Lately I've been thinking that Life after Death is a fairy tale created by man to give people hope that once we die, consciousness continues to exist (it's a frightening thought to think otherwise). My gut tells me that the brain and body is what controls everything around me, and that once they shut down consciousness ceases to exist. I even ask myself why I am writing this to you because I know that no one can prove the existence of an afterlife and what happens next, but I guess I have nothing to lose.


Thanks for expressing your thoughts. Thinking about life beyond this material existence is daunting to say the least. What is existence after I pass on? What type of "life" will it be? Will I be ready for it? These are the type of questions I ask myself when pondering this subject.

Perhaps, better than asking what life is after death, one should ask what life is prior to death. Is life merely a material existence that I live for today, for the here and now? Is there then no greater goal, a mission that is larger than life? What is the meaning of existence today, before I die? I think that by answering these questions you might be better equipped to begin delving into the subject of an afterlife.

A person doesn't live by the power of his brain, through the energy of the heart. If that were the case then what is the cause of someone's death when there is no apparent change to the brain or heart? There must be something beyond that, deeper than that, which causes the brain to think and the heart to feel and energize. This is the soul—a part of G‑d that is vested within each one of us. It drives us and energizes us. It is the element which connects us to something greater than ourselves—to G‑d. Without the soul we would be no different than the animal that lives for that green pasture and a nice bit of shade to nap in. Is that the life you ascribe to? I don't think so. I think you feel impelled to be part of the greater good; to look beyond yourself and the here & now. It is the soul that, perhaps unknowingly, adds this dimension to your life.

When we speak of afterlife it is the soul we are referring to. Yes, the body is interred and returned to its maker. It is the soul dimension of man, perhaps the true dimension that continues to "live." It continues to seek out ways to be part of the greater good, to reach greater heights to become closer to G‑d, as it did during the person's physical lifetime.

I hope that this has been a help to you. You might find this article of interest.

Wishing you a Happy Chanukah,

Rabbi Shmuel Kogan,