The most profound fear most of us have is of death. As La Rochefoucauld said, “Neither the sun nor death can be looked on with a steady eye.” The Untaneh Tokef prayer tells the poetry of mortality with haunting pathos:Read More
Day 10: How do I remember that my days on earth are limited?
וְשֶׁאַתָּה רִמָּה וְתוֹלֵעָה בְּחַיֶּיךָ, וְאַף כִּי בְּמוֹתָךְ
And that while alive you are only like a maggot and a worm as after death.
Rabbi Levitas of Yavneh said: “be exceeding humble in spirit, for the end of man is the worm.” (Pirket Avot 4:4)
- When a person is young he thinks he is immortal and invulnerable. As he matures and he get closer to death he realizes that life is uncertain and short and he becomes humble.
The Talmud says: “One should always incite his good inclination against his evil inclination, i.e., that one must constantly struggle so that his evil inclination does not lead him to transgression.” (Berachot 5a)
- But if he does not succeed in subduing it, he should study Torah. If he still cannot subdue his evil inclination, he should recite Shema, which contains the acceptance of the yoke of God, and the concept of reward and punishment. If he is still unsuccessful, he should remind himself of the day of death.