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Free Fall

Felix Baumgartner is no ordinary parachutist. For five years he prepared for an unprecedented leap, straight from outer space down to earth. Felix jumped from a special capsule that carried him 38 kilometers into the air, after which he spent about five minutes in free fall towards the earth, reaching a speed as high as 1,110 kilometers per hour, becoming the first person to break the sound barrier with his body. His journey took a total of 20 minutes, and was broadcast live on Youtube.

Baumgartner was fully aware before his leap that it was foolhardy, and he could very well die somewhere between heaven and earth: “That definitely could happen, but I am doing everything in my power to ensure that it does not happen. It is my dream.” During his drop he did experience some dangerous moments, but with great effort his leap was successful and he survived.

Baumgartner's freefall is reminiscent of the journey the soul takes from heaven to earth in the course of its birth. The soul does not wish to leave the safe confines of heaven, and many traditional sources describe the pangs that the soul goes through as it descends to this world to be enclothed in a physical body.

Like the parachutist, the soul is also not assured that it will survive its journey. However, the soul takes the risk because of the rewards it can attain here on earth. The spiritual merits that one can accrue here on earth are incomparably greater than what the soul can accomplish in heaven. Only here can we collect “diamonds,” by performing mitzvot and carrying out the will of G-d. Some souls, however, forget the purpose of their journey once they come to earth, and become caught up in enjoying the earth's physical delights. These are the souls who have lost their way.

This was true for the last 2,000 years of our history. This is all about to change, though. Soon millions of souls are due to return to earth, not in a terrifying drop but with a safe, gentle landing. These souls will return to earth to be resurrected in the bodies they had formerly occupied during their previous lifetime. And they will stay in those bodies forever, with no death in between. For the ultimate state of bliss that we are promised by G-d is as souls in bodies, here on earth. This is the culmination of our spiritual efforts over the past six millennia since creation. G-d created THIS world as His dwelling place, not the superior spiritual worlds.

Now, in the final moments of exile, we must utilize the opportunity to grab those last “diamonds,” and prepare to welcome the souls on their final return.


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