Reply To: Kid Off The Derech

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Gitty, I hear what you are saying, but you are very young, and the so-called doznes of very smart people whose opinions you value so highly, are not necessarily espousing anything other than THEIR opinion. There are other opinions, equally smart, equally compelling, and more truthful in the long run. I cannot get you to believe in G-d. But I want to relate to you something that happened to me, that absolutely strengthened my belief in “the afterlife,” and if you don’t accept what I tell you as being the absolute emes, I cannot force you to. The following story is 100% truth, with no embellishment:

My father unexpectedly passed away exactly 15 years ago. His Yartzeit is in a week. I have three siblings, we are two girls and two boys. we all sat shiva together in my parents’ house, together with my mom, who passed away five months later. Except for one brother and myself, everyone else went home each night and returned in time for shacharis the next morning. By Shabbos time, everyone went to their respective homes (none of us lives near the other), and my hsuband, children, and I stayed with my mom.

Shabbos afternoon, we all went to lie down for a nap. I had an amazing dream about my dad, very vivid, and in the dream itself I thanked my father for comign to visit me in a dream. He was dressed in his jacket and a fisherman’s cap that he often wore. I remember so vividly hugging and kissing him and telling him how sad I was that he left us. I asked him repeatedly why he left, and his answer to me was very specific and I have never forgotten his exact words. He said, ” I am sorry I had to leave, but I am very, very happy. I am in a beautiful place with Mama and Papa, and my brothers, and I am very, very happy.” He kept reiterating that to me, saying over and over how happy he was. He also said he missed us all, but, “I could not live in my body the way it was anymore, and I am very, very happy now.” These are direct quotes. He had first appeared to me walking through his living room doorway, to where I was sitting. After kissing me good bye, and again assuring me he was very, very happy, he disappeared. I woke up, crying in my sleep, and went downstairs to see my mom, too, had awakened from her own nap. I could not wait to tell her about my “visit” from Dad. But she cut me off excitedly to tell me she had had an amazing dream about him. She then proceeded to tell over my own dream to me. With the exception of his physical appearance (he looked as he did as a young husband), she had experienced the identical dream, same dialogue, from start to finish. She and I were finishing each others’ sentences at oen point.

I could not wait until my siblings re-joined us after Shabbos. My two brothers came, followed by my sister. needless to say, as you may have guessed by now, each one of us had the identical dream that Shabbos afternoon. My dad appeared in different clothing and/or ages to each of us, but the scene was precisely the same, and the dialogue did not vary from one person to the next. There was only one addition to my youngest brother’s dream. My dad finished speaking and started to disappear, but added, “And Yanky, it’s shoen tzeit for you to wake up, you need to get to mincha.” he woke up with a start, he told us, and then about five or ten second later, his wife knocked on the bedroom door, informing him it was mincha time.

Gitty, you may or may not accept that Hashem allowed five people to have the same visit from our loved one. You may think (and maybe some of your philosophers would rationalize away) that somehow, separated by over a half hour drive away from each other, we all had a collective hallucination, but they and you would be wrong. I have spoken to more than one rov about this, and they all agreed that we were zocheh to an amazing miracle. That Hashem allowed our father’s neshama to speak to us individually, but in such a specific way as to let us know it was not a coincidence or wishful thinking. The quote about not being able to live in his body the way it was, is not the same thing as someone saying, ” I will be watching over you,” which so many “ghost whisperers” and charlatans claim the dead are saying. He was very specific, and used the exact same phraseolgy quote for quote with each of us.

It is ironic that my father’s petirah is the very thing that gave me chizuk in my emunah in Hashem. Most people are busy blaming Him for the death of a loved one. I hope, Gitty, that you have not written everything off just yet. You are, as I stated earlier, very young and have a long way to go before you make decisions that have lifelong ramifications. You write intelligently, and I hope you are as intelligent as you sound, and that you re-think some of the things that you are starting to feel you beleive or do not believe. Because ultimately it all boils down to one thing – WHAT IF YOU ARE MISTAKEN??????????