G-d’s Air Traffic Controller by Hazzan Elliott Magalnick
I have decided to pick the topic of the/a Jewish view(s) of Life After Death. I have three sources, one is the current issue of MOMENT magazine, and the other two are books:Does The SOUL SURVIVE? by Rabbi Elie Spitz and the Death OF Death by Rabbi Neil Gillman. I am going to introduce several topics and viewpoints and some anecdotal data since we are unable to come up with personal interviews of the dearly departed. I put this title on this letter because I want to narrate a talk that Rabbi Spitz had with a woman who was on her deathbed and unable to let go. This woman’s name was Gertie. This following soliloquy is from Marielle Fuller and Rabbi Spitz:
“Know Gertie, that you need not fear death. You will leave your body gently, surrounded by GOD’S caring light. With your permission, let me lead you in a guided imagery that will ease your way. See yourself walking on a path. Alongside the path is a river with fresh flowing water that comes down from a tall waterfall. At a certain point some of the water of the stream gathers to form a pool. a kind of mikvah.
Take off your clothes and enter the pool of water. The water temperature is just right. Feel the water all around you. The water soothes your muscles and relaxes you. Drink some of the water. As it moves down your throat, you feel refreshed. There is a basket next to you in the pool Take all your pain and put it in the basket. Send the basket down the stream away from you. Now relax. Take a moment to just feel safe and comfortable.
Come out of the water. There is a towel there and some soft clothes. Dry yourself off and put on the clothes. You are in a lovely meadow. Before you is the setting sun. Walk forward toward the sun. Know that as it goes down, you will be fine. You will never be in darkness. You will be surrounded by GOD’s light. Just keep walking forward, feeling calm and safe. See yourself surrounded by a gentle light, a divine light.”
Just as an air traffic controller guides an airplane into a landing with the trust of the pilot, Rabbi Spitz guided Gertie to her final rest with trust and absence of fear. I don’t plan on putting all of you into your final resting place come this Saturday night but I want to instill some thoughts on Judaism’s thoughts and opinions of life after death.