As news trickles in of lives lost in the Surfside condo collapse, we bring you the following lines penned by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman:

אמונה Eh-moo-na.

In English, generally spelled Emunah.

Sometimes translated as “faith,” but certainly not blind.

On the contrary, it is a vision that sees beyond anything the eye can see, grasps that which the mind cannot begin to fathom, knows that which even the heart cannot contain, to an inner reality that breathes within all things, where there is nothing else but G‑d, and all is good. Very good.

Each one of us has that capacity of vision. It is the very essence of our souls and it lies beneath all we think, feel and do. It needs only to be allowed entry past the gateway of our limited, body-bound perception.

This is what Asaf says in his psalm (Psalms 73:15):

If I had spoken things as I saw them, I would have brought an entire generation to rebel. I tried to understand, but it only became uglier in my eyes.

Until I came to the Temple of G‑d, and I understood the end of all things.

Think of the vision of an astronaut looking back toward Planet Earth. He sees all its oceans, its forests, its deserts, and its cities condensed within a single frame, as a magnificent gemstone in the heavens. From our place on earth, we never conceived of the vision we saw once we left its gravitational pull.

So emunah sees the whole of life—its trouble and its joy, its pain and its pleasure, its success and its most miserable failures, its beauty and the unspeakable ugliness it has witnessed—all as a single, perfect jewel, reflecting in so many facets endless points of ever-shifting light. For, the sages tell us, the core of the soul hovers beyond the body, and from there it shares its vision of reality from above.

There is nothing bad or ugly in that vision, no life that ended before its time, no suffering that was not worth every drop of blood, no travesty that wasn’t a pathway to a great good, in a way absolutely impossible for us to imagine, perhaps even blasphemous to suggest, from within our time-bound, body-bonded context.

Blasphemous to suggest, because from within our world, the pain is real—the pain of those whose bodies were crushed and, perhaps more so, the torment of those who loved them so much and mourn for them now.

It is a pain we must feel, a pain that must be healed, until we have healed humanity itself. Until no such tragedy could ever happen again.

That is why it is a fundamental belief of the Jew that the soul will return to live again within these bodies, but this time forever. And in that time to come, we will see with physical eyes, comprehend with a physical brain, and feel with a palpable heart, all the truth and beauty through which we lived on this earth.

That is why life on this earth is so precious that we will spend every resource we have if there is any chance for one more breath of it.

Our entire world, after all, is a crumbled structure. Everything has a place where it is meant to be, nothing is here without reason and meaning—but it’s frame has collapsed, its modules have come apart and fallen. We are all trapped under a mess of stones and debris where we struggle to find the meaning of the fragments of a broken world.

Yet we don’t give up—not on ourselves and not on any human being that may still have breath in his or her nostrils. We don’t give up because belief in G‑d is belief in life.

And for those who we now know did not survive—it is with that same emunah that we mourn so deeply. Because we so deeply believe that all that occurs in this life is good. Very good. But the time has ultimately come when a soul must travel onward, beyond this earthly life.

We will all see each other once again. In this life or in the next. We will embrace and we will understand.