A Trip Down Memory Lane Written July 2002
Before entering this physical world, Chazal teach us, that each soul is showed a preview of the world to come should they serve Hashem properly. Having come into a physical body, the soul then partially forgets what it had learnt before. Somewhere though, etched into our subconscious is a memory. We are also told that before birth a person is taught all of the Torah, and then tapped above the lip by a malach (angel) to forget it. Wouldn’t this seem like a waist? Why should we need to be taught all of the Torah just to be made to forget it? Chazal says that we are supposed to spend our entire life relearning and trying to remember all the Torah forgotten. The Torah’s greatness and complexity is so great that it would be impossible for a person to learn as much Torah as we are obligated to. The same holds true of the world to come. A person does not taste it in this world yet they must try to remember and think of the next world. One should not perform mitzvos solely for the reward but it should still be something a person is conscious of. Better to perform mitzvos for a reward though then not to do mitzvos at all.
Righteous people are given a thrown to sit on in the world to come according to their level. Each person can point towards Hashem and say, this is Hashem and His glory according to their rank. For every sefer (Book) learned diligently, a person can sit in that Rabbi’s academy in Heaven and hear his beautiful teachings directly from him. How beautiful and wonderful if one may even put it into words. The Torah truly is beautiful in this world but in the next world it is unimaginable. All this and more is what will await one who does the will of Hashem in this world.
Why is the Torah that much more beautiful? Well for one reason, there are no material distractions. In this world having material possessions is not a sin, but if you allow them to turn into distractions they can remove you entirely from holiness. Even the simplest of possessions can eclipse spiritual light.
The Torah is not something of this world. There is no end to the beauty of Torah. From the earth there is a bridge leading to the heavens and that is Torah. We must therefore reacquaint ourselves with her beauty and unite ourselves with remembrance of the holiness yet to come should we sanctify our lives in this world with the path of Torah.
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