Baal Haturim Deuteromony: Vayelech
We talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. -Dwight L. Moody
For good reason, there is great uncertainty about the afterlife. I have yet to meet someone who has been there and back, who could give a personal account of what it was like. Some doubt its existence as there is no scientific proof. Others may believe in various Hollywood versions, inspired in part from classical poets like Dante and Milton.
The Jewish tradition has much to say about the next world. What’s its purpose, who gets there and who doesn’t, what do we do there, how long we’re there for, and much more.
The Baal Haturim points out an interesting capability we will retain in the afterlife. In his commentary on Deuteronomy 31:1, he cites a conversation between Moses and the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), whereby Moses informs them that God has fulfilled his centuries-old promise to them, that their descendents, the Children of Israel, have finally inherited the Land of Israel. The Baal Haturim explains that the above account is the source that the dead talk to each other in the next world.
May our patriarchs and ancestors have good things to say about us, especially as we approach the Day of Judgement.
Shabbat Shalom and Gmar Chatima Tova,
To the Chazan, Shaul Hochberger, on his divine conversations leading our prayers.