    “When you said that, her soul just went up higher in Heaven,” I said.

     He nodded that he understood.          

     Once someone passes away they cannot improve their station in the Heavenly World. Only our good deeds can do that, and obviously, in that world there are no bodies, there is no freewill, so there can be no good deeds. Only the deeds that we were able to accomplish in this world determine our position in that world. This is the tremendous beauty of this lower world.

     But whenever someone who has passed away is honestly remembered for the good that they did, their soul benefits from that remembrance. This is why we say the mourner’s prayer, and light candles in their memory. This happens even more so if the person did something while in this world that is still improving the world. For instance; their children are doing good deeds, the educational books that they wrote are still being read, a charitable organization that they started is still helping the poor, and so on. In this way we can continue to bring the benefit of having been in this lower world with us even after we have moved on.

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