Choose Life

There once was a great rabbi.  This rabbi knew he might die one day, but no one else wanted to believe it.  He wanted the messiah to come, and so he would speak every day as if the messiah was coming that day, as if it was all about to happen.  Some people believed him so much that they started to believe he was the messiah.

This great rabbi would leave messages to his followers that would only be seen later, would only be understood later as messages to the future.  Messages about his death.

When he died, suddenly people felt abandoned, lost.  The man who wasn’t supposed to die had died, and now they had to find their own way.  He had given them no successor, and so they had to rely on their own wits.

But in his messages, they found guidance.  In the form of letters, speeches, and more, they found a new truth, dug and redug to be seen in the new light of death.

Before him, there was another great rabbi.  Often, the great rabbi transmitted the messages about his own death (knowingly or not) through explaining the passing of the great rabbi before him.

The most direct message was a reply to this question: “Dear Rabbi, I do not know how to deal with the loss of Previous Great Rabbi.  What do I do?  How do I speak to him?  Can I, even?”

And the great rabbi wrote back to him, “But of course you can.  He lives on, didn’t you know?  The rabbi is with us.  Open one of his books.  Read the lessons he taught.  In there, you will find him.  In there, you will know him.

“Not only that, you will know him better than we knew him before.  For he will no longer be limited by his physical body.  All that will be left is his words, his lessons, his teachings.  How much deeper, how much truer, is such an existence.”

And so now we use the same lesson with our great rabbi.  We see him in his words, in his lessons.  And so he lives on, and we connect to him in a way that was not possible before.


But there is a snag.  There are those who cannot let go of him as a person.  The people who want the physical being to not be gone, to not have been erased from this world.  They want the body back.

They all deal with it differently, but the desire is the same (They miss him, can you blame them?).  Some of them obsess over every detail of his life, and believe that in doing so they are being holy.  Some of them expect everyone around them to wear the same clothes he wore.  Some of them talk more about his returning when the messiah comes more than they talk about his teachings.  A very few of them believe he never actually died.

But they all want his body back, even though his soul lives on within us stronger than ever, if only we would open his books, if only we would hear his words, if only we would let his body go.

So sad it is to see those who cling to a dead body, like a wife at a funeral clinging to her dead husband and refusing to allow the casket into the ground.

So sad, for she does not move on.  So sad, for the husband’s body does not get to finally rest.  So sad, because the husband is all around her, and yet she thinks him gone.

Tragedy, then, is not death.  It is in not trusting in the words of the great rabbi: a well-lived life never ends.  In fact, it expands.  It breaks the boundaries a body could never break on its own.


The tragedy (and the potential opposite) extends to our own lives.  In how we live.  In how we plan to die.

In the great rabbi’s words were not just lessons for how we deal with the deaths of the Great Ones we admire, but in us small people, in us who no one expects to be the messiah or the savior of humanity.

What does it really mean to live on after death?

The ones who cling to a great name, to a great person, and to all the trappings that come along with those things, die in their own lives.  They are alone, because the only way that they lived before was together with the physical existence of that great person.

Because the great person is dead.  His body is cold, in the ground, and an empty shell of what it once was.

“Any love that is dependent on something – when the thing ceases, the love also ceases…”

His spirit, though, haha!  Alive and kicking.

“…But a love that is not dependent on anything never ceases.”

And how do we feel it?  How do we know it?  In the deeds left behind.  The seeds we planted throughout our lives that will only have a chance to fully germinate when our body stops concealing them.

To die forgotten but with great deeds, in other words, is so much grander than to die remembered but with no seeds planted.

So many live their lives in the opposite way.  They wonder, will I be remembered?  They wonder, how great will my name be when I die?  How grand my following, my fans, my money, my possessions, my work, my name, my name, my name?

And if you don’t think that’s true, you just need to look at the way people live their lives.  Chasing fans and followers, chasing their own name around like dogs chasing their tails.


The great rabbi knew how great this desire was, and how much it applies just as much to our own lives as much as the great ones we cling to.  He was telling a lesson so much higher, so much deeper, so much broader, than the one it seemed he was telling.  He was not talking about the Past Great Rabbi, and he wasn’t talking about himself, he was talking about life.  He was talking about death.  He was talking about how to live a good death.

He was saying, “The only things that matter in this world, my followers, is the seeds you plant.  My seeds are the words I live to you.  I am not this body you see before you.  I am a soul of unlimited nature, one that is only given substance because it is attached to the only true thing in all of existence: God.  

“If you want to live forever, like me, you need to live your life like mine.  You need to let go of what’s inherently dead: your body, your name, your reputation, people’s praises… and start living God.  Start doing good deeds.  Start saying good words.  Thinking good thoughts.  It is only there that you will live.  Not just in the next world, but in this one, now.  Death is but an analogy for life.  A place where all the realities of existence are revealed through the lack of existence that follows.

“You are only alive when you let go of me.  You are only alive when you let go of you.  You are only alive when all that matters is living truth.  When you attach yourself to the higher.  And when you live it out.

“It is there that you’ll find me.  For we are both alive when our deeds are lived, by us or others.  And we are both dead when all we care about is the corpses we arrived into this world inhabiting.

“Choose life.”






41 responses to “Choose Life”

  1. Bella Tonini Avatar
    Bella Tonini

    So crystal clear and beautiful!!

