Anxiety About Death


I am a 66 years old healthy woman. I am Orthodox but lately I can’t seem to understand why we live and life is good but then we have to die. Thinking about this makes me very anxious. In Judaism is it wrong to think like this?




  1. Is there room to be anxious about passing from this world to the next? Yes, I think that for many people that is a normal and a natural reaction. After all, leaving this world means leaving everything that we know, all those that we love, and everything that is familiar to us and to pass through into an existence that we have no real understanding of.

    But even though it is perfectly normal to be anxious about such a change, the anxiety of such thoughts should not cause us to imagine that just because what awaits us is unknown, it is not the essence of what we were placed in this world for. As Chazal teach us, this world is a corridor to the World to Come. We are here in this world in order to build for ourselves a truly magnificent portion in the World to Come. And in order to do that we must enjoy the wonderful things that Hashem has granted us here.

    But we should not allow ourselves to be seduced into thinking that this world is all that there is. Or, that the pleasures of this world are comparable in any way to the pleasures that await us in the World to Come.

    It is true that this concept that has no physical connection to our present reality and is without a doubt extremely hard to relate to. Nevertheless, we are taught that the World to Come is one of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism.

    When Rav Aharon Kotler was on his deathbed, suffering terribly from the disease that would take his life, his Rebbetzin came into the room. When she saw just how dire the situation was, she tried to encourage him by telling him that it will be good. Rav Aharon answered, “It is already good – it will better.” And, in my humble opinion, that is how we are supposed to try to view the passing from this world into another world. Yes, it is good here. Sometimes, very, very good. But where we will ultimately end up it is incomparably better.

    I do not know if it has been translated into English but the second part of the Gesher HaChaim deals with the Jewish hashkafah of death.

    Best wishes from the Team