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What Happens to the Soul After Death?

When a person dies, the soul or neshama hovers around the body.  This neshama is the essence of the person, the consciousness and totality - the thoughts, deeds, experiences and relationships. 

The body was its container while it lasted, and the neshama, now on the way to the Eternal World, refuses to leave until the body is buried.  In effect, the totality of the person who died continues to exist for a while in the vicinity of the body. 

A Jewish funeral is, therefore, most concerned with the feelings of the deceased, and not only the feelings of the mourners.  How we treat the body, and how we behave around the body, must reflect how we would act around the very person himself at this crucial moment.

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