The Soul Waiting Room

I recently have been traveling and as is normal during these times, however uncomfortable, I have also been waiting for flight connections, trains, planes, and waiting for automobiles to finish their journeys so that I may continue with mine. Because of all the incessant idle time spent just waiting around, a story comes to mind about the ultimate waiting room. This is the room that we all will pass through at some time, (may it be when we are 120). It is called the soul waiting room but technically since in this room there really isn’t any time, maybe a better name for this place should really be The Soul Womb.

The Sages bring down to us that when a baby is in the womb, it is taught all of Torah knowledge by a small quiet voice in its ear by a very special Angel. At the moment of its birth into this world, just as its head crowns, the Angel gently touches the child just under the nose, creating a dimple and causing the knowledge of Torah to be forgotten. This is a strange idea since I have to wonder, why bother in the first place? The only answer that I can think of to this is that it must have something to do with free will. Did you ever wonder what intuition was? Or what about dejavue? These things always feel real but from some other life or maybe a dream, like we were meant to remember but not to know why.

The soul waiting room is a very similar idea. While we are in the waiting room, we are not capable of free will. We know all that came before and we know all that came after because, like I said, in the waiting room there is no time to constrict our experiences. We are unable to act, however know exactly what to do. Sounds frustrating doesn’t it? Well, that’s nothing compared to this. What if we could see that all of the decisions that we made in life were only static or even worse just wrong, propelling us into a state of spiritual chaos. We would be stuck, just watching, as the choices we made in our physical life kept us from having the pleasure of the real journey in life and beyond… to be in relationship with G-D.

Maybe this is too big of an idea to really get our heads around without first exploring the thing that we all seem to be preoccupied with (instead of our ultimate destination). So let’s just say that in order to get from the physical world to the soul waiting room, considering that many of our choices are not necessarily the best in nature, we would need a decontamination tank to cleanse us from the stains that were acquired. Picture being on a battlefield in a war. You are running for your life and making split second decisions. There are chemical and biological hazards; there is also nuclear fallout and the usual flesh ripping armaments. How would you be able to get back to central command?

Well, once you found the map that you somehow lost or just plain lost faith in, followed it back to where you hoped you would find the home front and central command and after your initial elation, you would be received with what would probably feel a lot like torture by first having to go through a field medical diagnosis. This would probably feel like a whole lifetime after what you had just been through. Then you would maybe have some kind of field surgery and before you were allowed to enter the safe zone of the central command, you would need to first be put through a series of detox chambers where you were denuded with high pressure washing and coarse brushes of any hazards that you may have picked up along the way. Then you would be immediately sent to debriefing in order to tell your superiors of what your actions were and what decisions you had made on the battle field. This is a good analogy of what it would be like to pass from the physical world to the spiritual world and most people would call it Hell.

It is a place designed by G-D in order to purify our souls of the muck that will inevitably be clinging. We need to go through decontamination, the Sages tell us anywhere up to 11 months, and then we need to go through debriefing when a movie of our lives will be shown to us. This movie will be paused at all the juicy spots that we would rather fast forward. We will be forced to pay attention to these moments in detail and when the movie is done, we will then wait in timelessness for our next chance to make a difference in the physical world and in our souls. Well, that is if we get a chance to. Really, who knows… all I know is that now, after having a wonderful and terrible journey, I am back home and yup… making choices like crazy. It gives a whole new perspective on ‘being in the moment’.

Shalom kulam.

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