Monday, 10 January 2011

Farewell to ShadowLands

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, dayan ha-emet.

Translation: "Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, the True Judge.




 In Judaism, death is not a tragedy, even when it occurs early in life or through unfortunate circumstances. Death came to the world because of sin, but one day, through Messiah, that shall be removed. Our deaths, like our lives, have meaning and are all part of G-d's plan. This does not mean that G-d condones to actions of murders; they shall indeed face judgement, in this life and in the next, for their crimes.
 In addition, we have a firm belief in an afterlife, the world to come, where those who have lived a worthy life will be rewarded. Knowing that G-d has created a place for the rightious, while our hearts are ripen open with the death of a loved one, we know where they are and one day, we shall join them.
Times like these do not make me question my faith in G-d or doublt that He is. It enforces it. For only G-d can make sense out ofall of this.
At times like this, I am reminded of quotes from two of my favorite books: C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle J.R.R Tolken's  The Return of the King.

The Last Battle: There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadowlands–dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
(C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle (HarperCollins: New York, 1956) p. 228.)


From The Return of the King:
Gandalf:Gandalf: Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say "do not weep", for not all tears are an evil. It is time, Frodo."

Sam: What does he mean?
Frodo: We set out to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me.
Sam: You don't mean that. You can't leave.
Frodo: [hands Sam the RedBook book] The last pages are for you, Sam.
Frodo: [Voiceover] My dear Sam, you can not always be torn in two: you will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do. Your part in this story will go on.
We all are authors in this jounral called life. Our stories interwine and weave into the taapestry of the universe, of heaven itself. The black threads of pain and sorrow are those that bring out the bright, rich colours of joy. Those who have passed on to the afterlife, either heaven or hell, have set down their pens. Their portion, as Frodo stated is complete. Just Frodo passed the RedBook onto Sam, for he had many pages more to write, so do we, who are still walk upon this good earth.
And one day, we too shall hear the crash of a train and find ourselves in Aslan's Land, where He shall begin to tell us The Great Story, the Story we, ourselves are part of and that goes on forever.
May those who have gone before us rest in peace and may the G-d of All Comfort comfort those left to mourn.
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