On tombstones one finds the acronym for t'hay nafsho/ah tzrurah b'tzror hachaim (may the soul be bound to the bond of life).

What is this bond of life? Do we have any sources which explain what this means?

  • @loewian I don't see an reference to afterlife in the question. – Double AA Jun 5 '15 at 14:06
  • @DoubleAA My understanding of the OP's question is that it is understood that the reference has something to do with a "bond of life" after death - I assumed that means he's asking what the phrase means with regard to after life. – Loewian Jun 5 '15 at 14:44

Radak citing Yonatan, Ralbag, and Metzudot David (Samuel 1:25:29) all interpret it as a reference to meriting Olam HaBa. (It seems to me that even those who read the verse there in accordance with its straightforward meaning would agree that the intended reference on tombstones is to this Drash.)

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    right but why is it called bond of life. maybe didnt make the question clear – ray Jun 5 '15 at 7:44
  • @ray bond of eternal life? – Yehoshua Jun 5 '15 at 10:12
  • @Yehoshua what "bond" – ray Jun 5 '15 at 10:54
  • @ray Because it's permanent? – Double AA Jun 5 '15 at 14:06
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    mechon-mamre.org/i/1508.htm#7 – Yishai Jun 5 '15 at 18:26

It comes from Avigail and is the opposite of כף הקלע. The Pasuk in Shmuel says

וְֽהָיְתָה֩ נֶ֨פֶשׁ אֲדֹנִ֜י צְרוּרָ֣ה ׀ בִּצְר֣וֹר הַחַיִּ֗ים אֵ֚ת ה' אלקיך וְאֵ֨ת נֶ֤פֶשׁ אֹיְבֶ֙יךָ֙ יְקַלְּעֶ֔נָּה בְּת֖וֹךְ כַּ֥ף הַקָּֽלַע׃

This juxtaposition makes it look like it is referring to rest as opposed to being flung about. Tzror would mean a bond, held together.

The Ralbag explains it with this:

הוא העולם הבא כי שם תתאחד הנפש במושכליה שהם צרור החיים ומצדם יהיה עם השם יתברך

And the Malbim explains the local use:

צרורה בצרור החיים, רצה לומר שתהיה נפשך שמורה מן המות האורב עליה כדבר הצרור בצרור ונטור ושמור מכל צד, והצרור הזה שבו תהיה שמורה, הוא החיים את ה' אלהיך, השגחת ה' שישמור אותה בחיים, כי עמו מקור חיים

Obviously, this is not what we have in mind on a Niftar, though.

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