The saying goes that there are only three guaranteed things in life, death, taxes and, in Kennedy’s case, death in Texas.

The subject of mortality is fearsome to young and old alike due to the level of misunderstanding most people have of it. For some people the misguidance is due to exposure to non-Jewish movies and literature that espouse ideas completely foreign to Judaism on the subjects of death, hell, angels and reincarnation. For the more insulated Jews, these less touched upon subjects leave the believing Jew with their own imagination as to what these experiences we all undergo are.

Thanks to a wonderful book by Jonathan Morgenstern, based on the teachings of Rav Sholom Kamenetzky, much of the myth and mystery surrounding these out worldly topics are peeled away. “Afterlife” offers the reader a Torah perspective that makes the concept of death seem more comprehensible. The beauty of “Afterlife” is that is has an appeal to layman and scholar alike. It is easy to read and to follow, yet very well footnoted, based on the Jewish classics such as Rambam, Arizal and Vilna Gaon and their disciples, with all the profundity their sacred works contain.

The reader is introduced to the question of what the purpose in life is and that means in terms of preparing for the World-to-Come.

The reader is encouraged by the author to reject all non-Torah understandings of these matter and proceeds in a marvellous manner to describe the journey of the soul after death through the “Olam Haneshamot” – World of Souls, resurrection,  and the end goal, the World to Come. Through studying this crucial work, one gains a mature understanding of the necessity of the purification of Gehinnom, when reincarnation is employed in place of Gehinnom and how this all fits in to the belief in the coming of the Moshiach.

Subjects like these have occupied the minds of young and old for generations. No longer will a parent need to tell an inquisitive child that they do not have what to answer regarding these fundamental topics.

It is incredible how the subject of Afterlife pervades much of Jewish understanding for example, reward and punishment, what a person’s purpose in the world is and how their actions impact the spiritual world. Readers have already tasted the pleasure of understanding in hitherto confusing topics.

Read Afterlife, and add meaning to yours.