A Journey Beyond
“In Your hand I entrust my soul…”
It is the year 2016. Imagine you have been chosen for a daring and dangerous mission. Your destination is far away, further than the last galaxy. Beyond time and space. Are you afraid? This is actually a trip you have made before — a journey home. You are a soul, a part of the Divine above, and each night you return to Heaven from where you have come.
Although we do not fully “understand” the wondrous miracle of life, when we wake up each day ready to take on the world, or at least get the young ones to the school bus on time, we should be aware that something occurs each night that is beyond us. Our Sages explain, based on the verse, “In Your hand I entrust my soul; You redeemed me O
Inasmuch as our soul leaves our bodies, we should no longer be living. So how do we remain alive each night without our soul? The truth is that it is a miracle. However, since this miracle happens every night, we tend to take it for granted. Still not convinced? Let me try to explain. Our Sages call “sleep” a “mini-death”. How mini? One-sixtieth, to be precise (Zohar 206). What does this mean? Fortunately for us our entire soul doesn’t leave the body, and that is how we remain alive. To help make us aware of all of this, it has become the custom of many to say the above-quoted verse as part of the “bedtime Shema” said before going to sleep. (Berachot 5a)
This “mini-death” also serves as a reminder that one day