Jewish Soul During Shiva

(Adapted with special permission from Rabbi Ullman)

Seven days (for eulogy) DURING SHIVA

Zohar, VaYechi

All the seven days the soul goes from the house to the grave and from the grave to the house and mourns for the body, as it is written: “His flesh shall suffer pain for him, and his soul shall mourn for it” (Iyov 14:22). It goes to sit in the house, and when it sees everybody sad, it mourns too.

Arizal: There are two dimensions of “nefesh”, the outer (makif) and inner (pnimi). Each has seven aspects. After death, the inner remains with the body in the grave. The outer with its 7 parts remains in the house of the deceased. Each of the seven days, one aspect of the outer departs from the house of mourning, visits the deceased and remains at the grave – until on the seventh day all have been elevated and reunited with the body.

At this point (and not before, because of the klippa) the matzevia stone should be erected, although many have the custom to wait until the 30th day or until the yahrzeit.


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