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The Miracles of Birth

Rabbi Yohanan said: "What is the meaning of the sentence in Scriptures, 'He does wonders that are immeasurable and miracles that are incomprehensible?' This refers to the miracle of the birth of a child."

Before a child is conceived, Hashem summons the Angel of Birth and He notifies him that a new life is about to be created. The angel then appears with this spark of life before Hashem and asks Him, what sort of person will it be?

Hashem then decrees if the person will be strong or weak, tall or short, male or female, wise or foolish, rich or poor. But if he will be good or bad, He does not decree, for that choice alone is given to man.

Hashem then motions to the angel in charge of neshamot to bring forth this and this soul, which was created when Hashem made the world.

Hashem Commands The Neshama

The Neshama approaches Hashem and bows humbly before Him. Hashem then commands it to enter this new spark of life, which will develop, into the body of a human being.

But the neshama hesitates and says: "O Mighty Hashem! Please donít force me to enter into such an odorous and decayed mortal. I am holy and pure, having been created by Your Holiness."

But Hashem answers, "The world which you are about to enter is a good world and I only created you for the purpose of entering the mortal body."

Hashem then forces the neshama into this spark of life, and he assigns two malachim to guard it. A candle is lit near its head and it studies all the knowledge of the world. It is also able to see all that transpires from the beginning of the world to its end.

A malach then takes the neshama on a tour of Gan Eden, pointing out the the righteous who sit near the Heavenly Throne.

"Do you know who these people are?" the angels ask.

"No," answers the neshama.

"These were once the same as you. They entered the world which you are about to see; they observed all the mitzvot of the Torah, and led an exemplary life. If you will follow their example, you too, will dwell in this paradise."

Then he shows the neshama Gehenom. "These are the people who were evil in the world," the malach explains. "Avoid their path and you will reap the benefits of Gan Eden."

The malach then shows the neshama where it will live, and where it will die, and where it will be buried.

Rebellion

When the time comes for the neshama to enter into the world, itl rebels and exclaims, "I don't want to leave my comfortable dwelling!"

But the malach admonishes it saying: "Know my child, that you are created against your will; you are born against your will; you will die against your will and will have to give reckoning on the Day of Judgment, against your will."

The malach then forces the neshama out into the world. As it is born the malach strikes the child under its nostril and the child forgets everything it was taught. The child cries when it is born, because it has just left a beautiful world of calm and peace.

The Seven Stages of Life

A person undergoes seven stages in his life. The first years he is compared to a king. Everyone loves him, he is kissed and hugged, and they make a fuss over him. The next few years is compared to a pig. He is filthy and wallows in dirt and mud. When he reaches seven years of age, he is compared to a goat. He is always prancing and jumping around. When the child enters his teen years he is compared to a horse. He is frisky, haughty and proud.

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule. A halter and lead is placed over him. He takes a wife and he has to work and slave to support a family.

In the sixth stage of life he is compared to a dog that has to continually seek food for his hungry brood. He loses all sense of shame when it comes to supporting his growing family.

He may become senile in his last stage of life. His main role in life has now become to play with children. People just tolerate him.

Time Comes To Depart

When his time comes to depart from this world, the malach appears before him and asks, "Do you recognize me?"

The neshama replies, "Yes, I know you. Why do you come to me today?"

"I have come to take you out of this world. You have completed your allotted span of life."

The neshama begins to cry and it is heard all over the world, but not by normal human beings whose senses are not attuned to this sphere.

"You have already taken me out of one world to place me into this world," the neshama cries. "Must you continuously bother me?"

The malach replies, "I have told you once before that you are created against your will; you are born against your will; you will die against your will and you will have to stand trial on judgment day against your will.

Today is the day you will die. Come with me.Ē

And so it is with each one of us. No matter what judgement awaits it in the next world the neshama rejoices as it journeys back to home to rest with its Creator.


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