Forever Children

“You are children of the L-rd your G-d; do not cut yourselves or pluck out hair between your eyes for the dead” (Deuteronomy 14:1). Nachmanides notes that the introduction to the laws forbidding excess mourning for the dead is the statement “You are children of G-d.” He maintains that this teaches us that we are, in essence, spiritual beings, and that the soul does not die, only the body. Therefore, although clearly one should mourn and cry, since the soul still exists it is inappropriate to engage in mourning practices that are excessive, like self-mutilation or permanent removal of hair, for that would be tantamount to saying that death is absolute and final and includes the soul.

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