  2. Alex Blair Avatar
    Alex Blair

    Thank you… words aren’t working well right now, but this helped with my grief for my husband…..

  3. jordan shoes Avatar

    Thanks for all of your work on this blog. My daughter loves participating in investigation and it’s really easy to understand why. All of us notice all relating to the dynamic ways you render insightful strategies through your web blog and as well as strongly encourage response from visitors about this theme then our favorite princess has always been starting to learn so much. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You have been performing a glorious job.

  4. westbrook shoes Avatar

    I intended to compose you one little bit of remark so as to thank you again for all the magnificent techniques you’ve shared on this site. It has been tremendously open-handed of you to give openly exactly what some people would have sold for an ebook to help make some money for themselves, principally seeing that you could have tried it in case you considered necessary. The smart ideas in addition acted to be the good way to understand that many people have similar keenness just as mine to know good deal more related to this condition. I think there are lots of more pleasurable opportunities in the future for individuals who looked over your website.

  5. Travis Scott Jordan Avatar

    My wife and i got more than happy that Albert managed to conclude his analysis through your ideas he grabbed out of the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to just possibly be giving away strategies which often a number of people could have been trying to sell. And now we discover we have you to thank for this. The type of explanations you’ve made, the easy web site navigation, the relationships you aid to create – it’s got everything powerful, and it’s really leading our son and our family recognize that this subject is exciting, which is pretty indispensable. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  6. golden goose leopard Avatar

    This really answered my problem, thank you!

  7. supreme hoodie Avatar

    I want to express thanks to this writer just for bailing me out of this difficulty. As a result of checking throughout the search engines and meeting tricks that were not productive, I assumed my entire life was gone. Being alive devoid of the answers to the issues you have solved through your entire website is a crucial case, as well as those which could have negatively affected my entire career if I had not encountered the blog. Your own personal training and kindness in playing with every aspect was priceless. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for your high quality and results-oriented guide. I won’t think twice to suggest the sites to anyone who requires guide about this subject matter.

  8. cheap jordans Avatar

    My wife and i felt absolutely more than happy when Emmanuel could complete his reports from the ideas he came across out of the weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply always be giving for free key points which usually many people have been trying to sell. Therefore we keep in mind we now have the website owner to be grateful to for this. The main illustrations you have made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships you will make it easier to promote – it is most impressive, and it’s letting our son and us feel that the situation is awesome, which is certainly truly pressing. Thanks for the whole lot!

  9. bapesta shoes Avatar

    I wish to show my thanks to the writer just for bailing me out of such a problem. After searching through the the web and obtaining proposals which are not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing minus the solutions to the issues you have sorted out as a result of this blog post is a serious case, as well as those that would have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your website. Your primary talents and kindness in playing with all areas was precious. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a point like this. I’m able to now look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the reliable and results-oriented guide. I will not think twice to endorse your blog to anyone who would need care about this topic.

  10. yeezy boost 350 v2 Avatar

    I definitely wanted to post a brief message to appreciate you for those great tips and hints you are sharing at this website. My considerable internet search has at the end of the day been honored with sensible knowledge to talk about with my co-workers. I ‘d claim that we visitors are unquestionably blessed to be in a magnificent place with many marvellous individuals with very helpful advice. I feel very privileged to have seen your entire webpages and look forward to plenty of more amazing moments reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  11. fear of god essentials Avatar

    I am just commenting to make you know of the brilliant encounter my cousin’s girl obtained viewing yuor web blog. She came to find such a lot of details, most notably how it is like to have an excellent helping character to have most people without difficulty fully grasp specified hard to do subject areas. You actually did more than our own desires. Thank you for displaying the important, healthy, revealing and even cool tips about the topic to Jane.

  12. bape outlet Avatar

    I want to show my passion for your kind-heartedness for people who really want help on in this topic. Your personal dedication to getting the message all around had been really interesting and have frequently empowered women like me to attain their targets. Your amazing insightful guidelines means a lot a person like me and even further to my office workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.

  13. kyrie 7 Avatar

    My spouse and i were absolutely thankful Raymond could finish off his basic research by way of the precious recommendations he obtained while using the web site. It is now and again perplexing just to happen to be releasing concepts the rest may have been trying to sell. And we all acknowledge we’ve got the writer to be grateful to for that. The main explanations you have made, the simple blog menu, the relationships your site assist to foster – it is everything exceptional, and it is making our son and our family consider that this subject is exciting, which is particularly important. Thanks for the whole thing!

  14. bape Avatar

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site needs much more consideration. I抣l in all probability be once more to learn much more, thanks for that info.

  15. off white t shirt Avatar

    This actually answered my drawback, thanks!

  16. kyrie shoes Avatar

    There are some interesting time limits in this article however I don抰 know if I see all of them heart to heart. There is some validity but I’ll take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

  17. kyrie 5 spongebob Avatar

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing subject with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting equivalent rss drawback? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  18. ggdb Avatar

    I enjoy you because of every one of your effort on this website. Kate takes pleasure in getting into investigations and it’s easy to see why. A number of us notice all relating to the lively means you create functional tricks through your web site and as well as encourage participation from others about this idea then my simple princess is without a doubt being taught a lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. Your performing a splendid job.

  19. yeezy shoes Avatar

    Spot on with this write-up, I really suppose this web site needs way more consideration. I抣l in all probability be again to read way more, thanks for that info.

  20. Avatar

    Please tell me more about this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *