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Have you ever wondered, what happens to you when you die? What happens to your soul, your mind, and your spirit when you die?

The Zohar and the Sefer Minchat Yehuda from Rav Yehuda Petaya [one of the contemporaries of the Ben Ish Chai and a very great Mekubal] explain exactly what happens when you die.

What is death? What happens at the time of death?

When you die the soul separates from the body. This can happen in one of two ways it can either be easy and smooth, like removing a hair from milk, or it can be difficult and painful, like pulling out the thick ropes from their beams of a mighty boat.

Depending on how attached a person is to his body, the more difficult or easy this separation process will be. The more attached he is to his body, the more difficult. The less attached he is to his body, the easier. If a person identifies himself with his body then this is very painful. If a person identifies himself with his soul, then this is not painful at all.

That is the time of death. What happens after this?

Immediately after you die what happens?

After you die what happens?

After a person is buried, Angels come and put his soul back into his body and beat him with sticks of fire. This is called Chibut Hakever. This is to help separate the soul from the body. Again the same applies, the more one identifies with his body the more he will be beaten, the less he identifies with the body the less.

The soul travels back and forth between his buried body and the home where he lived for the first 3 days after being buried. It takes time to fully understand and comprehend that he has died. The soul is confused and travels around to the places that it is used to. The more he identified with his body, the more difficult this is. The less identified with his body, the easier this is.

A week from when you die what happens? Three Options

After Shiva [the 7 days of ritual morning] the deceased has fully understood that he is dead and his soul can go to a number of places.

  1. Gehennom
  2. Gilgul
  3. Kaf Hakela

A person goes into one of these 3. Depending on his spiritual level and how many sins and good deeds he has.

Kaf Hakela

Kaf Hakela is the worst option. This is a state of limbo. Not here and not there. His soul travels around the world aimlessly. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. He will stay here indefinitely. Never reaching his Tikkun and never progressing past this endless wandering.

Why is he stuck? He is stuck is because his soul is involved in the same things that he was involved in while he was alive. A person is in Kaf Hakela because he was a sinner, so he will continue to be involved in sins. How can he get out of Kaf Hakela? A soul can get out of Kaf Hakela if the soul connects to people who do mitzvot and overcome their lusts.


The second best option is Gilgul [reincarnation]. The soul is reincarnated into another body and has another chance to do good in this world.


People think that Gehennom is the worst but that is not true. Gehennom is the best of the 3 options. Gehennom is a place of cleansing. The cleansing may not be pleasant, but it cleanses a person so then he can enter into Gan Eden. If one goes to Gehennom that means that he will afterward go into Gan Eden.

Gan Eden [The Garden of Eden]

After all that we described, the soul goes to Gan Eden. The parable of a garden is appropriate. Just like in a garden you feel peace tranquility and joy so too in Gan Eden you will feel peace tranquility and joy.

The whole experience of Gan Eden is an experience of the revelation of Hashem. The more mitzvot a person does, the more worlds he has built, and the more of Hashem’s light he can receive.

“Yaakov Avinu Lo Met”

It is well known that Yaakov Avinu [our forefather Jacob] did not die. {Gemara Taanit}

Does that mean that he is still alive and walking the planet? No, it does not.

Allow me to explain this a bit.

There are two parts to a person [simply speaking]. One physical and one spiritual. They are the body and the soul. The Guf and the Neshama. The body is something that dies and disintegrates. “From the ground you were taken, and from the ground you shall return” {Bereshit}

The soul, on the other hand, is eternal and lives forever. This is the true part of a person. The real you.

This is what it meant that Yaakov Avinu did not die. His soul is in Gan Eden basking in the Glory of Hashem!


It is so silly that people spend so much time and effort in investing in the body. The body lasts for 120 years and it is gone.

It is even more silly that people do not invest in the soul which is eternal and will be with you forever…
It is much more worthwhile to invest in and spend your time on the soul.

May we all merit to see the light of Hashem and the revelation of his glory. Amen!

Enjoyed this article? Want to read more?

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    Thank you for the wisdom.

      Your welcome. All the wisdom comes from Hashem and His Torah.

    Thank you very much!!!!!
    I will like you translate more material (books, subtitle videos, etc..) into the Spanish.
    Thanks again.

      Your welcome.
      We would love to translate more material into Spanish, and we are working on it

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