remembering how to be a soul

It takes the soul an entire year after one dies until it remembers what it is like to be just a soul without a body. (So explains Rav Avraham Azulai) It's had so many years to get used to living in a body, it's a tremendous and sudden trauma when the soul has to fend for itself once again. A soul in such a predicament is compared to a baby bird that has to learn how to fly.

It's always interesting to gain a different perspective on life, but this is pretty far out there. How do we bring it home a little? There's a great little bit of life experience that can give us a really good feel for the smallest taste of what the soul might have to go through: 

Ever drive a rental car? Or someone else's car after driving your own car for a couple of years? Doesn't it feel weird? It's got a steering wheel, a gas and break pedal, a gearbox, etc. Yet it still feels uncomfortably different, totally awkward. Even just trying to park a different car feels weird, somehow just not right. Now, when you get back into your car, it's like..ahhh, now this is the way things are supposed to be.

Imagine your soul trying to walk around, or eat something without a body.. That's gotta be tough.


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