My wife, best friend and soulmate for decades, passed away a few weeks ago. I have been going to the cemetery almost daily to visit her. Recently, however, a friend advised me, in a sensitive way, that a soul's true essence does not remain in the grave, but that it moves on to Heaven. He told me that I am being too melancholy, and that I should move on... I know that I feel closer to her at the grave site, but am I just imagining this? Is my friend right? Should I try to move on?


The Zohar teaches that the soul has many layers. The layer called nefesh enlivens the body. The layer called ruach provides emotion. It surrounds the person, not limited to the body alone. The layer called neshamah provides intellect.

When a person dies, the ruach and neshamah rip themselves away from the nefesh and returns to their place above. The nefesh, however, stays there with the body. It maintains its connection, however, with the ruach.

That is why we visit the graves of the deceased, because there is a direct connection from that place to the ruach and neshama of the person in Heaven.

Nevertheless, your friend is right that a person must travel forward in life. But when is the time, that is something only you can tell. Perhaps a few months, perhaps a year. And then, as the story in Genesis goes, G‑d says, "It is not good for a man to be alone. I will make him a partner."

Wishing you all good things,

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman for