Long Life

Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss states some thoughts:

A long life is desirable because a person is able to accomplish things in this world that he couldn't accomplish in heaven. Nevertheless, if his soul had the chance to depart the body and go up to the Holy Throne, it would do so instantly. So the sages in the Talmud have generally recommended that a person make efforts to make the soul as comfortable as possible while it is here on earth. The path to that comfort of the soul in the body is through moderation, as opposed to excessive indulgence.

An interesting point is that in Judaism we do not allow a person to be buried with his tzitzis (fringes) on. The reason is that the other souls that are buried would be saddened, so to speak, when they see a mitzvah, the tzitzit, and it is pointed up to them that they cannot perform mitzvot any more. We would allow him to wear the finest most expensive clothing, fit for a bride or groom. The other souls would not be upset by that. But the opportunity to perform a mitzva, that is the greatness of being alive.

The Vilna Gaon was sad on his deathbed, and he told his students that he was thinking that in this world it was so easy to perform the mitzvah of tzitzis, and when he left the world he would no longer be able to do it.

My Rabbi, Rabbi Tzvi Mandel, often says to his congregation before they perform a mitzvah, "Realize that in the next world we will see what we are about to do as being worth more than billions of dollars, more than the greatest jewels in the world, more than all the wealth of the wealthiest person in the entire world!!"

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