Chayei Sarah: Chapter 22

In Torah is the whole life


Rabbi Elazar, here, emphasizes the importance of Torah study, saying that the Angel of Death has no power over those who are diligent in their study of the scriptures. Rabbi Yesa asks why, if this is so, Moses died. We learn that although Moses did indeed die, his death was not caused by the Angel of Death; instead, he cleaved directly to the Shechinah, the Divine presence of the Creator, and went on to eternal life. All those who seek and approach the Creator, we're told, are called 'living.' Because of their diligent study of Torah, no reckoning is demanded of them in the World to Come.


People regularly experience some form of death. We die a little bit each day, whether financially, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. The death of the body, the loss of an individual's sanity, or the end of one's career - are all likewise executed by one Angel of Death. The intent of these verses is to help ease these transitions from death to rebirth, from the end of one phase in our life, into a new phase filled with continuity and Light.